Message Series: Fresh Start – Sermon – Pastor Dave & Pastor Marlee Page – 12 September 2021

WELCOME

Good morning First Baptist. We welcome you to worship this morning. Be sure to remember your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the week as you pray for them, and as the Holy Spirit brings their faces to your mind. Be sure to also connect with them in the ways that are possible. And if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact the church through the church telephone and leave a message. (519-733-4144)

Call to Worship

Psalm 95

6 Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
7 for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

Prayer

Confession /Assurance of Pardon

Loving Father,
We are grateful to come into Your presence this morning:
We want to begin our week with You;
Father where we have failed in our walk with You…
We know that all the fancy words in the world,
cannot compete with a heartfelt…Sorry.
There are times when we are all too aware
of our limitations, conscious of sin
and the distance it creates between us.
Only You who can translate our ‘sorry’
into the prayer we would have prayed
if we had the words within us.

Then You forgive,
and having forgiven,
surround us in an embrace of love,
drawing us close to Your heart
as it was always meant to be.
Thank You, Loving Father,
that You listen to our hearts. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

God the Creator brings you new life,
forgives and redeems you.
Take hold of this forgiveness,
and live your life in the Spirit of Jesus. Amen. 

Song

Song

Message Series: Fresh Start

Hello! Who we are and what you can expect from us…

Context – Paul is writing from Prison in Rome, he is close to the time of his execution… there is urgency in this second letter to Timothy, and there is wisdom here. We need to pay attention to writings like this:

2 Timothy 4:1-8

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

What a whirlwind this summer has been. Has it been so for you? We have been busy in the various aspects of transitioning our Ministry to First Baptist Church Kingsville.

As a Church body, you were gracious in allowing us to start into August.  Marlee and I both had callings and commitments to complete.

In Wheatley, it was important that Dave left them well – God is not done with that Ministry at all. The last few weeks have allowed us to say good-bye and pray together. Marlee also needed to complete some of her commitments with Camp Hermosa and with the CBOQ team of which she is a part of in the area of Youth Ministry – this time of transition is now complete and we want you to know that our heart is yearning to be with you and we want you to hear this early on in this message that we are absolutely overjoyed to come alongside you, to do life with you, to explore and learn and grow together with you.

We are SOOOO excited!!!!

So, this morning and for the next few weeks, we thought a good place to start would be to address this idea of a FRESH START. So, what happens now? How’s it going to work having two Pastors? How’s it going to work in this new season of Ministry while we are in the middle of the 4th wave of Covid, everything seems so new and so strange. If we’re all honest with each other that seems both exciting and scary all at the same time, doesn’t it? Well, it is for us too. And one of the reasons there may be some uneasiness for all of us is because you and we have expectations, expectations that need to be understood and met.

That’s what we’d like to focus on over these first few weeks with you.

We all need to know what you can expect from us as your Pastors, and what we expect from you as your Pastors. We need to get to know each other, don’t we? And then there are the expectations of those outside of these 4 walls. Our neighbours, our community, the universal church – they all have an expectation of us too, and so does Jesus. In fact, He’s pretty clear about what His expectations of the Church are. So, as we’ve said, for these first few weeks we’d like to explore some of the basics and some of the expectations we need to agree on, together.

To start off this morning, there are some things we want you to hear about us and what you should expect from us as your Pastors, we have to get to know each other.

First, because we’ll spend a fair bit of time here in the pulpit, our style of teaching and speaking is quite conversational, an intentional mix of theology and application. So here is what you can expect from us:

  1. That each week, we will speak to you as best we can, through preparation and trust that the Holy Spirit will bring the right words for you.
  2. We like to make eye contact and interact with you. In fact, we’re going to ask you things and expect you to respond. And so sometimes I’ll say things like “you agree right?” And you’ll respond…. YOU AGREE RIGHT?  Or you would never act in this way, right? 
  3. The other thing you need to know about us is this, every time that we stand before a congregation, it is a humbling experience for us. You see we don’t actually have that much to offer you. We are not going to have answers for all of your questions or life circumstances. However, we have found that God’s inspired Word does. We have spent the last 15 years in particular, teaching and preaching from it and here is our promise to you…

Our Promise To You ....

