GRACE NOTES- PASTORAL LETTER 5.10.23

Monthly memory verse: “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” (Heb 4:14).

Dearly beloved saints of Covenant of Grace,I was blessed by our time learning, worshipping, and fellowshipping together this past Lord’s Day.  From studying the principles of Presbyterianism, to contemplating God’s sovereignty even over wicked men in Psalm 76, to sharing a meal, it was a joyful and refreshing day.  I praise the Lord for it, and I praise Him for each one of you.  I praise Him, even as I continue to pray for you daily, asking the Lord to fill you with the heart-encouraging, spine-strengthening knowledge of His care for you in Christ, assured that He who oversees all things does so with a particular eye to your welfare.  I myself was wonderfully encouraged by this thought as I stared up at the night sky recently with the words of Isaiah 40:26 running through my mind: “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of His might and because He is strong in power, not one is missing.”In the first place, this verse reminds us of the greatness of our God’s knowledge and power.  He is the One mighty One who called the heavens, the earth, and all that fill them into being.  As Isaiah says just two verses later, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isa 40:28).  He spoke all things into being out of nothing.  He said, “Let there be,” and, just like that, where no created thing had been, many created things began to exist.  And, by the same might, He continues to uphold all things – sustaining the existence of every created thing from one moment to the next (cf. Heb 1:3; Col 1:17).  More than that, He actively governs all things, working everything throughout the entirety of His creation according to His own sovereign good pleasure (cf. Eph 1:11).  It is with this understanding that Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declares to us that our God brings out the stars each night – all 200 billion trillion, or 200 sextillion or more of them as current estimates have it.  So that, just to gaze up into the starlight sky is to behold a staggering display of the absolutely incomprehensible power of God.  But of course, Isaiah says more than that.  He says the Lord calls out each of these numerous stars by name – indicating not only power beyond our imagination, but also knowledge vaster than could be contained in all the books of a thousand worlds.  He not only knows that all of these stars exist; He not only exercises dominion over them; He actually knows them individually, by name!  What can we say to this but to join in Paul’s exclamation, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom 11:33).  Truly, we ought to be staggered by the greatness of our God’s knowledge and power.But, Isaiah doesn’t stop there, he goes further and reminds us that our God’s knowledge and power contain great comfort for us.  “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God’?  Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable” (Isa 40:27-28).  The point is somewhat akin to Jesus’ teaching in Luke 12: “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!… Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Lk 12:24, 27-28).  And what is the point?  If your God is powerful enough to perfectly guide and provide for the seemingly numberless stars in the heavens, the birds that fly through the air, and the flowers that fill the fields of the earth, and if He knows each one’s place and “need,” and if He applies His power and knowledge so as to do what needs to be done for and with them all at just the right time, then now much more will He see to it that His perfect plan is perfectly executed for you, who have not only been made in His image but purchased with the blood of His Son!  Isaiah’s conclusion is much the same as that proclaimed by the Son as He walked the earth many years later, asking how God’s people could possibly think they’ve been forgotten or disregarded by this God of absolute power and limitless knowledge?  How could we possibly be overcome with worries and doubts, when He who moves billions of trillions of enormous stars in their courses without a single misstep also watches over us with a fatherly love so deep that He would give His Son to die the death of the cross for us?  Surely then, our God’s knowledge and power contain great comfort for us.Take heart, then, child of God in Christ!  You are not, under any circumstance, forgotten.  Nor are you, at any place and time, somehow outside the extent of your heavenly Father’s power.  He knows where you are and what you are going through, and He is, at every second, moving you along in paths planned out before He laid the foundation of the world, accomplishing His divine design.  He not only knows you by name, He has written your name in His book and will never blot it out.  He will direct your steps with far more care than He does the stars, until He has brought the good work He has begun in you to completion, and you see His face and shine like the star we call the sun in His everlasting kingdom. In Christ,Pastor Eric P.S.Join us for the prayer meeting each Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall – dinner is served at 6:00pm, followed by a brief lesson and a time of prayer at 6:30.  Or, join us for prayer each Thursday at 10:30am in the adult Sunday School room.Please mark your calendars!  If you ever need to double-check dates, events are usually kept up to date on the church’s website calendar:  https://covenantofgracews.org/event-calendar/· Daily devotions
o I continue to encourage you to daily read Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening as we seek to maintain a spirit of unity.  It is widely available – here is one link:
§ https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/morning-and-evening/today
 

‘Vision Statement’  Covenant of Grace is a loving church family that equips people to know God and His Word through serious, joyful, Christ-centered worship and service, in reliance upon the Holy Spirit.

Matt 22:37-39
37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Love God.  Love people.

 

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508 Harvey Street
Winston-Salem, NC  27103

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Covenant of Grace Presbyterian Church
PO Box 26511
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27114-6511

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