Saturday, April 25, 2015


One of the great blessings that comes with faith in Jesus is knowing that God doesn't change.  Knowledge of God doesn't come to us automatically but it is something that we begin to learn as we spend time reading our Bibles, spend time in prayer with God, and hear God's word preached and taught. 

This morning I was reading Psalm 36 and in the heart of the Psalm are these words:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God?
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.

In the past few weeks I have made a number of trips to hospitals in Farmington and Albuquerque.  As a pastor I have spent time with people from our community who are going through some very hard times.  Some of those people I know well and others I have only met for the first time when I visited them.

I sit with them and their families and hear their stories.  Sometimes I read some scripture with them.  Some of these people are members of our church and others are friends or relatives of members.  I am a pastor, but not always their pastor, so I offer to read from my Bible and let them make the decision.  And I have always prayed with them.

Like reading from the Bible, I always ask, but no one has declined.  And in those moments of prayer I usually find myself  beginning with words like those in the Psalm above.  Being in the hospital is the kind of circumstance which brings to mind the fact that while our situation may be difficult, that there is much that seems wrong and out of place, we can turn towards God and trust that He is in full knowledge and control of what is going on.

We come to Him in prayer, knowing that His love is both steadfast and a place of refuge.  God's love for His children  is fixed.  It is firm.  It is unwavering.  And it is a place where we can come to find shelter, protection and safety.

In these recent trips to the hospital I have seen the storms of life raging.  And it has been my privilege to call on the precious and steadfast love of God to hold and carry His children through the storm. 

May you know this precious and unfailing love, this place of refuge, in your life today.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Savior's Glory

Yesterday it was my privilege to lead the community Easter sunrise worship service.  On Easter morning, as the sun comes up, we have a worship service on the hill a bit behind our church.  This picture was taken shortly before we started, as people were walking up the hill and the sun was beginning to break across a ridge east of town.

Last night I was reading Psalm 8, which opens with this verse:

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens."

Reading that verse took me back to a moment during our sunrise worship, a bit farther along when the sun was fully visible, just at the top of the ridge.  I was facing the congregation and had my back to the sun, and as I was speaking I turned briefly towards it as I said something about the rising sun on that first Easter morning. 

And when I looked towards the sun I was struck by two thoughts.  The first was how dazzlingly bright it was at that very moment.  It was so bright that I could not look at for more than a brief moment.  And the second thought was that as bright as it was, it was only a kind of weak indicator of the glory of our risen Savior, Jesus.  The brightness of His glory, right now, is something so powerful that I, sinner that I am, wouldn’t be able to stand its presence for even a moment. 

But…and this is a significant "but"…I am a sinner saved by His grace and mercy towards me.  Easter reminds me of many things, and one of those things is that one day He is coming again, in great glory.  And all those who are His will delight in His glory.  One of the passages I preached from on Easter during our regular morning worship was Colossians 3:1-4, which says this in the closing verse:

"When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

The brightness found in yesterday's sunrise was a reminder of the glory of my Savior, Jesus, a glory that will be seen fully when He returns.  It is a glory I will not try to hide from, only because I am His.  Rather, it will be a great delight to see His glory, and to be with Him in it.    

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.