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Friday, August 29, 2008

I Marvel at His Mercy!

I truly do marvel sometimes, at the mercy of God in setting me aside to be a preacher of His Gospel. If you knew me, you'd know what an amazing thing that is! I grew up believing that the only reason a man would ever become a preacher was because he wasn't good for anything else. I don't know why I believed that. Nobody that I remember ever said it to me. That's just what I thought.

And so I set my course in a different direction. Early on I loved to study science. I received a degree in chemistry and even worked in research for a little while (though that sounds much more impressive than it really was!) And yet God called me to Himself. He opened my eyes to see Christ as my only Savior and Lord. He turned my feet so that I would walk after Him. And then He called me to declare His praise to the nations, that all might see and hear the glories of His grace.

I don't know why he did it. I just know that He did. And now it is my privilege, among other things, to spend time in His word, seeking to understand Him and the wonderful things He has done, and then somehow to find a way to express what I have learned to others.

That's where the note that follows (or perhaps its a prayer) comes in . I sent it out as an email to our congregation asking them to pray for me. You see, my greatest desire as I stand before them on Sunday, is to be able to express, in some small way, the wonderful things God has so graciously allowed me to see! And though you may be reading this long after the particular events have passed, perhaps you might be moved to pray for me as well, or to pray for your pastor, that he, too, may be able to declare clearly "the wonders of God's grace" to his people this Sunday.

So here is the note:


Dear Family in Christ,

Once again I am humbled to the point of great joy over the truth God has let me see in the passage we'll be studying this Sunday, from Mark 5:1-20. There is such a stunning picture here of the compassion and power of Christ! I find myself humbled and encouraged just to think of it!

Please pray with me that God will give enabling grace to share, to some degree, the wondrous mercy he's allowed me see. I always feel -- and every preacher feels this way, I think -- I always feel that I fall way short of really being able to describe the great depths of his love that I see opening up before me in the careful study of Scripture! My desire is that he would enable what he has made so stunningly beautiful to me, to appear just as beautiful to you, and that the encouragement he's giving me, will fill your heart as well when we meet together this Sunday!

Seeking Him for an outpouring of grace!
S. Scott Lee
Soli Deo Gloria
www.RockportBaptist .org

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Wages of Sin

I think this quote from my friend Charles Leiter pretty much says it all. What a vital warning in a day when we find it so easy to minimize sin -- especially our own!
One of the most fearful things about sin is its power to harden the one who practices it. The deeper a man goes in sin, the less sin bothers him. . . . Every sinner finds himself now committing sins that he once despised, and the sins that he now despises, he will someday find himself committing. It should shock us to remember that Adolph Hitler was once a little boy playing with toys just like other little boys. Man knows the beginning of sin, but no man has ever known the end of sin.

~Charles Leiter


Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Little Time Off

Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:7
What a busy summer (and spring and winter) this has been! But it looks like I might have a little time to catch up on a few things this week and next. My good friend and fellow elder Bob Schembre is about to take a short sabbatical from his position of leadership at our church so he can finish up some college courses he never got to complete when he was young. He's asked to give his testimony this Sunday. Since that's relieved me of the need to prepare to speak this week, I've tried to use the time to catch up on a lot of other things that tend to pile up when things get as busy as they've been. Thank you Lord, for this opportunity!

Next week, a couple of our interns and I are going down to Muscle Shoals, AL to spend a little time with some of our good friends form HeartCry Missionary Society talking about how our church can expand it's commitment both to training young men through internship, and how we might better organize to be more personally involved in the task of world missions. That will be Monday and Tuesday.

I hope to use the rest of that week as a kind of spiritual retreat and to get some things ready to teach this fall. After that, my girls and I plan on visiting my parents and family down in Arkansas.

Not a bad way to spend a couple of weeks here at the end of the summer. How I think the Lord for every opportunity he's given, and for his ongoing grace that upholds and strengthens us for every task!
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Psalm 127:2