Pastor’s Pen — Psalm 22

DHBC Newsletter April 2014

Pastor’s Pen~

When my thoughts turn to Resurrection Sunday, my mind often thinks of Psalm 22. You may remember the text. David pens his emotions and these same words are repeated by Jesus as he is hanging from the cross. These words were written in the Psalms hundreds of years before Jesus was even born. The Words are filled with intensity. These verses reveal the pain and agony of what they both faced- David as he struggles with his enemies and Jesus as he hangs on the cross, about to die for the sin(s) of humanity.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. Psalm 22:1-5

Do you relate to those verses and have you had those feelings of perceived abandonment? Did the feelings that David expressed resonate with you? Being forsaken by friends, family and God is a weighty issue. Notice that David comes around, as he usually does, and acknowledges the holiness of God. R.C. Sproul states; “That before anyone can know God – they must know that God is holy.” He is holy and we are not! Do you recognize the holiness of God daily? The groaning and crying of David was a real feeling when he hadn’t yet received an answer from God. But was it real? At that point, David returns his thoughts back to God’s holiness in the following verses that he wrote, which are so familiar to all of us- Trust and Deliverance. Both of these words should bring us comfort as we look toward Resurrection Sunday on April 20th. When we trust Christ we are delivered from God. We are saved from His wrath. He no longer see our sins, instead He sees the finished work of Christ, who has taken our place.

Touching lives and building meaningful relationships must be important on Resurrection Sunday and every day of our lives here on earth.

Dan Gutierrez
pastor for preaching

Close Encounters (of the spiritual kind)

DHBC Newsletter Sept 2012

Pastor’s Pen

He was a man with not much money to purchase clothes to look like you and I. His language at times came with strong profanity. His appearance would not be accepted by your mother or your best friend. Just because he isn’t able to conform to “normal” standards that society accepts, he is still loved by our heavenly Father.

His name is Mr. Joseph Johnson and he spoke with me this past week. He carried a burden much too heavy to bear. He asked me to listen to his story. I came to him not as a pastor (He doesn’t even know what I do for a living) but as a friend. My theological training was not necessary. The class on making friends and influencing others was not needed, either. I didn’t want to convert him to add and to gain spiritual points to post on my refrigerator. We sat, we shared, we cried and then he shared more. His life was soon coming to a dead end. He sought answers.

God, through His great providence, brought us together. It was ordained by the foundations of the world for us to talk. My title, my training, my status, my name meant nothing to him. I pointed this man to the most important person in my life – Christ- by means of the holy, sacred scriptures. We talked and looked at the scriptures for about one hour. Joseph’s time of repentance will take place sooner than later. I’ve done what the Father has asked me. I told him of God’s love, grace and truth. “Father, in your own timing, Joseph will believe”, I whispered. Never, never, ever think that you determine who should hear the gospel. When you talk with anyone, you become like Jesus! I asked Joseph if I could pray for him. We bowed our heads, I simply prayed that God would lead him to the knowledge and understanding of Christ through the Scriptures.

As we lifted our heads, tears were rolling from his eyes. He stated, “That’s heavy!” I wondered, had he not talked to God before? Hadn’t anyone ever prayed with him before? Was this his last opportunity to hear the Good News? The gospel seed had been planted. Opportunities do take place in our lives. We must take advantage when they do. “Thanks”, was his last parting word to me. We may never meet again on earth. My hope is that his viewpoint about Christians and his new found knowledge of God’s love would cause him to seek our Lord Jesus. When you are generous and truly help those in need, you are actually doing so to Jesus. When you do it to the least of these, it is as if you’re helping Jesus Himself! We touch lives and build relationships to the glory of God when we sit and talk to the least of these.

Dan Gutierrez
Pastor for Preaching
Drexel Heights Baptist Church