August 2022 Pastor’s Perspective

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Someone recently said, “we are living in strange times.”
Folks who are suffering, illness, pain, shame, disappointment, guilt, unfulfilled expectations, and all manner of conflict. Death, too young or too much suffering, challenges our faith. Rushing with determination to take that trip, play the games, run the race, many try to take back their lives from this time of constraint. Promise bursting forth and joyful living in the awareness of the blessing of this life. Isaiah spoke forth the prophetic word of God in the midst of strange times.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:6-13
Strange times offer opportunities for witnessing to the glorious love of God in Jesus Christ as we minister and serve others out of the power of his love given to us by his indwelling Holy Spirit! We may proclaim the joy of knowing God has taken the initiative in salvation and comes to us through his Son, Jesus Christ. He is near and we may forsake our ways of living and embrace the righteous truth and thought of God. He will pardon! We know Jesus Christ: his incarnation, life, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension – he has saved and transformed us by his grace and mercy. God continues to reveal his pure and holy truth. Fields growing abundantly toward harvest, not yet, but history reveals our God provides all that is necessary for salvation and to live the life and ministry we have been created and saved to live! God’s word will not return empty but accomplishes his purpose. We have abundant and overflowing joy, peace, and love to go forth each day in the celebration of God’s love and the life he gives. Do we struggle with trust?
A Christian lady who had this feeling was once expressing to a friend how impossible she found it to say, “Thy will be done,” and how afraid she should be to do it. She was the mother of an only little boy, who was the heir to a great fortune, and the idol of her heart. After she had stated her difficulties fully, her friend said, “Suppose your little Charley should come running to you to-morrow and say, ‘Mother, I have made up my mind to let you have your own way with me from this time forward. I am always going to obey you, and I want you to do just whatever you think best with me. I will trust your love.’ How would you feel towards him? Would you say to yourself, ‘Ah, now I shall have a chance to make Charley miserable. I will take away all his pleasures and fill his life with every hard and disagreeable thing that I can find. I will compel him to do just the things that are the most impossible commands.’” “Oh, no, no, no!” exclaimed the indignant mother. “You know I would not. You know I would hug him to my heart and cover him with kisses and would hasten to fill his life with all that was sweetest and best.” “And are you more tender and more loving than God? asked her friend. “Ah, no!” was the reply; “I see my mistake. Of course, I must not be any more afraid of saying, ‘Thy will be done,’ to my Heavenly Father than I would want my Charley to be of saying it to me.” Better and sweeter than health, or friends, or money, or fame, or ease, or prosperity, is the adorable will of our God. It gilds the darkest hours with a divine halo, and sheds brightest sunshine on the gloomiest paths. He always reigns who has made it his kingdom, and nothing can go amiss to him. Surely, then, it is only a glorious privilege that is opening before you when I tell you that the first step you must take in order to enter into the life hid with Christ in God is that of entire consecration. I beg of you not to look at it as a hard and stern demand. – From The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith
Whether we describe the day as strange or glorious, God’s Word reminds us: Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you and helped you on the day of salvation.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Romans 6:1-2
Now is the time to witness and minister in the amazing love and goodness of God! Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying. In Him, Paul and Nancy Wier

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