RSS

Tag Archives: Lord’s Day

Lord’s Day Reflections 08-22-2010

1. Be like the Bereans.  Growing up in Church, I always heard it.  For many years, I thought it was talking about the Berean Church, but in Acts 17, the reference is to Berean Jews.  The reason why we are exhorted today to be like the Bereans flows from their apporach to discern God’s will.  The Berean Jews tested all of Paul’s testimony about Jesus by eagerly searching the Scriptures to see if he was right.

This pattern is commendable.  As a Christian people, we need to test all that we do against the word of God.

2. Having said all this, we need to be ready to have some of what we thought we knew transformed by Scripture.  So much of what Christians believe and practice comes from secondhand sources.  Go to the word, it will always set you on the right path.

3. Certain Sunday evenings on occasions we have opportunity to pray over individual members during our service.  We prayed over one of our recent members who is having to move back to Florida.  It is such a sweet privilege to pray with saints in a one-on-one setting.  I encourage other churches to do this.  And may God bless you, Imogene.  You have been a good encouragement during your stay with us at Westwood.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Lord’s Day Reflections 08-08-10

1. What will you do when God tells you no?  This was one of the main points and applications of the sermon.  God told Paul and Silas that they could not take the gospel into Asia.  My contention is that God tells us no often because our sinful requests and desires do not align with God’s purposes.  Friend, do not try to push open a door that God has closed.  Do not try to justify your sin.  Do not surround yourself with “yes” friends.  Do not make God out to be the one who gives you blessing of your sin.

2. Too often we focus on what God has denied us, when we ought to dwell upon what God has made available to us.  God closed off Bithynia to Paul and Silas, but he opened the door to all the people of Philippi.  Go full steam into the opportunities and ministries which God has clearly opened the door for you.

3. I am so thankful for the new friendships that have been made and are being made here at Westwood.  While Paul and Barnabas had to separate from each other, the Lord gave unto Paul, Silas and Timothy.  Friend, be willing to open yourself up to other brothers and sisters in Christ and be blessed by God through them.

4. Thank you to Son Rise for leading us in worship Sunday Night.  Your blessing through song made for a good evening of worship.

5. What a blessing it is when you arrive to the office on Tuesday (I’m out of the office on Mondays) and read an email from one of your members telling you about how he/she is ministering to some couples at work and is asking for more gudience concerning God’s will on the subject of marriage (I gave instruction on Sunday concerning marriage).  Our weekend worship gatherings are designed to instruct and encourage and then we take the instruction and encouragement and pass it along to others.  It is wonderful to know this is going on each week in the life of our people.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Lord’s Day Reflections 08-01-10

1. I admit that numbers do either encourage or discourage a pastor.  No pastor wants the building to be emtpy on Sunday morning.  And virtually all pastors would rejoice when it is full.  I knew our numbers would be down in view several members being absent to attend an out of town wedding on Saturday.  In addition to this we had a few out for vacation.

It seemed like our building was a ghost town just five minutes before sunday school was to begin.  I prayed that God turn this discouragement for good quickly before class started.  As our class began, more and more people just kept pouring in that we had to change rooms with another class.  It was so encouraging to see God answer prayer so quickly.

2. It was also encouraging to hear that one of our visitors was recommended to us as a good small church.  The visitor had inquired about churches she should attend, and a few of the large churches were recommended first, but when a smaller church needed to be recommeded, ours was mentioned.  This is very encouraging.

3. A final word about the encouragement that I regularly receive at Westwood and I know that others do as well.  The fellowship of members beyond our gatherings is great. This is often non-existent in some churches as people go their separate ways after the gatherings.  But many at Westwood continue in fellowship each week beyond those times.  And it has greatly contributed to the spirit and unity of our congregation.

I thank God for the fellowship of his family.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Lord’s Day Reflections 11-25-10

1. My favorite Sundays are the ones where we observe baptism.  They are the days where we have individuals who are desiring to make their commitment to Jesus Christ known publicly to the congregation and to the world before God.

