“…His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
PLEASE NOTE: The following is an excerpt from Pastor Barry’s message on the occasion of FBCH’S 90th anniversary celebration.
Great is Thy Faithfulness! God is “Always Faithful”. When God revealed himself to Moses, He described Himself as, “…the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…” Exodus 34:6. The Psalmist said, “…His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5. Our theme ALWAYS FAITHFUL certainty captures and celebrates this truth. God is Always Faithful.
But there’s another thought we wanted to capture and celebrate in selecting this theme. That is the faithfulness of those who have been part of this church the past 90 years. Three of our longest serving pastors; Ed Shipman, Bill Tipton, and Al Van Selow, combined they served for over 30 years. I think of Ralph and Martha Lance, Bill and Carol Paul, Jim and & Jeanne Carpenter and all those who are currently providing leadership and serving today.
Faith is a gift from God. God gives us the amount of faith that we need, and it doesn’t take a lot of faith for as we know, the faith even as small as a mustard seed can accomplish much. Faithfulness, on the other hand, is our response to our faith. It’s what we do with our faith. And that is up to us. Faithfulness is defined as, being loyal and obedient to the person we put our faith and trust in. We have put our faith in Jesus. And it’s our desire to be Always Faithful to him.
While it is our desire to be Always Faithful, we have been known to fail and to make excuses. But when that happens, be assured it’s not that we lack faith. It’s that we lack faithfulness. If you haven’t noticed, the people who are the most spiritually mature are the people that are being the most faithful to God? They are the people that are doing what God asks of them. That’s what we yearn for in this congregation.
It has been a joy to look back these past days and see the fingerprint of God throughout our history, but this evening we stand at a crossroads. We’re looking back to celebrate our past, and we’re looking ahead to envision and celebrate our future.
Our history tells us who we are and where we’ve come from. It gives us our spiritual family tree. But this church has changed a lot over the past 90 years. The people who founded this church would be amazed to see the changes. Our past is a reminder that sometimes you have to adapt and change. Our world is constantly changing. Our neighborhood has changed. We, you and I, have changed. We’re not the same person we were 20 years ago, or 5 years ago for that matter.
Now, let me be clear, there are some things that must never change…our identity in Christ, our commitment to Biblical values and principles, our passion for sharing the gospel. But there are some things we can and perhaps should change to make us more effective in reaching present and future generations. We owe it to those who will come after us to not to stop here, or to rest on our laurals but to press forward with as much vigor and determination as our forefathers did in the past.
These are not days for timidity. These are not days for shirking responsibility. These are not days to coast; these are days to go all out for the Lord Jesus Christ; to be Always Faithful to the one who is Always Faithful. Let us Pray:
We praise you, gracious Father,
For this our Anniversary day;
For your constant faithfulness
Bestowed upon us all the way.
For ninety years of service,
Rendered to Christ our Lord;
We give thanks,
May Your name be adored.
Make us Always Faithful
Keep us true to Your word and Son;
May the days that lie before us,
Witness many victories won.
Heavenly Father, celebrating how you have worked in the past gives us confidence as we face our future. You are the same now as You were then and as You will be forevermore. We have the same Bible, the same Jesus, the same gospel and the same Holy Spirit power. Do in our day, Lord even greater works as we seek to be Always Faithful, boldly and lovingly sharing the gospel to a world in need. May we press ever onward and upward until the time comes for us to pass the torch. In Jesus name we ask it. Amen.