The Rock of Refuge

This morning I had the privilege of meeting with four other pastors who are seasoned veterans in the ecclesiastical world. We talked about how the last few years have affected ministry, peoples lives in general, the fear factor, and an underlying sadness about the state of affairs in our world.

Regarding the international scene, there are certainly wars and rumors of wars. There are dictators making very poor choices, world leaders making questionable decisions, and at times it is hard to know what to even be praying for! In addition to all of this, there is the general decay of morality, conscience, and behavior of people in general. This morning I also read in 2 Timothy chapter 3 which says this:

“But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

Wow. Quite the list! A whole Litany of characteristics that are self-centered and incredibly accurate for our times!
I could go on lamenting the signs of our times, which are depressing for sure. Or I could talk about how we are in the last days, which seems to be true. But there is always a measure of caution in talking about that because there have been previous generations who were certain that they too were in the final days! Only our Lord knows for sure…

What I do know is this: our world needs a refuge now more than ever! The ultimate refuge is under the blessed wings of our God: “He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1.

And in God's wisdom, he has also established a refuge here on earth, which is the church of Jesus Christ! That involves you and me! More than ever, our world needs the refuge that the church offers. We have the opportunity to be strong, to shine as a beacon of hope, to love the world around us, to stand for truth, to offer grace, peace, and the confidence that can be found nowhere else!

I thank God for all of the Beacon family! I encourage us all to persevere, to love the people around us, to fight the evil one, and to seek the Lord daily that we may grow in wisdom and in his marvelous grace!

I remember reading that “The church is like a dagger pointed at the throat of Satan.” That’s a great picture. And the church at Beacon will continue to be a refuge for our community as you and I passionately follow Christ! May today find each of us resting in that refuge, and also, being a healthy part of that refuge. We are the church! Press on my friends…

Pete Nelson