Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jesus' Ongoing Ministry

One of the greatest things about the ministry of Christ that he continues to minister to us in heaven before the throne of God. In fact, because of His presence in heaven, the throne of God is a throne of grace for the believer in Jesus Christ.

In heaven, Christ is a glorified and resurrection body which has conquered and triumphed over sin and death. His body is one of indestructible life, that of the resurrection, that of the age to come, the new creation.

Yet, when we cry out to him, we have one who is able to sympathize with us. While Jesus Christ himself never sinned--in his earthly humanity, he was like us in all things. He had a body that was beholden to weakness and suffering. He knows what it is like to cry out to God the Father in great need.

This makes Christ, all the more, a fitting minister on our behalf. He has "been there" as it were. He has seen the struggle and walked it. He alone was heard because of his godliness in his cry to God but because of this he can identify and be a mediator for us both as the godliness that we need but also as the perfected one before the throne on our behalf. And yet because he was like us in all things, he can continue to minister as he does as the representative human.

Hebrews 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

This post was cross posted over at Tim Bertolet's blog "the voyages." You can follow Tim on Twitter: @tim_bertolet.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kill your pride before it destroys you

The story of Herod vs. God is a fascinating study in man’s pride. Read about it in Acts 12, where Herod seized one of the apostles, James, and had him beheaded. One reason for Herod’s murderous action is revealed in the story: “When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.” Herod had a hunger for the praises of men that fueled everything he did. I would submit to you, dear reader, that those who live for the praises of men cannot live for the purposes of God. The two are aggressively opposed to each other. Jesus said to the self-promoting Jews of His day, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” In other words, you cannot believe if you seek the favor and approval of men instead of the favor and approval of God. Herod was consumed by his own pride.

Later in the story, we see it again, as he gives a speech to the people of another country who came to him asking for help. They needed food, and he controlled the place where there was a supply, so they had to come and beg. There’s nothing that pleases a proud person more than to have people under his control. People who cannot make a move without his permission. People who walk on eggshells around him for fear that they might say something that upsets him or makes him lose control, or go silent and withhold his love. A proud pastor will swell up when he hears the people praise him and will do a slow burn when he hears that another church is doing well. A proud parent will punish children who fall into disfavor by using the silent treatment, withdrawing love and affection and words of affirmation, “to put that child in his proper place.” A proud spouse will do the same, and will almost burst into applause when the other spouse messes up and has to come and ask forgiveness. In the proud person’s twisted thinking, that means that he has some extra capital; he has seized the high ground, and he loves it.

Push others down. Push self up. That’s how Herod lived. The pinnacle came when he gave an oration to the people who had come to beg for help, and they cried out, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Did Herod fall on his face in horror and tell them to stop what they were doing? No. Like any one of us who gives pride its full measure of control, Herod wanted to be God.

Read the chapter: Herod’s end is not pleasant. God demonstrated in no uncertain terms that He always wins, and those who oppose Him always lose. This is mercy for us, so that when we see the smallest pinprick of pride starting to show itself in our own hearts, we will deal with it immediately. A preacher who was dealing with a sin issue in his sermon had a lady approach him after the service, highly offended, to say, “Pastor, are you trying to wound my pride?” And he said, kindly, “No, dear lady; I am trying to kill it.”

Kill your pride before it kills you. If we give into it, it will take us down the same road that Herod walked, and like Herod, God will put us in our place. Jesus said it plainly: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When the lost are found, don't forget to party!

In Luke 15, the author recounts an instance in Jesus’ ministry when the religious leaders grumbled at the way Jesus received the “tax collectors and sinners”. In response, Jesus tells three parables that illustrate the state of those lost in sin, the heart of Jesus and his Father for the lost, and their work to redeem the lost. While Tim Keller has written extensively and compellingly on the parable of the prodigal son, I find the common themes between the three stories equally stunning.

1. The Lost - The cumulative nature of the things lost in Jesus’ three parables are powerfully parallel to the state of fallen humanity lost in sin. Like the sheep, we are wandering and weak. Like the coin we are lifeless and in the dark. Like the son, we are rebellious and running recklessly headlong into sin.

2. The Redemption - Likewise, the nature of the one seeking the lost in each parable gives us a rich picture of God the Father. Like the shepherd, God comes after the ones that are lost and does not rest until they are found. Like the woman, God comes with light into our darkness and sweeps the corners of creation to find us. And like the father of the prodigal, God rejects our attempts at earning back his favor and our self-justification, and instead embraces and kisses us before we have done anything whatsoever to merit it.

