Pastor's Blog
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December 21, 2016, 9:27 AM

The Faithful One

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. As we approach the wonderful day in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the faithful One who declared, “Not my will, but Thy will be done (Luke 22:42),” may we likewise commit ourselves to complete submission and obedience to the will of our Heavenly Father. And may we do it even and especially when life does not make sense.

Whenever I ponder the story of Jesus’ birth I am always amazed at the level submission and obedience that is displayed in the life of Jesus’ young teenage mother, Mary, to the will of God. There was much she did not (nor could she) understand about Gabriel’s announcement that she was pregnant. “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). God was up to something - as He often is - beyond human comprehension. Yet, despite all she did not and could not understand about God’s purposes and plans, Mary faithfully declared, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to be as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Wow! Let that sink in! Oh, that my response to the paradoxes of life would be as faithful! “Lord, whatever you’re up to… I’m in!”

Obedience is the key that opens the door for Christ’s entrance into our lives. To the one who obeys, and thus opens the door of their heart to receive the eternal gift, God gives the Spirit of His Son, the Spirit of Himself, to be in them, and lead them to the understanding of all truth. But what do we do if that level of faith seems beyond our grasp at the present? Great question! I’m glad you asked.

In response, Thomas R. Kelly writes, “Begin where you are. Obey now. Use what little obedience you are capable of, even if it be like a grain of mustard seed. Begin where you are. Live this present moment, this present hour as you now sit in your seats, in utter submission and openness toward him. Listen outwardly to these words, but within, behind the scenes, in the deeper levels of your lives where you are all alone with God the Loving Eternal One, keep up a silent prayer, ‘Open Thou my life. Guide my thoughts where I dare not let them go. Be Thou darest. Thy will be done.’”

As we consider the example of Christ, His mother, and the saints who have gone before us, may we enter the New Year boldly declaring with them, “Not my will, but thy will be done in us.” If a decade and a half of pastoral ministry has taught me anything it is that the real difference between Christians who are growing and ones who are not is the matter of obedience.

I invite you to pray the following with me: O Jesus! who has taught us that not all those who say Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only such as do the will of your Father, whose lives correspond with their belief, grant us a truly Christian spirit, a Christian heart, and guide us in the paths of a Christian life. Grant that I may become detached from all things and in all things seek you alone. Grant that I may direct all my knowledge, my whole capacity, all my happiness, and all my exertions to please you, to love you, and to obtain your love for time and eternity. Amen.

Have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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