For four days, September 7-10, Faith Baptist will be hosting the Eternal Issues Bible Conference, with Pastor Tom Robbins from Faith Baptist Church in Camp Point, Illinois, who will deliver five messages from the one-chapter books of the Bible. Why are we doing this? Aren’t schedules busy enough? Don’t we have enough to do? Why add one more thing—and a couple more nights out of the house—to our already hectic lives?
Good questions. Allow me to suggest a few answers—hopefully they’ll be good ones.
First, a multi-day Bible conference breaks up the routine of life. To be sure, routine is our friend—or can be. Established routines help us be more efficient and enable us to have a pretty good notion of what’s coming next on our “to do” list. But routine can also become a bit of an enemy, too. A rut, we call it. The treadmill. Same ‘ol, same ‘ol. So stepping off the treadmill for a few days so we can gather to hear from God’s Word may be just the thing to get us out of a rut. Interesting thing, too—interrupting the routine for a few days can renew our appreciation for the routine. It’s not a “rut” anymore!
Second, a Bible conference serves to concentrate our focus. If I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity and commit myself to attending Sunday morning and evening, plus Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, then something’s gotta give! I’m forced to make a priority assessment. Is it really important that I not miss the latest installment of Under the Dome? Will friends miss me all that much if I fast from Facebook for a few days? Do I have to tinker in the garage for a couple hours every night? Will it hurt to put off mowing the grass for a day or two? Another interesting side benefit: clutter reduction. I’m not talking about the stuff that clutters our homes, but what clutters our souls. Things like hours spent surfing the Net…watching TV…perusing Facebook…tinkering…playing…loafing…. You get the picture. Truthfully, we can all stand to be challenged in this area from time to time, don’t you think? Or is it just me….?
Last, and most beneficially, attending my church’s Bible conference may revive my imperceptibly cold heart. If I’ll actually take steps to break up my routine and realign my priorities for a few days so I can attend a couple extra church services, I’ve already acted in a “love God” way—I’ve chosen Him and His Word over other stuff I’m used to doing, and may to some extent prefer. That sets the stage for the Lord to develop my love further. He’ll often build upon those initial decisions of love, using the messages in the conference to draw me nearer to Him, motivate me to love my neighbor as I ought, deal with areas of sin in my life, and so on.
No doubt, more good reasons could be offered for FBC scheduling this annual conference, but I hope this will be enough to get us to commit to attend each of the 5 sessions. By the way, here’s the basic line-up of message topics:
Sunday morning – 2 John: Know & Walk in the Truth
Sunday evening – Obadiah: Deal with Your Pride
Monday – Philemon: Ready to Forgive
Tuesday – 3 John: What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?
Wednesday – Jude: God & God Alone