Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dear Trinity, My Brothers and Sisters in Christ...

I want to express my appreciation and love to you, for how you have loved my wife and my children. When we moved here nearly two years ago, our children were at an age when moving was difficult because of the deep friendships they had developed over the years. The adjustment was hard - but through your encouragement, your interest in them, and making them a part of this body, the transition has been smooth. I can say the same for Carol Ann and myself.

In the short time we have been here, we have seen the Lord work in our Church as He is stirring up within us a desire for unity and love. In 2 Corinthians 13:11, it states: “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” One aspect that I love about you, our Church, is that we are growing in these things. We are not perfect and will always have things to work on and grow in until our Lord comes back, but the process of growth and sanctification is evident: I have seen relationships restored as forgiveness and grace has been given; hurting families and individuals comforted and ministered to through the sacrifice of individuals and BFG classes. While we may not always agree, we agree that Jesus is our Lord, and that the grace He has extended to sinners like us, is the same grace that we extend to our brothers and sisters. It is wonderful that we are striving to live in peace. I am so thankful that our faith family is growing in this area of unity and love, and for the resultant ministry that flows out of such dedication. As Paul said: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other…” Romans 13:8

What I also love about our faith family is the hunger. You make me hungry, and I am not trying to make an excuse to eat! Rather, being with you increases my hunger for the Word of God, and for righteousness. How does this happen? It happens when our Church responds in faithful obedience to the Word of God; it happens when people who were not serving, see the importance of serving for the sake of the gospel; it happens as I see a brother or sister respond to God’s Word, through faith, by making changes in their lives, or responding in a Biblical way, or sharing the Gospel with an unsaved friend. Being around you increases my hunger for righteousness, as iron sharpens iron. In addition, I want my children around people who crave the Word of God like an infant craves milk.

I love you for the very reason Paul writes in Philippians “…pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” We are not there yet, but your love for one another, the unity we work for, and the hunger for the Word of God are just a few of the things I love about my faith family at Trinity. I know our love will continue to grow as we serve one another, as we encourage, and walk this journey together. I love you for who God has created our faith family to be, and look forward to maturing with you in order that Christ’s name will be made known in Desoto County and into the entire world.

With deepest love,

Jeff Summers

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