I just returned from Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, where the 2017 Florida Baptist Convention gathered for its annual session with the theme, “Eyes on Eternity.” It was a rich time of worship, God-anointed singing and deep preaching. It was also a time to be reminded.
I was reminded, first, that my family is far larger than I sometimes remember. In this meeting, I talked with, prayed with, was embraced by and wept with men and women who had held my family close in the past months. We sometimes forget that our family far away are also precious and needed by us and care for us.
I was reminded further, that the impact we make through our Florida Baptist Convention family is far deeper than we could ever make alone. Florida is a huge state… and a largely lost one; “without hope and without God.” To our furthest points south, we are partnering with church plants, ministries and missionaries seeking to reach to “the uttermost parts” of our state.
I was reminded, most of all, that we do not do this ministry, win this mission field, or walk through this life alone. Our Baptist “family” is a good clan… not without fighting or disagreements, not without differences of approach and opinion and not of one “race” or “color,” social class or language. We were reminded by Jacksonville pastor H.B. Charles that there is only one “race:” the human race. And we are all afflicted with the same terminal “disease:” sin. And there is only one solution, one Savior, and His Name is Jesus.
I was reminded this week. Important reminders that we sometimes let slip. And I drove away with a memory I hope I will not forget:
We. Are. Not. Alone.