Dear Beloved of KCPC,
Do you know that you are the Beloved of the LORD?
Itâ€™s true. You are:
ESV Jude 20-21 â€œBut you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal lifeâ€ (see also Ephesians 1:3-6; Colossians 3:12).
Do you know that the LORD has forgiven all of your sins (even the greatest, most heinous, most offensive ones against His Holy Majesty, and others).
ESV Psalm 103:12 â€œâ€¦As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.â€
A new year has begun, and we are thankful to have the opportunity for perhaps another ride around the sun on this terrestrial ball that is a recipient of Godâ€™s covenant grace (Gen. 9).
What is one of the most important things we can seek to do? As Psalm 103 teaches, we can remember (or â€œforget NOTâ€) Godâ€™s benefits to us in Christ because of His steadfast, merciful, faithful, ongoing covenant love to us!
â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€ (Psalm 103:2b). So that we will live as those who â€œBless the LORDâ€ with all our beings in this new year! (Psa. 103:1-2). God is glorified when we bless Him for His goodness and kindness toward us. He teaches us to â€œforget NOTâ€ because we so easily do forget His goodness towards us. It is sadly true, isnâ€™t it?! Perhaps you have already started the new year on the wrong foot of worry, fear, and anxiety?
How might we as a congregation seek to â€œForget notâ€ Godâ€™s gracious benefits to us in Christ? Just a few benefits that I might mention:
- God is glorious. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God is faithful. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God is good. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God is merciful. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God is able to do what He has promised to do. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God has forgiven you all of your sins in Christ. God will never take account of our sins for He sees the righteousness of Christ covering us. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God has provided a merciful and willing and gentle and humble Savior to shed His precious blood on the cross for us. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God has provided a Mediator in Jesus so that you can boldly approach the throne of grace to find mercy and help, a sympathetic friend. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God is your God as He has promised. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God is with you and will never leave you nor forsake you. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will uphold you, strengthen, help you in every situation. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will sanctify you and make you like Christ through His Spirit and Word. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will give you illumination to understand His Word. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will grant you joy in Christ through believing His promises. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will turn all the â€œbad thingsâ€ into good. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will help us to persevere in His grace. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will meet with us to speak with us through His Spirit and Word. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will feed us with Christ. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will give us the eternal inheritance of Christ. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will be our God for all eternity. â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
- God will one day restore all of us and all of the universe. We will leave sin, death, and hell behind us and enter into eternal felicity and bliss with Him forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Amen and amen! â€œâ€¦Forget not His benefitsâ€
(So much more I could say?!)
Now take a moment right now to think of your own â€œbenefitsâ€ that God has given to you in this past year and throughout your lives? Has He kept His promises? Do you know Him to be good and great? How through death and even terrible upsets and discouraging disappointments has He shown His comfort presence, and supported you?
What will this new year hold for us? Only God knows. But He is good and kindâ€¦and He is our â€œImmanuelâ€, God with us!
It is likely as Godâ€™s people at KCPC that we will enjoy births and baptisms, celebrations and seasons of joy. It is likely we will also face the death of loved ones, the disappointments that can come in life, the sinfulness of sin. It is likely we will see some stubborn sin in ourselvefs that just wonâ€™t away, that continues to seek to make us false promises while making us miserable, though we would like to be completely healed of its presence altogether (Rom. 7:14-25).
In these times, let us remember to â€œForget NOT His Benefitsâ€. Amen and amen.
Let us pray, memorize, meditate upon, and believe these memory verses as a congregation this year:
ESV Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
ESV John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
For the next couple of weeks in the morning worship service, we will think together how we might focus our hearts and minds on Christ, and to face this new year REMEMBERING that God is good and faithful.
In Christâ€™s love,
P.S. Oh, and did I ask you if you knew that you were Godâ€™s â€œBelovedâ€ in Christ?