Dear Grace Family,
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
These words from Psalm 115:1 are needed right now. It is so easy to get caught up in our own plight, what we are missing out on, and what has been taken away. We can be overly fearful of sickness and death, or overly involved in trying to keep our political hopes and purse strings intact. We can see those we are supposed to love as the enemy and those we are called to pray and give thanks for (1 Tim. 2:1-2) as the object of our anger. All of this moves our eyes off of the Lord and fixes our gaze on our circumstances or worse, ourselves.
As we read this short but packed Psalm, we are struck with several truths: 1) When anyone, even believers, question where God is in all of this, we say, ‘our God is in the heaven; He does whatever He pleases.’ He is not absent and all that He wills is coming to pass! 2) We become like the idols we make, and an idol is whatever we put our trust in (v. 8). If we trust in our past security, financial security, or even our political security, we set these up as idols. 3) Those that truly fear the Lord will trust in Him (v. 11). This is really the test of our proper fear! When we fear the wrong thing, we turn to idols to trust in. When we fear the Lord, we turn to trust in Him, knowing that He is doing all things to glorify Himself, even through a global pandemic and social distancing.
This weekend was exciting, celebratory, and weighty all at once. We celebrated Mother’s Day which is such a fascinating fusion of thanksgiving, joy, loss, and sorrow. We think with fondness of the impact of mothers, with sorrow at the loss of parents/children, the grief of prodigal children, and the deep sadness of some who cannot experience the joy of childbearing.
We pivoted from the work of mothers to the work of ministry and discipleship that we’ve all been called to as “good servants of Jesus Christ.” Being a discipler is much like being a parent, and Paul reminded Timothy that it was going to take hard, exhausting work, hope driven motivation, commitment to the Word of God, and leading by example to truly engage in ministry. These are marks of faithful parenting and discipleship, with the goal of maturity in Christ as the result of a long process. Our hope is that this characterizes our church as we commit to making disciples, everyone of us.
We also introduced three elder candidates: John Durso, Adam Bender, and Marshall Walter. Our elders have been praying for, vetting out, and meeting with these men extensively over the last months and joyfully put them forward as potential elders. They have demonstrated the character, desire, ability, and gifting to qualify as Biblical elders who will shepherd, lead, feed, and protect God’s church. We are delighted to re-introduce them to you in the coming weeks through video testimony, with the anticipation of laying hands on them when we are able to gather back together. For now we’d ask you to pray for these men and if you have anything hindering you from following them that you’d seek to clarify with them in these next weeks.
Keep Pressing On.
Pastor Jordan Bakker