Greetings In The Name of The Lord:
Psalm 47:1 (NLT)
Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!
The fact that God chooses to love the unworthy should move us to loud praise frequently.
Margaret Sangster Phippen wrote that in the mid-1950’s her father, British minister W.E. Sangster, began to notice some uneasiness in his throat and a dragging in his leg. When he went to the doctor, he found that he had an incurable disease that cased progressive muscular atrophy. His muscles would gradually waste away, his voice would fail, and his throat would soon become unable to swallow.
Sangster threw himself into his work in the British home missions, figuring he could still write and he would have even more time for prayer. “Let me stay in the struggle Lord,” he pleaded. “I don’t mind if I can no longer be a general, but give me just a regiment to lead.” He wrote articles and books, and helped organize prayer cells throughout England. “I’m only in the kindergarten of suffering,” he told people who pitied him. Gradually Sangsters’s legs became useless. His voice went completely. But he could still hold a pen, shakily.
On Easter morning, just a few weeks before he died, he wrote a letter to his daughter. In it, he said, “It is terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice to shout, “He is risen!” — but it would be still more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout.” Are you ready to shout the glory of Jesus today?
Greeting In The Name of the Lord:
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NLT).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian who was an enemy of the Nazis because he refused to go along with their state idea of a church that practiced the anti-Semitism of the Nazis. In fact, he was a hunted man who upheld authentic Christian principles. As a part of the German underground he was not safe to worship openly. Bonhoeffer knew there was no other community and fellowship like that experienced within the Body of Christ. He said: “Baptism incorporates us into the unity of the Body of Christ, and the Lord’s supper fosters and sustains our fellowship and communion … in that Body”. During the Nazi reign, Bonhoeffer was cut off from other believers, and it took a toll on him. Donald LaSuer says, “Bonhoeffer’s painful discovery is instructive for us. Cut off from the nurturing fellowship of other Christians, he felt a deeper hunger for the fellowship that was no longer available to him. Like a hungry man who knows the taste of bread though he can no longer reach and break from the loaf, he knew the power of fellowship when it was painfully absent.” We often fail to realize just how blessed we are to be able to come to church and worship the Lord with our church family. I fear that all too often we take it for granted. What would you do if all of the sudden it became illegal to attend church? How would you feel if for some reason you would loose your freedom by attending a church service? What if you were locked away with no church service, no praise and worship, no sermon, and no contact with other Christians? Maybe it’s time for us to look at attending church not as something we have to do, but rather as something we want to do? It is quite possible that this scenario isn’t that far off.