From Pastor Paul Walker
Greetings, and Happy New Year!
We rejoice at this season in our church, and we hope and pray that your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years were a time enjoyed with family and friends. We indeed serve a good God who has blessed us, and we have a lot to be thankful for. I personally want to thank you all for your prayers and support. This season was busy for us at Estes Park Baptist Church, but it was good. We have been able to do a lot of things in our community.
The passage that keeps coming to my mind is 1 Peter 3:15, which says, “15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”. This speaks to how we are to relate to the people we come into contact with, especially in our community. This season, we have had many opportunities to do just that. Since our last newsletter, we have had the opportunity to share hot chocolate to the parents and candy to the children for our Halloween outreach. To me, what was more exciting is that we also handed out Bibles and struck up several conversations with friends in Estes Park and the surrounding area. Because we were present at this event, and because we were handing out hot chocolate (which definitely help meet the physical needs of people, as it was very cold that night!), the town of Estes Park asked our church to hand out hot chocolate at the town’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony! With the help of several volunteers from the church, we were able to do both events and to show the love of Christ to several hundreds of our friends.
Our church is currently studying Ephesians, as I am preaching a series through that book. We have been reminded of the great news of the gospel. Personally, I love chapters 1-3, where it describes in great detail, everything that God has done for us in order to adopt us into His family. It always humbles me when I think about my state of being before God made me alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5)! And because of what God has done for all of us, the rest of Ephesians gives such great application to how we should live our lives as a result of the gospel of Christ. I love how often the apostle Paul encourages the believers in Ephesus to “grow in their knowledge of Christ”. My prayer is that we continue to grow in our personal, felt, and experiential knowledge of Christ.
We thank you, again, for your prayers and support. I would ask that you continue to pray for us, as we COME together regularly and often, as we GROW in spiritual maturity, as we LOVE God and other people as He has loved us, and as we GO and make disciples of Jesus Christ. I pray that our church is known for speaking the truth in love, and that we can always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope (of Jesus Christ) that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). May God continue to bless you, as you also go and share Christ with those around you.