January 13, 2017
Good Afternoon Church,
I pray this letter finds you resting peacefully in the security of God’s saving grace which has been abundantly lavished on all who believe in Christ alone for salvation. Moreover, I hope you take some time to calculate the amazing reality of God’s sustaining grace that sufficiently provides for our every need and sovereignly upholds us through every day. How easily we forget and even become accustomed to the perpetual undeserved kindness of our merciful Heavenly Father so that we actually take it for granted. The biblical truths from last week’s sermon continue to comfort and convict my soul as I compare all that we have in Christ with all the many ways Christians complain. All of us are prone to this problem, and you see it most clearly in our natural propensity to complain and get frustrated about what we do not have, what someone has said or done to us, or what someone has failed to do for us.
The Cloud of Complaining
How sickening this sin of complaining is that flows through all of our veins because it is like a dark cloud that covers over the glory of the Son of God. Thus, you no longer see the inexpressible love, unfathomable mercy, innumerable blessings, insurmountable hope, and the incomparable joy found in Christ alone! Instead, through the sinful lens of a critical spirit, a complaining attitude, or a bitter heart you only see yourself and all that you have not received that you think you deserve, instead of seeing all that you have received in Christ that you actually do not deserve. Consider this truth: Jesus Christ, who gave so much and received so little, complained at nothing. However, far too many of us have received so much and actually have given so little, yet we are prone to complain at almost everything. Remember Church, it is very easy to become frustrated, and impossible to be faithful, when you are the focus. How awfully refreshing it has been for me these past few weeks to be reminded, through our series in Ruth, of God’s phenomenal grace poured out on all who believe through Christ Jesus. As I asked on Sunday, “Do you live your life in awe of God’s grace?” The only antidote to a complaining spirit is a Christ centered life! O that God would convict us as He conforms us into the beauty of Christ!
As we begin another year together as a church I am praying that these pastoral and theological letters, which always flow my heart through the Scriptures, would be a further encouragement to your walk with Christ. I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday as we join our voices, prayers, and lives to give all praise, adoration, and honor to our great God. In the weeks to come I will be writing on many topics including prayer and elders, but for now will you pray for your elders (the spiritual leaders God has put over your life) as we have our monthly meeting on Sunday night? It is a blessing and joy to be a fellow elderwith the other men that serve, but we always need your prayers as we seek to be faithful to all that God has called us to be and do. We regularly are praying for you; are you regularly praying for us? May this year bring many great and wonderful blessings to us and our church, and may this be a year marked by faithful and fervent prayer by all of us!
 Eph 1:3-14
 Mt 6:25-34; Acts 14:17; Rom 8:1-39
 1 Cor 10:1-10; 2 Cor 6:1
 Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:18; Js 5:9; Eph 4:29
 2 Cor 4:1-6; Col 1:15-20
 Rom 5:8; Lk 6:27-36; Eph 2:4; Eph 1:3; Rom 5:1-5; 1 Cor 15:54-58; Rom 8:31-39
 Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; Heb 12:14-15
 Ezek 18:20; Rom 1:32, 3:9-18, 6:23
 Heb 12:1-3; 1 Pet 2:22-25
 Heb 12:4,28
 Phil 3:1-6
 Phil 3:7-14; Heb 12:1-3; 2 Cor 3:18-4:6; Phil 1:21, 2:1-11
 Rom 8:28-30; 2 Cor 3:18; Col 3:10; Rom 13:14
 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Heb 13:7, 17; 2 Thess 5:12-13; 1 Pet 1:5-5; Acts 20:28-32
 1 Tim 5:17-18
 Col 4:12-13; Eph 6:18