Last Sunday, my family and I had the privilege of ministering to the Sun Valley Baptist Church family in Anthem, Arizona, a city just north of the city limits of Phoenix. Pastor Michael Moffitt and his family came to Arizona a little over two years ago to plant the church and God has tremendously blessed the work!
My wife and I went seeking to be a blessing to the church. Instead, through it all, this young church was a blessing to us. God taught me a few lessons and He used this church to do so.
I have been saved since 1992- that was 18 years ago! And though I know I am closer to the Lord now that I was back then, I must admit there are certain challenges that come with spiritual growth. The knowledge and experience I’ve gained has at times been a hindrance to the blessings of God upon my life.
The Church Was Humble
Parents know that toddlers often start to practice their independence. They want to feed themselves, clothe themselves, clean themselves, etc. And though at times we may be frustrated with their so called “independence,” we realize that they still need us- and they, too!
We had the privilege of supporting (continued on page 4)
Sun Valley Baptist Church for those first two years and you know what they kept telling me, “Tell your church ‘thank you.’ We could not have done it without you.” Oftentimes, intellectual and spiritual growth causes us to be filled with pride and self-sufficiency. Did not Paul say, “our sufficiency is of God?” Let’s stay humble!
The Church Was Hungry
Though a young church, with a majority of the people being saved in the last two years, they sat their yearning and hungering for the Word of God. I would never abuse the time a pastor gives me behind his pulpit but after I finished that evening, many of the people said, “That was great. Let’s have another message!” And some were serious! We spent the next two and a half hours talking to a hungry Christian about the Lord and what He wants to accomplish through our lives.
Like a parent that could not feed their child fast enough, these Christians wanted so much more than what I felt like I can give at the time. But grace is sufficient! May we like the Psalmist say, “Early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is: To see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen in the sanctuary.” Are you hungry for God today?
The Church Was Hearty
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Liberty to serve, to fellowship, and to laugh. Don’t think for one moment that God hates our laughter, even at church! It’s okay to laugh and rejoice. After all, if there is a group of people that should be excited about life and afterlife, it should be us! We are commanded to rejoice (Philippians 4). Dr. John R. Rice use to always say, “Don’t let your face be a poor signboard for Jesus.”
There’s no place like home but once in a while , it’s good to be reminded of what a young Christian and church is like. May we remain humble, hungry, and hearty as Christians and churches today!