Saturday, December 18, 2010
When death comes one is never fully prepared to handle the loss of a loved one. This past week has been a very trying week for me as a pastor. Even for a pastor we are never fully prepared on how to minister to a family. Everyone responds to death in different ways. Whether it be anger, cold-shoulder toward others, or just being quite. No two people that I have ever ministered to handles the death of a loved one the same.
This week the church at Pleasant Hill Baptist lost a dear saint who truly loved the Lord. It was a great joy to be able to pray with her and her husband, Wednesday before her surgery. As a pastor it brings peace to me when the person heading into surgery is trusting in God to bring glory to Himself through the situation, no matter what the turn out.Wednesday's surgery did not prove to be a success, humanly speaking. After complications, the surgeon had to go back in to find an infection that had attacked her body. On Friday at 1:00, we lost a saint of God, but He gained one!
It broke my heart as her husband of 42 years stood and watched his bride leave this walk of life. Nonetheless, as a pastor it was a privilege to be there with him and his family. It was a joy to know he wanted his pastor there at the very moment his wife went to be with the Lord. Even though I did not know what to say, just to be wanted was enough.
I have found it such a blessing to be allowed to shepherd God's people at Pleasant Hill Baptist church. God has been faithful to us at PHBC, pray for us as we continue striving to be a "church glorifying God in the truth."
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The Wednesday Word: The Rent Veil
As we grow in grace we will learn to see the gospel in every page of scripture. For example, the pages of the Old Testament are teeming with pictures and types which help us to understand precious gospel truth (1 Corinthians 10:11). Take, for instance, the Jerusalem Temple. If we could have viewed the interior of that Temple, we would have discovered a remarkable piece of material known as the Veil. It was, in effect, a large curtain made of "fine twined linen that separated the holy of holies from the holy place. As long as that curtain remained, there was no entrance into the direct presence of God. While that curtain was hanging, the worshipper was separated from the presence of Yahweh. The veil said to the sinner, "The living God is beyond here, but you are forbidden to enter.
It was only on the Day of Atonement that the people of Israel, in the person of their High Priest, could enter into God's presence. He went alone, behind the veil and offered the blood of the substitute. When Christ died, however, God tore that veil from top to bottom (Matt 27:50-51). This was a declaration that, because of the finished work, the veil of separation that kept us from the presence of God had been forever taken away. There is now no separation for us (Rom 8:34).
The veil of separation has been completely torn and no one can mend it. By Christ's blood we have "boldness to enter" into the real sanctuary (of which the earthly sanctuary was only a picture) "by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil (Heb. 10:19-20). I like that word living- it tells me that Christ is no longer on the cross; it tells me that Christ is no longer in the grave; it tells me that Christ is not the prisoner of history. He is off the cross, risen from the grave and has ascended into heaven where He ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25).
For access to God, we no longer, therefore, have to wait upon some man performing certain rituals on our behalf. We no longer need an earthly priest to give us right of entry to God's presence. The great sacrifice has already been made by our Great High Priest. Because of Him there is now no barrier between us and Heaven. In Christ Jesus, there is now perfect and bold liberty to approach God (Heb 10:19). The veil of separation has been taken away by the Lord Jesus. The sins that separated us from God's presence have been taken away from God's presence by the precious blood. The Father no longer sees our sins. They have been cast behind His back (Isa 38:17); they are remembered no more (Isa 43:25).
This is astonishing! Does it astonish you? Perhaps you have never drawn near to God through Christ. You have trusted Him for your salvation, but you are standing far from Him like an unwelcome servant. Why are you doing that? The veil is rent: There are no obstacles in your way. No law forbids you to come to Him. Infinite grace has brought God to you and you to God. The way into the holiest is fully open and the mercy seat is freely available to all His blood washed saints. Go there boldly and worship through our Great High Priest the Lord Christ.
Someone says, I worship with the Presbyterians, Another says, I worship with the Baptists yet another says, I worship with the Methodists.The gospel driven believer, however, isn't under such restrictions. He indeed will meet with his local church, but because of the gospel He now can say, I worship in the Holy of Holies!
And that's the Gospel Truth
Miles McKee Ministries