Psalm 19: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands…The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes…the judgements of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether…by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them is great reward…keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins…then I will be blameless…and I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”
111th Psalm: “Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart…Great are the works of the LORD…splendid and majestic is His work, and His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate…He will remember His covenant forever. He has made known to His people the power of His works…the works of His hands are truth and justice, all His precepts are sure. They are upheld forever and ever; they are performed in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do his commandments; His praise endures forever.”
1st John 1:7: “But if we walk in the light as He, Himself, is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.”
It is so wonderful that during times of difficulty, regardless of the reasons, we can find great comfort in scripture. Usually, we think of the 23rd Psalm in those times of distress, anxiety, sorrow, or uncertainty:
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (ESV)
David, of course, was expressing his total reliance upon God for the peace and solace that he needed at a very difficult time in his life. He also expressed a trust that God would take care of him - no matter what - and in God's promise to reward him for faithfulness.
This truth was affirmed by Jesus in His words to His disciples, recorded in John 14:1-4: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." (ESV)
So, when you’re feeling down or disappointed; are grieving the loss of a loved one; are distressed; or just need some reassurance, meditate on these comforting words. Remember - God has promised to reward all those who remain obediently faithful to Him. (Rev. 2:10)
Pray that God will continue to bless us as we - the Ripon church of Christ: A Family of God Rooted in Christ - do our very best to live our life for Him!
It has been such a blessing to be part of this family in the Lord’s church. The great love for one another that is shared and the servant’s attitude that runs throughout. The service provided to those in need lately has been answered by the ones who could in a great way. We thank you for always going out of your way for others and putting others before yourself. What a wonderful Christian attitude, thank you for your examples.
Ephesians 3:14-21; "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."
Thanks for being that great example of a church family rooted and grounded in Christ. For being servants to whatever we are called to do. We are being blessed by our God and have much to do in service to Him. So may we all be firmly rooted and ready to grow in Him. May our servant’s hearts here in Ripon abound always.
In Him Chuck
The Bible tells us, in John 20:1-10, that "on the first day of the week" Mary Magdalene discovered that the tomb in which Jesus was laid after His crucifixion had been unsealed. When she reported this to the disciples Simon Peter and John, we are told, that they ran to the tomb, and John outran Peter and got there first. Upon looking into the tomb, John saw the linen cloths lying where Jesus had lain in death, but he did not enter. It was Peter who entered the tomb first and saw these same linen cloths as John, but he also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus' head neatly folded up (or rolled) and lying "in a place by itself". Afterward, the two disciples went back to their homes, believing what they had seen, but not yet understanding the scripture "that He must rise from the dead". (Psa.16:10 & Luke 24:46)
John 20:11ff reveals that Mary Magdalene remained at the tomb and wept. As she "investigated" the tomb she saw two angels, in white, sitting where Jesus had been laying, and inquired of them regarding where Jesus had been taken. As she was having conversation with the angels, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, although, initially, she did not know that it was Jesus. After a dialogue with Jesus and her recognition that He was truly Jesus, she went and announced that she had "seen the LORD and that He had said certain things to her. Subsequently, Jesus physically appeared to His disciples, as He had to Mary Magdalene, showed them his wounds and the disciples clearly understood that they had seen Him. After revealing Himself to one disciple who had not been in His presence earlier, Thomas, upon touching the wounds in the hands and side of Jesus, answered "My LORD and my God!" (v.28)
John 20:29 contains Jesus' response to Didymus (the Twin) which are some of Jesus' most important words for those who are believers. He said: "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed." (ESV) These few words are deeply profound because they form the basis or foundation of the Christian faith. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Heb.11:1) Rom10:17:"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (or "God" -NKJV) The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that the resurrection of Christ provides the hope of resurrection to life eternal for all of us who are in Christ. (15:20-26 & Rom.6:15 & 8:1) Paul also informed the church that they are to do as Jesus instituted and eat the bread and drink the cup "in remembrance of" Him and that every time this is done we "proclaim the LORD's death until He comes" (1Cor.11:23-26; Matt.26:26-29; John 14:1-3) We learn from Acts 2:42&20:7, as well as 1Cor.11:23ff, that the church came together on the "first day of the week" to eat the bread and cup - often called "The LORD's Supper". "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God, must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who (diligently-NKJV) seek Him." (Heb.11:6)
The Ripon church of Christ - "A Family of God rooted in Christ" - lives and worships by faith! We believe that Christ was resurrected from the dead and have faith that He will resurrect us to life eternal. We believe that Jesus' sacrifice was important enough to honor each, and every, first day of the week. Yes, we come together on every LORD's Day to honor and remember and proclaim Christ's life, death, burial, and RESURRECTION until He comes and drinks it "new" with us! May The Good LORD and our Savior continue to bless us as we live our life of faith here and seek to do His will always!
We all are aware that none of us are perfect. We all have different imperfections and different personalities. It is sometimes that exact thing that helps us relate to someone and help them find their way to Christ. When we let our Christian life be an example to others, even though the people you talk to know you’re not perfect, it makes us more relatable. When people see that they don't have to be perfect to come to know Jesus, it makes it easier to seek Him. Your story may be just the story they need to hear. Some of our own cracks or imperfections may be the same struggles they are experiencing. Just as the cracks between the boards on a barn wall let the sun shine through. Your life experiences may help your light shine in this world for someone in search of a better way. We all have our thorns in the flesh we must deal with every day. We not only should reach out to each other and our Lord for strength, but it may be possible that dealing with these thorns will allow you to light the path for someone else. After Paul implored the Lord, He told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
Therefore, let us find strength in our own weaknesses to let sun shine through those cracks. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
John 1:6-8 "There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light." Let us be as John and use our life to testify Christ the true Light and let His light shine through us.
In Him, Chuck
13397 West Ripon Road, Ripon CA 95366