Rev. John McGurrin Last Three Letters:
October, 16, 2016
Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ”declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
2 Timothy 3 (selected) (NIV)
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Dear Friends in Christ,
God’s plan has been fulfilled in our time. In Christ Jesus through his sacrificial death at Calvary our sins have been forgiven. God’s promise through Jeremiah (“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”) has been fulfilled in us. As his people we are now charged with the duty to teach, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness. Our families, friends and neighbours are all our responsibility. This doesn’t mean that we should approach them with an air of self righteousness and deal harshly with their behaviours and understandings. Rather we approach them in love and kindness in casual discussions explaining and teaching how we have learned to trust in God, his love and forgiveness, and how this relationship is available to each and every person who puts their trust in Jesus and his work of forgiveness.
Loving Father God teach an empower with a spirit of gentleness as we share your love with others. Send your Holy Spirit to work in us and in those we share with that in every person we share with your love and salvation through your Son Jesus might be understood and accepted to your glory. Amen.
(Rev.) John McGurrin
October 9, 2016
Jeremiah 29: 1,4-7 (NIV)
A Letter to the Exiles
This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! He turned the sea into dry land they passed through the waters on foot - come, let us rejoice in him. He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations.
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
God watches over his people wherever they are. When a large number of Jewish people had been taken into exile in Babylon God did not forget them. Indeed he sent a message to them from Jerusalem via Jeremiah. His message was to let them know he had not forgotten them and that they should “bloom where they had been planted” They were even to pray for the peace and prosperity of the city into which they had been exiled.
In his great love you and I have been called into his family also and this family is an eternal one. By faith in Jesus and trust that by his sacrifice we are part of his beloved family and this not only for our earthly life but forever. He keeps us in his sight and continues his blessings through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit.
Loving Father God, we sing your praise together with all your people. We thank you for all your blessings past and present and ask you to teach us how best to share all of this with friends and neighbours. Amen.
(Rev.) John McGurrin
October 2, 2016
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God--whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did--when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.
Dear Friends in Christ,
You and I are part of a long lasting family of faith that as Paul declared began “before the ages began” God the Father of all creation had a plan to bring together one huge loving family that reaches in faith across all of time. Not only does this reach back to the very beginning of time but it extends into the future as “has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Our family will exist forever as we gain this immortality and join those who have loved Christ in this life and continue with him into eternity. Furthermore we need to realize that eternity does not just start in the future (i.e. after death) but exists right now - in the present as we accept the gift Christ gives, the gift of life eternal.
Loving God, eternal Father, even as we thanks you for including us as children in your family help us to witness to those around us whom we have come to love that they too might be welcomed into this wondrous family of love forever. Amen.
(Rev.) John McGurrin