From the Pastor’s Pen

Pastor Guy Shields

 

How Do You Honor Such A One?

Posted by on Mar 20, 2020 in Carousel, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

How Do You Honor Such A One?

Friday, March 20, 2020

How do you honor someone who is completely trustworthy; someone who is perfectly reliable; perfectly faithful; perfectly true?  How do you pay tribute to that truthfulness, that faithfulness, that reliability, that trustworthiness? 

How do you honor someone who is completely capable; who has the capability to deal with the challenge/ challenges of your situation; someone who understands it completely; who has complete understanding and insight; who has perfect wisdom to know what your situation involves, what it requires and how you should respond; someone who has the power, who has the strength to handle your situation and to enable you to deal with it; who can strength you, enabling you to meet the demands of what you are facing? 

How do you honor someone who is not only trustworthy and capable, but who is also perfectly interested and concerned; who is attentive to you in your situation, always; who is always available to you; whose ear is always listening; whose eye is always watching; whose mind is never forgetful; who is always perfectly aware of you?

How do you honor such a One?

You honor them by drawing upon their trustworthiness.  You honor them by ALWAYS entrusting to them with EVERY situation that you face; by PERSISTENTLY relying on their reliability; by CONTINUALLY putting the FULL weight of your dependence and confidence on their capability; on their understanding and insight and wisdom; on their strength.  You honor them by NEVER keeping ANYTHING back; by making EVERY need known to them; by casting EVERY burden upon them;  You honor them by ALWAYS calling upon them; by CONTNIUALLY bringing yourself to their attention; stepping into their line of vision, as it where, so that they see you.  You honor them by ALWAYS availing yourself of their perfect availability. That’s how you honor such a One.

And, Our God IS such a One!  Our God is PERFECTLY trustworthy.  He is the perfection of trustworthiness; of faithfulness and truth.  Our God gives meaning to these virtues; He defines them.  Trustworthiness, faithfulness and truth, are what God is. 

Our God is perfectly capable; the perfection of capability; perfect knowledge; perfect insight; perfect wisdom; perfect power; perfect strength; perfectly able to enable. 

Our God is perfectly reliable; the perfection of reliability; always listening; always watching; always mindful; always perfectly interested and concerned.

Our God is perfectly trustworthy.  And we honor Him in His trustworthiness by trusting in that trustworthiness, completely, continually.

Deuteronomy 32:4—”The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.

Psalm 34:15-18—“The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Joshua 1:5—“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

Psalm 139:1-12—“O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

Matthew 11:28-30—“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

1 Peter 5:6-7—“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 23:1-6—”The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Guy

Our Thinking Begins With The Reality…

Posted by on Mar 19, 2020 in Carousel, Features, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

Our Thinking Begins With The Reality…

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Where does your thinking begin as you look out on the situation we are facing with the Covid-19 Pandemic and the impact it is having on our society?  What is the starting point, the point of departure, for your understanding in the face of the seemingly endless stream of new information flowing in from around the nation and the world?  What is the launching pad for your response, both emotionally and practically, as you evaluate all that information and what it suggests about what the days ahead may look like?

The answer to these questions is, “It is the same as it always is.”  Our thinking begins with the reality of an infinite and eternal God; a God who is absolute and infinite and perfect; absolute[1] and infinite and perfect with respect to every aspect of His being, every property of his nature and character; every one of His works.  Our thinking begins with the reality of a God who is the perfection of goodness and wisdom and power—Genesis 1:1;  Exodus 3:14; Psalm 119:68; 1 Timothy 1:17;  

Our thinking begins with the reality that this infinite and eternal God, this God who is absolute, infinite and perfect is the Creator of heaven and earth; that all things in creation are by Him and for Him; all things in creation are from Him and through Him and to Him; they are the works of His hands; by the breath of his mouth all things were made and by that same breath all things remain.  Our thinking should begin with the reality that this Creator preserves all things it, providing for all the works of His hands and governing everything that transpires within them, in the material realm as well as in the realm of mankind’s affairs, both nations and individuals—Psalm 33:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 44:24; Daniel 2:1-49; Jeremiah 10:12-13; . 

Our thinking begins with the reality that this Creator God works in all the works of his hands; that he is righteous, He always does what is right, always does what is best; whose ways are perfect; a God who is faithful and true, who showers his goodness on all that He has made, both those who do right and those who do not; whose steadfast love rest upon all those who hope in his goodness; on all those who trust and obey him, who wait on him, who rest in him; all those who fear him—Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 32:4;  2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 103:1-18; 145:8-20

Our thinking begins with the reality that this God is sovereign over all that He has made; that he has established his throne in the heavens and his rule governs all things; that like a potter with the clay He forms it as He is pleased to do and uses it likewise; that everything that comes to pass does so under his absolute sovereign control; nothing transpires apart from his will; nothing just “happens”; nothing is random, but all things are by design, both good and evil (including Covid-19 and its collateral impact); that all things are ordered by One who knows the end from the beginning and from before the beginning of the world established his purposes in creation; that He works all things for His glory, for the praise of His name—Psalm 103:19; Isaiah 44:24-28; Isaiah 46:8-10; Jeremiah 10:6-7; Daniel 4:17, 34-35; Exodus 4:11; Job 2:9-10; Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6; Isaiah 64:8; Romans 9:21; Ezekiel 36:22-23, 32; Romans 11:33-36;

