Sunday we will reach the middle of our vision-minded series “These Three Things.” In case you missed it, we began by asking just what we want FBC to be known for in greater St. Petersburg. We have staked a claim on meaningful worship, impacting young adults and families and loving, and serving St. Pete. This trio of noble pursuits is worthy of our or best and most focused efforts. Furthermore, they align well with our gifts and the specific needs of the community where God has placed us.
The next three things answer the question what do we want each of us to be doing? Our first button on that three-piece suit is to “Grow.” In the oft-overlooked epistle of Second Peter, the most impetuous apostle himself implores fellow Jesus followers to show the evidence of change for the better. In a list that rings of Paul and the Fruits of the Spirit Peter lays out the scorecard for such imitation. For him faith, received through the acceptance of grace has seven add-ons; goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
According to Peter, it is our faith that makes the embodiment of these virtues possible. However, that alone does not have the ability to make it inevitable. That comes when we value these Christian markers and own the responsibility to foster them in our own heart and life. Unfortunately, we seem live in a world where it has become easier, acceptable and even admirable to abandon these traits in favor of their shadow sides. Lord, help us. Yes Lord, help us grow.
Sunday, we unpack a second invitation; “Belong.” Even that word will have a three-fold ring to it. Baptism and Deacon commissioning will give rise to that. And both in and immediately after the service you will be given three distinct ways where you can become more deeply imbedded in the fellowship of the church on Gandy. You see, we won’t stop at only talking about what we ought to do. We will focus on why and show ways to do it. I look forward to looking out and seeing you then.