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The world is such a crazy, discouraging place sometimes. The brainwashing is so extensive that reasoned analysis is seemingly difficult for many. I hope this increases your commitment to being involved in church and Christian community. Not that a perfect church exists — churches are full of sinners and hypocrites, just like the rest of the world. Thankfully our shortcomings as congregants cannot diminish the holy perfection of our Savior. The Light of the world — the Truth — is present in church, even when it seems the people in the pews reflect Him in meager and dull ways.
Still, I absolutely adore our current church. I often describe the rented building as the church from Little House on the Prairie, except with abundant palm tress and other tropical foliage. There is a strong sense of community. Oftentimes church doesn’t start exactly on time because people are so excited to see one another again, and the joyful chatter pushes back the start time by a few minutes. We have monthly pot luck lunches, weekly Bible studies, frequent men’s beer and theology nights, and book club. Members are involved in one another’s lives. I just love it!
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This week at early morning Bible study (I had to switch from mid-morning to the crack of dawn due to other obligations), I heard an interesting take. In a discussion of living the Christian life, a friend mentioned a book1 which talked about the song — a personal favorite I regularly sang to my babies — Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. You may know that the last line of the song says that “the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” The argument of the book is that, in light of His glory and grace, things should actually be strangely bright. In essence, as believers the earthly joys are magnified. We should enjoy delicious meals, refreshing dips in the ocean, scenic hikes, laughs with friends, and sunsets even more because we have Christ and we know how the story ends.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote this: “In some amazing and astounding manner we know that we are partakers of the divine nature, that the being of God has somehow entered into us.” If you are a Christian, you have God with you at all times. Does that make you feel like things in this life are strangely dim or strangely bright? It’s a thought-provoking question.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
What aspect of life in 2023 is most discouraging to you? Do these verses from Hebrews apply? How about the quote from Lloyd-Jones?
Do you feel like you are able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life more because you know Christ as Savior?
Do you have a strong Christian community in which you are known and loved? And if not, what do you need to do about seeking it?
Are you a content person? How does knowing that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you instill contentment? What could be better?