Newletter

Psalm 27:

1) The Lord in my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom then shall I be afraid?

4) One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek the Lord in his temple.

5) For in the day of trouble the Lord will keep me safe in his dwelling; the Lord will hide me

in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

6) Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me, at the Lord’s sacred tent

I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.

 

Over the past couple of years and in many situations, we have voiced our faith and our hope and stood our ground to the best of our abilities. Of course, we know that as Christians we do not stand in our own strength, but in that which God provides us. We have looked at the numerous challenges that have come our way and have been challenged believing that God has placed us where we are for such a time as this. But, when we look behind us and try to see what is ahead, we seem to voice within ourselves, “It just keeps coming….”

The foretold “Death Tsunami” as an older generation that has held things together so long is on its way out. Drought, then flooding, then pandemic, then politics, then…??? I read articles and online posts as some point to Scriptures and voice the seeming fulfillments of Scriptures and say, “The End is Near.” Other’s seemingly point to how great it is that we are learning, growing, and becoming better at our knowledge and stewardship… “Heaven is coming on earth…” God is cleaning things up… What I do know is that we continue to remind one another that we have work to do. We are not done, and in the midst of so many challenges we are called to be the voices of justice and mercy with a message of hope and salvation. I try to focus on this truth: Jesus expressed that when the time comes for the Lord’s return: Matthew 24:46 “Blessed is that slave whom the master will find so doing when he comes back… (TLB).

Cultural conflicts and constant change are certain but let us be affirmed in these truths: James 1:17 “I the Lord do not change… therefore you are not consumed.” Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

I read Psalm 27 entering this new year, and I understand David made mistakes (yes big ones) … But I see also that from a young child to his older years, David had a faith that his God could take care of him and his situations. He is remembered in Scripture (Acts 13:22) as “a man after God’s own heart.” 1 Samuel 13:14 expresses that God sought David out because he was a man after God’s own heart.” It calls for me to look deep within myself and remember that God never looks back on God’s gifts and calling… (Romans 11:29). God knew us before we were ever called and chosen. Hmmm. Seeing someone looking for God…? I firmly believe that God is continuously searching after people who will seek God, thirst after God, search for God’s presence, and hold to the promise that “Those who seek God will find God when they search for God.” (Jeremiah 29:13).

This seems affirmed many times in Scripture. Even Job in his worst moments declared: “I know my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God, I, myself will see him with my own eyes – I and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)

Some, perhaps many among our ranks are sincerely tired, worn and perhaps even asking “Hey, God, where are you at?” Please, be encouraged. Friends, we have faced much, and we will face more, but we have hope in Christ! We are a people of hope… “And hope does not disappoint!” (Romans 5:5) We labor together. We pray together. We worship together. We lead together. Let us be steadfast in our faith knowing that the one who walks with us and leads us in the one who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. “Take courage, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Let us continue to proclaim this truth. Our people and those around in our areas of mission need to hear it. Our world is hurting, and we hold within our hearts the message that provides that balm of healing.

Let us - Focus on Christ; Live out our calling; Be led by the Holy Spirit; Be still, wait, listen and preach faith (as Wesley was told- if necessary, “Until you have faith.”) And in the words of the philosopher Red Green- remember “We are all in this together!” I appreciate you and pray for you as we continue to labor together in faith - in God’s vineyard. WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!

 
  February 2021  
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