3. The Rejoicing - I find it curious that the one explicit point of the three parables that Jesus actually takes time away from his storytelling to highlight (vv. 7, 10) is the one point that often gets lost in our retelling of them. Jesus is telling these to show the joy in heaven “over one sinner who repents”. And, given the bookends of the chapter starting with grumbling Pharisees and ending with a grumbling brother, Jesus’ implicit second point is how unlike the Father these disgruntled groups (and we?) are being.

Implications For Life and Ministry - Working backwards, we should rejoice at the lost being found as the Father rejoices. It’s so easy to get comfortable in a sanitized, church-y bubble, that the first tax collector or sinner to walk in the doors could be seen as an offense, not an opportunity. Celebrate when people get saved. Throw parties! Try your hardest to match the riotous rejoicing going on in heaven with your own celebrations down here.

We should also seek like the Father seeks, going after the lost, bringing light into darkness, and embracing those who have rebelled. This means the true threat isn't that of sinners upon our sanitized, church-y bubble, but instead, our bubble is actually a threat to the Father’s true mission of reaching those very sinners! It needs to be popped. This obviously requires some wisdom, especially for those prone to join the prodigal in his rebellion. This is why we are on mission as a church, as a body, not individuals. No Christian is Jack Bauer, a solo agent who work better alone. Mission is the call of the body, and we can only fulfill the mission with the body and Christ as our head.

Monday, February 17, 2014

It’s all in the follow-through

How many times have you wanted to do the right thing, but you did not do it? You thought about it. You even decided, “Yes, I will do this.” Then the thought fades, the desire dries up, and the next thing you know it is a week later and you remember the desire you had and wonder why you never followed through. “Oh well,” you think. “Maybe this week.”

Follow through. It’s the key step in anything, isn’t it? You have a desire to grow in your knowledge of the Bible? Follow through and read it. You have a desire to be faithful to the local church? Follow through and go. You have a desire to be generous in your giving to God’s work? Follow through and give. Paul wrote this to the church in Corinth about giving: “So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.” In other words, follow through, church! As the saying goes, “Crying babies and good intentions ought to be carried out immediately.” As Vance Havner said, “Don’t be a son or daughter of ‘I will arise.’” The prodigal son is not famous because he had a desire to repent but never followed through. Interestingly, the prodigal son came home for the very same reason that faithful Christians give: because he knew the father first loved him. Alistair Begg said, “It is ultimately what we know of God that stirs our heart to the necessity of generous giving.” Do we know God in such a way that has freed us up to give ourselves and our money generously to Him?

I realized long ago that men are particularly prone to suffer this malady: “If I have thought about it, and agreed that it is a good thing, that’s the same as doing it.” I know women probably do this too, but I don’t have the same sample size on that research. But men do it. A lot. For example, I have thought about being a bold proclaimer of the Gospel with the person in the checkout line, even sometimes to the point that I think I have done it. Often. The truth is, I have done it in my mind 1,000 times for every one time I have actually opened my mouth to speak. Here’s another, more personal example. I realized a few days ago when Cindy and I were having a heart to heart that I thought I had my FOMO (“fear of missing out”) under control and that I really didn’t look at my phone that much when I was around her. Nope. I had to check my bags on Reality Airlines and admit to her, and mostly to myself, that it was a problem. So I made the promise … and told her I might need help and I might go through withdrawals…but that I would put my phone and iPad away when I get home from work, and only check once before bed for urgent messages that need a reply.

Are you giving? Faithfully and generously to God’s work? If not, then it will take an action plan. Just as I decided to take action with technology, you can begin to take action with your giving. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

What action do you need to take in order to become a faithful giver? It’s all in the follow-through.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Joseph Williams wants to feed the hunger

Joseph Williams’ first trip to Haiti was in a diaper, as a 1-year-old. He was traveling with the New Directions, a ministry founded by his father, J.L. Williams, in 1968. The New Directions crossed the country as a multi-racial singing group in the late 1960s and early’ 70s and sang, “wherever they were welcome and even some places where they were not,” Joseph recalls. “I remember many spring breaks when the group would sing to college students who were not worshiping the Lord on the beach.” The New Directions sang in the public square, in prisons, schools, orphanages and in churches. “A multi-racial team in those days was remarkable, but I didn’t know it because for me, it was normal. I grew up with afros and lamb chops! It was really groovy; no big deal,” Joseph said with a smile. “It was a blessing, though, to look back and see that what we did was groundbreaking.”

