My brothers and sisters,
Here are some thoughts and updates for the week:
This past week we saw the humiliation of Jesus from Mark 15:16-20. I want to see our church embrace Jesus Christ in his entirety - his glory and his humiliation. Here is an excerpt from a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon after he was censured by the Baptist Union, at the beginning of the Downgrade Controversy. It ties in so well to he scene of Jesus being mocked:
Doth that man love his Lord who would be willing to see Jesus wearing a crown of thorns, while for himself he craves a chaplet of laurel? Shall Jesus ascend to his throne by the cross, and do we expect to be carried there on the shoulders of applauding crowds? Be not so vain in your imagination. Count you the cost, and if you are not willing to bear Christ's cross, go away to your farm and to your merchandise, and make the most of them; only let me whisper this in your hear, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
Take some time this week to reflect on these truths. Ask God to show you where your heart doesn't want to embrace the humiliation of Christ. Confess it to God. And not only to God, but confess it to a brother or sister who can pray for you and encourage you in these things. Remember that it is a the blessing to fellowship with Jesus in rejection (Philippians 1:29).
God uses mightily believers who love his gospel and are unashamed of it (Romans 1:16).
Joseph will be filling the pulpit this Sunday 3/24. His preaching is always a blessing as he labors in God's word to understand it and then believe and practice what it says. Enjoy the time together - our family will be in Washington this weekend, visiting another ministry in Spokane.
It's fun to type that name for the first time! Welcome to world little Miss Yoder. Zoe was born just after 6 am on 3/16 at 7lbs. 6 ozs. and 20.5" long. We are rejoicing with the Yoder family at this latest addition. If you would like to give a baby gift to the family you can do that on an individual basis (as the church has grown we aren't organizing group gifts any longer). You can also serve them by providing a meal.
Biblical missions is very simple in Scripture: church-planting and church-strengthening. One day we will (Lord willing) send out missionaries from CBC. And before that as our church becomes established, we will begin to support missions financially from our congregation.
I want to give you an idea of the types of ministries that we will be considering. They will be focused on these biblical priorities I just mentioned. Here is one such example: my dear brother, Dave Temple. Dave and I spent many nights throughout seminary after dinner translating Hebrew while our wives and children fellowshipped. He is one of the most humble men I’ve met and one with deep convictions.
Dave is now training pastors in Africa who are coming from a prosperity-Gospel background. It is challenging because many pastors are reluctant to part with their long-held views. For themleaving that false gospel comes at great personal price. To begin to preach the purity of repentance and justification by faith alone (which includes suffering and the cost of discipleship) can cost a man his job and most certainly his influence.
You can read more about the Central African Preaching Academy (CAPA) here. The impact of a ministry like this is immeasurable as pastors attend from all of the region and then go back to teach entire congregations the truth. As I caught up with Dave at Shepherds Conference he was sharing that his greatest ministerial joy is still preaching and shepherding in the local church (not the classroom - I love it)!
Women's study is at Cindy Ehlert's tomorrow night. Teri will be teaching Ephesians 1:11-14. Make it if you can. Men, we are meeting at 6:00 at Allan Bros on Friday to finish up our section on Fathers in our series "Shepherding in the Home." Even if you aren't a father, you will still be challenged and encouraged by the truth and the discussion around it.
6. That's the number of remaining Sundays at Santiam Place! After months of waiting it's almost there. Just so you know, we placed an order for some very comfortable pew chairs today. They won't be here for our first service, but they are going to be a real treat when they do arrive. We have invested in some quality chairs that will last for a long time. It's been incredible to watch how God is connecting people and resources in this process. He gets all the glory.
Depending on him day by day,,