I promised some notes on the sermons from the Canadian Independent Baptist Pastors' Conference. There was so much to absorb, but I'll give you some snippets of things that really spoke to me.
The theme of the conference was "Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ," taken from II Tim. 2:3. Each sermon focused in some way on enduring for the Lord, and each man who preached has proven himself faithful by serving here in Canada for 25 years or more. The first sermon laid a great foundation for the rest of the conference, instructing us on how to endure the lure of "the wilderness," or the lure of quitting. Jeremiah was the example; he was faced with an unpleasant task and unwelcome persecution. In order to endure, we must be sure of our roots (Mark 4:17). If we have no root, we have no means of anchorage or absorption. Faith is what strengthens our roots, and faith is strengthened through the Word of God - stay in the Word! We also must be seeing the things that are real, and our circumstances are not reality - the unseen things are eternal. Expectations aren't real either - our own or others' - but God endures forever. We can place our expectations in Him, and never be disappointed. We also have to be sold on reconciliation - the job of witnessing to the lost and helping them know how to be reconciled to God. Our greatest example is Jesus; he endured the cross in order that we might be reconciled to God.
David and Goliath . . .
Giants are allowed in our lives to give God glory from our response to them. God prepared David through rejection and through his responsibilities. David purposed to do the best he could with what he had - his shepherd's bag and five stones. We must purpose to do our best with the things God has equipped us with (this spoke to my heart so clearly - so many times I feel inadequate for the ministry God has given us). Then David proceded with the task at hand - he made a decision in line with God's will.
Three wonders of God's Truth . . .
It's a Truth that delivers; it's a Truth on which you can depend (Psalm 37:5); and it's a Truth which we are to defend (II Tim. 4:2-4) - preach the Word with longsuffering. One point is that many won't endure sound doctrine in the latter days (now!). They will come to church because of good music, good programs, any number of good things, but when the pastor preaches sound doctrine, they can't handle it. That helped me too. I needed to hear that sound doctrine will not be a popular thing, but we have to continue in teaching it.
Thinking Biblically correct about the ministry . . .
It is God who puts a man into the ministry (I Tim. 1:12) - called from his mother's womb (Isaiah, Jeremiah ,Samson, the Levites, John the Baptist, Paul); ordained from the foundation of the world (II Tim. 1:9, Acts 15:18); revealed to the man at a later time (Acts 26:15-18); and the calling is unchanged (Rom. 11:29). This showed me that my husband is God's man - this was His plan for Wes, and I get to be a part of it!00
God's call to the ministry is according to mercy and grace (I Tim. 1:13) - it's a privilege, not a have-to.
It is the Holy Spirit who places us where we are (Acts 20:28), giving us the authority to be here, no authority to leave (Acts 13:2), with a specific type and location of ministry. For how long? Till there is no one left to hear the Gospel (Isaiah 6:11,12)
We must take heed to our ministry (Col. 4:17) - be found faithful (I Tim. 1:11, Heb. 13:7,17, I Cor. 9:16); maintain a lifestyle that allows us to stay in the ministry (I Cor. 9:27); blameless (II Cor. 6:3).
How do you want to be remembered? II Tim. 4:6-8
What kind of departure will you have? v.6 - poured out like a drink offering, joyfully giving all to God - that joyfully giving all really convicted me!
What kind of legacy will you leave? v.7 - disciplined life, directional life (finish the course, endure), doctrinal life (keep the faith) - again, very convicting, especially as I think personally about my children, the people I've influenced the most.
What kind of reward will you receive? v. 8 The rewards we'll receive are guaranteed, glorious, personal
I'm sorry these are so scattered and the verses aren't written out for you. I wanted to get this done in a timely manner, so I just gave you the verses for the points!