An Editorial From Brady E. Smith
*Therefore...Be Imitators of God*
My last editorial quoted a soul-winning shepherd in Nashville who’s life focused on loving God and others. That sounds biblical, doesn’t it? Jesus himself affirmed that these loves are the pinnacle of human purpose. ( Matt. 22:36-40 ) . (Eph. 5:1-2), quoted above, also summarizes the Christian life. This passage lends itself to the title “live a life of love the maturing course that completes W>B>S> Masters series. See the model the Father leaves for us to imitate:.. He loved us enough to bring us into His own family as ‘beloved children'! He's done that by the "offering and sacrifice" of His own Son! That love is the motivation and the model we follow, even at great cost to ourselves.
Yes, our love too involves sacrifice. As with Jesus, living love means dedicated pursuit of God ’s mission, not personal agendas. We use our time and resourses purposefully, not selfishly. We stretch ourselves beyond familiar limits. We step outside our comfortable zones, ironically this is especially true when sharing the Good News. People often appreciate the meeting of physical needs .. But the good News is Spiritual. To the Greek it makes no intellectual sense. To the Jews the bloody cross is a scandal... Proud self-made men hate the implications of repentence and grace.
Far more people reject Jesus than accepted Him. But, along with demonstrating grace, he also insisted on speaking truth- and that ..they could not stand. Stephen dared to speak out, and he too was killed for it. Paul was harassed because his declared theme was the cross. Why persist in delivering such a dispised message ? (love), They believed Jesus' words carried etemal life (John 6:63,38) . They believed people had to hear and obey this Gospel, otherwise they were lost ( 2 Thessalonians 1:8.) The only merciful course was to share God’s saving Message. This mercy overflowed in multiplied oppertunities for many to hear and respond, and so grew the church.
How are we growing ? ls there a correlation between our growth and our love? In other words, do we care enough to tell the message? Does our love overcome our fear of rejection- for rejection there will be if we imitate Jesus (John 15:20:, Mark 4:17: 8:38 ). I worry that we find other routes easier, perhaps even adopting a form of works salvation: “ By our works they shall be saved (if they even need saving). “ This is so satisfying, so much friendlier, so much more accepted in polite society.
As you read your Bible, was “ acceptance “ ever a goal of godly leaders ? True, Christ- like living enjoys a side product of favor with all the people "( Acts 2:47 ) “ But that favor is not the goal, as proved by the apostles “ determination to keep on speaking the message with boldness , with or without favor , in season or out of season, even to the extent of igniting persecution that scattered God’s family . Why persist in something so opposed ?(love): Love for God, love for His truth, love for His mission, love for his method, love for the lost. For" salvation is found in no one else “ since then, we know what it is to fear the LORD, We try to persuade men for Ghrist’s love compels us...World Bible School needs more teachers to send this message to the lost of this world “ can you, and will you...!
Guest Speaker: Kim Matthews
We welcomed Kim Matthews on 04/22. Kim has always been an inspiration to all of us. His love for God and compassion for people is admired by many. We thank God for Kim and his wife Brenda. May God continue to use him to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s always pray for Kim’s health and remember "God is Good all the time, and all the time God is Good".
Special Guest: Ron McDole
Our church welcomed a special guest, Ron McDole for Sunday evening Bible Study, April 15th. Mr. McDole is the Development Director of Potter Children's Home & Family Ministries in Bowling Green, KY.
Potter Children's Home & Family Ministries is a comprehensive child and family service organization that has been providing services to the most vulnerable children and families in Bowling Green for nearly 100 years. They focus on ending the generational cycle of child abuse and neglect through their residential and community programs. They are building strong families, and giving children hope for a better tomorrow.
Our church supports this ministry and Mr. McDole spent a few minutes speaking about the Children's Home. We would like to thank him for stopping by.