Psalm 71:23 “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”
Dear CBC Family,
Thank you all so much for the love and kindness you showed to my brother and his wife this last weekend. It was a great joy for us to do ministry together. (It was actually an answer to a prayer I offered to the Lord back in 1986) Nick told me he had never been in a church with so much love and kindness extended towards him and that he immediately felt like part of the family.
My sister-in-law repeated much of the same sentiment and made a very keen observation as well. She mentioned to me that she heard about Barry Minkow several times on both Saturday and Sunday. She then said that it appears a few are stuck and are unable to identify the church except by the evil that once dominated it. “It seems like it is time, once and for all, to define the church by what God is doing rather than what evil men have done” was her comment to me. That resonated deeply so let’s look at the great things the Lord is doing and stop looking backwards. There is a line from a movie that says “he who shall not be named” and I’ll add “or referred to” and that really applies here. Don’t let hurtful people control you by giving them a place in your mind. I am excited about the future of this body and the past I barely remember.
This weekend we will be back in Romans 2 pressing towards Paul’s conclusion in 3:9 that all people (Jews and Gentiles) are all alike under sin. The Jews were more interested in correcting others than repenting themselves. This was the heart of their downfall.
Why does Paul spend almost three complete chapters to drive the point of universal condemnation home to us? Why not just get straight to the good news? There are many reasons. For time’s sake I will give two here. First, justification by faith is only received as good news when our sinfulness and hopelessness before God is truly understood. This is why so many religious people are still lost. Secondly, we are extremely resistant to seeing our sinfulness and feeling it. Many people look for ways of avoiding the issue, softening the indictments and escaping the evidences of their sinfulness. It seems we can admit to a little bit of it, not being perfect for example, while at the same time not being broken and humbled by it. Brokenness and humility are the evidences of the Holy Spirit’s work in us as we receive the good news of the gospel. By avoiding the matter, we are inoculating people against the truth of their need to be saved. Actually there is much encouragement in the text if you look beyond the surface.
Remember that March 31st after church is our third annual Taco Sunday. Once again there will be a salsa and guacamole contest and lots of food and fun. Sometimes it is necessary just to celebrate as a family the gift of grace He has given us in Jesus Christ. Ps 71:23 “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”
Worthy is our Lord,