Hasn’t it been a bit cold lately? I know that some of you wear summer clothes all year long and are seemingly immune to temperature extremes (you know who you are), but it has been cold! And unfortunately, there has been no snow as of yet. I heard somewhere that it was supposed to be a really bad winter, but here we are. Just chilly rain, rain, rain. When it’s cold outside, one of the best things to do is to find someplace warm. Maybe next to a roaring fire with a hot drink, book, and a pet in your lap (you introverts know what I’m talking about). We naturally keep our homes warm in the winter and wear warm clothes longing for Spring to...spring. When it’s cold, we look for someplace warm.
When we look around the world today we see the signs of the times on the increase. We also see evidence of what Jesus says about these days, that “the love of many will grow cold.” With all the division and strife among people these days, coupled with the individualized nature of our culture, it’s easy to see love take a back seat. So how does one “bundle up” against the coldness of the world? Naturally, by being filled with God’s love. Observe:
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” - Colossians 3:14
We are called to be intentional in “putting on love.” Our world has plenty to offer otherwise, but love is what warms up the cold world. The love of God accepted and then reciprocated to others is what changes things around us. Today, young people and people in general aren’t looking for something trendy, hip, or dazzling. They aren’t looking for something cool. They are looking for something warm. As Jake Mulder says in his book Growing Young, for people today, “warm is the new cool.” People are longing for a warm, loving community.
So I challenge myself and I challenge you to make love a priority this month. Go out of the way to love others. I hear that people will then know we are Christians! What are some ways in which you can love others well?
I’m thankful for the honor and privilege of being your Gladstone Park pastor. To be able to journey with you and see your relationships with Jesus deepen, the risks you take in reaching others for Him, experiencing the major events of your lives together, and in seeing the warmth and Christian love present in our church through you is such a tremendous blessing.
I’m thankful for your support of Emily and me and the kids. Your graciousness and encouragement in my children’s growth, and seeing you doing the same for young parents is a huge blessing as well. Thank you.
I’m thankful that you have caught the vision of “Connecting with Jesus, Connecting with people, Connecting people with Jesus.” I see how you make that a reality in your lives. I’m thankful for the excitement you have expressed in our focus in “Growing Together,” an initiative where we are wanting to see all generations served well and serving well. Thank you that a young adult guest said “this feels like family,” when they come to visit on Sabbath.
There is so much for us to give thanks for. Let us remember in this season to count our blessings, and give thanks to the God from whom all blessings flow. Let’s especially be thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. That God provided to us the Lamb, the Covenant Son, and the Savior in Jesus.
Over the next month I am challenging myself to express one thing I am thankful for each day on social media or to others. I invite you to do the same. Let’s keep our church warm with Jesus’ love as the days get colder!
Pastor Nate Hellman
As a member of the Growing Young Team, and as your Pastor, I'm asking you to complete The Fuller Youth Institute's Online Assessment. This assessment tool is based on the book, Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church.Before completing, please keep in mind the following:
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Pastor Nate Hellman has a passion for Jesus and His Mission, and for family. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors, drawing, study, writing, disc golf, home improvement, and especially spending time with his wife Emily and their 4 children.