I’m thankful for the church the Lord has allowed me the privilege of being a part of. Yesterday we had a guest preacher, Bro. Maury Gibson who by the way is an outstanding preacher.
A few weeks back we saw God’s power spring a leak in our Sunday services, and yesterday it happened again. During the song service, God got all over a singer, and before the preacher got up to preach, the altar was loaded with people. Bro. Gibson preached, and there was some serious Spirit movement during the invitation at the end.
Next week we’ll be having a revival with Bro. Brian McBride, one of the best evangelists in the business. There’s no telling what’s going to happen when the Lord gets through using that man’s preaching!
As the title implies, this post considers some great quotes from the preaching and teaching yesterday. Three things that were said really got my attention and are worth sharing.
I have the memory of a elephant – wait, strike that. Did I say elephant? I meant the most forgetful person on earth. So realize that these statements are not presented verbatim, they are paraphrased. I did the best I could to retain the necessary elements of the remarks, so I’m sure you’ll get the idea.
Without further ado, the three quotes we will consider pertain to the following areas:
- On holy living
- On Baptist churches today
- On empowerment for service
1. On Holy Living
“Our sin nature grows uncultivated, whereas godliness requires cultivation.”
This one came from Bro. Rod Warnke, who may have actually gotten it from someone else, I don’t recall. He taught from Hebrews 12 in Sunday School, and quoted a few men, each time giving credit for the source. I couldn’t remember if this quote came from him or someone else. Either way, it’s a great statement.
In Hebrews 12, we have the “root of bitterness” verse, and that contributes to the idea of this quote. Anyone who has lived for God and stayed living for God knows one thing: it requires effort to stay close to God.
Left up to themselves, even saved folks can live like the devil. Obviously that’s not supposed to happen, but it will happen unless a child of God takes steps to prevent it. Preventative – like pulling weeds. It takes energy to REMOVE those things that don’t belong.
How do those things appear that don’t belong? It requires a LACK OF PREVENTION, which means the required effort and attention were neglected. In other words, when we don’t restrain ourselves, and feed on God’s word, over time, we can become overgrown and eventually useless to God. To halt harmful growth, we can’t just contain the growth, we need to remove it by the roots.
2. On Baptist Churches Today
“It used to be that 20 people might get saved at a special meeting; nowadays it’s a miracle if the church members show up…”
I was talking to Bro. Gibson between Sunday School and Worship service about why we don’t see the power of God like we used to. He mentioned several things, and this was one of them, and it stuck out like a sore thumb to me. It’s a sobering testament to the flim-flam resolve of God’s people today. And we better watch out – because if we’re not careful to “cultivate” (see previous point) this could easily be said of us one day.
We have so many distractions vying for our attention today it’s sickening. But hasn’t that always been the case? Consider a saved Baptist farmer in the 1950’s: he probably worked 14 hours a day, had several mouths to feed, had little or no recreation time, yet was faithful to the work of God.
Now consider many Baptists today: he’s an employee, works 40-50 hours per week (8-10 per day), and has more time to himself than ever before. Even after spending time with the wife and kids, he still has more time than he’s willing to admit.
Now I’m curious: if Baptists were faithful 60 years ago when life was 50 times harder than it is today, how do we stack up when we get too exhausted to come to church, or just don’t feel like it? Compared to the faithfulness of the saints of previous generations, we are completely without excuse.
It comes down to an issue of priorities. If God’s important to me, I’ll make time for him. If he isn’t I’ll be too busy and find every excuse I can to not have to go to church. Like it or not, it’s a choice we all make. – A choice for which we’re all accountable, the consequences of which will echo for eternity.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Matthew 6:21 (KJV)
3. On Empowerment for Service
“I told a man of God that I felt God calling me to preach, but there were 2 huge problems: I didn’t know my Bible, and I was scared to death to speak in front of people…He told me I’d do great.”
This one comes from Bro. Maury Gibson’s sermon during worship service. As a singer who deals with stage-fright like no other, this quote greatly encourages me.
Think about it: if I could do it all by myself I wouldn’t need God’s help. But if I need God’s help, I’ll need to be careful to do it the right way everytime. And when we serve the way God wants us to, pretty soon it doesn’t matter how perfect the “performance” was, what matters is if Christ is happy with it. Who cares what anyone thinks if the Lord is pleased?
Bro. Gibson went on to say this as well:
“God enables us for service; if you think you can’t – he will; if you think you can – he won’t.”
It sure reminds me of Paul’s thorn in the flesh – it needed to stay so that Paul would stay needy. God help us to never think we have it figured out and forget to get his help. Help us to always need something and never have need of nothing.
Today we looked at three quotes that dealt with holy living, Baptist churches today, and empowerment for service.
I was the song leader during the evening service last night. One thing I’ve been asking the Lord to help me with is to show me how to song lead in a way that brings the most possible honor and glory to the Lord Jesus. And then another quote hit me while leading a song:
“Though no one join me still I will follow…”
We sang this line in the song, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. To be able to sing this quote from the bottom of one’s heart means that an individual is resigned to the idea that no matter what happens, he’s made up his mind to follow the Lord, and will stand alone if necessary.
It’s a noble thought, but a word of caution: be careful whenever your emotions lead you to think that others just don’t get it or that you’re the only one that does. Remember the example of Elijah, and how while he thought he was the only one, God informed Elijah that he had 7,000 that never bowed the knee to Baal. That’s a good pride check.
Holy living, faithfulness to God’s people, God’s house, and his work, empowerment for service, and resolve to stand – these are all components of a church (and individuals) that will see God’s power. Some great things were said yesterday, and I thank the Lord that I was there to receive the blessing of hearing them.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s coming. The end of this age, God’s power in abundantly proportional amounts to the wickedness of our world, and Lord willing, a manifestation, the magnitude of which has not been seen in this country for years.