2012 Florida Baptist State
Convention Annual Meeting
Uth pointed to his struggle with whether to accept the call to come to First Baptist Orlando following the legendary pastorate of Jim Henry. Friends in the ministry advised him against going to Orlando, suggesting he would inevitably fail as the successor to a loved, long-time pastor.
Uth said God told him: “David, I’m not calling you to Orlando to make your name great. I’m calling you to go to Orlando to make My name great.”
God hates pride, he said, “Because it looks just like the devil.”
“Wouldn’t it be great if we got egos out the way in this state, if we got our ministries out of the way, our agendas out of the way and we quit pouring our offerings out on altars that give us glory, and we begin to pour them out on the Lord Jesus and His work, and it’s just a matter of incense rising to the Father that pleases Him and gives Him glory,” he asked.
Uth said Paul also fought the “good fight”—“a fight worth fighting”—while Baptists too often like to fight the wrong fights.
“Can I just be honest with you? Man, we’ve been fighting a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter,” he said, citing as examples disputes over church name changes and the way churches “do church.”
“I don’t know how many days I have left on this earth, but you know what? I’m just tired of fighting fights that don’t make a difference,” noting a dispute in a former church over what kind of chair to purchase for the fellowship hall.
“Maybe for once in this state and once across our convention, we could leave the stuff alone that doesn’t matter and go after what does,” he said.
Like the Apostle Paul, Uth said Florida Baptists need to finish the course.
“Don’t stop. Don’t give up. ... Even when it’s hard, even when you’re tired, even when you don’t want to, pour it all out,” he said. “Some of you came to this meeting discouraged, some of you came at a very low point. Don’t you quit.”
Like thoroughbred racehorses that run the last portion of race on heart, ministers must do the same, he said.
“There’s some of you in this room that are running on heart. God bless you. Finish. Finish,” he said, citing the example of a marathon runner who crawled the last 200 yards to qualified for the Olympics with only two seconds remaining.
“If you’ve got to crawl to finish, crawl. Don’t you give up; don’t stop,” he said.
Uth said the Apostle Paul also kept the faith, meaning he “cherished it” as a valued possession or prize.
Like grandparents who love showing photos of their grandchildren, Christians should brag on Jesus because they cherish Him, he said.
“If you really cherish your faith, you’ll go to the ends of the earth to share it, because you want everybody to know. Don’t tell me you cherish the faith and never tell anybody about it,” he said.
Uth cited the example of three missionaries who each demonstrated they cherished the Gospel by their lives and their deaths, even though they were not widely known.
“I just want to say to you, nobody may know how much you have poured out for Him. Nobody may know how much you have given. But I promise you there’s One, the Righteous Judge. … I want to encourage you—it doesn’t matter if we know,” Uth said.
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