Greetings beloved family of Common Ground,

Well this is “Covid Connection” number eight and this Sunday will be eight weeks since we’ve met together in real live personal fellowship within our very much missed sanctuary.  Yet in some ways it seems like eight years.  I’m starting to sense from many that this quarantine as the saying goes is just plain, getting old.  And my prayer is that sooner than later we will be able to come back together in sweet fellowship with one another. 

And in times like these I am reminded of the many blessings that we have in Christ because of Christ.  God’s saving work in the gospel is most likely the ultimate blessing that any one of us could ever conceive of.  The Apostle Paul in chapter four in his letter to the Romans speaks of just such a blessing in which he quotes from Psalm 32:1-2.  Here’s what Paul writes to the Romans 4:6-8Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the person the Lord will never charge with sin. 

This truth, this blessing, this promise should elevate our hearts to soar in great praise and adoration of our One True God!  But prior to this phenomenal blessing and joy that we receive in Jesus Christ, Paul had just explained how it all came about.  It is because of faith, trust, belief in Jesus and His saving work on the cross that God uses to bestow upon us the riches of this most glorious of blessings. 

Furthermore, we are reminded of the fact that we cannot earn it or merit it or work for it, thus it is God alone who pours out His blessings upon His beloved.  Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.  “justifies” means to be declared righteous and holy.  It is God and Him alone who makes this amazing declaration of purity, of righteousness, of holiness on our behalf in spite of undeserving us.  It is the great Sovereign Judge of glory that declares us Not Guilty!  We simply trust and believe in the glorious redemptive, saving work that Jesus has done on a cross some 2000 years ago on a hillside called Calvary.  There is just no room for boasting of any sort or in any way other than boasting in Jesus alone for our salvation!

May none of us forget that we are saved from God’s deserving wrath and just condemnation because of God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, all for the glory of God alone!!!  Therefore, I want all of us to be reminded even in this stuck-at-home, virus-driven age, of the great blessing, joy, pleasure, and delight we have in Jesus Christ and His most glorious gospel message! 

I never tire of Jesus and His gospel, and as the song says, “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.  I love to tell the story because I know tis true, it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.  I love to tell the story, twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”

I’m missing you all greatly!  I love our church family!  Send all and any prayer requests so that we can lift each other up in God-glorifying prayer!

 Stay Safe!  Stay Connected!  Stay the Course in Christ!

Making Much of Jesus!!!

Pastor Gary