Our Need for Progress

I hope you would agree that it was a great weekend of worship at ABC!  I want to publicly thank Nathan Wood for delivering a fantastic message last Sunday.  It was a great blessing to “sit in the pew” and be fed after coming back from a long week out of the country.  And it was easy to do so because of the confidence that I have in Nathan and our entire staff.  It is a blessing to Pastor a church that has a strong staff team, filled with gifted and capable servant-leaders.  I find great joy in watching God continue to develop each of them in their unique giftedness and callings.

In the Scriptures, the apostle Paul took great joy in watching those under him grow up into Christian maturity.  He famously mentored young Timothy and entrusted to him a high-level pastoral position.  But Paul also warned Timothy to not get lackadaisical in his giftedness . Instead, he told him to, “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15).  Timothy is exhorted to reach his potential in ministry.  He’s called to maximize his spiritual gifts, not neglect them.  He’s commanded to grow in his dedication to the Lord, and not to become complacent.  Paul says if he will remain faithful to his calling, something special will happen in his life: people will see his progress.  Spiritual growth is not a secret that we can keep.  When we faithfully walk in God’s purposes for our lives, people will begin to take notice.

As Christians, we have each been entrusted with at least one spiritual gift just like Timothy (1 Peter 4:10, Eph 4:7-8).  Further, we have also been called by God to exercise those gifts and develop them over time.  When we do this successfully, people begin to see spiritual progress in our lives.  They begin to see God moving through us in practical ways, and they can see the impact that we are making on the lives of those around us.  Our families notice the life change, our workplaces notice the life change, and our fellow church members will certainly notice it as well.   My question for you to consider this week is simple: Do you think others around you can see spiritual progress in your life? 

If the answer is “yes,” then praise the Lord!  Continue to practice and immerse yourself in those things.  But if the answer is “no,” ask yourself what specifically needs to change?  Perhaps you have let your gifts go dormant and you need to start exercising them again.  Or maybe others aren’t seeing God work through you because you aren’t letting Him work in you each day (John 15:5). Perhaps it is because you have set aside your spiritual calling to focus all your time and energy on other things that are calling for your devotion.  If any of this is the case , the good news is it can change today and you too can begin to make progress in your spiritual journey.

In sports, we all appreciate a good comeback story.  Every year, there seems to be a team that does not start well, but somehow, they begin to build momentum and finish their season strong.  Of course, this never happens by accident.  Behind the scenes, those comeback teams practiced incredibly hard.  They immersed themselves in the exercise of their athletic gifts and built lasting discipline.  And because they were faithful to those things, they started to perform differently and others began to take notice.  I encourage you to take Paul’s advice.  Practice these spiritual things.  Immerse yourself in them.  Steward your time, talent, and treasure for the glory of God.  As you do so, I’m confident that you will begin to see a difference in your own life.  But I’m also confident that others will begin to see that difference each day.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday in worship.  Invite a friend this week, and continue to invest your life in what God is doing here at ABC.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Greetings From Egypt

As you are reading this, I am in currently in Egypt with Dr. Matt Gillum and Julie Christianson from our Missions Committee.  We are so thankful to be here and partnering with TC Egypt.  It has been encouraging to see the work that God has been doing in the middle east, and I’m so excited about what God is going to begin doing through ABC in this region in 2023.  We will be back in Austin, Texas this Sunday, and I’m planning to give you a recap of our trip and a brief update on our upcoming Egyptian partnership during our two worship services. 

Over the course of 2022, we have been working very hard to build up our culture of missions here at ABC.  For starters, we thankfully reactivated our mission trips after a long COVID hiatus.  Our student ministry sent a group to Montana and has already planned their next trip to New Orleans during Spring Break.  We sent a group to Greece this month, and we are now planning multiple trips to Egypt in 2023.  We mobilized our church through ABC Serves, and we built a house for a family in need through Project Homebuild.  We are sending a group of 19 men next month to deliver that home to Penitas, Texas through Buckner Missions.  We reached our missions offering goals, and we are excited to roll out our Lottie Moon offering in the upcoming weeks.  We established our first ever “Missions Month,” and all our BFG classes are studying the biblical theology which drives missions.  We’ve spotlighted partner ministries and are now looking forward to the Christmas season which will give us opportunities to bless others through our White Christmas, Operation Christmas Child, and Angel Tree ministries.

