From Sunday Evening Service, April 10, 2011: After once again reminding his congregation that “the battlefield is in the mind”, Pastor Vince Giardino read the key scripture verses for his sermon, 2 Cor 8:16-21. We learned that, not only was Titus (a protégé of Paul) well trained, not only did he meet the criteria to be used, but there was a “performance also” and “a willing mind”.Pastor’s introductory story was about an accomplished pianist, Liu Shikun, who was imprisoned and denied the use of a piano for 7 years during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Soon after his release, he was back on tour performing better than ever despite the lack of practice. When asked how this could be, he explained that everyday during his detention, he had rehearsed the musical pieces note-by-note in his mind.
Our preacher’s theme then was about having a ready and prepared mind, a mind that wants to serve the Lord. “What’s going on in your mind to prepare you to perform for the Lord?”, Pastor asked us.
In 1 Peter 5:1-2, elders of the church are being exhorted to “feed the flock of God”. Our Pastor took this verse as a directive to “willingly” have oversight of the church. Peter also exhorts the elders to be “of a ready mind”, admonishing them to have a prepared mind to love and serve the church. Pastor G. defined ready to mean, “a quickness, a promptness, a cheerfulness, a willingness, a willingness to serve the Lord … not for money” … being able “to preach unhindered by filthy lucre”. Further, 1 Peter 5:3 asks leaders to be “ensamples to the flock”; the pastor’s life should be a testimony of what God is doing in his life. In verse 4, the “crown of glory” is for a pastor, having to answer to God, that fulfills his duties properly.Are You Ready to Save? – “The Lord was ready to serve me” Isaiah 38:20 and also us! Jesus Christ was ready to go to the cross. Pastor assured us that we can depend on this: “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth” Psalms 145:18. If God is ready to save those that call to him, then at the very least, we need to be ready by reading and memorizing his Word.
If the Lord was willing to suffer for us, what are we willing to go through for him? Pastor brought to mind the martyrs, their courage, and all they went through for Christ. The martyrs faced open physical warfare. On the other hand, our battlefield today, here in America where we have it easy, is in the mind. Our Pastor strongly urged us to keep our minds stayed on Jesus and that “we have a prayer life”. He referred to 1 Peter 3:15 as an example of how we should serve and save others, being “ready always”.
Are You Ready to Soar? – Our Pastor is determined to help us prepare our minds and life to get to a place where we can soar. He painted the picture of soaring for us by telling of the glider planes around Elmira, Corning, and Harris Hill. Using air currents rising from the hills, the sailplanes fly without any power of their own. Likewise then, Pastor Giardino asked, “What more should you rely on as a Christian to ready yourself than to rely on the Holy Spirit of God to move you, to fly your ship, to soar?” He defined soaring as “to rise high” or “to tower in thought or imagination”.
Pastor read Isaiah 40:28-31 to show that God “giveth power to the faint”. God will give us that strength so we can soar. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Isaiah 40:31. We need to let the Holy Spirit of God direct us in preparing and conditioning ourselves. Matt 10:19-20 and John 14:16 remind us that it is the Spirit that gives us power, speaking through us, and bringing all things to our remembrance.
Are You Ready to Serve? – As a soldier of the cross, do you know the scriptures? Pastor took the passage in Acts 17:11 and substituted Gospel Light for the people of Berea: “Gospel Light was more noble than those in (unnamed church), in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Pastor then asked us, “How are you doing with searching the scriptures?” The short poem he read us taught that trusting and obeying are part of a ready mind. In closing his sermon, Pastor read 2 Cor 10:4-6 to encourage us to be ready to counter untruths and heresy with God’s Word, which should reside in our hearts and minds.Special Note: Upcoming messages on the mind will cover “the complexities of the wiring job that the Lord has done.”
The Female Mind – “It’s Harris Communications, governmental radios, very complex frequencies.”
The Male Mind – “It’s Home Depot, simple house wiring.”