Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Blog

Sunday, March 20, 2016


            The Old Testament word for “Glory” comes from the Hebrew word for weight.  The idea behind it suggests something of great substance, or importance.  For example, if someone’s opinion carries a lot of weight (so to speak), it means it has great value.  God’s Glory is a way of talking about God’s weightiness, supreme value, and greatness.  Thus, to glorify God is to honor God, ascribe greatness, magnify the Lord. 
            John Piper (The Dangerous Duties of Delight) offers this way to think about glory: consider the difference between the magnification of a microscope versus the magnification of a telescope.  God’s goal at every stage of creation and salvation is to magnify his glory.  You can magnify with a microscope or with a telescope.  A microscope magnifies by making a tiny thing look bigger than it is.  A telescope magnifies by making a gigantic thing (like stars), which may appear tiny, appear more as they really are.  God created the universe to magnify his glory the way a telescope magnifies stars - to make his greatness visible to us.  Everything he does in our salvation is designed to magnify the glory of his grace like this.
            This past Sunday we read the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11.  Jesus says his sickness will not result in death , but “is for God’s Glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it’ (11:4).  And those who believed did see the Glory of God (11:40) in a spectacular way.  The glory of God through Lazarus is magnified further in the resurrection/glorification of Jesus as Easter approaches.  Hallelujah - praise God!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Elders are Peters and Deacons are Stephens

Elders and Deacons, and all who sit in the pews, essentially have the same identity in Christ.  We are the children of God: saved by grace, justified and sanctified, new creations, the body of Christ.  But as we apply our gifts in the service of God we recognize different callings. Reading from Acts 6 – the traditional reading for the formation of a diaconate, we see a division of labor and use of gifts. 

Remember that Paul’s calling was as a missionary – to "testify to the Gospel of God’s grace" (Acts 20:24).  He would work in a community and start a church, but his calling was not to stay and shepherd, but to eventually move on to do more evangelism.  So in his absence he would appoint/train Elders. Speaking to Elders, in Acts 20:28, he tells them to “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Elders are overseers of the church.

Back to Acts 6 – Peter, an apostle and essentially a overseer of the Jerusalem church, is held accountable for lapses in care for the flock (some of the Greek widows were not being cared for) so they appoint other men, filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit (note the direct correlation between these two things), to service. They call Stephen and others to serve and minster, be the hands-on manifestation of God’s love. Peter is free to continue preaching and teaching. With the laying on of hands and with prayer (familiar to us in ordination), they are called into service. God bless Peters and Stephens - our Elders and Deacons.

from joint Elder Deacon meeting 3/6/16

Monday, March 7, 2016

Grace is Amazing!

It is not the outward circumstances that are amazing. It’s the grace.

In the December 2014 issue of Christianity Today Megan Hill laments that her Christian testimony is boring. Click here for her story: How I Know My Testimony is Real

She grew up in Sunday School under the tutelage of Godly parents. Never was there a time that she did not know God. Other Christians have dramatic salvation stories and hers seemed to pale in comparison. Well blessings to Megan - I can relate. But as she comes to realize, " There is no dull salvation.The Son of God took on flesh to suffer and die, purchasing a people for his glory." Amen to that, and thank you Mom and Dad for your steadiness of faith and teaching me day after day of the love of God.