Two Scriptures and a Devotional, My Tuesday Three
Last night I participated in a historic event in the life of my young church family. We had a special congregational meeting to vote on calling our first permanent lead pastor. I am so excited to be able to report that the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of calling the candidate recommended by the Board of Elders (of which I am a part).
I presented the scripture readings, devotional, and opening prayer for the meeting. Today I just want to share what I shared with the congregation.
The first scripture reading I presented was Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV):
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
This is a passage I meditate on often because I want the Holy Spirit to cultivate this fruit in me. I think it is important to remember that the word “fruit” in this passage is singular. We don’t get to pick and choose which fruit we will bear. There is but one fruit with all of these characteristics and God wants to produce the entire fruit in us through His Holy Spirit.
The second scripture reading I presented was 1 John 1:1-4 (NIV):
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
This passage, or at least the italicized part above, was the basis of the devotional I read from Walking with God Day by Day by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. This is a wonderful little daily devotional that is filled with great wisdom. In selecting a devotion to present at our meeting, I went to the September 19 entry of this daily devotional and was so excited to find that it dealt with preaching and the duty of preachers in the church. Since we were to vote on calling a pastor I thought this was perfect. Here is the devotion that I read:
The lack of proclamation in the preaching of the Church accounts for so much of the present state of the Church and the present state of the world and of society. A man standing in a Christian pulpit has no business saying, “I suggest to you” or “Shall I put it to you” or “On the whole I think” or “I am almost persuaded” or “The results of research and knowledge and speculation all seem to point in this direction.” No! “These things declare we unto you.”
The old charge that has so often been brought up against the Church and her preachers is that we are dogmatic; but the preacher who is not dogmatic is not a preacher in the New Testament sense. We should be modest about our own opinions and careful as to how we voice our own speculations. But here, thank God, we are not in such a realm; we are not concerned about such things. We do not put forward a theory that commends itself to us as a possible explanation of the world and what we can do about it; the whole basis of the New Testament is that here is an announcement, a proclamation – those are New Testament words.
The Gospel, according to the New Testament, is a herald; it is like a man with a trumpet who is calling people to listen. There is nothing tentative about what he has to say; something has been delivered to him, and his business is to repeat it. It is not the business of the messenger, first and foremost, to examine the credentials of the message – he is to deliver it. We are ambassadors, and the business of the ambassador is not to say to the foreign country what he thinks or believes; it is to deliver the message that has been delivered to him by his home government. That is the position of these New Testament preachers, and that is how John puts it here. “I have an amazing thing to reveal,” he says in essence.
We have voted to call our new lead pastor, and his job, first and foremost, is to proclaim the Gospel to us in all that he says and does. Secondly, he is to teach us how to proclaim this wonderful Good News as well. I have no doubt that the pastor we have called is up to the task.
🙂 I came via Myfanwy’s blog – I too have that devotional and I share your joy of the new pastor! Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. ephesians 3:20-21
YES YES YES!! to this wonderful and encouraging blog post!~
Thank you. I love that passage you quoted. Our current interim pastor uses that as a benediction sometimes, though it always chokes him up a bit. Glad I could be an encouragement. 🙂 Peace, Linda
We only need to be faithful and proclaim the Truth. Thank you for your consistently good posts. I have reblogged this, I had forgotten all about my litte devotional, I’m off to find it now. Thanks for reminding me.
Myfanwy, It is only by God’s strength and faith that I am able to keep up this blog. I’m just so blessed that it is an encouragement to others. 🙂 Peace, Linda
Thank you, Linda
That devotional sounds like a wonderful little book. Thanks for sharing part in us Interested in knowing if it’s offered for sale online.
I’m thankful the search is over. Praying now too that God would enlarge the tent pegs and that the fruit of the Spirit would be evident in the lives of everyone in this body.
Ann, It is available online at Amazon.com here. It is a great little devotional; I highly recommend it. Thank you for your prayers. There are still transitions to be dealt with but it will all be wonderful, I’m sure. Peace, Linda
You have been doing so much! What a blessing you were to deliver the above and how perfect it all went together. . .more evidence of His hand guiding you and your church. 🙂 I’m excited about your new pastor and all that plans God has for you and the congregation there!
God bless you and keep you looking to Him always!
Deb, My hope is that now that we have our lead pastor, my work on the Board of Elders will be a bit less hectic. But only time will tell. I just go where He tells me, trying to say yes when He leads me to say yes, and no when He says it’s okay to say no. I am thankful that I was able to be a part of this event in the life of our church, and am looking forward to our pastor arriving in November! Peace, Linda
I am glad that you are getting a pastor, and I pray your church will grow until the walls can’t contain it. I am glad that you were able to encourage the eldership panel with your words of wisdom and encouragement. God bless you and your church in your service to Him!
Peace be with you-Jim
Jim, I am glad for this process to be complete as well. We have had a wonderful interim pastor, but it is good to have a feeling of permanence with our new pastor. We do hope to grow, and to outgrow our current facility! The Lord willing, we will have many opportunities to proclaim the Gospel. Peace, Linda
I will keep your Board and Your new Pastor in my prayer journal
Congratulations! May the Spirit shine His Light upon your church
Prayers for your day
Susie, I so appreciate that! There can never be too much prayer. It is prayer that has brought us this far for sure. Peace, Linda