Steady now Church!
The last few days and last two weeks have been stormy and shocking in our society to say the least. Even in our SBC of Virginia family we received news of a pastor and wife being stabbed (I am grateful to update you that they are recovering. Your love and prayers for them have been gratefully received). The evil and murderous acts against our brothers and sisters in the Charleston church drive us to our knees.
The action by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding marriage can shake us. SBC of Virginia, along with our Southern Baptist ministry partner: The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (www.erlc.com) can assist as you may have questions or seek resources.
Today, I simply want to share as a brother in Christ and fellow minister of the gospel that the Lord desires for His Church and His saints to stay steady and on course as we proclaim the gospel.
I am reminded of how in Hebrews 13, the Bible gives several statements intended to steady and strengthen our course as the church of the Lord Jesus:
1. Let’s show our devotion to God as we show compassion for people.
Hebrews 13:1-3, “Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.” Just this week I was able to see first hand youth mission teams serving the community in Central Virginia through our Fusion Camp; and the Imitate Camp takes place next week. Teams are ministering in earthquake shaken Nepal right now from SBCV churches.
2. Let’s not just define biblical marriage, but let’s demonstrate it.
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers.”
3. Let’s seek to be stewards of God’s blessings and share with others that Christ is the secret to satisfaction.
Hebrews 13:5-6, “Our life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say:The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
4. Let’s be prayerful for our church leaders.
Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.”
5. Let’s focus on our unchanging and sovereign Lord as we live in a changing and unsettled world.
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
6. Let’s seek to be biblically correct even when it may be politically incorrect.
Hebrews 13:9, “Don’t be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established by grace and not by foods, since those involved in them have not benefited.”
7. Let’s praise the Lord Jesus for His sacrifice for sins and the salvation He offers to people.
Hebrews 12:10-13,” We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle do not have a right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the most holy place by the high priest as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the gate, so that He might sanctifythe people by His own blood. Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace.”
8. Let’s remember that we are not home yet.
Hebrews 13:14, “For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come.”
9. Let’s make sure we worship the Lord Jesus and are witnesses for Him.
Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name.”
10. Let’s keep ministering and praying.
Hebrews 13:16-19, “Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. Obey your leadersand submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything. And I especially urge you to pray that I may be restored to you very soon.”
A prayer for us all:
Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus-the great Shepherd of the sheep-with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to Him forever and ever.Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Scripture from Holman Christian Standard Bible
A Message from Brian Autry, Executive Director of the SBC of Virginia.