While I am proud of the work that has been accomplished this year, I believe it is only the beginning of what must be done.  We are looking forward to even more ways that our church can shine the light of Jesus Christ into dark places.  I’m excited to see what God is going to do through the Lighthouse Project, and I pray that the Family Support Center will become a great blessing to mothers, fathers, and children in desperate need.  We are planning to increase the missions budget by 10% in 2023, and I pray that our impact will likewise increase as we focus on how we can reach others in Austin and all around the world. 

Why should missions matter to you and to me?  Jesus told us it must matter.  Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus commanded the church to in fact go on mission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus isn’t an option, it is a mandate.  In fact, Jesus also said it is something that must happen before He will return: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). 

Jesus has entrusted the church with the precious gift of the Gospel, and He has commanded us to partner with Him in sending that Gospel to those who need it all around the world.  We must increase our intentionality because there still is much work to be done.  The International Mission Board estimates that over 157,000 people die every single day in our world without knowing Jesus Christ as Lord.  That is an overwhelming number.  It should humble us, but it should also compel us to action.  I pray that you will consider how you can live on mission this week.  Missions Month will wrap up soon, but the mission must indeed continue.  How can God use you to reach others around you?  Of course, there are needs in Egypt and all around the world, but there are also needs in your neighborhood, your workplace, and maybe even your own home.  May we all be difference makers in our own spheres of influence because our days truly are numbered.  Invite and invest this week, and I look forward to worshipping with you back home in Austin this Sunday.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

It Takes a Team

If you haven’t heard, we currently have a large team of AV professionals working tirelessly to install a brand new custom designed PA system inside our worship center.  I find it appropriate that these men are putting their hands to work while we are studying Nehemiah and the Israelites do the same.  I’m so thankful for these men and this AV project because I believe their good work will indeed make a difference in the life of our church. 

I do want to thank you for your good work in this project as well.  The audio overhaul is only possible because of your continued generosity.  Your faithful tithes and offerings have made this project a reality.  I’m praying that God will continue to provide in His timing and that this will be the first of several technological upgrades.  In the coming months and years, we want to shift our attention from audio to some much-needed upgrades in our video, lighting, and online broadcast ministries.  I believe each of these upcoming enhancements will better equip us to communicate the Gospel with excellence and reach more people for Jesus Christ in our city and around the world. 

I want to encourage you to continue being a difference maker this week.  As we learned last Sunday, it takes a team to build something special and God has invited each of us to be a part of the work.  One practical way you can join the team this week is by partnering with us for our upcoming Trunk or Treat.  This event is one of our favorite outreaches every year, and it will certainly take a team to make it a success.  Consider donating candy on Sunday morning, so we can bless the children in our community.  We also need more volunteers and more cars signed up, so prayerfully consider how you can be a part of the excitement that evening.  Most importantly, think about who you can invite to join us for the special event.  Trunk or Treat is the perfect opportunity to invite a young family to come and experience the love and fellowship of our church.

I encourage you to continue to invite and invest here at ABC.  God is building something special, and I know He wants to use you to make a difference.  May we each respond like the Israelites last week: “And they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ So they strengthened their hands for the good work” (Nehemiah 2:18b).  Let’s rise up this week and walk in the good works He has planned for us..

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon – “It Takes a Team” – Nehemiah 2:8-20

Welcoming for the Glory of God

Every time I go on a road trip, I find myself making the same stop.  It does not matter the direction I’m driving, I will usually pull over to walk into a Buc-ee’s convenience store.  Of course, I’m not the only one making that stop.  Many of you are making that stop with me because the stores are always packed.  Thousands of people flood through their doors every day for their wide variety of goods, clean restrooms, and fresh coffee.  While all those things are signature marks of the Buc-ee’s experience, I would contend one other thing stands out: their customer service.  They have hands and feet everywhere, and I usually find myself loudly welcomed as I walk through the doors.  There may be hundreds of people around me, but their staff is trained to acknowledge a guest and welcome them in.

Many churches could take cues from a convenience store.  Church buildings can likewise feel crowded with lots of people quickly rushing in, and without trained intentionality people will undoubtedly be overlooked.  It’s easy for people to get lost in the shuffle and never be greeted in a church.  This happens in many places, but I’m thankful that our church family has always worked hard to exercise genuine hospitality.  I watch it every weekend as I see strangers being greeted at the front doors.  I watch families being walked down the hallways and introduced to the children’s areas.  I watch staff and BFG leaders lovingly follow up during the week with guests who fill out visitor cards.  I believe this this open-armed spirit honors the Lord as Paul instructs us, “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7).

We are seeing more and more guests walk through our doors every Sunday.  I’m so thankful that God is bringing new people into our church family, and if you are new, let me be the first to say, “welcome home.”  But as our church grows, our need for hospitality will only increase as well.  I encourage you to not walk into our building with blinders on this Sunday.  Yes, we all naturally want to connect with our friends, family, and BFG class members.  However, we must remind ourselves that there are people around us who likewise need a connection.

The truth is church can be a terrifying place for someone who is new.  We forget this when we become established in a church body because it feels like home to us.  We thankfully become comfortable, but we also sometimes forget that there are others who are uncomfortable around us.  We can miss the people who are unfamiliar with the building and feel like they do not know anyone.  Oftentimes these same people are also wondering, “will I fit in here?”  Sometimes, they feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start on making a connection.  This is why it has to start with us as the church.  We must have our heads on a swivel every Sunday, mindful of those that God has placed around us. 

Ask yourself how many new people did you meet last Sunday?  If the answer is zero, I would contend that is a problem.  Even if it was just a couple people, I would still say that you are missing out on an opportunity that God has given you.  God places new people around us every weekend, and we must be on mission to welcome them for the glory of God.  Look for someone you do not know and take the time to introduce yourself.  Encourage someone to join you in your BFG. Invite someone to sit with you in worship.  Ask someone how their week was and demonstrate genuine care for their life.  God has blessed us with new people, so we must be faithful to steward that blessing well. 

May we continue to “be kind to one another and tenderhearted” just as Christ has been kind and tenderhearted to us (cf. Ephesians 4:32).  I look forward to welcoming you, and others, in worship this weekend.  Invite someone to come with you, and invest into what God is doing at this city on a hill.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon – Nehemiah 2:1-8

Missions Month

Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

October is “missions month” here at ABC.  While we strive to live on mission all year long, we are taking some extra time this specific month to bring a special spotlight to this important topic.  All our BFG classes from preschool to the adult ministry are pausing their current studies to focus on the Biblical theology that drives missions.  Additionally, this month you will be educated on some of the great missions partnerships that we have here at ABC.  Most importantly, you will learn a few ways that you can join that mission effort with the ABC family.

I believe it is essential that our church continues to expand its missions’ footprint.  This is not a matter of strategic planning, but rather a matter Biblical obedience.  Jesus Christ entrusted His church with the Gospel, and He has commanded His church to take it to the ends of the earth.  While not all of us can travel to every nation, we can all do our part to live on mission every day.  Jesus told his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  If you are a born-again believer, you have received the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.  And likewise, you now have an opportunity to be a witness for Jesus in your own Jerusalem (Austin), Judea (Texas), Samaria (USA), and the ends of the earth.

I encourage you to prayerfully consider how you can make a difference in missions.  God wants you to be a difference maker for His glory, so He equipped you to walk in every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  This weekend we will be praying for some of our own difference makers during church.  We are sending a team to Greece to partner with God’s work through refugee ministry.  They will be taking off on an airplane early Sunday morning, so we will lift this group up in prayer during both of our services.  I hope you plan to be there for part two of our Difference Maker series.  We will study how Nehemiah stepped up into kingdom service, and my prayer is that you and I will also become active in the good works that God is calling each of us to walk in.  Have a great week, and I’ll see you in worship.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon: Nehemiah 1

Invite and Invest

What an amazing Vision Sunday!  Thank you for helping make it a special day in the life of our church.  It was exciting to look back at all God has done here at ABC, but also to look forward at the many ways He could shine through this church family for years to come.  I especially want to thank all the amazing volunteers who made our first ever BFGBFG a huge success.  The food was delicious, but the fellowship was even better.  I loved seeing all our classes together in one room enjoying each other’s company, and it was exciting to see new folks explore our class options and finding groups to plug into.  This week, I encourage each of us to take the application from last Sunday’s message to heart: invite and invest

If you believe in the vision of our church, invite people to be your personal guests this weekend.  We believe God is building something special here at ABC, and there is room for more at this city on a hill.  Churches have become very creative in their outreach strategies, but it is amazing to me that the #1 catalyst for church growth remains the same: the personal invitation.  Preaching matters, music matters, Bible study classes and big events matter, but none of those things are strong enough to grow a church by themselves.  People grow churches.  People who catch the vision and then want to share that vision with others.  I encourage you to prayerfully consider who you can invite this week to be a part of what God is doing at ABC.

