Third Lord's Day at Coram Deo
For those of you in my vast, huge, enormous audience that don't know, my family and I are involved in a new church plant in our town. It is called Coram Deo Church (click here for the website). Anyway, we just had our third Lord's day as a Christ-worshipping, fellowshipping church in Grants Pass, Oregon. I am really excited about it. The emphasis on the important things in the leadership is what I find the most encouraging and endearing. They are focused on the Gospel, they scrutinize and take time to examine who is truly fit in roles of teaching and leadership, and they are huge on discipleship -and I don't mean some kind of generic relationship-building. I mean real mentorships where men and women are mentored by men and women, respectively, so that in turn they may one day disciple younger men and women in Christ.
Today there really was no sermon, which at first I thought was going to be a bummer, but it was filled with words of wisdom shared from two couples who had just returned from the Desiring God conference on "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God". The things they shared were really powerful. We shared a few texts together and sang songs and prayed, and it was a great reminder of the might and awesomeness of our God -how He ordains harm, pain, trials, suffering, evil even for the sake of our sanctification. We are stripped bare through it, but through it are weaned off of the temporal things and onto our Sovereign and gracious Maker and Savior. It is for our good, as Paul tells us in Romans 8. Far from giving us a reason for a stoic attitude, these truths ground us in the reality of God's sovereign and good purposes for us, His children, in the glorification of Himself through His Son, Jesus.
After that a number of us went to lunch. We talked and shared and fellowshipped some more. It was great. I really treasure Christian fellowship. I always come away, every single time, having learned something, having been humbled, and with a singular desire to pour contempt on my pride and sinfulness and live in more and more obedience to the Lord who saved me and united me with His body. The things we say, though we may not know it, are used by the Spirit to shine light on sin and spiritual truths that we may be gliding gently over from day to day. I know many things people say have that effect on me. They kick the light over in a direction that I was somehow hiding in my flesh. They remind me of spiritual truths in the Word and press the bony finger of conviction in the right spot. Anyway, it is refreshing and truly needed, and I thank God for it.
This Wednesday is the men's group. We met for the first time last week. I am looking forward to more fellowship, more humbling, and more encouragement to live in the duties the Lord has given me with more zeal and love than before. Amen.