The Winter Meeting of the Missouri Baptist Preachers was hosted by Hannibal Baptist Church in Hannibal, Missouri. Planted in 2010, this young, friendly church provided a sincere welcome to the preachers who attended.
Monday evening, Pastor Glen Yoder (Bible Baptist Church, Kahoka, MO) brought a message from Psalm 40 on “The Power of One Testimony.” Brother Yoder encouraged us to be like the Psalmist – to speak up about what God has done for us and in us, so that others may hear about the goodness of God. Pastor Yoder told us about his own personal testimony. Saved at 34 out of the Amish religion, and afflicted since childhood with polio, this brother has seen God use his witness to glorify God and make a difference.
The first sermon brought Tuesday morning was delivered by Pastor Jeff Hastings (Bible Baptist Church, Columbia MO). Brother Hastings reminded us of the setting for Peter’s original readers. Neck-deep in the difficulty of living as Christians in a hostile world, the Christians of the first century did not need new truth to stand in the dark times, but rather, needed to be reminded of what they had already known to be true. The prophets and apostles (a way to reference what we would simply call the entire canon) is what these challenged believers needed most. Pastor Hastings gave personal testimony about the reminders of God’s grace in his own life, dealing with the tragic and recent death of his wife, Kristina.
I was glad to have the opportunity to preach the final sermon, and chose for my text Philippians 2:9-11. Following the great humiliation confession in verses 5-8, Paul, still in the context of urging his readers to pursue humility, reminds them of the exalted Jesus. Remembering that our Savior has been exalted by the Father like no one else, remembering that we long for the day that all bow and confess who he is, makes pride impossible and humility inescapable. Like the believers in the city of Philippi, preachers need to live in light of the exalted Jesus. Remembering his place keeps us in our own.
Tim and Lana Stevens, their children, and their fellow members were gracious hosts. The attendees thoroughly appreciate their willingness to extend an invitation to this meeting.