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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Psalm 67 -- A Missionary Psalm

“God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us that Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.”
Psalm 67: 1-2

Psalm 67 is about missions! It’s a cry for God to bless us. But unlike so many who cry today for God’s blessing, the Psalmist is not thinking only of Himself. He has a much greater goal in mind. He prays that God would bless us and be with us, so that through us the nations might hear and know and worship God as He deserves to be known and worshiped!

Now, as I think about that, I realize that this is always the motive behind God’s blessing. God does not bless us so we can hoard the blessing to ourselves. He blesses us so that we might be a link in the chain of events He uses to bless others – and especially to bless them with the Gospel of Christ.

What was it He said to Abraham when he called him to follow Him by faith? He said, “I will bless you and you will be a blessing and all nations on earth will be blessed through you!” (Gen 12:3) Wow! Think about that. God doesn’t bless us so we can look in the mirror and say, “Gee, isn’t it great to be blessed?” God blesses us so that other nations and people we’ve never met can be blessed through us! How? By hearing and responding to the Gospel of Christ that we preach and that we send out into the world through missions!

That’s why I like to say that Psalm 67 – in addition to being one of my own personal favorites – is a missionary Psalm! It’s a call for us to realize that all God is doing in our lives today – all of his blessing, all of the advantages we have known as Americans is for this purpose: to make His glory known, and to enable us to carry the news of His glory (..the Gospel) to the ends of the earth so that,....”all the peoples” and “all the nations” may hear and be glad in Him!

God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth might fear Him! (Ps 67:7)

Pastor Scott Lee

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Belated Thanksgiving Message

OK, I meant to post this right before thanksgiving, but never got around to it. But, here we go . . .

I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:30

As Christians, every day is thanksgiving day! So while I hope you and your family had a wonderful time giving thanks and celebrating this holiday we call“ Thanksgiving,” my real prayer is that you will find your heart rejoicing this morning in the reality of what God has done for us in Christ!

It’s sad, really. Our world has forgotten what Thanksgiving means – if it ever knew. For many it’s just “Turkey Day” – an excuse to eat too much and drink too much and watch TV. But the thing missing from such “celebrations” is the one thing that matters most – the reality of a genuine delight in Him to Who all praise and thanksgiving are due! (Rm 11:36)

Romans 1:21 says that although people knew about God, “they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him” Ingratitude, you see, is the root of all kinds of sin – pride, selfishness, bitterness and complaining. We take God’s blessings for granted. We assume we deserve the good things that happen, and then complain bitterly about the bad. It’s as if God – if He exists – exists to serve us and make our lives easy. And if He doesn’t, He has failed.

But the Gospel of grace frees us from such insane delusions. It re-orients our world and puts God at the center, not us! When that happens you then discover that you’ve been freed to do the one thing in all the universe you were meant to do – gain the joy of making much of God forever! I pray that you know this freedom and that you will express it joyfully in the form or thanksgiving and praise offered to the One who truly matters most! And then, ask God to help each of us grasp the importance of knowing Him in a real and lasting way through the miracle of conversion by grace through faith in Christ alone

With Thanksgiving in My Heart for all things in Christ!
Pastor Scott Lee

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

“The Valley of Vision” -- A place to gaze on the majesty of God

“The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions,” as the title suggests, is a collection of prayers and devotions from the Puritans – a people who knew and deeply loved God! As you read this book, you’ll discover that the Puritans were not the “stuffed shirts” so many think they were. They were warm-hearted Christians who passionately loved and pursued God in every area of their lives. They understood that prayer, doctrine and life must all fit together in the Christian’s life in such a way that one cannot be separated from the others! In fact, it was their doctrine that produced in them such deep praying (as we find in this book), and it was their prayers that filled their hearts and lives with such a Christ-centered joy.

One of my goals in life, and in the life of Rockport Baptist Church, is that we would be a people who not only know a lot about God from His Word, but also who know Him in way that is real and intimate and filled with a passion for His glory. This book will help you in that pursuit. For years I have used it to help my own praying. By looking over the shoulders of these godly men and women as they lifted their hearts to God, I’ve found my own passion for Christ rekindled, my prayers resurrected from deadness, and my heart warmed with faith. My prayer is that this book will have the same effect on you.