“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” -Romans 5:1-5
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:1-2
Webster defines Perseverance as: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
In Theology, perseverance is defined as: continuance in a state of grace to the leading to eternal salvation.
- The lesson of the Tortoise and the Hare: Slow and steady wins the race.
- Dogged persistence and dedication can often win out over brilliance and charisma.
- Thomas Edison’s definition of genius: 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
I have spoken before of the “cheap grace” to which Dietrich Bonhoffer referred.
Accepting Christ as our savior is the beginning not the end of our faith journey. Becoming a disciple entails taking up the cross. “Walking the Talk.” Christian love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” -1 Corinthians 13:7
Few things in life come easily. Our Calvinist, Protestant ethic enshrined hard work as a virtue. Does that mean that once we retire from gainful employment that we can rest on our laurels? Don’t think so! It is at that point in our lives when we can devote even more energy and attention to the spiritual dimension of our lives. Devoted Christians never stop growing in their faith and devotion in following “The Way,” the original name for the Christian movement.
“But pastor, the mind is willing but the body is weak.” Yes, of course. So…may we seniors put our minds to work! Perhaps the greatest service we can perform is to reach out to others: to pray for them, to visit with them—in person, on the phone, via a thoughtful and loving card. I have always believed that the cross, as the symbol of our faith, is not just a symbol of execution and sacrifice but also of the dual nature of our religion:
- The vertical beam, our one-on-one relationship with our triune God;
- The horizontal, our relationship with one another in Christian Love and Fellowship.
We pray privately. We come together communally to worship, to break bread and to take part in Christian mission. Those who say, “I am a spiritual person but don’t have much truck with religion—and don’t go to church,” are missing out on at least half of what our Christian Faith has to offer.
If you have such friends, good people undoubtedly, invite them to come to church with you. We are, after all, an evangelizing religion; and just as Jesus instructed His disciples to baptize and spread the gospel, we--also His disciples--are called upon to do the same.
So…Invite a friend or neighbor. Speak of the warmth and missions of Pilgrim Church. Don’t be bashful about articulating your faith and how you think our church helps you to grow in that faith.
God loves you.
Our Sunday services are designed to meet the needs of our diverse and ever growing congregation. Whether traditional worship or a more contemporary atmosphere is your preferred way to fellowship, Pilgrim Church has the service to meet your lifestyle.