I hope you’re doing well this week! Vetra and I learned a great lesson from our rose garden. Last year we were slow pruning & fertilizing the roses at the right time and we fought disease, and insect damage all year in spite of the extra treatment with fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides the rest of summer. Without the right care at the right time, regardless of our treatment with they looked sickly all summer. This year we got a good start, at the right time, right stuff and they are doing great.
Our roses survived last year, but they did not thrive. This year, a different story they are thriving, great leaf, stem health and blooms, the product of good health. The moral of the story, do the right things at the right time and we will stay healthy. The same applies to our spiritual life and our church. In addition to spending time to stay spiritually healthy, I trust you are also doing things that build strong physical health and character. In our reflections on the Seven Churches of Revelation we see so many similarities to the church today and many lessons for our personal lives. Our agenda needs to address those things that make us thrive not just settle for survival.
This Sunday May 16, we will be continuing the series “Surviving or Thriving”. We will look at the things that would let the Church at Pergamum thrive not just survive in their ugly environment. To prepare for Sunday, I encourage you to read 2 Timothy 3:10-17. This note of encouraging Timothy to be steadfast in the faith was written only 28 years before the warning to the churches of Revelation. Thrive; do not just settle for survival. Churches that were on fire for Jesus in Paul’s day have now found it convenient to back down from thriving to settle for surviving. Sound like today?
Two questions come to my mind: (1) How do I keep my spiritual commitment strong for Jesus in these times of political, spiritual and social harassment and compromise? (2) How does a Bible centered church stand strong during our time of harassment, perhaps ultimately persecution?
Another issue we’ll be discussing on Sunday is the difference between harassment and persecution. The American church today is facing a lot of harassment, but we are not yet facing real persecution. The church in some parts of the world is facing serious persecution; martyrdom, trafficked, buried alive, starved, made homeless because of their faith? If it comes to that, will we have what it takes to stand?
Invite your friends and family to join us at 11 AM.