“For You, Lord, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” Psalm 86:5
Dear brothers and sisters,
As I was meditating on Psalm 130 recently, the Lord refreshed my soul immensely. The psalmist says, “If You, Lord should mark iniquities, O Lord who could stand?” Some of the things that we struggle with on this side of eternity is our fight against sin, the world, and the devil. As one preacher put it, “the human heart is an idol factory” (Calvin). It seems that as soon as we think we have gained mastery over one idol, another idol surfaces in our life. Often times we feel like we are traveling on a sinking ship! Knowing our personal struggle, we tend to look inside at our remaining sin, which tends to lead to more depression. The more we know about the holiness of God, the more we realize how unholy we are. As the Apostle Paul examined his life in the light of God’s Holy Law, we too cry out O “wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24) Our comfort follows, “thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”(v. 25)
Next Sunday, I am going to preach my last sermon from the book of Mark. It has been a long journey (one and half a years). I have personally gleaned much from this book. It provided us an opportunity to have a closer look at Christ. Mark’s emphasis on the ‘cost of discipleship’ reminded me of what it entails to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Please pray that the results of His preached Word would bear fruit in abundance.
On a sad note, we had to remove a person from our membership recently due to her non-participation in the life of church for almost 7 months. It is with a sense of sadness we removed her from our membership. In spite of many friendly visits (which included both warnings and pleadings), she has not made any effort to make it to the Sunday morning services. Upon requesting her to come to church, she kept on giving excuses of why she was unable to come. I believe if you’re a child of God, you cannot live a life away from God and His people (1 Cor. 12). She initially came to our church as a direct result of evangelism. She was very fervent in her prayers initially, and often times, she used to sob in prayer. After sometime had passed, we interviewed her, and ended up baptizing her into membership. She kept coming sincerely to the fellowship for a couple of years. Then, she slowly started skipping the services. We noticed that she was not rejoicing in the Lord as she used to. It looks like her joy in Christ was replaced by something else. She made herself completely unavailable to us, which made it very difficult for us to minister to her. Would you please pray for her? That she would repent of her sin and come back to the fellowship? Please pray that God may destroy all the idols in her life- including her self-reliance.
Would you also pray that our people would understand the importance of what it means to be a committed member of a local church? Please pray that our people would genuinely love one another, and that we would not be lost in the world of selfishness. Please pray that the Lord would raise up church officers. Currently I am the only one responsible for preaching and teaching. Please pray for protection during our evangelism on Saturday evenings, and that it would be fruitful.
Keep pressing on.