Monday, June 26, 2017

This Day in History

“History is a story written by the finger of God.”  C.S. Lewis

  Today is a huge milestone and the culmination of prayer, vision, sacrifice and commitment for our church. This first phase of our new facility is the first major building project that our church has undertaken in sixty years.
  I’m very thankful for the kindness of local media in reporting this milestone, yet, in the grand scheme of things, in light of what is taking place in the world, though this is huge for us, it’s hardly a blip on the world’s stage. No one will Google us to find our groundbreaking listed as a major event on “This Day in History” for June 25th, so I decided to check what other key events are listed as taking place on this day. It was interesting what was deemed noteworthy. Some of the major events that took place on June 25th can even apply to us. For example…
  In 1667, the very first blood transfusion was performed by a French physician, Jean-Baptiste Denys. Our church and every other Gospel believing one exists because of a blood “transfusion.” If the Lord Jesus hadn’t left heaven and come to earth, if He hadn’t given His lifeblood to pay for our sin, we wouldn’t be here. Jesus in love bled out for us. It’s because of God’s love and His sacrifice that we’re alive, spiritually and eternally alive. We can be forgiven and our holy God can be justified in forgiving us for all of our sin because of Christ’s atonement and His substitutionary sacrifice for sin.
  In 1678, Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman to receive a university doctoral decree. A vital part of our mission is to “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” This isn’t merely education or some transfer of information, discipleship is so much more. It involves teaching, counseling, relationship building, role modeling. Through the power of the Spirit working in our lives, we want to be more and more like Jesus. Our mission isn’t numbers or a big crowd; our mission is to reproduce reproducers. It’s why we’re committed to the Ziebell Education Wing. Discipleship begins early and we want to do what we can to facilitate it. As one graduates to demonstrate that they’ve completed their education, believers who have graduated into spiritual maturity reproduce themselves by leading others to Christ and mentoring them to be a disciple who then reproduces new disciples.
  In 1876, a famous American tragedy took place – the battle of Little Big Horn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. The U.S. 7th Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led by General George Armstrong Custer, suffered a major defeat. Five of the 7th Cavalry’s twelve companies were annihilated; General Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (six died later from their injuries). The battle was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Native American tribes. That battle and Custer's actions have been studied extensively by historians.
  The general consensus is that Custer lost that battle because of pride. While there were many other contributing factors, pride was the core problem. Sadly, pride has defeated more churches and Christians than probably any other sin. It’s one that we are tempted with today and will be tempted with until the Lord calls us Home. Yet, God gives His greatest blessings to those who are surrendered to Him. He doesn’t need our building, talents, skills, or even our money – but He wants to use us. He wants our lives to matter and have eternal significance. That only happens when we are humbly dependent upon Him. It’s His grace that we rely on!
  In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, beginning the Korean War. We have a vicious Enemy. Satan loves diversion and division. His first attack was to divide Adam and Eve from God and from each other. Human history is a long sad and deadly trail of division from Cain murdering his brother, Abel, to the early church and economic bigotry (Acts 6).
  Divisions that lead to church splits, whether physically or only emotionally are a sad and all-too-common occurrence in the Body of Christ. The effects of a church split, regardless of the cause, can be devastating. Church splits distress and discourage mature believers, worse they disillusion new believers. They cause havoc in the lives of pastors and their families. The greatest evil of all that can spring from a split is that it hinders the Gospel and brings reproach on the name of the Lord Jesus.
  God is omnipotent. His grace truly is sufficient. There is always hope! Even Christians that divide and churches that split can experience healing and restoration. This past week I experienced that as by God’s grace I was able to resolve a breakdown which occurred many years ago with a dear friend. My brother in Christ and I experienced God’s grace and healing.
  Christians aren’t perfect. The truth is that we’re a mess. Jesus is perfect but we’re the anti-thesis of that. As a result, churches are like hospitals, full of wounded and sick people. But in the church the sickness is sin and the wounds are usually those we inflict upon ourselves and each another because of sin. We are people who are brought together by God’s grace, yet grace is too frequently the one gift we deny each other. We are forgiven and God’s wants us to be forgivers!
  Today is a historic day for Grace Church! It probably won’t make This Day in History, yet may King Jesus look down on us and be pleased, not just for today but for all that He is also going to do through us in the coming days! Our future is as bright as the promises of God!

Can we help you spiritually? Can we help you know Jesus better? Please check out more resources on our church's web page, Or, call us at 262.763.3021. If you'd like to know more about how Jesus can change your life, I'd love to mail you a copy of how Jesus changed my life in "My Story." E-mail me at to request a free copy. Please include your mailing address.

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