Tag Archives: attendance

Sermon: The Dead Church (Revelation 3:1-6) | January 23, 2022

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English shepherd), and Dot (beagle).

Coals in the Fireplace | Bible Gleanings – Nov 13-14, 2021

He arrived bright and early every Sunday to greet each churchgoer with an inviting handshake. You could hear him from the back pew each time the sermon stirred his heart, too. “Amen, pastor. Preach it!” he’d say. He gave generously to every offering and served on every committee. That’s why, after missing church for four weeks in a row, his absence was obvious to all. Something wasn’t quite right.

Although the pastor wrote him letters, the back pew remained empty. Members of the church encouraged him to come back when they saw him in the grocery, but to no avail. “I’ll visit him at home. I’ve got an idea,” the pastor thought.

The minister was warmly welcomed inside after knocking on the door. The two exchanged pleasantries and then sat by the fireplace. “I’m sure you understand why I’m here,” the pastor added. “It’s not good for you to be absent from church.” The pastor then listened patiently as the man rattled off excuses for why he had missed church for so long.

The pastor then reached for the fire poker and pushed one of the coals away from the fireplace. Without saying a word, they both sat watching the coal slowly burn out. “Would you look at that?” asked the pastor. “The heat of the coal goes away if it’s not in the fireplace, surrounded by other hot coals.” The man’s eyes welled up with tears as he realized the object lesson: his spiritual fire was burning out because he had spent too much time away from church, the Christian’s fireplace.

This story has circulated for many years because it conveys a timely truth: Christians need the church to stay on fire for the Lord. We should gather each Sunday with other hot coals in the local church to rekindle our own flame for the Lord and His work. The kindling we need to stay on fire is available every Sunday: fellowship with the saints, preaching from the Bible, and the exercise of our spiritual gifts. The flame of our zeal for God will burn out if we are absent from the fireplace. The pouring rain of life’s trials and the strong wind of Satan’s temptations threaten to extinguish it, too.

The Lord commands us all to congregate with His people so that we can burn for Him rather than burn out: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, KJV). Are you a coal in the fireplace or a smoldering ember?

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

The Saint’s Supercharger | Bible Gleanings – June 18-19, 2021

As it zipped by in a hurry, I heard a whistle in my left ear—a Tesla apparently on its way to a supercharger station. Unlike most automobiles, the Tesla is electric and doesn’t require gasoline for travel. Their powertrain is electric from the ground up. Thousands of Teslas have been built in California and Shanghai, with the goal of moving away from fossil fuels toward a clean energy alternative. Because the Tesla eventually runs out of energy, it must be parked frequently at a supercharger station in order to keep on going. And supercharger stations may be found all across the nation so Tesla drivers can plug in, charge their batteries, and get back on the open road.

Christian, like the Tesla, you will run out of energy—spiritual energy. Therefore, you will need to recharge the battery of your soul to keep on going. And the local church is the supercharger station you must plug into weekly in order to continue driving on the straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). Without parking yourself in a pew to be renewed by the power of prayer, fellowship, and preaching that comes from the local church, the engine of your heart will not crank.

Your soul will be recharged when you gather and pray with other saints. The Bible actually says that spiritual healing and power comes to believers who pray together: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).

Similarly, the spiritual energy gained from fellowshipping with fellow saints prevents you from falling away from the faith. The author of Hebrews wrote, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13).

And when you hear the faithful preaching of holy Scripture in the congregation, your soul is strengthened and invigorated by its spiritual nourishment. The word of God “revives the soul” (Psalm 19:7), and such revival occurs when it is proclaimed and publicly read (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2).

There is no alternative, friend. You cannot maintain spiritual energy without the body of Christ. Don’t let your battery drain out—go to church and plug in.

You are always welcome to charge your soul’s battery at Locust Grove Baptist Church. Come and see us Sunday morning at 11 am and 6 pm, or Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm. We’re on 1871 Locust Grove Road in Murray.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English shepherd), and Dot (beagle).