The ministry went through a transition in the 1980s from a singing group to a mission’s organization. Joseph said, “My father is a gifted preacher and he wanted to see the Gospel preached to the world.” When J.L. Williams retired from the New Directions and handed the reins to his son, that did not mean at all that the patriarch was slowing down. “I jokingly call him Lieutenant Dan, from the movie ‘Forrest Gump,’ Joseph said, “because if he doesn’t die on the battlefield, he’s going to make the Lord send him back. So, he’s trying to increase the odds by traveling (and preaching overseas) as much as possible!”

Joseph became the CEO of New Directions International in 2005, but as of last year, the ministry has a new name: Feed the Hunger. “We changed the name to better reflect what we are doing,” Williams said. “We want to feed the hunger, spiritually and physically, that we see in the world. Instead of just sending money to partners who will buy whatever they can to feed hungry children, we decided, why not send them healthy, nutritious food?” Feed the Hunger sponsors food-packing events all over the country, where people of all ages can come and help. Williams says the pack-a-thons give everyone who can’t or won’t go on a missions trip a chance to be directly involved. It’s also a lot of fun, and nearly any age can participate. “We say ages 5 to 105, but I’ve seen hairnets on infants,” Williams said. The ministry is currently feeding 7,500 children in five countries, and these pack-a-thons supply the meals. A plastic bag is packed with four ingredients and then sealed for shipping. The ingredients include a protein source (either soy or pintos), vitamin powder, rice and dehydrated vegetables. The bags are then boxed up and shipped overseas, where they are distributed along with the good news of the Gospel. “An empty stomach has no ears, so let’s open their ears,” Williams said.

Feed the Hunger has now expanded their operation to feed hungry people in Burlington and in two other communities in the United States. Williams said he was impacted by the Scripture where God says, “There will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore … open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in your land.”
What is the heart cry of Joseph Williams? “I simply want to do what God wants us to do.”
Want to help? Go to and learn how to sponsor an event or even go with the team overseas to distribute food to hungry people.

Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Have Fellowship, Part 1

Recently Donald Miller created quite a firestorm of blogs and on twitter when he posted some reflections on church and his lack of attendance to church. There were a lot of good direct responses. The reality though is that we live in a culture that for all its talk of relationships and community has little knowledge or experience of fellowships and relationship.

Have you ever stopped to ponder why in our generation we have a break down of relationships? The divorce rate is up. It is not uncommon to find people who spent a longer time preparing for their wedding than the length of their marriage. Families break down. Teens and parents illustrate this regularly. In a world reeling with the effects of sin, relationships do not work without grace.

Good relationships consist of unity and fellowship but the truth is that these only thrive where Jesus Christ is known and he brings our relationships together.

In this first post we want to lay the ground of all relationships. We want to draw our thoughts in these three part series from 1 John 1.

We have fellowship when the Word who came becomes the Word proclaimed.
First, this means when Jesus Christ came to earth, he was heard, seen and touched.
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—

‘That which was from the beginning,’ -this starts out very similar to John 1:1 “in the beginning was the Word”. But here he is talking about the beginning of the Word that was heard. There is a play on the idea of the Word. It is referring both to Christ: he was seen and touched. But also to the message that was heard.

Jesus is the Word became flesh but he also proclaimed the Word of the Gospel. He is the message but the message is also about Him.

In fact, as the Word, he arrived. He became flesh, he was manifest--or came close.

Elsewhere in John, we see this interplay between the proclaimed Word that brings life and the person of the Word who is life:
1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

What you need to know is that 1 John is written in part to refute a heresy. He tells us their are antiChrists people who deny Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that He came in the flesh. The message hasn’t changed from the moment Jesus came. The same Word of Life that Jesus preached is the same Word of Life that Paul the apostles preached. This is true today for all churches that are faithfully proclaiming God's Word. For all the talk about how church is not like the first century, the reality is that if it is faithful to the gospel and the Word of God there is more continuity that discontinuity. And you can't have genuine fellowship where the Word who is Christ is not heard through a proclamation of the Word.

Second, Jesus is his coming, comes for relationships. In his presence, He  was touched. He was real and true flesh and blood.
Docetism was an ancient heresy that said Jesus didn’t have a real body. He only looked like he had a body. But Jesus was real and tangible. When we profess faith in Christ, we are not professing faith in an idea, a myth, a legend but someone that is real and tangible. There was a real person who lived and died. He was God the Son.

