Wednesday, August 27, 2008

God is good

We had a great week-end of ministry. On Saturday, we had a men's breakfast with over 400 men in attendance. The food was good (as it always is), but what makes it special to me is more than the food. The guys serving especially blessed my heart. We have a large group of men who come out early, set things up, cook, stay late, clean up the mess and do it because they love the Lord and their church. It truly blesses me and all involved, and I am very thankful for such dedicated men. Victor Marx shared God's Word with us, and he gave a very powerful message. He pointed out that we can be led by the Spirit, or driven by our flesh, and all in all, his message was moving (he gave much of a personal testimony) and instructing, teaching us all that our past should be left alone, and that we should move into our future with hope and faith. It was really a great message, we were all encouraged, and several men got right with the Lord at the invitation. The next day, we had good Sunday morning services, and capped off the evening with special music and a baptism that evening. The worship was absolutely beautiful, and after the service we baptized over 200 people, with many were crying as they "took the plunge". One brother said something to me that reminded me of something once said to Pastor Chuck. He said something like "I'm going to have to stay down there for awhile!", meaning he had a lot that needed to be buried. Don't we all? On a personal note, God is working overtime in my heart, working on areas that have long been buried but have somehow stayed alive, and sometimes it is very difficult and even discouraging. I don't like what I see, and I don't like what I have been and can be, and I find myself asking God for relief from some things that seem to plague my heart. Though I am not doing anything overtly wrong, still I want my heart to be healed of past hurts, and I want His joy to flood my soul. I also carry a great concern for the state of our fellowship, as I know many attend our church but not all are saved. What concerns me is that large amounts of people think they are saved, when in reality, they are self-deceived. It seems to stem from a poor understanding of the grace of God, in that they have re-defined grace and consider it "permission" to continue in sin and still go to heaven. The evangelical church today reminds me of the denominationalism that I escaped from as a youth, in that the churches of America are occupied by people who "hear, but do not do". That of course applies first and foremost to me, but also extends to the body at large. I am finally awakening to some deeper things that need to be taught, and it is my prayer that I will be able to live what God is showing me, and that I may somehow learn to communicate these things to our church fellowship. Finally, the answer is going to be found in the love of God. Like the Beatles once sang "All we need is love", and in that they were right. We need to know how deeply God has loved us and loves us, and we need to love Him back, and to really learn to love people: not just the ones who love us, but to love as the Lord would have us love. Again, this is a common theme in my life, because it is the one thing the Lord keeps trying to teach me. Still, I cannot help but thank Him for His goodness to me, to my family, and to the day I will be able to say that to Him, face to face. Jesus, Thank you, and I love You.


Max Solis said...

Hello Pastor Dave,
This past weekend was pretty awesome. I have to say, Victor Marx's testimony was very strong and the message was even stronger "be led" (by HIM) not "driven" (by anger, past hurts, resentment, etc.)
My sister's 33rd birthday was Sunday & she saw it as an opportunity to be washed cleaned and born again with the baptisim Sunday night. I am so happy for the work God has been doing in her life. It was also awesome to see our parents at our Church for the first time.
You spoke last night about bringing your parents to Christ. For some it may have been easy, our parents brought us up Catholic, which I cant complain because it laid a foundation & somewhat sparked an intrest to want to learn more. My dad was actually brought up Jehova Witness, later became Catholic, so seeing him at our Church really was something big.
Anyway, all I can say is...

Laura said...

Hi Pastor David,

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy dropping in on your blog. It's nice to hear (read) your heart. When I read this entry it made me think of a verse from my devotions this morning - Ezra 7:10 "For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel." Thank you for being faithful to study, do, and teach God's Word. Much of our fellowship is healthy because of your faithfulness in these things.

May the Lord continually bless you and your family.

Laura Ramirez