Cherishing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Plug Into the Gospel

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Sundays have been a joy over the last several months.  This doesn’t mean they weren’t a joy before, but something very palpable seems to be happening in our recent gatherings.  There’s a genuine sense that the Lord is at work in His people, that His people are responding to His Word, and that He’s bringing clarity and peace into lives.  I can’t put my mind around all of it, but it’s been a privilege to be a part of it.  It’s another reminder of why Sundays are my favorite day of the week.  

Did you plug it in?  

Have you ever had that moment when you called someone for technical help, and they asked, “did you plug it in?”  I had that happen on a tech support call and replied, “really?  I think I’m plugged in!”  Only to look down and notice that my power cable was NOT plugged in. So, I humbled myself, laughed, and said, “umm, well, I think I found the problem.  It wasn’t plugged in.”  Then I graciously (LOL) hung up.  

Here’s why I use that illustration:  often when I talk with Christian people about dealing with conflict, I ask them questions like: “did you speak with the person who sinned against you?”; “did you talk to the person you sinned against, humble yourself, and ask them to forgive you?”; “did you forgive the person who sinned against you?”; “where in this situation, does ‘love cover a multitude of sins?’”; “what part is your contribution to this conflict that you need to confess?”  Can you hear, in these questions:  “Did you plug into the power at your disposal in Christ?”  Here’s the point:  for Christians, we’re the only people in the universe who have the power of Christ at our disposal to pursue peace and reconciliation.  Yet, most of the time, the issue is that we don’t plug into that power by humbly and obediently doing what Christ has commanded us and leaving the results in His hands.  Instead, we never try.  We avoid; we isolate, run, and stay in conflict. 

My prayer is that this series equips us to be peacemakers and reconcilers in this world.   

If you have questions about this subject, please don’t hesitate to send them to us.  We want to serve you.

Truth and humility:

The best, most healthy relationships have truth and humility in the center of them.  Here’s why:  when people have the freedom to be completely honest with one another and the humility to receive the truth given to them without offense, it makes relationships stronger, not weaker.  The best relationships can speak the truth, in love to their friend, spouse, business partner, etc., and they have the humility to receive that truth, in love, without offense.  

But the question is, how does this happen:  for Christians, we have a unique perspective that should make us better truth-speakers and better receivers of truth given.  We have the cross of Jesus.  See, on the one hand, the cross stands as the loudest judgment or criticism against us.  The cross says that our sin is so terrible that it took the Son of God’s death to deal with it.  But on the other hand, the cross stands as the loudest affirmation of love that we will ever receive.  The cross says that God loved us so much that He sent His Son for us.  He loves us more than we could ever imagine.  Now, what this does for us is that it allows us to hear truth, criticism, judgments from others without letting it offend or devastate us.  But it also allows us to speak the truth to others without fear of being rejected or not being loved.  The cross stands as the most incredible power to our souls because it reveals the depth of our sin and the vastness of God’s love for us.  And this helps us speak the truth and walk in humility.  Imagine if we applied this to every interaction that we have with people.    

The best thing I’ve read on this is “The Cross and Criticism” by Alfred Poirier.  Here’s a link to that article:  https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/cross-criticism/.  

From the Cheap Seats:

  • Welp…once again, they didn’t love me back…I should’ve known.  I tried this year to remain optimistic.  I tried not to think of 25 years of playoff frustration.  But in the end, it was too much to overcome.  All that to say, I thought the Niners played well, except late in the game.  I think the Cowboys’ trajectory is up, but there’s still a ways to go.  
  • Man City 1 and Chelsea 0…at least one of my favorite teams is winning at a staggering pace.  I’m just hoping the Cowboys’ playoff curse doesn’t hit City in the Champion’s League.  
  • The NFL playoffs are so fun.  The Bills were amazing (Josh Allen: Wow!); the Bucs showed that Tom Brady is still the G.O.A.T.; the Chiefs are going to be a tough out; the Bengals are not the Bungles anymore; I can’t wait to see how Matthew Stafford responds to playoff pressure.    
  • MLB…still waiting.  

Ambassadors of Christ…that’s who we are.  Let’s represent Him well this week.  

In Christ, 

Dave York

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Handling Benevolence

I had a few of you ask on Sunday about how the Good Samaritan story would fit into the sermon on Sunday.  It’s a great question.  But here’s a very brief summary with an explanation:  The Good Samaritan story was taught by Jesus to the Jewish people about their lack of love for anyone who wasn’t Jewish.  1 Timothy 6 was written to a pastor regarding how the church should care for those in their church who were truly in need. 

Musings

Being a Pastor

It’s always a daunting task to teach about the role of pastors while being a pastor. I never want a sermon like that to come off as “we have it so hard” or “you just don’t know what we go through.” My hope in Sunday’s sermon through 1 Timothy 4:6-16 is the joy, gratitude, and wonder I have in being a pastor. While I would’ve never wished being a pastor on my worst enemy, I cannot believe how lucky I am to get to do what I do with the church I serve. CLF has been a remarkable blessing to my family and me. And this pastorate has proven to be one of the greatest privileges and joys in my life. While the pastorate can have burdens, it is happy to work for me. I love what I do, and I love the church I serve.

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