Eagles’ Wings and Other Things

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By Tom Chase

On Sunday, we heard about and processed things that rob us of our peace. We live in a world that is constantly telling us the opposite of what God’s truth claims. Like in the video we watched on Sunday, so many things are calling, so many things telling us we don’t measure up. These things and more create roadblocks that can prevent us from hearing and interacting with the One who will tell us the truth. If we listen too long, all these voices simply beat us down and diminish our worth, saying we have no value, there is nothing special about us, etc.

I am reminded of a truth which is made evident in the person of God. He is the Eternally Existent One, the Three in One — the Trinity. I was told long ago that all theology makes a difference in our lives, but I find that sometimes the effect is hard to see. But here is how this theological truth has impacted me.

When God chose to make the world and to make each of us individuals, He did not make us because He needed us or because it fulfilled something lacking in Him. No, that is not the case. He exists in three Persons, whole and complete, fully satisfied within his own being with perfect community and harmony. So why did God make us, then? It is because God wanted us. Can you believe it? God wanted me and God wanted you! None of us are here by accident. Isn’t that truly amazing?

When I stop and contemplate this truth, I feel a lift in my spirit. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that

“…those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

That light-stepping feeling in me increases when I see God for who He is. Much of Isaiah 40 describes just how great and awesome and majestic this God who wanted you and me really is:

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.”

Isaiah 40:28

Someone infinitely significant wants us!

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God,” are the beginning words of Isaiah 40. That’s His desire for you. So let us run to the One who not only loves us, but wants us as well. In Him we find our significance and peace from all the other messages we hear constantly in our world. If you are looking for a treat, why not read Isaiah chapter 40 and bask in His glory!

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For purpose and fellowship

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by Jeff Foerster

The Father sent the Son (Jn. 3:17). Jesus sent the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit sends us (Acts 1:8). “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit …” (Matthew 28:19). “… you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

This may at first sound like simple delegation. Upon taking a closer look I think we will see much more than that. God, who is Himself perfect and relationally complete, is inviting us into a deep intimacy of purpose and fellowship concerning His greatest desire for humanity: spreading the good news of restored relationship through Jesus Christ.

I am amazed that God includes us in His most important action item: communicating His love to each person. He does not keep this for Himself as the common phrase of prideful man recommends, “If you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself.” Instead we each are given the privilege of being fellow workers with God (I Co 3:9).

Designed and formed in God’s image we are made to be relational beings. We are at our best when we follow the promptings of the Spirit. It is then that we are in participation, and fellowship with, the very God that exists in relationship within the Trinity.

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Two minutes on Hell

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by Dan Amos

Doctrine is not about religion; it is our core beliefs, and they are constantly under attack.  This is why Pastor Martin is beginning a series on doctrine this week. It is no surprise the doctrine of Hell is being challenged so strongly right now; it was one of the first doctrines Satan questioned when he offered the fruit to Eve and asserted, “You will not certainly die.” In reality, the truth says everything about how we view sin and its consequences.

Surveys show the majority of people believe in Heaven, about half their number believe in Hell, and only a few percentage believe they are destined for Hell. The truth is we are all sinners against a holy God. Even our “littlest” sin disqualified us from relationship with God and eternity in his kingdom. Additionally, it is so vile we must be punished for our sin in a literal, eternal, conscious Hell. Our rebellion does not want to accept that and so we deny hell, alter its reality only in our minds, and minimize our sin as of no consequence.

But it is real and it is terrible. It is so horrific that God, the creator of the universe, sent his Son from glory to live a sinless, perfect life on Earth ultimately breaking constant communion with himself (listen to Martin’s sermon on the Trinity this Sunday) as he bore our punishment for our sin on the cross. By believing in him we are adopted into his family and the wrath of God’s holy justice which we deserve is satisfied by Christ’s blood. Our belief must be founded on the truth which is the doctrine we will be taught once more over the course of this series.

If we ignore Hell, if we minimize our sin, there is nothing to be saved from, but the truth is we and everyone else who doesn’t know the truth are destined for Hell. It can’t get any more basic than that.

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