Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
The Bible reveals many blessings that come in and from suffering (continued from previous weeks):
1.   Suffering can humble us                     5.   Suffering can compel us to be (more) grateful
2.   Suffering can mature us                      6.   Suffering can elicit in us compassion for others
3.   Suffering can sanctify us                    7.   Suffering can awaken us to our own mortality
4.   Suffering can drive us to pray             8.   Suffering can unmask the depravity and severity of sin

9.   Suffering can motivate us to evangelize unbelievers/the lost
     The unmasking of humanity’s mortality and depravity ought to motivate us to proclaim the Gospel.  Prosperity and ease – living in a civilized and moralized society – can lull Christians into a complacency regarding those who are unsaved; those who are going to hell (see Acts 10:42; 17:30-31; 2Thess.1:5-10; 1Pet.3:13-17).  As Christians, we can all too easily find a comfortable place and safe routine – scampering from our Christian homes, to our Christians schools, to our Christian clubs/social gatherings, to our Christian friends, to our Christian church, and back to our Christian homes – without ever having to really engage with unbelievers.

     Scripture exhorts us to be in the world, but not of the world, declaring the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with both our lips and our lives.  We must remember that Christ commands us to go into the world proclaiming the Gospel to those who are lost/unsaved (Matt.5:16; Mk.16:15; Acts 1:8; 1Pet.2:9; 3:13-17).  Evangelism is not optional.  Christ’s Great Commission (Matt.28:18-20) is to be faithfully obeyed, not merely acknowledged.

10. Suffering can expose our worldly securities and latent idolatries
     Anything that exposes worldliness or ungodliness in our lives is a good thing.  Like a spotlight from heaven, suffering can reveal to us those things in our lives that are displeasing or disobedient to God.  Suffering can burn the dross off our spiritual lives.  Trials can separate the chaff from the wheat.  Pain has a unique way of cutting through all pretense and hypocrisy.  It can reveal a weak or shallow faith.  It can expose an immoral love of pleasure.  It can identify harmful addictions.  It can uncover worldly securities.

     According to Hebrews 12:1-2, we need to “lay aside” whatever hinders our faithful pursuit of Christ.  This certainly includes “sin”, which is anything and everything that is contrary to the Word and will of God.  But this also includes those things that would be a “weight”, which is something that is not necessarily sinful but is nonetheless an obstacle or distraction to (e.g., watching tv, social media, video games, etc.).  The analogy in Hebrews twelve is one of a runner in a race.  A good (smart) runner is going to remove anything and everything they can that might be a hindrance to them running well and finishing the race.

     As the saying goes, “We are in the world, but not of the world.”  Suffering can wash away the filth of worldliness.  It can forcibly break us free from finding satisfaction, security, or pleasure in this world, and compel us to find our ultimate satisfaction, security, and pleasure in God (see Matt.13:20-22; Rom.12:1-2; 2Cor.4:16-18; Heb.11:25).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #38):
Numbers 21-24; 2 Chronicles 1-5; Psalm 111-113; Proverbs 25; Amos 5-9; John 19-21; Philemon
Recommended Reading:
“The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis

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