Uth urges Florida Baptists to ‘pour out’ lives on proper altar for God’s glory
Nov 21, 2012
By JAMES A. SMITH SR.

ORLANDO (FBW)—Florida Baptists’ legacy must be that they “poured out” everything in their ministries on the right altar that will bring glory only to God, David Uth preached Nov. 13 at the Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting.

Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, which hosted the FBSC annual meeting, preached from 2 Tim. 4:6-8 in his final message as FBSC president.

Focusing on the final emphasis of the annual meeting theme, “What Really Matters,” Uth spoke on his “prayer for my legacy, my prayer for our legacy,” even while acknowledging later that legacy is ultimately in God’s hands.

“I thought about this after we picked this theme and I began to work on all of these ideas—I’m not even so sure but what legacy matters. Think about it, it’s not our legacy to begin with. It’s His,” he said.

Asserting that he believes 2 Timothy was the last letter Paul wrote before his death, Uth said 2 Tim. 4:6 is often used in funeral messages, “But I’m telling you, this text is for the living.”

Uth said Gallup has found that what people fear most is being irrelevant, noting it’s his fear as well, both as a pastor and for the Florida Baptist Convention.

“I just want to share my heart tonight as [far as] some things that I have watched and God has taught me over the past couple of years, but even beyond that, the past seven years,” he said, alluding to both his tenure as FBSC president and pastor of First Baptist Orlando.

David Uth
FBC photo
“I’m really concerned about our convention becoming irrelevant, about not even being in the conversation in this state, not even being a part of what’s happening in the state in the lives of people,” he said. “I’m concerned about our legacy. I’m concerned about what this story will be when we finish the race. What will they say about the group called Florida Baptists?”

Paul offers four aspects about his legacy, Uth said, that are applicable to Florida Baptists today: he poured out his life, fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith.

Uth said he believes the allusion Paul makes to pouring out his life is connected to the Jewish sacrificial ceremony of a drink offering poured on the whole burnt offering.

He likened Paul’s point to that of an athlete who asserts, “I’m leaving it all on the field.”

Uth said in the sacrificial ceremony, the entire drink offering—“every bit of it”—was poured on the sacrifice. “In other words, he would hold nothing back,” he said, illustrating the point by pouring out the entire contents of a chalice onto the stage.

“Sometimes I’m concerned that we hold back,” he said, noting some are afraid to risk everything for God.

“There’s risk involved when you want to leave a legacy. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ is the old saying. Since when is it safe to follow Christ?” he asked.

“I just want to challenge you and I challenge us as a convention, are there are things we can do differently? Are there things that we can start or ministries or ways that we can try to minister in this state that will make us more effective and see more come to Christ?”

Uth asked, “I just wonder, can you honestly say tonight, ‘God, I’ve given you everything’?”

Noting the priest would pour out the drink offering on the proper altar, with the steam that would arise being an incense offering of praise to God, Uth said, 

“There is only one altar worthy of our life and that is the altar of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, the One who saved us, the One who called us and it is all for Him.” 

Ministers sometimes pour out their lives on the wrong altars, pointing to prideful accomplishments of their churches and the denomination, Uth said. 

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