I want to take a moment to thank God for the Union Baptist Association, it's Staff and Leadership, and the vision God has given the Association for the future. We have great opportunities ahead of us to reach lost souls, start new Church plants, and train future pastors. Also, God has blessed us with Dennis Burton, as our Director of Missions for 20 years. I have been blessed to know him personally for several years, and he has been a great friend, and adviser. May I say "Thank You" to the whole Staff, Council, and Committee members, and many more, for allowing me to have a part in God's plan through the UBA.
I wanted to write a word of encouragement to all of us. I was thinking of how the Summer season has passed, and Fall is slipping away, and Winter is rapidly approaching. Each season brings us a different way of life, as we can see that also in the life of vegetation, and the trees. We all love Spring time when we see new life growing into the trees and flowers, and the weather is pleasant to work in. Summers are very active with work and outdoor events, and we usually take vacations to get away from our labor for a while. We all love Fall when cooler weather returns, and God gets His crayons out and colors the tree leaves for some awesome views for us to enjoy. I love the cooler seasons to be able to enjoy the outdoors, and I tolerate the hot days. Thank you God for A/C!
All of that may sound poetic in a way, but it's what God wanted me to say to bring me to this point. Winter is coming and it is a time when vegetation does go dormant and rest before new life returns in the Spring. It's also easy for us to become dormant in our own way, especially in the Winter months. However, we also have to do what's necessary to maintain until a new season comes. We all need rest and time to renew, just as the trees do. God maintains the trees, and He does us also. Don't let the dormant Winter months cause you to loose your desire to serve God. It's easy to loose your desire to do things when you have to wait through a season for warmer weather. But, we have to be ready to serve our awesome God, in season and out of season. We do need time to rest, but also use that time to prepare ourselves for the next mission He gives us.
Galations 6:9 tells us "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart". (NKJV) "If we do not lose heart" is the key and what we need to remember. I find myself tired and needing rest, and at worst times, wanting to give up. I have to remind myself of this verse often. I hope no one reading this has lost heart. Whether you have or not, I want to encourage everyone to take time and ask God to help you renew a desire to serve Him. Renew you faith in Him and ask Him to give you opportunities to use the spiritual gift He gave you.
We were created to serve God. Eph. 2:8-9 are two of my life verses. I was led there recently in a devotion and it also included vs. 10. It spoke to me that day like no other. We were created in Christ Jesus, to do good works that He has prepared for us. (paraphrased). We claim our faith in Jesus, and James 2:14-26 also tells us that faith without works is dead. Gal. 2:20 says (paraphrased) "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and in this this life of flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who gave His life for me. We must understand that as a Christian. Just being a seat warmer, or going to meeting, or having meetings just to be there, doesn't prove faith. I know we need time in God's Word, but if that doesn't help us produce works, then we need a faith checkup. Forgive me for preaching, but God said it and wrote it first, I am just reminding myself and others, how important it is to be involved in missions.
God, as His word says, has prepared many opportunities to serve Him, and many lie ahead of us. The UBA "logo and phrase", if you will, has a chain for a border, and the words, "Linked Together". The chain doesn't mean to keep us in Union Co., or anyone else out. The links unite us together to serve where ever He has planned for us to be.We all need to be prepared to work together for the same purpose, reaching lost people for Jesus. I can see that we have done a good job with that so far, but i just want to encourage us all to continue, and if someone needs encouraging, I hope these words have done so.
One great way God has given us to work together, is the completion of the Missions Resource Center, or the UBA Office, as you may also know it. Part of the work will be done by using our men and women,"Linked Together", to renovate part of the existing building, and completing the interior of the new building. Please take time and ask God to show you where you can help to be a part of something that will have eternal results. Anything we do in Jesus' name, whether it's construction, teaching, preaching, or making Salvation Baby Dolls, or just being able to place God's Word in someone's hand, can have an eternal effect on their souls. If you choose not to serve, you may be letting a soul miss Heaven forever. Please don't let that happen. Get linked together with your Church, the Association, WMU, or Baptist Men, and be a part of the work of our Lord, and change peoples lives forever.
Mark Hinson, UBA Baptist Men's Director