A More Excellent Way

October 1, 2019

Randy Adams, NWBC Executive Director

The second mile … the longest day … the shot heard round the world … the golden rule. These phrases bring to mind images, thoughts and memories. Some of these phrases relate to an historical event, but many come from the Bible. “A more excellent way” is an important phrase from the Scriptures. You might recognize it as a quote from 1 Corinthians 12, concluding Paul’s discourse on spiritual gifts and transitioning to one of the most beloved passages of Scripture -- 1 Corinthians 13.

 

Known as “the love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13 is a poem that not only celebrates love, it reveals loving behavior in glorious detail. Because it is frequently used in weddings, the context of the teaching is often overlooked. The church in Corinth was a divided church, a sinful and deeply troubled church. Much like the church today, they valued giftedness and celebrity more than love. But 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is superior to supreme intelligence, mountain-moving faith, sacrificial generosity, and death-defying spiritual courage. A person who truly loves God and others is a greater gift to the church than anything else in the whole world!

 

Our churches need love. Our communities need love. Where will Northwesterners find love if they don’t find it in God’s people? They’ll find it nowhere. A 1980 song spoke of “looking for love in all the wrong places.” That’s a description of every person before they find love in Jesus Christ.

 

A More Excellent Way is the theme for the Northwest Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. More than a theme, this phrase expresses the deep yearning we all have for God’s love. We’ll celebrate how Northwest Baptists love their communities. We’ll remind ourselves that how we love “the least of these” (another of those precious phrases) matters more to our Father than most anything else. In testimony and message, in Scripture readings and prayers, even in reports, we’ll be called to live “a more excellent way.”

 

Northwest Baptists annual “family gathering” begins November 11 with a Great Commission Celebration and continues November 12-13 with the annual meeting. We’ll gather at the Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia, WA, so bring the kids and grandkids. The water park is available to those attending our meetings and the room cost is deeply discounted for NWBC attendees.

 

Speakers for the annual meeting and various events include Richard Blackaby, Dennis Pethers, Carlos Rodriquez, Barry Campbell, NWBC President Dustin Hall, IMB missionaries and other ministry representatives. Each love the Lord and his people, and they are being used by God to build and bless his church.

 

A funny thing happened in our home recently. My wife Paula took her blood pressure shortly before I got home and it was 110/62. I turned on the television news shortly after arriving and it was full of political conflict and other things that can stir emotions and boil blood. Paula checked her blood pressure 15 or 20 minutes into the news and it had shot up to 135/80!  She’s been telling me ever since that I’m killing her by watching the news!  But here’s the point, the news relates to things we have little control over. It’s probably better to focus on matters in which we can make a difference. We can “love our neighbors.” 

 

We can serve Jesus in our community. We can make a difference where we live. We need to pray for our leaders and our nation, but most of our attention should be given to people in whose lives we can make a difference by living “a more excellent way.”