November 2020 Message from Pastor Greg

Holy Harmony: Glory to God and Hope for Humanity

In order to properly introduce what I’m trying to say in this article, please allow me to point out three characteristics of our society that relate to why this is important. 

First—the pace at which many of us live our lives has created what could be called “a culture dominated by headlines and sound bites.” It’s very common for many people to only read the headlines and the news media typically plays brief “cut—off” statements or quotes from interviews or speeches that are featured in their tv, radio, or internet broadcasts. We’re only given a summary or snip—it and we rarely receive an accurate perspective if we don’t take time to find out “the rest of the story.” 

Second—other than during the days of the Civil War, it’s hard to find a time when there’s been more division or disunity between differing viewpoints, perspectives, or opinions within our country/culture. We might also say that the intensity of the disagreements has increased the amount of stress and strain we experience in our lives. Some people consciously avoid talking about politics, religion, or anything else that relates to the issues involved and others seem to enjoy getting into debates and discussions that seem to accomplish very little besides leading to more tension and turmoil. 

Third—this is obvious and it would seem that none of us needs to be reminded about this, but for the sake of putting things in proper context, most everyone is feeling an extraordinary amount of fear and frustration due to the pandemic. As followers of Christ, we realize that the words of the hymn, The Solid Rock, (or the chorus, Cornerstone) were never more true or relevant than they are right now. “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace!” 

So before I run out of space … let me refer to Romans 15. I have a list of about 15—20 absolutely favorite Bible verses and each one is valuable to me. One of them is Romans 15:13. (Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.) 

Please consider what Paul wrote in the verses leading up to verse 13—especially notice the flow of thought in 4—6. (4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.) 

How does this apply/relate to us today? 

—1— The Bible is our best resource for us to see how God has worked throughout history. Keep in mind that God has never changed and His promises are trustworthy. The historical examples in the Bible are there for our instruction, encouraging us to maintain a sense of faith—filled perseverance that leads to hope. 

—2— God’s Word instructs us with the goal of providing hope. Now both hope as well as discouragement are contagious—they will spread like wildfire. But, based on what this passage teaches us, it seems that we should strive to spread encouragement and hope. The terms “be of the same mind” and “with one voice” place an emphasis on being unified, and they also describe the beautiful sound of harmony that resounds in the unity God’s family has in our common (mutual) faith in Christ. Our role involves consistently helping one another find hope in God’s provisions, promises, and power, described throughout biblical history. 

—3— Our primary responsibility as faithful followers of our Lord is to bring honor and glory to God. Our view or perspective of God is an essential foundation that gives us the stability to fulfill this role. Do we see Him as a God of 

hope—or do we allow our secular society and corrupted culture to block our view of God’s lovely face and His 

unchanging grace? 

I’m praying that our God of hope will saturate each of us with joy and peace as we trust Him … so we can abound in hope by the power of His indwelling Spirit and glorify Him with one harmonious voice of praise! 

With prayer for God’s glory and praise for His grace … 

And as always, with prayer for our ACEFC family, Pastor Greg 

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