In fact, Jesus Christ is the Word of Life.
1 John 1:2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.
The “life” is a person. He came. He was seen. The disciples, John here, have spent their earthly lives testifying to it. Because the eternal life--Jesus--has come, we are to go and out to proclaim the message of eternal life with our words. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

This life was with the Father but he also came near to us.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

1 John 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

Third, when the Word is proclaimed and people believe we come into fellowship.
One of the modern misnomers is that preaching is an intellectual enterprise. Yes, bad preaching can come across like a lecture. A person can fall asleep in a good sermon because all he hears is the drone of "blah, blah, blah, lecture, lecture, lecture." But for the Bible, preaching and proclamation is a means of the Holy Spirit's work. It raises the dead, dried bones and dead hearts return to life. Spiritual life and renewal is imparted. When Jesus is proclaimed the bonds of fellowship with Him and with His church grow. 
1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

The gospel goes out and is proclaimed and as people come to believe it they come into fellowship with each other. There is no genuine fellowship where their is no gospel being professed amongst the people. There is no mutual bond of unbreakable love where there is no confession of Christ.

You see when this message is heard and proclaimed there becomes a Fellowship with the Father and with the Son. One of the reason so many people do not have good relationships, a good church community and fellowship is they don't have a growing fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As a pastor, I encounter lots of people who take their spiritual temperature by themselves and for themselves and give themselves an A rating (B+ if they are 'modest') but the reality is they have no growing fellowship and you can see this because they can't even fellowship with other believers through situations where the love gets tough. For example, I once encountered a person who had stumbled in sin. When I encouraged them to draw near to God (which would have included repentance but also refreshment from God's grace), the person's response was basically "I have a good relationship with God. He loves me even when I make a mistake." Sadly the sin was downgraded to a mistake and God gave a mulligan. What a weak conception of fellowship. What a weak experience of grace and God.

Here's where we need to start for Fellowship:
Confession and Fellowship or Word and Communion go hand in hand.
We live in an age of the  church where she has anti-doctrinal tendencies. Christians love to say things like “deeds not creeds”.

What binds us together is Jesus Christ. The Word came. He was proclaimed. He is confessed. We are saying “these things are true, this person is real”

This grounds our fellowship with one another.

This profession of faith unites us to the Father and the Son.

When faith is not professed, there is no fellowship with God. When there is no fellowship with God there is no fellowship together.

This post was cross posted over at Tim Bertolet's blog "the voyages." You can follow Tim on Twitter: @tim_bertolet.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Does Eternity Shape Your Thinking?

We rarely think about the reality of the afterlife with vivid imagery. A while back I got myself into listening to the music of Chuck Berry. He has some good stuff and a lot of what he did heavily influenced the development of Rock N' Roll into the 60s, 70s and beyond. You can hear in Berry's music the influence of Blues and Jazz combined with a pioneering Rock n' Roll sound.

While there is a lot of music (some good and some bad) that reflects upon death, Chuck Berry's song Downbound Train is worth a listen. The song even speeds up as the train approaches hell--it builds with intensity. Here are the lyrics to a song that is great to listen to but paints a picture of what a descent into hell could be like. [I've inserted semi-colons (;) for each line break. Stanzas are separated by a line break.]

Chuck Berry “Downbound Train" Lyrics 
A stranger lying on a bar room floor; Had drank so much he could drink no more; So he fell asleep with a troubled brain; To dream that he rode on that down bound train. 
The engine with blood was sweaty and damp; And brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp; And imps for fuel were shovelling bones; While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.
The boiler was filled with lager beer; The devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were most a motley crew; Some were foreigners and others he knew. Rich men in broadcloth, beggars in rags; Handsome young ladies and wicked old hags.
As the train rushed on at a terrible pace; Sulphuric fumes scorched their hands and face; Wider and wider the country grew; Faster and faster the engine flew; Louder and louder the thunder crashed; Brighter and brighter the lighting flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became; Till their clothes were burned; and they were screaming with pain. Then out of the distance there came a yell; Ha ha said the devil we're nearing home,
Oh how the passengers shrieked with pain And begged old Satan to stop that train.
The stranger awoke with an anguished cry; His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high; He fell on his knees on the bar room floor And prayed a prayer like never before.
And the prayers and vows were not in vain;
For he never rode that down bound train.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is also famous for the vivid imagery. High school English teachers (and countless others) have slaughtered this text and painted Edwards as nothing more than a vindictive fire and brimestone preacher and these same folks (like one of my own high school English teachers) bash the Puritans with little first hand reading in them. Even sadder is when Christians join this rant against such a godly heritage, though they like all Christians were not without their flaws. More to the point, Edwards had in his mind an image of eternity: both sides. His sermon Heaven is a World of Love, is equally enrapturing as he paints the beauty of heaven and even makes ethical appeals to how we can live now with the ethics of heaven. Such visions our rare in our day, even within the evangelical church.

