Good morning Summit family,

It is a special privilege to be able to greet you each day because of my personal deep love for each of you. Paul began his letter to the Christians in Colossae with a greeting as well. His extended beyond “Good morning!” He went further, sharing how he continued to thank God for his brothers and sisters in Colossae, also sharing that he prayed for them regularly because of the faith they had in Jesus Christ and the love they had for all of God’s people. The staff feels the same way about you, our church family. We have a deep sense of thankfulness for the faith you continue to exhibit in the midst of a very troubling season.

Events in recent months, and more specifically in recent days, have reminded us that we are living in troubling times. Paul warned his protégé Timothy about what would happen in the world in the last days: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:2-5a)

It seems as though this passage accurately describes the current condition of our world. It would be easy to become depressed and/or discouraged at the headlines appearing in our newspapers and shared in our newscasts. One is tempted to wonder if God has lost control of the universe. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The passage above is from a letter Paul wrote to Timothy around 66 to 67 AD and it proves that God actually IS IN CONTROL. This letter written almost 2,000 years ago reminds us that God knew exactly what would be happening on our world today. He knew what would be happening in our world even before the world was created.

So, while the reports of lives lost, mayhem in our streets and moral decay permeates our headlines, we have the assurance that God will continue to be faithful. He will prevail over everything and everyone! That truth should motivate us to continue being faithful. Paul spoke of God’s faithfulness: “What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: ‘So that You may be proved right when You speak and prevail when You judge.’” (Romans 3:3-4)

The question before us is: What shall we do? How can we navigate these treacherous times victoriously? Paul gave perfect instructions to Timothy so that Timothy would be able to not only endure tumultuous seasons but endure them with victory.

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings – what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, will be persecuted, while evil doers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 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.” He goes further to share that all of scripture is God-breathed and is used to teach and train us in righteousness so that we may be equipped for every good work.

The point is that while the world may be moving further and further from God, that actually increases our opportunity to become actively doing good works. Paul shared with the followers of Christ in Colossae they were to “be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; making the most of every opportunity.” (Colossae 4:5) And he shared with the believers in Ephesus to “be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) The opportunities Paul is referring to are opportunities to share Christ. We do so by exercising wisdom in the way we respond to what is happening around us. Responding in faith speaks volumes to those who are watching us. AND THE WORLD IS WATCHING US!

So, faithful follower of Christ, dear and cherished member of this faith family, remember the circumstances in the world today provide us with a perfect opportunity to share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who desperately need to be rescued from the worldliness and evil that seems so prevalent. This is our time to share the truth. This is our time to be on mission. The prophet Isaiah shared God’s attitude toward those who proclaim salvation in Christ: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)

Rather than retreating into the safety zones that exist within our churches, isolated from those who are desperately attempting to fill the void that exists in their lives that only Jesus Christ can fill, let’s consider allowing this season to serve as the perfect opportunity to share the peace they are all looking for – the peace that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Have a great day!

Jimmy Slick

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