September 29, 2020

 

Craig's Comments 

 
The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. Acts 9:31
 
October is the month when Fall has arrived, we have less daylight, spiders tend to cover everything in their handiwork, and we tend to pay more attention to things that go bump in the night. While many of us are thrilled to see the return of pumpkin spice flavored everything, others are not. We also have the reality that Covid has continued to upset the applecart of our calendar by changing many of our plans for Fall festivals and gatherings. Some traditions that we have enjoyed for years may either be canceled or altered significantly. While these may seem like minor irritations, they often add to the pile of changes and challenges that we have already faced over the past few months. We need to consider in the midst of these continued adjustments if our fears are properly placed where they belong.

In Acts 9 we see a picture of Paul seeking to serve faithfully among many fears and threats that were very legitimate. The fears of the Jews in Damascus made Paul a basket case (as he was lowered out of the city in a basket) and his history of persecuting the church made it a significant fear factor for the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. He was a man who was disenfranchised or without a people. Only his new faith remained and a friend named Barnabas. Yet we see that God worked in the churches of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria despite the fears and persecution that they faced. The Holy Spirit encouraged them as they had a healthy fear of God that likely dispelled the many other fears that they faced. And, yes, the churches grew by God’s grace and according to His people walking in a Holy fear.

The fears that we face during this season may come in various shapes and sizes especially in this year that continues to be labeled by the description “unprecedented” when describing so many things. Leave those fears at the foot of the cross and pray that God will pivot them for His glory as we live by faith. Our churches will see God’s blessing when we resolve not to just throw up our hands in defeat, but we actively and prayerfully seek to serve faithfully and obediently on a daily basis whenever God opens a door. If you have faithfully waited and are unsure of ways that you can engage people who need Jesus, reach out to us at the PMBA and let us connect you with current ways that God is at work all around us. Many have changed due to the ongoing pandemic, but they are still making a difference in new and exciting ministries!

I hope to see many of you at our annual PMBA meeting! Be sure to share with me about how your church has been on mission.

Our toy store ministries are well under way. Be sure to connect with the director of your store with any questions.
   
Craig