Wednesday, June 15, 2022

One Vision, One Commitment, One Fellowship

 Wednesday, June 15, 2022   

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

One Vision, One Commitment, One Fellowship

God calls special people to special tasks at special times. In the course of our lives, we have many purposes and many special tasks. The same is true for the body of believers. Our overarching purpose is to know God and to make Him known but we have lots of other purposes and special tasks that branch out from our central purpose. 

At North Side Baptist Church we just celebrated 125 years of knowing God and making Him known, not only in our community, but across America and to other countries as well. We are a fellowship on a mission and with a vision for the future. As Weatherford has grown, we have risen to the challenge to meet the needs of a growing community and we will continue to meet those needs in the future. We have a heart to not only provide space for the community to worship, but we want to meet the needs of the people. We want to minister to their hearts and meet physical needs as well. We strive to be responsible to steward His purpose for us in complete surrender. 

Anyone can make a commitment – the ones who change the world are those who keep them. – Van Houser

As North Side grew, our shared vision became a powerful vision. Unity was more than a word; it was part of our DNA. Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3 The responsibility is there in those words. As believers, we are to provide a climate of fellowship, an atmosphere of love, hospitality, holiness, and humility. 

Climate of Fellowship – Fellowship is so important to us as believers. We need one another to build each other up when we are going through tough times, to encourage one another, to pray together, and to worship together. I am so thankful for the fellowship I have in North Side. They have been my family, as I know they are for many. 

Atmosphere of Love – As the love of Christ overflows in our own lives, it flows to those around us. His character, His nature, it was all genuine and never forced. In a church, this kind of love provides a safe place to be vulnerable before the Lord and others as the need is felt. It creates a space for people to feel they can always come to God and be loved and accepted no matter what. When you don’t feel loved, you feel unsafe. You feel fear. Our God is a God of comfort, and He is accessible to all people at all times. As His church, we want to extend this atmosphere of love to everyone, inside and outside our walls.  

Hospitality – The church is a sanctuary for all. It is not a place to come and hide from sin, but a place to come bearing the sin and burdens we carry and lay them at His feet. The hospitality of the church is to extend the hands and feet of Jesus to all. To love unconditionally as Jesus does and to serve others in His name.

Holiness – Church can be seen by some as a social club, but a good church provides opportunities for deep spiritual growth. It is also important to provide growth at all stages – for new Christians to mature Christians. Some Christians have a casualness about their relationship with God today. We should always feel like we have access to Him no matter what, but we should never forget His holiness. 

Humility – Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to model humility for us in John 13:12-15 - So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. He wanted us to realize that if He – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - could wash feet, then we should be ready to do the same for others. Serving in humility will bring us closer to holiness. Sometimes I think about Jesus washing feet and I think there is no way I could ever let Him wash my feet. But realizing the humility He modeled and the sacrifice He made on the cross for us is the beginning of knowing what holiness is. You can do all you can to get right with God – but you still have to humble yourself and let Him wash your feet. It is all about what He does for us, not what we do for ourselves. 

The response of people to a church will be greatly determined by the way they "feel" as they worship with the members. North Side Baptist Church has made it a priority to create an atmosphere where guests feel welcomed and accepted and where members can grow and thrive in their relationship with God and in service with the church. For over a century, our unity of commitment, vision, and fellowship has welcomed the new and cared for the established members of both the community around it and the community inside it’s walls. 

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