Jesus Loves To The End

March 17, 2021

Leadership Notes


{"Rocky Road to Dublin" is My Favorite Song Today}


My oldest granddaughter is on the Columbia Central High School Bowling Team. Their home matches are at Ten Pin Alley, which makes it convenient for Lori and I to cheer them on. On Monday, as we waited for the games to start, as I watched the high school kids {there were 4 or 5 schools there}, as I watched these boys and girls, with their masks on, warming up, I thought about all they'd been through, as well as all the others students in Michigan, through these past 12 months. They were out there, doing their thing, getting ready to enjoy a little pin-strike competition. I have so much respect for how they've been rolling along.


I thank God for kids who are resilient. By God's grace, and gentle adult guidance, these young people will be stronger when this is all over. For most of them, this will be credited to the personal growth and betterment account. Even our most difficult challenges or setbacks are learning experiences. We gain insight about ourselves and our ability to persevere as well as God's grace in all things. I pray daily for this generation.


John 13:1 says:


Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had

come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who

were in the world, he loved them to the end.


I love Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's simple reflections on this passage. She writes, "We love until we are betrayed. Jesus continued to the cross despite betrayal. We love until we are forsaken. Jesus loved through forsakenness. We love up to a limit. Jesus loves to the end."


As a couple of folks reminded me after worship on Sunday, it's good to have some discernment over songs like "Imagine" by John Lennon. The same goes for people who think "Every Breath You Take" by The Police is a romantic song. If that song was played at your prom or wedding reception, my condolences. Likewise, churches who have huge Easter egg hunts might want to rethink their mission strategy.


Speaking of pitying the fool, Mr. T writes:


"The Word of God is my protection, weapon, shield, and my Comfort.

When God speaks, I listen. If God said it, I believe it. Thank you God!..."


I love this passage:


Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.


We live out of these words. This has been our song throughout the 2020-2021 pandemic. We paused worship for a short time, until more was known, but when we opened up, we were committed to staying open. I thank God for the wisdom of our elders in opening up for worship on June 21, 2020, and keeping us open. We declare God's glory and respect people to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.


Tim Allen said, "Been questioning life's up and down moments since I was a kid. This showed up today. There are no coincidences - 'In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other.'" {Ecclesiastes 7:14} You, too?


I pray for joy in the hearts of our children and grandchildren. They will face different, and in many ways, more burdensome challenges then we have ever faced. I pray that they will see God's goodness in all things. I pray that they will wake up every morning, rejoicing in the Lord. It has concerned me to see and hear about so many adults so fearful this past year. I pray for confidence and resilience for the younger generations. Every day I'm alive is a gift from God. I pray joy for them, in both prosperity and adversity.


Here's a spine-straightening comment from Martin Luther:


So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you

deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and

hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my

behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall

be also!"


And finally, your Moment of Spurgeon:


"Does the world satisfy thee? Then thou hast thy reward and portion in this

life; make much of it, for thou shalt know no other joy."


With Much Love and Affection,


Richard

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