2012 Conference Preacher

Bishops (l-r) Alsted, Innis, Bledsoe and Rev. Victor

Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Thursday, February 09, 2012
The Hour that Inspires and Challenges led by
Rev. Dr. Bishop Earl Bledsoe
Theme: “Humbling Ourselves in the Presence of an Almighty God”
Text: Philippians 2:1-4

Rev. Dr. Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, resident bishop serving the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, preached the noon-day message based on the theme “Humbling Ourselves in the Presence of an Almighty God.” The following are highlights of Bishop Bledsoe’s message:

  • We struggle with humility because we all want to be “big.”
  • Humility begins with our recognizing, “It’s not all about me.”
  • The very concept of humility is counter-cultural in our world.
  • In the early Church, humility was a virtue based on submitting our lives and will to the authority of God and being willing to listen and look to others as having something worthy to offer.
  • Jesus demonstrated humility when we took off his robe and picked up the basin and towel and washed the disciples’ feet.
  • Only when we are able to demonstrate true humility for one another will we be able to experience unity with one another.
  • God can transform our lives and our churches from death to life if we first humble and submit ourselves before Him.
  • Jesus united us all into the one Body of Believers by humbling himself to the point of death on the cross to save us and unify us with the Father and with one another.
  • Finally, when we humble ourselves, as Paul suggests in Philippians, God will raise us up in service for Him.

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Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Friday, February 10, 2012
The Hour that Inspires and Challenges led by Rev. Dr. Bishop Earl Bledsoe
Theme: “Maintaining Unity in the Church: Sacrificial Love”
Text: John 12:24-26

Rev. Dr. Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, resident bishop serving the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, preached the noon-day message based on the theme “Maintaining Unity in the Church: Sacrificial Love.” The following are highlights of Bishop Bledsoe’s message:

  • In addition to humbling ourselves, another essential act for unity in the Church is extending sacrificial love.
  • Sacrificial love is defined by acts of giving of ourselves that are extended unconditionally whether or not the acts are appreciated or even wanted. Sacrificial love is also known as agape love.
  • John Wesley challenged us as the people called Methodist to open ourselves to sanctifying grace that moves us “on to perfection” so that all of our actions are inspired and executed in love.
  • The world does not demonstrate, model, nor honor sacrificial love. As with humility, the concept of sacrificial love is countercultural and is against our human tendency.
  • Jesus is our model for sacrificial love and calls us to give up our lives in service to him and out of love for others.
  • Jesus calls us to love one another sacrificially by letting go of our own agendas and submitting to God’s agenda.
  • Jesus’ call on our lives to love sacrificially fulfills God’s requirements in Micah 6 to:
  •      Do justice
  •      Love kindness
  •      Walk humbly with our God
  • We live out our sacrificial love for one another by doing, as Bishop Reuben Job describes in his book, Three Simple Rules:
  •      Do no harm (which sometimes requires remaining faithful in the midst of struggles trusting that God will strengthen us through the struggle)
  •      Do good (even when doing so takes us outside of our comfort zone)
  •      Stay in love with God (which results in our serving God because of our love for God, not because of what will gain from it or the response of others).
  • When, and only when, we live and love sacrificially will all divisions among us cease. Then, and only then, will we will be a united Church.

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