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The Goodness of God

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good
Genesis 1:31

Have you ever stopped to think just what the adjective “good” means? We use that word today to describe those things that are just mediocre. Those things that are just acceptable are “good.” We reserve words like “excellent,” “super,” “outstanding,” and “great” for those things which are better than good.

And yet, in the book of Genesis, we find that everything God created is described with one simple word: “good.” It was only at the end of the sixth day that God looked at all He had made – the light, the sky, the plants, the animals, man, and said, “They are very good.”

Does this mean that all creation is just acceptable, just passable in God’s eyes? No, I don’t think so!  You see, goodness is one of the attributes of God that refers to the absolute perfection of His nature. God is not only the Greatest of all beings. He is the best. All the goodness there is in any creature has been placed there by the Creator, but God’s goodness is not derived from anyone or anything else. God IS good!

All that comes from God – his creation, His promises, His laws, His decrees, His judgments – cannot be anything other than good. “And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Gen. 1 :31).

The goodness of God is seen first of all in creation. Everything about the structure of man and the intricacies of this created world attest to the goodness of our Maker! It never ceases to amaze me when I ponder the wonders of human birth – how the cells joins and divide, multiply and grow, developing into a living, breathing, thinking human being created in the image of God.

The goodness of our Creator is not just confined to man.  When God had created the birds of the air, the beasts of the field and the fish in the sea, He pronounced them good. There are those who would have us believe that each animal upon this earth is in the process of developing into a higher life form. Not so! God created all things just the way He wanted them. With infinite wisdom and perfect planning He created all things. God saw all that He had made and it was very good.

The  goodness  of  God  is  seen  in  the  many  natural pleasures which He has provided for His creatures. He could have very easily created food with no taste or flavor, flowers with no color or scent, birds with no melody or song. Instead, we see “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9).

The goodness of God was seen most visibly when He sent His Son “born of woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Galatians 4:4). It is through the Gospel of the Good News of God that salvation has appeared to all men.

The goodness of God should be the very life breath of the believer’s trust. It is this attribute of God which most appeals to our hearts. Because His goodness endures forever, we ought never to be discouraged. “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote: “When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that He is good. We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good.”

In God’s vocabulary “good” describes the very best anything can be and “very good”
would be equivalent to our “excellent,” “super,” “outstanding,” or “great.”

Let us be thankful that we have a God who is “good.” He doesn’t expect anything from us that He is not. No matter how we describe things well done – whether they are “excellent,”  or  “superior”  or  “outstanding,”  God  will  only  expect  us  to  reflect  His goodness as He one day commends our faithfulness saying, “Well done, my GOOD and faithful servant!”

It is my prayer that you would have a “good” week as you experience God’s “goodness” and grace. “

Blessing and Peace

Pastor Mark

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Categories: Christian Living, God, Worship

Even the Appearance . . .

The apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians (5:22) said, “Abstain from all appearance (form) of evil.”

These words were a living reality in the life of the apostle Paul who took public opinion very seriously and did everything within his power, as long as it did not compromise the Gospel, to avoid any appearance of evil.

Living for the glory of God was Paul’s consuming desire. He did not want any shadow to fall on that Blessed Name. He took great precautions to avoid any hint of scandal. Paul’s wisdom in this matter arose from a deep respect for God and a divinely-given humility, which put the name of Christ before his own concerns.

“It was not enough for the apostle to do right, he recognized the importance of appearing right,” Charles Hodge writes. “It is a foolish pride which leads to a disregard of public opinion. We are bound to act in such a way that only God, who sees the heart and knows all things, may approve our conduct, but also so that men may be constrained to recognize our integrity. “

It doesn’t matter who you are, a manager a teacher, a parent, a student or a housewife, your duty before God and men is not only to be honest but to appear honest. It may take extra effort and prior planning to arrange a situation so that you do not put yourself in a compromising position. It may take sacrificing the easier way or doing what you want to do at a given moment in order to remain pure in appearance.

This does not mean though that you become bound by the consciences of others. Remember, the greatest act of love is to put others first and to place the honor of God before our own desires.

May you have a blessed week serving the Lord and submitting to our God’s commands out of obedient love to Him.

Blessings and Peace to You,

Pastor Mark

Only A Seed . . .

It was just before Christmas during my second year at the first church I was called to pastor.  As I spoke with this dear little lady who happened to be the wife of one of the earlier pastors of the same church,  now widowed and alone, she spoke to me of the future, drawing attention to a little shriveled pecan that had remained on the branch of the tree just outside her kitchen window.  All the other pecans had fallen to the ground – but this one remained – tenaciously holding on to the branch, not letting go.

