A Message from Pastor mark for 9.16.12

Mark J. CongrovePastor, Bethel Baptist church
616.546.0292

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From: “Mark Congrove, Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church” <mjvicarc52>
Date: September 16, 2012 7:45:05 AM EDT
To: mcongrove
Subject: A Message from Pastor mark
Reply-To: mjvicarc52

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Dedication Service 9.16.12
Intro: What Children can become:[copied]
Intro:
2: Dobson illus:
The other night at the football game I encountered a young boy cheering passionately for the GH Rams– all the passion of his father, who had apparently taught him the finer skills of “fan in the stands coaching.” Reminded again, how much they want to be like you, dad…
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The other night at the football game I encountered a young boy cheering passionately for the GH Rams– all the passion of his father, who had apparently taught him the finer skills of “fan in the stands coaching.” Reminded again, how much they want to be like you, dad…

But, we have gathered to concern ourselves with the business of dedicating our most precious gifts to the Lord– our children.
Turn through the pages of Joshua’s Old testament record of his work, and you will find an amazing account of the preparation moving these people from something now… to something better
It is the narrative relating reoccurring themes: A calling, the preparation of Godly leadership and the blessings returned to home, family, and nation when that calling is consistently lived out.
Make no mistake about it: This calling reverberates in ears of those who must remain faithful to their God, those who must remain connected to His Word; and all who must revere the Holiness of God.(Deut 7:6).
Background:
The events of chapters 23-24, maybe months before Joshua’s death, and with the conquest of the land now some 2 1/2 decades in the rear view mirror– enough time to feel the temptation to ease up on the accelerator.
To be sure, Israel was replacing a people in this land whose culture was more advanced than their own–so the pressure to emulate them was intense and compelling.
But they have the benefit of a good history with God: Specifically:

  1. He had proved Himself faithful: 23:9; 23:14; 21:45
  2. God has proven Himself a fighter for that which is good and righteous: 23:3; 23:15

But even with this, we are but one step away from our own potential demise: 23:13
An interesting term appears in 23:6; 23:8.
Faithfulness and firmness will be needed in large supplies if Israel was to remain solvent. In fact, the term, (dabaq) same word used of the glue holding the marital relationship together in Gen. 2:24 and also of the relationship between God and man in Deut. 4:4; 10:20; 11:22; and 13:4.

The Power of symbolism:
Joshua gathers them up on the streets of Shechem: Why there?

  • Lord first promised Abraham the Land: Gen. 12:6-7
  • Jacob buried his idols here: 35:4
    Prayer:

Interview the couples: What desires do you have for your children?

Charges:

  1. I charge you to cultivate a spirit of Godliness and faithfulness in your home, that by observing and experiencing God’s faithfulness, you will be able to mode such an attitude consistently for all to see– first your children, then your families of origin, and finally, the communities around you.
  2. I charge you to elevate the Scriptures to a place of reverence and honor in your home, that it might become the language of your prayer, the food for your soul, its principles, the counsel for your life, and its applications the tools for successful family living.
  3. I charge you to maintain a holy marriage; dad, be man to your girls in ways that will cause them to seek you in their mates, to your boys in ways which will cause them to want to be like you. Mom: be tender, loving, and supportive, and intentional to those lives, and they will one day rise up and call you blessed. Furthermore, I charge you to love one another passionately and without end– thereby giving your children something most still clamor to find– peace, stability, and most certainly unconditional love. Do not defraud one another, rob one another of intimacy, nor the place of prominence that each deserves in the eyes of the other. Don’t wax old in your thoughts, setting aside your growth before the Lord. Do not tolerate mediocrity– either in your marriage or your relationship with Jesus and you will find your family thriving, satisfied, and prepared to enter into adulthood.

Do you understand these challenges, accept them as needful, and prayerfully agree to pursue them with all your might?

Please answer by saying, “We Will”

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Pastor Mark J. Congrove
Bethel Baptist Church
South Haven, Michigan 49090
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