Look to Jesus the Chief Shepherd

It has been somewhat of a whirlwind since our arriving to our new home on Sept. 13. God has called us to Bellingham, Washington to lead his church, Rome Community Bible Church.

This is our second week being here and we are enjoying the Washington rain! I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the points from 1 Peter 5:1-5 that I shared from the first message as it pertains to my position as an under shepherd and a biblical expectation of that role. 

1) The elder’s task is to shepherd the flock (vs 2).
This means pointing you, the congregation, in the direction as you go through the daily difficulties of life, feeding you God’s word, caring for you and your spiritual condition, and protecting you from the predators of the world and even within the church.

Feeding the flock is the importance of teaching the whole counsel of the Word of God. This is presenting it wholly and as holly!

Caring is not just making visits, phone calls, or having gospel conversations. It is having the burden of the congregations spiritual well being on my mind.

Protecting is from presenting God’s Word as truth and directing the congregation to be on guard. This also means spotting the wolves in sheep’s clothing to protect the flock.


2) The elder’s motivation (verses 2-3).
It is one which is motivated by looking to Jesus, the chief shepherd. It is not under compulsion or obligation but out of love for Jesus and others. It is not for shameful gain but eagerly knowing that there are the riches found in Jesus alone. Not domineering and abusing power but looking at the example of Jesus who leads willingly and humbly. 

This is the proper motivation which is Jesus, the true reward. His riches are vast, his love is great, and he is worth it.

3) The elder’s reward (verses 4-5)
The true reward is Jesus! The crown of unfading glory is being in the presence of the Lord knowing that the things of this world pass away but what matters is looking to Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). I desire to look to Jesus who is the Chief Shepherd of RCBC and that is my prayer for you too! He loves this church more than you are I could ever. 

The Attainable Gospel

In Deuteronomy 30 we get a glimpse not just for Israel entering into the promise land but a foreshadow of what Christ has done for us. The Word that became flesh, dwelt among us so that sinners could be saved!

Palm Sunday

With not being able to meet in person, we had an opportunity with our small group to sing to the Lord together and share a little from Matthew 21:1-11.

Can You Do Church the Wrong Way?

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Is there a right way or a wrong way to do church? The church has been defined as not a building but the assembly or gathering of believers. The location and building of a church do not matter as much as what goes on in the church. You can argue that just because a group of people gather together, does that make a church? No, it is the gathering of saints (faithful and holy, believers) who come together in the name of Jesus Christ to worship him and be unified together in faith.

I am not wanting to define what is the church as I am more so wanting to say the service and goal of the church can be done the wrong way. I do believe Scripture gives some guidelines in how a church should function (Acts 2:42-47). With that, we also have some flexibility within those guidelines as Scripture may not be specific. For example, the building, music style, and the frequency of the Lord’s Supper is not in specified in the Bible. The Bible does not tell one how to adjust to contemporary culture yet is relevant for one to live in context to ones culture. On the other side, there is a danger of being innovative while missing these guidelines that are presented to the bride of Christ, the church. Granted, I would be amiss to assume that my approach to church is the best way or right way.

I think there is a great responsibility for the pastor to study the Word of God, seeking to apply Biblically what Scripture gives as those guidelines with the desire to proclaim the whole counsel of God. Continue reading “Can You Do Church the Wrong Way?”

Be Like…Tychicus

be like... Tychicus |
I have a friend who is always willing to help, be there when there is a need, even when it is not the most convenient. I am beyond thankful for this friend. If you have someone like that, you know what a treasure that is to have. There is a man mentioned in the Bible named Tychicus who my friend reminds me of, and we can be encouraged to be more like him.
Be like who? Tychicus! Just say his name 3 times fast! He is mentioned by the Apostle Paul at the end of Ephesians as “the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord whom Paul was sending to them as an encourager (Ephesians 6:21-22).” At the end of Colossians, Paul again mentions this loved brother by adding that he is a faithful servant (Colossians 4:7). Continue reading “Be Like…Tychicus”

Don't Be Like Demas

I have some friends who were part of their school’s cross-country team. The importance of the long race is not just how one starts, but how they maintain their endurance through the whole race. The same is true for us as Christians. The book of Hebrews encourages the Christian to run with endurance the race that is set before them by looking to Jesus, who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1–2). Continue reading “Don't Be Like Demas”

Marks of Christian Unity: Weep with Those Who Weep

Growth in unity as believers is shown in how we respond when others go through joyous moments or are enduring trials. As believers, we know that we will face trials of various kinds (James 1:2). Jesus even warned us with the truth that in this life we will face tribulations but we can take heart because He has overcome this world (John 16:33). Going through trials is nothing new, it is matter of when we will face them not if we will face them. We should not be surprised when we face trials and suffering as though something strange is happening, as Peter reminds us (1 Peter 4:12).
As believers, we know that we will never face trials alone. There is something refreshing and encouraging to know that when we face different trials, we have the Lord, who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We also have the physical presence of fellow Christians, who will weep with us as we weep (Romans 12:15). I am so thankful for the body of Christ! I personally have seen the unity of the body of Christ as they have wept with me as I wept. Their presence and love bring a whole new level of comfort that I did not know. Continue reading “Marks of Christian Unity: Weep with Those Who Weep”

Jesus is the Triumphant King

Jesus the Triumphant kingIt is Palm Sunday and we can go through the traditional mindset of Passion Week. But, let us not treat Palm Sunday like an event on rotation on the calendar. This event in history is huge. It was prophesied many many years before Christ and of  the Old Testament prophet Zechariah prophesied by saying,

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foul of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9 ESV).”

Zechariah was writing of what we read Jesus did to fulfill this prophecy as he entered into Jerusalem at the beginning of passion week, riding on a colt as the Triumphant King.
Continue reading “Jesus is the Triumphant King”

The Art of Patience

untitled-designHave you ever been asked by your children for the same thing over and over again? You start getting frustrated, your eye starts twitching. Or, maybe it’s me. I have this tendency to show patience to others but can be very impatient to those who are close to me.
Maybe it’s not your kids but you have had to endure the abuse from some authority or peer at work. Maybe it’s a neighbor and your patience for them is growing thin. They keep doing that one thing to annoy you. Or, maybe it is a physical ailment. Something that seems to be consuming your thoughts and it doesn’t look like it is going away.
The apostle Paul writes, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:12–13 ESV).
Continue reading “The Art of Patience”