I am late getting out the updates this week! Here are some thoughts for the week and announcements.
I mentioned during Sunday's sermon that I was deeply challenged by John Owen on the topic of meditating on the glories of Christ. His words are so helpful... there are things that we find easy and natural to spend time meditating upon and meditating upon Christ requires mortifying those other thoughts when they occupy too great of a place in our hearts.
Here is the full excerpt:
It is to be feared that there are some who profess religion with an appearance of strictness, who never separate themselves from all other occasions, to meditate on Christ and his glory; and yet, with strange inconsistency of apprehensions, they will profess that they desire nothing more than to behold his glory in heaven for ever. But it is evident, even the light of reason, that these things are irreconcilable. It is impossible that he who never meditates with delight on the glory of Christ here in this world, who labors not to behold it by faith as it is revealed in the Scripture, would ever have any real gracious desire to behold it in heaven...
It is, therefore, to be lamented that men can find time for, and have inclinations to think and meditate on, other things, it may be earthly and vain; but have neither heart, nor inclination, nor leisure to meditate on this glorious object.
They hear of these things, they assent to their truth, at least they do not gainsay them; but they never solemnly meditate upon them... because they will not be at the trouble and charge of that mortification of earthly affections, that extirpation of sensual inclinations, that retirement from the occasions of life, which are required.
I hope you have been filled with adoration as we have been seeing the majesty of Jesus in Mark the past several weeks. It's been awesome for me to read passages in Revelation that connect to what we are studying right now in Mark about Jesus.
And as you contemplate the majesty of Jesus, here is a song filled with Scriptural truths about him. It is an anthem of praise which is becoming a favorite song around our home. I wanted to share it with you if you haven't heard it yet. Take some time to read these passages and learn this song - it will bless your soul. He alone is worthy of all blessing and honor and glory!
Revelation 1:4–8 - John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 5:1–10 - I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
It is a communion Sunday. We will partake of the Lord's table together as we remember the death of Jesus in Mark 15:33-39. After the service we will have a Q&A focusing especially on discussing the building and our upcoming move (only four more Sundays at Santiam Place)!
We will reflect again on the cross Good Friday evening 4/21 at Santiam Place. We will have a one hour service with singing, partaking of communion together, Scripture reading, prayer and a devotional. We will land in Mark 16:1-8 which is on the resurrection on Easter Sunday. If you have friends, co-workers or relatives who don't have a church home, this is a great Sunday to invite them to church with you.
Alaina & the Delerys
Simon and Mindy now have legal guardianship of Alaina! This is something that we have been taking before the Lord in prayer over the past year. I have been encouraged personally watching them trust in God's providence and desire to see him use this circumstance for his glory. Praise the Lord.
Malachi Tobe Roth
He arrived on 3/28 at 8:40pm. 7lbs., 18 1/4" long. The family is loving their new little guy - Ryan said he doesn't get hold Malachi very much with all the girls around :) and it's been a great adjustment with Myles. So much to rejoice in with them.
Bible Reading Plans
I get asked about ways of reading the Bible and in fact there are many ways to engage with Scripture (reading it, studying it, meditating upon it, listening to it, and memorizing it). But on the topic of reading, here's a link to some different reading plans if you are looking for changing the approach you have been taking to reading the Bible. There are benefits to various approaches and it can be good to read in different ways.