Hello Brothers & Sisters,
The Holy Spirit is at work among us at Grantham Church!
Last week we saw over a hundred people in our Ash Wednesday service. It was a very meaningful experience. It was a great way to begin the Lenten season. I hope you’ll join us for our Taize services on Wednesday nights at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary through Lent. I think you will find these reflective services refreshing and replenishing to the soul.
This past Sunday we continued our Roots series with a message on community called, Belonging to the Community of Faith (5 of 10). The sermon was about how we must put relationships first if we’re to be the people God has called us to be in Christ. We also watched a powerful video about being thankful for the church.
Dear saints, we have a real enemy that seeks to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He seeks to exploit our weaknesses and kill our faith. A common way he does this is through fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Think about it. If you’re living in fear and operating out of fear, it sets off a chain reaction. It affects you and all those you have contact with.
While we know that our Lord is greater than the forces of darkness, it’s important to notice how our unseen enemy thrives on unresolved anger, lingering bitterness, irrational fears, etc. When we give in to various forms of neurosis, we give the devil a foothold. We give him more air to breath and room to grow, like cancer in the body. And that’s not the kind of growth you want.
Thankfulness purifies the air (so to speak) of the toxins that we’re breathing. It also cleanses the body of toxins at the cellular level. I have personally found that thankfulness puts a stop to the negative energy at work in us and around us.
Just as you find that hatred of an enemy tends to dissipate when you pray for them, get to know them, and seek to love them, so it is with how being thankful sensitizes us to how God is on the move and is greater than our problems or concerns. It changes everything! We are then able to see more clearly and love more deeply.
This is why Paul tells us not to be conformed to the world, including worldly thinking, but instead be transformed by the Spirit and be renewed in our mind (Romans 12:1-2). Paul says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
So, if you find yourself breathing in the toxins in you and around you, ask God to bring to mind the excellent and praiseworthy things. Be intentional about yielding to the Holy Spirit’s desire to purify your thoughts, to bring them under his control through the spiritual disciplines (e.g. prayer, fasting, Bible-reading, etc.), so that you can be freed up to receive his peace and joy.
He wants this for you, and our church. It’s the only way to continue growing our roots down into Christ, becoming mature and strengthened in our faith (Colossians 2:6-7).
It was great to see many of you respond to God’s voice and prompting after the sermon on Sunday. If you didn’t respond in the service, it’s not too late to obey and receive a reward from the Lord. I want to encourage you to do the hard work of putting relationships first, and then watch how God blesses your efforts, and our church. Whatever it is, I hope and pray that you will follow the Spirit’s leading.
We have so much to be thankful for at Grantham Church. Let’s be thankful together and continue to humbly receive what God is doing in our congregation.
See you in worship!
Grace & Peace,
* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org