Shallowford Free Will Baptist
Friday, April 26, 2019
For the Glory of Christ Alone
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What Is the Most Important Part of Our Church Vision?
 
 





Pastor's Page

 
                                                                                                                                                                                 April 23, 2019

Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.

~John 19:14-16

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               It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a pastor’s page. Much of the delay has to do with being exceedingly busy and out of the office on Tuesdays, but there is another part that is apprehensive as to what to say. My notice of resignation feels at times like a dark cloud looming over everybody. Perhaps I’m being melodramatic; it just feels that way to me. I believe this is what the Lord would have us to do. I believe He has more in store for this beautiful manifestation of believers here at Shallowford Church…but I equally believe that He has determined that my time at the helm has come to its conclusion. When the Lord shuts a door, no man can or should open it (cf. Rev. 3:8). There is a peace even in spite of the heartache and grief. But we rest in His sovereign will.

               And so I make this entry with the current context in mind. The responses to my resignation have been pretty consistent. Painfully consistent. But the overwhelming response has been a sense of anxiety about the future of the church – an almost “what are we going to do now” response. I can answer that. You will do as a church what you have always done as a church, what God has created you to do. You will worship Him in the beauty of holiness and serve Him in this community. You see, there is not leadership change in the church. There never is so long as the church seeks to walk in time with the Lord. As long as the candlestick remains, Jesus is still the King of the church. Pastors will come and go, but Jesus remains forever and ever. That is a rather obvious theological assertion that we need to come to grips with. And I was reminded of it over this paschal season when we celebrate the Lord’s death and resurrection.

               At the trial of Jesus, a few things emerge clear from the texts. Jesus was innocent. The political leaders knew He was innocent. The religious leaders wanted Him dead. And God had a plan to offer Jesus as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Watching how these four elements come together in the passion of the Christ is really remarkable. The passage above shows just how far the religious leaders would stoop in order to see their jealous rage satiated by Jesus’ death. Pilate presented to them a battered and bloody Jesus so they could see that He had been thoroughly punished. I believe in earnest that the flogging Jesus received was an attempt to release Him having satisfied the crowds. But the Jews would not have it. “Away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate speaks better than he knows when he asks the leaders, “Shall I crucify your King?” In fact Jesus WAS their King. He was both the rightful biological heir through David and the rightful spiritual heir from God. He was their Messiah, but His role as Messiah violated their preconceived notions about who the Messiah was supposed to be. The Messiah was a conquering King…but this before them was a broken man. They wanted no part of this pretender. They’d been let down too many times in the past. Besides, were Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah, surely these knowledgeable religious leaders would have recognized them. Their hatred of Jesus disqualified Him in their eyes to see Him dead.

               But the depth of their rejection and compromise is seen in what is said next: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is no greater theological travesty that has ever been uttered in all the Bible than these fateful words. In this simple statement, they both rejected the kingship of Jehovah and embraced the kingship of a pagan emperor. To make matters worse, Caesar identified himself as a god…and he was worshiped as such. Now the Sanhedrin had rejected the lordship of God for the embrace of a pagan pretender which was not a god. It is as Jeremiah had said many years before: “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13). Israel had done the same at the execution of Jesus.

               And here we stand 2000 years later and we point our fingers in judgment against them. Yet how many people and things are we trusting to be our King in the willful rejection of our God the true King? Will President Trump be sufficient to save us from the days ahead? Let’s suppose (just for the sake of argument) that he is the best president that ever lived. He will die, another will succeed him, and then where will your hope be? Will I as your pastor be sufficient for your eternal wellbeing? Absolutely not! God moves His people at His whim, and who am I to boast against the hand of the potter being but clay? If there is one thing I’ve tried to do and tried to preach it is the consistent fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ and His body the church. I’ve made the statement from the pulpit, “If your hope is resting in me, you are bound to be sorely disappointed.” And I stand by that even now. Will you trust in friends, or possessions, or reputation? It will all end one day! Friends will pass. Possessions will become moth-eaten. Reputation? The likelihood that you and I will be remembered beyond a couple generations is slim to none. You can’t trust in these things. They may be good and noble…but they are LOUSY gods.

               “Preacher, you’re hurting my feelings. I just want to be upset for a while.” Me too. I get the human response to my announcement. I assure you NO ONE feels the hurt quite like I do. Shallowford Church has been my family for the last 8 years. I’ve been there in good times and bad times. I’ve seen birth and death, and everything in between. There have been seasons of laughter and seasons of tears, seasons of abundance and seasons of poverty. There have been times where we have soared on the updrafts of God’s grace, and times when we have been abased by His righteousness and justice. And the constant through it all has not been me or you; the one true constant has been the Lord Jesus Christ. He was, is, and ever shall be the King of the church. She is HIS body, not ours. It was His grace that founded us and established us. And it will be His love and grace that leads us through this transition and the future to come. But we cannot forget that. We dare not forget that.

