October Newsletter

Pastor’s Perspective  
Following the resurrection of Christ and His ascension back into heaven, the apostles immediately devoted their lives to preaching and teaching about what Jesus Christ had done for all who will believe in Him.  Initially, they ministered in Jerusalem, but eventually, as you well know, the apostles scattered all over the world in obedience to Christ’s commandment that they would be His witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8b). Many new people were coming to the faith every day. In fact, the number of believers was growing so quickly that the apostles could not care for everyone.  Listen to how Dr. Luke records what happened: Acts 6:1–6 (NASB) 1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4 “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. I want to call your attention to verse four: the apostles devoted themselves to “prayer and the ministry of the word.” When that began to get difficult, they had to reprioritize their lives to keep focused on the most important two aspects of what Christ had commissioned them to do. It’s not that serving the needs of widows isn’t important. It’s just that ministry of the word and prayer is more important. As a church, we need to examine our priorities as well and ask ourselves the same question: is St. Peter’s Church devoted to prayer and the ministry of the Word?  Are those our two top priorities? I want you to think through your schedule for yesterday.  Did you devote a portion of your day to prayer and to the Word of God?  How about all of last week?  Are you intentional about setting aside a meaningful portion of each day in the week to seek the Lord in prayer, to study His Word, to meditate upon it, and to think through its application in your life?  Moreover, have you had meaningful, Christ-saturated conversations with your spouse, your children, your family, your small group, and the other people in your life? I’m in the process of taking inventory of my life and where I devote my time.  I’m daily asking myself if I’m investing my energy, my time, and my abilities centered on God’s priorities and not my own. If you have not worked on that lately, I urge you to do it now. This is an activity we typically think of during New Year’s celebrations and we make resolutions to make changes. Truthfully, there’s no reason to wait for your calendar to turn the page to 2020 before you introspectively examine your life. You will have an opportunity to do this on our day of prayer on Saturday, October 12th.  I urge you to set aside a portion of that day to seek the Lord in prayer and then to come to the prayer service in the evening, to praise God together with our brothers and sisters and to seek the Lord’s guidance in your life. The apostles knew it was the most important priority in their lives. Is it the top priority for you?

Peace,  

Pastor Tom