Fan the Flame

Christian Mentorship Is A Beautiful Part Of Our Spiritual Life.

George Wright
Mar 14, 2021    43m
Do you want to reach out and share your biblical knowledge with others? The relationship between Paul and Timothy that is shared in the Book of Second Timothy paints a beautiful picture of what Christian mentorship looks like in action. A relationship like this can fan the flames of your faith. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

George Wright: 00:02 Oh what a gift it is to be able to lift our voices together and to be reminded of the good news that Jesus Christ has been exalted overall, and the same Jesus who is exalted overall, is pursuing you now with his love. What a gift, what a blessing, to be reminded through the word of song, and now we have the privilege of being reminded through the Word of God together, of who our God is and what he has done.

George Wright: 00:31 So I want to encourage you to go ahead and grab your Bible and turn with me to the Book of Second Timothy. Second Timothy is in the New Testament, it's near the end of the scripture. And if you find First Timothy, you're really close, okay, that's the pastor clue for you here today. If you have your Bible app, you can pull that out as well, we will put some verses up on the screen. We're going to be walking through Second Timothy from the beginning to the end, not just today, in the Sundays ahead, we're going to be walking through this great book together. And I really pray that you will see how timely, and how relevant, this specific book of the Bible is to where we are today.

George Wright: 01:13 And it's really interesting to know, that this really is a very significant book. And not only in the life of the church, but really in the life of the Apostle Paul, who God uses to pen several books that we have in the New Testament. Divinely inspired through the Spirit of God, the Apostle Paul was the human author of many of the books of the New Testament, and this one is written right near the end of his life. He knows his time on earth, and his time in ministry, is coming to an end, and so he writes this very personal, very heartfelt, letter to a young man that he loves dearly, a young man that he's been mentoring and discipling, a young man that he is invested greatly in and that he cares deeply for. So that this can be really some final thoughts and words of encouragement from Paul's life and ministry, he knows that the road ahead for Timothy is not going to be easy. God's hand is on Timothy, God has called Timothy to lead in the church, to pastor, to be a champion of the gospel. But the cultural context in which Timothy is doing ministry is very challenging. And so Paul wants to be a voice of encouragement, a voice of certainly challenge, but a voice of affirmation, seeing the hand of God at work in Timothy's life. And it is my prayer that you will be encouraged from this scripture.

George Wright: 02:41 So let's stand together, and let's look at the beginning of Second Timothy chapter 1, we're going to begin right at the beginning of this letter. I'll tell you the first two 2 verses are a very formal introduction of the Apostle Paul, saying who he is. And that may sound unique, in that this is a very personal letter to Timothy, but the formal introduction shows us the Apostle. Paul wants this letter to be shared with the church. He wants this letter to not only encourage Timothy, but to encourage the church. And so we see that formal introduction verses 1 and 2, and then we jump into what begins the guts of this letter, verse 3.

George Wright: 03:20 Let's look at First Timothy verse 3, and following. It says, "I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day." This is so personal from Paul to Timothy, he says, "I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but a spirit of power and love and self-control."

George Wright: 04:17 As we consider the Word of God together, and as we stand in reverence for the Word of God, we're being reminded that the Word of God is the foundation for his people. Let's ask the Lord to use his word, not only today, but in the days and weeks ahead as we walk through Second Timothy, to speak into our lives, that which we need to hear from God himself. So let's pray to that end, pray with me. Father, we are asking you now, to come and speak through your word. You have the power to do what only you can do, to speak to all of us collectively coming from so many different places, as you at the same time speak to all of us individually. So I pray in the power of your Spirit moving among us right now in this divine set apart time that you have given us to encounter your living and active word, I pray that you would speak in such a way that we hear and receive what you say. For every single one of us here today, whether we realize it or not, whether we would admit it or not, every single one of us need to hear from God. And so we commit this time to you, and we pray that you would have your way among us for your glory, for our joy, speak. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Amen. You may be seated, thank you for standing.

George Wright: 06:01 So by way of introducing this book, where we will be spending a considerable amount of time, I just want to lay before you a little bit of the cultural context of what was taking place as the Apostle Paul penned this letter, divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, to write to Timothy, but to also write to the church. Because the context is important, the context helps us understand, what is being laid before us on the pages of this scripture. A little bit background that I want to share, I want to really give you three specific things as it relates to the background and the context of Second Timothy.

George Wright: 06:45 Number one, it is important to understand that this letter was written in a time of intense persecution for the church of Jesus Christ. This is a time of tremendous persecution of those who are followers of Jesus. The culture in which the church exists, as this letter is being written, is incredibly hostile. That's important for us to hear, I hear a lot of conversation today among people in the church, fearful concern, worried about the changes in our culture and the persecution that seems to be ramping up from our culture against the church. And there is legitimate reason to be concerned. I do want to say right up front, as we walk through this book, you will see that the Word of God stands true in the midst of persecution, and the Word of God is what we need in the midst of the struggle.

George Wright: 07:50 In fact, the Apostle Paul, as he writes this letter, he is in a Roman prison cell, awaiting his execution. The Emperor Nero is the emperor of Rome, and he has seen the gospel spread throughout the Roman empire. And he does not like what he sees, because he sees these Christians, these followers of Jesus, as a threat to his power and authority, and so he is ruthlessly doing everything that he can to persecute Christians, and to destroy the church. Paul's writing this letter in the face of persecution, and he's saying to Timothy, Timothy stand strong. I know it's not going to be easy, I know there will be many that come against you, I know there will even be danger at times as it relates to your very life. Stand strong in the gospel, stand strong in the truth of what God has done.

George Wright: 08:54 Secondly, it's important to understand that Timothy, at the time that this letter is written, is the pastor of the Church of Ephesus, a very famous church, in fact, there's a letter in the scripture from the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians. So Timothy is pastoring this young church, but this growing church, and this important church, and Timothy is a young pastor in this very important church, and there's some division in the church. There's a group of people, in fact, they don't appreciate or like Timothy's leadership, he's different from Paul. And they're very critical of the way Timothy is leading, they're very critical of some of the things that are happening under Timothy's leadership, and so he's facing some criticism among his own people in the church, that's very hard for a pastor at times. But the Word of God, the word of this letter to Timothy, is Timothy stand strong, stand strong in the faith, stands strong in the gospel, stay the course, preach the word, remember what is most important.

George Wright: 10:03 And then thirdly, by way of introduction, it is important to understand that as the Apostle Paul pens this letter, and is sitting in a Roman prison cell awaiting his execution, he is very well aware of the fact that his time, Paul's time on earth, and specifically on earth as a minister of the gospel, is quickly coming to an end. And remember the Apostle Paul is Timothy's mentor, he's Timothy's spiritual father, if you will. He loves Timothy, Timothy loves Paul. And the Apostle Paul knows that when he is gone, when his life is over, it's going to be very difficult for Timothy. I mean, many of you know what it's like to lose a loved one who has poured into your life in a significant way. Many of you know what it's like to even lose a parent who has invested so much in your spiritual journey?

George Wright: 11:07 Well, here, it's important to understand the Apostle Paul really is Timothy's spiritual father. And as we'll see in these opening verses, Timothy's biological father is not a follower of Jesus. And so in a sense, Paul is the most prominent father figure in Timothy's life. And Paul knows when his life comes to an end, it will be very, very easy for Timothy to be shaken, to be knocked back. And so Paul writes this letter wanting to encourage Timothy, wanting to say to Timothy, stay the course, stand strong, there's some things you need to remember. I know that life is not always easy. I know that certainly ministry is not always easy, I know it's not always easy to follow this calling that God has placed on your life. But Timothy, I want you to know there are some things that if you remember, they will strengthen your resolve, they will strengthen your faith, they will give you the footing that you need to stand firm, even when it's difficult, when it is challenging, even when you are faced with loss, remember these things.

George Wright: 12:21 So let's look back at the scripture, let's see some very important truths that are being laid before Timothy, and being laid before the church, some very important things to remember as it relates to living by faith in the calling of God. Second Timothy chapter 1 verse 3, again, Paul writes, "I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy." We see how personal this is for the Apostle Paul, we see his love and affection for Timothy, praying for him frequently, longing to see him again. And I believe this is in this letter, and in this scripture, to remind us all in the church, please don't miss this, you are not alone. Remember, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, remember even in seasons where it feels like everyone has been separated and disconnected, remember you are not alone. The Apostle Paul is encouraging Timothy here, remember who you are, remember your identity, remember what God has done for you, remember this calling of God on your life, that invited you from death to life. Remember that you have been given the gift of new life, you have been forgiven of your sin, you are covered in the grace of God. You have been bought with a price, through the power of the cross and the resurrection, and as a result, you are loved and valued as a son of God. And Timothy, you are loved and valued as if you were my own son.

