Devotional Thoughts

Abounding in Love

I remember the sweet spirit in our church. The song services seemed to fill our auditorium with an electricity that could be felt. Everyone singing out in unison, with smiles on their faces and a bounce in their step. I remember one particular night when I was about 14, standing there in our old orange-carpeted auditorium singing next to my Mom and Dad thinking “There isn’t one person in this church that I don’t love with all my heart.” I had no bitterness toward anyone, there was no one that I couldn’t get along with. They were, and are, some of the sweetest people in the world.
There was Mrs. Denise, a practical joker who worked at church with a sweet spirit at whatever was needed – nursery, kitchen, cleaning, teaching – it mattered little. She did whatever was needed without complaining. There was Mrs. Marie, my Mom’s soul winning partner, kindergarten Sun. School teacher, and junior choir director (boy, did she put up with a lot from us!). She too, would do anything that was needed. There was Mrs. Susie, and Bro. Jenceson, my bus captain and driver, respectively. Hard workers, and great attitudes. I could go on and on. Mrs. Cindy, and Audri, her daughter and my friend – faithful, willing, and happy to serve the Lord. My best friend growing up was Dixie. She and her family traveled with a tent evangelist years ago, so she wasn’t there too much. When she was there, she too had a great spirit about doing whatever the Lord wanted her to. We’ve been friends since we were about 11 or 12 years old. Not once did she try to get me to do wrong. Not once. I pray my daughters find friends that are just like she was to me – a godly influence. Most people at my home church were like the ones I listed above. There was a spirit of unity, love and sacrifice in my church.
I hadn’t been a member of my home church for about six years when my Dad went to Heaven, though I had visited quite a lot in those years. When I went home to Benton after losing Dad, and I walked through the doors of Victory Baptist Church, it was like running into the arms of the world’s largest family! Some 100 plus members who were grieving and hurting with me, who wanted to help me, pray for me…love me. What a blessing!
Since leaving that church and seeing other churches I see that what I experienced in my home church is rare. So many Baptist churches do not have that sweet spirit. I am blessed that the church we are in here in Texas has a great spirit. It is small, but everyone loves each other, and is willing to do whatever God wants them to do.
Today I read I Thessalonians 3:12 “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:” That’s how Victory Baptist was, and still is, and that’s how I pray our church here continues to be: everyone abounding in love for each other. The Bible says that “Hatred stirreth up srifes: but love covereth all sins.” Prov. 10:12 . I need love, we all do! Is Victory Baptist Church or Northside Baptist Church perfect? No way. But when we all love each other, we tend to look for the best. And if you look for the best, I guarantee, you’ll find it!

4 thoughts on “Abounding in Love

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