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May/June 2015 Update

May 1st, 2015

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:1-2

Let a Righteous Man Strike Me

We give praise to God for lavishing our church with His love, grace, peace, and mercy. We thank Him for His sanctifying work in each of us that allows us to joyful serve, love, and submit to Him, as well as to one another out of reverence for Christ. God is accomplishing His purposes in our church and, get this, He allows us the privilege and blessing to be part of that work! Wow!

As we continue in our transition between pastors, it is with eager anticipation that we all wait for our sovereign God to reveal to us who our next pastor will be. We affirm the Apostle Paul’s charge to Timothy in chapter two of 2 Timothy, and we pray that, like Timothy, our next pastor will preach the Word; and will be ready in season and out of season; and will reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching. And as we affirm and pray this, we must also examine ourselves to ensure that we Living Proofers are the type of people whose hearts gracefully and humbly accept reproof, rebuke, and exhortation.

If our self-examination comes up lacking, perhaps it’s because we’ve bought into the lie that we’re independent and that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Or, perhaps we take a certain amount of confidence in our self-sufficiency – that we need no one but ourselves to do and be who and what we want. Or, perhaps we’re guilty of both. Oh that God would reveal our pride and the error of our thinking!

Proverbs 15:32-33 explains, “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” We read Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 7:5, “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.

Correction does not feel good at the time because it exposes our sin. But these wise words of Scripture above tell us correction is good and necessary. It is one way that God sanctifies His children. And many times this is done as a pastor preaches the Word – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16b-17)

Let us surrender our pride and autonomy and self-sufficiency at the cross and find forgiveness, grace, and relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And as we grow in Him, yes, may we also joyfully accept His sanctifying reproof, rebuke, and exhortation. May our hearts be transformed to that of David’s, who prayed, “Let a righteous man strike me – it is a kindness; let him rebuke me – it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” (Psalm 141:5)

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