Month: November 2017
This year’s fall revival brought evangelist Brent Sivinksty back to us with his wife Becky and their two sons. Each year Brent has opened the Word of God with clarity and conviction. This year he is opening up Titus 2 for us and challenging us on how we are to show forth Christ in our daily living of life
1 Thessalonians 3:11–13
11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you,
12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,
13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
As Paul expressed his desire for God to direct his way to his beloved friends in the faith, in the same sentence he lets them know of his godly desires for them. We might call this a “run on sentence.” But Paul used grammar to explain himself, just like we do. Trusting God to bring him to Thessalonica was just as important as trusting God to make them increase and abound in love for one another and for God to establish their hearts blameless before God at His coming. This was no quantum leap for Paul’s grammar but a parallel thought of equal importance.
Paul spent a lot of time telling them how badly he wanted to come see them. He also wanted them to increase in love for another.
When a church family has genuine godly love for one another, what is different? I think that genuine love will lead us to genuine holy living toward one another. For the more I love you the better I will take care of you and the more I will want to be with you. Our hearts will be established together in love an in holiness as we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus, the original “lover of our souls.”
Pray with me today for more love for one another in our church. Then pray that we will practice a greater holiness toward one another. What a church we could have as we display the Lord Jesus in us and through us so that all will know the difference the Savior makes.
We only have two more nights of our 2017 fall revival. Each night has had its own unique flavor and application of the Scriptures to our lives and to our church. Last night dealt with our behavior in Christ toward our employer. Wow, was that ever challenging! Because of Christ in us we are to do our jobs as unto Him first. When we do this at work we adorn the gospel with beauty to all of those around us. Thanks Brent for this great instruction from Titus 2.
Because of all of the great fellowship throughout this week, we will not be having dinner together at church this Sunday. So do not bring a dish to share as it won’t be enough to go around. Men, since we are in at First Baptist of Big Rock on Friday night we are not going to meet for our monthly breakfast this Saturday morning.
This Sunday I am starting a series on the Five Solas of justification. On this the 500th anniversary of the Reformation we need to look at the emphasis of Martin Luther and how his work on justification by faith alone through grace alone, in Christ alone, through the word of God alone, to the glory of God alone has shaped the church for the last 500 years.
Have a great day in the Lord,
Grace for Life Bible Church
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1 Thessalonians 3
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you—7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
Since those of you who read this devotional are not pastors, I would like to explain this passage from the viewpoint of a pastor to help you understand how we think. (For some of you this is a revelation that we pastors actually do think.)
When Timothy came back from Thessalonica with a good report of the faith of the Christians there, Paul was comforted. Before Timothy’s report, as we read yesterday, Paul was struggling as he wondered how these disciples were doing. His concern for their faithfulness to Christ was so great that he sent his closest companion away to get and to bring him news.
Upon Timothy’s return, Paul was greatly comforted by the good news that he had prayed for. Here is the point: pastors take a great deal of time working on the hearts of the people in the church. When those people continue in the faith of Christ the pastor’s hearts are comforted and encouraged. When those whom the pastor have invested in fall away from the faith, the pastor’s heart is depressed and sorrowful. A good pastor truly loves those whom God sends him to love. God works through the heart of the pastor to show His love and a true bond is made. When people continue in the faith that bond is made stronger and the pastor knows that his labor was fruitful.
However, when people fall away from the faith of Christ and determine to live apart from the wisdom of God and the truth of the Scriptures the pastor who loved them for Christ’s sake is deeply pained. One day a man told me that he was leaving the church over an altercation with another member. I told that man to cut off my arm and take it with him for his leaving us would have been that painful. As a pastor, I still pray for all of those who have left our church over the years that they would come back, reconcile to us and become a part of our church family again. I do not like it when people leave for that demonstrates a failure of Christians humbly walking with God together. The body is supposed to remain whole and amputations are always painful.
Yes, churches are going to have problems with members. Once in a while I get a pain in my own wrist, knee or head but I do not consider amputation. In the church, when we resolve our issues and work out our sinful pains we are made stronger and rejoice together in the power of God between us. Make your pastor rejoice; remain faithful to God and to the church of Jesus Christ.
Last night our evangelist spoke on Titus 2:5-8. It was a difficult message to hear but an important one for the church. Tonight we will hear another message from Titus 2 and we will hear from a missionary couple going to Spain. Join us at 7:00.
Please pray for a teenager in our church. There was an issue yesterday between this teen and their mother which escalated to the point where the father called the police for help. Pray for God’s peace to be sought after and found.
Have a great day in the Lord,