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Monday, September 29, 2008

What are you living for?

"We have met the enemy and it is us!" I think it was Pogo who said that, or something like it. But whoever it was, it certainly is true. Most often my falls into sin have come from tripping over my own two fleshly feet. Far too often I find that there's just too much of "me" in me, and too little Christ. That's when I thank God for the grace of repentance that turns my focus off of me and my wants and onto Him and His matchless, graceless provision.

I found the following quote from Horatius Bonar to be a help toward giving me a clearer view of the reality of things. My prayer is that it will be helpful to you as well.

Horatius Bonar, "Self or Christ--Which Is It?"

What are you living for?

Most, perhaps, live to enjoy present things as
much as possible--and to escape hell at last.

Have your ideas, your hopes, your aspirings--ever
risen beyond these two things? Are you living only
for self? Is that all? What a poor object--what a
base and narrow aim! What an insignificant, empty,
hollow being is yours--wasted, shriveled, useless!

"My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."
John 10:10

What stands between you and that life? It is self,
the accursed thing! What separates you from God?
It is SELF--your love of self, your admiration of self,
your confidence in self. It is SELF which is blinding
and bewildering you!

What is it that is dragging you down, and making
you cleave to the dust? It is SELF! And what is it that
will before long be your everlasting ruin? It is SELF!

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wants
to come with Me--he must deny himself, take up
his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Your Life Preaches Every Day

A Great Reminder from Robert Murray M'Cheyne

A man is what he is on his knees before God and nothing more! In great measure, according to the purity of the instrument, will be success. It is not great talents which God blesses so much as true likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is a powerful weapon in the hand of God.

Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this; your sermons last but an hour or two, but your life preaches every day!
If Satan can only make a minister covetous, or a lover of praise, of pleasure, or of fine worldly things, he has ruined your ministry!

"Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be!"

- Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Looking Forward to Sunday

Dear Rockport,

As we look forward to Sunday and what will be the last of our short series on "Raising Children Who Delight in God", I've really been enjoying God's teaching on wisdom, (or as I see it, "the God-centered life") found in Proverbs 1:7-9. This is what we are to train our children to see! That all of life relates back to God...and life is sterile and empty if anything but him takes center stage!

It also occurred to me this weekthat the Bible's emphasis on family is not something we should see as exclusive, as if those who are single or no longer have children in the home, are left out. The Bible's emphasis on family is "inclusive." We as Christ's church are meant to see ourselves as a "household of faith" (Eph 2:19). Thus we are commanded to open our lives and homes to one another so that all the benefits that are designed to flow from a healthy home into the lives of the children of faithful parents, can also flow out of our homes into the lives of those around us who are hurting, lonely, or just in need of seeing the beautiful picture we find on display of the love of God in Christ whenever we do see a biblical, healthy family.

I also have found great encouragement in the fact that there are no perfect families. Nor does it take perfection for God to work in the life of our children. 2 Tim 1:5 and 3:14-15 give us a window into Timothy's home life: an absentee father, raised and trained in Scripture by his mother and grandmother -- anything but ideal! And yet Timothy was trained well because of the God-centered faith and love of these two women who brought him up (1:5). It seems that God's grace can make up for an awful lot that sin would otherwise destroy! So it's true, no one comes from a perfect home. And yet, no matter what kind of home you may have had, God's grace is sufficient, and more than able to make up for what sin has stolen. What a joyful thought! When our lives are shaped by His Word, His presence heals and corrects, strengthens and solidifies us into men and women who are able to know the joy of living to the praise of His glorious grace!

Now certainly this does not excuse parents to slack off and just "let grace handle it". Far from it (See Romans 6:1f)! We can do much to set our children on a God-glorifying path -- and we must do all we can as we prayerfully seek God's help! But it is a great encouragement to those who feel deeply the loss of not having a solid home life to find that God really is able to restore all that sin has broken! And he does that through the larger family we all 'the church" when it really is being "the church", the "household of God" There wounded hearts can heal, the fatherless can find a Father, and the unloved outcast finds that he has a family who cares for him very deeply and will not let him go. And there, by the patient love of a church family, built on the solid structure of healthy families, God will use what Satan meant for evil, in order to bring about great good! What a wonderful plan our Father has for His children of grace!

Well, that's a small taste of what we'll be thinking about together this Sunday.! I pray you who live near Arnold, MO will be able to join us!

God is at work. I'm looking forward to worshiping with my beloved family in Christ!

Soli Deo Gloria,
Pastor Scott

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's a time thing

I was looking at my blog and realized it's been a while since I posted. Not good. There's so much I really could put up here to talk about -- What God's been doing in our lives, Questions about missions support that we're dealing with at church, etc. Remembering the importance of today (9/11), or just talking about how faithful God is at all times, especially in the midst of such incredible busyness. But, there's the rub. Busyness!

I hope to get back to this soon!

God bless