Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, September 15, 2020

To err is Humane; to Forgive, Divine 

“To err is Humane; to Forgive, Divine.” This quote was written by the English poet Alexander Pope, in the poem An Essay on Criticism, Part II, 1711. “Pope explains that, while anyone can make a mistake, we should aspire to do as God does, that is, show mercy and forgive sinners.”  However, hearing about the unrelenting inhumanity expressed by some people and reading about recent examples of cruelty to others makes us want to despair for all of mankind.


We all have a tendency toward evil (Psalm 51:5).  That is why we need someone to rescue us from ourselves.  We need a Savior.  Although we may think we would never stoop to the level of people we read about we routinely justify committing other sins, Jesus went to the cross for all of our sins so that we could resist disobedience to God (1 Peter 2:24).  Miraculously, Jesus became the sacrifice so that we could be in right standing with Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because He forgave all of our past, present, and future sins we therefore ought to forgive others of their offenses against us (Ephesians 4:32).


When we forgive others, we demonstrate Jesus’ nature in us.  Because He forgave us from the penalty of disobedience, we can forgive others for what they have done to us.  We can do this because we can do everything through Christ who gives us the strength to do so (Philippians 4:13).  In our humanness, we will err, make mistakes, and commit sin but to forgive those who have offended us means that Jesus has taken up residence in us.  The divinity of Christ in us allows us to forgive others. Let us follow Christ and forgive like He has forgiven us.


Psalm 51:5

New International Version

5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


1 Peter 2:24

New International Version
24 "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."


2 Corinthians 5:21

New International Version

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


Ephesians 4:32

New International Version

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


Philippians 4:13

New International Version

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.





Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, September 9, 2020

Let Us Please God

Walter Hagen, a professional golfer said, “You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”  This is one view of life.  Another take on our time on earth can be seen in the famous quote, “I intend to live a fast life, die young and be a beautiful corpse,” published in a 1920 newspaper of a letter from Mrs. Irene L. Luce concerning her divorce. Both of these views of life focus on the few years we have on earth and give suggestions for how to spend those days.


The Bible also gives us guidance on how to spend our time wisely.  The book of Ecclesiastes says man must fear and obey God (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  In another passage, it says that we should act like our everyday lives are a loan from Him (Romans 12:1). He wants us to get rid of bitterness, rage and anger and to be kind to one and another and forgiving (Ephesians 4:31, 32). Also, He wants us to turn away from the evil so that we can do His good work (2 Timothy 2:21).


A few years ago, there was a saying about how we should act. It said, “What Would Jesus Do?”  He would want us to be about God’s business while recognizing that our actions have eternal consequences.  If we do what the Bible tells us to do, we will do well in life (Isaiah 1:19). Let us decide that we will spend our lives seeking God’s approval, direction, and wisdom. 


Ecclesiastes 12:13
Amplified Bible

13 When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person.


Romans 12:1

New International Version

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.


Ephesians 4:31, 32

New International Version

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


2 Timothy 2:21

Amplified Bible

21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


Isaiah 1:19

New International Version

19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;