A Time to Build from Pastor Sam on 4/28/2020

 

New Life in Christ
Pastoral Letter
April 28, 2020

“A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.” Ecclesiastes 3:3 NASB

Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,

As communities are preparing to ease “lockdown” measures and begin a phased approach to return to “a new normal,” others are concerned with moving too fast, and so we acknowledge that no one really knows for sure what the future will hold. While that motivates uncertainty and anxiety in some, for others it drives us to redouble our efforts to gain control of our situations and those around us and to identify and produce solutions. Work is good and a mandate from God, but anything we build for its own sake shall always fail unless we acknowledge the sovereignty of our Lord.

Unless the Lord builds the house,

They labor in vain who build it;

Unless the Lord guards the city,

The watchman keeps awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early,

To retire late,

To eat the bread of painful labors;

For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2

Forgive us for thinking our own efforts alone will change our circumstances, change the hearts of our loved ones, or change the course of history. Rather let us trust in the Lord and cultivate faithfulness; let us delight ourselves in and commit our ways to the Lord (Psalm 37:3-5), no matter the earthly outcome.

As disciples and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, may we confess how easily we identify with His disciples of two millennia ago, who were enamored with the progress and seemingly limitless abilities of mankind?

As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” Mark 13:1-2

Forgive us for placing our trust in what we see, and for walking by sight rather than faith. For blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, and whose trust is the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:7)

Forgive us for longing for a return to a culture or a time in which all our needs are provided, rather than longing to rest in the only God who shall supply our needs, according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).

Forgive us for placing a premium upon earthly blessings, while neglecting the blessing of a clear conscience. 

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account. Romans 4:7-8; cf. Psalm 32:1-2

Then how shall we build? May we build one another up in the grace of God. May we build not for earthly gain, but a heavenly reward. May we build with a view toward eternity, to the glory of God. 

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:9-11

If you have specific needs, please let us know (nlicc@nlicc.org || 540-786-4848) so that we can pray for you and offer any practical help. Our elders are available as are our deacons (https://goo.gl/forms/wZ8miuU2BptSmOtG3). Please be aware of your neighbors needs, especially the elderly and vulnerable. We are here for you.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Sam

P.S. For the perspective of believers living in bygone eras of plague, check out the podcasts found at Five Minutes in Church History here: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/episodes/ and see how Reformer Martin Luther and African-American Presbyterian minister Francis James Grimké built up the body of Christ during such times.

 

Upcoming Events via Livestream (www.nlicc.org/watchlive)

Next Sunday (5/3/20)

  • 9:00 am Adult Sunday School Class – Bob Rumbaugh teaching on the Apostles’ Creed (via livestream)
  • 10:00 am Worship Service – Pastor Sean preaching (via livestream)
  • 6:00 pm Evening Word & Fellowship – Skip Tyler preaching (via livestream & Zoom – look for the email invite)
  • 7:00 pm Youth Group (via Zoom – look for the email invite)

 

READ MORE ON OUR WEBSITE

 

New Life in Christ Church 11925 Burgess Lane Fredericksburg, VA 22407

(540) 786-4848  |  nlicc@nlicc.org 

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