The JCF Retreat Message – A Good Reminder

by Aaron Peterson


“People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”

– Dr. Johnson, as quoted by C.S. Lewis


  At this most recent JCF Retreat, the speaker, Seth Philip, expounded on the Book of Romans. And while I have read the Book of Romans before, I was reminded of some very important truths.

  First, I was reminded that I must have God as my God. Oftentimes, we say that we are doing things for God, and then we focus so much on the things themselves that we lose sight of God. This had happened to me. I was so concerned with helping the people of North Korea that I had made that my reason for living. But my reason for living is to worship God. And while I do think it is of utmost importance to help the people of North Korea, that must never be my reason for living. It must never be my God. Only God should be my God.

  Second, I was reminded that we are saved by grace alone. This is something that we often forget. We try to do better and work harder so that God will love us more. But God will never love us more. And He will never love us less. He loved us so much that, while we were still sinners, He sent Christ to die for us. And it is by Christ’s death and resurrection that we are saved – not by our good works. We must always remember that it is God’s grace that saves us, and nothing else.

  Third, I was reminded that we are being sanctified by God. If you’re like me, then you think you’re a pretty bad example of a Christian. You sin more often than you obey and you feel like you’re never going to get better. But there is hope. God is working in you to make you the person you ought to be. He has saved you by His grace, and by His grace He is making you holy. His Holy Spirit is sanctifying you day by day, and making you more like Christ. You will have to do your part. But as you do your part, He will do His. And even if you fail, all is not lost. For He is still doing His part, and He never fails.

  Fourth, I was reminded that we are on a mission to win the lost for Christ. We have been saved by grace, we are being sanctified, and we are called to tell others about the One who saved us and sanctifies us. It might not always be easy to share but we must. For none of us is promised tomorrow. If the world were to end tonight, how many of your friends, co-workers, and students would go to hell? It is not enough to be a good teacher or a kind co-worker; we must be a light to those in darkness. We must bring them to the One they can call on for salvation. For how can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

 Finally, I was reminded that the purpose of it all (salvation by grace, sanctification, and preaching to the lost) is to bring worship to God. For that is what we were created to do. We were created to worship God. Not because He needs our worship – He has no needs. Not because others won’t do it – the angels, the elders, and creation itself exalts Him. But because it is only through worshipping God that we can ever be truly happy and free. It is only through worshipping God that we can have life. And that is why Christ came: that we may have life, and have it to the full.

"Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.” -Psalm 66:4



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