As we talked she lifted her gnarled and wrinkled hand and pointed and placed her finger on the window pane.  The little shriveled pecan became a reflection of her own finger as if she were pointing to a mirror.  She said it was “no good for nothin'” – that it was like her – that when that pecan fell she too would fall from the branch of the tree of life God had placed her on.  For some reason she felt that her life was very closely tied to that one little pecan – stuck on the branch – wanting to move on the next stage of life, but for some reason still hanging on.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but she had touched on a very profound thought which the Apostle Paul speaks about in 1 Corinthians.

But God  gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of  fish. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable  body; it is  sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is  raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So  also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

1 Corinthians 15:38-50

In death, what will the future be like?  In this life our bodies may be worn out and tired, shriveled and wrinkled,  but what will the resurrection life be like?  What kind of body will we have?

In an attempt to describe the essentially indescribeable and to express the inexpressible, Paul uses the analogy of a seed. The seed is put into the ground and is transformed, but ultimately it rises with a very different kind of body from that which was sown.  Paul shows that at one and the same time, there can be dissolution, difference and continuity.  The seed is dissolved;  when it rises from the ground there is a vast difference in the body God gives it;  yet in spite of the differences, it is the same life, the same seed. There is continuity.

Our earthly bodies will be buried and will in a sense dissolve.  Yet they will rise a different form, but it is the same person who rises.  Our loved one may be dissolved by death, but our assurance is that same loved one will be changed by resurrection into a glorified body – ‘sown in weakness, raised in power’.

Paul asserts from this analogy that there is not just one kind of body.  Each separate part of creation has its own body.  The acorn is resurrected into an oak tree, never into a spruce.  Wheat seed produces a wheat stalk and wheat grain, never rye.  Corn produces corn.  The tulip bulb always becomes a tulip.  The pecan always becomes a pecan tree.  There is an identification and continuity in nature, with each seed having its peculiar resurrected stalk and blossom.  So God gives to each of us human creatures a body that is uniquely ours.  It is reasonable to expect a suitable, recongnizable body suited for resurrection life, the same, but different, particularly suited for immortality.

In order for a seed to do the work of a seed, it must be sown. It must fall from the tree.  It must die in order to live.  That pecan one day fell from the branch of that tree and in a sense so did that dear little lady.  She let go of this earthly existence and fell safe and secure into the mighty hands of our living God.  Torn between remaining here and going to be with the Lord she seemed to be saying with Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Corinthians 15:51-58

Blessings and Peace to You All,

Pastor Mark

Categories: Death, Faith, Resurrection Life

The Truth

“. . . I am the truth . . .”
John 14:6

A few years ago, my wife and I took a ‘road trip.’ Travelling over 2200 miles round trip we covered all different types of terrain. From the mountains of the Colorado Rockies to the deserts of Nevada and Utah, one might say we had our ‘ups and downs’, but we arrived back safely, following the many different road signs along the way. The highway department has apparently placed those signs along the side of the roads to help those who are driving maneuver their automobiles safely to their final destinations.

You may have encountered one that says, “Dangerous Curve Ahead.” Immediately you are confronted with making a choice. On the one hand you could observe the warning and slow down. On the other, you could ignore the warning and maintain your present rate of speed. Or you could simply ignore the sign completely, defy the warning, and speed up.

No matter how you respond, you will not change the truth of the sign. It was put there for a purpose by someone who knows the road situation better than you. The curve is dangerous, regardless of whether you acknowledge the fact or not. How you respond to the truth doesn’t change its truth.

As in our driving along the highways so in our daily lives we encounter many different road signs along our spiritual journey. Unfortunately some have been placed there by the great deceiver, Satan. I remember one of the Saturday morning cartoons I used to watch years ago. It was about “Coyote and Roadrunner.” Wiley Coyote was always changing the road signs so Roadrunner would be misled and fall into Coyote’s traps.

So it is with Satan. John 8:44 says that “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” His main objective is to sidetrack each of us on our spiritual journey. He wants us to end up on the dead end street of eternal death and destruction. He wants us to speed up as we go around those curves, ignoring the warning signs that are placed there to protect us from danger. The main weapon in his arsenal is deception. He deceived Eve in the Garden, and he will try to deceive each of us.

But thank God that in a world full of darkness and deception, there stands one road sign that is totally dependable – the cross of Christ and the way leading to it is the Word of God. God’s Living Word directs us along the path and warns us of dangerous curves and hazardous intersections. His Word reveals to us what lurks ahead and gives us warning signs to keep us from harm.

