From the Pastor’s Desk (11/4/2015)

Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another” (12:15-16a).  As the church, may we be obedient to Paul’s command.  May we rejoice with those who rejoice; and may we weep with those who weep.  As the church, we are a family.  There are those who are struggling – may we pray for them and come alongside to encourage them.  And there are those who are rejoicing – may we rejoice with them and give thanks to the Lord with them.  We will all face times of weeping and times of rejoicing in life – how good it is to have a church, a spiritual family, with whom we can walk together during these times.
  • We give thanks to the Lord for the birth of Mark Abraham Cavanaugh last night.  Carrie and the family are doing well!
  • Bible study tonight at the VanTubergen’s home at 7:00PM.  Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, 77095.
  • Men’s Breakfast this Saturday morning at 8:30 at the Egg and I on Hwy 6 at Little York.  Come and join us for a time of good food and fellowship.  We will discuss this article on ‘plodding’ in the Christian life:
  • Officer Training continues this Sunday after worship from 12:30 to 2:00PM.
  • Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Psalm 46 on being still to know that God is God.
God bless and I look forward to seeing all of you this Lord’s Day!

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

“Be Still, and Know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10, “Be Still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

In our day and age, it seems almost impossible to be still.  From the hectic pace of everyday life to the 24-hour news cycle – from houses filled with little children to demanding jobs – being still seems to be a thing of the past.  But the reality is that the difficulty of being still to reflect on the things of God and of Christ is not new with our generation.  For many, many generations ago, the Psalmist told the people of God, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a).  To be still with our Lord is a neglected, yet vital discipline for God’s children!

In Psalm 46, the Psalmist gives us several things that should fill our minds as we are still with the Lord.  Let’s take a moment to reflect on these divine characteristics that should fill the mind of the Christian.  First, God is our strong help in times of trouble: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (v. 1).  Our covenant God is our refuge – he is our shelter – he is our help in times of trouble and difficulty.  And more than that, he is our ‘present help’ – he is near.  Yes, he is the creator and sustainer of the universe (God’s transcendence), but also he is near and present with his people (God’s immanence).  Therefore, we shall not fear!  Though the earth should crumble around us, we shall not fear (vv. 2-3).

Second, God is the source of our joy: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High” (v. 4).  These rivers running in the city of God remind us of the first paradise in which man first walked in the presence of God (Gen 2:10-17).  In other words, to be in God’s presence (as were Adam and Eve in Eden) brings joy and satisfaction – often symbolized in Scripture with rivers and water (see, e.g., Is 43:19).  Of course, Jesus is the one ultimately who offers living water (i.e. life) to sinners (John 4:13-14).  And the Christian will enjoy unbroken fellowship-life with God in the New Heavens and the New Earth (Rev 22:1-5, note the symbolic depiction of the river of life in the NHNE, which reminds us of Eden).  True joy comes when we are still in God’s presence – when we take the time to be with him – the one who loves us and gave himself for us (Gal 2:20).

Third, God will vindicate and fight for his people (vv. 8-9).  He will defeat his enemies and ultimately make ‘wars cease to the end of the earth’ (v. 9).  God will brings peace to his people (Is 2:1-5).  Through the victory of Christ at the cross, the gospel of peace is going to all nations.  And one day when the Lord returns for his people, there will be peace throughout the land as Satan is judged and God ushers in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Thus, brothers and sisters, may we be still and know that He is God.  He will be exalted in the nations.  He will be exalted in the earth.  He is with us – He is our fortress (vv. 10-11).  May we take time to be still with him.  May it be a priority to be still before our God.  May we fight against the grain of a world that has no time for eternal matters – and may we give eternal matters our first and best thoughts!  May we give our Lord the first and best moments of our day!  He is our strength in times of trouble.  He is the source of life and joy.  And he fights for his people and will make wars cease when he returns again!