I had the privilege to baptize Jared S.  It was bittersweet though because Jared and his family are moving to Chicago in a few weeks.  It made me think of the hymn we sung at Southern Seminary by Basil Manly, Jr., Soldiers of Christ, in Truth Arrayed.  The last stanza reads:

We meet to part, but part to meet
When earthly labors are complete,
To join in yet more blest employ,
In an eternal world of joy.

2. My sermon text was Acts 14:21-23. I narrowed in on the fact that one of the first things Paul and Barnabas did to strengthen new churches was to appoint elders for them.  This was the second occasion I preached on the one topic of elders since my coming to Middle Tennessee.

I know that this subject is both interesting and difficult in a baptist congregation.  One older member mentioned to me today that my sermon was the first time he could ever recall hearing one solely on elders. But he agreed with the fact that elders are all over the New Testament.

One difficulty with the idea of elders is that we live in the center of Church of Christ territory.  Church of Christ churches embrace elders.  However, in many of their churches, the elders rule the church and make all decisions.  And this does not come across positively to congregationalists. This is not the view I advocated.

As I stated at the outset of the sermon, we are only beginning a conversation on this subject.  In other words, we will move slowly.  And we will chart our church’s future together. 

3. On a different subject.  Why is it that many church members only attend one meeting a week, and yet they always seem to complain about the time they have to spend together?  Is it okay to say to those who complain every week, “Just stay at home until you can enjoy being together with all of God’s people on the Lord’s Day”?  You are not contributing to the joy of God’s people when the only words out of your mouth are complaints!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Lord’s Day Reflections 11-18-10

Acts 14 was our sermon text in the AM gathering.  Paul and Barnabas’ courage was truly awesome.  They were dirven out of Antioch Pisidia (ch 13).  A plot was uncovered to stone them in Iconium, so they left.  In Lystra, Paul was stoned.  Then they traveled to Derbe.  But after making disciples in this town, they went back to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch Pisidia to stregnthen the churches in those cities.

How many Christians have this kind of resolve today?  How many Christians love their brothers and sisters this much today?

How appropriate were the songs we sung in advance of this text: How Firm a Foundation and Be Strong in the Lord.  The foundational Rock of Jesus Christ was what drove these men to endure what they endured.  And their strength truly came from the Lord.

Our Sunday evening gathering was fun as we have just begun a series where I answer questions from members on any number of different topics.  This series will continue into the fall.  The most popular questions revolve around Last Things, or Eschatology.

The fellowship of the saints is truly a wonderful thing.  Each week I am so blessed by the church family to which God has called me to pastor.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Lord’s Day Reflections 07-11-10

1. Currently, I am preaching through the book of Acts.  One of the verses I preached on this Sunday was Acts 13:48.  The verse records the Gentiles in Antioch Pisidia responding to the gospel.  Luke summarizes their response this way: And as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

I knew this would be an occassion where the view of election I preached would run counter to some in my church.  In spite of this I prayed that God would show himself faithful in the preaching of difficult doctrines.  And God answered my prayer.  I was greatly encouraged by the response from many in the church.

2. As encouraging as Sunday morning was, it did not compare to Sunday night.  Our youth and youth team gave a report about their recent mission trip to South Carolina.  The mission trip was primarily filled with service to troubled youth, underprivileged children, and the elderly.  In the short time they were away, God moved in a big way in many of their lives.  A few youth who were not apart of our church accompanied our youth team and one has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ.  Another one has made public his sense of God calling him into the pastorate.  And according to our leaders, more fruit is expected to be announced (Thank you Greg, Renee, Marty, Mary Lou, Cindy, and Ben).

3. One of the prayers that I have made consistently since arriving here at Westwood almost two years ago was that God would raise up many pastors from this congregation.  Perhaps this prayer is beginning to be answered!

4. I am so thankful to God for the stirring he is giving to many of our adults, youth, and children over the last several months.  I pray that it only increases and spreads.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: