March 7, 2021 From Your Pastor
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves, do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:1-5
Quite an amount of thought is involved in absorbing the above Scriptures. One point I want to stress this morning is the underlined, “united in spirit”.
I have not been aware here among ESBC members and visitors of what I am about to mention. However I am being lead by the Lord to address it. I can certainly see it becoming a problem if not held in check. With the events of the last year, primarily the Covid -19 situation. I am aware of the difference of opinions concerning - mask, the virus, government mandates, business and school lockdowns, and plenty of other aspects of this Covid crisis.
Because there is a difference of opinion, these opinions will come to the surface eventually. What I think and feel will certainly not agree with what you may think or feel. If our opinions are allowed to be carried too far then certainly those who do not hold your opinion will be offended and scrutinized, even to the point of damaging relationships and fellowship among spiritual brothers, sisters, and friends.
This is not what a church does! Not what a family does! Not what believers do!
We all are certainly aware of where this comes from. Satan, is behind all division, dissention, and deception. These opinions should not even be expressed here, on social media or anywhere else.
Apparently in the Philippian church there was the potential of such a situation. Paul makes is clear through the Lord of how we should handle such times. Remember to love each other, unit in spirit, all for one purpose.
To glorify and praise the Lord, Jesus Christ.
So! Before you broadcast your opinions about mask, viruses, or the likes. Ask yourself this question. Is what I’m about to say going to build up, or tear down. It is going to heal or hurt. Is it going to rip apart or repair my brother. You be the judge. Someone on High is listening –
For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart, the good man brings out of his, good treasure what is good, and the evil man brings out of his, evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words, you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:34b-37
From Your Pastor
Bro. Clay Hicks