2 Samuel 6:1-19

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

To day will not be my usual type of blog. Mostly because the day itself was a bit unusual. It started out the same but soon after I got to church, I knew in my heart there was going to be something different. At least for me, it turned out to be what I could call a Spirit breathed message. I won’t try to go over all the points of the message. It would be way too long and difficult. Please go to the Stonepoint Website if you haven’t heard the message. Instead I would just like to talk about the affect the message had on me.

The text today was 2 Samuel 6:1-19, which the pastor described as an obscure passage that we may have read but probably have given little thought to. How right he was! It all had to do with giving reverence or irreverence to God. Example: Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark of the Covenant and was immediately struck dead. While his intentions were good, he knew better. Another example: David got upset and would not take the Ark to Jerusalem. Instead, David brought it to the house of Obed-edom. I don’t know much about him, but I do know he had a reverence for God and treated the Ark with respect. And God blessed Him because of his reverence.

Later, after David had decided to retrieve the Ark and take it into the city. As pastor pointed out, David had decided “old school” and bring proper worship back to God. He set the Ark up in it’s proper place with much singing, dancing and reverence. Because of this to this day, a Jew would say that the glory days of the Israelites was during David’s reign as King. It came about because of one decision made by King David.

Good story and message, but what is the point? Here it is and I quote, “we have gotten about the business of doing church. Did we come to church today expecting to meet the living God? I confessed, he did not. Neither did I.

I must say that a lot of what pastor said today has already been burdening me. Especially when brought up the point that one area we need to go back to “old school” is in the area of PRAYER. Can I confess something to you? It’s probably no secret to some of you that I work with the ministry of Gospel for Asia. It is often said around here that GFA was born out of a prayer meeting and it continues with prayer. My confession is that if GFA continues by my prayers, GFA is in serious trouble. My prayers have become cold, routine and few. This struck me so hard this morning that I nearly broke out in tears. Even as I am writing this, my eyes get teared up and I get a tightness in my chest and a lump in my throat. I can’t speak for anyone else at GFA or Stonepoint, but I can speak for myself, God is not pleased with me. Pastor admitted that prayer is the weakest spiritual disciplines he faces. I am right there with him. Prayer is a battle, often tedious, and more often just avoided all together in my life. Most of the time I have to write my prayers out, just to keep my mind from wandering.

No judgment, but let me ask a question: how is your prayer life? Is it like mine? If your prayer life is like mine, what are we going to do about it?

Friends, we claim to love and serve the Living God of the Universe! How is it that we treat Him so irreverently? I have often thought about coming to the Thursday prayer meeting at Stonepoint. So far, I have always found an excuse not to come, such as: I already serve in a full-time ministry, I’m tired and need to go home and rest. Or at other times I just forget about it. I sometimes treat our prayer meetings here the same way. May God forgive us!! I’m going to put myself out on a limb here. Like King David. I made a decision today. It started today that, by God’s grace, I am going to pray more, pray with a heart and mind that I am praying to the living God, and treat God with reverence. Anyone out there want to join me and hold me accountable? Are you and I ready to quit doing church and ministry as usual? May God forgive our sin and may we be truly the Body of Christ to Him and to the world.

Mother’s Day/ Heaven, Week 4

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Today, being the second Sunday in May, is Mother’s day. It dawned overcast and dreary but it still looked nice to me. I woke up a bit earlier than usual, so I was able to get to the church in plenty of time to greet people as they came in.

The first thing I noticed, was to my left as I walked in, was that there was this big chocolate fountain with all the fixings. Pretty cool!! I thought, haven’t seen that in any church I had been in before. I didn’t get to imbibe, you had to be a mom for that. As I was greeting people, my two little friends Hannah and Kayla came into church with their dad and mom. Mom let them come in to say hi to me. I picked both of them up and hugged them. I call them “my little pixies.” Usually, a couple times a week, my door bell rings just after I get home from the office. It’s my little Pixies, carrying my dinner that their mother graciously made for me.

Anyway, back to church. The 8:30 service started and I got my coffee and sat down in the last row like I usually do. Soon after, there was a baby dedication. One of the things I have always liked about Stonepoint was that they “do church” differently from most places. It’s nothing big and some probably don’t even notice. I think it is more of a heart thing more than actually physically doing things differently. This was not a baby dedication at all. It was a small child dedication. There were two single moms and one had a little boy, the other a little girl. The pastor asked the moms a few questions. The last one was something like, would they let the church or pastors know of any needs they might have. Some of the congregation nodded when the moms indicated they would contact them.

