Pastors' Blog

November 2021

How God is Glorified

"Glory to God in the highest," the angels sang when Jesus was born. Really? The highest glory of God is two peasants in a barn, laying a newborn baby in an animal feeding trough? The highest glory of God is that his magnificent angels sang their wonderful song to smelly, uneducated shepherds who had been working the fields for who-knows-how-long?

From a human perspective, there is absolutely nothing about this story that is glorious. A baby born in a barn might be moderately interesting to a modern-day local TV news crew. But the story could just as easily be bumped from the evening news by, well, just about anything.

The Christmas story is exactly how God loves to be glorified—by saving people. He doesn't need fanfare. He already knows who he is and that he is unmatched in power. What he really wants is for us to know him as a loving Savior and believe in him.

God doesn't just call for humility. Amazingly the One who is greatest also displays humility. His greatness is seen in his willingness to endure anything in order to save us. The story starts with the humbleness of a manger; it ends with the horror of a cross. In between were years of persecution and homelessness. Through it all, there wasn't a word of complaint. He was too committed to saving us to notice the hardship it entailed!

The birth of Jesus was God revealing his highest glory—love! Without love and forgiveness the other attributes of God are just too terrifying to consider. But because he is guided by love for us, his power and magnificence are wonderful for us to consider. He won't use his power in any other way than to bless us.

Learn a lesson from the Christmas story about how to glorify God. Jesus said, "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8). You glorify God when you humbly take the opportunities and gifts he's given to you and use them to do God's will. You don't need fanfare either. When you quietly love your family and serve them, God is glorified. When you use your skills at your job so that you can support your family and provide a service to a company or customer, you glorify God. When you help a friend who needs help, you glorify God.

The Christmas story shines with the glory of God. That glory is his love. We too can glorify God—by showing love.

A glorious Christmas season to each and every one of you!

Pastor Tim Wempner



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Bold in Thanksgiving

It’s amazing to me how sometimes I can be incredibly bold with my bellyaching. As soon as I get mad, as soon as I get annoyed, as soon as something happens that frustrates me I let everyone around me know it.  I can be so courageous when I complain, so brave when I start whining about the things I don’t like. 

Stage fright? Please. I could be in the middle of a packed shopping mall, surrounded by people, but if something sets me off I’ll start complaining at the same volume level as if I were preaching the last sermon of my life. 

And I think that’s true of a lot of us. When it’s time to show our discontent (Especially if there’s family members around), we just let ‘er rip. It is not hard for us to be bold in our bellyaching. 

But instead, maybe we should aim to be bold in our thanksgiving. 

It’s about that time of year again, November is rolling in. Soon it will be time for food, family, and football. The joys of Thanksgiving day, the eagerness of appetizers - while all the while at least one family member keeps an eye on the calendar to let everyone know when Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season really begins. 

And during all of this, let’s be truly bold in our Thanksgiving this year. Instead of being bold in family squabbles, courageous in complaining about nationwide shipping shortages, or brave to chastise the person who dared to make that stuffing recipe again - instead of it all let us be bold in our Thanksgiving. 

Our thanksgiving to each other, and especially to our God. 

Not just for the blessings of home, food, warmth, and companionship. Not just for family and friends. Not just for big screen TVs. But for the love God showers on everyday through Jesus. For the love God will shower on us eternally through Jesus. All of it. All of it we are thankful for, all of it is God’s big, bright smile towards us through the cross of His Son.

So this Thanksgiving, instead of being bold to bellyache, be bold to bless. Be courageous in counting your blessings.

Raise up your voice and let ‘er rip.

 

Pastor Joshua Zarling



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Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. ~ HEBREWS 12:2 (NIV)