What’s Happening this Week at FBC?

I look forward to continuing our message series Sunday called “Easter! So What?” Our church has grown accustomed to my question, “So What?” at the conclusion of my messages. I fell into this practice a few years ago as the result of making sure that every message ends on a note of action. As I routinely say, “We gather not so much for information, but for inspiration and transformation.” I am praying that this happens Sunday—inspiration and transformation!

Sunday, we are considering a cry from Jesus from the cross. Only 4 words in Jesus’ Aramaic language, but each word is filled with deep emotion from Jesus and deep meaning for us.

First Look—Sunday afternoon, I will be leading our Seminar called First Look. We have designed this format especially for those who are new members or potential new members. The session will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the D wing near the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome to attend. We also have Discipleship classes and evening worship at the regular times.

Here for You Acadiana is next Saturday! If you have not signed up, please do that Sunday. Sign-up is taking place in the Main Street area. If you have signed up, take note that we will gather next Saturday, March 24, at 7:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Following a group picture and last minute instructions, we will be out of the door by 8:00 a.m. to our work sites.

Who have you invited to be with you Easter Sunday? We need to be actively sharing the “So What” of Easter. All of our hope rests in the truth of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

My Personal Reflections on Today’s Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

Today was the 54th Annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. I have been attending for the last several years. I have never walked away from that meeting disappointed. The organization, prayer program, music, and keynote speaker every year has been incredible. Today was no exception. Lafayette’s own, Lauren Daigle, stirred the crowd with her talent, a video tribute of Billy Graham’s visit to Tiger Stadium in the 1970s moistened my eyes, and Childhood Evangelism Fellowship president, Reese Kauffman, brought quite a challenging and convicting keynote address.

Jim Denison

Jim Denison

I will share more about that perhaps in a subsequent post, but today I want to share a more personal word. Three years ago at this same meeting, I was introduced to the ministry of Jim Denison. Since that day three years ago, I have read him practically every day. I have introduced others to his ministry as well. I can’t think of a day when I have said, “I don’t believe that.” Most days, my thought is “I wish that I would have written that.”

God used him again today. His full article is here, www.denisonforum.org. Allow me to lift the quote that grabbed my heart. In reference to Billy Graham, Denison cited Graham telling a reporter about his greatest fear. Graham said, “That I’ll do something or say something that will bring some disrepute on the gospel of Christ before I go.”

Oh, to live with such fear. Join me today in living in this kind of healthy fear of God.

What Should I Do Then With Jesus?

Pilate, though not solely responsible for the crucifixion of Christ, and though it was God’s will for Christ to die, was the last man who could have halted the execution of Christ.

I am intrigued with his question as is recorded in Matthew 27:22 because it is the same question we face every day: “What should I do then with Jesus?” First of all, this question involves surrendering our life to Christ in relationship that leads to eternal life. But, this question, for those who are already Christians, regards “Will I choose Christ’s way in all aspects of my life?”

Pilate made the wrong choice. The reasons that caused Pilate to make the wrong choice are the same factors that cause many to reject Christ today. What are those factors?

  • Influenced by what other people think.

As Governor, he was trained to please people. He was the governor on behalf of the Roman Empire. His main job was to keep the peace. Any kind of disturbance could get him quickly dismissed. Historians of this era say that Pilate was not very good at keeping everyone happy.

As Judge, he was trained to look at facts. As Pilate looked at the facts, Jesus was innocent. There are some in our society today that are struggling with the facts about Jesus. However, there are many others that will tell you that they believe in Jesus but they are too worried about what others think or too concerned about their own desires to be concerned for the desires of God. For example, people will say “I know what the Bible says about this, but this is what I am going to do.”

Pilate listened to too many voices. He heard from the religious leaders, the crowd, and even his wife. Confused by these competing allegiances, He refused to listen to the one voice that he should have heard—God’s voice. Trying to please others, He missed the most important voice. Many of our poor choices are the result of listening to the wrong voices that compete for our allegiance.

  • Ignorant of who Jesus is.

In addition to being influenced by what others thought, Pilate was ignorant or at least confused by who Jesus was. As Governor of the province that included Jerusalem, He no doubt had heard about Jesus. He no doubt heard about the miracles, the teaching, and things that Jesus was claiming. He also knew about the uproar from the religious leaders that Jesus’ ministry was causing. I believe a part of Pilate wanted to believe, but any understanding about Jesus that is not complete is inadequate.

  • Indulge in temporary favor at the expense of eternal favor.

Again, worried about the crowd, He made the unfortunate mistake of caring about temporary things when he could have been concerned for spiritual, eternal things.

  • Inability to make a choice.

Ultimately, Pilate thought he could make no choice at all. He thought that He could put off the choice by “washing his hands” of the entire thing. We must always remember that choosing to make no choice is in reality making a choice. There is an abundance of evidence that in the first century world in which Pilate lived that this act of publicly washing hands was the supreme symbol of claiming innocence.

In the end, Pilate’s story teaches us two things.

We will find that it is impossible to not make a decision about Jesus.

We will discover that the decision you make about Christ influences all other decisions.

Today is the day to choose to follow Christ.

(This post is based on the message “What Should I Do Then With Jesus” which you can watch at fbclaf.org/video)