The Grace of Clothing with Humility

Today’s message from 1 Peter 4:19-5:7 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

John Calvin said this of the proverbial expression, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble:

We are to imagine that; God has two hands; the one, which like a hammer beats down and breaks in pieces those who raise up themselves; and the other, which raises up the humble who willingly let down themselves, and is like a firm prop to sustain them. Were we really convinced of this, and had it deeply fixed in our minds, who of us would dare by pride to urge war with God? But the hope of impunity now makes us fearlessly to raise up our horn to heaven. Let, then, this declaration of Peter be as a celestial thunderbolt to make men humble.

May God strike us with humility’s celestial thunderbolt! Then we will have sheep who submit to their shepherds. Then we will have people given wholeheartedly to lowly-mindedness toward one another.

What could be lovelier before our eyes and more glorifying to our God than a report like: Oh yes, I know OGC, a more lowly-minded, humble community you will rarely find!?

What We Need from OGC

On Sunday I shared what I believe OGC needs from Nancy and me and the rest of our officers and their spouses. For the next two years, arguably among the most strenuous in our history, the church needs us to stay the course. OGC needs us to persevere through the hard work, the late hours, the difficult conversations, the tough decisions. The buck stops here in terms of leadership responsibility and we can’t afford to weenie out just because things get hard.

But now let me turn the tables and suggest a few things we need from our covenant members. First, and foremost, we need your prayers. Pray for our staying power over the long haul. Lord willing, we will get through this season of building a facility and all the challenges that come with it. A new normal will arrive in due season. Pray we hold on and excel in our duties.

Second, we need your participation. Paul called the Philippians partners in the gospel (Phil. 1:5). That’s what we are. We need to partner together in service. It’s every hand on deck. Find a need and fill it. Sacrifice when you must. Let’s pull the load together. We need to partner together in giving, BOTH to the capital campaign/Each One, Seek One and to the general fund budget. On the latter we have been slipping of late. Chuck Mitchell will bring a report this Sunday during the offertory.

Lastly, we need your perseverance and patience. I’ve said all along that we and we alone in the history of this church get to do this stewardship of building a facility. It’s an enormous privilege that will bring multiple rewards. But the endeavor is not for the faint of heart or weak in knee. So join Nancy and me when necessary in having that little talk over the kitchen table when things get dicey: What OGC needs from us right now is to keep the oars in the water and keep on rowing.