Good Morning Dear Church,
I just wanted to send a quick email today to tell you how very thankful I am for you! This week in our elders meeting we were praying for all the college students as they go home and those who are traveling this season and we were celebrating how very thankful we were for our baptismal service this past week. For the first time since I've been the pastor, we ran out of both bulletins and communion elements! I am so thankful for all of you how earnest you are in your prayers and eager you are with your hands.
It reminds me of what I was reading in 2 Corinthians 8-9 this week. There the apostle Paul is trying to encourage the Corinthian church to be generous. He does it by pointing them to the example of Jesus: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though he was rich became poor, so that you might become rich by his generosity." (2 Cor 8:9) Because of this, the apostle tells them that they can respond in a "liturgy/ministry of service" (9:12).
I am thankful for everything Christ has done for us in the ministry of the gospel, and I am immensely grateful that you have responded with your own ministry!
So saints, enjoy your thanksgiving! Give thanks to him, for all is from His loving hand!
Good Wednesday Dear Church,
I hope and pray that you are having a wonderful week! I try to read through the book of Psalms relatively frequently, and the other day I was reading through Psalm 4. In Psalm 4, the Psalmist wrestles with various doubts and questions. He deals with questions of humiliation (vs. 2), dishonesty (vs. 2), anger and frustration (vs. 4), and the appearance of evil (vs. 6). But the Psalmist stays steadfast and says, "The Lord hears when I call to him" (vs. 3) and ends by exclaiming, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (vs. 8).
You know, every day on my way to the church, I pray my way through the Lord's Prayer. And in the prayer, I start by calling out to my Heavenly Father. I can only do that because of what Psalm 4 assures me of, "The Lord hears when I call to him." So when I feel anxious, when I'm having a bad week, when my life seems turned upside down, I know that he hears me. He makes me dwell in safety. He gives me peace and my soul rest.
So Christian, are you feeling tossed by the storms of life? Are you being drowned by a torrent of guilt? Are you overwhelmed by waves of shame? Are you feeling completely powerless in the gales?
The Lord hears when you call to him. And you can do so, because he has called you his own.
Hello Dear Christians,
I love the Bible. That will probably come as no surprise to you, but I love all the complexities, the ins and outs, the back alleys and the main thoroughfares. Getting to know the Bible is full of drama and mystery, suspense and tensions. There are heroes and heroines, villains and villainesses. There are princes and paupers, average Joes and Janes. But throughout all the different stories, there is one awesome God, one magnificent Savior, and one big story, the biggest story of them all-the Gospel!
As Christians, it is our great privilege to share that story with the whole world! And a great time to do that is the Holiday season. So there are two missions projects we're going to be part of this Christmas season!
First, per the usual we're going to continue to help with Operation Love's basket collection. We are collecting marshmallows and we are still a couple dozen bags of Marshmallows away, so please, please, please bring marshmallows!
Secondly, we are partnering with our missions partner "A Heart for Kids" to provide copies of "The Biggest Story" by Kevin DeYoung for all the kids at their Erskine collection. Check out this video to find out more! There are two things we need from you all!
First, would you think about writing a handwritten-letter to give to the kids telling them all about the story of Jesus that we can include in the book?
Second, we are collecting fleece throws to distribute with the books (see a sample on the Missions table at church). Would you consider picking one of these up next time you're at Meier?
Good Wednesday Dear Church,
I hope and pray that you are having a wonderful sunny-though slightly chilly afternoon. Tonight at our Wednesday Bible Study we will be talking about Romans 1:8-17. One of the fascinating things about this paragraph is that phrase in verse 16, the "power of God for salvation." This means at least two things. First, this means that God is a powerful God. In fact, he is not just somewhat powerful, but he is all-powerful, omni-potent. We have a bit of power, a bit of potency. We are semi-potent. But he is omnipotent and all powerful. But secondly, it also tells us that God uses his power. And what does he use his power for? He uses his power for salvation. God's power goes to work for our salvation! Isn't that amazing? And how does he do that?
In the "gospel."
Where is the greatest power of God exerted, greater even than when he created the world? Greater than when he brought Israel out of Egypt? Greater than when he let the Cubs finally win a World Series?
In the gospel. Specifically where? In the manger. On the cross. In the empty tomb. In the ascension. When he returns to judge the living and the dead. The whole of the gospel from start to finish is the powerful God working in a marvelous and awesome way to reconcile all things to himself, to announce freedom to the captives, to justify the condemned, to give life to the dead, to reconcile the estranged, to adopt the orphans, to make heirs out of rascals. It is on the awful, blood stained executioner's cross that the angels from ages long ago desired to look. It is at the empty grave where earth itself trembled in joy. That is where the glory of God shone the brightest, the word of God resounded the clearest, the armies of hell cowered the lowest. This is the power of God.
It is this power of God for salvation that we invite you to explore with us tonight as we continue our study in the book of Romans.
Southern Heights Christian Church
Come here for thoughts on how to follow Jesus in our every day life!