We live at a time when truth is determined by our senses. Those thing which can be observed and studied are what most often gain attention in the public eye. But what about those everyday happenings that can’t be explained through our senses?
Paul, an early worker in the Church, referenced the fact that not all things can be explained. In Collosians 1: 24-27, he writes, “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
He admitted that God was working something new by including people other than just Jews into his plan for saving the world. This was the complete opposite of everything he and all the Jewish people had understood, but God had helped protect his people so Jesus could save everyone.
Peter, a close friend of Jesus, wrote a letter to early Christian believers. 1 Peter 1:10-12 reads, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.”
What’s so amazing in Peter’s mind is that the work of Jesus’s saving grace amazes even the angels in heaven. If anyone other than God had tried to come up with a plan for setting the world right it would have been unsatisfactory. Only God’s plan of sending his own son, Jesus, could create a way for all things to be made right again, and that’s the message of “Mystery”, “Christ has died and Christ is risen. Christ will come again!” Praise the Lord we have a way to be right with our Maker once again.
How in the world is it 2016? I was just getting used to 2015 and it is gone! Maybe you’ve also noticed that life never seems to slow down. Seconds turn into minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, and before we realize it, weeks and months are flying by. Simply put, this world appears to be unstoppable, and sometimes, the problems of life seem to be insurmountable.
We can easily be swept up in the current of every day living and lose track of reality and of God. With all the strife we see today, it’s easy to think that the world is out of control and there is no way to make sense of it all, but there’s a character in the Bible who experienced an unstoppable God in the craziness of life. That man is Job, and in the book bearing his name, he is stricken with loss and illness, and in the midst of the hurt, his closest friends tried to get him to renounce his faith in God. But when he engages the Creator of the universe, the response is simply breathtaking.
Job 38: 1-11 reads: Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?”
Simply put, when God is asked to account for Job’s situation, he had but one reply: “I’m an unstoppable God, and my wisdom cannot be grasped by man.” Now, don’t think that God was somehow rude to Job. He was simply setting the record straight that he is in control. Nothing is outside the notice of God, and nothing is beyond his understanding. As we jump into a brand new year, we’re introducing this song Sunday as a reminder that no matter how big our problems appear, we still serve an unstoppable God, one who has the power and wisdom to create all things and work in manner for our good. Take heart, a loving, unstoppable who cares for all of his children is in control.
On Sunday, September 14, we launch a three-week worship series called “Parenting Beyond Our Capacity.” Parenting is a big task – for many of us, the biggest challenge we’ll ever face. We need all the help we can get! And even if you don’t happen to be a parent, or if your kids are already “out of the nest,” you still have a big stake in how other people are parenting their children. For these three Sundays (September 14, 21, and 28), we’ll be hearing true personal stories and reflections from some of our RCC friends who’ve discovered very helpful insights on this subject, insights from which we can all profit. Here are the “pillars” of what we’ll be sharing with you…
*September 14 – “Make it personal!” and “Fight for the heart!”
*September 21 – “Imagine the end!” and “Create a rhythm!”
*September 28 – “Widen the circle!”
Actually, these principles apply not just to parenting but to any attempt on our part to “meet people where they are and help them follow Jesus.” We hope you’ll be present to get the full benefit!
Are you a Christian? Don’t answer that question too quickly. There’s more to it than first meets the eye!
“Christian” is a word that gets used a lot – but often not in the most helpful ways. To some people, it means merely “not an atheist, Jew, Moslem, or Hindu.” To others, it means “somebody who goes to church a lot.” Still, to others, it just means “a nice person.” As a culture, we’ve really managed to drain the power from a potentially very powerful concept! The word “Christian” appears only three times in the Bible, and one of those times (the only time by one of Jesus’ 12 apostles) is in the Book of I Peter. That seems appropriate, because that whole letter is about defining a truly “Christ-i-an” life. Come along with us this fall, as Peter teaches us some practical aspects of what “Christian” really means!
Here is the video we shared on Sunday, February 27. Feel free to watch it again, share it with friends, and remember that God doesn’t make junk!
Forever by Chris Tomlin
You You Are God by Walker Beach
Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down) by Robbie Seay Band
Maybe you’ve heard – the Summer Olympics are right around the corner! Millions will watch in fascination as hundreds of outstanding athletes demonstrate their amazing prowess during the London 2012 Games. Very appropriately, the Olympic motto is “Faster, Higher, Stronger!” In a way, that should be the Christ-follower’s motto as well. Our passion should be to train ourselves to be Godly (I Timothy 4:7), so that we can run the race of life effectively and become as much like Jesus Christ as possible. Easy to talk about — hard to do. It takes a lot of work! So RCC’s July-August theme will be “Faster, Higher, Stronger!” Using many athletic metaphors in the New Testament, we’ll creatively pursue the spiritual disciplines that make for a growing faith and a winning approach to the Christian life. We hope you’ll join us on this quest!
O Worship the King by Chris Tomlin