Pastoral Perspective… On Excellence… From the Start through the End…

In a quote attributed to William Arthur Ward, pastor Bill Teng from National Capital Presbytery recently shared a thoughtful note of gratitude on the notion that tears “prepare our eyes for a clearer vision of God”. I understand and appropriate this to mean that, upon our countenance becoming awash with tears, our eyes are hence provided for a renewed clarity of insight concerning our perceptions and perspective of God. In the aftermath, we gain a keener sense of who God is, what God has in mind and is about doing, and what God has in store for us. Tears “prepare our eyes for a clearer vision of God.”


As I read this, again, the passage of Saul on the road toward Damascus when scales fell from his eyes in the process of changing to Paul comes to mind. I am reminded of a personal sense of cleansing that occurs when tears are shed through one’s eyes, flowing upon the face, moistening cheeks touched by the very healing power, gracious presence and tendering mercies of God.


This month, as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I imagine and share in, along with many others in this nation and world, a salutary stream of solvent tears over the years. As we may find ourselves from time to time encountering some sobering times in and through life even over the past decade, the Lord of heaven and earth continually carries and brings us to and through transforming moments by which we experience the very heart of grace whose tears fell down upon the garden’s ground at Gethsemane.


We are, dear ones, treasured and beloved children of God in Whose eyes we are forever eternally precious and by Whose hands, arms and shoulders we are always beheld and ever being carried forward with tender care. It is within this context and present, ongoing reality of God’s love for us that we are enabled and empowered to exhibit excellence by the grace and for the glory of God.


As the apostle Paul writes to the saints in Philippi, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) While many may experience the onslaught of terribly tragic tribulations, ever are we also presented opportunity to rise above situations in the circumstances of humanity to exercise valor and in humility display a depth of determination to persevere together in prayer.


Throughout the highs and lows of life in lives lived by faith, we are called and resolved to relieve one another in Christ toward the redemptive, reconciling purposes of the Lord. Under the sovereign grace of almighty God Whose banner over us is love that shields us, protects us, and covers a multitude of sins, we are set free in the way, the truth, and the life to glorify and enjoy God forever.


Therefore, as ones holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and above all put on love which binds all together in perfect unity. Let your light shine before others that they may truly witness and experience the glory and grace of God at work in and through you for the blessing of many in the Lord. From the very start, on to and through the end, may you exude excellence in the Lord alone Who gives you strength for the journey ahead.


Do not give up meeting together and being wholly present to, with and for one another as some are in the habit of doing. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, praying and sharing in the Word with each other. Raise the standard, lifting high the cross of Christ, fixing our gaze upon the Holy and Anointed One Who is the very healing of our lives—the author, pioneer and perfecter, finisher of our faith. Let tears “prepare our eyes for a clearer vision of God.” The One Who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it.


In Christ Jesus our Lord,

Pastor Rex

~ by prayersForMelissa on August 17, 2011.

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