October is upon us. Where does the time go, you may be asking? Life is short and we should take advantage of what the LORD has given us. James 4:13 says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” I would like to challenge you to a self evaluation time over the next 31 days. Moreover, to see what and where the LORD GOD would place you for service and being good stewards of the church. I would like to remind us of the words we spoke to the LORD GOD and the congregation as we joined the Linden United Methodist Church.
As members of Christ’s universal church, will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church, and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries? Your response when you joined the church was, “I will”. As members of this Congregation (Linden UMC), will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, and your service? Your response when you joined the church was, “I will”. And when someone else joined the church we asked you this: Members of the household of God, I commend (these persons) to your love and care. Do all in your power to increase their faith, confirm their hope, and perfect them in love (The United Methodist Hymnal page 38).
I would like to start by thanking the church for all of it’s hard work for our Charge Conference. Each one who took time to make the meetings and make decisions for the right people to fill the slots we had to fill to make up our leadership for 2018. I appreciate the willingness of each one who responded with and answer of “yes, I will do it”. That is what makes the difference in our church/community. I can’t tell you enough how proud of what you all do with such small numbers. By your giving to special causes, children’s home and especially paying 100 percent of your apportionments. All this adds up to what you deem most important; The cause of Christ, HIS Church. Again I appreciate your generosity.
As the Fall transitions the Summer to Winter. I pray the change will be most beautiful for you. I want us to be in thought of how God has a plan for each one of us. That He is constantly speaking to each of us and we are the one’s who have to listen (We can tune Him out). Moreover, hearing what He says to us and then responding to His call(nudging). This could look like reaching out to our neighbor or for us to change habits, life styles, or even friends. Life is full of transitions and if you are not where you want to be or where God would have you be, then we need to make a change. This transition might look like a new beginning or restart. We may need to begin by reflecting on our covenant we made with the church. Are we men and women of our word? Are we doing what we said we would do? We can start afresh and begin by reading the Word of God and praying. I can only ask you if you do not do these two already, then please start. It will make a world of difference to you in your everyday living. And not just for you but for the people who you love and the people who love you. Life is too short not to ponder the Word of God and to communicate with the One who created you and everything you enjoy in nature.
This makes me think of a few scriptures like in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, “says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then I look at 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work. And then finally, 2 Timothy 2:15 “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the Word of Truth.” (NLT).
These scriptures I pray will minister to your spirit and help you to be challenged in your thinking. Furthermore, to help you look up and around taking in God’s beauty as we thank God for what He has given us. The many opportunities to participate in (our) HIS church, to make changes in our lives (repent), to reach out to our neighbors, to share some of God’s blessings with other less fortunate than you and then to give of your time to HIS Church and to those who need a special touch from a special person like you. Thank you for serving the LORD JESUS CHRIST here in Linden United Methodist Faith Community. You all are special in your own way and I pray God uses you during this most beautiful time of year transitioning from Summer to Winter. Have a Blessed month of ministry!
In Christ Jesus,
Bro. Tony Antonelli, 2 Timothy 2:15