Fellowship. Relationship. Connection. I am convinced that God has wired our hearts to experience these realities in the context of the church. Within an authentic community of faith, we find other individuals who share our victories, struggles, and values. Frankly, I know of no other organization that offers such a rich opportunity to serve and to live together in Christ. The local church (in this case, Temple Baptist Church) is simply the epicenter of Christian fellowship for us as believers. Consequently, I want to encourage you to connect with other Christ-followers through various venues such as small group Bible study, Wednesday night meals, or even our church picnic at the park this upcoming Sunday night. God has not called you to live in an isolated existence; He has made you for community!
In the midst of that community, we experience spiritual growth and discipleship. For years, we have invited people to “come and gather around the Word” because we believe God’s perfect revelation is key to our vitality and obedience. And that is still the case! We could provide entertainment to those who show up on our campus . . . but they would leave simply amused. We could provide great self-esteem talks for them . . . but they would depart only with an emotional high. We could even provide physical necessities for them . . . but they would carry away those things that would curb their physical appetites alone. But oh, when we provide God’s Word to them, they leave with total transformation of body, soul, and spirit! That is why it is so important to me that we remain firmly anchored in the biblical witness. It is our duty to teach and share God’s timeless principles so that people experience complete life-change.
We seek to saturate every generation with Scripture and its application. From our children to our “seasoned” adults, we hope the authoritative truths penetrate deep within lives. Just recently, our Bible Drill program came to its annual conclusion, but not before thirty-two of our fourth, fifth, and sixth graders had committed Bible books and verses to memory. Twenty-eight of the group made and passed state competition by 1) learning all sixty-six books of the Bible in order; 2) memorizing twenty-five verses and their references; 3) citing and finding key passages; 4) reciting the plan of salvation; 5) and more! What an accomplishment! Again, we bury God’s Word in our heart not just for knowledge sake, but for its transformative effect upon our everyday lives.
My friends, I pray that you will join us for fellowship when we gather. That is important! But I also hope that you will come to experience His revelation to you and to me. That indeed is life-changing! See you this Sunday!