two reasons, my thoughts turn to this passage from the prophet Haggai, who spoke God's Word at the time of the rebuilding
of the temple after the exile of Judah into Babylon:
to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!' "For
thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and
I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says
the LORD of hosts. 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' says the LORD of hosts. 'The glory of this
latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD
Please consider with me the providence of God, in the arrivals of two physical changes to the campus of
Redeemer Reformed Presbyterian Church this weekend. Taken together, occurring on the same weekend, these two changes
are a glorious providence, which connect us to the revelation from God's Word in Haggai 2 quoted above.
First change: The arrival of
a gaga pit on the field of RRPC, last evening just before our kick-off meeting of Christian Service Brigade. The arrival
of a what ?!? Yes, a gaga pit. It is an octagonal enclosure made from two by six pieces of lumber, connected by heavy
hinges. Ours was constructed by Captain Mark Beilstein, with his sons, Jacob, Nathan and Ryan, and with assistance from
Jared Dykshoorn. Gaga is a fast paced game of knocking a ball around within the gaga pit, in which boys when struck
by the ball from the knee on down, are eliminated from the gaga pit. The last Brigadier standing in the pit goes gaga
with happiness !
This ministry tool, which helps make Brigade the action-packed, high-energy ministry to boys that it is, will have
a place in the coming of all nations to the Desire of All Nations. We would desire
that people of all backgrounds, of all ways of life, whether presently churched or not, would be drawn to worship the Lord
Jesus, the Desire of All Nations. And offering a ministry like Brigade, and a ministry like Pioneer
Girls which complements it, so that boys become godly men, and so that girls become women of God, is part of a full-orbed
evangelistic and discipleship ministry at RRPC, which will reach those peoples and families whom we believe shall
come to the Desire of All Nations ! And as we reach parts of Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties here, we
seek to support missionaries in the U.S. and abroad who have the same passion !
Second change: The arrival of twenty-five
additional seats for the sanctuary of RRPC. More than three quarters of the 2100 dollar cost of the chairs was covered
by memorial gifts given in memory of Mrs. Lillian Morton, wife of the first pastor of RRPC, who labored with the Merry's and
the Page's in providing the founding leadership of this congregation. When Pastor Mark Bell preached at the funeral
of Lillian this spring, he told me a story in the car, and may also have repeated it during the sermon. Pastor Bell
recalled a consultation among the wives of the session members while the elders were deliberating how many chairs to purchase
for the Log Chapel. When that decision was made, after the meeting, the elders were encouraged by Lillian and the ladies,
something along the lines of, paraphrasing of course, "Let's fill the house ! Let's get enough chairs that can
handle a crowd at the Log Chapel !" (Several additional chairs were ordered !) How appropriate that these
25 chairs can now be placed in loving memory of Lillian who at an earlier point in this congregation's history encouraged
expansion. We are providing the space that God's house may be filled.
As you know, any earthly temple is no longer the peculiar
locus of God's presence as it was in the Old Testament, since now Jesus Himself is the temple of God. Jesus referred
to the tearing down of the temple of His body (John 2:19). Jesus was put to death for our sins, and the building up
again of the temple of His body occurred in three days, at his resurrection. All praise and glory be unto His glorious
name, a name through which, we know the only way to come into the presence of God to worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
! Notwithstanding this, I do believe that God is glorified in the filling of a house of worship, for as we read
in Haggai 2, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts. God's glory still fills
a place of worship when God's people praise His Name, and thank Him. We can thank and praise God anywhere, but Lord's
Day worship is an opportunity for us to do that together, regularly. In 2 Corinthians we read,
And since we have the same spirit
of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED AND THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe and therefore
speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus,
and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the
many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our
outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. -2 Cor. 4:13-16.
We do not lose heart, even in the face
of death. We believe that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus. What
a glorious hope we have even as we think of Pastor Jim and Lillian Morton. When we worship God together, it is an opportunity
to speak about what we believe as we sing God's praises, to listen to God's Word concerning the death and resurrection of
Christ, and to invite many to gather to learn of this Savior, and His grace, so that as conversion happens, that
grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. The more people at
a service who gather to worship God in Spirit and in truth, gathering to thank God, causes thanksgiving to abound
to the glory of God. God's house is filled with God's glory, to the praise of His name ! Please pray with
me that in the coming years, should the Lord be honored in this work of the gospel at RRPC, all these seats may filled with
true worshippers of God who bring glory to His name.
Thank you to all who give offerings and contribute their time to the service
of God, You show belief not only with your lips, but also with your lives . . . for 'The silver is Mine, and the
gold is Mine,' says the LORD of hosts. "
See you tomorrow to worship the King, Lord willing.
The Discovery class begins tomorrow
at 9:30 a.m. as some explore the essentials of confessing belief in Christ and speaking of that belief, together. You
can get a book tomorrow if you have not yet received one. Simply come five minutes early, to get a book, and join
us at the Cry Room for the class.
Sincerely in Christ,