The signs are showing. Winter approaches. Halloween Trick-or-Treaters were greeted with snow flurries on October 31st. On November 1st, we moved our clocks back one hour. We do that so as to get a little more daylight in our day, even if that comes early in morning. Still, the days of winter in North America are filled with more hours of darkness.
There is another darkness we can experience in any season of the year. It is the darkness that comes upon our hearts when we realize how completely afar from our God we have run. It is the darkness that comes over us when once again we stand face to face with our own weaknesses to live an upright life. It is the darkness that comes when so many of our efforts to be kind and compassionate to others have fallen short. Such darkness can plunge us into despair. Such darkness surrounded the writer of Psalm 130:
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
Yet, even in that darkness he knew he could turn to the one who created light itself. He could turn to the one who set the sun in its place. He could turn to the one who sent his Son as the light of the world to redeem us from the darkness. In this one, our God, he trusted. He trusted him for forgiveness.
But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
We also can trust in our God for his forgiveness and the light that pulls us out of our own darkness. The Psalm writer describes this trust as a waiting. We wait on the action of our God. We wait for him to lift us up out of the darkness and despair into which we have fallen. As we wait for our God, we place our complete hope in him.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
What an amazing description of how we wait for our God. Watchman on the towers of the fortress were supposed to watch for those who would attack them. How difficult a job in the darkness of night? They didn’t have spotlights or night-vision goggles when this psalm was written. How fearful to be peering out into the black of night, unable to see any approaching danger. How relieving when the sun would arise in the morning bringing light enough to see. How relieving to know you had come through to the other side. How relieving when God shines the light of his mercy on us and we know that we are secure in his arms.
There is no uncertainty in our God either. Just as every single day we simply trust that the sun will rise again out of the darkness, we can have that same simple trust in our God always to rise with forgiveness. The hope we place in him is a sure hope. He will indeed forgive and redeem us.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. – Psalm 130
Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms. These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word.
Thursday, November 27, is Thanksgiving Day. It is certainly appropriate to have a day set aside for Thanksgiving, but we know that every day we have much for which to be thankful. Will you join in making November a month of thanksgiving?
Each day in November a post will be started on Beautiful Savior’s facebook page asking for your daily thanksgiving. Comment on that thread, or tweet @bslclaporte using the hashtags #monthofthanks and #dailythanks. Let’s boldly proclaim our thanks to God for all his blessings!
What would you do if you knew the world was going to end? Spend all your money? Go on every vacation you ever wanted? Mope in abysmal destitution? Find a friend?
God’s Word clearly states that the world as we know it will one day come to an abrupt end. No one knows the day or the hour save God himself. It will be a day of acknowledgement. It will be a day of destruction. It will be a day of judgement.
Such a day would seem to strike terror into human hearts. Yet, just as surely as God promises that day will arrive, he also promises his people joy, peace, salvation, and victory on that very day.
Join Beautiful Savior for worship in November as we seek those very promises from God; promises for the end of the world.
Have you watched a doomsday movie lately?
“The Book of Eli,” “The Darkest Hour,” “The Day After Tomorrow.”
Hollywood keeps producing them. The end of the world both fascinates and frightens. What do we like most about Hollywood’s version? The inspiration of survival. Against all odds, all hope lost, humanity grabs hold of courage, defies doom, and turns the tide.
Hollywood can’t give you the real story. It merely attempts to adequately capture the descriptions in God’s Word:
“The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…but the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:7, 10)
Fire. Destruction. Judgment.
For some it will be a day of judgment and destruction, grief and pain like nothing even seen or imagined before – “eternal death.” For others the end of the world will mark the beginning of a new life where pain and trouble will cease forever.
How can you be among them? How will you survive?
When that day comes there is no amount of courage which humanity can grab hold of to turn the tide. It’s the last day; the final end of the cosmic war between God and Satan. The key to survival is Jesus. It was Jesus’ own blood that cleansed us of our sins and rescued us from the clutches of Satan, and it is by Jesus’ own blood, poured out for all our sins that we will be ushered into heaven on that day. By the blood of Jesus we not only survive, but we will be renewed, we will be glorified, and we will be home. Revelation describes that last day as a joyful day for those in Christ:
“And there was a war in heaven…the great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan…Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our bothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!” (Revelation 12:7-12)
You will survive in Christ.
On November 3rd, we celebrate the Reformation, which kicks off our time of worship focused on End Times. Here follows a prayer from Martin Luther asking Christ to return:
“Grant, dear Lord God, that the blessed day of thy holy advent may come soon, so that we may be redeemed from this bad, wicked, world, the devil’s dominion, and be freed from the terrible plague which we must suffer from without and within, from wicked people and our own conscience. Do thou dispatch this old maggot sack that we may finally get a different body, which is not full of sin, inclined to unchasteness and to everything evil, as the present one is, but one that is redeemed from all bodily and spiritual misery and made like unto thy glorious body, dear Lord Jesus Christ, that we may at last come to our glorious redemption. Amen.
In November we celebrate Thanksgiving. Here follows a quote from Martin Luther concerning our thanksgiving to God, which he spoke in explanation of Psalm 118:1 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
“This verse teaches us what the proper sacrifice is that pleases God most; for we cannot perform any greater or better work for God, nor can we render Him a nobler service than thanking Him.”
Luther Quotes taken from What Luther Says by Ewald Plass, © 1959 Concordia Publishing House, paragraphs 3542 and 4355.
3628 W. Johnson Rd.
La Porte, IN 46350
Sunday Worship - 9:30am
Family Bible Hour - 10:45am
A La Porte county family founded on, and growing in, the truth of God's Word; sharing the love of our Beautiful Savior.