What’s Happening This Week at FBC?

It is summer! For many that means traveling and a little bit slower pace from the school year. I am enjoying the summer. OK, I admit, I love summer.

But as we enjoy this season, let’s all do our part to keep the ministries of our church going strong and more importantly our own discipleship strengthening.

Let me point you to three specific items related to this summer.

1. Pray for church-sponsored travel—The youth are returning today and tomorrow from Centrifuge. A mission trip to Romania happens beginning July 5. The College students will attend Collegiate Week in Oklahoma later this summer.

2. Be consistent in worship—I know many will travel, including me, but when in town, let’s be in our place in worship and Bible Study.

3. Be consistent in giving—Unfortunately, Sunday, we reached the status of being double digits in percentage points behind in giving to our annual budget goal. We are not in crisis, but I want to nudge us to be consistent in our giving even when we are not in town. Giving online may be helpful to you in this area.

Tonight (Wednesday) we will pick back up our study in Exodus. We are in that pivotal chapter 20 tonight. This is a good place to look forward a bit to understand as best as we can what God was saying through all of the commandments, laws, and instructions. We meet at 6:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.

Sunday, we will return to our series on the parables. No study of the parables would be complete without a look at the most famous parable of all—the Prodigal Son or the Lost Boy. Read Luke 15 a couple of times before Sunday, and let’s come expecting God to speak.

On Sunday night, members of the Youth Choir from Calvary Baptist Church, Alexandria, will join our youth to sing and share about their mission trip to Nashville earlier this summer.

See You Sunday!

Abraham’s Altar

Abraham’s story in Genesis 12 is a model story of what it means to take God at His word and obey. I have always been amazed at Abram’s faith depicted in this account. As I have often summarized about this story, “God said to Abram ‘Get up and go,’ and Abram got up and went.”

The part of the story that I want to isolate today is not Abram’s journey to the land of Canaan, but instead what he did when he got there. He built an altar.

In fact in Abram’s case, we see a series of altars. In chapter 12, we have two initial altars.

• 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your offspring.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.

• 8 From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to Yahweh there, and he called on the name of Yahweh.

In chapter 13, we see the indication of additional altars. The first is the return to the altar between Bethel and Ai.

• Then Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev—he, his wife, and all he had, and Lot with him. Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. He went by stages from the Negev to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been, to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram called on the name of Yahweh there.

And, then once more in chapter 13, we read in verse 18 about the building of an altar.

• 18 So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the oaks of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.

When did Abram build these altars? Immediately! He built the altar when arrived at a place to establish a home.

Why did he build these altars? He built the altar to worship God.

Where did he build? He built at the new places he arrived to establish a home.

All of this speaks to the priority of worship!

Did Abram always build an altar?

Sadly, Abram did not always build an altar. Genesis 12:10-20 tells us that part of the story.

Do you see the lesson?

When worship is not the priority, we are most susceptible to disobedience.

We cannot neglect worship in our lives. We cannot neglect corporate worship. Corporate gathering of worship must be a priority in our lives. We cannot neglect individual worship. Daily worship must be a priority.

When we make one step away from worship, we are making a step toward disobedience.

Do you need to go back between Bethel and Ai?

What’s Happening this Week at FBC?

First of all, I am incredibly thankful for the response that we had Tuesday night for our VBS visitation follow-up. In spite of bad weather that came through at about the same time that we had planned to gather, we still had several teams out last night to follow-up with families whose children came to Vacation Bible School last week. Please continue to pray for these families to get connected to our church. I heard about a number of families that had their first Sunday at FBC last Sunday simply because their children had attended VBS the previous week.

Some of our staff, including me, have been at the Southern Baptist Convention this week. The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention is J.D. Greear. At 45 years old, Greear is the youngest president in 37 years. If you follow this blog or me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I voted for the other candidate, Ken Hemphill. I also want you to know that I will pray for J.D. He will need our prayers.

Overall, the Convention was encouraging. Kie Bowman, of Hyde Park Baptist in Austin, preached as fine a message as I have ever heard from Ezekiel 37. That’s the passage that is the Vision of Dry Bones. Bowman reminded us that God has a history of bringing dead things to life. Just when we might begin to believe something in our lives is dead, God breathes new life. Amen!

Please pray for our youth headed to camp at Centrifuge in Ridgecrest. Pray for safe travel and an awesome encounter with God. Pray that God will prepare them as a group to welcome our new Student Pastor in just a few weeks.

Finally, Sunday is Father’s Day, as I’m sure you know. After a regular morning schedule, we will host Scot Cameron in a concert for the 6:00 p.m. service.