Friday, June 17, 2022

A Trumpet Blast to Faith, Love, and Hope

Paul makes three things front-and-center in what he is looking for in churches:


1.     Faith in Christ Jesus

2.    Love for all the saints

3.    Hope that is laid up for us in heaven[1] 

Much of my praying as of late revolves around how God sees his church in the Nicola Valley in this regard. Please apply this to the one body of Christ in your community as well.[2] There is so much dishonor to faith, love, and hope, so much growth in faith, love, and hope, and so much invitation and encouragement to seek these no matter what. 

Where God has me this morning is in the awareness that there will be that moment very soon where Jesus suddenly appears, the trumpet of the archangel will blast, and it is too late.[3] 

Yes, let that sink in, that very soon the trumpet will announce the end of the battle. It will announce Jesus’ victory is done. The saved are saved, and the damned are damned. NO ONE gets a chance to repent and be saved! 

This morning I am called to focus on, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…”[4] 

This is difficult for the simple reason that Paul was referring to real people in churches that had a testimony of being exemplary in faith, love, and hope. His praying, remembering, and giving thanks, were all arising from his joy that the churches in question were showing such evidence of the Spirit’s work in them. 

On the other hand, Paul’s letter to the Galatians shows how he had to write when faith, love, and hope were being lost. The first of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation show us Jesus’ response to a church that has lost its first love.[5] 


Anyway, that is what I am grappling with, and will continue to do so. My prayers include this focus: 

1.     That in God’s kindness he would bring the whole church of the Nicola Valley to repentance for any ways we are sinning against faith in Christ Jesus, love for all the saints, and hope laid up for us in heaven

2.    That in God’s grace he would unite the whole church of the Nicola Valley to rise up to full maturity in our faith in Christ Jesus, our love for all the saints, and our hope laid up for us in heaven

          No favoritism. No partiality. No waiting for family. No accommodating friends. No staying home until our parents have died. No demands on God that our faith, love, and hope must fit in with our jobs, careers, vacation plans, family time, worldly interests, or anything else that is us telling God how he must do things.

          Instead, we attach to the reality of denying ourselves and being crucified with Christ; we take up the cross of our salvation today as the only basis of our relationship with God our Creator, and we follow Jesus Christ in obedient faith so that we truly experience Christ living in us to the glory of God.[6]

          Join me in praying following Jesus’ model prayer from his Sermon on the Mount:[7] 

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name in (your community) with the repentance of your church in every way we fail to live by faith in Christ Jesus, to show agapè-hesed-love to all the saints, and to live based on our hope laid up for us in heaven, and in your one-body-of-Christ rising up to shine in faith, love, and hope.

May your kingdom of faith, love, and hope come to (your community) in such power and glory that every child of God who is sinning against you in these realities would experience your kindness leading them to repentance, and every child of God who is pursuing agapè-hesed-love in faith and hope would be encouraged and built up and empowered to do so more and more!

May your will for our faith in Christ Jesus, our love for all the saints, and our hope laid up for us in heaven, be DONE! In your kindness, lead every believer in (your community) who is sinning against your will for this faith, this love, and this hope, come to repentance in Jesus’ name! In your grace, O God, lead us to be so satisfied in knowing and doing your will in faith, love, and hope, that our earthly (and even bodily) needs would pale in comparison.[8]

Give all the saints in (your community) our daily bread using whatever relationships of faith in Christ Jesus, love for all the saints, and hope laid up for us in heaven, to enable us to “sell” what we can to give to the provision of your whole church throughout this whole community.[9]

Forgive all of us believers in (your community) our sins against you and one another in all the ways we transgress the law of faith in Christ Jesus, and sin against the law of agapè-hesed-love for all the saints, and violate the realities of our hope in Christ Jesus, just as we also forgive all those who repent of sinning against us with their lack of faith in Christ Jesus, their unloving expressions towards us, and by withholding from us the encouragement of their hope in our eternal inheritance in Jesus’ Christ for the church.

And, our Father in heaven, lead your whole church in (your community) not into the temptation to forsake our faith in Christ Jesus, or to deny our agapè-hesed-love for all the saints, or to denounce our living hope laid up for us in heaven, but deliver us from the evil one’s attempts to steal the fellowship of our faith in Christ Jesus, to kill our agapè-hesed-love for all the saints, and to destroy our hope that is laid up for us in heaven.

And we pray for you to be glorified in the growth and maturing of our faith, our love, and our hope, for yours, O God, is the kingdom, and yours, our Father, is the power, and yours, Triune God, is the glory, forever and forever…

And we give our “AMEN!” to this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!!!


          Now, any questions on why Paul would “not cease to give thanks for you,” when faith, love, and hope were evident, while “remembering you in my prayers,” that these realities would keep increasing?

