Pastor's Meditations

The Keeper

                Psalm 121 is one of my favorite psalms in the entire Bible. In this psalm my soul finds hope and strength amid the troubles and tribulations of this life. I can face all my tomorrows knowing that God is not only my Lord and Savior, but He is also my Keeper.  

In this beloved Psalm, I find three things. First, I see many,

Problems:                                                                                                                                                          Desperation--- “From whence comes my help?”
Danger--- “He will not allow your foot to be moved (to slip)”
Destruction--- “The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night”                                                      Devilish evil--- “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil”

In This Psalm we also encounter the,     

Presence:                                                                                                                                                            In the mountain of Zion--- “I will lift up my eyes to the hills”                                                                                  Of the God of the Universe--- Who made heaven and earth.”                                                                            Of the God that keeps us--- “The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.”

Finally, we also find the,

Promise:                                                                                                                                                              God is our Helper---“My help comes from the Lord”                                                                                            His help is continuous--- “He who keeps you will not slumber…Shall neither slumber nor sleep"                      God keeps our soul safe--- “He shall preserve your soul.”                                                                                  God keeps our life--- “The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”                                                                                                       
God keeps his peopleBehold, He who keeps Israel

                 A. G.


 

 

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Words to Live (and Die) By

                A few weeks ago, I had the honor (but not the pleasure) of conducting a short funeral service for a dear lady, related to one of our church members. The Scripture reading for that occasion was found in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, which reads as follows:

          "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."

            The first thing we noticed was the Reality of the Closeness of death. The apostle Paul realized that he was literally at the end of his life. Perhaps he was already sentenced to death by the Roman emperor and was waiting for his execution. We can face the reality of death with the calm assurance that this is not the end, but the beginning of a glorious eternity with Christ in heaven.

             The second point was our Responsibility to Complete the Course. Paul finished the race that he began many years before on the road to Damascus. He kept his faith in Christ throughout all these years as he fought as a brave soldier of the Lord against sin and the forces of darkness. We can fulfill our responsibility by submitting ourselves to the truth of God’s Word and the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

              Lastly, we considered our Reward with a Crown of Life. Paul lived his life with full hope in Christ and with the expectation of a heavenly reward. The crown of righteousness is another way of saying our future perfection in heaven. This crown is only given to those of us who love Jesus and serve Him as we wait for his glorious appearing. We can overcome all the obstacles and persevere amid all the trials, knowing that our hope and reward in Christ are sure and indestructible.

              We need to face Reality

              We must fulfill our Responsibility

              We will receive a glorious Reward if we are faithful

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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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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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“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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