Monday, August 22, 2005

Church Last Night

Our church hasn't started Sunday night services yet (coming soon, though!), so we usually go to Greater Vancouver Baptist Church on Sunday nights. Occasionally we'll visit another independent Baptist church in the area, and that's what we did last night. We chose Anchor Baptist Church, pastored by Pastor Ben Turner. This church is in its fourth year. Yesterday morning they had 85 people in attendance, their second time to have over 80 people in a service! Pastor Turner was just full of excitement last night as he talked to his people about how the church is growing, their ministries are growing, and possibly beginning a small bus ministry. They just finished their VBS, and some of the children who came to VBS can come to church on Sunday mornings if they have a ride!

I was amazed and pleased as Pastor Turner began his sermon last night. His text was this:

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
(Luk 5:27-32)

This was exactly what I'd spent the afternoon blogging about! His sermon just served to reassure me that we are indeed here to call sinners - no matter what they look like or what we think of their lifestyle. He also reminded me of something I know and believe deeply, but that I failed to mention in my blog entry yesterday: someone cared enough about me, a sinner, to tell me about the Lord. When I speak of "sinners" I'm not excluding myself. In God's eyes, there aren't any big sinners or little sinners. Sin is sin, plain and simple. When God saved me - a preacher's daughter and preacher's wife, a church member - it took just as much grace and forgiveness as it does for the person we think of as a "bad" sinner. How thankful I am that Jesus came to call sinners to repentance!

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