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From the Pastor’s Pen:
“But as for you, O man...” (1 Timothy 6:11)

Zachery Byrd

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“But as for you,
O man of God,
flee these things. Pursue
righteousness, godliness,
faith, love,
steadfastness, gentleness.”
(1 Timothy 6:11)

As we have now reached the end of 2023, I have a simple question - how has the year been? Or better yet, how have you grown? How have you spent the time? The week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of the slowest weeks of the year, providing us ample opportunity to ask this simple question. How have you grown?

Paul’s exhortation to us is one of constant activity. If I could paraphrase Pastor Paul: “Grow in righteousness, godliness, faith, love, and so on.” Growth is visible. Our sweet Maggie is eight-months-old now, and we can see signs of growth every day. As Maggie looks at her dear ol’ Dad, she can see signs of growth in the multiplying numbers of grey hair. In the same way, these Christian virtues listed by Paul are ones of which should be visible by all. Am I growing more righteous - living in according with God’s Word? Am I growing more godly - fleeing from even the appearance of evil? Am I growing in faith - in my sure and certain persuasion that God loves me and has given Christ to me? Am I growing in love - willing to sacrifice for the glory of my God and salvation of my brother? Am I growing in steadfastness - being even keeled in God’s providence and steadfast love? Am I growing in gentleness - being encouraged and tender towards those weaker than me?

If the answer is “yes,” praise God. He “who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)If the answer is “no,” what are you waiting for? These are all gifts of which Christ died to give us. They are found in Him, and He “gives generously to all and without reproach.” (James 1:5) Ask Him for help in particular areas and then follow Paul’s exhortation: “Redeem the time, for the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16) Let the Gospel be your encouragement, the Law your guide, the Church your support, and the Spirit your true and everlasting Friend. Let 2024 be a year when “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness” reign in Raymond and Hinds County.

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