Being comes before doing… but we need them both. We need to understand our identity in Christ and our obedience for Christ. We need to have a healthy balance of head, heart, and hands as we give our lives in worship to serve our great God.
I hope by now you see the importance of growing as a disciple and the importance of doing this in community with other believers.
My desire and joy as your pastor is to see the end vision of our sovereign God creating a movement at Emmanuel whereby we experience a gospel-centered culture where every single person connected to our church is being conformed the image of Christ through an intentional disciple-making process.
Read Colossians 1:28-29
This is my role as your pastor. I am called to proclaim or preach Jesus. That is why I spend so much time in preparation to preach messages that glorify Jesus and attempt to remain faithful to the text of Scripture each week. That is why I’ve spent a lot of time on this daily devotional guide you’re using right now.
I love to preach Jesus. But I am also called to warn or exhort us as God’s people. I need to step on toes at times. I need to let us know how we might be veering off the edge of a cliff or how we need to repent and seek the face of the Lord.
I’m also called to teach with all wisdom. On Sunday mornings I preach which is more exhortation and motivation, while in small groups and in Bible studies, I do more teaching, which involves interaction and dialogue.
But yet what is my desire? Why do I work with all of God’s energy as I agonize in preaching, warning, and teaching?
So that I may present EVERYONE MATURE in Christ. That has been our focus in this 50-day journey all along. I desire to see myself and everyone connected with Emmanuel to grow in maturity and completeness in Christ—to be ever conformed to His image.
So I hope you hear my passion each week as I preach and even in putting together this spiritual devotional journey. I really, really want to see you grow in Christ. I want our church to be so saturated in Scripture and so passionate about God’s glory, God’s gospel, and God’s Great Commission that the outside world would step back and wonder what in the world is going on at Emmanuel.
And we wouldn’t point to ourselves as anything great, but would give all the glory to Jesus as the ultimate definition of GREAT!
Read Ephesians 4:11-12
Our job as pastors/elders is to equip you as the saints for the work of ministry for the building up of the body of Christ.
This passage does not say that the pastor does all the work. It says that my job is to equip or prepare or teach or train or motivate you to do the work of ministry. A healthy church manifests itself beautifully when every single person is doing the work of ministry that God has given him or her to do.
So as you continue this process, I just wanted you to think about how much I love you and how much I care about your spiritual growth and how much I want us all to mature in Christ and to be equipped to do works of service that bring glory to Him.
Spend some time praying about what it means to be presented mature in Christ. Pray about what it means for you to be equipped to actually do the works of ministry so that the church can be built up.
Your desire is for me to be complete in Christ. You predestined for me to be conformed to His image before the foundation of the world. You’ve put Pastor Sean, and Pastor Andrew, and the elders and spiritual leaders in this church to equip me through their preaching, warning, and teaching ministry. I want to grow. I want to be mature in Christ. Grant me the strength in the power of the gospel to grow in You. I know that You will complete what You started.
In Jesus’ Name,