Archive | October 2014

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final thoughts on Hebrews 2:14

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,           NKJV

For the child of God, death has lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Why then should we, as Christians, be afraid of dying? Are you facing death? Then ask for grace from your Heavenly Father, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief in your Savior’s death and resurrection, you may be strengthened for that apprehensive moment in which you pass into the next life. Looking unto Jesus and His redemptive work on your behalf, you can face death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is a sweet blessing to die in Christ. Death is no longer banishment into an eternity of darkness and torment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the paradise where your beloved brethren in Christ already dwell. We are not far from home; a moment will bring us there. Life may bring many storms, but they will not last forever, and when we depart the storms of this life as true believers, we will be present with the Lord. No matter how great the storm may be, as we pass over the veil, Jesus will say, “Peace! Be still!” and the storm will immediately and forever come to an end. Do not think that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the Christian’s eyes close on earth, they open in heaven.

O child of God, what is there for you to fear in death, seeing that through the death of your Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob’s ladder whose foot is the dark grave, but its top reaches to everlasting glory.           Charles H. Spurgeon

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From the Pastor’s Pen

Final thoughts on Hebrews 2:10

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. NKJV

Steel is produced iron plus fire. Soil is produced by rock plus heat and erosion. Linen is flax plus the water that cleans it, the comb that separates it, the flail that pounds it, and the shuttle that weaves it. Likewise, the development of Christ-like character requires a plus attached to it, for godly character is not made through luxurious living but through suffering. And the world does not forget people of godly, Christ-like character.

Many years ago, a mother brought home a crippled boy with a hunched back into her home as a companion for her own son. She warned her son to be very careful not to refer to the other boy’s deformity, since this was a sensitive matter to him, and she encouraged him to play with his new friend as if he were a normal child. But after listening to her son play with him for a few minutes, she heard him ask his companion, “Do you know what that is on your back?” The crippled boy was embarrassed, hesitated a moment, but before he could respond, the son answered the question for him by saying, “It is the box that holds your wings, and someday Jesus is going to break it open, and you will fly away to heaven to be with Him.”

Someday God is going to reveal to every Christian that the very things they now rebel against are the instruments He has used to perfect their character and to mold them into perfection, so they may later be used as polished stones in His heaven yet to come.
Cortland Myers

Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer for the roots of character. The great objective of this life is character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity. And gaining as much of the highest character possible is the purpose of our trials.
Austin Phelps

The mountain of vision is won by no other road than the one covered with thorns.
L.B. Cowman

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final thoughts on Psalm 39:12

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were.           NKJV

As a believer, I am a stranger with the Lord, but not a stranger to the Lord. All my sinful alienation from God, His grace in Christ has effectively removed, and now I walk in fellowship with God through this wicked world as a pilgrim in a foreign country (Heb. 11:9-10). The Lord is a stranger in His own world. Mankind forgets Him, dishonors Him, rebels against Him, and doesn’t know Him. The Lord Jesus Christ was in the world, and though the world was made by Him, the world did not recognize Him (Jn. 1:10). It is no surprise then, if I who live for Jesus, should be unknown and a hated stranger here below (Jn. 15:18-20); nor would I wish to be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hands have loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the world. My speech seems an outlandish tongue to the heathen among whom I dwell, my lifestyle is unusual, and my actions are strange to them. A prince would be more at home in a slum that I could ever be in the haunts of the wicked. But here is the sweetness of my situation: I am a stranger with the Lord. He is my co-sufferer, my fellow sojourner. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed company! My heart leaps with delight when He speaks with me along the journey. I am far more blessed that those who sit on thrones, and far more at home with Jesus than those who dwell under the roofs of their houses.

“To me remains nor place, nor time:
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.

While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none:
But with a God to guide our way,
`Tis equal joy to go or stay.”

C. H. Spurgeon