Sadly, in our day in age, we fail to grasp the eternal. It does not drive our thinking. Our reflections on it are weak and wimpy. Some, from within the church, would even have us believe that we should reflect more on how we live and act now than on heaven. "In the past, we've been too focused on heaven, which is from Greek or Platonic philosophy; such Christians do not live in this life benefiting those around us" is the all to common mantra. 

This fails to do justice to (a) Christian theology; and (b) countless Christians whose view of heaven pushed them to serve others in this life. I think we could argue that a strong sense of heaven leads to a strong sense of vocation in this life, not to mention personal holiness, evangelistic fervor, and countless other Christian traits. In reality, as Christians our citizenship is in heaven [Phil. 3:20]. Our lives should be lived in the here and now with the culture of heaven evident through and through. We are strangers and exiles and this world is not our home. Heaven, and ultimately the New Heavens and New Earth, is the home of the believer. Heaven is the ultimate reality. It is eternal life.

But an equal reality is that of hell. Hell is eternal death--not cessation of existence but eternal existence under the consequence of sin. It involves unending conscious torment because of judgment. Hell is not a place on earth or this life. Hell is not what I make it or simply the absence of God, like a mere eternal lonliness. It will be unending suffering and damnation for sin. It will be torment. Those who are there will long for an end but be recieving a due punishment for sin--a punishment each one of us, including Christians, deserve.

Oh, may we look to our hope Christ Jesus our Lord who is in heaven. May a reflection on eternity shape our thinking today. For the Christian there should be no such truth to the axiom "So heavenly minded no earthly good." In fact, the more heavenly minded, the more earthly good.

Colossians 3:1-2 NAU Colossians 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

What does this "set your minds on things above" look like in the context?

Colossians 3:5-10 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-- 

This post was cross posted over at Tim Bertolet's blog "the voyages." You can follow Tim on Twitter: @tim_bertolet.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Lord provides for His people

It was the spring of 2002, and Antioch was looking for a permanent place to meet. We had met in nine different locations for Sunday services, set up chairs and sound equipment for 15 years, and were ready to find a place we could call home. That’s when we saw the for-sale sign on the Nazarene church property. They were building another church facility a few miles away, and agreed to let us lease their building while the new place was being completed.
“The only thing is,” they told us, “we really want to sell. We are going to continue to market the property until a buyer comes along.”

Sure enough, we had not been in the new location long before the pastor called, asking if he and his leaders could meet with our elders.
The meeting was short and to the point. The chairman of their board started the conversation:
“Gentleman, as much as I hate to say this, we have an interested buyer for the property. We would much rather see a church remain on this land, but we also have to think about our needs. And our need is to pay off the bank, so we are going to have to accept this offer. Unless your church would be willing to go to the bank and get a loan.”

The three of us looked at each other and smiled. We believed that God would provide for us as He always had, He would open a door that no man shuts and He would close a door that no man opens.
Thank you,” we responded. “But we will not go to the bank for a loan. We would like to have our 60 days to pray and seek the Lord, though.”
They agreed and we reported to the church the very next day. Sixty days later, I called the pastor and told him that we would not be able to exercise our option to purchase because we didn’t have the money. He assured me that it would still be several months before we would have to move out. There was one thing in the whole process that the pastor did not mention because it was just a formality. The church building is in a neighborhood, zoned single-family. The developer planned to erect apartment buildings, so the property would have to be rezoned to multi-family.

The zoning board refused to do it.

You know, that’s just like God. The town stood to receive tax revenue if this land was converted from church property to commercial. Still, they refused to rezone. I don’t care what anybody else calls it; I call that a miracle. But there was more.

The pastor asked if we could meet again. They had decided to let us stay indefinitely and pay rent. Every penny we had paid until that point, and every penny we would pay in the future would go towards the purchase price of the property. We would pay no interest at all, we would never have to borrow money, and the monthly lease price would be reasonable, lower than the going rate for commercial property.
When the church heard the news the next time we gathered for worship, they rejoiced in what the Lord had done. To this day, whenever I tell that story, the hearer is amazed at what the Lord did. “That’s a miracle!” is the response I most often hear. And it is. And as of yesterday, the property is fully paid for.
We say with the Psalmist, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”