The Pastor's Pen

by 
Pastor Robin
 
 
 
 

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Every Believer a Witness


For several weeks now, we’ve been talking about “Every Believer a Witness.”  Before our recent EBAW training revival started, we learned that if revival truly comes, one of the indicators will be an increasing concern for lost souls.  And then during that revival, there was a tremendous response to Dennis Nunn and his practical teaching.  It was obvious to me and to others that God was at work in this witnessing emphasis.
 
Since the revival ended a month ago, we have been reinforcing how we can keep our promises to God in bearing witness.  We’ve talked about praying differently, asking the Lord to save the lost (Rom. 10), to send out workers (Mt. 9), and to strengthen His witnesses with boldness (Acts 4, Eph. 6).  We’ve also talked about paying closer attention to the “persons of peace” around us.  Clearly the Lord has been calling us to focus on this aspect of discipleship.
 
I don’t desire for this emphasis on witnessing to slowly fade away so we can get back to “normal.”  There should be nothing normal in a New Testament church about God’s people never sharing their faith with the lost.  We will continue to push, on a weekly basis, the biblical truth that all of us who are believers are called and equipped to be a witness to Christ and His gospel.
 
Remember the four “tools” in your EBAW “Toolbox.”  The first tool is our True Life church invitation cards.  The second tool is the gospel tracts that we are now making available.  The third tool is prayer, specifically praying for servers.  And the fourth tool is your personal story of your life before you met Christ, how you met Christ, and your new life since you met Christ.  If you will work on utilizing these four tools every single week, you will see God begin to do a radical work of discipleship in your life and in the life of SABC.
 
Finally, I want to say one more time that I want to hear from you in the coming weeks and months regarding how God has allowed you to utilize any or all of these four tools.  As we share our experiences with each other, we will see God doing a mighty work in the body of Christ.  I certainly believe we’ll see more people come to faith in Christ and be baptized. What an encouragement that will be for us all.
 
Stick with it.  Remember that the goal is not perfection but progress.  Ask the Lord often to give you a burden and a boldness to witness.  When you fail, don’t quit; simply ask God for forgiveness and determine to begin again.  When God gives you even a small victory, thank Him for the work He’s doing in your life.  As Thanksgiving approaches this year, the thing I’m most grateful for church-wise is that God is graciously leading us to be more faithful witnesses. 
 
Have a great Thanksgiving.  I love you all.
 
Pastor Robin
 

Pray for our Leaders

By the time most of you read this, the results of the elections
for President, Governor, Congress, etc. will be in.
Regardless of the results, let us now remember the admonition
of Scripture to pray for those in positions of authority.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions
and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2
for kings and all who are in authority, so that we
may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness
and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the
sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be
saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1
Timothy 2:1-4, NASB).
I’m hearing some great reports from those who are
distributing our “TrueLife” cards and inviting people
to come to church. Blair Miller shared that she felt
led to pass them out during a yard sale she was
having; she gave out six cards and not one of the six
said they had a church home. Both Jeff Godwin and
Donald Joyner shared how their families had
opportunities to distribute the cards to waitresses at
restaurants; both of them expressed appreciation and
interest in coming to SABC. Others have their
stories as well. I’m thankful that I’ve had the
opportunity to pass out several in making invitations
for folks to attend church. Do you have a story
about using the TrueLife cards? If so, please share it
with me. A growing number of us are getting into
the habit of starting spiritual conversations and
inviting people to church. How exciting! If we ask
God for such opportunities and if we’ll be bold
enough to initiate spiritual conversations, we’ll see
those opportunities coming to us from the hand of
God. Let’s do it together. I’m so thankful to God for
the privilege of serving as Pastor of this wonderful
fellowship of believers.
Pastor Robin

Mission Update

I share some mission updates with you this
week. Internationally, our first trip to South
Asia is now in the planning process. Our
trip is scheduled for Feb. 22 – Mar. 2 of 2013. At the
time I write this, it looks as if a team of four
volunteers may be taking this first trip. We’ll be
sharing much more about this trip as it develops.
For now, pray for the preparations and training that
will be taking place in the weeks to come. Pray also
for the divine appointments in South Asia that God
already has planned for our team. How exciting it is
to know that some who have never heard the gospel
a single time will have that opportunity when we go.
Nationally, please note on your calendar a special
happening on Sunday, Nov. 18. That morning, the
church planter from the metro Boston area with
whom we will be partnering for the next several
years will be bringing the morning message.
Stephen McDonald is the pastor of Mill City Church
in Lowell, Mass. He will be sharing with us part of
his story in terms of his call to Boston to lead a new
church. We will be sending teams to assist Mill City
Church starting in 2013. I pray that as you meet
Stephen and hear what God is doing that you will
begin to get a vision for participating in this
partnership in some way—maybe even through
traveling there to do ministry. God is up to
something big in church planting in our day; I hope
you can take advantage of the opportunity to meet a
church planter and hear his heart. And may your
heart “catch fire” as you listen.
Finally, on a local basis, don’t forget our ministries
to the Kingsway community and to the Cowboy
Church. Opportunities are available for those who
would tutor, provide childcare, share musical gifts,
and so on. You’ll be hearing more about these local
opportunities in the near future. Stay tuned; and if
you have questions at this point, let us know.
Everyone has a role to play in our missions strategy.
May God help us to be a Christ-honoring, gospelsharing
church—from our neighborhoods to the
nations.
Pastor Robin

