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Thank You

by Brandon Pullen

I consider it an honor to be in the midst of this church. The knowledge, radical faith, and generous love of this church makes God big, and in the midst of it I feel small. Your love has helped change my life and I am thankful. We will be with God face to face someday and I will be proud to stand next to you. Being here at Summitview has taught me something that I want to pass back to you as encouragement. Here it is...

The church is more important than you. Or to put it more bluntly, you are not the church. You are not the bride of Christ. Only the church is the bride and the passion of Jesus’ heart; not the individual. Can you be a family alone? No. Yet many times we cite our right to be free moral agents and we rip apart the body of Christ. We cite our right to say whatever we want and in the process we take an ax to community. We cite our right to have our own lives apart from the church and we neglect the mission of the army. Do not tune out the upward call of God to give your life to something bigger.

My plea is this: I pray for your intense care, fierce loyalty, and crucified commitment to the church and its mission. It is also the joy of Paul, “If you have any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”

I don’t see myself as separate. To do whatever I want is not a valid option because I am part of the body and the whole body is affected by my action or inaction. If I have given myself as a resource for the kingdom then my actions are submitted to what is best for the kingdom and I am not the only judge and authority on the best for the kingdom.
There is only one purpose that will remain.

Unique Gifting

One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to be a part of summer projects together with students from CSU. In living, working and striving for God’s purposes together I have gotten to see gifts work together for the purposes of God in extraordinary ways. I have learned experientially what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12. “The eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of you,” or in Romans 12 “we are individually members one of another.”

God has chiseled a place out for you in the church so that you can perform good works which he has prepared in advance. This church needs you like a body needs a hand, a hip, or a blood vessel. Please give your personality, gifts, and all the ways in which God has made you to these people and our goals together.

Mission

On the other hand, the kingdom of God is advancing and God will have his way regardless of us. God does not force us into heaven and God will not force us into service. Yet, may the logic of these servants motivate us.

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
-- David Livingstone

"The will of God -- nothing less, nothing more, nothing else."
-- F. E. Marsh

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him."
-- C.T. Studd

"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving."
-- Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it."
-- P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

Summitview! Let’s do this. Let’s be intent on one purpose. Let’s follow God’s purposes together without retreating. Our leaders will lead and let’s commit to follow by His grace for His glory. If we fall to the ground and die we will produce many seeds, and on the day we all long for we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful.” My plea is this. I pray for your intense care, fierce loyalty, and crucified commitment to the church and its mission. Or in other words, let’s make disciples of Jesus Christ — together.

Summitview Community Church Newsletter, August 2007