Secondly, I encourage you to invest in our church.  If you believe in the vision of Austin Baptist Church, do not just attend our church.  Belong to this church.  Plant roots in this church and invest in this community.  If you have been visiting our church, then join the church.  If you’ve joined the church, join a Bible Fellowship Group.  If you’ve already joined a BFG, have you committed to serve anywhere in the church?  If you’re already serving, have you committed to worship through giving?  If you are already giving your tithe, have you committed to going?  We have some amazing mission trips on the horizon and perhaps that is your next step.  I don’t know what your next step is, but I do know God wants you to take that leap of faith in your journey.  The church was never meant to be a product to be consumed.  The church was designed to be a family that we belong to.  We are the body of Christ, and He is the head.  And as unique parts of His body, we each have unique roles to play.

This weekend we will begin a new study in the book of Nehemiah titled, “Difference Maker.”  We’re going to see that God called Nehemiah to rise up and a be a difference maker for his generation, but we are also going to see that God has called each of us to do the same.  Our roles may be different than Nehemiah’s, but God wants each of us to be difference makers in our own spheres of influence as well.  Paul reminds us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).   God has set us apart to walk in good works for Him.  My good works are not your good works, and your good works are not my good works.  God has carefully crafted out plans for each of our lives, and no one else can carry out those plans that He has for you.  Only you can make that difference, and by God’s grace you will.

I look forward to worshipping with you this weekend, and may there be more light in my life and your life this week.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Message: Vision Sunday 2022

Let There Be Light

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

One year ago, I stood before you to lead us in our first ever “Vision Sunday.”  We celebrated what God has done through our church family as He led us in that first campaign to go “up the mountain” and build this amazing church home.  In fact, last week marked the 10-year anniversary of God opening our church doors at this beautiful facility.  The establishment of our church truly is a testimony of God’s grace.  But we also know that God did not send us up this mountain to get complacent, but rather to get to work.  I believe God has uniquely blessed us to be a blessing to others in Austin and all around the world.  We’ve gone up this mountain, but what are we to do now?  Jesus answered that question for us in Matthew 5.  He told us that we are called to shine as a “city on a hill” (Matthew 5:14).

This Sunday, we’re going to refocus our attention on that same Vision Sunday message in Matthew 5:14-16.  I will preach the text once again, exactly one year later.  Why would I do that?  Solomon tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).  Vision is not a one-time message.  Vision is the high calling of where we are going and what we must become.  Vision must stay in front of us, and we must always keep our eyes focused on who Jesus is calling us to be.  This is in part why we display that message, “let there be light,” on our website, signage, and various print pieces.  Our prayer is that there would indeed be more light shining in Austin and around the world.  The truth is the world is a dark place, but our prayer is that Jesus will use ABC to shine brightly for Him.

Last year we focused on four ways Jesus is calling us to shine: Light up your life, your home, your neighborhood, and the world.  This Sunday we’re going to celebrate some ways that God has shined through us in those four strategic areas this past year.  But we’re also going to look forward to some exciting ways that He could shine through our church family for the years to come.  I encourage you to make it a priority to join us this Sunday.  I believe you will leave church encouraged and filled with excitement, but also filled up with delicious food!

In conjunction with Vision Sunday, we’re offering our first ever BFGFBG during our regularly scheduled Bible Fellowship Group hour.  Church is a family, so we’re going to have a big family breakfast together this weekend.  All adult BFG groups will come together in Heritage Hall and Great Hall for a special time of fellowship and food.  Each BFG class will sponsor a table filled with delicious breakfast foods made by their very own volunteers.  It will be a big church-wide breakfast buffet, and I encourage you to drop by the tables to sample some food but also to meet some people you do not know.  All 20 of our adult BFGs will be on display, and you will have an opportunity to vote for your favorite breakfast table.  The winner of our friendly competition will be announced Sept 25th.

