Guard the Good Deposit

For the past eight years, I have been making regular “deposits” into the “spiritual accounts” of people’s lives at OHFUMC. It is my deepest hope that I have only operated as a “transfer agent,” receiving my orders from heaven and passing them on. Paul put it this way: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you” (1 Corinthians 11:23). As always, sometimes ingredients get in that were not intended as a part of the original recipe. Some say “Chew the meat and spit out the bones.” I am saying, “Guard the good deposit and throw out the rest!” The first part of my admonition comes from Paul’s advice to Timothy. He said, “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Timothy 1:14).

It has been my hope, over these many years, to form a community of serious, devout, and joy-filled followers of Jesus Christ who live with heaven’s purpose pulsing through their lives. It has been my desire to shape hearts and minds to live with a perpetual holy hunger for God’s presence; to feast daily upon His word; to follow obediently (and immediately) the voice of the Holy Spirit; to serve and minister in the Spirit’s giftings and empowerments; to live as liberated generous givers of our time, talents, treasures and testimonies; to share freely, lovingly and frequently the good news of Jesus Christ in conversations with those who do not know Jesus; and to be authentically and humbly the very best versions of who we were each uniquely created to be. Wow! That sounds like a tall order.

To be sure, some deposits drill deep into our hearts while others fly right over our heads. Some deposits are inspiring and motivating while others produce yawns or irritation. Take the “good deposits” (whatever those are for you) and run them to the ground in your spiritual life. Whatever you do with whatever I did, be an “ALL-IN” follower of Jesus Christ. Spend the rest of your life loving and following the “The Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25). This is my great hope and prayer.

Don’t ever give up or give in to the clamoring voices of seduction in this world. Don’t discount the power of God’s victory in your life, nor the validating voice of the Holy Spirit reminding us that we are God’s beloved children (Romans 8:16). You are each the beloved, unique, irreplaceable masterpiece of God. His fingerprints are all over you! You are the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8) and the delight of His heart (Isiah 62:4). Believe these truths deeply; behave them continually; become the empowered, fully alive human being that God created you to be!

I must say, I am “proud and grateful” to have been a part of this resilient church family. So many ministries have blessed my heart and touched my life. What an honor to have been a part of a dynamic missional church family that engaged the local agencies for people’s good, blessed our NASWI Navy family, hosted the Community Chorus, Helped form and hosted The Haven Homeless shelter, hosted and helped SPIN Café, Sent out Teams to UMCOR Sager Brown, sent teens on mission and into discipleship, upgraded our technology and joined the 21st century media ministry world, pivoted and innovated through Covid-19, and faced some difficult and divisive times with grace and mercy for all. I will join you in guarding these good deposits in my life and carry them forward as I move on to perfection (Philippians 3:12).

In several months, I will be “letting go” and placing you securely (where you have always been), in the arms of heaven’s love. Live well, love much, laugh frequently, and run strong! Twenty-eight pastors before me did the same thing. They made good deposits into your life. Pastor Linda will be here for her first communion Sunday on July 7th. She will begin to make her good deposits into your life. God has also been making good deposits into our lives from you. The body of Christ is called to be a mutually beneficial family of edification and encouragement for all. May we continue to live in this legacy entrusted to us by Jesus.
“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen”
Jude 24-25 NIV
With Grateful Love,

Pastor David 😊

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