The 2019 Spring Meeting was at Calvary Baptist Church in Nixa on March 4-5. Pastor Derek Eckels and his wife Sherry, along with all of the volunteer members were wonderful hosts and made all the attendees feel at home. Evangelist Charles Elliot bookended the meeting, with Pastors Jeffrey Ables and C.R. Curtman preaching in between.
Charles Elliot preached in the service on Monday night. It has been said by my pastor that even though he is blind Bro. Elliot sees better than most of us. Such was the case in this service, in which he gave us his heart on the matter of prayer. He relayed how Ezra 10:1 had been a verse that has constantly been on his mind since conversion. He pastored for several years before the full realization of the importance of that verse would be made clear. Bro. Elliot went on a long journey to discover just how essential and powerful and vital prayer can and ought to be. What happened in his own life and the life of the church he led was nothing less than remarkable, as he learned what it meant to truly pray. Listen to the full message here.
Tuesday morning began with a sermon by C.R. Curtman, who has in recent days retired from pastoring but not from preaching. Beginning with a reading of Jeremiah 16:10-17, Bro. Curtman focused on the causes, consequences, and cure for compromise. Compromise can happen because God’s people (1) ignore the warning of His Word, (2) become infatuated with the world, or (3) when there is casualness that is not being confronted. The consequences of this compromise includes the loss of a relationship with God (we will not live as His people when we do not reflect his character). There is also the loss of relevance, even though this is often what those embracing compromise are pursuing. But as Jesus tells us in Matthew 5, we are most helpful to the world (i.e., being salt and light) when we are most distinct. When we resist compromise, we bring God glory. And at the end of the day, God’s glory is the bottomline. The cure for compromise is a return to faithfulness to the commands God has given us. Listen to the full message here.
Pastor Jeffrey Ables brought the next message, and the focus of his preaching was on preaching itself. He took us to 2 Timothy 4, where he read from 2 Timothy 4:1-4. Paul is addressing Timothy in perilous times. All of the instruction that follows the warnings about the day in which he served take on extra weight: things aren’t getting any better, so it’s important that Timothy gets these instructions right. Not only are times bad, but he is being charged by his father in the faith who reminds him that he will one day stand before Jesus to give account of his service. That we will give account, or narrative about what we are doing now means God sees our lives of service as on ongoing story. With this responsibility in mind, Timothy is told to “preach the Word.” Following the text, Bro. Ables explained that Paul was showing Timothy that preaching is commanded, continual, convictional, comforting, compassionate, and confirmed. Listen to the full message here.
The final sermon was brought by Bro. Charles Elliot, who turned to 1 Samuel 1:1-19. His title was “Hannah’s Prayer, and You and Me.” (1). Hannah had a problem and knew where to take it. She was looked down on by society, as well as her husband’s second wife. Her prayer was unconventional. It was unusual to bypass the high priest and pray by yourself, so Eli was understandably caught off guard to see a woman charge through and pray the way she did. But she did not break protocol because she wanted attention. She did it because she had something specific she wanted from God. (2). Her motive was right. She did not primarily desire to escape humiliation. She did not want a son around to wave in Peninnah’s face. She wanted a son to give back to God. (3). She made a promise and knew how to keep it. Bro. Elliot challenged us to pray like Hannah. Do we have problems? Are our motives pure? Are we willing to use answers to prayer for God’s glory? Listen to the full message here.