Letters to CWLA: Pastor Matt

“Through the ups and downs of life I pray that the constant reality for you is your experience of the love of God.”    

In conjunction with our “Letters to a Healthy Church” sermon series, each pastor has written a letter to Cornerstone in a similar style to Paul's pastoral letters. We pray they will be a blessing and encouragement to you.
Dear Cornerstone,

Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me the privilege to be one of your pastors.

One of the most common questions I get from people is, “How is Cornerstone?” It’s an understandable question but it’s also almost impossible to answer.

How can I describe the experience I have here as a pastor? What one or two sentence answer could ever accurately portray what God is doing in the lives of hundreds of eternally precious souls?

You are a real church, with all the joys, successes, quirks, pains, and suffering of real people. I have had the privilege of walking through the ups and downs of life together with so many of you.

We have celebrated and rejoiced together. We have celebrated new jobs, new relationships, new marriages, new children, new life. I have baptized you, prayed with you, danced with you, eaten with you, and held your newborn children.

But we have also wept and cried together. We have wept together through the loss of loved ones, through sin and repentance, through sickness and in death, in broken relationships, broken marriages, and lost children. We have cried together, asked God “why?” together, and prayed with tears in our eyes together.

In all of this I am immensely thankful.

But more than anything, there is one thing I want you to never forget. You may forget me, and forget our times together, and forget exactly how God is working on you in this season of life, but I pray that you would never forget who you are in Christ.

You are:                                                                                                                                                                    
  1. Loved- more than you'll ever be able to comprehend. Through the ups and downs of life I pray that the constant reality for you is your experience of the love of God. This love which breathes life into our weary souls. This love that gives hope in the midst of despair. This love that you can never lose, and can never be taken from you. This love that comes from the heart of the Almighty and Holy God of the universe. Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.                                                                                                                          
  2. Beautiful- This world is utterly confused about beauty. The reality is that God defines beauty- He is our standard of perfect beauty, and He declares what is beautiful, glorious, marvelous and wonderful. You have seen the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4), and He has made your feet beautiful (Romans 10:15) to carry the gospel to a city who desperately needs it. You are beautiful in your diversity, people from many tribes, tongues, peoples, and nations. You are beautiful in your love for one another and your Lord. You are beautiful in your struggle and battle for God’s grace in your life. You are beautiful.                                                                              
  3. Holy- In Christ God has made you saints, holy ones. You are set apart. Though your sin is real, and the struggles of life don’t disappear, before the judgment seat you are declared “Not Guilty! Righteous! Holy!” on account of the work of Christ. In Him there is no more guilt, no more shame, no more hiding. He has cleansed you and made you His own.                            
  4. In Progress- You are not done! He is not finished! There is more work to do. Don’t stop, don’t give up, don’t slow down, don’t settle. God has called you to great and glorious things. There are eternally precious souls all around you waiting to hear good news. There are hurting people all around you waiting for the loving and gracious words of a close friend. There are people in this world suffering unimaginable pain that God has called you to love with the love of Jesus. God is at work in you, but He is also at work through you.                                          
  5. His- You were His enemy and He has made you His own. He has loved you, pursued you, died for you, rescued you, redeemed you, and adopted you. He has marked you as His own. Your life is no longer your own, it is His, and He calls you to do great things for the Kingdom of God. Never, ever forget that you are not your own, but you were bought with a price. You are His.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
- Ephesians 3:20-21

Pastor Matt