Colossians 3:12-17

What a blessing to partake of Christ’s ministry among us this past Lord’s Day! His living Word, so faithfully preached from Adrian Donato in both the morning and the evening, was rich indeed. Hand in hand with the passages that Adrian preached from, the following truths are always relevant and necessary for us as Christ’s people:

Colossians 3:12-17 (ESV):
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another,forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

You are often in my prayers, with much gratitude,

Greg

Hope for the Downcast

Beloved, these are troubling, difficult days in which we live.  Just consider some of the sobering events in the news this past month:

 

  • a Malaysian passenger jet is shot down by a surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 people on board…
  • the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, responsible for some 1000 deaths to date…
  • the aggressive, barbaric, genocidal advancement of ISIS in Iraq, resulting in the displacement and/or death of hundreds of thousands of people…
  • the tragic suicide of comedian Robin Williams, following years of substance abuse and battles with severe depression…
  • the decision of the Church of England to ordain women as bishops, representing a further departure from clear biblical faithfulness…
  • citing confirmed accusations dishonoring the name of Christ, the removal of mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll, and Mars Hill Church, from the church-planting network he co-founded…
  • and on, and on, and on.

 

In this technologically-connected world, our rapid awareness of such events, and many others besides, can quickly leave our heads spinning, and our hearts despairing.  But as overwhelming and distressing as life in this sin-cursed world is – which we experience both directly and indirectly – it is vitally important for Christians to remember that the world has been in this condition ever since Adam and Eve tasted the forbidden fruit.  Scripture often warns us of these harsh realities – see Jn. 15:18-16:4; 2 Tim. 3:1-5.

 

We must also remember that genuine Christians are the only people on the planet who have real, living, blessed, and eternal HOPE!!  As such, we are also the only people with the ability and responsibility to show and tell others how they can know this very same hope through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Oh my brothers and sisters in Christ, if you find yourself downcast and discouraged, weary in heart, cry out to the Lord and lay hold of the hope that is yours in Him!  Spend some time meditating and praying through passages like  Psalm 33;  Psalm 42; Jn. 16:33; Rom. 5:1-11; Titus 2:11-14; and 1 Pet. 1:3-25 (just to name a few).  Ask our generous God for help in living by faith in all He is and has given in Christ.  He will not disappoint.

 

And at the same time, purpose to be a faithful “steward of hope” as you rub shoulders with those who are yet hopeless, and helpless in their sins.  The exhortation of 1 Pet. 3:15-16 is always timely and relevant:

“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

 

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

Greg

A Look Ahead

Wow – amazingly, we’re already into the month of August!  I trust you have been having a refreshing summer thus far, and more than anything that you are growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:17-18).

 

Along with our modified summer schedule continuing through the end of August, we are having some guest preachers over the next 3 Lord’s Days at RCG.  Please be praying that the Lord would use these men to faithfully proclaim God’s living word (Eph. 6:19-20).  Pray likewise that all of us who gather each Lord’s Day would be faithful hearers and doers of God’s truth (Mt. 7:24-27).  Here’s the schedule for the next few weeks (for our morning corporate worship services):

 

  • August 10 – Cliff Peppers (Pastor/Elder at Gold Country Baptist Church in Cameron Park)
  • August 17 – Adrian Donato (Academic Dean at The Cornerstone Seminary in Vallejo)
  • August 24 – Tim Ingrum (you know this guy!  Deacon at RCG, husband of Willie, tall, bearded,… 🙂 )
  • August 31 – I’m planning to be back in the pulpit, Lord willing.

 

Also, please plan to gather with us on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 5pm, as we’ll be sharing a combined Lord’s Supper service with Grace Bible Church (Roseville), and The Cornerstone Bible Church (Natomas).  The service will take place at RCG, and Adrian Donato will be preaching.  Childcare will be provided, and we’ll also have refreshments afterward.

 

With much gratitude and affection, all of you continue often in my prayers – particularly in view of Eph. 1:15-23, and Eph. 3:14-21!

 

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

Greg