Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Do We Need A Fresh View of God?

In the early 1800's leading up to The War of 1812, the British had their eye upon the Mississippi River. Whoever controlled this great body of water would have crucial access to the interior of the United States.

Therefore, the War Department sent marching orders to the Tennessee militia, led by Andrew Jackson, to descend the Cumberland and the Mississippi to New Orleans to defend against a seaborne British assault.

But could a rag-tag militia ever be inspired to defend a river? The answer was, yes, once they had a view of it.

Jackson and his men piled into thirty boats and headed down the Cumberland River. After a brief delay where the Cumberland and the Ohio met, the chronicler of the voyage got a thrill at the Mississippi.

"Who can withhold his emotions while viewing the beauties of this august river, this Father of Waters?, he wrote. "It is the grand reservoir of the streamlets from a thousand hills...The production of every climate are destined to float on its bosom."

In his book Andrew Jackson : His Life and Times, H. W. Brands commented, "To see the great river was to know why it must be defended, why it must remain American."

In troubled times, Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1) was granted a fresh view of God, seated high upon a throne. Isaiah could not withhold his emotions as he faced with the beauty of God's holiness. This fresh view of God inspired Isaiah to confess his sin and his unholiness, and ultimately offer himself in service to God by saying, "Here I am, send me."

Yes, we do need a fresh view of God. And may He graciously grant us this.

Pastor Van

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Proper Christian Motivation

As I begin a new year, I am asking myself : What is it that will keep me going this year? For example: What will keep me faithfully on task when I am being severely criticized and unappreciated? What will prompt me to sacrifice when it seems that no one else is sacrificing? What will keep me giving to help the needy and not become cynical? What will cause me to give of myself when I am sorely tempted to look for ways to maximize my own pleasures? In other words: What will be my motivation this year?

Motive is that which prompts an individual to act. For the Christian, there is a dominant, recurring theme in God's redemptive plan which prompts them to act. A good example of this motif is found in the following statement:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9 ; (ESV)

"Grace" includes the message of Jesus' death and resurrection, His atoning work, peace with God, remission of sin, and the Lord's abiding presence. The grace of Jesus was demonstrated in His becoming poor for our sakes. Never in the entire history of the universe did anyone abandon so much in order to become so poor for so many.

The grace of the Lord Jesus is the dominant, recurring theme in God's redemptive plan. And for those who have truly received such grace through faith in Christ, this grace begets grace. Simply put, we are to be an instrument through which God's grace reaches others. We do this while remaining faithful, by sacrificing, by giving, by serving.

At C.C.C. we have adopted the above verse as our theme for 2007. This will be where we realign ourselves with a proper Christian motive in order to engage ourselves in the great cause we have been called to.

Do you want to be a part of a great cause? Them come and join us.

Pastor Van Morris