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“We are a purchased people. The Bible shows that this makes all the difference in how life is lived. We exist to proclaim and to praise the glory of the One who purchased us.”
Pastor Dan Cummings
Four years today, Pastor Dan Cummings was called home to swim forever in the ocean of God’s love after a 10-month battle with cancer. He was a beloved husband, father, pastor and friend. But what I am grateful for this morning is that he was a true mentor. In the short time we labored together in the ministry of the glorious gospel at Five Points, He taught me much about being a man, husband, father, pastor and friend. In Our Time, it is rare to find a man who is not afraid to think rigorously about God, his gospel and its vast implications for every area of life. Even rarer is finding a man who “if you cut him would bleed Bibline”. Dan was both of these and I am thankful to God for his influence in my life.
In a sermon given on November 14, 2004 entitled, By His Grace and for His Glory: A God-Entranced Witness, Pastor Dan said, “If you did nothing else in your vapor-like existence except be a faithful witness to the glory of God in Christ, you would have lived. But if you did everything else and the whole world was your acclaim and everything you wanted to accomplish got accomplished… but were not a witness to the glory of God in Christ? God’s evaluation is: You Never Lived. It was absolutely worthless.” He shepherded his flock under this banner. In the power of the Spirit, he preached of the great worth of God in Christ to a world that wants to relegate God to the periphery. He faithfully called us to give our lives by following the Great Shepherd of the sheep as he fixed our eyes on the glory of Christ. For in giving our life for the glory of God in Christ, we would come to find it!
The way Pastor Dan would want us to remember him today is for our remembrance to be more about our Great God than about him. So let us plod on together in the power of the Spirit remembering that every breath we are given is by God grace so that we would live for his glory.
“Having made Jesus your all, you shall find all in Jesus.”
Through the Gospel, you begin to find that the more you put your energy into knowing and loving Jesus, the more satisfying He becomes and the more the things of this world taste like the death they are. Colossians 2.9-10 says, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” We are filled in Christ! All your heart desires, all you think you want to find in this life, everything you hope the things of this world like your possessions, your looks, your friends, your family, your job, your achievements, you accolades… everything you hope to find satisfaction in is already yours in Christ. It’s already yours!! Praise be to the amazing grace of God who made us “alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:13-15).
The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock-riven by the spear which pierced his side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary’s tragedy.
Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace hath dug a fountain which ever gusheth with waters pure as crystal, each drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have had your seasons of conflict, will confess that it was not at Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai, nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha have been a means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have often taken away the bitters of your life; the scourge of Gabbatha has often scourged away your cares, and the groans of Calvary yields us comfort rare and rich.
– Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening