And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God's Word is full of many great and wonderful promises. Once such promise is this:
For those who love God, all things work together for good. Picture in your mind the hand of the Almighty, like a skilled gardener, tending and caring for His own in every providence and event of life. From beginning to end God's hand is blessing, guiding, protecting, sometimes withholding, sometimes admonishing but always providing more than enough for our needs. Of this you and I can always be sure - God keeps His promises.
All over the world, the Gospel is bearing fruit and growing Colossians 1.6. By His Word our Lord extends His kingdom. This includes our own little corner of the world in Staunton. The story of our beginning in 1847, on the one hand, is no longer told in great detail; we simply don't know beyond basics. Never the less we can be sure our story is a story of God's faithfulness. Beginning with that first small group, including farmers and miners, our 'pioneers' were drawn together by the Spirit to pray, to confess, to call upon the Lord, and most of all to be served God's Word and gifts in worship. Our story is God's story, His faithfulness to His promise in action. The word was sown, watered, and tended and God made the church grow. In Psalm 46 we read,
God is within her, she will not fail. God will help her at the break of day. In season and out, from location to location, people coming and going, we were gathered and then scattered back out. And God provided for His church. Soon a pastor was called and a church was born, the first organized church in Staunton. Our story is God's story. God keeps His promises.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together. 'All things' requires faith. Think about your own situation: you may have been born and baptized here. Or you may be one who you could say,
all things brought you here. How is it that you came to Zion? God was at work. The time, place and your own need for a church worked together under God's great hand and you were received as a member. Whoever you are, however you came, as God's own you are a blessing. As God's own you are gifted to serve. As one whom God has shown mercy, you are called to show mercy to others. That's all part and parcel of the fellowship, the life together that is ours as members of Christ. We are blessed, gifted, mercy'd, so that in all things God may be glorified in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 4.11
For now, we continue to wait and pray until our Lord provides a new senior pastor. And this is nothing new, over the year's pastors come and go, but the church remains. Until then, as vacancy pastor I want you to know how I thank God for all of you. I thank God for your faithfulness to Christ, for your love for the saints. And I'll leave you with Paul's words,
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3.14-15
Stay in His grace and care. To God Be the Glory!
~ Pastor Kelly Mitteis
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