Arkansas Baptist State Convention staff on Wednesday started their day with worship during their first building-wide meeting of 2023.
It was also the first meeting Dr. Rex Horne addressed the staff while acting as interim executive director.
Horne encouraged the staff to renew their minds, be filled with the spirit and to be a people of prayer.
Renew your mind
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
How do you make your mind new again? Horne said we do that through reading God’s word, through prayer and through worship.
“I hope in the weeks and months to come that we’ll gather like this from time to time and spend time in worship,” Horne said. “We can become so task oriented that we become a business, which business is very important and principles and best practices … but our hearts and our minds always need to be renewed by the Lord and by the scripture that we read.”
He compared renewing to adjusting.
“Our minds constantly need adjusting. … We need to renew our minds. We need to think differently. We need to look at things as Jesus would,” Horne said.
Be filled with the spirit
“And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)
“As a boy growing up in south Arkansas … I knew the first part of that verse. It was years later that I understood the second part of the verse, which is the most important part of the verse,” Horne said.
To be filled means to overflow, he said, comparing it to the wind that catches the sail on a boat and takes the boat where the wind blows.
How do we get filled with the spirit? Horne said we repent.
“We repent of our sin. … Whatever the Lord lays on our heart, we repent and we present. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice and we submit to the will of the Lord,” Horne said.
Be people of prayer
“When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31)
“They prayed for boldness in sharing the Gospel and prayed that the message might go forth,” Horne said. “We pray so inward most of the time. And it’s not a bad thing. We should pray for our families, our children and our grandchildren and our churches and our homes and our needs that we’re aware of … pray about everything all the time.”
But Horne questioned how much of our prayer is, “Lord, use me however you want to. Use us to advance the cause, to advance the kingdom.”
“We know that the power is not ours. The power is God. The power is that of the Holy Spirit. It all comes together. The Holy Spirit living in us can pray for us. The Bible says that the Spirit can take to the Father our groanings even when we cannot find the words to express what we feel. The Holy Spirit living in us takes our groanings and it interprets those to the Father,” Horne said. “Paul spoke about it like this … that the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead resides in us. It doesn’t look like it. Most of the time we can’t tell it. Resurrection power that raised Jesus Christ the Son of God from the dead resides in me. Why are we so weak? Why are we so cautious and hesitant? Why aren’t we walking around like we’re victors instead of victims? Maybe we don’t pray. Maybe we don’t renew our mind. Maybe we’re not filled with the Spirit.”
“Let’s live it. Let’s let it flow through us.”
The Arkansas Baptist State Convention staff gathers monthly in the chapel for worship.