Cherishing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let The Nations Be Glad

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We finished up our Summer Psalms Series on Sunday.  And what a great series this has been.  When the idea for this series first popped into my head, I wanted it to be a “refreshing summer experience”.  Who would’ve known that this idea came prior to the challenges we’ve been facing as a nation??  I am certainly grateful for the Lord’s direction in this.  This series, I think, accomplished everything that we had hoped it would.  It served as a great time to hear from the “deep bench” of men in our church, who can teach God’s word to us.  That part alone is simply amazing and a reason to celebrate God’s work at CLF.  These guys did a fantastic job of delivering the goods and I could not be more thankful for their desire to serve our church.  But, what made their sermons so wonderful, was that each man picked a text that was near and dear to their hearts.  Their sermons were personal and passionate.  I learned a lot about my own heart and I learned a lot about theirs.  It was impressive.  And finally, these sermons were truly refreshing.  They were great reminders of God’s love for us in hard times; God’s comfort in life’s storms; and God’s faithfulness to us.  It was a great series.  You can find all the sermons from this series at https://clfroseburg.com/sermon-series/summer-psalms/.

Why Psalm 2?

About 3 weeks ago, I had a firm impression that we needed to finish the summer with Psalm 2.  Originally, the Psalms series was scheduled to finish last week.  But, knowing the venue we were in, knowing the times that we’re dealing with, it just seemed that we needed to hear about “why the nations rage?”  As I mentioned Sunday, I have been asking the Lord, regularly for His mind on the issues of our day.  Psalm 2, is a Psalm that most definitely gives us the mind of the Lord on “world-wide” matters.  Why are nations raging? Why are do governments desire to increase, not decrease?  Why do governments feel the urge to “intervene” so often in areas when they should be informing, not dictating?  Why do governments have laws or make laws that are unjust or do not treat life with the dignity that God has designed?  Psalm 2, really does tell us why.  But it also tells us the solution (more below).  

Regrets from the Sermon:

As I do periodically, I have some regrets about some thing I said from yesterday.  Specifically in the 2nd service.  One thing in particular, just did not come off (in my opinion), as respectful of the presidential candidates that we have for 2020.  What I said was “in a land of 320 million people, these are the candidates we get?  Really?  But these candidates are the ones that we deserve.”  The sarcastic nature of this, looking back, was not the best way to say what I was thinking.  I think it came off as disrespectful and it’s a statement that I regret.  

This is due to a couple of reasons:

  • One is a biblical reason…the Lord does at times, change nations, through their leaders, without their people being changed first.  We can see moments in the OT, when Israel, as a nation, was not turned to the Lord, but the Lord brought them a leader who was submitted to the Lord to change their direction. So, I don’t think this statement was as biblically accurate as it should’ve been.  While I do think that leaders we vote for do reveal something about who we are, as a people, there’s much more nuance to that and I was way too simplistic.  
  • The second reason is due to the time that we are in our nation.  There probably could not be a more clear time to see the differences between parties.  And, as a Christian, I believe it’s important for us to look deeply at the candidates before us, the parties they represent, and the platforms for which they stand, and ask:  how does this line up with what I believe, as a Christian?  For instance:  which candidate supports ending abortion on demand?  which candidate supports the freedom of religion?  which candidate supports private property rights?  And the list could go on and on about biblically informed voting criteria.  And what my disrespectful statement did, was generalize too much, and not challenge us, as Christians, to think deeply about these candidates and what they stand for.      

So, my prayer is that, if you were in the 2nd service, that you would judge the sermon on that comment and if that comment offended you, that you would forgive me.  

The need for the nation:

As Psalm 2 tells us, the need for the nation (and for all nations) is to “kiss the Son” and serve Him.  This will make our nation (and all nations) rejoice and be blessed.   But for the nation to do this, her people must do this.  This is where we, as a Christian people and as a church, must see our role in The City of Man.  We must be making disciples.  We must be demonstrating and declaring the gospel of Jesus in every sphere of influence that God has given us.  If the hearts of men and women are not turned to Christ, they will turn to the pantheon of gods of their imaginations and will vote in those who agree with those principles.  

My hope for yesterday’s sermon was to help us see this unchanging fact:  The City of God will always advance and will always prevail.  It is the kingdom that’s increase is accomplished by the “zeal of the Lord”.  And we, as God’s people through Christ, are His representatives in this cosmic struggle.  As the City of Man rages, we are ambassadors of our great King, telling people from the City of Man that any who submit to our King can finally be at home and at rest.  

Quotes that I left out:

  • “Let this, therefore, be held as a settled point, that all who do not submit themselves to the authority of Christ make war against God. Since it seems good to God to rule us by the hand of his own Son, those who refuse to obey Christ himself deny the authority of God, and it is in vain for them to profess otherwise.” John Calvin
  • “The kings and rulers of the earth must not let their temporal power, wealth, and authority in the civil kingdom blind them to the fact that the only reason they rule over anything is because God has ordained it. The kings and rulers of the earth are the servants of a sovereign God. They rule in the civil kingdom solely at God’s good pleasure. And they must never forget it.”  Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

A couple of things looking ahead:

  • Join us this coming Sunday, September 13th for our annual Church Picnic at the Roseburg Rod & Gun Club.  We’ll have 2 food trucks for burgers and BBQ and several games set out.  Bring a lawn chair and just enjoy the day with us.  For NFL fans…I know it’s the start of the season, but DVR your game and come eat a burger with us:)…
  • September 27th we’re hosting a visitors’ reception at our church building at 1:00 p.m.  Our hope is that, if you’ve joined up with us during the summer at Champion Field, that you’ll come see our building and meet our leaders.  We’re so glad that you’ve been with us this summer and we hope you stick with us when we move back indoors.  So, mark this on your calendar.  

Fall into Community:

With fall approaching and school starting, we begin our next ministry year (from September-August).  With that, our groups ministry will begin to take on “front-page” news at CLF.  This year, thankfully, we will have 12 community groups.  Soon, we will have information out about every group and opportunities for folks to sign-up for groups.  If you’re interested in joining a group, feel free to get a ahead of the curve a bit and email the church office at church@clfroseburg.com.  This should be a fantastic year for community life at CLF.  

Happy Birthday-CLF!

Today, as I write this on September 7th, 2020, I am reminded that 17 years ago, on a Sunday night, CLF met for the 1st official time as a church.  It was our first official Sunday together.  While we were meeting for a few months prior to that Sunday, September 7th was the first “official” Sunday.  It is really hard to fathom that it’s been 17 years!  And to see what CLF has become in this time, has been remarkable.  I’m very grateful for the Lord’s work among us (and in me) over these years.  It has been an honor to “grow up” together.   

From the Cheap Seats:

To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.

In Christ, 

Dave York

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