Today I suffer from a broken heart. As I sit at my keyboard reflecting on the evil of the world, I can only think what all of this must look like from the perspective of a Holy and Righteous God. He created mankind to love and worship Him, but instead the scene from Job replays in our world over and over again. Satan’s influence infects mankind, and now we watch as man curses God to his face through the senseless evil, which we constantly experience in our society. During the time in which our hearts went out to those in India dying by the thousands from Covid, Russia decides to attack the people of the Ukraine. As we watch the horror of these people being decimated by this giant; it reminds us of David fighting Goliath all over again. And just when our hearts were aching in pain as the Ukraine is being reduced to rubble, America experiences its 27th school shooting of 2022; which is more than all the other countries in the world combined. Twenty-seven times in 5 months, innocent children have died while just attending school. I think about the wake of parental tears associated with this violence and can’t imagine what has happened to the hearts and lives of these families. How do you go on after something like this? And as the world continues to unravel and evil runs rampant, I hear the words of those shouting “There is no God,” and ”Who needs God when we have ourselves?” We walk among a spiritual apocalypse and God is calling us to save those whom we can. If we ever wonder how great is our mission, all we need to do is to look around us at the world in which we live. Who needs God? We all do. Our mission is great. Our God is greater. Come Lord Jesus.
Ps. According to the Washington Post, 311,000 students have experienced gun violence in school since Columbine. What are we doing?
It’s been a while since we last talked about grace, although grace is something we need on a daily basis. Either we are extending it to others, or in need of receiving it; the fact of the matter is we can hardly make it through a day without the need of grace.
Personally, I see grace from a standpoint of perspective. Giving grace doesn’t communicate that I am better than someone else; what it says to me is that my memory is functioning as it should. The grace that I give is inspired by the grace I receive daily from God. I imagine sometimes we don’t give much thought to that, but we should. As we fully consider the holiness of the God as He extends grace to sinful humanity, it should produce a humbleness in us, because we know we don’t deserve it. It’s grace that allows us all to be human towards one another. In fact, when we refuse to give grace when needed, we are placing ourselves in a position that is greater than God. And at the same time, it forges our hearts into being incredible hypocrites. Allow me to explain. When I refuse to extend grace to my fellow humans, while asking and accepting grace from a holy and righteous God, that simple act denotes that I have a stubborn proud heart that will ultimately be responsible for my demise.
What makes grace difficult from a human standpoint is that it is always required by the undeserving. Giving a person what they deserve is justice, but grace goes beyond because it gives them what they don’t deserve. It’s when we do this that we emulate the heart of Jesus, which brings glory to our Heavenly Father. So, the next time you find yourself in a position where you need to be a grace giver, think about the grace given to you daily by God and cheerfully allow grace to flow from your heart. The world would be such a better place if we all would just give a little more grace
Today is a special day devoted to paying homage to the person who stands in the middle of most families and holds everything together - Mom. I’m reminded of Proverbs 31:
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”
Mom, today is your day.
Today begins what we are calling “The Summer of Salvation. From now until fall, we are concentrating all our efforts on reaching out to those who know not the Lord. Our success will not be measured by the number of baptisms, but by the number of people we engage to tell them about the love and sacrifice of Jesus for them. We have invested four months of Wednesday nights in preparation for the task at hand and are asking all to participate; as well as to give yourself in prayer for the success of this endeavor. Remember, this isn’t about us. It’s about expanding the kingdom of God. As we engage ourselves in our mission, I want us to understand it is God who opens hearts of those who will hear. It is God who is in control. We are simply tasked with telling the story, so don’t get overly concerned about getting them to the water (that’s God’s part), just pray for God to give you someone to talk to (as often as possible). And as these opportunities present themselves, take advantage of being used by the Holy Spirit to touch a life that needs Jesus. As a congregation, we will be involving ourselves in various activities which will work in conjunction with our summer focus. Therefore, all in all, it should be an exciting summer as many in the city of Port Huron learn for the first time about the saving love of God that was demonstrated through the cross of Jesus for them. Praise God for what He is about to do and thank Him for allowing us to be a part of this eternal work.