Every Sunday when we gather together, we will open up His word, we will read with you, a passage that God, and we together have selected for you. And then as best we can, we will help you understand it and then encourage and challenge you to apply it’s teaching to your life...

Because here is what we do know, every challenge that you come up against in your life, every problem, every circumstance, God has already foreseen it and He’s already got words and wisdom for you- we just need to be wise enough ourselves to go seek them out and then apply them.

What is the first thing you should expect from us as your Pastors? That we will be faithful to Him and to this congregation in carrying out this important work.

So, with that in mind, we’ve been thinking about this message for quite some time now. You see, our journey with you from our perspective, started back in 2020. Both of us felt that a change was coming and that it was time for us to be back in ministry together, somewhere, somehow!   We made a commitment to each other and to God that if He provided an opportunity and opened doors, we would walk through them to wherever He was sending us. Little did we know at the time that He was sending us HOME!

When the posting for Kingsville came out, it wasn’t like a normal job application. We didn’t only send our resume, we had to also include some supporting documents and one of those was our Ordination Statements that outlined our Pastoral Ministry Philosophy. This document spoke about how we think of the role of a Pastor, what it is that we feel God is calling us to do, what it is that the Holy Spirit is equipping us to do, what it is that Jesus modelled for us to incorporate into our service to you, and LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, what we find when we study God’s Word and look for His teaching around this role that we call Pastor.

You know, it’s always been interesting that the Bible rarely uses this word “PASTOR”, or at all depending on the translation you are reading, but His Word is full of teaching on the role of a Pastor.

Paul’s charge to Timothy is not just teaching for us as your Pastor, it’s teaching for all of us.

Recall the words of the Apostle Peter: 

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”. 

— 1 Peter 2:5-9

What Peter is saying is that this message from Paul is not just for Timothy or Marlee and Dave, but for all of us. WE ARE ALL PART OF THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD!

We have worked together to come up with a definition that we use for Pastoral Ministry… here’s the one we’ve landed on:

What is a Pastor:

A Pastor is the person who has willingly answered God’s calling to Pastoral ministry with the desire of proclaiming the Gospel and cares deeply for the spiritual growth of their allotted flock. The Pastors specific purpose is in leading their flock through their sanctification to bring them to the fulfillment of God’s eternal promise of salvation.

This one seems rather academic, doesn’t it? FULL OF WORDS AND TERMS THAT CAN BE INTIMDATING! Don’t misunderstand us here though, I think there are some really valuable words here:

  • Willingly – this must be a calling NOT I WILL IF I HAVE TOO! And it is for both of us.
  • Proclaiming – we’ll talk about in the next few minutes BECAUSE THERE ARE different ways to do this.
  • Cares deeply – WE HAVE A HEART FOR spiritual growth. We want you and us to grow together. We want to be on this path with you!
  • Leading – our role is to help oversee HIS CHURCH. We do this along with some of you. We can not be the only leaders here!
  • Sanctification – this is a journey, I’m on it, HE’S ON IT, you are on it, WE’RE ALL on it. And the journey leads to…
  • Eternal promise of salvation – this promise is the end goal.

LET’S Look again at what Paul said to his protégé Timothy:

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:”

— 2 Timothy 4:1

Do you hear the passion in Paul’s word’s here – THIS WAS MEANT TO ENERGIZE TIMOTHY – TO ADD SOME VOLTAGE TO PAUL’S CHARGE – TO GIVE HIM A LITTLE HITCH IN HIS GIDDY-UP – THIS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME EFFECT ON US TOO!

For us, this charge could not be more solemn. Paul has brought what is in fact an eternal, unchangeable reality, the actual presence of God the Father and His Son Christ Jesus.

They were present when Paul wrote these words. They saw and even directed Paul to write the words to Timothy. They saw Timothy read them for the first time. They read Timothy’s heart and they read our hearts.

Paul’s charge to Timothy, which is heavy with the presence of God, activated the current of Timothy’s soul, as it must do with ours because Jesus is also present with us, RIGHT HERE & NOW, and WE EXPECTANTLY AWAIT HIS RETURN, and we need to be ready.

