Friday, November 6, 2009

My brother Ed once said...

I am honored to have such a good older brother. His heart is toward the Lord's work on Cape Cod and the world. And he knows how to tell us what is on the Heart of God. Earlier this month, Ed said something like this:

We are asking God to help us build God's church God's way. The Lord has been using our worship services to prepare us to grow in our understanding of what it will mean for us to become a biblical, New Testament-inspired fellowship of believers.

I'm sure you have heard the testimonies of Christian believers who live in countries where persecution is a real and daily possibility. When asked if we should pray for God to cause the persecution to be lifted, such disciples of Jesus often respond that it is hard and painful circumstances that keep them on their knees and growing in grace. In our own world today, a hard time is frequently no more than not finding your favorite coffee shop open for business. Although many Believers may live in poverty, most of us have experienced very little of the hardship that much of our world lives in every day. Indeed, it is the grievous sin of passivity that holds us in bondage and keeps us focused selfishly on our own ambitions and blinded to the priorities of the Kingdom of God.

Therefore, given the lack of difficulty that might encourage us in growing toward maturity as children of God, I want to ask a few questions: are you developing in grace? Are you growing in fruitfulness? Are you taking what you are learning to help another to find peace in God? Or, do you find yourself so incredibly busy that God will just have to be satisfied receiving the leftovers of your life? If that is truthfully our condition today, then how will our church ever succeed in becoming the Biblical and New Testament-inspired fellowship of believers God has called us to become?

And I added: This Sunday, November 8, we will turn our attention to Luke 19:41-44, looking to God's Word to both encourage and challenge us. Vidar Aronsen will return from his ministry to a closed country where “persecution is a real and daily possible” and share what the Lord is doing there. As we need to be doing, please take time before you come to ICCS to pray for our church and for friends and members of our families that we believe God is inviting to personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Stan (in LA)