But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

1 Corinthians 6:11b

        The season of Fall has definitely arrived. We have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to challenge us.  As we review our congregation mission statement, “We / desire / to serve / all people”; in November-January, I will continue writing about the remaining portions of the statement: “desire” (November) “to serve” (December) “all people.” (January).

        This month of November we continue with “desire”“Desire” means “to delight in, long for, yearn for, or crave after”. It is an interesting word Scripturally, because in the Bible it can have a positive or negative meaning—evil or good.

        How do we know if a desire is good or evil? The answer is simple. It lies in the object or reason for the desire.

1)    It is bad if the “desire” is to have one’s own way because that type of desire puts our desires in place of God’s.

2)    Good “desire” is simply the opposite. It is the Holy Spirit working in our hearts enabling us to display God’s grace through faith in our Savior Jesus to others. When God’s will is our desire, then our desires are good and godly.

        It is the second “desire” that we are using in our mission statement. Godly desire is what drives us because it flows from the faith we have in Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is when the Holy Spirit constantly encourages and strengthens our faith in the Gospel, through Word and Sacraments, that we display these God-pleasing desires—the godly words, thoughts, and actions—more and more.

        So, this “desire” we have as a congregation is not a self-absorbed, self-centered desire that seeks its own advantages and benefits.  Instead, it is a Holy Spirit driven desire that looks outside of our self and off of our self. It urges our hearts to express a different “desire”. It is a desire that displays the same Christ-centered love that has been shown to us as individuals and His church, that has blessed our lives with God’s forgiveness, a blessed life here, and eternal salvation by grace through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.           

        That is the type of “desire” “we” speak of in our mission statement—Spirit-driven, Christ-centered, God-pleasing “desire”.

        Next month, what it is we “desire”“to serve”.

Shalom in Jesus,

Pastor Peter M. Peitsch