I am the creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God returning to God; just hovering over the great gulf; till a few moments hence I am no more seen; I drop into unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing, the way to heaven; how to land safe on that bright shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price give me the book of God! Lord is it not Thy Word- “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God? Thou givest liberally, and upbraidest not. Thou hast said, if any be willing to do Thy will he shall know. I am willing to do; let me know Thy will. -John Wesley
I don’t see how I could gather enough strength to be able to lead my wife’s funeral. Somehow Dr. E.V. Hill with great eloquence, humor and biblical fortitude establishes such a celebration of worship to His God even in the midst of his wife dying from cancer. Take the twenty minutes to laugh and cry listening to the love of a godly man to a godly woman.
My morning routine usually consists of a zombie-like walk to the french press and to my bible for my daily reading. It is a precious time that my wife and I have and I think I will write a separate post about our specific yearly reading plan in the future. Usually after my time in the Word and prayer Ill take 15 minutes to read through my google reader, and this morning this video showed up through Abraham Piper’s 22 Words blog:
Belonging to a small but prestigious group of large men who easily cry, you can guess that while watching this video I came into tears, not necessarily because of the Titanic’s great loss, but the truly beautiful analogy that is represented in this man’s testimony. I ask you to watch it again but with the words of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians alongside:
II Corinthians 2.14-17: Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of DEATH leading to DEATH, and to the other the aroma of LIFE leading to LIFE. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so man, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
While watching the clip, for a moment I felt the world. An existence lived with the constant putrid miasma of death forever surrounding us because of our sin. A life without any hope to rest upon because of our offense to the living God, and the only destiny we can see ahead of us is the judgment of our omnipotent Creator.
But Christ who was willing to put on flesh, to dwell among us, with the one purpose of Redemption upon His mind, He opens up that fragrance to us and we experience that Hope that is impossible outside of a perfect sacrifice.
We don’t deserve to smell that fragrance, to breathe in that great HOPE that Christ has given us, but his rich Gospel is to be opened and to be smelled, and it is by His great grace that Christ would use us, such unworthy vials, to hold such a costly fragrance and to diffuse it to a dying world.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Last night was the end of Genesis and the last teaching from Ben Vizcarra here at Calvary Bristol. When the last words were spoken and reflected on in chapter fifty, there truly was a palatable sigh of accomplishment. It brought us to a great time of fellowship and continued discussion of what we considered to be the applicable factor of Genesis, that of new beginnings. I think that was probably the reason Ben desired to start with Genesis, because our church was, and in some ways, is still in a Genesis phase. From the perspective of leadership it is not hard to console the time between the studying of Genesis with the time spent in every other aspect of ministry and look upon it as a season of time.
Hannah and I have been continually amazed how the Lord has given us the clarity of vision to see His hand working in the minutest of details to accomplish what He desires in this church plant, IN SPITE, of ourselves and our limitations. Seeing how opening our home really was the best way to invite and encourage others to take part in this work. By exposing our vunerabilities by inviting them into our personal space, has shown a sincerity that works together with those that desire a church that remains relevant to the world yet uncompromising when it comes to the limitless value of Scripture.
Next week, we will spending the remaining month of November in the epistle to the Colossians. For many reasons I see our church having had a relationship with the church work that happened thousands of years ago in the small city of Colosse. This epistle was the great love letter of a, if not THE, leader of the apostolic church movement, to a church plant that was very much like ours. Meeting in a home, being a fairly new church plant within a culture that did not understand the purpose of a small group of individuals desiring to change their city for the glory of God. We desire to look to the source: Christ Jesus as the answer, the origin, and the purpose of our existence. We’ve had our beginning, and now we are in the need of maturing. It is a very exciting time.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.