Pastor's Meditations

All I Can

 

Jesus, you are the love of my life

The hope of glory in my heart

I will follow you day and night

And nothing will keep us apart

 

Lord, I want to serve you more and more

Allow me to bring honor to your name

Please keep me safe during the storms

And don’t let your servant be ashamed

 

What a blessing is to know your mercy!

Oh, how glorious is to live by faith

To have total and complete victory

To be forever saved by grace

 

How can I thank you, my Lord?

What can I do to repay?

I confess, according to your Word

That there’s nothing I can do or say

 

All I can do is to worship

All I can I say is “Thank You”

For saving me and making me new

For loving me always and forever

All I can think is of that glorious day

When we will be eternally together

A.G.

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Gravity, Grace and Gratitude

              In this world there are many laws, principles and powers at work. These things and entities are real and just because we can’t see them, doesn’t mean that they are not real. In Ephesians 6:12 we are told that,

              “….we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

              In the physical world there are also many laws, including the law of Motion, the law of              Thermodynamics and the law of gravitation or Gravity. This Law of Gravity pulls all the objects down to keep us “anchored” to the earth. I am thankful for this gift from God in the sense that it prevents us from floating aimlessly through space. In another sense, Gravity is not necessarily our best friend as it also exercises its powerful force upon our bodies as we age.

              There is another “law” or principle at work in this world. It is really a gift from God called grace. Grace is God’s favor for undeserving and wicked sinners. The law of Gravity pulls us down, but the gift of Grace brings us up and leads us all the way to heaven. We are saved by grace; we are forgiven by grace; we are redeemed by grace and we are sustained and blessed by God’s grace.

               If Gravity keeps us down and Grace brings us up to God, then Gratitude is the attitude that allows us to keep flying in the heavenly places. A grateful heart soars above all the troubles and tribulations, for it sees the loving hand of God behind everything.

               Gravity, Grace and Gratitude are gifts from an All-loving, All-knowing and All-powerful God. I am thankful to God for all his gifts, blessings and benefits. By his Gravity I am safe; by his Grace I am saved and by his gratitude I remain sane.

                Remember to be grateful always for all that God has given you and has done (and will continue to do) for you. If you are saved in amid a lost world, safe in an evil world and sane in a crazy world, what more could you want from God?

                 A. G.

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License to Suffer

                                                          

                James Bond is the fictitious agent 007 of the British Secret Service. This super agent is entrusted with the most dangerous and seemingly impossible missions. In order to achieve success, James has at his disposal a myriad of fancy cars, weapons and gadgets and he also has a license to kill.

                A license to kill allows government agents to use lethal force in the delivery of their objectives. A license to kill must be used with extreme care and only in extreme cases, where life is threatened by the actions of the criminal. It should never be abused by anyone.

                Christians also have a license to kill. We have been entrusted with the mission to eliminate sin and the flesh. As “agents” and soldiers of the Lord we have a clear command from Christ to kill or as the apostle Paul says to:

                put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

                Sin is our mortal enemy and it must be destroyed at all costs. If we kill sin we will live, if we don’t, it will destroy us. Sin always leads to death (Romans 6:23; James 1:15). Therefore it is imperative for us to kill sin in order to live for Christ.

               “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)

               As Christians we also have many other licenses: The license to worship God; the license to serve Jesus Christ; the license to proclaim the Gospel; the license to pray and study God’s Word and the license to suffer for Christ.

               A license to suffer?

              Suffering is not the most popular license or calling for Christians, but it is an integral part of our lives. We have been called to follow Jesus in his steps of suffering (1 Peter 2:21) and to walk through a narrow gate and a difficult way (Matthew 7:13-14). In addition to this, the Bible compares our suffering with the blessing of believing in Christ:

              “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29)

              If you don’t want to suffer for Christ, do not attempt to serve, obey or follow Him. On the other hand, if you are a faithful believer, expect all kinds of sufferings, trials and tests. These sufferings will be used by the Lord to transform us according to the image of Jesus Christ and to purify us as gold is refined by the fire.

