Friday, September 14, 2018

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight - Pastoral Letter from the 9/14/18 Hopewell Herald

Dear Congregation,

Reflecting on last Lord’s Day morning’s sermon has been a cause of much frustration for me. I know that the eternal God, the Creator, holds Himself out unto me repeatedly as Jesus Christ, the God-man, who humbled Himself and suffered much and literally bore Hell for my sake.

So why am I frustrated? Because my wonder and adoration at the greatness of His being, and my thankfulness and love for what He’s done for me, are so pathetically small. As I think back over the week, there have been so many times where I was quite forgetful of Him—even while laboring in this holy calling!

I know that He is worthy of so much more, and I grope at affections and responses that correspond. It is tempting to me to take a shortcut—figure out what kind of things bypass my ungrateful heart and stir me up into a froth of emotions and irrational, unrealistic vows to do works that feel more impressive than ordinary faithfulness and obedience in the daily callings of my life.

But, as I prepare for the Lord’s Day, I am reminded of something else that the Holy Spirit presented to us in those New Testament passages about the eternal plan of God that He put into motion in the creation: He is going to finish the work He has begun.

He didn’t predestine us merely to forgiveness, but wholly unto perfect glory—that we would be conformed to the image of His Son, and that unto the praise of the glory of His grace.

So what shall we do? Keep the Lord’s Day, which He uses to make us to delight in Him (Isaiah 58:13-14), reading and hearing preached His Word which sanctifies us and equips us and makes us wise for salvation (John 17:17, 2Timothy 3:14-17), singing by which we are filled with His Spirit and His Word dwells richly in us (Ephesians 5:15-21, Colossians 3:14-16), and celebrating that Supper by which we have fellowship in Jesus’ own body and blood (1Corinthians 10:15-18).

You see—Christianity really is about going to church and participating well in worship. But not at all because that’s some kind of work by which we earn anything or show what good Christians we are. Rather, it is because Jesus Himself is all our hope and all our need, and these are His appointed means by which He does His work, as He keeps all His promises and carries out all His plans.

Let’s walk by faith, not by sight. Rather than do what makes us “feel” like it’s working for a few moments, let us come to Him and trust His Word that He is doing a work that will be perfect forever and ever.

Looking forward to worship with you!


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