Last week was a long, tough week. I lost a good friend in Paul Mullinix, grieved with his wife and family, and enjoyed a bittersweet day remembering and honoring him with gratitude toward our God at his funeral service. Then, Sunday morning I preached a challenging charge. That night I traveled to Kentucky to preach my little brother’s pastor ordination service. Physically and emotionally, I was exhausted. I took Monday and Tuesday off to be with my family. I had time and quiet to reflect on what Jesus wants of the people He placed me as under-shepherd. I want to share with you a few of those thoughts.
We must be a people devoted to prayer. There are many reasons to be a people devoted to prayer, but one thought that struck me this week was how I am not depending on God as I should. I Corinthians1:29-31 reads,
That no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
We are dependent upon God in our thinking, feeling, and doing. Our belief in this is displayed in our prayer life. We must recover a passionate devotion to prayer together and for one another.
We must be a people devoted to evangelism. Statisticians from LifeWay Research and Barna tell us that Christians simply do not tell unbelievers about Jesus. Ed Stetzor put it this way: “The fact is, we seem to have lost our passion for evangelism. Baptists love evangelism as long as somebody else is doing it.” We must recover a heartsickness for those blind to His glory and the trajectory of their eternity. We must recover our passion to tell those who do not worship our glorious Christ all about His saving grace, forgiveness, mercy, and steadfast love. I’m growing tired of seeing our baptistery bone dry. Let’s be determined to proclaim to the world the bad news of sin and the good news of Jesus.
Above all, we must be a people devoted to loving Jesus. We must guard against what Jesus revealed to the church in Ephesus, that they lost their first love (Revelation 2:4). Doing church biblically is right and good, but it must be founded on loving Jesus (Ephesians 3:17–19) with the aim of our ministry being love (I Timothy 1:5).
Together, let’s encourage one another to be a people devoted to prayer, evangelism, and loving Jesus. Let us obey Jesus’ commands with joy as worship to the glory of God.
Heavenly Father, grant us a bold faith to pray, evangelize, and love Jesus. Give us Your sweet mercy to see our weakness and call upon You in faith to worship and obey You. Strengthen our homes and our church to glorify You. Amen.