From the Pastor's Pen
October 1, 2017
Why are so many giving up on the power of the gospel? Is this why prayer meetings are essentially silent? Have we now decided that science is the answer and our destiny is framed by technology? Do we agree with the guru’s that the world is an accident ruled by random forces, having began as an explosion and now on its way to an unknown end?
If humanity is fixable with a little scientific tweaking, a few minor modifications, a pill or two early each morning, then all that we say God is and about is myth and so much nonsense. Do we believe that? Can we look at the changes that have taken place in our own lives and credit them to whispering winds, random force, or luck? Is there no evidence that the gracious hand of a power far beyond our own has touched the inner core of our being?
The faith of the rolling ages has found the most satisfying answer to the mysteries of life by looking up. Though there is value in looking about where is displayed the power and deity of God, the most amazing reflection of the glory of God is found in the tortured face of Jesus Christ. A too long look at ourselves will show our plain need of a saving grace but we will not find it until we are halted at Calvary and look up upon Him who died for us there.
That is the gospel and it holds the last best hope for a lost and dying world. That truth is in part entrusted to us. We must pass it on.
Call to Worship
October 1, 2017
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew within me a right spirit.” Let us worship God.
October 1, 2017
“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets” - Napoleon I
Grace Covenant Ministries
“We are a Covenant people, impacting a broken and hurting world with the Christ of redeeming love”
From a Biblical perspective the statement above identifies “who we are,” “the work we are called to do,” and “the means by which the work will be accomplished.” In stating these three areas, the Collegiate Consistory has created a mental picture or vision of what the work of Grace Covenant Ministries is all about. A brief explanation of each area follows.
“We are a Covenant people”
A covenant is an agreement/promise between two parties. Generally, these are bilateral agreements which are binding on both parties. There are, however, promises God made with His people that are unilateral—binding only on Himself. History reveals that God is a covenant making God, but also a covenant keeping God. He never breaks his promises. A few examples follow:
- To Noah He promised never again to destroy the world by flood (Gen. 9:12-17)
- To Abraham He promised to bless his descendants and make them His own special people (Gen. 12: 1-3)
- To Moses He promised “--out of all nations you will be my treasured possession--a kingdom of priest and a holy nation” (Ex. 19: 5-6)
- To David He promised that he and his descendant would be the royal heirs to the throne of the nation of Israel (2 Sam. 7: 12-16)
- To us He promises a “new covenant” under which we are justified by God’s grace and mercy because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Hebr.8: 8-12 and Acts 2:29-39
Jesus said when eating the Passover meal at the Last Supper with His disciples, “this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). This covenant is intended for all mankind--every man, woman and child, regardless of race. As believers in Christ we are redeemed “children of promise” (Gal. 4: 28 & Rom. 9:8. We are heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). We are a Covenant people.
“--Impacting a broken and hurting world”
The word “impacting” means leaving a deep impression or having a compelling effect on something or someone. Impacting causes change to occur. It leaves the target of its focus different than it was before. As covenant people we are called to impact a broken and hurting world. It requires us to be catalysts of change, instruments used by God to make a difference in the world. Impacting implies that differences come when connections are made. We are called to be imitators of Christ (Eph. 5:1) with a goal of pleasing Him. Compelled by His love we are to care about those He cares about, and to love those He loves. We have been reconciled to God through Christ who has extended to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5: 18-20). As His ambassadors we are, through word and deed, to make a difference in our lost and need world. There must remain, in the wake of our presence and efforts, a positive impression and a compelling difference. Christ is the answer. It is He who redeems, it is He who brings new life, and it is He in whose name we serve.
“--with the Christ of redeeming love.”
Scripture records various names and/or titles used in reference to Christ. Each name, with its special meaning, helps us answer the question, “Who is ‘the Christ’?” A few references follow:
- In the prophecy of Isaiah (7: 14) he is called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
- The Gospel of Matthew (1:21) records that Mary was to give her new born son the name Jesus, meaning “Savior.”
- Matthew (16:16) also records that during his public ministry Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ (meaning Immanuel) the Son of the Living God.
- In the Gospel of John (4: 25-26) Jesus tells a Samaritan woman the he is the Messiah, meaning “The Anointed One.”
The names help us understand that Christ is The Anointed One who is with us always. He is Jesus, our Savior who seeks and saves those who are lost. His love led him to Calvary’s cross to purchase our salvation. It is He who we must make known. It is His story of redeeming love that we are to tell.