Dear Central Members and Friends,
I am sending you this note just before 6:00 AM Tuesday morning here in Europe. I have a long work day ahead, ending with a dinner meeting with colleagues. However, I have learned to be obedient to God and wanted to drop you a quick note that hopefully will be beneficial to you.
The topic is, what really matters most in our lives?? We unintentionally jam so much in our lives and work so hard to accomplish, by the world standards, what we think is most important!! However, if I am completely honest with you, what most of us chase in life is really not that important.
As I typically do during my early morning devotion, listen to what God is saying, here are some things He placed on my heart as your Pastor. The greatest gift you can give me as your Pastor and your family is a lifestyle that God is pleased with!!
One of the things that is extremely important to me when I stand before God to give Him an account of my work as your Pastor, is that I have pleased Him and done what the number one requirement is for all Pastors which is equipping the saints for the work of the ministry!! What really matters most are the sermons we live more than the sermons we preach.
All of us preach a sermon each day by the way we live!! The question is, do our sermons make a difference in the lives of people? See, most of us believe the sermons are left to Pastors and the ministry staff at our church. I have learned over the years that the sermons that matter most to people are the ones I live instead of the ones I preach. Why don’t you take time this week to start living a beautiful sermon before your family, co-workers and other people you come into contact with. Our sermons will not always be perfect; however, they will get better each day and each week as we become more intentional about honoring God in every aspect of our life.
Attached is the document which I placed in the bulletin this past Sunday and had Stephanie read to the congregation. An individual I referenced in the document was D.L. Moody, one of the greatest preachers and evangelist in the last one hundred years. What made D.L. Moody special was his relentless focus on pleasing God. I had the wonderful privilege of working downtown Chicago back in the early 1990’s, and during my lunch break I would often take a six-block walk to the Moody Bible College bookstore and spend quality time reading and buying study material that would help me in my ministry in those early years.
What I have learned that matters most to God is not what we know but what we do with what we know. What we must do is obey God. In the attached letter I quote D.L. Moody and I would like you to reflect this week on that quote and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What does your character reveal about you in the dark?
2. Are you spending the vast majority of your time being critical of people while overlooking your own faults?
3. What are you going to do differently to live your sermons instead of preaching your sermons? We all preach sermons whether we recognize it or not!!
4. What do you need to repent about and ask God for guidance on to walk in the footsteps He has ordered for you?
Now as I prepare to close this note and start my day here in the Netherlands, let me make a few comments about Europe. I have been making this trip to this region for over twenty years now and one of the things that dramatically stands out is how diverse this region has become. Europe is a lot more diverse than America, and there are people of all colors that have made significance progress. The technology in the transit systems has always been more advanced than America and still is today.
We can learn a lot by getting outside of our comfort zones and embracing the world around us in the same manner as Jesus!!!
I pray you will not allow yourselves to be incarcerated this week by a laundry list of activities, but you will focus on what matters most to God!! It will remove a lot of stress in your life this week!! I look forward to finishing strong this week in Europe and a safe return to the US on Saturday.
May your week be filled with His Grace!!
Pastor Perry Stuckey