First Baptist Church
Sunday, February 19, 2017
There's a place for you
A letter from our Pastor....
With February we think of Valentine’s Day. With Valentine’s Day we think of love. With love we think of unity. Unity is what we have been seeing in our study through Nehemiah. We observed in chapter five there was a severe disunity behind the wall among the people which Nehemiah had to address. Unity should be at the heart of our prayers. Unity in our community as well as in our church.
The Bible has three words which translate into English as the word unity. The first is the Hebrew word יַחַד which is translated as unity in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” This word most often is translated together. In the New Testament we have two words which are translated to unity. We see the first in Ephesians chapter four. In verses three and thirteen Paul uses the word ἑνότης which means a state of oneness.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:1-6)
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph. 4:11-16)
Peter uses a different word ὁμόφρων which means being like minded, united in spirit, or harmonious. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Pet. 3:8)
By combining all three words I believe we have a good picture of God’s desire for His people, the Church. We are to come together in a state of oneness as a choir singing in perfect harmony. We can only accomplish this through prayer for God’s direction and prayer for each other. We must put God’s desires before our own. We must see each other through the eyes of Jesus Christ who died for us all. I am excited about what God has in store for us together here at Pawhuska 1st Baptist as we continue together in 2017! God has brought us all here together at this time for a mighty work. Be in constant prayer for discernment for understanding of what this work is. “Greater things are yet to be done in this city…” Be constant in prayer. Be actively seeking the welfare of Pawhuska (Jeremiah 29:4-9). Together we must, “Touch the World…Impact Eternity.” In our mission and ministry at Pawhuska FBC, we must truly put Pawhuska First! It is in our name. It is our mission.
In Service for Him,
Bro. Jeff Laughlin