As a personal word of testimony, my prayer going into the meeting was that the Lord would give me as an individual and our church as a whole (1) just exactly what we need in the preaching, in the singing, in the fellowship; and (2) the grace to receive it. And God answers prayer. It seems like every year the preaching and the overall tone of the meeting speaks to the need of the hour.
This year’s theme was a verse-by-verse study of the book of 2 Thessalonians. The six men who preached did an excellent job expositing the passages assigned them, as well as pulling out plenty of practical truth for our daily lives. I enjoyed, and learned from, and was helped by every one of the messages. As the week progressed, I wondered how I could possibly take in any more blessings; take in any more truth; digest any more spiritual food. I felt like David when he wrote, “Thou anointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5). But it wasn’t until the last 2 messages, the last night of the conference, that God gave me just exactly what I needed to hear.
1 Timothy 4:15 says, Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
Every year, we set aside a week to come apart from everything that’s going on out in the world; to study God’s word; to sing God’s praise; to spend time with God’s people. And when you do all that, it’s almost impossible to not get some kind of help from the Lord.
But here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want a great week of meetings where the preaching’s good; the singing’s good; our minds are on the Lord; we love the brethren; we want to go reach the world for Jesus – and then we ride that spiritual high for a while before we go back to business as usual.
Yeah, it’s great to get your spiritual batteries charged – and we do. But what good is it if nothing comes from it that lasts? What good is it if nothing sticks? What good is it if nothing changes in our lives as Christians and our service to the Lord?
Now, there is something we can do to make sure it’s more than just a great week of meetings (and this applies to any revival meeting or missions conference or mission trip) is to go back on a consistent basis once all the excitement is over and the enthusiasm of the moment is past, and direct your mind and direct your thoughts back to what heard, what you saw, what you learned, and what God did in your life.
1 Timothy 4:15 says if you “Meditate upon these things,” then your “profiting may appear to all.” And this truth runs throughout the scripture. We are commanded to meditate on the Lord Himself (Psalm 63:6), on the word of God (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; Psalm 119:148), and on the works of God (Psalm 77:12; Psalm 143:5).
So for the next several days, that’s what I want to do. I’ll post links to each of the messages and include the notes I took for that message during the meeting. In doing so, I pray that God will continue the work He started in my life this past week. And maybe some of it will be a blessing to you as well.
Press toward the mark!