The BFGBFG will also be the perfect opportunity for people who are not plugged into a class.  A good number in our congregation have not found a class home, and this will be the perfect opportunity for them to meet leaders and see all the wonderful groups our church has to offer.  I also want to note that our ABC Kids and ABC Student ministries will still have their regularly scheduled BFG classes in their designated spaces.  However, they will also have some special breakfast foods for the kiddos, so make sure your entire family comes hungry this Sunday.

It’s going to be a great weekend at ABC.  I hope you plan to be there, and I encourage you to bring a friend to hear the vision of our church.  Never forget the power of the personal invitation as it is still the #1 reason why people walk through a church’s doors.  Keep shining this week and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

This Weekend at ABC

Light Up Your Home

Psalm 78:4 says, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” 

Here at ABC, we are committed to communicating the truth of God’s Word with the coming generation.  Jesus tells us that a lamp in a house is not meant to be hidden (Matt 5:15), so we lift up the lamp of God every week so our children may see it (Psalm 119:105).  We teach kids the Word of God in age-appropriate ways through our BFG’s, worship services, and midweek classes each week.  We do so prayerfully with the goal in mind that our children may begin to understand it, apply it, and by the grace of God, live it out the rest of their days.

This Sunday is a special weekend as we are theming it, “ABC Kids Sunday.”  If you cannot already tell, you will learn quickly that ABC loves kids!  Our children are going to have an opportunity this weekend to gain valuable leadership experience by leading our church through greeting, ushering, video announcements, and prayers on stage.  Additionally, this weekend will feature a special time of Parent Child Dedication, and I’m looking forward to celebrating these families who are publicly committing to raise their children in Christ-centered homes. 

This Sunday we will also be concluding our Homebuilders sermon series with a special message from Dr. Jimmy Myers.  I’m excited to sit under Jimmy’s teaching alongside you as he delivers a special message from Ephesians chapter 6.  If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Myers, he was a founding member of ABC and instrumental in the early days of our church’s development.  He is also the founder, owner, and CEO of The Timothy Center.  The Timothy Center is one of the leading Christian counseling centers in the city of Austin, as they offer a unique blend of solid Biblical insights coupled with the finest current psychotherapeutic methods.

Jimmy and Beth recently rejoined the ABC family, and we are blessed to have them back in our congregation.  Jimmy is an expert in the arenas of marriage and parenting, and we are also looking forward to him blessing our church with a four-week parenting class on Wednesday nights in the month of October (registration coming soon).  This free class will be based off his published book, co-written with George Barna titled, “Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture.”  Parents, I hope you are saving the dates and making plans to join us next month. Find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Fearless-Parenting-Faithful-Secular-Culture/dp/0801000645/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fearless+parenting&qid=1662564439&sr=8-2

I know you will be blessed this weekend by Dr. Myers special message and our ABC Kids celebration.  I encourage you to come early and invite a family to join you.  We want to be a city on a hill that continues to serve as a place of refuge for families who are seeking to build homes together for Jesus Christ.  Have a great week, and I look forward to seeing you at 9am or 11:11am.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon: “Homebuilders – Home Design Pt 3 – Parents” – Ephesians 6:1-4

Don’t Labor Alone

I know many of us are looking forward to our upcoming three-day weekend.  Labor Day weekend is a special time for family and friends to get together each year.  I likewise know many of us are excited to cheer on our favorite teams as college football returns in full swing this Saturday.  Others are beginning to count down the days to Fall, and some early birds will even pull out the pumpkins and Fall décor this weekend.  But I hope amidst all of these things, each of us will take some time to slow down and find rest. Backyard BBQs and good company certainly can aid in that process, but Jesus reminds us that he alone is the source of our rest. 

Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).  All of us are laboring in some capacity right now.  Yes, some of us are laboring at work and carrying heavy burdens in our careers.  But many of us are also laboring in the home.  We are carrying relational burdens within our marriages.  Many of us are also burdened for our children and grandchildren.  And lots of us feel exhausted because those are heavy loads to carry by ourselves.

