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We Live For His Glory Because of His Gift of Grace in Christ

September 8, 2021

Leadership Notes

As requested, here's what I shared from John Mason @LivingGod'sTruth:

God doesn't need our praise. He's God with or without it. God

doesn't need our obedience. He's glorified with or without it.

The worst thing you can do is believe your good works will earn

God's favor and acceptance.

We live for His glory because of His gift of grace in Christ.

I shared this at the start of worship because it is Biblical truth, and because it reflects what we're learning from Paul's letter to the Galatians. This past Sunday, 115 people gathered for worship. It was a beautiful morning. I'm reminded of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said about worship:

"The physical presence of other believers is a source of incomparable joy

and strength to the believer."

This Sunday, September 12, Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m. We're all going to have to really discipline ourselves as far as time management goes, as worship remains at 10:00 a.m. This is new territory for all of us. As I will be teaching a class {in the library}, it's going to be a challenge for me to use the time wisely and responsibly. I may need a timekeeper to keep me on time!

My wife and I were watching something Saturday night, and for the life of me, I can't remember what it was, but a character said something that I wanted to remember, so I emailed it to myself. One character said to the other, "You're letting your fear take over, Martin..." As I've always said, controllers love to ramp up fear. Those with an inner bent toward authoritarianism use fear to keep people in check. We never want to let fear take over. Of course, especially during a pandemic, we are reasonable and rational. But we never want to be fearful. We understand that life is about risk. We wish it weren't so, but that's the way it is. I know Covid-19, for many people of all ages and backgrounds, can be a horrible disease. Most of us have known at least one person who has died from it or with it. We don't want to be careless. We take precautions. We try not to flirt with death. But we don't want to cower in fear. Risk is everywhere. Think of the lives that would be saved if no car could go faster than 20 MPH. Again, careful… cautious…and unafraid.

If you're new to Covenant Church, please know that as we move forward with worship and Sunday School, we understand that people will make decisions based on what they think are in the best interest of themselves and their families. We honor the choices people make as those who are freed in Christ to live lives that bring him the glory. For example, I will be getting the regular flu shot this fall as well as the Pfizer Covid booster when it becomes available. That's my choice, imposed by no one on me. Therefore, I personally reject vaccine mandates and vaccine passports. It's never a good thing to isolate, segregate, or villainize people over a virus that is something like 99.5% survivable. My hope and prayer is that Covenant Church remain open and accepting to all people, regardless of how they choose to navigate this challenging season we find ourselves in.

One final thought. All over this great country of ours, there are millions of people who are Christians, who offer kindness, love, comfort, and care to hurting people. They are hugely encouraging and gracious people {and they know that being offended isn't a fruit of the Spirit!}, who get up every day determined to make their little corner of God's world a better place. They vastly outnumber the unkind, hypercritical, hypocritical, or violent. God has made them for a time such as this.

And now for your Moment of Spurgeon:

The angels perfectly love God, and yet with holy fear they veil their faces

with their wings as they approach Him; and when we shall in glory behold

the face of God, and shall be filled with all His fullness, we shall not cease

humbly and reverently to adore the Infinite Majesty.

With Much Love and Affection,


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