My Life’s Message

This morning, we had breakfast for men at our church. We call our quarterly gathering of men Daniel’s Men because of the story of Daniel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a man of purpose, prayer, and partners. When we meet, we share a word that will help men in one of these areas. I shared this morning with our men what I consider to be “my life’s message.” I hope you can benefit from this message as well.

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (New International Version)

We read King Asa’s story in 2 Chronicles 14-16. Like so many, King Asa started well, but he did not finish well. In the early part of his reign, King Asa was devoted to God, and as a result, enjoyed the blessing of God. However,  Asa began to rely on his own strength, rejected God’s instruction, and even refused God’s help.

Though we will never know exactly what caused Asa’s spiritual demise, we must conclude that his heart was not fully committed to God. His story serves as a warning to us that our devotion to God in the past does not guarantee our devotion today. Furthermore, our devotion to God today does not guarantee our devotion to Him in the future.

Asa’s story prompts us to ask a serious question about our heart. Here’s the question. Is there anything in my life that does not right now belong to God? That is the question we must ask if we are going to continue to be completely surrendered to God.

At the end of WWII, Germany was surrounded by the Allied Forces. A few days after Hitler’s suicide, the Germans surrendered to the Allies. The actual wording of the surrender document contains these words: “The German Command agrees for all German forces to lay down their arms and to surrender unconditionally.” Furthermore, the Germans agreed to “carry out at once, and without argument or comment, all further orders that will be issued by the Allied Powers on any subject.” Are you willing to say that to God?

 

What’s Happening at FBC this Week?

Perhaps you have heard it said, “We are always in a crisis, just coming out of a crisis, or about to be in a crisis.” So life seems to be! And, this tests our faith or confronts our faith. That has been our theme for the last few weeks. But, in the midst of crisis, there is comfort. We will turn to Isaiah 41 Sunday to see the source of our comfort in the midst of crisis. Isaiah 41:10 is one of my all-time favorite promises of God. Let’s explore that Sunday. Be in your place in both Sunday School and worship this Sunday.

As we think of crisis, we certainly remember our friends in Florida and other parts of the Southeast, now in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Our hearts break at the pictures of the devastation. Many of you will want to immediately do something. We are receiving money that we will send directly to partners in Florida. One of the great things about being part of a church in the Southern Baptist Convention is that we are part of a network of churches who can mobilize quickly to be involved in the relief. If you would like to donate, just simply designate on your envelope or memo section that the gift is intended to be used for Disaster Relief.

Finally, pray for Ray Swift, Laura Vidrine, and Ashley Pittman who are leaving Friday to be on mission in Haiti next week.

The Day Drew Brees Did Not Come to Worship

The news about Drew Brees breaking the “All-Time Passing Yards” record last night reminded me of arguably my best sermon illustration ever. The Sunday was the first Sunday of the year in 2007. The Saints were in the play-offs, but had a bye in the first round.

I began my sermon this way:

Before I preach this morning, I have a special guest that I want to introduce, who will say a word of greeting and testimony. Would you believe that I had something interesting that happened to me yesterday? I was out with my family and I thought I recognized this gentleman. I wasn’t sure it was him, and though I don’t usually do things like this, I went up to him and asked, “Are you who I think you are?” He said, “Well, who do you think I am?” “Well,” I said, “I think you are Drew Brees.” “I am,” he said. For those of you who don’t know—Drew Brees is the first-year quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. Of course, as most of you know, he will be leading the Saints into the play-offs next week. He is off today, because they had such a good year they have a bye in the play-offs. Well to make a long story short, Drew asked me what I did, so I told him.  One thing led to another, and well, Drew agreed to come this morning and share a brief word of testimony with us. Drew is right outside those doors, so help me give a loud Lafayette greeting to the quarterback of our play-off bound New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees.

The place went wild. The exuberance was far more than anything we had experienced in the opening moments of our worship. Drew Brees was not right outside the doors, so then I said:

No, Drew Brees is not with us this morning. If you were listening carefully, I said at the beginning, “Would you believe?” I made all of that up to make a point this morning about worship. The truth is this: Some of you were more excited about seeing Drew Brees here this morning than hearing from God. Maybe for you it is not Drew Brees who you would like to see, but it is someone else. And that attitude is our first obstacle to authentic worship.

I then commenced to preach that morning on the authenticity of our worship.

Any day is a great day to think about our worship. One of the easiest goals that you can make that will have long-lasting results in other areas is your habit of regular worship. Actually, it is not just regular worship that we need, but authentic, meaningful worship.

Think on the words of the writer of Hebrews.

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)

Be sure to see Steve’s video about Drew Brees at www.facebook.com/fbclaf.