At the beginning of my pastoral ministry I developed a spiritual discipline that I have grown to cherish. Each week I memorize a Bible verse and use it as a blessing to the congregation at the conclusion of worship. Yesterday I exercised that discipline in a new ministry setting.
Here are my blessings to the congregation of SSFBC at the conclusion of the services on May 5, 2019.
Three Morning Services:
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14
I love Paul’s trinitarian benediction that concludes 2 Corinthians. This verse reveals three characteristics (grace, love, fellowship) of the one true God. As the old hymn proclaims, “God in three persons, blessed Trinity.” Holy people of Sulphur Springs – seek God this week and be overwhelmed by the depth and power of his grace, love and fellowship.
“May you stand firm in the will of God, mature and fully assured.” – Adapted from Colossians 4:12
The entirety of this service references Epaphras, “who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus” and “is always wrestling in prayer for you.” As a high school wrestler, I love the image of someone wrestling in prayer. I imagine someone waking up early and putting the to-do list on hold in order to seek the face of God in the spiritual discipline of intercessory prayer. Holy people of Sulphur Springs – I’m wrestling in prayer on your behalf. Stand firm! Be mature! Rest assured!