Making Sure Things Don’t Go From Worse to Worst

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, (Hebrews 12:28 NIV)

I invite you to have a participatory reading with me today. Look up the word “worse” in the dictionary. Then, scroll down and find the word “worst.” Then, notice the word that separates the two. Amazing, isn’t it?

For those too impatient to go to the dictionary, the word that separates worse and worst is worship. Yes, this is just a coincidence of spelling, but it does serve as a powerful analogy. If we want to assure that things do not go from worse to worst, we need to focus on worship.

The original recipients of Hebrews lived in a time of crisis. First, there was a theological crisis. People were struggling to identify exactly who Jesus was.  Second, it was a time of political crisis. Christians were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. This political crisis brought about a personal crisis for believers in Jesus. Finally, the church was in crisis. People were leaving the church confused and disappointed. Let’s see: theological crisis, political crisis, and church crisis of people abandoning their spiritual convictions. One might say that this letter is written to folks just like us.

What do we do in such times when we realize that we live in a “shaken kingdom?” In times like these, we remind ourselves that there is a “kingdom, which cannot be shaken.” For that, we give thanks and let our worship go up with reverence and awe.

I remind myself often that it is impossible to worry and worship at the same time. When I find myself worrying, the best solution is to begin to worship.

As you prepare yourself for worship this coming Lord’s Day think about how powerful worship is and how necessary worship is in all of our lives. Don’t neglect the gathering of the people of God.

Getting Ready for August

Ah, don’t hate me, but July 19 means that we are closer to the start of school than we are to the beginning of summer vacation. I’m no big authority on Shakespeare, but he said, “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” But now is the time in our church to be thinking about our Back to School season of ministry. I want to encourage you to be thinking about what you will be able to commit to this fall.

Let me mention several great opportunities.

  • ReGroup Conference—August 11—This is a regional event that we are hosting for leaders of Baptist churches across South Louisiana. If you are a teacher in Sunday School or Discipleship, we need for you to commit to this Saturday.
  • FAITH—This is our evangelism training and strategy. The orientation is Tuesday, August 14 with the first night of training and visitation on the following Tuesday.
  • Sunday School—The start of the school year is an excellent time to get reconnected to a small group.
  • Discipleship Group—We have several excellent discipleship groups that are going to begin on Sunday, August 19.
  • GriefShare and DivorceCare—These groups also begin their new semester on August 19.
  • Refresh Conference—This conference for ladies is set for Saturday, September 22

Enjoy your summer, but get your calendar out and make plans for this fall.

What’s Happening this Week at FBC?

On Wednesdays, I try to write to our church about what’s happening this week at First Baptist Church. I hope our men enjoyed breakfast yesterday (Tuesday) with Coach Mike McConathy of Northwestern State University. I find it exciting to see men like Coach McConathy live out their faith in their jobs. Our Daniel’s Men Breakfasts are designed in part to introduce our men to other men who are doing just that.

We have some of our students at Student Leadership University this week. This is an exciting opportunity for these students. Student Leadership University’s mission is to develop and equip student leaders to think, dream, and lead. They are getting to hear and hang out this week with folks like Sean McDowell, the son of Josh McDowell, and Pat Williams, the Sr. VP of the Orlando Magic. Our students who have gone in past years have had fantastic experiences at this leadership institute.

Let’s continue to have a great summer this Sunday with excellent attendance in Sunday School and worship.