The charge of Paul to Timothy is contained in a single statement made up of five commands/imperatives:

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction”

— 2 Timothy 4:2

We need to recognize that these encouragements encapsulate the work involved in this aspect of pastoral ministry. Without the preaching and teaching of the Gospel and the instruction of the church, the body will not grow correctly, if at all. You will come to learn that we are expository Preachers – what do I mean here? One of the greatest contemporary Preachers to ever live was Haddon W. Robinson and he defines it like this:

“Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the Preacher, then through the Preacher, applies it to the hearers.”

It’s important that you understand this about us and about any Preacher actually.

Paul, in Acts 20:20, points out that the totality of the Word is to be preached, regardless of whether it makes the Pastor or the Church uncomfortable to be confronted by the truth. This is another commitment we will make to you. The Gospel is never to be dumbed down or side stepped, especially because we think those that hear it might be offended – there’s too much of that in our world today. You will not experience that from us!

It is our firm understanding that Study of the Word of God is paramount in what you’ve called us to do but we also believe it’s paramount to how we live our lives together, out there in the world!!   Do you see what Robinson says here:

“which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through the preacher, applies it to the hearers.”

God’s Word and the messages we derive from it must first be applied to our lives and at the same time, we are all members of the Priesthood of believers. We need to always be aware of the fact that there are people out there that may not ever come into a relationship with Jesus Christ unless you speak to them, and you encourage them, and you lead them to Him. We want you to always be prepared to do that!

Paul also says Acts 20:20 that he taught the church “publicly and from house to house.”

This highlights two important methodologies by which we think the ministry of the Word is tackled, the public and private teaching/preaching of the Word.

1) Public:

When Paul speaks about the public teaching of the word, he is referring here to preaching, pulpit ministry. This is where a Pastor logically proclaims the truth of the Gospel to the body by preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ in a desire to build up their souls and to stir those who do not know. We believe that every time that we stand here before you, that you need to hear Jesus – plain and simple! And then some encouragement in how we are to apply His teaching and example to our lives.

2) Private:

But he also alludes to a form of private teaching of the Word which is the work of teaching and instructing the Church apart from preaching. Paul refers to this as house to house. While the previous methodology of public preaching is key, it is important for Pastors to seek out openings to speak into the daily lives of people outside of the pulpit.

Pastors are called to do this in 2 Timothy 4:2 and can achieve this through small group settings with adults and young adults and children or one-on-one relationships.

In these different contexts, the Word can be taught in many ways but maybe most importantly, individual discussion takes place and that fosters the relationships of both the Pastor and the Church. We have found this to be really important because this relationship will also allow us to know how best to minister to and pray for you as individuals and that is important to us! And so, we believe this study and proclamation of the word is the primary work involved in Pastoral ministry, and its significance cannot be understated. Paul writes extensively on this:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths”

— 2 Tim. 4:3-4

The “they” here is the church, and Paul says this because he knows that as we hear the Word and are challenged by it, that we will certainly be in conflict with what we hear and too often, we will seek out to hear that which will make us feel good about ourselves and our sin. This is all too prevalent in the world today, in our own communities and we think, during various seasons in the Church.

The other task for us as Pastors is Prayer. Prayer is this all important central act by which Pastors petition for their people. It’s where we call on the power of the Holy Spirit to do HIS work, and WE seek inspiration and guidance for the church. Through prayer we will intercede for those in the Church and the community, as well as praying for the health of the church, its harmony, and its work in spreading the gospel.

Through consistent prayer, Pastors can lift up individuals of the body and pray for them. We want to pray for you. We have been praying for you and we want, as our relationship develops, to be praying for you meaningfully. We want you to tell us how to pray for you. We WILL ask you, “HOW CAN I BE PRAYING FOR YOU”?

Finally, beyond these things, prayer is an important act of praise. A REGULAR TIME OF THANKSGIVING AND DEEP GRATEFULNESS FOR HIS PRESENCE IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES.

What should you expect from us as your Pastors’?

As your Pastors, we will strive to encourage and teach every person the wisdom of God’s Word. In doing so, we will strive to fulfill our calling of leading everyone to a personal relationship with Jesus and to the throne of God where they may stand perfect and complete in Jesus Christ and to their obedience to the Gospel.