George Wright: 14:20 And I love this for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons I want to focus on here this morning, is I believe this is a beautiful example for the church of Jesus Christ. You see one of the great gifts of the church, or what should be one of the great gifts of the church, is the church is to be a family. A place of multiple generations coming together, believing in one another, caring for one another, loving one another, pulling for one another, encouraging one another. One of the gifts of Shandon, is this is a multi-generational church. And there are those who are here who are seasoned in the faith, who have been through the fire, and they take it upon themselves to turn and encourage those who are just beginning to go through the fire for the first time. We need the encouragement of one another, in the generations of the church. When those who experience the hardships of life, turn around and grab a hold of those who are just beginning the journey, and just starting to see the reality of how difficult life can be at certain times. And they say, hey, I see you, I love you, I'm with you, I'm for you, I'm praying for you, I'm not going anywhere. When that encouragement comes from generation to generation, it is a tremendous blessing. I know this has been true in my life, and I know this has been true for many of you.

George Wright: 16:10 I mean, I just think about my journey of faith, growing up in the church. As many of you know, a preacher's kid, I am. But in the church, I can remember different people who just were such an incredible gift of encouragement in very specific seasons of my life, when I needed it the most. I think about a man named Jeff Williams, who was a businessman in our church in Atlanta, where I grew up. And he had two daughters, he didn't have any sons, and so he decided, hey, I need some guy time in my life, and so I'm going to lead a small group of students, of guys. So beginning in 7th grade, all the way until I graduated high school, Jeff Williams was my small group leader. Speaking life, speaking truth, speaking encouragement, into my life in very significant ways, at a time in my life where I needed to hear from a man of God who was not just a part of my family, but was a part of the family of God. What a gift God gave me through those words.

George Wright: 17:14 I think about being a college student here at the University of South Carolina, and having a man that many of you know, here at Shandon, who at the time was the college pastor at Shandon, Steve Turner, speaking into my life as I began to wrestle with the calling of ministry and what is God doing with my life, and what does it mean to pursue this calling? And Steve spoke life, and truth, and encouragement, into my life.

George Wright: 17:41 I remember when Megan and I were first married, and we moved off to Texas for me to go to seminary. We were a long way from home, and I to work at a church there in the Dallas Fort Worth area called Fellowship Church, the Pastor was Ed Young Jr. And one day Ed just pulled me aside in the office and began to speak into my life what he saw God doing, this word of encouragement from a pastor, it was so powerful.

George Wright: 18:08 And then going back to Atlanta to work on my dad's staff, where he was pastoring in Atlanta, and having different men and women speak into my life. Specifically one mentor, a guy by the name of Mark Springfield, who was my former young life leader. He would meet with me every other week for breakfast, and he would just ask me questions, and he would just encourage me in the faith, and he would just share lessons that he had learned in ministry. I am forever grateful for those who have spoken into my life from different generations, words of encouragement, words of affirmation, we need this.

George Wright: 18:49 So I would just say to those of you who are perhaps younger in the faith, or perhaps just part of the younger generation, those of you who are college students, or high school students right now, or maybe even younger, can you please hear this? You need older, wiser, more mature brothers and sisters, speaking gospel truth and encouragement in your life. Please don't make the mistake that so many make, of only spending time with people who are the same stage of life as you. Hey, can I just say to the older, more seasoned, more mature generation, you have so much to offer, you have so much wisdom that is needed, you have so much to give, and the younger generation needs the encouragement that you can provide. So please don't make the mistake that so many of your generation make, of only spending time with people who are in the same stage of life as you. See, we need one another.

George Wright: 19:58 God has orchestrated his family in such a way, that if we are intentional and we have one another, the multi-generational church should be a tremendous blessing to both the older and the younger generations. But please don't miss this, because this is very important, the multi-generational church is a blessing to both generations, unless, and this is a big unless, unless the generations become guilty of generational segregation, and this happens in churches all across the board. Let me make this very clear, this is not God's design for the church, that the churches would become guilty of generational segregation. Where the generations look around and say, we'll just only circle up with the ones who are like us, we'll just only spend time with the ones who are of our generation. That's not the way God designed his family, the church, and when the generations begin to segregate and stay away from one another, it becomes very easy and very tempting to begin to view the other generations that are not the same as us as a threat. And when we start to view the other generations that are not the same as us as a threat, it becomes far easier to criticize the other generations then to care for the other generations.

