Despite the “mostly cloudy with scattered showers, some heavy at times” conditions, I was blessed with a series of fantastic aerial views of Western Kentucky Saturday morning. My gracious pilot, Captain Brad, treated me to a stunning perspective of the First Baptist Church of Paducah from 2500 feet above Earth. God has endowed our FBC family with a fine physical plant that we pray will be used for His glory until Christ returns, and I got to see the entire campus from my moving perch as we circled the buildings in flight.
As we approached Broadway from the southeast, the church property was largely obscured by clouds and patchy fog. Soon the landscape came into more discernible view (Photo 1). And within the next ten seconds, as the aircraft took a more northward turn, the cloudcover vanished from my sight as FBC — almost as if suddenly summoned to appear — stood at attention front and center with crystal clarity (Photo 2).
What a difference the right perspective makes!
Jesus Christ is the very center of our church. The good news of His life, death, burial, and resurrection anchor us in the history of God’s amazing redemptive plan, while at the same time propelling us forward (pun fully intended) into an exciting season of reaching and serving our wider community in His name.Do you have the right perspective on our church?
As members of this great church, to have our hearts fixed on Jesus means that our highest aim is always to live out the gospel as the body of believers whom Christ has called us to be — no matter what.
What kind of body are we to be, precisely?
Christ tells us (John 13:35): “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We’re to be a church marked by love. A family of faith. A refuge for anyone who wants to come home, even for the most wayward cousin.
The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer said it like this: “The final apologetic that Jesus gives is the observable love of true Christians for true Christians.” We demonstrate our authenticity as Christ-followers by loving each other.
To love each other deeply will mean a gut-level surrender for all of us, of all of us, regularly. A perpetual race to be the first to forgive, and to seek forgiveness. A joyful willingness to overlook trivial offenses. A Spirit-granted desire to put the needs of others above our own.
Grace upon grace upon grace. The way Jesus has first loved us.
May our Lord give us spiritual eyes to see more clearly than ever the mile-high priority of Christlike love.