The question is, “Will you pay attention to the truth of His Word and heed the warnings? Will you listen to His divine directions?” Jesus is the Living Word of God. When He speaks, He speaks only the truth. When He gives directions, we are assured that they are totally trustworthy and completely without error.

He alone is the dependable source of redemptive revelation keeping us on the highway to heaven and eternal life with God, the Father. In order to discern the difference between Satan’s signs of deception and Christ’s pathway of truth, you must keep His map and instruction manual close at hand and remain close to his word. Read your Bible daily. Pray without ceasing. Meditate upon God’s most precious word and store it in your heart.

And when Satan tries to deceive you and attempts to get you to take his deceptive detour you can stand firm in the power and strength of the Truth of the Word of God. You can with confidence stand boldly upon the Living Word, Jesus Christ who was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. You can know that the truth of God’s gracious provision will never lead you astray.

Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as we are so disposed and inclined to all kinds of errors, to so many and so various forms of superstitions, and as Satan also ceases not to lay in wait for us, and spreads before us his many snares, – 0 grant, that we may be so preserved in obedience to you by the teaching of your word, that we may never turn here and there, either to the right hand or to the left, but continue in that pure worship which you have prescribed, so that we may plainly testify that you are indeed our Father by continuing under the protection of your only-begotten Son, whom you have given to be our pastor and ruler to the end. Amen.

a prayer from Calvin’s Commentaries on the Minor Prophets.

Blessings and Peace to you all,

PastorMark

Growing in Holiness

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
For them I sanctity myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

John 17:17-19

Spring is here. Flowers are blooming. Trees are budding. Grass is beginning to grow. I was surveying my lawn this past weekend and noticed that even though it is not totally green the grass has begun to grow. The growth was not near the surface but deep down near the soil. There the grass was greener than on the surface. Have you ever de-thatched a lawn? The thickly tangled dead and decaying grass is aggressively removed so the fresh, new, green grass might freely grow. It is really a tremendous amount of work!

The process of sanctification is something like this springtime ritual of “scalping” a lawn. God uses the trials and problems of our Christian life to strip away the worthless and self-defeating habits of our old nature to allow the glorious new nature of God’s holy character to appear in us and through us. It sounds like a “good” idea, but it sure is work!

Sanctification is a work of God’s free grace. We are renewed in the whole man after the image of God. We are enabled more and more to die to sin, and live to righteousness. Sanctification is something that is positional, but is also progressive. Christians are given a righteous standing before God. We are made “saints” by His doing. It is the progressive nature of sanctification we all struggle with this side of heaven. It does take much work.

The grass may be green deep below the surface, but the thick tangle of dead and decaying grass, must be systematically removed. Sanctification “is a subject of the utmost importance to our souls. If the Bible be true, it is certain that unless we are ‘sanctified’, we shall not be saved. There are three things which, according to the Bible, are absolutely necessary to the salvation of every man and woman in Christendom. These three are justification, regeneration and sanctification. All three meet in every child of God: he is both born again and justified and sanctified. He that lacks any one of these three things is not a true Christian in the sight of God and, dying in that condition, will not be found in heaven and glorified in that last day” (J.C. Ryle, Holiness).

It is true, we are made “saints” by God’s gracious call through faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice, but it mustn’t stop there. There must be visible evidence of sanctification in the life of one who is a believer. What are the visible marks of one who is sanctified? What ought we expect to see in him?

True sanctification does not consist simply in talk about religion. “People hear so much of gospel truth that they contract an unholy familiarity with its words and phrases and sometimes talk so fluently about its doctrines that you might think them true Christians. In fact it is sickening and disgusting to hear the cool and flippant language which many pour out about ‘conversion’, ‘the Savior’, ‘the gospel’, ‘finding peace’, ‘free grace’ while they are notoriously serving sin or living for the world” (Ryle, p. 23,24).

We must be sanctified, not only ‘in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth’ (1 John 3:18).

Sanctification does not consist in withdrawing from all social contact and denying our duties and responsibilities to the body of Christ. “Hundreds of hermits have buried themselves in some wilderness, and thousands of men and women have shut themselves up within the walls of monasteries and convents, under the vain idea that by so doing they would escape sin and become emminently holy. They have forgotten that no bolts and bars can keep out the devil and that, wherever we go, we carry that root of all evil, our own hearts…True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties, but face and overcome them. Christ would have His people show that His grace is not a mere hot-house plant, which can only thrive under shelter, but a strong hardy thing which can flourish in every relation of life…lt is not the man who hides himself in a cave, but the man who glorifies God as master or servant, parent or child, in the family and in the street, in business and in trade, who is the scriptural type of a sanctified man (Ryle, p. 25).