George Wright: 21:47 Here in Second Timothy, the Apostle Paul is showing us how important it is in the church that we intentionally decide that we are for one another, and we will pursue one another across generational lines. Even though we have many differences based on the generation we are a part of, we will pursue the things that we have in common in the bond of Christ and in the power of the gospel, because what we have in common in the bond of Christ and the power of the gospel is so much greater than any generational differences that we may have Church, we need to hear this, we need one another. A multi-generational church is God's design, and it is to be a blessing, let's not be guilty of allowing it to become a curse.

George Wright: 22:48 We see in verse 5 of Second Timothy 1, the Apostle Paul continues with this theme, he wants Timothy to remember, hey, you're not alone. Because the temptation in the struggle is to think I'm all alone. The temptation in the struggle is to say, hey, there's nobody out there that understands or knows me. Don't go there, the Word of God is saying you are not alone. Verse 5, "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well."

George Wright: 23:28 Hey, I just want to say this real quickly, this is a sidebar, a little bit of a soap box I'm going to stand on just for a second based on this verse, and then we'll come back to the message. There's a lot swirling right now in our culture, specifically in our denomination and our convention, as it relates women in ministry. I just want to say very clearly, the Word of God affirms and applauds women of God who stand up and live the gospel. The Word of God does not silence women of God. The Word of God affirms women of God who stand up and live the gospel. The Word of God loves and honors women of God who stand up and live the gospel. Verse 5 is a great example of this. It's culturally taboo for a grandmother and a mother to be treated and honored in a favorable way, but the Apostle Paul goes right there, and he says, look at your grandmother and your mother. This is going to be in the Holy scripture someday. Look at these saints, look at these women who have invested in your faith, honor them as such. Remember you stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before you, Timothy, you are not alone, remember the gift you have been given in the faith heritage that you have received.

George Wright: 25:00 I've got three of my most prized possessions in my life, they're not people, that are things right here. I want to share these with you today.

George Wright: 25:11 The first one is a little notebook of sermons, they were typed on a very old typewriter in 1943. These are sermons of my great-grandfather, Louis Hanley Wright, that he preached at the church he pastored in Macon, Georgia, and typed out these transcripts of his sermons. Again, 1943. If you know anything about world history, you know, that was during World War II. So a couple of things that I think of when I look at these sermons. Number one, I'm so grateful for the heritage of faith, for the legacy of faith, that I have received. That I stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before me that were faithful to the gospel. But number two, I read through these sermons preached throughout the year of 1943 in the midst of the world being at war, and I see that the same gospel that was the hope of the world during World War II, is the same gospel we are preaching today. We need to hear that, we need to be reminded of that, we need to recognize that we stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before us, we are not alone. And every single follower of Jesus, even if you didn't receive this from your biological family, even if you didn't grow up in a household of faith, every single follower of Jesus has been given a legacy of faith to stand upon. The people that had poured in your life, the people that have pointed you to the gospel, that the people that are serving in this church, you have a legacy of faith to stand upon, look and see it, you're not alone.

George Wright: 26:57 The second cherished possession I have is a Bible that was given to me in 2005. It was right before I was ordained into full-time gospel ministry, this is a Bible that my dad preached out of for many years as a pastor. There's a note in here. He says, dear George, this is a Bible I preached the longest out of, from the mid-1980s to 1997, which is the year I graduated from high school. He says, these were very key years at Johnson Ferry Baptist church. A lot of the margin notes have faded, and some of the pages are about to fall out. But as you prepare to be ordained as a preacher of the gospel, may you always be a man of the word, and may this Bible be a connection between you and Christ, and you and me, long after I've gone to heaven. May your preaching be centered on Christ, and biblically based, always. I love you. Dad. And you can hear, I'm not making this up, you can hear how significant those word are. To know that every time I prepare a sermon, and I look over and I see that Bible sitting on my shelf, I'm not alone, I'm standing on the shoulders of those who've gone before me. Hey, I want you to know every time you feel alone, you need to have reminders in your life that you're not alone. You need to be reminded of those who've prayed for you, who've poured into you, who've taught you, who've helped you. You need to be reminded of this beautiful family of

