Pastoral Challenge for 2013

(Ephesians 5:16) "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

As we begin 2013 let us purpose in our heart to serve the Lord with more diligence, commitment, and faithfulness. . . . (Colossians 3:23) "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;" in every area of opportunity God gives us throughout 2013.

Some areas of opportunity to serve the Lord are obvious (faithfulness in Church attendance and areas of accepted responsibility, tithes, offering and mission giving). But I want to challenge you to be aware of other areas of service and seize those opportunities to serve the Lord.

This is the question I present to each of us as individuals "What will I do in 2013 that will promote the ministry of my church and bring honor and glory to the Lord." . . .(1 Corinthians 10:31) "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

(Proverbs 29:18) "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

My vision for Tabernacle Baptist Church for the year 2013 is, and has always been, the following:

Church Growth (souls saved, increased membership by baptism and more missionaries).
This happens through preaching and God's people telling others about the Lord through personal contact or Church visitation. (Luke 14:23) "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."

Victory in our lives over sin and Satan.
This comes through prayer one for another (1 Samuel 12:23) "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:" and Bible Study (2 Timothy 2:15) "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Respect for authority.
(Hebrews 13:17) "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

For those in Church Ministry positions, lead by example.
(Luke 12:48b)" . . . For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

Encouragement of one another.
(Hebrews 10:24) "And let us consider one another (respect for each other) to provoke unto love and to good works:"

Faithfulness to areas of service.
(1 Corinthians 4:2) "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

Increase in workers.
(Matthew 9:37) "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;"

Reverence for the House of God.
Let's show God we appreciate what He has given us by taking care of the things He has provided us with. In addition, please don't use cell phones in the auditorium. Any unnecessary distraction hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in individuals lives . . . (1 Timothy 3:15) "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

My vision is to see our Church on fire for the Lord. We accomplish this by doing that which is pleasing unto the Lord and will bring honor and glory to Him. It takes all of us doing what God has instructed us to do.

In the days ahead it will not be easy to be a Bible Believing Baptist with convictions. Nevertheless, I believe it is more important today than any other of time in church history to be genuine.

Let me encourage you to make whatever changes are needed in your life as I make those needed in my life. Remember, the Lord said it was better to . . . "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18). Together we can see the mighty hand of God work in us and through us.

Thank you for your love and support. Let us continue in one accord as we go forth for the cause of Christ in 2013. Pray for God's leadership and blessings. (Psalm 133:1-3).

Your Pastor and Friend,

Dr. Joe Tims