Monday, October 2, 2017

Well Done


The New Testament gives an account of Jesus healing 10 lepers one day and even though all 10 were healed only one returned to Jesus to tell Him thanks. Jesus didn’t heal them to be thanked but nonetheless He appreciated the one who took time to be thankful. (Luke 17)

Matthew’s Gospel records Jesus explaining what will happen at the end of time. He said God’s people will all be gathered together and allowed to enter into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. As some of the faithful pass by Jesus will verbally thank them and tell them “Well Done”. (Matthew 25:21)

Matthew 25
34  “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35  ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36  ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

Words of praise from an appreciative Lord and King. If Jesus remembers to be thankful to us, how can I forget to be thankful to others? This morning I want to take a few moments and speak to you from the heart of a pastor. For over 29 years I have been a father image to the members of our church, a life coach, pastor and friend to so many of you and your families.

During these past three decades I have asked a lot of you and together we have stretched ourselves out with a blanket of love, hope and help to the communities we serve in southeast Texas and beyond. We have reached virtually the entire world with the Gospel of Christ. We have provided spiritually motivated humanitarian relief and raised up churches, built orphanages, schools, dug water wells and spread the message of Jesus on every continent of the world in one generation.

Nowhere has our impact been felt more and needed greater than here in our own backyards. Even during the most recent destruction levied against the homes and businesses of our area, you, our Church On The Rock family, have risen to meet the challenge and continued to give Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow. You have done everything I have asked of you and stand ready and willing to continue the necessary relief efforts with the same heart you offered on day one.

Today, I am an appreciative pastor. Thankful to God for giving us His direction, protection and His divine wisdom and grace. We did not fully realize what we committed to and how much God was preparing us when we said yes to impacting Every Heart and Every Home in Southeast Texas with the Good News of the Gospel.

I will ask that you indulge me for just a moment as I go back into the Words God used from this pulpit Sunday after Sunday as He was preparing us to meet this challenge we are currently facing. Here are just a few things we have heard that helped to get us ready for Hurricane Harvey.

Excerpts from some our Sunday morning messages preached in 2017:

Sunday Morning, January 1, 2017

“This will be an eventful year for each one of you. God is going to supply you with clear answers to every situation you face.

The first step you need to take today is to stake your claim in God and commit this year to Christ. Do this with me in prayer right now.”

Sunday Morning, March 12, 2017

When we are in trouble … we can call on God and He will help us. 

I know, sometimes the way seems hard but God knows what is best for everyone concerned. Deliverance may take some time but our first step is to acknowledge our need for His help.”

Sunday Morning, June 4, 2017

I’m going to ask each one of you to personally check three things in your life today and throughout this summer.
1.  Your primary focus
2.  Your choice of words
3.  Your witness under pressure
a.   Check your attitude.
b.   Check your gratitude.
c.   Let the light of Christ shine in and through your life especially when you’re under pressure.

The Sunday morning before Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast

Sunday Morning, August 20, 2017

·        We can be saved and sick at the same time … right with God but not in a healthy place in life feeling mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually overwhelmed.
·        Here are six signs which indicate your soul is tired and weary
1.   Exaggerating the Negatives
2.   I can’t take one more thing
3.   You just want to run away and hide
4.   Angry or blaming others
5.   Feeling all Alone
6.   Paranoid

In troubled times we won’t just ask God to: “Fix my problem God!”, but rather, “God, fix me!”.

For several months prior God had been telling us that He was sending a wave to Southeast Texas in the fall and it would open Every Heart and Every Home. We had already ordered T-shirts and stickers saying “Team COTR” and “Every Heart Every Home”. We did not see what God saw but we were already willing and able. God had been equipping us for months.

That Sunday Morning, August 20th, 9 days before the troubled waters flooded our communities, we concluded the message that day by singing an old hymn. That’s something we have not done before. Do you remember what we sang?

Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves;
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey;
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

Love lifted me; Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help, love lifted me.

One of the things we discussed that day was the fact that Faith makes things possible, Faith does not make things easy.

I’m here today to say thank you to you. I am so proud of you and the way you have responded to the needs of others even in the face of your own personal losses. I have not heard one complaint from our church members. Rather you immediately began doing rescue work, some of you were trapped your homes, others started pulling carpet out for the victims, tearing out sheetrock, unloading trucks, delivering meals, working trash detail, running supplies, working overtime, opening homes, making phone calls, rebuilding houses, sleeping on floors, eating mystery meals and endlessly listening to and praying for the countless numbers of people needing someone to hear their story and receive an encouraging word.

I am very aware we were adequately equipped to do the work of the ministry and that became our portion. Thank you – each one of you. Thank you for paying attention and thank you for opening your heart and allowing the Word of God to prepare you long before we were so desperately needed.

I have never been prouder to be your pastor. Again, I say, Thank you! Well Done good and faithful servant!

As well, I am so very thankful for the ones God sent to help us in our time of need. We are forever grateful to our new friends and extended family.

Now … Let’s see how we can continue to reach Every Heart and Every Home in southeast Texas with the Good News Gospel of Jesus! Let’s continue to give Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow!