Thursday, July 31, 2008

God Knows What We Need

Over the past few weeks I've been working my way through a, biography of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, two-volume set by author Iain H. Murray. It has been fantastic! Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), was pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, and is believed to be, according to many, one of the greatest preachers of the 20th - century.

One particular excerpt from Murray's 2nd-volume is a portion of a letter Lloyd-Jones received from a gentleman who was a guest during a Sunday worship service. The letter was written in 1945:

"If I had spent hours in trying to tell you of my own particular problems and needs at the present moment and had you designed the whole of this morning's service for my special benefit, not a verse or petition or a word would have needed to be altered. Perhaps the very reason for the difficulties that have kept me in London this week was to enable me to be present in service this morning."

As I read this I couldn't help but smile. So often I have had dear people come to me after a service and ask, "How did you know?" Or, "Did someone tell you what I've been going through?". My answer of course is "I didn't know", and "No" - But God knows. It reminds me that there is so much more going on in a worship service than we can actually see. The Wonderful Councelor is present, He's speaking. Oh that we would hear Him and obey.

Pastor Van

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Evidence Against Us

Consider the following verses from the Bible:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3:19)

"For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil."

(Eccles. 12:14)

According to God's Word we are all guilty before God, and we will one day stand before Him to give an account for our deeds. For some this sounds outrageous. It did for me at one time - but not anymore. I became convinced and convicted, with the evidence overwhelming me.

It's hard to imagine, but prior to the twentieth century there was no reliable way to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. All that changed in 1905 with one solitary fingerprint left behind at a grizzly crime scene.

On the gripping surfaces of the hands and feet, 3,000 sweat glands per square inch crowd together more densely than anywhere else on the body. Keeping the skin lubricated so it does not crack, the glands also make each finger like a self-inking rubber pad, leaving calling cards on every surface it touches.

What is the fingerprint evidence against us that establishes our guilt before God? Actually there's much, but here is a sample. We were created by God to know Him, to make Him our ultimate, but by nature we rebel against this. We don't want to know Him, much less obey Him. Then, to make matters worse, we idolize other things, (even good things: beauty, career, reputation, etc.), and make them our ultimates instead. And according to the Bible, this is sin.

In 1907, a criminal tried to remove his finger ridges. He chopped away at his fingertips with a dirty metal tag attached to his boot lace, all in a desperate attempt to avoid being identified and face heavy sentence as a repeat offender. But in a few weeks the ridges grew back.

In a similar way, some will deny the evidence of their guilt before God. But the bad news is the fingerprints are there. Still, there's good news. Jesus Christ died to erase our guilt. Through faith in Him our sins are washed away. We are justified (declared "not guilty") through faith in Jesus.

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace..." (Eph. 1:7)

Pastor Van Morris