(Jer. 17:5-8) 5 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Hymn No. 571 “This is the Day”
Hymn No. 456 “How Firm a Foundation”
(Ps. 42:1-2) As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Hymn No. 554 “As the Deer”
Hymn No. 559 “More Love to Thee, O Christ”
(Col. 1:9-12) 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
(1 Pet. 2:2-5) 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Hymn No. 154 “What a friend we have in Jesus”
Hymn No. 603 “When We all get to heaven”
Psalm 86:10 You are great and perform wonders.
Hymn No. 6 “How Great Thou Art”
Sermon John 14:1-11
Hymn No. 611 “On Jordon’s Stormy Banks”
Benediction (Heb. 10:32-39) 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls
We are about to sing “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.” There’s a line in the song that says, “teach us how to love each other.” So, our call to worship text comes from Philippians 2 where Paul instructs us on how to love each other in humility. So, let’s call ourselves to worship with this on our minds:
(Phil. 2:3-11) 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
May our lips sing for joy when we think of the humility and love of Christ towards us and may we learn to love and serve each other as we see Christ!
Hymn No. 13 “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”
Welcome and Prayer
Indeed, Lord, we do adore you because your love is unmatched by any. As we are about to sing a song in which we are asking the question, “Amazing love, how can it be that thou, my God, should die for me?” We know because (Rom. 5:7-8)…one will scarcely die for a righteous person– though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– 8 but Christ shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We were your enemies and yet you have adopted us into your family.
May we live as sons and daughters of the King! The One who came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as ransom for many. May we serve one another, gladly. May we humble ourselves, because you oppose the proud. When we are full of pride, we become defensive and we feel entitled to things that other people do not deserve. “Pride allows us to convince ourselves that we can step over your boundaries without any consequences. We are no longer afraid of you so we write our own rules.”
O Father, you give grace to the humble. Humble us Lord! Mold us into the image of Christ. We are free to be humble for we are sons of the King. We have nothing to prove. We have your favor and you love us just as you love your Son. Though we are of Adam’s helpless race, Jesus bled for us in his mercy. May we praise you, for your mercy has reached us. Amazing love!
Hymn No. 250 “And Can it Be”
(Highlight this line in the song in light of our text)
“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us: the prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo his doom is sure: one little word shall fell him.”
Hymn No. 656 “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
Sermon John 13:1-11
Hymn No. 229 “Are You Washed in the Blood”
(Rev. 7:13-17) “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
One year ago today, the Lord began stirring in me a desire to move to another church. Granted, I cannot explain how this “stirring” works. This stirring is like feelings. They can’t be trusted. This stirring could or could not be from the Lord. Therefore, it must be tested. John tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I Jn 4:1). I think “spirit” is partly “feelings.” So, your feelings need to be tested with scripture.
The main point I want to make in this post is slowness. We live in a world that wants, whatever it is, immediately! A dear brother pointed out to me that God is content to work in decades, centuries, and long periods of time. The entire Bible begs this point. I don’t say these things as one who does not struggle with the temptation of wanting things to happen quickly. Nor am I saying that some things don’t need to happen quickly. They do. However, waiting is often not an option for us.
I have a journal entry to show how God worked “slowly” with me and all the others involved. In fact, that slowness is still part of the scenario. I see this slowness as healthy and good. May God grant me [us] patience and mercy through this transition.
Journal Entry September 20, 2013
While praying yesterday morning, I prayed part of Psalm 69 “Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink.” I began to think of moving my family to Davis Memorial. I imagined what it would look like for my family to be there. I really was encouraged by the thought. I need more evidence that I should do this. My feelings are not firm foundations. Actually, they can be “mire.” We will see how the Lord might lead and confirm.
Our first Sunday at Davis Memorial was July 9, 2014. I became convinced early on. The evidence was slow. I ran it by my wife first. It took time for her to see it, but she did. I ran it by the pastor of Davis Memorial and it took time for him to see it, but he did. In time, I hope the members of Davis Memorial will see it.
I am aware that some of the members might read this. If you do, do not feel rushed. Take as long as you need. I hope you are encouraged by this post to wait on God. Also, I hope to reveal more of the process and reason for moving in later posts. If anything, I hope you see this was not a spur of the moment decision. Also, don’t see my process and understanding of this without error. I trust that God was working things out long before and He is still at work now. To God be the glory forever and ever!
