In his book “Humility: True Greatness,” author C.J. Mahaney sheds light on two wonderful means of sanctification available to those who recognize spiritual fruit in others when he writes,
“We mortify pride and cultivate humility by identifying evidences of grace in those around us—evidences that we become aware of only through a divine perspective that recognizes God’s active work and calling in their lives and that places full confidence in His faithfulness to complete the work He has begun.”
More than half a year ago I set out on a mission to identify evidences of grace in fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at Crystal Valley Baptist Church. Today, I felt stirred to return to this project with a purpose to continue.
Moving alphabetically through our church directory, I remember stopping in the “S” section. I want to make clear that my reason for stopping months ago has less to do with my inability to identify grace in my next group of members and more to do with my lack of discipline to continue writing. So, I do apologize if it made anyone jump to any unnecessary conclusions.
It is also worth mentioning that a number of changes have occurred in our church family since I was last able to contribute to this series. Lord willing, I hope to eventually backtrack and to share with you some of the fruits of grace that I have seen in many of our newest members.
I regret I stopped short in my last post to mention Sharon S.. Since the first day I started attending the church, Sharon has been there to teach me how to apply Psalm 105:2, “Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!” Keep in mind, though, that the fruit I am referring to in Sharon goes beyond the musical gifts and talents that she possesses and displays on Sunday Mornings. Rather, I point you to the fruit which encompasses her gift of expression to convey her true affections to the Lord as she sings, as well as to beautifully articulate the praises of her heart in new lyrics and hymns which she has often committed to write and share with the congregation.
I will never forget one of the statements that Elmer S. made to the pastors during our membership interview with him in 2011. In answering a penetrating question about the condition of his life prior to coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord, Elmer responded, “I’ve left all of [those sins] in the past because that’s what [the Gospel] is all about.” What a testimony! What a theology! In my personal estimate, Elmer is a fine example of a man who lives and loves the sanctifying basics of Christianity.
Then there’s our brother, Zach W. Two words come to mind when I think of Zach—“Dedication” and “Meditation.” If you haven’t noticed, Zach takes seriously his day job and labors hard to fulfill his commitments to his employers and his students. Such dedication speaks volumes to his discipline as a man and as a provider. Further, I’ve noticed that Zach’s attention to work robs him little of his attention to Christ. Keeping an eye of his Facebook activity, I’ve been impressed by his discipline of meditation. What is the substance of Zach’s public thoughts? Scripture—Theology—Scripture—Theology—Scripture—Theology. Thank you, Zach, for staying focused consistently on Jesus.
Please stay tuned. More to come.
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- ~ A Word from Zach Welchman (Member)
"What I love about Crystal Valley Baptist Church is their unwavering commitment to preaching, teaching, and living the gospel; their unwavering attention to bringing my affections back toward the Savior (for i am prone to wonder); a constant bombardment of the reality of my sin and the power of the blood of Jesus; and a never-ending pursuit of the mercy and grace of God displayed on the cross, through Jesus Christ. In short, Crystal Valley Baptist Church refreshes my heart in Christ. "
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