Educated Electorate

Last Sunday night was a loud wake-up call for all of
us as God’s children to passionately pursue Christ—
especially in our personal walk with the Lord. To
pursue Him is to have His Spirit rule in us until we
love only what He loves and hate what He hates.
Obviously, our holy Lord hates sin, both public sin
and private sin. If you or I have allowed secret sin to
take root in our lives, it is time to be ruthless with
that sin. Jesus said, “If your right hand sins against
you, cut it off” (Matthew 5:30). Obviously, He was
not speaking literally or no one would have a right
hand! He was telling us not to play with sin but to
deal with it radically. May we heed that call. Seek
out an accountability partner; give that brother (men)
or sister (ladies) permission to ask you direct
questions about your life. These questions should
deal with whether we’re doing daily what we ought
to be doing (prayer, Bible study, etc.) and whether
we’re avoiding what we ought to avoid (vices, bad
habits, etc.).
This coming Sunday night we will watch a video
dealing with the upcoming election in November.
We do not endorse candidates as a church, but we
must educate ourselves as to what major issues face
us this fall from a Christian perspective. In my
opinion, this election is profoundly important in
terms of the direction of our country. This video
will challenge us as God’s people to pray, prepare
(by registering to vote), and participate (by voting)
in the upcoming election. I read the other day that in
2008, North Carolina’s presidential vote was decided
by less than 15,000 votes. But almost 300,000
professing believers in North Carolina did not vote
in that election. That is unacceptable. Come and
educate yourselves as to what’s at stake.
I love you all deeply,
Pastor Robin

A Life of Service

On September 16 of this year, Rev. Steve Roberson will
celebrate 15 years of continuous service on our
church staff (long-time members will remember that
this is Steve’s second “tour of duty” with SABC and
that he actually has over 20 years of involvement
here). Those 15 years haven’t been smooth or
predictable; the church has endured many periods of
change and transition. Steve has been the one
constant through all those challenges. Both the
deacon body and Pastor Robin feel strongly that this
occasion calls for a special recognition of an
exceptional servant. In line with that, please pay
attention to the following special events that will be
taking place to honor Steve and Virginia.
1.We will be collecting a special love offering for
Steve in the weeks leading up to September 16. If
you would like to contribute to that offering, you
may write a check to SABC, but you need to note
“Roberson Love Offering” on the check and/or
envelope. This offering will be received through
September 9 and it will be presented to Steve on
September 16.
2. In recognition of this anniversary, we will have
only one Sunday morning worship service, at 11:00
on September 16. Following this service, a church wide
meal will be provided in the Robersons’ honor.
We ask that everyone bring their favorite dessert.
3. All those who would like to write/type a note or
letter to Steve and his family as to how God has used
him or them in your life is encouraged to turn it into
the church office on or before September 9. We will
collect those letters and compile then into an album
that will be presented on September 16.
There might be another surprise or two, so put this
special celebration date on your calendar and don’t
miss being here on September 16!
Pastor Robin

Loving the Lord, Loving the Church, Loving the World

From Our Pastor...
This is such a season of blessing right now in the life of
our church. Our hearts are overflowing with thanksgiving
and praise as we see God powerfully moving in our
midst. Let me point out just a few signs of those
blessing.
Our recent VBS was such an encouragement. The
excitement and the working of the Lord were evident in
the faces of the children. Thank you, workers, for making
the week such a success. Thank you especially to our two
directors, Lou Ellen Stroud and Tricia Fisher, for all you
hard work to make the event such a success.
Our Jericho Project prayer walk at the mall was such a
blessing as well. We probably had close to 100 people to
go to Golden East mall to pray! The security guard I
talked to there was overwhelmed at what we were doing.
He wanted us to do it every weekend! Thank you,
Kathleen Melvin, for your effective leadership and
servant heart in putting this together.
Our baptismal service on Sunday was awesome as well.
Your response to the four testimonies of God's saving
power and grace honored the Lord greatly. We could all
sense God's presence in such obvious ways. Thank you
for supporting these new believers in the worship service
and at lunch. And thank you, David Aquino, for
providing such effective leadership as our Hispanic
Interim Pastor.
Good things are happening. Better things are coming.
Let's stay faithful as we walk into a glorious future with
our Lord. Remember what we are about: Loving the
Lord...Loving the Church...Loving the World. What an
honor to serve as your Pastor.
I love you all.
Pastor Robin

