Keep Looking Up

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)

My predecessor at First Baptist Church, Lafayette, LA, Dr. Perry Sanders, signed letters with the words, “Keep looking up!”

Psalm 121 begins with a question. The Psalmist’s question is not so much a question of despair that he will not find help, but an acknowledgment that he needs help.

The beauty of this Psalm is that we find a “hope-filled” answer to our honest question. We discover a God who is ready to help and is more than capable of helping. We find the One who is the maker of heaven and earth. When God is our help, the issue is not the size of our problem. The One who is the maker of heaven and earth is more than sufficient for any of our problems.

Think of all of the God moments on mountains. High on Mt. Moriah, God provided a ram for Abraham, sparing his only son Isaac (Genesis 22). Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Law (Exodus 20). Jesus on the Mountain delivered the greatest sermon ever preached (Matthew 5-7).  On the Mount of Transfiguration, as the Gospels call that high place, God thundered, “This is My beloved Son.” (Matthew 17) Of course, on Mount Calvary, Jesus took the full measure of God’s wrath for sinners (Matthew 27). Matthew said that it was on the mountain that the Lord delivered to them what the church has called The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16). From the Mount of Olives, the disciples saw Jesus ascending back to heaven while angels spoke this promise, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11-12).

This is the God who is our help! Why would you look anywhere else for help?

 

What’s Happening This Week at FBC?

Sunday, we are having Sunday School at 9:30 as usual and then one combined worship service at 10:45 a.m. I hope to see many of you Sunday. If you have been part of First Baptist for any length of time at all, you will not be surprised by the title of my last sermon to you as your pastor. My title will be “So What Now?”

Then on Sunday night, we will gather in Fellowship Hall from 5-7 p.m. I look forward to seeing you.

If you have children or grandchildren in grades 1-6, please sign up for Vacation Bible School. VBS dates are June 3-7. The week of VBS is one of the most important times in the life of our church. Take a moment to go to our website www.fbclaf.org and register today. This will help in our preparation for a great week.

See You Sunday!

What Can I Do to Help in the Interim?

I don’t really like the word “interim.” It’s so “interim” sounding. The word invites stagnation and waiting instead of forward momentum.

Readers of this blog, at the moment, are a mixed group of First Baptist Church of Lafayette members as well as others who have heard about this blog somewhere along the way. I write today primarily to those FBC members.

I want to address the question of what can you do in the immediate days ahead. These are good for any time and any church, but I especially think they are true for First Baptist right now as you anticipate my departure. Here is my challenge to each of you.

  1. Show up—Nothing encourages others more than consistent, faithful attendance. Attendance always dips during the summer. A prospective new pastor is going to want to see consistent, faithful attendance patterns.
  2. Serve—If you are not currently serving in some volunteer capacity, now is the time! Be a greeter, usher, parking lot attendant, sound/media volunteer, choir member, teacher, preschool volunteer. Find a place to serve.
  3. Support with tithes and offerings—Now is the time to give and even give more. If you are behind on your tithe, catch up.
  4. Support with prayer—Pray as never before for your church.
  5. Stay—Now is not the time to check out other churches in Lafayette. Now is the time to dig in deep and believe God for the greatest days in the history of our church.
  6. Look forward to a new season with a new pastor. He’s going to be awesome!

P.S. A lot of readers have indicated that they are going to miss this blog. You are kind. I do intend to continue to blog. My writings will likely be a little different with the intention of reaching a wider audience, but I plan to continue the devotional nature of this blog on most days. Stay tuned!