Normally, during the revival, we have noon day services featuring local pastors. However, over the past few years, attendance has been extremely low. Because of the drop off in attendance, we decided to combine the noon day into the night service and allow the local pastors to lecture. This turned out to be a wonderful idea! All the pastors were to lecture from an invitational passage of the bible. I was selected for the lecture on Friday night. The passage I chose was Matthew 11:28-30. It was simply called, "An invitation to rest" Here's the outline:
1. Request (Come unto me)
2. Requirement (All you that labor and are heavy laden)
3. Reward (I will give you rest)
4. Responsibility (Take my yoke upon you and learn of me)
5. Resume (I am meek and lowly in heart)
6. Revelation (You shall find rest unto your soul)
7. Report (My yoke is easy and my burden is light)
God blessed as I did my best to keep this at a lecture! This revival was truly a wonderful experience as Dr. Boyd shared with the pastors and ministers some of the pleasures and pitfalls of pastoring.
After hearing such a great week of preaching, I could not wait to get to the pulpit on Sunday! As always, we started out public worship day with Early Morning Prayer. The topic for the day was being available.. My heart was lifted as the prayers of the saints went forth. It was amazing to see the people of God crying out to Him for them to be available to be used by Him.
The choir truly blessed us and set the tone for worship. I approached the preaching moment with anticipation of something transformitive happening in the lives of the people of God as a result of hearing the Word of God! We continued in our series, "No more drama". The passage for the preaching moment was James 2:1-4. The message was entitled "The problem with partiality" Here's the basic outline:
1. Adverse Contradiction (v.1)
2. Absence of Consideration (v.2-3)
3. Antagonistic Conclusion (v.4)
God blessed the exposition and presentation as we were challenged to not show favoritism. The closing argument was simply this. We are no better then anyone and all of us have what we have, simply because of God's grace! It's not that we've applied ourselves, been good, been careful, made all the right decisions, or even the fact that we are saved, it is simply God' grace!
The IMA started a night worship on 5th Sunday nights at 7pm. This is part of fulfilling the three-fold vision of the IMA: 1. Restoring the Worship 2. Reclaiming our Witness 3. Reconciling the World. Our preacher was Rev. Dwight L Gutridge, pastor of the St. Luke AME Zion church of Gary, Indiana. We were truly blessed as he encouraged us on what to do when your life is a mess. This was a tremendous day of worship and I believe that God was pleased with our offering of public worship!
Pray for us this week as we continue to "Serve the Lord with gladness"!