This is a letter written to my college and young adults ministry (called the Orchard) back at home. They have asked me to keep in touch with them while I am away at school and to write in the Pauline fashion when I do. It was a lot of fun to do. 🙂

Weston, a brother in Christ:

to Jason and the other believers of the Orchard who are faithful in Christ Jesus.

Grace and Peace from God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank God every time I think about you guys back in the Boro. I am reminded of the sincere faith that you have in the Lord, and I long to be back with you again. I miss the Men’s Bible Study especially. I urge you to continue studying and reading the Word. It is power.

I am so encouraged when I hear how things are going back at home. I am so proud of how you are seeking after Christ and are trying to love him first and act accordingly. Keep up the good work! 

Remember! There is nothing we have done to deserve God’s grace, but it is only because of his great love and mercy that he has called us out of our graves into new life with him. Meditate on this truth and it will help you walk and speak in humility. And Brothers and Sisters, for the perfect example of humility, look to Jesus on the cross. He is God, but humbled himself to do the Father’s will as a servant and submitted to death on the cross to bring glory to his Father. Do not be ashamed of this testimony and message about Jesus. The cross is foolishness to the world, but it is our only hope. I pray that the message of the Gospel is continually on your lips, and that you speak it to one another daily. You must remind yourself of this truth day after day, for we, in our weakness, forget it day after day. 

Therefore, knowing what God has done for us, pursue a life worthy of the calling he has called us to! Walk in love, humility, and patience, trying always to maintain peace amongst yourselves. When one of you wrongs another or screws up somehow, Forgive one another, knowing that God has forgiven you. Speak the truth to one another. And how will you know the truth unless you are dwelling on it every day in scripture? Devote yourselves to meditation on the word and prayer for one another.

Welcome others to the Orchard, and if they are not believers be kind to them, but speak the truth about the gospel to them. Do not shy away from what matters so that they might feel more comfortable. It is far better that they know the truth and feel convicted and come to faith in Jesus than that they feel like one of the members when in reality they are dead in their sin. Look to 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 to see how this works.

Daily decide to die to yourself and to live for Christ. If you are not humbling yourself to save face, or are trying to build your reputation to receive glory from others, or you keep from confessing sins because of your pride; you are under the illusion you are still alive. But Saints, You have died! It is not you that lives, but Christ in you.

The opportunities here at Union are encouraging. The Building that I am the RA (resident advisor) over is full of great guys who love the Lord and are very Kind. There are several who are not believers and there will be plenty of chances for me to speak with them. Please pray for me that I will be bold in speaking the truth to them and will do it in kindness and with patience. I already love these guys and I pray that the Lord will use me to help mold them into young men who love Jesus more than anything else. We will be starting a Study through Romans pretty soon and I am very excited about that. I will keep you posted on how that goes. Pray that people will begin to love and submit to the word. 

I miss the Men’s Bible Study at the Orchard. I pray the Women’s bible study is going well. In whatever study, if two disagree, appeal to the authority of the text every time. It is our standard for truth. We always say we know that, but often we do not act on that knowledge. It is my prayer that we all become better students of the Word. 

Remember Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and talk constantly about this hope that we have. Be faithful in speaking it to one another, and be faithful in declaring it boldly to those outside of the church walls as well.

I love you dearly and look forward to seeing you all again. I hope to come before winter.

I pray that you walk in the Peace of Christ and the rest that only he can give.