The Joy of Serving You
Ephesians 4:1-3, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Last year on this day Sovereign Grace Community Church of the Yampa Valley met as the Body of Christ for the very first time. We met at Norvell and Donna Hall’s that first Sunday as we began our life together as a church. What a joy this past year has been! I have shared with several of you recently that personally this has been my most joy-filled year in ministry.
When we gathered together a year ago today, we were a hurting and broken group. We had just departed our former church, a church that had been a big part of our lives, some way more than others. As a group we had prayerfully tried and failed to place that church on a more Biblical foundation. When that didn’t happen, we left, resting in the knowledge that God is sovereign over all things and all events, and that He had a reason for that.
What happened next completely surprised me. I never envisioned myself as someone who would start a new church. But after the encouragement of several of you Cheri and I prayed and then we stayed. You expressed to us the desire not for retribution, not for competition, but the desire to humbly and simply worship God and serve Him. And so that is exactly what we did, under the divine sovereignty and purpose of God.
Time and time again this past year God has surprised us and humbled us with His great love for us and His provision. From homes to meet in at first, to the school district graciously providing a room for us later in the year. We have been overwhelmed with the hunger of each of you for God’s Word. We have been humbled and overjoyed by our teens and their desire every week to meet and study His Word. We were privileged to take them to Denver and watch with praise and thankfulness as they so humbly served Him at Calvary of Englewood and on the streets of Denver. Over and over again God has surprised us, and we cannot even begin to thank Him and you for this past year.
You, the members and friends of Sovereign Grace Community Church have lived out the admonition of Ephesians 4:1-3. First, you understand your calling. You get that when God saved you, you were not called to a casual sort of Christianity, you were not called to cultural Christianity. You weren’t called to squeeze Jesus into your already busy lives. You understand that your life and our life as a body of believers is to completely and firmly be centered in Christ.
Because you understand this. Because you know that you were utterly and completely lost in your sins and that He (God) saved you; you now “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” Cheri and I are constantly encouraged by your humility, your gentleness, your patience (especially with me!). Your love for one another is obvious the minute you are around one another. You understand, and you actively pray for “the bond of peace.” You want no part of disunity and division and so you love one another with that agape love. You truly are the Body of Christ!
What a wonderfully rich privilege it is to serve as your pastor. Almost every Sunday Cheri and I say to one another how wonderful it is to serve alongside you, to be loved by you, and to look forward to coming to fellowship with you. We look forward to this next year and to see what God does through the faithfulness of Sovereign Grace Community Church. It is amazing, truly amazing what God will do when His people humbly and simply worship Him and long to know Him more and more. Please know how much Cheri and I love and cherish each one of you, you are the example of what a church is supposed to be.