Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | May 30, 2024 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

May 30, 2024


This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Dear Friends.


This time of year arrives with many benefits. One such is the graduation of millions of hard-working students in America. If you have ever known the privilege of being in the seats watching or on the stage receiving, you would agree it is a wonder. The pageantry and beauty of what constitutes a graduation ceremony can inspire the heart and head in meaningful ways.


One of my favorite things to do at a graduation ceremony is to look and, quite frankly, feel how the families are bursting with joy and pride. All those years of difficult labor, sacrifices, saying no to good things to be able to say yes to the needed thing—I wish I could bottle the moment up for them for future use!


Of course, there is the commencement address. To be sure, many excellent addresses have been given. Making a Top Ten list wouldn’t be fair, as people’s tastes vary. Most intend to inspire; some make the listener laugh (a lot), while others desire the listener to think deeply. Maybe even thinking past themselves.


While not exactly what we would understand as a commencement address, Stephen Charnock (1628-1680) said these words as part of a discourse to soon-to-be graduating students.

God so loved the world, that He seemed for a time not to love His Son in comparison to it, or equal with it.


The person to whom a gift is given is in that regard accounted more valuable than the gift or present made to him. Thus, God valued our redemption above the worldly happiness of the Redeemer, and sentenced Him to humiliation on earth, for the purpose of our exaltation in heaven.


He spared not Him, that He might spare us; He was willing to have His Son made man and die, rather than people should perish, who had delighted to ruin themselves.


He seemed to degrade Him for a time from what He was. And when this Son in our nature prayed that the cup might pass from Him, goodness would not suffer it, to show how it valued the manifestation of itself in the salvation of man, above the preservation of the life of so dear a person.

The last line, the salvation of man above the preservation of the life of so dear a person, is compelling.


In Jesus Christ, we see how the infinite God can become a baby and a loving Savior. On the cross, we find the love and holiness of God fulfilled in death. This continuous descent was His life’s course. In the descending, He was loving. The highest form of love surely must be the loss and cost taken for the good and preservation of others.


In 1677, Henry Scougal published The Life of God in the Soul of Man, which, some 50 years later, influenced George Whitfield of his need for Christ. In it, he said the bow that pierced the heart of every Christian at their conversion was Christ, and all the gifts of this world God gave failed to prevail, except the gift of His Son.


We are well-loved, and that will never change. To our future graduates and everyone else—may we build our lives only on His indestructible love.


God bless you and with all my love in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Joe


P.S. Don’t forget our 10:00 a.m. Summer worship services begin this Sunday, June 2nd.