Words from Pastor Kestler
As I began to think about what to write to you in this final article during Hannah and I's Ministry to you, there was one specific passage of scripture that came to my mind. The Bible says from the words of Paul in Philippians 3:10-14
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Isn't that a wonderful mission challenge for our everyday lives? How humbling it should be for us to acknowledge that we have come so far as followers of Jesus Christ yet we have so far to go until he calls us home. The Bible teaches us in Romans 8 that God daily transforms us into the image of his son. I agree with Paul that I am not there yet. I'm a work in progress. Can you say that about yourself too? I think we can all say that. Part of the Christian life is learning to press on and take hold of what Christ has prepared for us in the future. This is also true when we think about our church. Seasons come and seasons go in churches. Some of those seasons we like and some of them we don't. However, our job isn't to fully understand everything that God is wanting to do in his church. However we are challenged in his word to press on. My dear church family, Hannah and I cannot begin to express how much we love you and how much you have meant to us over the years. We will never forget you and how much you loved us. Our hope is that as we go to a new mission field, that we have been able to have a positive impact on your lives. We will always be here for you when you need us. I look forward to the day that we all are able to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ face-to-face and his kingdom. However, until that time comes, let each of us press on.