On the heart of your Bishop - February
FROM THE BISHOP
JAMES R. KING, JR.
Below I will address several subjects including the following:
- The Influence of a Christlike life
- How to Protect Yourself
- The Natural Standard
A BIG thanks to you, South Georgia!
Thanks, clergy and congregations, for being so generous in supporting our covenant together through the apportionments.
Our giving percentage was the highest it’s been in the past eight years.
We are greater together than we could ever be working alone. The Kingdom of God is to come on earth … it starts where you are and spreads through the whole world. Your faithful response is a wonderful sign that we are getting better as disciples of Jesus Christ who are committed to growing a Christlike World.
Again, I say thanks for making a difference.
The influence of a Christlike life
Is it possible for a person to be a member of a Christian Church and be hateful, cruel, and inhospitable? The answer is yes. How can this be? There are several reasons, one of which is the human condition. We live in an imperfect world and the church as we know it today is imperfect. The answer that is high on my list for the behavior of some believers is that they don’t have Jesus Christ – knowing and becoming more like Him – as their most important goal.
Too many Christians have not been taught about Jesus and fewer have committed to follow him. Some Christians have a main goal that is something other than living and acting Christlike. For many believers, an emphasis on personal salvation has them thinking that if they are baptized in Jesus’ name, they are bound for heaven after their physical death and it does not matter how they treat people here on earth. But Jesus brings us back to loving God and loving one another over and over again.
I hope you and your congregation, small group, or Sunday school class are participating in our 20-1-5 emphasis to know Jesus more so we follow him more by studying one of the gospels and reporting our score.
How to protect yourself
Do you have a friend, a buddy that you talk to or process with once a week? What about two or three times a week or every day? If there is someone that you talk to frequently and with whom you trust sharing your joys and sorrows, you have the foundation for CLU. The Bible teaches where two or three are gathered in my (Jesus’) name, I will be with you. A CLU centers on growing in Christlikeness through loving support and encouragement. Sometimes we need to protect ourselves from some of our thoughts and deeds that do not meet the Christlike way. One way to protect your commitment to live more Christlike is to have a support relationship through a CLU. A CLU IS FOR YOU. It is a small group experience to support the individual believer. Information needs formation.
Get in a CLU or some other small group that meets at least weekly as a means of protecting your disciple plan.
Remember what you said: our natural standard
Below is part of a reminder of the promise you made as a baptized believer:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness?
Reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?
Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever form they present themselves?
Do you confess Jesus Chris as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nation and races?
According to the grace given to you, will you remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world?
Let us hold each other to the standard we have said yes to.
In South Georgia we are structuring our lives to never forget to have a healthy response to God’s loving grace through Jesus Christ.
Go to our website, www.sgaumc.com, to keep up with what is going on around the conference. Our Connectional Ministries staff is ready to assist you in communicating more effectively. You are also invited to join me as I share plans, ideas, photo experiences, and encouragement. Follow me as I tweet at www.twitter.com/BishopJamesKing, or go to my blog at www.bishopking.org.
For a faster response when communicating with me by email, use firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, remember – God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
Growing a Christlike world.
James R. King, Jr.