Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

June 27, 2024

A Pastoral Word. . . Account Access

Pastor Kevin Freeman

June 27, 2024
Have you ever been locked out of your account? Perhaps it was your email or home banking account, or maybe you have had to take official documents to the MVA or Social Security office to prove that you are you. It could be that you had trouble logging into your church account so that you could volunteer at an event this summer (wink, wink). Losing access to any account can be frustrating, and the latest iteration of two-factor authentication for our online accounts has us jumping through new – but necessary – hoops.

An extreme case of account access comes from John Helinski, an elderly Tampa man who reached out to the case manager at the homeless shelter where he was staying to learn what supports were available. Years ago, Helinski had received Social Security disability benefits, but these had disappeared. So had Helinski’s ID and other personal documents; these were stolen during his years on the streets.

The case manager and a police officer spent months working to secure temporary identification, followed by other documents that could help Helinski attempt to restore his benefits. Because his debit card and bank account information were among the missing documents, one step involved visiting Helinski’s bank to see if his old account still existed and could be restored. Surprisingly, the account was not only still active but also had been receiving Social Security disability payments. Helinski had never lost these benefits and had enough money to find a modest apartment!

Like Helinski, Christians can fall on spiritual hard times that seem to separate them from the spiritual benefits they have through Christ. A sin issue drives them away from regular church attendance. A personal tragedy leaves them grieving away from the fellowship of caring believers. Another pursuit – however worthy – draws more attention than it should, leading them to drift from the Lord. They lose their spiritual account access.

Or so they think.

The Bible reminds believers that what we have in Christ is never lost! Paul’s words to the Ephesian church reflect our heavenly Father’s heart to provide us complete access to Him through Jesus. Paul prays:

“…that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…” (Ephesians 1:18-19 ESV).

Hope, inheritance, power: these account benefits are available to you, Christian! Your account access remains available always. You never have to authenticate your account – no changed passwords or complicated security measures. You aren’t required to present your baptism certificate, proof of church membership, or tithing record. You don’t need to show proof of volunteer registration for an event this summer (wink, wink). No, your expression of faith in Jesus Christ authenticates your membership in God’s family.

Are you using your account benefits? They are available, even now.

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay:
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