GETTING OUR HANDS DIRTY
THIS WEEK AT LWF!
Bruce Vannetta Visit
On May 21st, our church will once again be visited by Bruce Vannetta of Sweet Bread Ministries. He'll be sharing an incredible testimony during our sermon time. You won't want to miss it!
The Last Day (& Other Such Tomorrows)
We are close to wrapping up our study of Eschatology for the time being. Thus far we have covered Hermeneutics, Pre-Millennialism, Post-Millennialism, and A-Millennialism. What could be left, you say? This week we'll cover Extra-Biblical Eschatology, or an overview of what other faiths--secular or sacred--believe about tomorrow and the End of Days. We'll meet in the back room for these sessions.
“Those old cathedrals, magnificent works of art constructed over decades and sometimes generations, were built to last for centuries—and they have. But modern evangelical churches are usually built to last a generation at most. We don’t expect to be around long enough to get much use out of them, and we certainly don’t expect our great-grandchildren to worship in them.”
—David Chilton: Paradise Restored
Throughout this minor series within our major study of Luke's Gospel, we have explored hearts through Jesus' parable of the sower, both the hearts that receive the Gospel and those that sow it. Most recently, we looked at the attitudes we hold as we cast out our witness into the world, and whether or not it comes with a message of hope, both for the future of the receiver and for the victory in their heart. While only God Himself makes the seeds grow, He also modeled what it looked like to cast the Gospel seeds in terms of getting His own hands dirty in the lives of the receivers as means of tilling the soil. The work is ultimately His, and all glory and praise goes to Him, but there is also work for us as believers to do here, not in place of His but invited alongside it. We sometimes think that our two bookend states of innocence and redemption (Eden and the New Earth) were free of labor and work and toil, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible opens with a description of the labor of God—the first great labor we see, Creation.
“And lo, in the Beginning, God rolled up His holy sleeves and got to work making the heaven and the earth.”
—The Bible According to Holly ... which you most certainly oughtn't read
And what does He do then? When He has finished His mighty work and crowned man as the pinnacle of His creation, made in His image, He give him work to do, a garden to tend. We have some rather raunchy idea of what the world’s oldest profession was but it was really gardening—farming. But prior to sin, it was labor without weariness or loss. It was His invention, after all. The first labor given to mankind is the same one given to us, but like Peter’s, we now tend a greater soil. Christ tells His disciples what it means to be sowers of the Word, and then He continues. There is more to the parable than simply the casting of Truth, though that is the heart of it.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Paul uses the phrase “flesh” to summarize the fallen nature of man, but this is not to disregard earthly things as things God declared good, even in their fallen state. When we imagine the King of Kings coming in His glory, we imagine—oddly—an erasing of all that He designed rather than a redemption of it.
The question is not whether or not you are a sower of the Gospel seed, but whether or not you do it with the confidence that it is a divine thing we cast. Seed cast without faith in the power of God and the desire of God might as well be thrown into the furnace, for it does the Kingdom of God no good whatsoever.
Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
(other than your Bible, obviously)
God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
You probably know what a fan of John Lennox I am, a wonderful Christian apologist (my favorite, actually, a jolly Irishman, just to make it better, and one who helped me in my homecoming to my faith some years ago. He currently occupies a position in mathematics at Cambridge University. Lennox was the first westerner allowed behind the Iron Curtain prior to the fall of the Soviet Union and played a role in its demise through the preaching of the Word. He has appeared on Eric Mataxas' Socrates & the City (link below) and I highly recommend a watch-through. In God's Undertaker, Lennox tackles the misconceived divide between science and faith. It's philosophical but still very accessible. If you like his work, I likewise recommend his study of the book of Daniel, Against the Flow (Elizabeth and I did a personal study of the book through our Scripture reading of Daniel), or frankly anything else this man writes or speaks about.
“It is rather ironical that in the sixteenth century some people resisted advances in science because they seemed to threaten belief in God; whereas in the twentieth century scientific ideas of a beginning have been resisted because they threatened to increase the plausibility of belief in God.”
― John C. Lennox, God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
ON THE HORIZON AT LWF:
5/25 | Member's Meeting
Don't forget our upcoming Member's Meeting on the 25th (a week from today) at 6:45! We have a modest agenda with some major items on it, so don't miss out on your chance to vote on the future of the church!
5/20 | Elisa's Wedding Shower
This Saturday at 10:00 is Elisa Zhe's wedding shower at LWF! Come celebrate her impending nuptials and shower her with both love and weddingly gifts!
Until next time! God go with you, brothers and sisters in Christ.