Our former Pastor, Josh Powell, is one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s brightest young historians. He was recently interviewed along with two other men by Robbie Sagers for Trevin Wax to “to address issues such as the importance of studying the Convention’s history, the relationship between Southern Baptists and evangelicals, and the need to learn from the past for greater fidelity to Christ in the future.”
JP’s answers are a blessing. Here are a few of his statements:
“The world needs humble servants who would look at any task, even washing lepers and caring for them, and say, “Jesus is Worthy.”” -JP
“We should trust the power of God’s truth in the hands of God’s Spirit-filled people.” -JP
You can read the entire interview here.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”
What a great verse! What is your gift? Everybody in the body has gifts and ought to be using them. There is no such thing as a Christian or church member who is not “serving one another”. And there is not such a thing as a Christian or church member without something to offer. We all matter. Again, we all matter! Lets all contribute.
When I was in high school, on two different occasions, I had in-grown toenails in my big toes. To understate it, they hurt so badly. They were so bad that they kept me out of basketball for about a week each time. I ended up having them surgically removed. After that, I was back to normal. Here’s the point, without my toes (or toe) working properly, I could not do what I needed to do.
Well in Ephesians 4, Paul is writing about the church as a body. The body of Christ is to be united. And in the body’s unity comes strength, and this strength is seen when the church is effective in faithfully serving the Lord in the world. In 4:11 he says God gives the church people to be in position to serve the church. The way those people (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) serve the church is by equipping the saints (all members of the church) to do the work of ministry.
And that work is “for building up the body of Christ” (v.12) until we all are mature and Christlike.
So the first half of Ephesians 4 is about the church and what makes it healthy and strong and what builds it up.
Then at the end of this section, in verse 16, he says “when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Our focus is to be working properly. All of us to be working properly. The body will grow and the body will be built up in love when all of us begin working properly.
Lets start doing our part. We all have different parts. Lets start doing it.
Here are just a few examples:
- About a month ago, we had a single lady here desperately in need of help. A church member noticed me speaking with her. That church member (after speaking with me) then went to the grocery store and bought a load of groceries. We gave them to her. We were careful to explain why we were doing this. In the last month, we have seen God moving in her heart. She is confessing sin and embracing Christ. She is on her way to becoming a church member.
- We had our VBS last month and it was awesome. We had many people come out to serve the church and community. It was encouraging to see so many people wanting to serve. One lady in particular told me that it had been some 15-20 years since she had volunteered her time to serve the church. What a blessing to see God moving in her life!
- Another family nearby has been coming more and more involved over the last year. We have been able to assist them in various ways over this year. Of late, they have even started to now help us in assisting others. Bills have been paid, food and clothing provided, small crises have been worked out, and now they are speaking with us about wanting to follow Christ. They are on their way.
- Another lady that we have had a good relationship with for years, has recently turned her life over to Christ. Jesus saved her. For the last month, this lady has been meeting one on one with an older lady in our church to be discipled. God is working in her life, and she will soon be baptized.
These are just a few of the many examples of how we are on our way to “working properly” around here. God is the source. His grace is our strength. As we are working properly, we are seeing the body growing and being built up in love.
Do you love God’s church? Do you love the bride of Christ?
Our love and allegiance to our King Jesus is made evident in our love for His people!
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This is very timely. Please, please, please read this article. Please do not allow yourself to be turned at all away from the cross of a crucified Savior. Our faith and trust is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and that alone!
2 Corinthians 4:5 “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord,”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”
“On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
“#3 AVOID COMMENTARIES”
“Commentaries can be useful tools, but they can be deadening for preachers. Spend more time in the biblical text and thinking for yourself about it, and less time answering the problems of the commentators. Scholars who write commentaries are talking to each other, answering each others’ questions. They are not the questions that the person in the pew has, and they’re often not what the text is about either. Even the best, biblical commentators still have to answer many questions entirely irrelevant to the people you are serving on a Sunday morning. Knowing the answers to these questions is still important, but you can’t let it take up all your sermon preparation time.”
You can read Phillip Jensen’s whole article here. Very helpful.
This video is a really good short video explaining what the Bible is about.
Its not about you. It is all about Jesus. Please watch it.
Over the last year, we have been very intentional at FBCF about praying more. Here lately, I have been teaching through Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 6 about prayer. Jesus clearly teaches that His followers should spend time in private prayer. “go to your room, shut the door, pray to your Father.”
Well several months ago, I challenged the church to pick one thing to begin praying for. Something BIG. Something so big that you doubt it will happen. And then pray hard. Pray and pray and pray, believing that God answers prayers.
Well today I ran into a lady who reminded me that I challenged the church to do that, and she told me that she had been praying for months for this one person to get saved. The person was mean and dishonest and bad and often in trouble. The person also was nearly 40 years old.
Then just the other day she saw this person carrying a Bible and the person told them they had found Christ.
WOW! God had answered her prayers. With tears in her eyes, she said “He heard my prayers.”
Yes, He did. And now someone knows the all-satisfying King Jesus!
Lets keep praying for the salvation of the people around us. God will answer.
I cannot wait to tell the church this story on Wednesday night during Prayer Meeting!
Each morning during breakfast, JJ, Eli and Daddy watch some cartoons. One of our favorites is Dinosaur Train. It comes on channel 13.
Some shows may be better, but the opening song (the theme song) to this one is so good. Eli never lets me miss it. We sing and dance loudly throughout the house.