By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
BOSSIER CITY – Brad Jurkovich believes if they are not careful, that pastors can develop a dull heart.
When that happens, pastors should do like King David – come to the point where they realize they need God more than anything again.
“When our desire is more of everything else but God, then that is when our heart becomes dull for the Lord rather than on fire,” said Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City. “And Pastor, when your heart is dull for God then there will be a lack of passion to live the holy life He is calling you to live.”
Preaching from Psalm 51:1-13, Jurkovich told those attending the 2015 Louisiana Baptist Convention Pastors Conference that King David was a man passionate in his praise and worship of God. The author of many of the Psalms in the Bible, David committed a sin with another man’s wife and thus suffered consequences. Much like David did, pastors who are suffering a lack of passion for God should get to the point that they need the Lord.
“When you desire God more and more then you will have a heart that hungers for God then His high call of holiness will be a very real passion of yours,” he continued. “In your heart, do you desire more of God than anything else? Because out of your heart will flow everything else. Out of your heart will flow a desire to live for God and seek to live the Holy Life He has changed you and called you to be.
For those pastors with such a dull heart, Jurkovich reminded them there is hope, help and healing for every pastor who wants more and more of God.
“Pastor, because of Jesus we belong to God,” Jurkovich said. “We are His and we are not for sale. We have been rescued, redeemed, healed by Jesus. And He calls us to live holy lives so that we might represent Him powerfully to a lost world.
“By His grace we can,” he said. “When you desire more and more of God then this passion for personal holiness will grow in your heart.”
Jurkovich along with two others based their messages on “personal holiness” during the opening session on Nov. 8 of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Pastors Conference at First Baptist Church Bossier City. The messages were the first of the three-part theme “The Higher Call: Personal Holiness, Preaching, Evangelism” for this year’s Pastors Conference. The theme verse was Colossians 3:2.
Behave in a holy manner
In his message, LBC Executive Director David Hankins challenged pastors to behave in a holy manner by avoiding sexual immorality. Basing his message off James 1:13-15, Hankins reminded pastors that giving into sexual immorality can result in “devastating consequences. It is going to destroy your family, your witness, your church.”
Hankins said that such an evil desire is never to be uncontrolled, involves every person and can be conquered.
To help in this battle, Hankins proposed four solutions. They are run from the sin, recount by thinking of the possible consequences, resist the temptation and repent of the sin.
“We can win this battle of sexual immorality if we’ll turn it over to God and follow the steps He’s outlined for us,” Hankins said. “Let’s don’t lose.”
Walk in God’s way
In his message, LBC President Steve Horn said three things can keep a Christian from personal holiness. They are believers deciding that they know better than God, deceiving themselves with other voices and dodging the consequences.
Horn, who serves as pastor of First Baptist Church in Lafayette, said much like God commanded in Isaiah 30:21, Christians should make a decision to walk in the way the Lord has directed.
“Maybe our issue of holiness is just that simple,” Horn said. “And when we hear God say to us, this is the way walk in it, we make the decision that it is the way we are going to walk.”
Much like the time of Isaiah, who God raised up with an urgent message that was needed to sound a warning message to society, such is the case today for personal holiness to happen in America, which has ignored countless warning signs from God.
“When we think about this one verse, maybe many in our society today have heard the voice of God and have heard him say this is the way walk in it but have walked in another direction,” he said.
The Pastors Conference continued today, Nov. 9, with the final sermon scheduled to conclude at 2:35 p.m. Speakers in the first session Monday included Philip Robertson, pastor of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville; Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, and first vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention, 2014-15; and Jon Reed, founder of Jon Reed Ministries in Dacula, Ga.
The final session featured Waylon Bailey, pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington, Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., and H.B. Charles, pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
Music was led by Todd Dubose, minister of music at First Baptist Church Minden and Jacob Cowley, an artist at First Minden.
The second day also included election of Pastors Conference officers and the presentation of the three winners of the inaugural Louisiana College Pastoral Ministry Award of Excellence.
LC gave the awards to three winners, in the categories of Sunday morning worship attendance of up to 100, up to 500 and more than 500.
Look for recaps on the sermons from the second and third sessions later at baptistmessage.com along with an article on the entire Pastors Conference in the next edition of the Baptist Message.