Pastor Mark's Newsletter (April 2017)

Though few evangelicals observe the Season of Lent due to its association with the “high church” practices going back to the 4th Century, it is nonetheless a call to spiritual renewal as we approach the annual celebration of the resurrection of Christ. In previous centuries it was also a call for those out of fellowship with the church to be renewed in the fellowship of believers.

So as we contemplate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus let us reflect on what that really means to us as believers and how it should affect our lives. The apostle Paul put it this way to the Romans:  “Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him.” Romans 12:1 (NIRV)  

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ took place all because of the mercies of God. And Jeremiah, the prophet tells of the extent of that mercy for His people: “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23 (KJV)

Because of God’s great grace and mercy to us we should focus our lives and bodies to be a living sacrifice (not a dead one) by committing ourselves again to His high and holy calling upon our lives. After all, God has done for us, the apostle Paul states, that living a life of total commitment to God from here on out is only reasonable.

The old hymn writer sums this all up in his lyrics to  

At Calvary

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died On Calvary.

Refrain: Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty At Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned To Calvary.

Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing Of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span At Calvary!

This Easter lets celebrate the reason for the season by celebrating the millions of lives that have been totally regenerated and transformed by the power of this gospel this year by coming to Christ’s church and worshiping Him.