George Wright: 28:42 The third thing I have here, it's very significant to me, especially as the pastor at Shandon. This is a letter I received four years ago, almost to the day, in March of 2017. I walked into this building for the first time as the pastor, and I received this letter. It says, Dear Pastor George, I have loved the new title that you now have for a long time. and I'm rejoicing that you have this title and will love it. This church knows how to love its pastor, and they will love you too. I believe God is going to richly bless the church of Columbia through you, there are many lost people that need to be reached. And I'm praying for you, I'm praying for your family, I'm praying for your ministry, and I'm trusting God to do great things through you in the future. I believe in you. Signed Dick Lincoln.

George Wright: 29:46 I just don't know if it can be emphasized enough, how important it is that we look around and see, we are not alone. The enemy of God wants you to feel alone, he wants you to live isolated, but the Spirit of God wants to prompt you to remember, you're not alone, to tap into the strength of those who have lifted you up, to those who have gone before you. This is a powerful gift we have in the family of God, there is a legacy of faith for every follower of Jesus Christ. don't miss this. The only way you will be isolated and alone in the family of God, is if you choose to be isolated and alone, don't make that mistake. We need one another, generationally we need one another, we need to be reminded we're not alone.

George Wright: 30:48 Go back to the scripture. Now, Second Timothy chapter 1 verse 6. I'll look at these final two verses for today rather quickly, but it says this, "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." Here, the Apostle Paul was saying to Timothy, and the Word of God is saying to the church, remember the power of the gospel. Remember you're not alone, and remember the power of the gospel, fan into flame the gift of God. Here, the scripture saying, remember what God has done, remember this beautiful gift of Jesus Christ that has set you free, that has forgiven your sin, that has covered you in grace, that has made you new, remember the power of the gospel? Why is this so important? Because I believe the Apostle Paul knows that for Timothy, and for each of us, we are going to make decisions every single day that will either pour gasoline on the fire of the gospel that is burning inside our hearts if we are a follower of Jesus, we will make decisions that either pour gasoline on the fire, and grow our passion, and grow our faith, and grow us in strength, or we will make decisions that will pour water on the flame.

George Wright: 32:17 And so Paul says to Timothy, Timothy, I know these circumstances are difficult, here's persecution, there's division in the church. I know you're about to encounter loss. I know that this is very difficult, but in the midst of the struggle, in the midst of the difficulty, don't let the of life douse the flame of the gospel. Remember the power of the gospel, preach the gospel to yourself, don't let the pushback and criticism of others douse the flame of the gospel. No, remember the gospel, don't lose sight of what God has done for you that you could never do for yourself. This is the simple encouragement, keep your eyes on Jesus, keep your eyes on Jesus. There's so many things to be distracted by, there's so many circumstances that could overwhelm, keep your eyes on Jesus. Fan into flame the gift of God that has been given to you, and as that flame grows, you will have the strength that you need, and you will be able to do exactly what God has called you to do.

George Wright: 33:43 And that's what we see in verse 7, verse 7, what an important verse, what an important doctrinal statement for us to understand. In a culture that is so ravaged by fear and doubt, the scripture says, "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." Here is the call to remember the power of the Spirit that has been given to you if you are a follower of Jesus. It's as if Paul is saying to Timothy, look, I know it's not an easy time, I know this leadership that has been entrusted to you feels heavy, I know you're being put through the ringer, I know you're questioning whether or not you could even live out this calling. You feel weak and you feel beaten down, but Timothy, this was never about your strength. Timothy, this was never about your ability to begin with. Timothy, remember the Spirit of God that has been given to you, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead is now dwelling inside of you. Timothy, God has given you his Spirit and his Spirit is not a Spirit of fear.

