As I was reading through the Story this week, I was struck with how much Paul’s letters are similar in style to the emails that Chuck and I write to the church. For Paul, his letters served multiple functions. Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible says that “They served as a substitute for the presence of the apostle until his coming. They provided a means for exhortation and advice (1 Thess. 5:23; 1 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 2:15). They offered consolation (2 Cor. 1:3–7), provided a vehicle for responding to critics (esp. in Galatians and 2 Corinthians), and presented a means for relating the gospel to everyday concerns.”
In the places that Paul visited and the believers that he came into contact with, he longed to see them grow and understand the Messiah more. This is the reason Paul wrote his letters. Now I’m not saying that Chuck and I are like Paul. God had uniquely set apart Paul to be missionary to the Gentiles. But, Chuck and I feel about you just as strongly as Paul did for the believers that he met. God has uniquely called us and the other elders to serve you at Denali Bible Chapel. We genuinely care about you and long for you to understand God in such a deep way that it forever changes you. We are human and sometimes this desire gets lost or doesn’t come through clearly, but please know that daily we strive to sacrifice ourselves to our Risen Savior in order for us to serve you more fully and lead you to Him.