Butterflies, Bible, and Blessings!
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." - Psalm 138:2
I remember six years ago like it was yesterday. We had just moved to the Atlanta area from London, England, our children had started school in a brand new place, we had moved into a new home two days before, we had a new vehicle that we were driving on the other side of the road, and I was supposed to preach my first message as the new pastor of Pinecrest Baptist Church. Overwhelmed does not even begin to describe how I was feeling on that Saturday night. After we put our kids to bed, I went downstairs to finalize my notes and reassess my thoughts for my first message as a new pastor in an established church that was facing incredible challenges.
As I sat at my makeshift desk I began to pray fervently for God's favor, wisdom, and power for the next morning. The Lord began to remind me of the verses that He had given me when He called us to this new ministry: 1 Thessalonians 5:24 "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."; 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."; Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" God's Word gave me great comfort and peace to the butterflies in my stomach that night as I prepared to deliver to God's people what He had given me to say to them the next morning.
The Lord led me to preach a message I had no intention of preaching from 1 Corinthians 1 entitled: The Main Thing. In the message I put this statement in my notes: "The Lord will deliver, protect, bless, and empower the people and the church who make His Word their priority." I communicated to the congregation that my main intention was to make a big deal of Jesus Christ, the gospel, and every verse in the Word of God. The people believed and responded enthusiastically that morning as we made a commitment together as Pastor and Congregation that the Word of God would be The Main Thing in our ministry together.
Over the past six years, we have worked our way through multiple books of the Bible as pastor and congregation, and through hundreds of texts. Tomorrow, by God's grace, I will preach my 613'th and 614'th messages behind the pulpit and lecturn of the church, and here is what I know: The same God that I was so desperate to see move six years ago, I need to move tomorrow morning and evening in my heart and in the heart of our congregation. The same butterflies that I had preaching to a new church family, I still have this evening and will have in the morning. The same Bible that has instructed us as a church and has guided our philosophy, decisions, and direction as a church is the same Bible that we need for the Holy Spirit to continue His work in us tomorrow and into our future as a congregation.
We have enjoyed six years of God's blessings on and in our church family and we praise God for all that He has done and all He continues to do! As we prepare to move into a new worship center and a brand new phase of ministry, it is my earnest prayer and passion that the Pinecrest Baptist Church will always remember that God blesses His Word! Every blessing we have experienced has been directly related to a biblical principle or a promise that has been applied to our context.
Thank you Pinecrest family for allowing me the greatest privilege of my life; opening God's Word every week and declaring the mind of God to His wonderful people! May God continue to use and bless His Word and may He glorify His Son through His Word in His Church!
I love you Church and look forward to opening the Word again tomorrow with you!
2 Corinthians 4:7