on only getting in two out of three (sermon summaries 11.26.06)

We don’t do snow here. We don’t do it at all. We hates snow…

And we got lots of it.

As we awoke Sunday morning, we had our lawns and roads filled with the white stuff and more coming down. We managed to gather a few of our folks together (23 all told) and held our morning services and lunch. One of our fellows went out during lunch and reported that the roads were getting worse and worse. (Did I mention we don’t do snow??) So we cancelled our afternoon service and sent everyone home. The kids built a snow fort, a requirement of childhood for them, and we stayed inside where it was warm.

We did have a blessed time in the two services we held together. The word of God is precious to the saints. In the first service, I preached 2 Thessalonians. The title was “Standing in spite of Great Apprehensions“, and the subject was spiritual stability, especially for a local church. As we considered this letter, we found three challenges to stability: Experiential – persecution (mostly discussed in ch 1), Doctrinal – confusion (over whether they had missed the Rapture, ch 2), and Incremental – contagion (produced by disorderly, especially indolent, brethren). Each of these challenges could rock the stability of a local church, so Paul writes to stabilize them, encourage them, and teach them the way through these challenges. He encourages them with at least six exhortations in the epistle, including this one near the end: “Be not weary in well doing” (3.13). Spiritual stability in a congregation comes from thorough doctrinal understanding, biblical practical policies and actions, and clinging to the blessed hope of the coming Lord Jesus.

Our second service looked at the close of the second missionary journey and the beginning of the third missionary journey. The apostle landed briefly in Ephesus on his way back to Jerusalem, promising to return if the Lord willed. Apparently the Lord did will, since Paul returned a few months later to a very fruitful ministry. The sermon covered Ac 18.18-19.20, and was titled “Great Opportunity in Ephesus“. The key to success, and the point of the sermon, was Paul’s submission to God’s will – Ephesus was the capital of the province of Asia, the place the Holy
Spirit prevented him from entering in Ac 16. Paul in his ministry was ever guided by the Spirit. He took James 4.13-17 to heart (I am sure he was well aware of its contents). The key for any success in the ministry is operating in and under the will of God.

Well, with that, we had lunch, then cancelled the afternoon. Did I mention that we don’t do snow?

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3