Fellowship Community Church

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August 30, 2017

Posted by Pastor Rick John on with 0 Comments

Encourage0gram  August 30, 2017
 
My dear brothers and sisters,
 
On this past Sunday, we were reminded of the great privilege we have as the holy priesthood of God on this earth. 
 
NIV 1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
 
The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers shook the world during the Reformation.  Perhaps we should pray that it will shake us today!  It is an amazing act of God’s mercy, grace and kindness to call us to serve Him every day as His representatives.  We simply are called to publicly declare in our words and actions that our God called us out of darkness into His Light! 
 
Peter continues this theme in these words:
 
NIV 1 Peter 2:11-12
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
 
Now is the time to live good lives by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us!  Now is the time to show respect and genuine concern for all people. Now is the time to put our faith into action.  Thank you for being a church who gives and serves the Lord with gladness! 
 
In my reading of the Psalms this week, I was reminded of a precious strategy for following our Lord.
 
NIV Psalm 123 A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. 3 Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt. 4 We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.
 
This is a personal song which becomes a corporate call to follow our Master.  It is a song of ascents which means it was used by worshipers as they approached the Temple in Jerusalem. 
 
In verse one, the Singer confesses his passion to look into heaven by faith.  When he does he is reminded that the LORD is on His throne.  He is in control and He reigns! This marvelous truth should inspire us.  We are confident that He sees, He cares and He rules over all. This is especially important when we are the object of ridicule and contempt as verse three says. 
 
However, the truth I want to focus on is found in verse two.  He uses a clear picture to describe our worshipful attitude to our Lord. It shows us the posture of one who is truly humble, living in absolute surrender to the Lord. This is paramount in the song.  We are His servants serving Him.  We fix our eyes on the Lord continually.  We take each step in life as He directs us.  We will not be distracted but gaze at His Hand for a signal or direction.
 
How is this practically applied to our lives?  I would say it begins with the routine of reading of the Word at the start of each day and offering a simple prayer committing our expected schedule to the Lord.  As the Lord speaks to us, then we pray.  We begin with adoration as the psalmist does then we look for guidance.  I find that the Lord is faithful to prepare me for each day in this way.  Once we have prayed we stay alert throughout the day to watch for His leading.  We seek Him and He does lead us.  Sometimes He leads us quietly; at other times, He shouts!  In all cases, He reveals his mercy.  Perhaps, He reminds us of a command or a warning and we respond appropriately.  Sometimes the Lord reminds us of a needy person and we pause to pray.  At other times, the Holy Spirit may remind us of a promise we made to the Lord so we can fulfill that promise.  The leading of the Lord in this way is not difficult or complicated.  Rest in the Lord, trust in Him and He will direct your steps!  The psalmist passionately seeks God’s grace and we should too. 
 
So I call you my fellow-priests to stay connected to the Master.  Wherever you go today remember all of life is sacred and you are always on duty serving our Gracious Master!  An attitude like this will lighten the load of burdens and fill you with joy in serving Jesus!
 
Joy in Serving Jesus
There is Joy in serving Jesus,
As I journey on my way,
Joy that fills the heart with praises,
Every hour and every day.
 
There is joy in serving Jesus,
Joy that triumphs over pain;
Fills my soul with heaven’s music,
Till I join the glad refrain.
 
There is joy in serving Jesus,
As I walk alone with God;
“Tis the joy of Christ, my Saviour,
Who the path of suffering trod.
 
There is joy in serving Jesus,
Joy amid the darkest night,
For I’ve learned the wondrous secret,
And I’m walking in the light.
 
Chorus: There is joy, joy,
Joy in serving Jesus
Joy that throbs within my heart;
Every moment, every hour,
As I draw upon His power,
There is joy, joy,
Joy that never shall depart.
 
With joyful prayers for each of you,
 
Pastor Rick

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