Word for Wednesday... Devotional
This is my last word-for-Wednesday before I officially resign. So, instead of doing a more traditional devotional I would like to share my heart with all of you by writing a short letter that encourages your faith.
As I sat down to think about my last week here at Brick I had all sorts of things pass through my mind. The first of which was my duties—the things that I needed to accomplish for the week. The next thing I found myself thinking about was, “how will I be remembered?” Unfortunately, the short time that I have spent at Brick has primarily been defined by the interruption of Covid-19. Because of that, our family ministry hasn’t soared to the heights that I am positive it is capable of reaching. In my first few months our family ministry was growing and doing some pretty awesome things. But, that same growth and development that had taken off so quickly was halted in its tracks by a world wide pandemic.
While I continued to think more and more about all of these things, God reminded me that being successful isn’t about the charismatic sermons, busy schedules, or even the legacy that is left behind. With that being said, I would like to use this as an opportunity to say some parting words.
I want to start by saying, “thank you” to the families of Brick Church. It has been great serving alongside all of you. Every youth event that we were able to do had more engagement than I could have ever imagined. I couldn’t have done anything without the support and willingness of our church family. I am also grateful of the encouragement I have been given each time that I had the privilege of speaking to all of you on Sunday mornings. So, thanks for supporting my wife and I through everything that 2020 threw at us! Being at Brick has given us lots of great memories and relationships that I trust will last a life time.
The truth is that if I had spent 10 years at Brick or 1 year at Brick, my parting words would stay the same. I would, and I will, keep them simple. “Let all that you do be defined by the Love that Christ has for you and for the world in which we live. Let every event written on the calendar and every gathering that you have be all for one purpose. Let it express God’s love to the world in a powerful way.”
While thinking about what to write, I couldn’t help but think of the Apostle Paul’s writings to the church in Corinth. In Paul’s attempt to keep the Corinthians zeroed in on God’s mission he said this, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Similarly when Jesus was asked about the most important commandments of God, This is how He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
We could spend hours unpacking the context of both passages, but at the core of their words, both Paul and Jesus are saying the same thing. They are saying that our focus should always be on loving God and loving others. Our vision and direction should flow out of those two things. If we are guided by anything other than love then we have completely missed the mark.
As Brick Church presses forward, allow each and every decision to be funneled through love. But, most importantly allow your individual decisions to be made with love! This principal of love is not just some ecclesiastical requirement, but also the reflection of someone who walks closely with the Lord in their own personal life. So walk close with the Lord and let all that you do be done in love. The true success to everything that we do hinges on the love of God—which comes to life through our savior, Jesus Christ.