Our thinking begins with the reality that this God is full of mercy; that he is good and kind; that He sees and knows all things, including each and every person on the planet; that he knows them; that he knows everything about them; He knows their heart; their mind; He knows their hopes; their fears—Deuteronomy 4:31; Nehemiah 9:31; 2 Corinthians 1:3;   

Our thinking begins with the reality that this God is intimately involved with the lives of his creatures; that He cares about them; that He hears them when they call to Him; he is always present to them at all times in the perfection, the fullness of his being; that every person lives in his presence—Psalm 139:1-16; 145:9; Acts 17:25-26;

Our thinking begins with the reality that this God is the giver of all good gifts; that he delights to do good to his creatures; that he has perfected his goodness to them in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ in that, by Jesus Christ, he has provided everything required for His creatures to be redeemed and restored to right relationship with him—Acts 14:17; James 1:17; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10

This is where our thinking begins.  This is the foundation, the cornerstone of our understanding; these are the realities that underlie our thinking as we look out on our present situation and assess what is going on.  These realities form the launching pad for our response , both emotionally and practically.  These are the cornerstone realities on which everything in all creation is built.

In the Love of Christ,

Pastor Guy


[1] To speak of God being absolute is to speak of the independence of God.  It is to speak of the reality that God has not received anything, any aspect of his being or his nature and character, from outside himself; from beyond himself.  It is to speak of the reality that God is what He is, in and of Himself; that He is what He is because He is what He is.  He has being (existence) in and of Himself.  It is His nature to be.  God is the One for who it simply is—that He is.  God is the One for who it is impossible that he not be.  Every aspect of his nature and character is absolute.  God does not become. He simply, is  God is Absolute.

The Slavery of Loving One Another

Posted by on Jul 12, 2015 in Features, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

The Slavery of Loving One Another

“But through love serve one another.”—Galatians 5:13c

This is a very interesting statement.  In the context the Apostle is admonishing the believers not to be enslaved again to the various rites and rituals of the law.  He affirms that Christ has fulfilled the Law, that in Christ they have been set free from the Law, and that they are called to freedom. (more…)

The Fear of the Lord is to Hope in His Mercy

Posted by on Apr 19, 2015 in Features, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

The Fear of the Lord is to Hope in His Mercy

 

“His delight is not in the strength of a horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147:10-11

The fear of the Lord is a multi-faceted concept in Scripture. In Psalm 147:10 the fear of the Lord is equated with hoping in the loving kindness, the mercy, the steadfast love of the Lord. (more…)

Be Pressed into Christ’s Mold

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Features, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

Be Pressed into Christ’s Mold

 

“Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind . . .” —Romans 12:2a

In my desk, I have an embossing stamp that I use to mark my books and identify them as belonging to my library. It is a simple tool that has two matching plates, one is raised and the other is recessed, both having the identical inscription. To use it, you simply slide a page between the two plates and squeeze them together using the plyer-like handles. The paper is pressed into the mold of the plates, and the result is a page clearly embossed with the words, “from the library of R. Guy Shields”. With this tool I mark my books as mine. They bear my mark and are clearly identified as belong to me. (more…)

He has Risen

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in Features, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

He has Risen

 

 

“He is not here, but has risen.”—Luke 24:6

These words, spoken by the angels to the women who came in the early dawn to visit Jesus’ tomb, are among the most significant words ever to fall on human ears. I would go further and say they are the most significant, in part, because of what they mean for lost and dying humanity. They are words of joy, words of love, and words of hope.They are words of joy because they convey the reality that death has been conquered, the penalty of sin has been paid, and the way to eternal life in relationship with God has been opened. (more…)

Give Thanks to The Lord

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

Give Thanks to The Lord

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His steadfast love endures forever.—Psalm 136:1

By Presidential proclamation our nation will gather this coming Thursday to give thanks. There will be much giving of thanks—expressions of gratitude, and rightly so, for we have much to be thankful for. (more…)

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith”—Hebrews 12:2a

Having grown up in the country I was around farm animals quite a bit; cattle mostly, but horses too. Most of the time they were of the riding variety, but once in a while I got to see the big draft horses. They were always so impressive. (more…)

The Word of God is the Bread of Life

Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

The Word of God is the Bread of Life

“Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”—Deuteronomy 8:3

This past Wednesday night we hosted a “hands-only” CPR class sponsored by the Clackamas fire district. As a part of the training we learned that when someone goes into cardiac arrest, for every minute that they go without breathing, without their heart pumping blood to their brain and other vital organs, their chance of surviving the cardiac arrest decreases by 10%. But, really, no one has to tell us how vital oxygen and blood flow are to life. (more…)

The Fame of His Name

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Features, From the Pastor's Pen | 0 comments

The Fame of His Name

Mention the name Wayne Gretzky north of the 49th parallel (and to be fair, in some places south of the 49th parallel as well) and everybody knows immediately who you are talking about. Even after his retirement from professional hockey over a decade ago he is still a household name in many places. To many adoring fans he is known simply as “The Great One”. (more…)