Moving farther away from last year, 2020 and heading to a year of expectant hope in what the Lord Almighty will do in our lives as a church, His people, I am certain that the Holy Spirit will use our suffering of last year for His glory and praise. We started in January the rest of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13 until the end of Matthew 7) which is the Christian Manifesto as summarized on the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12. I believe that this section of the Scriptures encapsulates our vision of “Learning Christ Together.” As the Lord Jesus Christ grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52), so let us similarly continue to praise God and grow in favour with all people so that the Lord can continue to add to our numbers daily as He would will in us (Acts 2:46, 47a). Here is the summary which might help us understand our next sermons until Easter: Jesus fulfilled/completed or consummated the Law and the Prophets; and therefore, the sign that one belongs to the kingdom of Christ is a righteousness that exceeds the Pharisees. A whole-being righteousness that includes heart obedience from our New Covenant relationship through Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and Second Coming by the power of the Holy Spirit! In the 2021 BYM Conference of our association, the Baptist Association of NSW and ACT in which four of us attended, the emphasis was on church SOLIDARITY based on Acts 2:44 “And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” When I look back on my last three months as your Senior Pastor, I am encouraged by the solidarity of our church leadership in each one contributing to the work of proclaiming the gospel and each one’s willingness to “learn Christ together.” I was in an elective with youth leaders/pastors where we were asked about how our church fared in 2020 as far as the youth of PBC is concerned. Adrian Graham shared a positive development last year with our youth’s participation in our worship services—both our Sunday School students singing in the Christmas service and our youth reading Scriptures. My prayer request to our elective group was for a revival of our youth ministry here at Punchbowl. We are also praying for the Lord’s provision, according to His will, for a Youth Pastor in the future. Last Sunday, we learned that God Himself, instituted marriage. He chose the marital union to reflect the relationship of Christ to His beloved Bride, the church. For God’s glory and grace, we are committing to strengthening marital relationships in PBC. As a starter, we would like to encourage PBC couples for a voluntary participation, in a Marriage Health Check online assessment through Prepare Enrich. You should be getting an email this second week of February which will take about 20 to 30 minutes to take individually as couples. You will then be sent the result immediately afterwards. You alone will receive the result. We will also have a Couples Fellowship on February 14, please save the date! Please pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the lives of our couples in seeing God as the author and architect of their marriage. Please also pray for those who are not presently in a married state, that their lives will continue to be dedicated to serving God and serving others, particularly in the church.
God Bless Pastor Dodie