After that, a short video clip was showed. It featured a mom who dying of breast cancer and contained some of her testimony. It was quite moving and I thought it was far from normal for a service being held on Mothers Day. But I thought God was totally in it.

The last message on the Heaven series was a little different today too. It was a question and answer session with Pastor Brandon and Pastor Mark. A couple of real good questions were asked like, “Do people in Heaven look down on us?” and “What about children who die, do they go to Heaven,” and “Is there a purgatory? (I grew up Catholic, but learned a couple of things on this answer.)

Like I said, the differences may seem small at Stonepoint. So small that at times you wouldn’t even notice it, unless you are paying attention. I pray this church never loses it freshness and difference. I fear sometimes that the church in the US is not having much of an impact on our country. I guess that is no surprise to many of us. But to me, this church really seems to be seeking God, seeking to make disciples, and seeking to reach their community and the world. I pray this never changes.

By The Power of the Spirit

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I recently taught one of our School of Discipleship classes on the filling of the Holy Spirit, and I wanted to share some of the things I have learned while preparing. The book we are studying is: Against the Wind by our director, Brother KP. The particular chapter was called: “By His Spirit.” Basically, the chapter simply says that everything we do in ministry must be done by the power Holy Spirit. I think we would all agree with that. The difficult part is how do we obtain this power and what is the evidence that we are filled with the Holy Spirit. It is no surprise that the doctrine and subject of the Holy Spirit is so controversial and has gone so far as to split churches and generally put Christians into different camps. After all, the Holy Spirit is God’s greatest gift to us, and for such a great gift, Satan will always introduce a counterfeit.

I am not writing today to try to teach one stance or another. But I do want to, by God’s grace, talk about a couple of things. That will help us as the Body of Christ to live and serve our Lord better and to His glory.

First, as Brother KP says, “All of us called as servants of God must–absolutely must–heed the instruction of Paul. We must be filled with power from on high.” He further states, “…the work to be done is not in the realm of flesh and blood alone. Our task is supernatural. And it is only by the Spirit’s power that we can accomplish the task our Lord and Savior left for us.” In Acts, there was a situation where some of the widows were overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the disciples told the congregation to select seven men to do this. What were the qualifications needed by the seven? They needed to be men of good reputation and full of the Spirit and of wisdom. One might think that such a simple ministry could just be done by anyone. But not so, the service needed to be done by men filled with the Holy Spirit. Why? So that their service would be authentic. God honors service done by His Spirit.

This brings to the second thing I want to mention. How does a person become filled with the Spirit and what is the evidence of being filled. First, becoming filled. I think the clearest answer to this is simply to ask for his filling by faith. In Luke 11:1-13 Jesus was teaching on prayer. He used an example of a father being asked by his son for an egg or a fish. Would the father give his son a snake or scorpion? Of course not, that is totally absurd. Then in verse 13, Jesus says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Can it really be just that? I believe the Bible says so.

One more thing, evidences. Here is another quote, “The wrapping should never be mistaken for the gift. The Holy Spirit Himself is the Gift of the Risen Lord to His church. When He falls upon people, it may be with shouts of Hallelujah, tears of joy and the gift of tongues, or it may be quietly, silent and without much emotion. Temperaments vary, and the Spirit of God (unlike many Christians) is willing to adapt Himself to each temperament. It is foolish therefore to expect that others should receive the Gift in in the same wrapping in which we received Him–whether spectacular or commonplace.” (Zac Poonan) In other words, the gift itself, is more important than the wrapping it comes . It is the inner reality that matters.

One more thing. The filling of the Spirit is not a one time experience. Ephesians 5:18 says in part, “be filled with the Spirit.” The word filled, means “be continually filled.” We need His filling with each and every task we do.

I greet people when they come to Stonepoint. I stand by the back door of the meeting room and say hello and shake hands. One would think that I can do that in my own power. But no matter what you do or where you serve, whether it is on the worship team, working with children, or making coffee and keeping the refreshments stocked, it should all be done by the power of the Spirit. All service to our Lord is supernatural. I pray, that we, as part of the Body of Christ, will always be filled with the Holy Spirit.