As many of you know this past month was a wonderful time for our family to visit extended family, see friends that we have not seen in nearly a decade, and visit other brothers and sisters of Christ in churches across our country while seeing the beauty God has blessed our country with. During our journey, the Lord began to do a greater work in my heart, revealing to me a couple of areas I long for our church to continue to pursue with all of the vigor we can. The first is simply a refocus on Jesus Christ. Life, ministry, work, etc can truly bog us down and distract us from what really matters. And the reality is, the thing that matters most in our lives is a love for Jesus Christ. I say a love for Jesus because so often we can see him, know him, but be so busy that our heart is not in awe of him. It’s like driving to the Grand Canyon and seeing the hole in the ground, only to turn around 3 seconds later to return home. That’s often how we approach Jesus. My hope and prayer is that we would be a church that would slow down enough that we might see Jesus and be in awe of him again. And the second is that out of a love for Jesus, we would desire to mature in our faith, becoming more and more like Jesus everyday. It’s easy to let life live us. My hope for us is that we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, would begin to see our sin and put it to death (Romans 8:13). We would no longer placate our sin, but rather see its destructive force and want to root it out of our lives so that we might replace it with desires that match Jesus Christ. Church, might God grow us so that we love him more and as a result look more like him. Would you join me in prayer for this hope?
Derek Van Ruler, Lead Pastor