New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 60

new church life: march/april 2017 A little tension there. There are people who love us and would do anything to help us but we feel too embarrassed to reach out to them. Here is what the Lord says: “God loves every one of us but cannot directly benefit us; He can benefit us only indirectly through each other. For this reason He inspires us with His love, just as He inspires parents with love for their children.” (True Christian Religion) The Lord is calling on each one of us to be the people who reach out. He can’t directly benefit us that way. He needs us to do that. You hear that? He needs us to do that. So what I want to say loud and clearly to you is that you are not alone. We see you. And we love you. We accept you and we want you here. You’re not less than. You are not unworthy. You’re more than good enough. You are loved and you are valued. We read in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” In Isaiah 49:14-16, Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.” “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” We read in True Christian Religion 56: “These few considerations can reveal the madness of those who think, even more believe, more still teach, that God can damn anyone, curse them, cast them into hell, predestine their soul to eternal death, avenge injuries, be angry or punish anyone. He is not even able to turn His face away from us and frown upon us.” And in Secrets of Heaven 223: “Since the Lord’s face is mercy, peace, and all good, it is clear that He always looks with mercy on anybody, and never turns His face away from anybody.” And finally in Deuteronomy 31: “Be strong and courageous. Don’t tremble! Don’t be afraid of them! The LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He won’t abandon you or leave you.” Amen. The Rev. David C. Roth is pastor of the New Church of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado and regional pastor for the Western United States. He lives with his wife Susan (Buss) in Longmont, Colorado. Contact: 126