Pastor’s Corner, 10-23-09

One of the great temptations for the church in every age is to become “ingrown,” to become content, comfortable, and complacent in its current state – to focus on and live for itself and its maintenance chiefly, rather than for the glory of the Lord and for the sake of the lost – to forget its calling to go into the world to make disciples of all the nations – to be a huddle of prideful saints, rather than a hospital for broken sinners, welcoming the lost with joy and seeking to reach the lost with the transforming message of Christ. In order that we might see the sinfulness and misery of an ingrown church, and the beauty and glory of an incarnational church, Robert and I will be preaching a series over the next several months thinking with you about what it means to be the church for the world, the church going into the world. As the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us, so we are called to incarnate the love of God to our neighbors in Algood, Cookeville, Putnam County, and the entire Upper Cumberland, going and dwelling among them in hopes that they too might come to know and follow Jesus Christ. And even if the Lord does not ordain to convert our neighbors, we must still love them and serve them for their good and His glory.

The Lord has opened up wide doors for us to minister His grace in word and deed to the people here, and it is our great duty and delight to speak and serve with boldness. A key step in walking through those open doors is forming relationships with our neighbors; in order to love them as effectively as we can, we need to know them well. Paul’s words in I Thessalonians 2:8 are foundational: “Having so fond an affection for you, we were pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” The struggle – at least my struggle – is to share not only my life but the gospel as well; if we don’t speak, the gospel good news hasn’t been imparted, because there is a content to the gospel. Several things are happening in the life of the church in the coming weeks that afford us great opportunities for sharing both our lives and the gospel of Christ with our neighbors, and I hope you’ll be a part of them.

This Saturday is the annual Grace Presbyterian Church Hoe-down, always a fun time of food, fellowship, and toe-tapping barn dance music. I encourage you to bring your friends along with you; events like this are wonderful “front door” opportunities to invite unbelievers and inquirers to be around other Christians. Remember Philip’s evangelistic invitation to Nathanael: “Come and see” (John 1:46).

Next Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m., we will take place in an Adopt-a-School ceremony in the gym of Algood Middle School. Together with Algood Sonic Drive-in, Algood Wal-Mart, Dream Source Homes, and Nelson’s Trophy & Screenprinting, we are officially becoming adopters of Algood Elementary and Algood Middle Schools. Judge John Maddux (Sarah Robertson’s father) will conduct the ceremony, and there will be a reception following. If you’re able to be there, it would be a great opportunity to meet our neighbors and show support for Algood Schools.

Next Friday, we are participating in Habitat for Humanity’s Cooking on the Square. David Cunningham will be setting up our tent and serving some great gumbo, and he’s looking for folks to help. If you haven’t been to Cooking on the Square before, it’s a fundraiser for Habitat in which folks purchase very nice pottery bowls for $15, and then go around from tent to tent for all you can eat gumbo and other Cajun fare. As we say down on the bayou, “Laisser les bons temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”) This community event is not only a wonderful way to help out Habitat, but it also provides us with chances to meet and talk with people about the Lord Jesus Christ and about our church. It’s just another way to show an “outward face,” to go into the world with the message of hope and grace in Christ.

We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” Why? Peter answers himself: “…so that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9). May God by His grace working in us spur us on to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24), so that the world might believe.


One response to this post.

  1. Just passing through. I like your blog! Keep up the good work!

    ~ C.H.
    Music news, artist reviews, and upcoming songs at the new Decibel Blog.


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