Can you believe it’s May already?

We had a wonderful Lord’s Day celebration at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church yesterday. I believe the Lord was glorified. And I believe his people were blessed.

I am truly grateful for the many members of SMBC who serve in various ways to honor God, encourage one another, and welcome the saints. May God bless you richly for your selfless service. And may your tribe increase!

In New Members Class, I taught on the hindrances to effective or answered prayer. I listed five “prayer-busters”:

    1. Prayerlessness (James 4:2b)
   
    2. Unconfessed sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ps. 66:18)

    3. A lack of faith (James 1:6-8; Heb. 11:6)

    4. Selfishness (James 4:3)

    5. Broken relationships (Matt. 5:23-24; 1 Peter 3:7).

Praise God for the celebration of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Table that we celebrated together in our 10 AM service.

The choir’s song of preparation was a medley, “Victory in Jesus”/”O, Sweet Wonder.” Praise God! I appreciate the obvious work the music department put in to prepare that number.

I continued our exposition of the book of Philippians. My text was Philippians 1:3-8. I labeled the message with the words of verse 5 – “Partnership in the Gospel.”

I am strongly considering going back to preach verse 6 by its self this coming Sunday. It is one of the key verses for the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, and worthy of an exposition of its own.

Of course, I could not study or preach Philippians 1:3-8 without thinking about the precious and beloved congregation in Los Angeles with which I partnered in the gospel for some 18 years of pastoral ministry.

I need to learn to focus more on what the Lord puts on my mind and heart to say during the sermon, and not worry so much about the things I studied and prepared but did not get to say.

On that same note, the fact that I am reading more than 50 commentaries and references on Philippians is probably not helping the situation. After all my reading, it is difficult to organize and edit down my thoughts for preaching. I trust that, as I press my way through Philippians, I will determine the commentaries that are most helpful and forsake those that are just rewording other people’s thoughts. Ray Pritchard is right. I need to learn to learn faster.

Weekly sermon preparation is a wonderful privilege, a stimulating adventure, and a horrible burden. But I wouldn’t want to do anything else in the world!

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church in/through our worship services.

For those of you keeping score, Crystal finally won one. Hailey made it through 8 AM service. Barely.

Manny Pacquiao knocked out Richy Hatton in the second round Saturday night. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it. I was still working on my sermon manuscript. But I plan to catch the replay this weekend.