WE KNOW this is a lofty goal, but the comfort of Colossians 1:29 reminds us that we are not alone in doing this work, AND you are not alone EITHER.

Paul says:

29 “THAT’S WHAT I’M WORKING SO HARD AT —DAY AFTER DAY, YEAR AFTER YEAR, —DOING MY BEST WITH THE ENERGY GOD SO GENEROUSLY GIVES ME.”

It is Jesus through the Holy Spirit who gives a Pastor the power to preach, reprove, correct, admonish, and encourage, and it is Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit who helps the Pastor meet people, right where they are. And it is Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit who helps us as the Church, meet people in their most basic needs in order that you and all of us may be made perfect and complete in the eyes of God. We personally find this to be of great encouragement.

This statement to the Pastor, by Paul, reminds me that though we are a sinful, simple people, Jesus can use each of us. He can use you and He can use us together to accomplish purposes which we could not begin to do by our own efforts…AMEN?

So, where are we going to go together? Well, for the next few weeks, we’d like us to continue to get to know each other and specifically, we need to bring Jesus Christ to the forefront of our relationship. To do that, we are going to focus on two very specific points of instruction that Jesus provides for us as his followers.

Next week, Pastor Marlee will lead the message time, where we can explore a little more about who we are as Pastors, but more importantly, who we are together as Jesus followers and what our neighbours should expect of us. Jesus spoke pretty clearly about that IN THE GREAT COMMANDMENT:

The Great Commandment(s):

36 THE PHARISEE ASKED, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

— Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

The following week, Pastor Dave will lead the message time – where again, we can explore a little more about who we are as Pastors and who we are as the Church and what Jesus expects from us. Jesus spoke pretty clearly about this too.

The Great Commission:

The Great Commission

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

— Matthew 28:18-20 New International Version (NIV)

These two points of instruction as we’ve referred to them, are the central calling to us a believers, as followers of Jesus and to His Church. So, we’d like to spend a good deal of time together in these two areas over the balance of the month, learning together, understanding the theology and the exposition of Jesus words here and then most importantly, how we might choose to live out this instruction as the body of Christ as First Baptist Church Kingsville

We believe there is no greater calling than this and we don’t mean only being a Pastor. We also mean being called a child of the most high God, an esteemed member of the Royal Priesthood of believers, advancers of the Kingdom. That’s you, that’s me…that’s our Church!

Let’s go before Him in prayer…

Prayer

O Lord, we praise You with all our soul.
We praise You for the abundance of grace and mercy
that we unconsciously receive from You in so many different ways. 

You overlook our iniquities.
You bring us back to good health.
You save us from evil and inundate us with Your love and compassion.
Lord, You provide nourishment and rejuvenation to our bodies, minds, and souls.
We also know, Lord, that through You, there will be justice for the suffering of Your people.
Thank You for graciously revealing Yourself to Your children so long ago,
that we might have the privilege of knowing Your will.
We are only deserving of eternal death as a result of our evil ways. 

However, rather than eternally condemning Your children in anger, You bestow Your unconditional and boundless love on us. 

Through Your incomprehensible love for us, You free us completely from the price of our transgressions.
We cherish Your compassion just as a child cherishes the compassion of loving parents.
Because of Your compassion, Lord, we are allowed a life of eternity;
a gift that You have promised even to future God-fearing generations. Help us and all future generations to hold tightly to Your precious covenant through obedience to Your will.

Lord, hear us this day as we pray for those who suffer from illness, from the pain of memory, from victimization.

Let us pray for those who are outcast, or imprisoned, or oppressed . . .

Let us pray for those who are hungry, or homeless, or poor, and for those who are unemployed or exploited . . .

Let us pray for the coming of justice in the world, for peace that is a just reconciliation . . .

Finally Father, let us offer our own requests, trusting in Your wisdom and compassion . . .

God, we know that You hear the prayers of the faithful, and in Your arms we find safe harbor and understanding. Amen.

Song

Benediction

May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the source of all goodness and growth, pour His blessing upon all things created,
and upon you, His children, that you may use them to His glory and the welfare of all peoples.

Go in Peace and Serve Him.