George Wright: 35:09 In fact, another way that this can be translated, many commentators will say the way this is translated the most accurately, according to the original Greek, is not the word fear, but the word cowardice. God has not given us a spirit of cowardice. It's as if the scripture is saying to the church, don't let the events, and the circumstances, and the cultural changes, and the difficult people around you, cause you to quit, or run away, or shrink back, as a coward. Don't do that, that's not from God. No, God has not given you a spirit of being a coward, and hiding from the world, or hiding from difficult situations, or hiding from challenging circumstances. No, God has given you a spirit, in your weakness, his spirit is a spirit of power, it's a spirit of love, it's a spirit of self-control. So that when those challenges come, and when those difficult people surround you, you don't have to fire off at the mouth because you've been given the spirit of self-control. And when the world is up against you, and when the culture is changing and making it harder for you, you've been given the spirit of love. That you can love those, as Jesus said, who persecute you.

George Wright: 36:33 No, recognize the spirit of God has given you this gift, this gift of power and love and self-control. And remember that where you are right now, even though it's challenging, you're where you are right now because God has placed you there. And when God placed you there, he gave you a purpose. And when he gave you a purpose in the place where he has placed you, he equipped you with power so that you could live out the purpose in the place where he has put you. This is so important to understand, we look around with this grass is greener syndrome all the time, and we lose sight of the fact that we're right where we are, right now, today, because God has placed you there. And when he placed you there, he gave you purpose, and he gave you the power to live out that purpose. Don't lose sight of the power of the spirit of God given to you, remember, remember, remember.

George Wright: 37:39 Oh how the church needs to hear this, right? How many times do you talk to someone in the church, or hear from someone in the church, or see somebody post something on Facebook from the church, and it's all about fear? The culture is changing, don't shrink back. God, didn't give you a spirit of cowardice, he gave you a spirit of power and love and self-control, so stand up in the power and love and self-control of God granted to you by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Stand up and boldly live the gospel, because that's what the world so desperately needs to see from the church. So may it be true of us for such a time as this, that we are not a people who shrink back in cowardice, we are not the people who retreat or hide in the corners, but no, we stand up boldly and courageously, not in our power, not in our power, but we stand up boldly and courageously in the power of the spirit to demonstrate the love and grace of the gospel to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.

George Wright: 39:16 This is the calling issued to Timothy, this is the calling issued to the church. Remember you're not alone. remember you are not alone. Remember the power of the gospel that has invited you into the gift of salvation and set you free, and remember that in the power of the gospel, you've been given the power of the spirit to live a life of power, love, and self-control, for the world needs to see Jesus in you.

George Wright: 39:56 Let me pray for us as we close our time here this morning. Heavenly Father, I'm so grateful for your love toward us, that you lay something so personal, and yet so applicable, to every single one of us in your word. A letter from the heart of a mentor, to his mentee, a letter from the heart of a spiritual father to his spiritual son, divinely inspired, is such a gift to the church of Jesus Christ, and so we thank you. We thank you that in your sovereign plan that you included this letter in the Holy scripture, for we need to hear it, we need to be encouraged by what the scripture has said.

George Wright: 41:02 So Lord, I know you're doing a work among your people here at Shandon, I know you're doing the work among those who are joining us as visitors, and those who are joining us online. And so Lord, I just pray that whatever it is that you want us to receive, and then live in light of what you have revealed in your word, I pray that you'd give us the faith to do it. That we would remember we're not alone, that we would remember the power of the gospel that sets free and calls us from death to life. And Lord, I pray that we would remember that wherever you've placed us, you have empowered us to live out this purpose to which you have called us through your Spirit. Lord, It's not about our strength, it's yours, give us the faith to believe it and to live it.

George Wright: 41:54 And Lord, as we close this time with a moment of worship, responding and gratitude to who you are and what you have done, I pray for those who are joining us today, who recognize that they have never received this gift of salvation that comes through Jesus Christ, this gift that truly transforms a life through forgiveness and grace, as a sinner repents and turns to the Savior. So Lord, I pray those who've never received this gift, that today would become very personal, and that today would be the day that they would recognize their need for the Savior. And they would simply say, Jesus, I am ready to follow you, I need you, I need my sin to be forgiven. This shame is overwhelming, this junk in my life is more than I can handle, I need to be forgiven of my sin. So Jesus, I'm turning to you, I'm ready to follow you, I'm ready to trust you, I'm asking you to make my life new and I'm asking you to show me how to live this. calling, so that my life, my life, can point others to the beautiful, good news of what you Lord God have done.

George Wright: 43:14 Father, we thank you for this time of worship together. We pray that as we go, we would go in your spirit to live as you have called us to for your glory. We lift all this up, in Jesus' name, I pray. Amen

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
Read More
Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206