Petrus’ Check In 2/2/2019

  • Mentor

    Dear brothers and sisters,

    Thanks so much for all your effort and the way you use your time in ministering to others. Do know that your effort is never without a purpose nor will it miss it's aim. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV)

    For this check in I want to focus on something that is very important for our lives, our faith, our ministering to others. This subject is that the Lord is a covenant Lord. What He has begun, He will finish and never will He break His word.

    I think one of the well known covenant is the one between God and Abraham. You can find this in Genesis 15. In this chapter you can read about Abraham who meets God. God makes sure that His plan is so much more than Abraham could have ever dreamed off. He takes Abraham outside and makes him look to the sky. Try to count the stars, they are without numbers. So will be your descendants. Than Abraham takes several animals and birds and places them in a row, cut's them in half and places them towards each other. In those days this was the way two parties entered into covenant. They both went to pass between these animals and were saying, that if ever one of us would break this covenant, let him be cut in half like these animals. A covenant was a big thing!

    But this covenant was different, because as we can read here:

    "And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, ..." (Genesis 15:17-18a)

    Do you see it?

    A covenant is an agreement with two parties and both of them should have passed between the animals, but Abraham did not pass between the animals. God did. If Abraham would have done this, he would have to pay with his life whenever he would not keep his end of the covenant. And Abraham would have entered into a covenant which he would never, no way, be able to keep. But God knew this, He passed between the animals and consumed them. He secured the promise and the blessing.

    But as said a covenant is an agreement between two parties... and so we come to the big picture here. Thousands years later, we see one who went down the streets of Jerusalem. He was "
    one who (came) from (Abraham's) own body (who was his) heir.” (Genesis 15:12), when this Heir of Abraham was nailed to the cross "behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him" (Genesis 15:12) and this Heir of Abraham was consumed by the fire of Gods Wrath and He paid with His life to secure the promise for us.

    Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ is the One who took our place. He secured the covenant in our place. He paid with His blood, His life to make sure that we would never fall out of the covenant with God.

    Please take this message from the cross to heart, ponder upon it and tell your students about it and point them to the Cross where Jesus took our place and secured the eternal blessings of the covenant!

    Q1. How are you doing and are there things that we can pray for?

    You are loved,

    Petrus Zijlstra

  • Mentor

    One of the most humbling, beautiful things about my church is that we begin every service off with a recitation of the covenant promises of God and the response of the People of God. We read the promises given in the pages of Scripture, which are obtained on our behalf by the sacrifice of Christ, and we get to respond to them.

    “May it be to me as You have said!
    Thanks be to God!
    We are Your people, the sheep of Your pasture!”

    I am doing well, brothers. There is always a lot going on, and with 4 small kiddos, my attention is always demanded. God is great, and greatly to be praised!

    Prayer request:

    • I have one student I personally know who is seriously struggling. No details, but he could use prayer, and I could use prayer that I would faithfully minister the gospel to him.
    • Anyone who has kids knows the various struggles revolving around ministering the gospel to our kids. My wife and I aren’t struggling specifically, but we could always use prayer for a gospel-centered focus, and dedication to remaining gospel focused in all things.
    • I’m still trying to determine if God has gifted me toward the office of elder in my denomination. (The requirements of elder in my denomination are basically that of a pastor.) Wisdom would be good in this area.

    Thank you brothers and sisters for upholding all of us.

  • Mentor

    @Chris-Dow Father I lift up Chris and pray that words may be given to him in opening his mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. Whether to his students or sharing the good news with his beloved wife and children, may he lift up the cross that draws our hearts to Christ and turns our backs to our idols. I pray that as Chris looks to the cross daily himself feasting there and being humbled there that You would lift him up at just the right time just as Jesus humbled Himself and was lifted up on the cross at just the right time. In Jesus name. Amen.

  • Global Moderator

    I really appreciated reading this especially the reference to the ceremony of the animal sacrifice that served as an oath God was taking to bless Abraham and his descendants. I love how the threads of the Gospel is seen in it. When God passed between the animals He promised to keep the covenant and endure the curse. He became both the covenant keeper and covenant breaker so that we can receive the promise.

    Galatians 3:13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.