Guest Post | The Benefits of Involvement by Nick Floyd

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Today, RonnieFloyd.com welcomes guest writer, Dr. Nick Floyd. Dr. Floyd is a Teaching Pastor at Cross Church.

A few years ago, Dr. Jeff Crawford called and asked me about my openness to serve on one of our Southern Baptist Convention seminary boards. At the time, Jeff was the Pastor at Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith and was serving on the Southern Baptist Committee on Nominations, which elects people to the different boards across our convention of churches. A few months later, he nominated me to serve as a trustee at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. I want to share a few of the benefits I have found while being involved on the board of Southern Seminary.

Benefit #1 – Relationships

The one thing I have enjoyed above all else is the relationships I have gained through serving on this board. I’ve had the privilege to be around people I otherwise wouldn’t have if not for this opportunity. I’ve had the chance to sit and watch leaders like Al Mohler and Dan Dumas up close. The common thing these men and others in the administration say to all of us who are trustees is, “Thank you for serving.” I feel like I have gained way more than I have ever been able to pour out. The number one thing I have gained is relationships that I believe will last for years to come.

Benefit #2 – Learning

My knowledge of Southern Seminary was honestly very limited. I did not attend Southern Seminary. I’m a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I had driven through the campus of Southern Seminary only once when I was in Louisville for something else. I literally did not even get out of the car. When I say I knew little about the seminary, I mean it.

I say all that to point out that one of the greatest benefits of being involved has simply been learning about Southern Seminary. I’ve learned about the history of Southern and the future of Southern. It has been a journey of learning that I have loved. The learning has gone way beyond just simple facts about a seminary in Louisville. I’ve learned things about ministry and leadership that will enhance my own ministry here in Arkansas. For that, I am grateful.

Benefit #3 – Connection

The final benefit has been that I have been able to make the connection that Southern Seminary has with the whole of the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s very easy to attend a Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting and never connect the dots between the work and ministries of all of our entities. This opportunity has given me a chance to see that the mission of Southern Seminary is no different than that of our other Great Commission Ministries. It’s the same mission as my own seminary, Southwestern, and all of our other seminaries. It’s the same mission of The International Mission Board and our other entities. This mission is the Great Commission! All of these entities have a unique role to play within the overall mission. What this opportunity has given me is a greater understanding of how it all connects together.

Get Involved

I want to close with a simple encouragement: Get involved. It’s very easy to sit on the sidelines and complain about things going on within the Southern Baptist Convention. I truly believe those who sit on the outside calling for change will be the ones who will never be able to influence change. Change in the Southern Baptist Convention will come from the inside out, not from the outside in. Get involved with one of our entities. Get involved with your state convention or local association. Just like our entities, we all have a unique role to play within the Great Commission. Are you playing your part?

Dr. Nick Floyd

Teaching Pastor, Cross Church

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Ready to Trust God During Extended Illnesses

Throughout history, some of greatest victories God gives in life have been won in the valley of the shadow of death. It is there that comfort comes from His presence and His shepherding hand. It is during those times of danger and confusion that His love becomes more real to us. There we experience that great contrast between light and darkness as shadows give way to His glory.

Questions in time of suffering

Many Christians struggle with the idea of why God allows His people to suffer. The questions aren’t always accusatory; in fact, they are often honest, probing and heartfelt. The questions can become even more intense when an individual is suffering. As Chip Ingram notes in Bible Studies for Life, “Anyone who struggles with long-term health issues will come to this question sooner or later: If God can heal me, why doesn’t He?”1 Indeed, unanswered questions to the problem of suffering have driven many away from God.

How Paul responded to personal suffering

The Apostle Paul was no stranger to long term suffering. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, he writes about a long term struggle with what he termed, “a thorn in the flesh.” He also phrased it a “messenger of Satan.” Most biblical scholars believe this was some kind of long term physical affliction, possibly poor eyesight (see Galatians 6:11). Regardless of the specific illness, Paul asked God to remove it on three different occasions (2 Corinthians 12:8).

What God revealed to Paul is a lesson of comfort to Christ’s followers through the centuries: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”2 What God wants us to know is the neverending reservoir of grace available to those who wait on Him. God does not abandon us during times of sickness, suffering or disease. On the contrary, He pours out abundant grace on those who ask Him for it.

But Paul didn’t leave it there. His response is insightful and instructive: “Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.”3 For Paul, possessing Christ’s power was a worthy trade suffering afflictions.

Glory follows suffering

Suffering is not eternal for those who believe. Glory is. Glory follows suffering.

In his letter in Romans 8:18, Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” (HCSB). Again, Paul sees a trade worth having. Suffering now cannot be compared to glory that will be revealed in the future. This glory is connected to God’s restoring of all things in eternity. And to be sure, what a glorious time it will be!

Because God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness, and because of the glory He plans to reveal in us, we are able to see beyond the suffering of our temporal bodies. We can rejoice in the grace and perfections of God even when our suffering is intense and ongoing. Why? Because His grace is good enough for our every need.

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church
General Editor, Bible Studies for Life
President, Southern Baptist Convention

1- Bible Studies for Life, Ready, Chip Ingram
2- 2 Corinthians 12:9, HCSB
3- 2 Corinthians 12: 9, HCSB

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