Amazing!! That is the only word that comes to mind as I think about this morning's services. Allyssa and I arrived at the church around 6:30am, along with few other people and we made our way to the graveyard, yes our church still has a graveyard and it is pretty cool if you ask me. Anyways, we sang a couple of songs, read Isaiah 53 and S.M. Lockridge's "That's My King." After this we spent time together around some biscuits and gravy and tenderloin.
To be honest, I have been tremendously burdened for my church and my community lately. I always have a burden, but it has been a little more intense as of late. I have been at Idlewild for a little over a year, and we have seen one person give their life to the Lord. Not to take anything from that person at all, but I was beginning to question God's timing in the life of our church. I, along with others, have spent more time interceding for those in our church community.
So why do I tell you all this? Well today, our choir rocked! John and Kelley did a fantastic job putting together our Easter program together this year. Then I spoke on the Victory of the Resurrection, from 1 Corinthians 15. I attempted to lay out the gospel of Jesus, challenge those who call themselves Christians to be about the Father's work (that being preaching the power of the gospel to ourselves and to others), and invited nonbelievers to consider the sinful state and their need for a Savior.
Now what you may not know about me is, even though I am a Southern Baptist minister, I am not a huge fan of guilt ridden alter calls. I would rather expound the text (hopefully presenting clearly the power of the gospel in the text), and invite people to reflect on what was heard, examine their hearts, and discern how they should respond. Today, we did that, and a little girl came forward with her mother, and she said that she was a sinner in need of a Savior, and wanted to be saved. Again, I told her that God was calling her out to be His child, and that she just needed to tell him what she told me, and then claim Jesus as her Savior. So I prayed for her, and allowed her to talk to Jesus as only a 6 year old girl can.
I was so excited that I forgot everything I was 'supposed' to be doing. However, through God's mercy, I was able to collect myself long enough to serve communion. After the service as I was greeting people, a young man came up to me and said I need to be saved. We went into my office and talked, and he gave his life to Lord.
The miracle of Easter is this, that sinful man can come to faith in Jesus. Today that miracle took place in two individuals lives. Nothing I did, nor anything those two individuals did brought to them salvation. God granted them grace and mercy by offering them the gift of himself. I praise God that his is still the greatest phenomenon in all of history. I am still amazed at how glorious he is and how powerful the gospel is. May the praise and glory be given to God alone!