If the Lord spares me, tomorrow will be a really long day for me. I trust it will be a good day. But it will be a long day, nonetheless.
I plan to close out my series on Luke 15, “Lost People Matter to God,” in both of the morning worship services at Shiloh. The past two weeks I have preached on the parable of the prodigal son – one week on the lovesick father, one week on the wayward son. This Lord’s Day, I intend to focus on the elder brother. I have labeled the message, simply, “Lessons from the Elder Brother.”
In between our two morning worship services, I will be teaching the Bible Study Fellowship hour for our adults. I planned to teach four lessons this month on the subject, “A Call to Prayer.” But I did not even make it through half of the opening lesson last week. So I will continue to teach on “Pray for the Lost” in the morning.
Likewise, I am anxious and excited about the fact that we will begin streaming our worship services on Streaming Faith in the morning. Shiloh has been streaming its services through the web for some time. But this will be our first week with Streaming Faith. I really look forward to us taking advantage of the various benefits that I trust will come from moving to this major, Christian web streaming service. Our Wednesday services will be streamed live at 7:15 PM. And our Sunday morning services will be streamed at 8 and 10 AM. There will be a replay of our 10 AM service on Mondays at 12 noon. And several on-demand messages will be available for viewing 24 hours a day.
As soon as I finish preaching our 10 AM service, I will have to rush to the airport to catch a flight to Los Angeles. I have a layover flight that should put me in Los Angeles somewhere around 5 PM. At 6 PM, I am scheduled to preach at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. My friend and brother, George E. Hurtt, will be officially installed tomorrow as the congregation’s fourth pastor in its 66 years of ministry.
I am extremely honored that George invited me to come and share in this service and bring the message. But, naturally, I am a little sensitive about the whole matter. While I deeply love the wonderful congregation the Lord has called me to; I am still grieving the fact that the Lord called me away from the precious congregation that is so dear to my heart. My family and I miss them excruciatingly.
So it will be a little hard for me to preach, I am sure. But I would not miss this for the world. I am so proud of George and the entire leadership and membership of MSMBC. I expect God to do great things in and through them. And how many pastors leave a congregation and are invited back to preach their successor’s installation? Truly, this says much more about George and MSMBC than it says about me. This is a great partnership of pastor and people. I pray that God will richly bless their special day tomorrow. And I pray that the Lord will use me to challenge and encourage George and the congregation. It should be a great time.
Please remember me in prayer tomorrow, that the Lord will grant me traveling grace, physical strength, and preaching power. And please remember Crystal and the kids in your prayers, as well.
Soli Deo Gloria (“to God alone be the glory”)
The Most Important Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…