              A. G.

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“What Really Matters”

                Recently, we have witnessed an eruption of protests and riots all over the U S and the world in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a police officer. This murder was an atrocious and cowardly act and it must be condemned by everyone.

                Life is a precious gift from our Creator and it must be treasured. No one has the right to murder another human being, regardless of their race, age or any other status. Murder is not what happens when you are faithfully serving your country as a soldier or when you are acting in self-defense. It is the taking of another person’s life in a premeditated and malicious manner.

                I agree that every life matters (except maybe for mosquitoes and rats). The life of every person on this planet matters---even the lives of those who are opposed to my viewpoints and beliefs. I am against all forms of evil discrimination and racism and I also believe that to believe otherwise is an affront to God, in whose image all members of mankind have been created.

                Let me put it more clearly: I believe that life is sacred because it proceeds from a holy God and therefore must be respected, preserved and protected. I will take it even further by saying that people of all races matter; people of all cultures matter; people of all nations matter; people of all political ideologies (yes, even communists) matter and people of all faiths matter.

                Now, before you accuse me of being ecumenical or politically correct allow me to explain. I don’t have to agree with (or even like) everyone in order to believe that their lives matter. I despise the tenets of Communism, Socialism, Islam, Buddhism, homosexuality, liberal politics, anarchy, racism, the prosperity “gospel” and many other evil and wicked beliefs and unbiblical institutions.

                I hate sin, but I don’t have to hate the sinner. The Bible commands us to:

                “…love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:19)

                The Bible even admonishes us to love those who hate us.

                “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-48)

                When we love God and our neighbor we are fulfilling the Law (Galatians 5:14). When we love God we can love our neighbor, regardless of their race or any other thing that separates us from each other. When we love God, we will value life, every life---even the life of the unborn.

                This is what really matters: The love of God in our hearts which overflows in love for others. This is not puppy love or platonic love; this is real love. This is the kind of love that led the Father to send his only begotten Son to die on the cross to save our lives (John 3:16). This is the life that matters above all ---A life that has been redeemed and filled with eternal life, boundless love and imperishable hope.

                A. G.

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Who’s Next?

 

                In the recent months our school has seen the disappearance of some of our teachers. It seems as if each month we lose one of our instructors. The administration, as well as other teachers, parents and students are dumbstruck by this turn of events.

                These teachers have not been fired, transferred or kidnapped. They are not with us anymore due to sickness or retirement. They have simply passed away one after the other. Some were elderly and a bit sick, but others, including my friend Jeff, died all of a sudden.

                I can imagine some in our teaching community scratching their heads and wondering if they will be next. A cloud of sadness and anxiety has engulfed our school and perhaps all of us are thinking about the finiteness of our earthly lives.

                More recently we have seen the global devastation of the Coronavirus. More than 6 million people have been infected and over one hundred thousand have died in the United States alone. Every day brings a new wave of deaths, although the “curve” is actually dipping down in most countries.

                This pandemic has transformed our world, perhaps for a long time to come. Many have actually died, while others are prisoners of fear and anxiety. Even most of our churches have fallen prey of this terror as they are still closed for (the Lord’s) business.

                These are the cold hard facts:

                All of us will die one day (except for those who take part in the Rapture)

                Any of us can die at any moment

                We cannot prevent our own death

                “Living” in fear and anxiety is worse than dying in Christ

                Who is the next person that will pass away in our congregation? Only God knows. There are two ways in which we can live: In Fear…or as the Bible says,

                “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

                And what if you or I are next? Will that really be so bad? What if we adopt a different viewpoint instead? What if we would decide to follow Paul’s example and proclaim that:

                For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gainBut if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” (Philippians 1:21-23)

                I do not wish for anyone to die. I hope and pray that all of us can be Raptured away by Christ and go “from life to life,” but even death cannot separate us from God and his love (Romans 8:35-39).

               A.G.

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