Pray

I’m calling all of us who believe in the power of
prayer to unite for the next couple of weeks in
praying daily for our VBS and for the upcoming
Jericho Project.
For VBS, here are some suggested prayer points:
Pray for the heart of every child who attends that
they will be able to understand that Bible School
is more than fun. It’s about Jesus. The gospel
will be shared with every child except the very
young ones. Pray that God will enable those
who haven’t trusted Christ to understand and to
sense their need for Jesus.
Pray for our leaders. All of them are in strategic
positions of spiritual responsibility during VBS
week. Pray that they will be vessels through
whom God can share His truth and love with
each child.
Pray for follow-up. There will be some children
and families who have no church home. Pray we
will be able to get to these families and to
effectively communicate Christ’s love and our
love for them.
For the Jericho Project (details are elsewhere in this
newsletter), here are some suggested prayer points:
Pray that our church will have a greater heart for
our city of Rocky Mount—our “Jerusalem.”
Pray that God will show us His infinite love for
our city and that we will desire to go into our city
with the hope of Christ that fills our hearts. Pray
specifically for the leaders of Golden East Mall
that God will give them wisdom in instituting
wise policies for the mall.
Pray against a spirit of violence at the mall. Pray
that God will always protect those who are there.
Pray that we will truly believe that when we
pray, we are mobilizing the very power of
heaven in behalf of that which is good and right
in God’s sight. Pray that we’ll realize what a
powerful thing we’re doing when we go to walk
and pray to Almighty God.
Thanks for being a praying people. Love you all.
Pastor Robin

Prayer and Fasting

From Our Pastor
Recently, I preached a message asking the SABC
family to seriously consider whether our Lord is
calling us to fast and pray during this season as we
seek a closer relationship with Him. I know that many
of you are wrestling with that issue right now. Let me
share with you one area where I believe we are
drastically in need of intense prayer: our Acts 1:8
strategy.
I believe that Acts 1:8 compels us to be involved in
Spirit-empowered witness from Rocky Mount all the
way to the nations. Very soon, the church will be
asked to consider a call from God to be more deeply
involved in a witness to our city, to the northeastern
U.S., and to the nation of India. More details are on
the way, but I can tell you now that I sense we are
being called to a greater level of missions involvement
than any of us have ever experienced before.
Pray that we will discern God’s leading. Pray that we
will have a clear understanding of the imperative of the
Great Commission. Pray that we’ll possess the
necessary faith to step out in obedience. Pray that God
will use this local body to bring greater and greater
glory to the saving name of Christ both here and
around the world. As your pastor, I exhort you to fast
and pray about this matter of eternal importance. Seek
God’s face as we wait for what’s next. See you on
Resurrection Day!
Your pastor loves you,
Pastor Robin

Personal Discipleship Should Include Fasting

Our SABC Discipleship Journey stresses that “Personal
Discipleship” is a vital part of our being able to fulfill
the Great Commission. For the last couple of weeks,
I’ve been highlighting “Personal Devotions.” We’ve
talked about having a specific time, place, and plan for
your personal time with the Lord. We’ve also talked
about some of the benefits that come with spending
this daily time with God.
This week I want to suggest something to add to your
standard routine of Bible reading and prayer. On some
periodic basis (weekly or monthly or whatever God
lays on your heart), I’d like to commend to you the
value of fasting. Simply put, fasting is denying
yourself food for a set period of time so that you can
take that time and devote it to God in seeking after
Him intensely. The idea is that we say to God that we
want to be closer to Him even more than we want food
for our bodies.
Jesus said that His followers would fast one day after
He returned to heaven. He Himself modeled fasting by
going through a forty day fast early in His ministry. If
He saw value in fasting, so should we. I like to take an
occasional lunch hour and fast and pray and sing
praises during that time. My hunger pangs help remind
me of how much I should yearn after God.
Those with certain medical conditions (such as
diabetes) should definitely not fast without consulting
your doctor. If you can’t deny yourself food, some
people fast for a time from television or other
electronic devices or listening to music. But remember,
it’s not just denying yourself something you like; it’s
seeking God while you deny yourself. If we want
more power with God, fasting is a Bible-centered way
to draw closer to Christ. Think about it.
Your pastor loves you,
Pastor Robin

Personal Discipleship Begins with Daily Time

We’ve recently been talking about all of us becoming disciples
of Christ who make other disciples. We’ve crafted a SABC
Discipleship Journey that helps us to see
the “roadmap” we need to follow if we want to grow in
Christ. One area we’ve emphasized is Personal
Devotions. Your personal walk with God will
determine how He can use you. There is no substitute
for studying His Word and praying to Him in private.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about personal
devotions that have helped me. First, I have a specific
plan. I read the Bible through annually. I also use
devotional books to complement my Bible
reading. This year I’m going through My Utmost for
His Highest. Choose a daily method that works for
you. Second, I have a specific place. A recliner in my
den is my “prayer closet.” Pick a spot where you can
focus on the Lord. Third, I have a specific time. I do it
early in the morning; I need a routine. Find the time
that works best for you and guard that time.
As I’ve practiced these things, God has brought growth
in my life. Nothing I have done has been more
important than personal devotions. I urge you to make
a commitment to daily time with the Lord if you’ve
never done so. You’ll be glad you did as God works in
your life.

Yours and His,
Pastor Robin
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