Archives for July 2015

Praises July 31 2015

by CPC Member Sandra Bair
Praise to you, O Majesty, our Redeemer Lord Jesus!
You are our Creator and our Eternal Hope!
Savior Jesus, you freed your repentant believers from sin’s cost:
Redeeming us – by dying on a cross for the world’s sins;
Raised to life from death the third day, as scripture told.
Jesus shared bread with His Apostles, and told them –
Receive the Holy Spirit. Go preach the gospel to all earth’s people,
Making disciples of every nation, baptizing them in name of
Father, and name of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
We who in faith, believe in You, Savior Jesus, are forever yours!
Praise to Jesus, our Master, Savior, High Priest, and King!
We sing to you, blessed Jesus, for your Love, Grace, and Mercy!

Praises, July 24 2015

by CPC Member: Sandra Bair
Blessed be our Eternal Redeemer Jesus!
Our Tender Shepherd and Living Lord;
Ever leading us, having freed us;
Praise and honor to Jesus, only Son of God!
Blessed be the Prince of Peace, our King!
Mighty, and Holy, Holy, Holy is He;
Jesus, the radiance of His Father’s glory!
Praise to our loving Savior, center of our days!
Blessed be our Lord Jesus, Righteous and True;
There is nothing that is not subject to Him;
All honor and glory to His Name forever!
Let all peoples and creation, sing Him praises!
Praise to Jesus, for His Forgiveness and Love!
All who in faith, believe in Jesus, and repent of their sins,
Find Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and eternal life!
Praise Most Blessed Lord Jesus, our only salvation!

Enter by the Narrow Gate

(this week from Wayne Metcalf)

“Enter by the narrow gate….    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life….” Matthew 7:13-14

If we are going to liNarrow gateve as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult.  The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in— it stirs us up to overcome.  Do we appreciate the miraculous salvation of Jesus Christ enough to be our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory?

God saves people by His sovereign grace through the atonement of Jesus, and “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). But we have to “work out” that salvation in our everyday, practical living (Philippians 2:12). If we will only start on the basis of His redemption to do what He commands, then we will find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not yet put into practice what God has placed within us. But a crisis will reveal whether or not we have been putting it into practice. If we will obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has placed within us by His Spirit, then when a crisis does come we will find that our own nature, as well as the grace of God, will stand by us.

Thank God
that He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery, courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), and God will not shield us from the requirements of sonship. God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the worthy and excellent life of a disciple of Jesus in the realities of life. And it is always necessary for us to make an effort to live a life of worth and excellence. (My utmost for His highest; 7/7/15)

Many years ago I read something that impressed me so profoundly that I have worried little since. It said: “A man of God in the will of God is immortal until his work on earth is done.”

Be blessed,

Wayne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Wish Me Luck

(this week’s devotion by CPC Elder Brian Lindman)

Question 11What are God’s works of providence?

unbrokenIn May, 1943 Louie Zamperini and the crew of the Green Hornet, a patched together B-24 Liberator, flew east from Hawaii on a search and rescue mission for one of their fellow aircrews. When the plane’s No. 1 engine failed, Zamperini and two others went from rescuers to castaways. They floated east across the Pacific in an underinflated life raft for the next 47 days. They survived storms, sharks, strafing, starvation and dehydration before spotting an island on the 46th day. On the morning of the 47th day, as they were paddling toward the island with the little strength left in their bodies, a boat pulled up from behind them – rescued at last!

Except that the boat was a Japanese gun boat, the island – Kwajalein, the notorious POW camp where the Japanese had already executed hundreds of American and Allied POWs. Providence rescued Zamperini and fellow crewman, Phil Phillips, from the sea, but delivered them into the hands of a cruel and implacable enemy and two more years of intense suffering and privation. Why?

As followers of Christ we do not attribute the circumstances, events and people in our lives to fate, chance, luck, coincidence, karma or kismet. Like Paul, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”1 But the answer to Question 11 in the Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that the reach of God’s works of providence extends not just to believers, but to all of his creatures and all of their actions. It says,

AnswerGod’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preservation and control of all his creatures, and all their actions.

The answer describes his works of providence as holy, wise and powerful. They preserve and control all creatures of his creation and all their actions. Put otherwise, his works are without sin or evil. They are carefully considered, couched in the counsel of the one who knows all.  And they are infused with the Creator’s power – the power to change, to re-create, to save.

Nothing exists outside of, or apart from God’s providential works. If that is so, it brings us back to the question, why? Why do life’s circumstances and events take unexpected, undesired, harsh, even seemingly cruel, turns, as in Louie Zamperini’s case?

The most succinct answers to these questions can be found in Paul’s writings in Scripture; the statement from Romans 8:28, above, and from Philippians 2:13, which says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”  In all things, God’s purposes are the priority; and in all things, his purposes prevail.  The encouragement for the believer is that his purpose in us is good. The circumstances may be bad, the events painful, the people cruel and evil – but for his people, his purposes in all of them is good.

Interestingly two of the great statements from scripture regarding God’s works of providence come from two great men whom God greatly humbled and graciously restored, for his own great purposes. In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar declares this,

“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.  All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

And in Philippians 2, Paul says,

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.  As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.  Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly…  The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.  I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Louie Zamperini didn’t know it at the time, but God’s purpose extended to him as well.  After coming to faith in Christ following the war, Louie wrote this to the jailer who had tortured him for two years and very nearly taken his life.

“Under your discipline, my rights, not only as a prisoner of war but also as a human being, were stripped from me.  It was a struggle to maintain enough dignity and hope to live until the war’s end.

The post-war nightmares caused my life to crumble, but thanks to a confrontation with God through the evangelist Billy Graham, I committed my life to Christ. Love replaced the hate I had for you. Christ said, “Forgive your enemies and pray for them.”2

When we really begin to understand what are God’s works of providence, we begin to see them everywhere, and him in them. So much so, that even in the difficult works of providence, we can say along with Joseph, “am I in God’s place?  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result…So therefore, do not be afraid.”3

1 – Romans 8:28

2Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, pp. 396-397

3 – Gen. 50:19-21, NASB

Praises, July 17th 2015

by CPC Member – Sandra Bair
Praise to our Creator Lord!
How Holy and Marvelous is our Lord in heaven!
From before time, through time, He is God of all!
All of nature points to Jesus in beautiful harmony;
Praise His Name over all His creation!
 
Praise to our Creator Lord!
Our Creator God made the earth, seas, and skies!
Creation and living things were fashioned by God’s Word;
Be it the sea, land, air, plants, man or mountaintop;
Praise Jesus’ Name throughout all His creation!
 
Praise to our Creator Lord!
Jesus created man, then woman from man’s rib:
Made in God’s image, He breathed life into both.
God desired and had fellowship with them.
Sing Jesus’ Name for all His creation!
 
Praise to our Creator Lord!
How Holy and full of Grace is the Lord Jesus!
God provided a Perfect Garden for their home!
People were  to care for God’s whole creation!
Sing Jesus’ Name for all His creation and love!
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