Jesus prayed, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). It is within the context of the body of Christ that we are sanctified.

Sanctification will show itself in habitual attention to the passive graces of Christianity. These ‘passive’ graces are especially evident in our submission to the will of God, in remaining patient toward one another. Peter puts it this way, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously… (1 Peter 2:21-23). Within the list of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), nine are named, but three of these, patience, gentleness and self-control, are unquestionably ‘passive’ graces.

“The passive graces are no doubt harder to attain than the active ones, but they are precisely the graces which have the greatest influence on the world. Of one thing I feel very sure: it is nonsense to pretend to progress in our sanctification unless we follow after the meekness, gentleness, longsuffering and forgiveness of which the Bible makes so much. People who are habitually giving way to peevish and cross tempers in daily life, and are constantly sharp with their tongues and disagreeable to all around them, spiteful people, vindictive people, revengeful people, malicious people – of whom, alas, the world is only too full – all such know little as they should know about sanctification” (Ryle, p. 28).

Has God lately been “de-thatching” the lawn of your life . . . stripping away the worthless and self-defeating habits of your old nature so that the hidden green growth of His gloriously holy character might flourish in you and through you? If you have ever de-thatched a lawn, you know it is done with great fear and trembling, wondering if the grass will grow back. It will, but it requires much attention. Systematic watering and careful fertilization is necessary for the development of new growth.

So it is with our sanctification. As God exposes and removes those dead and decaying areas of our lives, we work out our salvation with fear and with trembling, constantly aware that we must remain attentive as God works in us. Never resting one moment, we must systematically water and carefully fertilize the remaining roots with the Living Word of God knowing with confidence that it is God working through His effective grace to develop new growth in us that we might be truly sanctified.

Most gracious heavenly Father,
author of our salvation from beginning to end,
enable us we pray, more and more each day,
to conform to the image and likeness of Christ Jesus,
who is our Lord. You only expose what we are able to endure.
You know our every weakness. Your grace is sufficient to meet every need.
In weakness your power is made perfect. We are weak.
May your Holy Spirit stir in us a desire to be patient, gentle, and self-controlled.
Subdued by the Power of your Word,
may we be sanctified and made holy through Him
who has sanctified us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

May you have a wonderful week as you experience God at work in you and through you,

Pastor Mark

Sin Stinks!

“And in Him there is no sin.”
1 John 3:5

I remember visiting my grandmother one summer when I was young. More years ago than I would care to admit, my family drove to a quiet little town on the West Central side of Missouri to a place called, Nevada, not too far from Kansas City. Because it is my birthplace and the place where “Granny” lived,  it has always held a special place in my memories.  I remember one particular summer, my cousins also visited and brought with them several little furry, black and white creatures.  Cute and cuddly with a long white stripe running from their heads down to their tales, these baby skunks were the center of attention for a few days.

Now if you’ve ever had the bad fortune of smelling a skunk when it has raised its tail and defended itself, you know it is not the most pleasant of aromas.  Polo cologne it isn’t!  If you have had the misfortune of being sprayed by one of these cute little animals, you know the odor is not something you can easily rid yourself of. That ‘skunk’ smell permeates your clothing and your hair. It seems to embed itself in your skin.  It goes everywhere you go.  It’s there even before you get there! No one wants to be around you because of the offensive smell surrounding you. It seems to bother everyone – everyone but the skunk and others who smell the same. Isn’t it interesting that the very animal whose smell is most offensive to us has no idea that they are offensive and are not offensive to one another!

So it is with sin and the sinner.  The one who is covered with the stench of sin has no idea what a vile thing he is in the presence of God. Those around him who are covered with the same odoriforous smell of depravity are not bothered by the smell either. But,  oh, how offensive it is to the One who is totally without sin.  And none of us are totally without that odor.

“Mortal man can never realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin in the sight of that holy and perfect One with whom we have to do. On the one hand, God is that eternal Being…in whose sight the very ‘heavens are not clean’. He is One who reads thoughts and motives as well as actions and requires ‘truth in the inward parts’ (Job 4:18; 15:15; Ps. 51:6). We, on the other hand – poor blind creatures, here today and gone tomorrow, born in sin, surrounded by sinners, living in a constant atmosphere of weakness, infirmity and imperfection – can form none but the most inadequate conceptions of the hideousness of evil. We have no line to fathom it and no measure by which to gauge it. The blind man can see no difference between a masterpiece of Titian or Raphael and the queen’s head on a village signboard. The deaf man cannot distinguish between a penny whistle and a cathedral organ…And a man, fallen man, I believe, can have no just idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of that God whose handiwork is absolutely perfect – perfect whether we look through telescope or microscope; perfect in the formation of a mighty planet like Jupiter, with his satellites, keeping time to a second as it rolls around the sun; perfect in the formation of the smallest insect that crawls over a foot of ground.”

