July 2016

P6 Central1

July 2016

Why did Paul take the time to write his letter to the church at Ephesus?  The reasons are clearly stated in verses 21-22 in chapter 6 – “Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am doing and what I am doing.  I am sending him to you for this purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.” (Phrases underlined for emphasis)

Paul closed his letter with this blessing, “Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”

These verses describe the kind of affection that Paul had for this church, and most assuredly the affection this church had for him and his partners in ministry.  Amid his own imprisonment and common persecution of Christians in that day, Paul’s wish for them was to know the peace, love, and grace of God.  Notice again the following phrases in the last verse:

  • Peace to the brothers

  • Love with faith from God

  • Grace to all who love our Lord

Beloved Scotsdale Baptist Church, it is my prayer that we would have so fond an affection for one another.  It is my prayer that we would be an extension of God’s peace, love, and grace.  There is no greater witness that the church can have than to extend the peace, love, and grace of God to one another and to the world.  When we stand together to live out these traits that should characterize ANY Christian church, the world will have to take notice!

There is a popular Christian song playing on the radio now that states, “God is on the Move,” and indeed He is.  Right now we read of struggles locally, nationally, and world-wide.  In all of the publicized chaos our Lord continues to save souls, raise up strong servants of Christ, and perform miracles.

While news agencies are giving every reason to fear we must remember that our God is bigger than any opposition we may face.  This is not to say that we should put a bag over our head and just pretend that everything is okay.  That is not the point that I am trying to make.  I simply want to challenge us to look beyond the troubles of today to cling to the victory promised to us by our Almighty God!

God is on the move at Scotsdale Baptist Church!

  • On Sunday, June 26th our sister church, Oasis Baptist, joined our worship service and allowed us to celebrate three baptisms with them as they used our baptistery.

  • At Ray Rutledge’s funeral an invitation was given at his request.  A woman came forward to give her heart to Christ!  Others told me that they wanted an invitation for others to follow Christ offered at their funeral as well.

  • At youth camp a couple of youth gave their hearts to Christ. Halle Taylor stated at camp that God had convicted her about her need to be baptized as a follower of Christ. She followed through on her commitment on July 3rd.  Matt Pinion went to Fuge Camp and is now playing drums during our worship services.

  • Lighthouse Bible Clubs are providing a way for us to take the gospel to kids in several neighborhoods and a park.  Host homes will serve from that point on as a gospel lighthouse to their neighbors.

  • Younger volunteers are stepping up to volunteer their services in various areas

  • God is giving our ministers and volunteers a vision to go beyond the walls of the church to take the gospel of Christ to our community:

    • Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) will be starting in the future to reach out to young adult mothers who are looking for support from Mentor Moms. This is a community outreach

    • Our Mission Team will soon go beyond the borders of the United States to take the gospel of Christ to the Dominican Republic

    • The Way of the Master class is claiming Album Park as a local mission field for the gospel

    • Financial Peace University classes are attracting as many from outside the church as our own church members

    • Our Upward Sports Ministry always brings a large number of unchurched community members to our Christian Life Center each Saturday where they receive love from Scotsdale volunteers, and they hear the gospel of Christ during halftime devotionals.

    • Our AWANA Ministry will continue to help children to hide God’s Word in their hearts. An added benefit is to see the different generations of church members work together during this two-hour time span on Sunday afternoons.

Well, the list could go on!  My point in listing these things is not to highlight how busy we are, but to show you that God is using this church for His glory.  I hope that you, in reading this, will be filled with the peace, love, and grace from Almighty God to see that we are alive and well.

I will conclude with this request—the same request that Paul made to the church at Ephesus in chapter 6, verses 19-20, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

I am so grateful to be your pastor!

In His Service,

Pastor P6

 

 

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