February 2020 Reflections from Pastor Greg

“We’re never too old—or too grown up—to admit that we could always use some more maturity!” —-Howard Hendricks

“The pursuit of excellence should be gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time. Success doesn’t mean the absence of failures; it means the attainment of ultimate objectives. Perfection, fortunately, is not the only alternative to mediocrity. A more sensible alternative is excellence.” —-Edwin C. Bliss

“The pursuit of becoming more like Christ is the responsibility and role of every individual who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way.”

“One of the most pressing problems that the Church faces today is being able to recognize how much the suppression of Biblical Truth within our culture has increased our fear of offending others with the Gospel message. But we have to realize that God’s message of mercy, grace, and love is meaningless to those who fail to understand what it means to be saved.” —-from a weekly blog by and for pastors

I trust that most of you probably know that the mission statement for our church states that we desire “to lead
all people in a growing relationship with Christ.” Using the words from Philippians 3 & 2 Peter 3 inserted on this
page, let’s take a few moments to think about what it means to enjoy a growing personal relationship with the
Lord. What’s involved in becoming more and more like Christ?

1) It’s a life—long process. Even though he was one of the most successful missionaries who ever lived, Paul
acknowledged that he hadn’t reached the goal of complete and total maturity, so he was pressing forward. So
if this is the case, it requires patience—patience with myself and also with others because spiritual growth and
maturity will take both time and effort.
2) This life—long process involves: (1) recognizing my inabilities {things I need to do, but can’t do without God’s
strength and power working within me}; (2) prayerfully asking God to influence my actions and attitudes {by
allowing God’s indwelling Spirit to renew and rearrange my thinking}; (3) pursuing God’s intentions by
following God’s instructions {obeying what the Bible tells me to do}; and (4) pressing forward by not allowing
my past to interfere with what God wants me to do {forgetting what’s behind and looking ahead with hope}.
3) A growing relationship with Christ is based on the Truth that Jesus took hold of me when I acknowledged that
He died in my place. He purchased me and He has a purpose for my life. Am I driven by God’s agenda? … Or I
am distracted by my own aspirations?
4) Taking note of what 2 Peter 3:17—18 reminds us to do: The best way to guard against the suppression of
Biblical Truth within our culture is to make a disciplined and devoted effort to grow little by little and day by
day in knowing Jesus in a personal and intimate way. This happens when we allow His Words to saturate our
minds and impact our behavior. Knowing Him is what makes us become more like Him.
Let’s encourage one another to press on toward the goal of godliness and spiritual maturity as we ask God to
shape us more and more into the image of our Lord and Savior!

As always, with praise for His grace and prayer for His glory, Pastor Greg

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