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Where Wisdom Is Found And Grace Is Experienced

 

Dear Church Family and Community,

 

Hope this finds you all well. We are so blessed because our God perfectly loves us. Today and everyday, we can celebrate that our God has always loved us.

 

God’s love carries and sustains us, protects and guides us, and it redeems and recreates us into the image of His Son, Jesus our Christ. What a blessing it is to be loved by God! What a joy it is to know you are a child of God, a daughter or son of the King of Kings, the Almighty God Most High!

 

Today, we join with Christians around the world to commemorate Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent. We begin our journey towards Calvary’s cross and Christ’s resurrection at Easter, committed to a season of prayer, self-restraint, and repentance. Today we remember that from dust we have come and to dust we shall return. We repent and believe the gospel, for Christ has come, lived, died, and was raised so that we may be set free and with God forever.

 

At HBIC, we celebrate Ash Wednesday with a worship service that begins at 6:45 pm tonight. The service will occur after our evening meal, which begins at 5:30 pm. There will be no Jr. High Youth Group. We will have Children’s programming as Kids Choice begins tonight for Kindergarten to 5th Grade, and we will have childcare for children 5 and under. I hope to see you tonight as we worship, give thanks to our God for His saving work, and we begin together this season of lent.

 

This past Sunday, we continued our After God’s Own Heart: Lessons from the Life of David series. Pastor Lynda led us back to Ziklag and David’s long journey there. We learned that though God sent people to bless and encourage David. Life on the run had taken quite a toll on him. And when David took his eyes off God and started to depend on himself, he slipped into a downward spiral that led him to joining the enemy Philistines, lying and deceiving those around him. Eventually, David’s decisions led to much hurt and destruction for those around him.

 

But God is good, faithful and true. So, when David hits bottom and cries out to God, God’s love for David leads to His rescue of David and his people. In David’s rescue, Pastor Lynda reminded us to trust in the Lord, put our confidence in God and not ourselves, to trust God and His faithful love for us, to cry out to God for God is merciful, and to praise God for God has put people in our lives to help us on our journey, for we are indeed one body and members of one another. If you missed hearing this message, please be sure to check it out here on our website, or through our sermon podcast on SoundCloud, Google Play, or iTunes.

 

This Sunday, we will continue our walk through the life of David, by looking at his sin against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. David, still a “man after God’s own heart,” shows us here that when we continually take steps in the wrong direction, we can keep ourselves in the midst of temptation. It is in this state of temptation that evil desires are enticed and, when conceived, give birth to death.

 

Sin is more than missing the mark, falling short of God’s glory, or not doing what God asks of us. Sin can be an intentional disobedience fueled by steps in the wrong direction – and these steps often lead to a kind of death. To help prepare for this week’s service together, please take time to read and pray through 2 Samuel 11.

 

As you read this text, please make a note (circle it in your Bible or take notes) every time you see David take a step in the wrong direction. I pray that as you read and study God would reveal to you that His grace is sufficient, His love covers a multitude of sins, and His mercy is great. Still, God calls us to be mindful in every day, in every way, in everything we do, of how we are taking steps in the right direction toward Him and in accordance to His will for us.

 

The grace of God and His love for David assures that the story doesn’t end in 2 Samuel 11. However, before we get to the mercy and forgiveness of God, we have to visit and learn from David’s sin. Wisdom is found in our ability to learn from others. Grace is knowing God’s loves us and the fact that the worst things we have done do not have the last word on us or get to define us.

 

God gets to rescue and redeem us. God gets to define us. We get the gift of God’s grace through His love and mercy. Praise God for that!

 

May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!

In Christ,

Pastor Hank (Psalm 32)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
E: pastorhank@harrisburgbic.org