ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–Members of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention began their celebration as “Partners in the Harvest” with a reminder that God keeps his promises.
At a June 11 Sunday evening worship service at Tangelo Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla., fellowship members worshiped with Tangelo members as part of their annual meeting preceding the June 13-14 Southern Baptist Convention.
Frank Smith, newly installed pastor of Tangelo Baptist, offered personal words of welcome to the fellowship. Approximately 250 attended the joint service which was planned and conducted by fellowship members, with music provided by the host church choir.
Highlighting the service was a sermon by Mark Croston, pastor of East End Baptist Church, Suffolk, Va., who encouraged people to never give up because God keeps his promises.
“He promised the harvest,” Croston noted, “and he keeps his promises.”
Croston cited Joshua 12-14, reminding fellowship members that God kept his promise to Israel to give them a land of their own. “Every promise of God is to be remembered,” he noted, “if we are going to stand in these evil days.”
Croston enlivened his audience by reminding them, in riveting detail, that God’s promises are too numerous to count and cannot be hindered:
— by old age, citing how God used Abraham and Elizabeth in their advanced years;
— by youth, recalling how the Lord used David, Solomon, Josiah, Jeremiah and Timothy;
— by difficult assignments in life, because God’s promises prevail through life’s circumstances;
— by the lack of assets. Telling how the tribe of Levi received no inheritance from the Lord, Croston reminded his audience that believers walk by faith in the Lord, not by sight.
Croston further told of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Caleb to give him a land of his own, a land that was already inhabited — and “God’s promises gave him the courage to do what seemed impossible.”
“God has given promises to every believer. God is not only a promise maker, he is a promise keeper,” Croston said. “God will make a way out of no way.”
In his years of ministry and his travels, Croston noted that he has heard many testimonies. “One testimony I have never heard,” he said, “was that of someone who said, ‘I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. I followed him by faith. I’ve been true to the Word of God and God led me to ruin.’
“I’ve never heard that testimony,” he added during the invitation to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, “because God is faithful to his promises.”