          Let us surrender to Jesus Christ in the mentoring of Paul and the other apostles, that we would value faith, love, and hope as they did, and pray whatever repentance and faith is required for us to fully join God in what he is doing.


© 2022 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] These are made very clear in Paul’s praying recorded in Ephesians 1:15-23; in the introduction to his prayer in Colossians 1:3-8; in I Thessalonians 1:2-3 and II Thessalonians 1:3-4, and also in his focus on Love in I Corinthians 13 that ends with, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (vs 13).

[2] Not only to what we often call our “local church” that is really just part of the local church of our community!

[3] Matthew 24:29-31

[4] Ephesians 1:16

[5] Revelation 2:1-7

[6] Luke 9:23 in fellowship with Galatians 2:20

[7] Matthew 6:9-13

[8] Following Jesus’ expression in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”

[9] Following the example of the early church that people were willing to sell property in order to contribute to the daily bread of their fellow believers who were in need (see Acts 4:32-37). 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Scripted Comfort on the Stage of Prayer

As soon as I woke up, the Spirit directed me into expressing appreciation to Father for the encouraging time of prayer last night. I needed it. And God used it to lead me into the certainties of the necessity and delight of prayer. 

As I continued going through Ephesians 1 to consider the things Paul was referring to when he introduced his first prayer with, “For this reason…”[1] I stopped on the expression, “making known to us the mystery of his will”.[2] 

A divine mystery is something that is absolutely hidden, impossible to guess, even impossible to consider its existence. It is held in the mind of the Triune in the God’s-thoughts-are-higher-than-our-thoughts kind of way,[3] and no one (not even Hercule or Holmes) would ever deduce whodunit. 

With that in mind, that we cannot possibly discover the divine mystery on our own, isn’t it hugely significant to see how willing God is to make known to us the mystery of his will? 

Yes, to allow our minds to meditate on this wonder is a gift of delight that comes from our Father’s heart, and I was able to enjoy the genuine feeling of wonder and worship, in companionship with my tears, to simply enjoy BEING delighted with the Father who made me to genuinely feel that he was delighting in me as his child. 

And then it happened. 

I have come to realize that, even though my writing is of such limited value to anyone around me, it is something very special between me and Father. It is almost like he doesn’t care one little bit what it does for anyone else, but he knows it is part of me, part of what he himself has designed into me (okay, those nasty tears want to be noticed), and there is a smile on his face when he lets me feel the need to attach to him with writing. Oh, how my Father LOVES WORDS!!! 

For many years, I have been developing a story about a newly adopted orphan learning to experience the privileges of his adoption. It has taken many of the lessons I have learned in my orphan-mindedness and put them into word-pictures that might one day help others on the same journey. 

This morning, Father gave me a picture to add to the scrapbook of my orphan story where Paul takes his little brother Timothy to a place on Father’s Estate Timothy did not yet know about. It was a theater. And, in this theater, Timothy would discover that prayer is acted out on a stage. And there are props that must be in place to feel the faith, and hope, and love that drives prayer. And Paul is going to walk Timothy through a scene of props (Ephesians 1:1-14) that would inspire Paul’s kind of prayer (Ephesians 1:15-23). 

What I am delighting in is partly the wonder of relationship with God where he made me to feel that him and I were good. Our relationship is good. He is able to meet with me. Just the two of us. Uniting his word with my love of words. Giving me the stage on which he will teach me to pray. A stage on which I will learn my lines, so to speak, to one day share a performance that will bless others. 

Anyway, my love of words is getting wordy, so I will leave it at that. I am so thankful that God is comforting me after a season of grief and sorrow that he wanted me to go through with him. It is not over. More like the ER room part might be over and now the physio will be its own painful journey of getting used to walking with a limp, so to speak. Or maybe there is more relational healing around one of the next corners. 

Whatever the case, I praise God this morning that he has blessed me with a lesson on prayer that has truly overwhelmed me with wonder and worship that is real. How I love the REALNESS God is bringing into my life. The finish line of my race creeps steadily closer, and God will take me into the realness of eternity where I will be in eternal awe of what it feels like to be fully attached to the Triune God and his children with NO… ATTACHMENT-PAIN… EVER!!!!!!! 

And it just occurs to me that Ephesians 1 is Paul’s performance on the stage of prayer. Recorded in words in the word. For me. And now Paul is teaching me how to imitate him in his imitation of Christ. So my prayers can attach to God now, and bless others in due season.


