Little Catching Up Helps
Last Sunday was wonderful. Thirty-five ladies did an outstanding presentation as a special choir for Father's Day. It is a memory cherished.
The sermon emphasized building godly men. We looked at the character of Boaz, a very rich man who treated his employees respectfully and pointed them to God. Men who want respect must first respect others, i.e., family, friends, co-workers. Boaz also practiced generosity. He made special provision for the safety of his workers---more than the law required.
We looked at the Apostle Thomas, a gifted teacher. Thomas had to know the truth. Knowing the truth for men is important. However, knowing the truth can only lead to arrogance unless we are willing to put the truth into action. Commitment to action is out of character of heart. Thomas needed to be personally convinced that Jesus was risen from the dead. Once convinced Thomas journeyed all the way to India and there ministered and was martyred. Commitment to action only results when we come to the conclusion that our life is an offering to God. We are servants of God and to the people of God. We are heaven's vessels for earth's work.
Finally, we looked at Jesus who as a God-man knew how to keep his eyes on the goal of the mission. He was obedient to His Heavenly Father. He was not distracted by sideshows. Once Jerusalem was in focus he fixed his heart to go there. He rejoiced for the hope of our salvation through His shed blood (Hebrews 12:2).
We talked about how men must be careful what they value. Possessions or hobbies can never be given higher priority than our marriage, our family, our friends, our church and those around us that God has appointed for us to serve.
Men were given an opportunity to put the right foot forward in a statement of willingness to continue to allow the Holy Spirit to make us more like Christ. Gathering in the altar we stood. We hugged each other. In the background women applauded. There were tearful eyes among women who watched. We prayed. It is never to late to start doing the right thing.
One sister observed: "Pastor, you have no idea the power of women seeing men standing together and giving brotherly hugs. You have no idea what is is like for women who have been abused to see men who are willing to learn, to change and become godly men!"
Then to compliment the grace of God among us we blessed a missionary from Chad with a spontaneous offering of $1,442.00. It was a gracious statement of the mission heart that is characteristic of Covenant folks. Some years ago we gave $12,000 to this missionary to start an orphanage. Today he has 160 orphans and an entire village with a high school.
This week is VBS. Workers are excited. Children will be bringing an offering to help put down a well for OUR church in Juba, Southern Sudan. Makes a pastor's heart thump with joy and godly pride! Parishioners from different countries will be taking the children on imaginary trips to India, Burma, Nepal, South America and China. What treasure is ours as a Covenant Family.
You warm my heart as a pastor. Your resolve and determination to be biblically-sound in doctrine, evangelistic and missionary-generous is a testimony of God's grace in you. We walk together in unity and purpose!
Matthew 16:18; Luke 4:18,19; Philippians 4:8,13