Before a morning service begins at Gospel Light, people are found busy in fellowship. This morning was no different when the eleven o’clock hour rolled around. Mateo announced “One minute ’til service time! Find your seats and let’s get ready!”
The opening hymn was sung with gusto and we moved on to a baptism service. This morning, Mike and Merely Krol were stepping in to stir the waters. Pastor gave a brief explanation stating that the Monroe Water Authority waters were not anything special. Baptism is nothing mystical but rather a step of obedience for a Christian wanting to follow the example of the Savior. The Krols both gave a short testimony of their salvation. They gave credit not only to Jesus but to Grayson for his obedience and walk with God that has led them to make decisions to follow along as well. Mike also accounted of his thankfulness to Julia G who has prayed for him faithfully, calling her one of his angels.Following the baptisms, we enjoyed music specials by Mike Walters singing a beautiful “The Anchor Holds” and by Grayson and Julia (at the request of the Krols) singing “Amazing Grace” while playing their instruments: the cello, banjo and violin.
Mateo stepped to the pulpit and explained that, once a month, a service award would go to someone in the church whose work may go unnoticed. After reading Proverbs 31:30-31, he said, “There are certain people in this ministry, if they don’t do what they do, it will be missed. Calling Sue Stevens forward, Mateo presented her with the first “Faithful Service and Willing Spirit Award”. Leah G. also gave her a bouquet of flowers.Pastor Vince Giardino was pumped and ready to go by this time, saying “I am like a horse ready to bust out of the gate.” Preacher titled his message “Heads Up”. While we turned in our Bibles to Ps 11:4-5 (The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.), Pastor began with some memories of TV land and an old 1960’s series called “Get Smart”. Bumbling, naive, and incredibly lucky Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, with a great deal of help from his intelligent, competent female partner, Agent 99, battled the evil forces of KAOS (international organization of evil.)
Both agents worked for the “Chief”, who was their ‘head’. Pastor explained, “The Chief is a type of ‘the Lord’ that is directing agents … Maxwell Smart, a type of ‘Christian’, sometimes clumsy, sometimes with lapses in memory … the female is a type of ‘the church’, sometimes saving the day, a place for people to learn about what God’s will is for their life.” Interestingly enough, KAOS wants to control the world, just as our enemy, Satan, wants to do the same. We must ask ourselves what kind of Christians we are. Do we allow God to be our head and let him control us? Or do we want to do our “own thing”? Are we allowing the creator of the universe to be our “head”?
Pastor G. had his prop brought out at this time: a headless mannequin. “I have affectionately called this mannequin, ‘Chastity'”, he joked. This mannequin is like the church today”, Pastor continued, “Christianity now days is very shallow.” He told us that we like to look good, like this mannequin with the pretty dress, but we are just as shallow as the mannequin, having no heart for the Lord or for ministry. Many Christians don’t care about having a ‘head’, but rather only care how the garment would look on them. They want a pretty church but complain that the sermon is too long or the people aren’t friendly or the preacher said something they didn’t like. They don’t want a ‘head’ because they don’t really care what God’s will is for their life. Some come week after week just looking for some reason to justify their lack of commitment and, after pastoral investment, they leave anyway! Maybe they want to run things on their own, with no honor, just clumsy and forgetful of the good (like Max – agent 86 was bumbling through life as an agent of CONTROL, but always had agent 99 to make him look good).
Proverbs 4:5 says to get wisdom, get understanding … (not Get Smart). Does a weekly or monthly visit to church validate you and your walk? Is your life in chaos? Does evil or your flesh drive you? Maybe you don’t know your ‘head’, which is God, who is in Heaven!
When Max was in trouble, he would take off his shoe and use the shoe phone to call headquarters. Do you do the same, trample on your Christianity all week, but then when in need or “in a jam”, call upon God? Is He just a tool to use when needed?
“Let’s look at who the head really is”, Pastor said. Phil. 2:5-8 shows us that Jesus Christ saw fit to lay aside his royalty, humbled Himself, and come to earth so that he could ultimately give his life for us. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11. “That’s the head that’s going to appear in the clouds one day and take us out of here”, our pastor exclaimed, “Do you have a heads up on that?” What are you doing with Jesus?
Reading 2 Thess 2:9-10 as a warning, Pastor said “The King of Pride (Satan) … wants control, maybe he did not get your soul, but boy can he wreak havoc of your life.” “Don’t neglect your head!”, he admonished, “Have a mind that’s like-minded to Jesus, let Him form himself in you … Do not be a Christian mannequin on display before a world that’s looking for answers.” Jesus bruised Satan’s head on the cross at Calvary 2000 years ago – “He destroyed death”, Pastor G. reminded us.
A mannequin can’t move, talk or hand out tracts. It can’t become involved in the church or ministry. But you can. We can. Don’t just look like a headless mannequin with “cerebral palsy”! As true and faithful Christians, it’s essential to have a heart for souls.
Eph 5:2-3 was read to prompt husbands to love their wives. Husbands are often not treating their wives as Christ does the church. “It breaks my heart when marriages break up”, our pastor said, “… if I had a dollar for every time I heard a protection order against a couple” that once shared their lives together. “Who’s in control of that?”, he asked, “It’s not the Lord! … Family’s are in chaos … That’s the will of Satan because he is a divider.”
Col 1:18 says, “He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” Haven’t you made enough of a mess with your life? Give it to God and let Him have control of your life! Pastor commented, “Too many of you get smart with God, that’s the problem.” Get wisdom…don’t get smart!
Jesus Christ is the head of Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church – “He is the chief shepherd”, Pastor said. “God is still giving orders … He is in control!”, Pastor shouted. God won’t force his will on you but he has a plan for your life.
Likewise, Pastor is another head in your life, being the local shepherd of our church. He loves the people of GLBBC. Don’t leave him out of important decisions. Let him help! At the very least, ask him to pray with you over important decisions. “Some people don’t want a pastor, they want a hired preacher”, our pastor remarked. God created an infrastructure and we need to take advantage of that because we need God’s wisdom in our lives. Unlike the mannequin, we have a ‘head’ and should be wise enough to let God CONTROL our lives so that we don’t end up in KAOS!
1 Chron 12:33 “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” Don’t be of a double heart. Give your whole heart and mind to God.