               We have but one King – Jesus of Nazareth. Our worship is for Him and through Him and by Him. Without Him we are as lost as we have ever been. Let us dispense with the notion that one man or one woman (or one family) are the end-all/be-all of the church. Mankind will let you down. You cannot place your hope and aspirations in them, no matter how much we love and respect them. We place our all in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us, as faithful and true believers in the midst of the storms, affirm with one accord, “We have no King but God!” Let the King of the church rise and preserve us all through this time of grief.

               Blessed be His wonderful name!

 

~Bro. Benjamin

 

 

Previous Postings                                                                  This Week's Sermons
April 23
March 26                                                                                       April 21 (Sunrise)
March 19                                                                                  "The Suffering Servant"
March 12                                                                                        Isaiah 53:1-12
March 5                                                                                          
February 26                                                                                      April 21 (AM)
February 12                                                                  "Worthy Is the Lamb Who Was Slain!"
February 5                                                                                    Revelation 5:1-14
January 29                                                                                        
January 22                                                                                      April 24 (WED)
January 15                                                                                      
Acts 28:7-20
January 8                                                                          
                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
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If you need a copy of any sermon from the past, email Bro. Benjamin with the date and title of the message listed below.
We will be happy to send you a CD of the sermon. Additionally sermons are available through the "Multimedia" Page


April 28 (AM) "Two Great Evils"--Jeremiah 2:1-13
April 28 (PM) "Paul's Consistent Gospel"--Galatians 2:1-5
April 21 (AM) "Worth Is the Lamb Who Was Slain!"--Revelation 5:1-14
April 14 (AM) "Crucified with Christ"--Galatians 2:20-21
April 14 (PM) "Three Hours Darkness"--Matthew 27:45
April 7 (AM) "David - a Man after God's Own Heart"--1 Samuel 13:14 [Bro. David Amburgey)

 
March 31 (AM) "The Forgiveness from the Cross"--Luke 23:33-35
March 24 (AM) "The Ultimate Sacrifice"--Hebrews 10:1-18
March 24 (PM) "The Witness of a Changed Life"--Galatians 1:18-24
March 17 (AM) "When Jesus Returns"--2 Thessalonians 1:1-10
March 17 (PM) "The Gospel of Jesus Christ Is THE Gospel"--Galatians 1:11-17
March 10 (AM) "Both the Young & the Old"--Zechariah 8:1-6
March 10 (PM) "No Other Gospel"--Galatians:1:6-10
March 3 (AM) "Deliverance through the Storm"--Acts 27:12-44
March 3 (PM) "Greetings to Galatia"--Galatians 1:1-5

 
February 24 (AM) "From Surviving to Thriving"--Revelation 2:1-7
February 24 (PM) "Final Thoughts"--Ephesians 6:21-24
February 17 (AM) "When Jesus Comes to Church"--Revelation 3:14-21 [Bro. David Amburgey]
February 17 (PM) "Fear Not" [Bro. Johnny Amburgey]
February 10 (AM) "This Is Eternal Life"--John 17:1-5
February 3 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Little Ol' Tax Collector"--Luke 19:1-10

February 3 (PM) "Pray...And Pray Some More"--Ephesians 6:18-20
 
January 27 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Thief on the Cross"--Luke 23:39-43
January 27 (PM) "The Whole Armor of God, Part 2"--Ephesians 6:13-18
January 20 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Murderous, Thieving Rebel"--Luke 23:13-25
January 20 (PM) "The Whole Armor of God, Part 1"--Ephesians 6:13-17
January 13 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Denying One"--Luke 22:31-34, 54-62
January 13 (PM) "Know Your Enemy"--Ephesians 6:10-13
January 6 (AM) "To the Least of These: the Blind Man"--Luke 18:35-43
January 6 (PM) "The New Man in the Workplace"--Ephesians 6:5-9
 
*No Recording Available
 
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2018!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2017!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2016!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2015!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2014!

Click here for a list of available sermons from 2013!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2012!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2011! 

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About Our Pastor
 
 
Bro. Benjamin Miller began his ministry at Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in August, 2011. Prior to pastoring our church, Bro. Benjamin pastored at New Home FWB in Colquitt, GA. He received his B.A. in History from Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN. He then received his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ graduate school in Nashville. Bro. Benjamin enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and fellowshipping with the people of the church. He is a HUGE Braves fan! Our pastor has dedicated himself to becoming a student of the Word and to preaching the Word with passion, integrity, and with real-life applications.
 
Bro. Benjamin married Jara in June 2002. She is a 5th grade teacher at Mount Bethel Elementary School here in Marietta.
She is a tremendous part of his life and quite active in our church. 
 
They had their first son, Thomas, in June 2008. Thomas was born prematurely, and is a testimony to God's amazing grace and provision. He is now a 5th grader, and does well in school. His greatest ability is to reach out to those in his class in concern and in love.
 
Bro. Benjamin and Sis. Jara welcomed Nathanael in March, 2014. His name means "given by God" and he is absolute reminder of God's ability to bless individuals beyond measure. Nate started Pre-K this year, and is doing well learning his letters & numbers.
 
We hope you'll take the opportunity to get to know our pastoral family!