(J. C. Ryle, Holiness)

Sin is detestable to God (Jeremiah 44:4). He cannot look upon that which is evil (Hab. 1:13). For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10). The soul who continues in sin is the one who will die (Ezekiel 18:4). The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).  It is God who judges the secrets of men’s hearts (Rom. 2:16).  The wicked will be sent away to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46). Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful (Rev. 21.27). The stench of sin will not be tolerated in the presence of God who is holy and spotless and pure. It cannot be.

There is no greater proof of the fullness of sin than at the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The  entire  doctrine  of  His  substitution  and  atonement  is  evidence  of  the seriousness of sin and God’s hatred of it.

“Terribly black must that guilt be for which nothing but the blood of the Son of God could make satisfaction. Heavy must that weight of human sin be which made Jesus groan and sweat drops as of blood in agony at Gethsemane and cry at Golgotha, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ (Matt. 27:46).  Nothing, I am  convinced, will astonish us so much, when we awake in the resurrection day, as the view we shall have of sin and the retrospect we shall take of our own countless shortcomings and defects. Never till the hour when Christ comes the second time shall we fully realize the ‘sinfulness of sin’.” (Ryle)

Our sin separates us from God. It is a stench in His nostrils. Just as we can’t stand to be in the presence of those little creatures with odoriferous scents, God refuses to allow any who are covered with the scent of sin into His presence. Thanks be to God, that by His Grace, He has provided a way for us to fellowship with Him. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). God turned His face away from Jesus while he was on the cross. Our Holy God ‘forsook’ Him who knew no sin as He (Jesus) became sin for us. Our sin, and the stench of our depravity, Jesus presented to the Father, as a holy and living sacrifice. His righteousness is our righteousness as we come before the One God, Holy and Righteous, and Pure, through faith and repentance in the one who is our Righteousness, Jesus Christ.

No matter what you do to a skunk, it will always be a skunk. Even when its scent gland is removed, it still carries a distinct odor of ‘skunk’. We are still sinners, saved by God’s grace, allowed into His presence because Jesus Christ intercedes for us, but we are still sinners none the less.  May  we  with  an  ever increasing  awareness  understand  the seriousness of sin.  Individually it separates us from God.  Corporately if left unchecked, it will destroy His Church. We should rejoice that our sins are covered, but we should mourn over the remaining sin in our lives. That mourning should force us to our knees as we bow before Him asking for forgiveness, repenting of our sins and turning from our evil ways.

O My Saviour,
I thank thee from the depths of my being
for thy wondrous grace and love
in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree.
May thy cross be to me
as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs,
as the rod that blossoms with life and  beauty.
as the brazen serpent that calls forth the look of faith.
By thy cross crucify my every sin;
Use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;
Make it the ground of all my comfort,
the liveliness of all my duties,
the sum of all thy gospel promises,
the comfort of all my afflictions,
the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces,
the very essence of my religion;
And by it give me that rest without rest,
the rest of ceaseless praise.
(from the Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur Bennett)

Blessings and Peace to you all,

Pastor Mark

Nothing is Everything!

As I’ve been preparing for Holy Week – Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday services, it struck me once again that so many of the ‘realities’ of God’s kingdom are ‘ironies’ in this world . . the first are last, the last are first . . .the blind are those that see . . . the lame are those who walk . . . in order to live you must die and dying ushers us into another world where we are more truly alive than now . . . everything here is really nothing – only shadows of the reality that is to come where the nothing of the now becomes the everything of then . . .

I know of a place
where richer is poorer
and poorer is richer
where nothing is everything you see.

I know of a place
where wisdom is folly
and folly is wisdom,
where nothing is everything to me.

I know of a place
where the first become last
and the last become first
where nothing is everything you can be.

I know of a place
where servants are leaders
and kings become slaves
where nothing is everything to me.

I know of a place
where living is dying
and dying is living,
where everything is nothing you see.

It’s another world’s place
where the humble are lifted
and the proud are abased,
where the best is totally free.

Where is this place?
You may ask so to know.
This place is right here and right now.
You must become blind
so that you may have sight
and then enter
with faith as a child.

M C S