Summary: Sermon preached @ Dr. A. J. Malone’s 39th anniversary banquet in Seguin, Texas October 2004.
Rev. Malone is still Standing
Introduction: this message was preached @ St. James Baptist Church, the 39th Pastor’s anniversary banquet in October 2004.
There are a number of places, businesses, institutions that were opened and thriving in Seguin Texas when the St. James Baptist Church called the Reverend A. J. Malone as Pastor 39 years ago. Just to mention a few, Sagebil’s - Palace Theater (where we had to sit in the balcony )-The Dairy Queen – Vivorux Hardware Store - Ball High School – The Cotton Mill – Dr. Friday’s office – All of these places remind those of us who grew up here in Seguin. These places were a significant part of our milieu. We all frequented these places growing up and we placed great importance to what they represented, however they no longer exist. They are all closed. But Rev. Malone is still here, he is still standing.
This Psalm is all about prosperity. The blessed life ( happy life ) is described as a tree planted by a river of water. A fruitful tree which provides shade to all who come under it. A tree that is rooted and grounded in Christ. A tree that produces fruit.
There are 3 points we want to consider in this text:
1) Properly positioned
Just as the Tree was positioned by the water, God placed Rev. Malone here as Pastor. Churches for the most part think they call the pastor. Jeremiah 3: 15 and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And because God placed him, he has been able to stand the test of time. All his days were not good days, all his members were not of the house hold of faith.
Many times we cannot be blessed by God because we are in the wrong place. If we sincerely seek the will for our lives God will place us where we should be and where he can bless us.
2) Providentially planted
Illus: a young minister was having difficulty dealing with the obstacles of Pasturing a new congregation and criticisms hurled at him. So he went to his old pastor and told him about his problems. He wondered why he had become the target of so much criticisms. The old Pastor told him to look out the window on the right and said tell me what you see. The young did just that, he said I see a tree. The old Pastor said yes that is a shade tree. Now look out the window on my left and tell me what you see. He does and states I see another tree. Ok.. what else do you see? I see some rocks, broken limbs, bottles, and other trash in the tree. The Pastor said, this tree produces fruit. The rocks logged in the limbs, the other trash you see comes from people throwing at the tree in an effort to get the fruit. So you see Son as long as you are producing fruit, you will become a target for Satan and his imps.
These past 39 years, I am sure the winds of adversity have blown into Seguin and found its way down the corridors of St. James, stopped off in the choir, Deacon Board, Ushers, Missions, etc. But Rev. Malone is still standing. Every member has not always agreed with him, not always supported him and his vision for the church. Just recently we have seen the storms hit Florida. We see the Palm trees blowing due to these violent storms. Many of them bend so far to the ground and we assume they will soon break, but when the winds cease the trees stand upright. While the roots of trees will automatically grow toward the water for a source of nutrients and life, the tap root goes down deep into the earth searching for a rock, when it finds a rock it wraps itself around the rock because if there is any moisture in the ground the rock will absorb it. So you can scandalize his name, talk about him as much as you please but the more you talk, the more time he spends on his knees…
3) Promised Prosperity
The third point is that everyone who follows Christ is blessed. “and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Again take note of the place where the tree has been planted - by rivers of water. Jesus and all that he taught us is our life giving stream. He promised to give us living water. People who are open to Jesus and his instruction are like trees transplanted beside a source of water; they are never without a resource to sustain their lives under any circumstance. No matter how tough life gets; no matter how insurmountable the problems may be; Jesus provides the source of new life and prosperity. I ask you tonight what kind of car were you driving when you united with St. James? And what are you driving now? What kind of job did you have a what job do you have now? What kind of home did you live in and what kind of home are you in now? There are some blessing directly associated with following the ministry of one who God has called and placed. Matthew 10:41..he who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. Rev. Malone’s delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law does he meditate day and night. Joshua 1:8 If you meditate on his word, day and night, then you will make your way prosperous and have good success.