This is why we have been focusing on Ephesians chapters 4 to 6 these past several weeks in our sermon series.  Jesus wants you to find peace in your home, but as we have seen, that is only possible if we build our homes his way.  This weekend we’re going to shift our focus to Ephesians chapter 6 and tackle the important topic of parenting.  I’m confident every parent and grandparent could use some more rest in their lives.  Parenting is indeed hard work, but fortunately we don’t have to toil all by ourselves.  Jesus wants to guide you in your home and equip you to lead the next generation in a way that will bring you joy. 

But I also want you to know that ABC desires to come alongside you in this parenting journey.  That is why we invest so heavily into our ABC Kids and Student ministries.  We have wonderful staff, volunteers, and resources that are devoted to helping you bring up your children in Christian nurture.  This is why we have adult BFG classes that meet every Sunday.  We want parents to lock arms with one another and begin to do life together.  It is much easier to labor when you have other parents laboring beside you.  This is also why we emphasize multi-generational ministry at ABC.  We have devoted church members in all seasons of life, and many have walked the paths of parenthood and want to come alongside you in your journey.

My question for you to consider is, “are you parenting all alone?”  As we have already seen in Genesis 2, “it is not good for man to be alone.”  God wants to give you all the strength you need, and having a church family is a critical piece of that solution.  We want to be a resource to you, and that is why for instance we are providing a free parenting seminar this Wednesday at 6:30pm.  We’re hosting a licensed family counselor from the Timothy Center to lead an important seminar focused on parenting kids in a world filled with technology.  I hope you are blessed and encouraged by this special ministry opportunity this week.

Above all, I do hope you find rest today.  This coming weekend may be focused on rest, but Jesus can give that to you right now.  If you are in town this weekend, I encourage you to join us at 9am or 11:11am.  Invite a family to come with you as we look to this sacred calling of parenting.  Don’t forget to wear your favorite college jersey or team colors to church, and come prayed up for a special Labor Day weekend at ABC. 

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon: Homebuilders – “Home Design Pt 2 – Husbands” – Ephesians 5:25-31

Dedicate Your Home

Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  For the past several weeks, our church family has been laboring to build a home for the Quintana family in Penitas, Texas.  We are partnering with Buckner Missions for our first ever “Project Homebuild” at ABC.  It has been an exciting missions project, and 100+ volunteers have gotten in the game to help with the construction process.  I’m proud to say that the building phase is now complete and beginning next week our volunteers will transition to disassemble the structure into strategic sections that we can ship.  Later this fall, ABC will send a mission team to Penitas to help assemble the home for the Quintana family.  But before we begin that load-out process, I would like to invite you to partner with us for a special time of dedication this weekend.

Solomon reminds us in Psalm 127 that our building efforts are in vain without the Lord’s blessing, so this Sunday, I’d like you to join me in asking for God’s special blessing over this home.  Before and after our worship services and BFG’s, you will have an opportunity to write a favorite scripture and/or prayer on the home.  We will write scripture on the floors, and we will pray that God’s Word will serve as the foundation for this family for years to come.  We will write verses and prayers on the walls, and we will pray that God will protect this family and always be their source of strength and place of refuge.  Our staff will have lots of sharpies available for you in the Great Hall, so please come ready to help us dedicate this home to the Lord.  I do believe this house will serve as a great blessing to the Quintana family, but I also believe God’s presence and love is the greatest blessing they could have inside their home. 

While we have been diligently working on the Quintanas’ home, we have also been working on our own homes these past few weeks.  Last Sunday in our “Homebuilders” series, we studied God’s instructions for wives in Ephesians chapter five.  This week, we will transition to God’s instructions for husbands, and I pray that each of us will receive these instructions and then get to work.  The reality is each of our homes has work that needs to be done. This is why Paul tells us that we need to constantly take off the old and put on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24).  I encourage you to remember Solomon’s words for your own house today: “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  We cannot build Christ-centered homes without the enabling grace of Jesus Christ Himself every day.  So I encourage you to also dedicate your own home to Him today.  Commit to let God’s Word serve as your foundation and guide.  When you do, you will discover that you are building a house on solid ground.

I look forward to seeing you this weekend in worship.  Invite a friend to join you because you never know how one simple invitation could change someone’s life.  Have a great week, I’ll see you Sunday.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Sermon: Homebuilders – “Home Design Pt 1 – Wives” – Ephesians 5:22-24