© 2022 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)



[1] Ephesians 1:15 (context is the whole prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23)

[2] Ephesians 1:9

[3] Isaiah 55:9

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The “No Fault” Insurance (Assurance) of God

Insurance is a big deal in my community. People have lost property because of wildfires and found some comfort if their insurance paid out on what was destroyed. Others lost property to the devastating flood of November 2021, and many found that their insurance would not cover their loss. What a horrible addition to their grief to discover that an insurance company could find a fault with their claim that would disqualify them from a payout. They not only lost so much of their personal possessions, but they also lost all the value in their home and property with not even a penny of replacement. 

Why does God have an insurance plan that does not give him any room to disqualify those who receive it? Why doesn’t God act on his right to find fault with us and reject us forever? He knows our faults. Fault-finding and rejection go together. So why is it that the one person who sees every fault in us would enact an eternal-life insurance policy that was signed and sealed in the blood of his Son so that it could never be revoked no matter how many faults he could see? 

I wonder about these things in the context of knowing that God has given me grace to stand strong while I am feeling weak with sorrow and grief. I know my faults and failings and I know rejection because of them. They cannot be escaped. I look in the mirror and they are staring back at me. I look in people’s faces and see their painful effect. It doesn’t matter whether the words were spoken or unspoken, or the actions were good or bad, there is the awareness of faults and failures bringing rejection. 

And in this, God wants me to know he is “blameless”. 

What a gift of thoughts this is to me this morning, that God brings me to consider how he is perfect in every way, and that his perfection leaves him not knowing what I feel like to be imperfect. He can’t know what it feels like to be incomplete. He can’t know what it feels like to be rejected because of a fault with him. He knows what it is like to be accused of faults, and rejected because of those perceptions, but he does not know what it feels like to have faults, or to have to admit that he somehow deserved rejection because of something he did or did not do. 

What a horrible feeling it would have been for Adam to discover that he had just brought the first fault into the infant creation. He wasn’t even a narcissist! There hadn’t been time to make him one. And yet he despised the guilt he felt, and the shame he felt, and the fear he felt, such that he would try to hide from God and then blame Eve for his sin. 

But there is the Creator God who is not only without fault, but as the Triune, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they do not know what it is like to find fault with each other. They do not know what it is like to turn their backs on each other. They cannot know the personal feeling of rejection because of a fault. They do not know what self-justifying a fault between themselves feels like. 

They are “blameless”. 

Our “justice-issues” with God are utterly ludicrous! The Triune God is perfect in every attribute, including their justice. Both hell and the cross are perfect justice. 


And with all the wonders of worshiping while weeping, the blameless Triune God spoke this into my soul: “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”[1] 


The wonder of it! That the one person who perfectly sees the blame and fault in me, and feels the weight of my corruption as no one on earth has ever known it, has ordained that I who am full of faults, more faults than my rejectors have imagined, will BE “holy and blameless before him”! 

And so, I worship Jesus for doing this unthinkable thing that he would “be sin” for my sake. As Paul wrote, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”[2] 

That’s how it is done. Jesus has some feeling of what it is like to “be sin”. And on a spirit that “knew no sin”. Never has there been a man who was absolutely without any fault, and yet was “despised and rejected” as no man has ever been hated and disowned by anyone at all.[3] 

It is said that “out of wonder, worship is born”.[4] I am in awe and wonder in my grief and sorrow that Jesus would be made sin for me so that I “might become the righteousness of God”. 

I do not know how this earthly life will end. I do not know how many more people I will lose in life. I hate death and what it does to us. I hate the corruption of sin in me and everyone around me. I hate how it destroys people and nations. 

But there is this overriding act of ultimate sovereignty that has declared that I will “be holy and blameless before him”, before the Triune, because Jesus became sin for me. 

And so, I accept the weakness in me today, and the grief and sorrow of what is broken. I know that God has already blessed me in another lookout-point of the Beatitudinal Journey[5] so that it is true worship I feel for my Father who has given me his Son and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to carry out a plan that no one (not even me) can stop. I will one day know what it feels like to be faultless in the presence of love that has eternally forfeited its right to reject me for my sin. 

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.[6]

(Insert worshipful sigh of relief and appreciation here).


© 2022 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Ephesians 1:4

[2] II Corinthians 5:21

[3] Isaiah 53:3

[4] G. Campbell Morgan (not sure which book it was from, but it has stuck with me for decades)

[5] The “Beatitudinal Journey” is the way I have come to see the eight Beatitudes Jesus expresses in Matthew 5:1-12. God blesses his children with the experience of poverty of spirit over our sin, mourning all that is wrong with us, meekly surrendering to the authority of Jesus Christ as the only one who can fix what is broken, and hungering and thirsting for the righteousness we do not have. As God satisfies that hunger and thirst for righteousness through the new covenant in Jesus’ blood, we become the merciful with pure hearts who want nothing more in life than to lead people to have peace with God, even to the point of rejoicing when we are persecuted for sharing the good news of great joy with everyone around us.

[6] Jude 1:24-25