Date: December 31, 2017
Speaker: Jim Stanley
Series: Our Church in 2018
Text: Ephesians 4:1-16
"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love."
- Ephesians 4:1-2
As I look back over the past year, I think of each of you and thank God for you. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Every one of the members and attenders of ABC are like bricks in the wall of the church. You have proven yourselves to be a strong and stable church.
You are a generous church. Though numbers are down some, God has used your faithful giving to meet the needs and make the outreach of our church an ongoing reality.
You are a loving church. You have supported the suffering members of this body through your prayers, acts of kindness and loving support. People have made it through because God has loved them through you.
You are a praying church. You don’t just promise to pray for each other; you do it. And we can give testimony to the many amazing answers to prayer we have seen over the past year.
You are a serving church. You have risen to the occasion so that the ministries of Angelo Bible Church have continued to reach out over the course of the year. Some of these are regularly scheduled events and some have been one time needs. Regardless, you were there to serve and give of yourselves to help others in need.
You are a worshipping church...not just through praise and worship in our regular services, but in the many different ways that define worship. You practiced worship through giving your resources to God starting with the giving of yourselves, which the apostle Paul refers to as your “reasonable act of worship” (Romans 12:1). I have seen the joy of the Lord on your faces as you have given yourelf freely to God.
You are a witnessing church. Your willingness to obey the great commission has been seen in your involvement in our outreach ministries as well as the reports you give of your own efforts to reach the lost. You have made the effort not only to share the gospel but to be well-equipped to do so.
You are a faithful church. That is the sum of it all. You have risen to the need throughout the year because you have a deep abiding love for the Savior and you have made loving and serving Him as well as His church your priority.
We have great hope as we look forward to the coming year. May we grow in our knowledge and obedience of our Lord and Savior. May we grow in our love and service for one another. May we be a body that reaches out and brings in those who are hurting and suffering because they lack the saving grace of our Lord. May we build on the things God has already accomplished through Him; may our church be a testimony to His abounding grace! May we walk worthy of the calling with which we have been called.
Here's how Jesus builds His church. It's how He did it 2000 years ago, and it's how He does it today.
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Everyone is a prodigal in one way or another. A disciple knows how to be restored through confession and receiving grace by faith.