What a packed day full of preaching and ministry! I can honestly say that I have preached so hard today that I ache all over. (Of course, Dr. Jerry Vines once told me that when he was first beginning to preach the saying was that if you weren’t hoarse on Monday you had compromised on Sunday.) Well, I have enjoyed the day the Lord gave me – especially seeing Him move in the invitations in all three services I had the opportunity to preach in today.
As usual, Sunday morning began early around the Whitt house. (Getting yourself and the kids ready for church – or more specifically for 8:30 Praise Team practice and sound checks – can be a challenge for virtually any family.) This is doubly so when you are not a morning person and made the bad decision to stay up way past midnight the night before. But, in spite of all of that, we weren’t just “on time,” we were actually early.
I was blessed by the worship today, and especially the Praise Team’s special music in both services. “Today Is The Day” is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs for starting off a worship service on Sunday morning, and I felt that the Praise Team’s ministry to us this morning helped to set the stage for worship in both morning services.
I felt that the message on “How To Become Fiscally Fit” was received well in both services. I was blessed by seeing those whom the Lord had spoken to about the area of finances be obedient to Him and show that by coming to the altar. I realize that a person didn’t necessarily have to come to the altar as an expression of their obedience to Him today, but nevertheless, I was blessed by seeing so many who did.
This evening I had the opportunity to begin what the pastor referred to as “a series of meetings that we are praying turn into a revival” at Double Springs Baptist Church in Greer, SC. I’ve known Pastor Tom Riddle for many years. (At one point, before accepting the call as pastor Double Springs, Tom and his wife attended Temple.) The physical building of the church and its location is one of the prettiest sights you’ll ever see. When I pulled into the parking lot tonight before the service I thought about how many churches like this, on how many night like this, I have preached in over the years. The service was a simple, yet sweet-spirited time, of praise and worship from the church’s hymnals. There was a men’s ensemble that sang, “I’ve Got A Mansion, Just Over The Hilltop.” It was different than the worship that we experience at Temple on a weekly basis, but I was blessed nonetheless.
I preached a sermon entitled, “The Saddest Word In The Bible” tonight. I told the pastor that I didn’t know exactly the reason why I felt so compelled to preach that particular message, but when the invitation was given, it didn’t take me long to figure out why the Lord wanted me to preach it. The altar packed up (the vast majority of the church came forward) with people crying and praying for their lost family members and friends who are lost. I’m really trusting God to use tonight’s message in the heart of those who were there to see many of these who were prayed for tonight come to know Christ this week.
After the service I experienced something that I haven’t seen in many years – basically the entire church taking over a restaurant for supper and fellowship. (Can you imagine all 500+ Temple folks taking over the Coach House for fellowship after church?) Nevertheless, it was heartwarming, and somewhat nostalgic, to see the friendship, fellowship and friendly banter back and forth between people who live their lives together.
I am worn out from all of the preaching I’ve been privileged to do today, but it’s a good tired that comes from knowing that you’ve been doing what you were created and called to do.
I am looking forward to a great week of preaching and seeing what the Lord has in store. Have a great night and pray for me if the Lord brings me to your attention.