Rick Hope, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lilian, passed away unexpectedly this week. Rick was only 47. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.
His death has rocked his church and the rural community he served. Loved by many, Rick was one of the most enthusiastic, devoted, and caring pastors I have ever known.
We are all pressing toward our own face-to-face experience with Jesus. I don’t intend to make that transition any day soon, but none of us knows what tomorrow holds. As we move toward that day we invest fully into becoming the people God intends for us to be.
We were created for relationship with God and one another. Living in community, we collectively mature in Christ. Although you’ve heard it before it bears repeating; there are essential commitments we make that facilitate spiritual maturity.
- Daily time in the word of God. God speaks to us primarily through Scripture. The Bible provides us with God’s direct guidance for daily living.
- Daily time with like-minded followers of Christ. God also speaks to others and we can help one another with the lessons learned. We grow stronger together.
- Regular time in prayer. Prayer is the one thing we talk about the most but do the least. Present your requests to God but also listen to his “still, small voice” guiding you.
- Ongoing time in spiritual reflection. We meditate on what God taught us through Scripture, through time with other Christians, and through personal prayer.