"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to G_D an acceptable service with reverence and awe."  (Hebrews 12:18 NASB)

What we see, we believe and sometimes lose heart ... 

What we don't see, we sometimes forget ... 

What we forget, even temporarily, is sometimes the only thing that counts ...

YET, we are often challenged and at times, seemingly, by the Living G_D Himself.  The challenge is mostly, even as saved believers, a symptom of our sin-nature.  That is our own proclivities for being the flawed beings that we have turned out to be even as His saved followers. 

We try hard (don’t we?), but still do not escape the pit-falls hidden and not so hidden in our brokenness.  So there we are in our broken state, seeking redemption, seeking forgiveness, seeking reclamation. And finding that we have run head-long, into our failed and broken selves.

Isn’t it true that we continue to experience the head-on collision with our messed-up and unexplainably flawed selves?  Unexplainable because we have been redeemed through the Blood of the Lamb as our substitutionary presentation of atonement.  Unquestionably unqualified and unmistakably undeserving.

So even given this worried state of “misery” He has made us a promise that we can be assured of and stand on - His done-deed – we have been bought and paid for on that Roman cross outside the walls of Jerusalem a long time ago.

How does that help while we are stuck as in a “glue-trap” of our own making?  Glued down by our lost-ness, our alone-ness how does this “knowing” assist us?

Echo of Saul of Tarsus, Paul, would respond I think with “much in every way”.  

I, personally, need to give up on having to “understand” in order to find peace.  The opposite I think is true.  “Faith in things unseen” is our common challenge, not challenged by the Living G_D, but faith in Him when we are being challenged by who and what we are as well as what we may have done in the past. 

“Faith” in Him,, who He is, and what He has done.  Not, as we can sometimes focus – on ourselves, our “challenges” in who and what we are and what we have done, but WHO AND WHAT HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE!

Redeemed, Justified, and adopted into the family of G_D.

"while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."  (2 Corinthians 4:18 NASB)

Submitted by AJ Gross, Calvary Chapel Valley Springs

Pastor Art Phinney. Committed his life to Jesus Christ at age 27. Grew in his faith through age 33. Served the Lord in pastoral ministry in an assisting capacity from age 33-35. Attended 2 years school of ministry Costa Mesa California. 1996-1998. Began as senior pastor CCVS 1999.
 Art Gross
Art Gross ("AJ") has been in the military, worked in law enforcement, Higher Ed, and I.T. He has been an "elder" at CCVS for about three years now and serves the Lord and is deeply involved with Men's ministry and Congregational Care at CCVS and in his day to day life. He has attended the School of Pastoral Ministry  through Calvary Chapel Manteca and is con-currently working as a Project Manager for a large financial institution.