Making It Personal

What do you take personally? Often that refers to things which might offend, anger, or annoy us. Here’s a few:

  • The guy who cuts you off in traffic
  • The woman who is wearing the same dress you have on
  • The obviously-undeserving associate awarded the promotion you sought
  • The group that suddenly gets quiet as you approach
  • The person who accepts unwarranted praise and deflects deserved criticism at your expense

We could list more, perhaps many more, but let’s shift our attention to things that we should take personally:

  • Do you take your life personally? One of the signs of maturing, developing people is that they take responsibility for their lives. How you were raised, what you endured, the disadvantages you suffered, the breaks you didn’t get … at some point we have to live in the now. Until they invent a time machine, we cannot return to the past to right the wrongs or make better choices. This one and only life I have been given is my responsibility. I should take it personally.
  • Do you take your faith seriously? No one can walk your spiritual journey for you. We need a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in our lives, but we have to work out our faith for ourselves. This week I will preach on the 8 “I am” statements of Jesus recorded in John’s gospel. I will be encouraging our people to make each of the statements personal. Is Jesus your “way, truth, and life?” Is He your light, your bread, your resurrection, your life? I should take my faith seriously.
  • Do you take your stewardship seriously? No, I’m not just talking about financial matters, but I’m not excluding them either. Each of us has been entrusted with time, talent, and treasure. Where does God fit into how you express these gifts? If He doesn’t get the best and the first, can you truly say that you take your stewardship seriously?
  • Do you take your church seriously? The Bible describes the assembly of believers as a body with individual parts – each part essential to the whole. Most churches operate at about 15% capacity. A human body that only has the use of 15% of its functions doesn’t function very well. Worship-Connect-Serve, words that should be familiar to Wieucans. They help us identify who we should be and what we should do as a fellowship of disciples. They represent a multi-directional approach to the Christian life. The vertical relationship is primary. The worship of God is our highest privilege and greatest responsibility. The horizontal relationships we share with each other strengthens and unifies the body; grows deeper connections that help us live life together. The outward expression of serving connects us to the world we are called to serve. Our church is not located at the corner of Wieuca and Peachtree; it is located where you and I live, work, and socialize. We need to take our church seriously.
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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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