I am aware that you need more context to understand fully what I write here. However, that will not be provided. I hope it is of value as it stands.
September 12, 2013
I don’t think a church plant will happen…at least not right now. The letter I sent to various people did not reveal much interest. Therefore, I will push on doors elsewhere. If you hear of any opportunities please pass them along. Thanks for all your help and prayers. All that you poured into me is still bearing fruit brother…it was not in vain.
I am thankful for the time I have had after seminary. Seminary was good for me in many ways but I needed to adjust to life outside the academy. I was not ready to deliver truth with mercy and patience. I had a packaged deal (that had many flaws) that would not fly very quickly. I would have lorded it over them. I would have pushed my agendas. But now, I am ready to walk with them (whoever they are) for however long it takes. I will have compassion instead of compulsion. Discipleship rather than dictatorship.
Also, I think my marriage is better as a result of waiting. I think I am a better father having waited. I have learned a ton! Many adjustments along the way. The Lord has been so merciful to me.
Seminary students don’t know what they need because they think they know. They don’t know…most of them. I hope you will encourage them to hang around the church for awhile before going into ministry. They need to be around you. Brother, you have such a gift from the Lord. I thankful for the time with you.
At the end of the day, God has not called me to be a pastor but to trust in His Son. The process of following everyday in everything is far more important than ministry. I could be so consumed with seeking a ministry position that I become faithless to the ministry of my family and those I am in contact with everyday.
I could tell you a story about Stanley who was our delivery guy where I work. I spoke with him about Jesus each week even though he claimed to be a believer. A few months ago, the Lord got his attention and he and his son went to church, heard the gospel, and believed. Now his wife is believing. They are making backpacks for the homeless. I could go on and on about things like that. God is using me right where I am…a husband, father, and hardware salesman.
I am in a discipleship relationship with two guys. We meet at McDonald’s every Saturday morning. I see fruit in their lives! Yet I long for more.
I feel like I am doing nothing for Christ. I ponder giving it all up because I can only do so little. Then God sent this to me: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do so little” (Edmund Burke).
May the Lord do with me as He pleases. May I be content with the small ministry that I have. I will give an account for them too! Pray for me…I so need it.
I am still believing today! I am sure I will be tomorrow and the next…not because of me but because of Christ. I need you O God my salvation again today, for my soul is sinking. I feel like letting go. But for some reason I don’t. Therefore, I say to my soul “Why are you downcast? Hope in God, for I will again praise Him.” Waiting….
Rise up, be our help and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness!
The title could lead you in multiple directions. So, I need to begin by stating what I mean by “more.” I’m sure you understand what it means to be tempted. You could think from the title that the temptation is about “more” stuff! And that is a common temptation. It is one that needs to be subdued. However, the “more” I speak of is more ministry.
I am going to quote from my journal. The date was September 2, 2013. At that time, I was a member of a church waiting for God to open a door for ministry.
I was renewed yesterday (Sept. 1, 2013) to press on today! O Lord, renew me today that I might press on tomorrow. A quote that was helpful to me: “Nobody made a greater mistake that he who did nothing because he could only do a little” (Edmund Burke). I look at my life and think I am doing nothing for Christ (wasting my life). Yet the enemy would have me believe and desire more, more, more. More, for me, has not come. Therefore, I am tempted to stop what little I do if I can’t have all that I want. O how subtle! Father help me be faithful with the small ministry. May it bear much fruit! May I be content. Grow me in grace. Forgive me for giving in to the “more” temptation. It was consuming me. Lord, if you never give me more than I have right now, I will still follow you.
May I hear from your word today!
Today is a different day. It has much more. I still your grace!
Here is something I heard from the word that morning:
From 1 Samuel 26, we again see David patiently waiting for the throne. Though David had lost his place in Saul’s kingdom, he had not lost his place in God’s Kingdom. David was doing nothing for God while hiding from Saul. Yet, God was at work in David. He was being prepared for what was to come!
Old Testament: Isaiah 63–66 Isaiah 63–66 (Listen) The Lord’s Day of Vengeance 63 Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who tre […]