I don’t know about you, but I am excited that our church is studying through the letter of Ephesians in 2024! For me personally, the Lord has used Ephesians throughout my life to grow my understanding of Him, myself, the church, and the world around me. The Lord has used Ephesians to grow my love for Him and His bride, the Church.
The letter of Ephesians has grown both my love for our church and the burden I have for the ministry of the Word, to include the one another ministry within our church. Among the many foundational truths found in Ephesians, the apostle Paul, inspired by the Lord, writes, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Do you see the various ministries of God’s Word that Paul describes? Teaching, equipping, evangelism, shepherding, speaking the truth in love…While each of these ministries may vary in how and when they take place, each of these ministries is a ministry of God’s Word! Each of these are ministries of God’s Word that are used for “building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
Apart from God’s Word we are all in danger of being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Have you ever experienced a season of being “tossed to and fro”? I sure have! There have been difficult seasons in my life in which I was being tossed to and fro, and I was looking for answers within myself and within popular culture to guide me through the storm. There have also been times in my life in which I was in the storm, but didn’t have enough awareness to even realize it. In all of these seasons, it was through the ministry of God’s Word, by the power of his Holy Spirit, that allowed me to see my life and my experiences rightly. Many times, the Lord used someone with the church to speak the truth in love to me. Depending on the situation, God’s Word has been lovingly ministered to me in the forms of encouragement, admonishment, and rebuke, all of which I am grateful for and I have grown as a result of.
One of my prayers for our church is that we continue to grow in our love for the Lord and his bride. I pray that out of our love for the Lord, we grow in our pursuit of being disciples of Christ who make disciples. I pray that we grow as disciples who continue to invest in the lives of others through the various ministries of God’s Word, to include speaking the truth in love to one another. May we grow together in 2024!
With much love and in Christ,
Elder / Member Care Pastor
Jeremy and Aerial have been married since 2005 and have served at Tri-Cities since 2010. They have four children: Camille, Clayton, Chandler, and Carson.