This past week, Laurel and I enjoyed the privilege of attending Grace Church of Mentor’s National Church Planting Conference for the second time. As with last year’s conference God ministered to us through His word and through the testimonies of His powerful work in churches across America. Though we found many of the sessions to be valuable, the final session, preached by Pastor Phelps touched our hearts more than any other.
Here’s the outline I made of the sermon:
The Peril of Participation without Passion (Rev. 2:1-7)
- What will remain if first love falters?
Disciplined morality, doctrinal purity, discerning ministry, but just the motions
- What is required for first love to be restored?
Remember God’s blessings, repent of your coldness, return to your first love
- What will be the result of the restoration of first love?
Satisfaction in communion
In the final point of the message, Phelps said, “God does not want a relationship of performance but of love.” This really struck a chord with us. Busyness for the Lord is not the same as walking with Him. This truth is a daily reality for us. Even though we are constantly busy for the Lord, it is all to easy for one day’s activities to run into the next day’s work. And then almost without warning, first-love can become a distant memory. Please pray that our passion and love for God will be the only fuel for all of our busyness.