From the Pastors' Desks

Squirrels and Robins

I’m sitting in my favorite chair on my back porch this morning, watching a young squirrel timidly eating some corn I threw on the deck. I haven’t seen him before. He’s as nervous as a 5-year-old learning to ride a bike. A robin decided to hop on to the deck from the ground below, suddenly appearing right alongside our young diner and, from his reaction, you would have thought a bomb went off. He nearly jumped out of his skin, was running full tilt before he hit the ground, and made a beeline for the safety of the nearest tree. I chuckled and thought to myself – “Silly squirrel, it’s just a robin.”
I wonder what the angels in heaven think as they watch us fearful children of God. We get frightened easily, don’t we? Maybe that’s why the most repeated command in Scripture is “fear not”. If there is one thing God wishes to impress upon his fearful saints it is that, in Jesus Christ, we have absolutely no reason to fear.
I was reading Romans 8 again this morning. What an incredible chapter! And, in this time of COVID-19, and everything we don’t like about it and fear because of it – the gospel words rang out loud and strong.

“And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.”
Paul sounds awfully confident about this. So confident, in fact, that he doesn’t just say “I know”, but “WE know.” This is common knowledge. This is Christianity 101. We all know this!
Why do we know this? Because those whom God foreknew, He also predestined, and those He predestined He also called, and those He called He also justified, and those He justified he also glorified! That is an unbreakable, steel chain of redemptive certainty, forged in the fire of the cross. It can NOT be broken! God’s redemptive purpose for us in Christ Jesus is THE defining reality of our life. 
So, we don’t need to be afraid. Of anything. Ever. At all. We have been saved to inherit and inhabit a new heaven and earth. That is the hope in which we were saved (8:24). Our calling is to eagerly anticipate the redemption of our bodies (8:23) and patiently wait for our hope (8:24).
In the meantime, the Spirit is “helping us in our weakness”; God the Father is “for us”; Jesus reigning at the Father’s right hand and is also interceding for us! The chain of redemption is triple-forged in the fire of God’s love for us, Christ’s redeeming death and resurrection and the Spirit’s omnipotent help! 
So, who could POSSIBLY separate us from the love of Christ?
          Tribulation? No.
          Distress?  Nope.
          Persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword?? No. No. Nee. Nein. Nyet.

Let that word sink into your fretful soul. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Consequently, in all the things that tempt us to fear – “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Do you see why the angels in heaven might chuckle? Silly Christian, there’s no need to be afraid. COVID-19? Yes, it’s a serious sickness – but, it has “robin” written all over it. It can’t do a single thing to threaten a single loving purpose God has for you in Christ.  
Unemployment or bankruptcy? Yes, that’s hard. But in truth, it’s just loss of temporal things and your Father in heaven is pleased to give you the whole, entire, glorious and eternal KINGDOM. (Luke 12:32).
Death? It’s the enemy, but it’s a defeated enemy. Jesus routinely speaks of death as nothing to fear – it’s just falling asleep to this world and waking up to everlasting glory.
Let’s rest in this. We are in this world, and thus subject to all the tribulations and trials of this age. But we are not OF this world. We belong to the world to come! 
So, let’s take courage as we walk this road. In Jesus Christ, it’s robins all the way down.

Pastor Dale

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