Hymn of the Day
Blessed are the dead who die in Christ,
For they are with Him now;
The glories they now share in heav'n,
No mortal here can know.
Soon as the ransomed soul is freed,
From this poor mortal frame;
Before we know it's gone it is,
With Christ praising His name!
Faith tries but here cannot quite see,
The things God has prepared;
For those He chose redeemed and called,
And now in heav'n appear.
We'll now rejoice this much to know,
They are completely blessed;
Freed from all sorrow, pain, and sin,
With Jesus Christ they rest.
Our friends their Savior fully see,
And all His glory share;
Let us be foll'wer's of the Lamb,
And we shall join them there.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - #118
There Is a Fountain - #222
Special Dates: Katie Van Beek – 17 ~ Jared Vlastuin – 20 ~ Amy Koedam – 21 ~Garen Rozeboom – 22 ~ Steve and Gail Jensen – 23
We extend our sincerest sympathy to the family of John DeBruin who passed from this life into the presence of the Lord, faultless and full of joy, on February 13, 2021. The Lord brought John among us more than 25 years ago and we were blessed to have him among us. He was a faithful man, always present at worship. His empty spot on the west side of our sanctuary will picture the empty spot in our hearts.
Nearly 2000 years ago, our blessed Lord prayed, "Father, I would that those You have given Me would be with Me where I am that they may behold My glory." Since that time, the Father has been answering the Savior's prayer as, one by one, He has called to glory those given to Christ before the foundation of the world. Certainly, our Savior rejoices today as one more of those given to Him is now with Him, beholding His glory. Together with John's family, we mourn the loss of our brother, but with our Savior, we rejoice that John has been set free from all pain, suffering, and death and is now in the presence of Him who loved him and gave Himself for him.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God.
~1 Peter 3:18
How can I, a sinner, come to the holy, living God and find welcome, acceptance, and fellowship? How can I come to God so as to live my life here on earth in His communion and favor and, when I die, be received up to enjoy His glory forever? I can take the Scriptures and eliminate the many ways which men think will bring them to God.
1.) The LOVE OF GOD alone will not bring me to God. God is love and
delights to show mercy, but God is also holy and righteous and will not show His love at the expense of His holiness. He will punish sin!
2.) The LAW OF GOD will not bring me to God. "By the law is the knowledge of sin," not its pardon nor forgiveness.
3.) The CHURCH OF GOD will not bring me to God. The church is the body of those who have been brought to God.
In the Old Testament there were three essentials to coming to God to obtain favor, acceptance, and atonement. On the Day of Atonement the HIGH PRIEST came to the TABERNACLE with the BLOOD SACRIFICE in his hand. There was a designated priest who came to the tabernacle (holy place) with the atoning blood. It is no different today!
OUR TABERNACLE IS CHRIST, who tabernacled among us. God will meet men, and men will meet God only in Christ (John 1:14).
OUR HIGH PRIEST IS THE LORD JESUS, who is the one Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
OUR ATONEMENT IS HIS OWN BLOOD, by which He entered heaven itself and obtained for us full, complete, and eternal acceptance (Hebrews 9:11-12).
I do urge you who have any interest in knowing the Living God to come to Him by faith in Christ. -Henry T. Mahan
And [Jesus] goes up on the mountain and calls near those He wanted, and they went to Him. ~Mark 3.13
As we read the gospel accounts of our Lord's ministry, we get a sort of microcosm of our Lord's works throughout this age. In the previous verses we read that there were many who were anxious to follow him and even press upon Him for He had healed many and they desired the same for themselves. And the Lord gave them what they desired from Him. And so it is in the world today: There are many who seek Christ for they have been told of earthly blessings that might come to them if they follow Christ. And the Lord often gives them what they seek. But they seek no more than that, and He gives them no more than that.
But in verse 13, we read that He ascended the mountain. David wrote, "Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?" (Psalm 24.3) In both His cross-work and His ascension, our Lord ascended to the mountain of the LORD and stood in God's Holy place.
Then our Lord called near those He wanted. It is from the lofty place of the true "Mountain of the Lord" that Christ calls to Himself all He has desired. There is no sense of begging or pleading here. The word translated "calls near" can mean "summons." This is the call of a King, not the plea of a frustrated suitor. He has chosen them and has done so, not for anything they have done or anything He hopes they might do. He chose and called them entirely on the basis of His desire – His will and purpose. He did not issue a general appeal for followers, but privately and purposefully called to Himself those He wanted to call. And so it is even now.
And what other response might we expect from such a call other than the one we read? "…they came to Him." The Lord's call did not spring from their desire to come to Him but from His desire to have them. And even now, He calls from His "glorious high throne," and all whom He calls come and find that "glorious High throne from the beginning" to be their place of sanctuary – a place of safety and worship (Jeremiah 17.12). Not one whom He calls fails to come. -Joe