Monday, August 31, 2009

Real Change

II Cor. 5:17

I. The Way – if any man be in Christ

77 times we find the phrase "in Christ" in the Bible. Here's a few of them:
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Note: It doesn't say:
• If any man be in a church...
• If any man be in a religious family...
• If any man be in a Bible study...
• If any man be in Bible college...
It says: If any man be in CHRIST! There's a HUGE difference!
Jesus said as plain as day:
• Matthew 7:13,14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
• John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Are you IN CHRIST? Are you clothed with His righteousness? When the world looks at you, do they see YOU or HIM? If you are IN HIM, then they will see HIM!!
Furthermore, there will be NO CHANGE apart from being IN HIM.

II. The Work – he is a new creature

• Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
• Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Becoming a new creature is a result of:
A. The Will of God – God hath foreordained that we should walk in them
B. The Word of God – see Genesis 1; God creates with His Word
• Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,

III. The Washing – old things are passed away

You can't wash it off! You can't get rid of it; but HE CAN!!
• Washing removes what is unclean
• Washing removes what is unwanted
• Washing removes what is ugly
• Washing removes what is unscriptural

It's a Powerful Washing
• I Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

It's a Progressive Washing
• Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;It's a Permanent Washing – passed away!!
• 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Psalms 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

IV. The Wonder – behold, all things are become new.

Behold!! – to see; to observe; Real change is something to behold! It is amazing what God can do! His change is not only a washing, but it is wonderful!

He said ALL THINGS are become new, he meant ALL THINGS! People will have -

New Direction

• Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; .
New Deeds
• Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; • Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. New Doctrine
• Mark 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

New Desires

• Proverbs 21:10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil:
• 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

New Destination

• Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Conclusion: Has He changed you? Have you been really, changed? If not, you've never been saved!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fun Outline

Matthew 7:21-25 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

1. Get On The Rock - Christ.

2. Get Your Home Under Lock - Family Devotions, etc.

3. Stay In The Flock - Church.

4. Put Kids In Dry Dock - Christian School.

5. Build A Road Block - Against Satan.

6. Don’t Go Into Shock - Under Control.

7. Keep Your Eyes On The Clock - Last Days.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stirred Spirit

Some Sure Signs of a Stirred Spirit
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Acts 17:16

Paul’s spirit was stirred:
1. While he was waiting – Athens wasn’t even his final destination or his hometown. While you are waiting on God’s direction for your life, how do you spend your time?

2. While he was watching – a right spirit will be stirred by error; his eye affected his heart. What are you looking at? When you look at our city, what do you see?

Some sure signs of a stirred spirit are:

I. Disputing with those in false doctrine – vs. 17

II. Devout people that are in error won’t intimidate you – vs. 17

III. Daily you will be found witnessing in the public places – vs. 17

IV. Doctrine will be your main emphasis – vs. 19
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

V. Discerning the problem of others – vs. 22

VI. Defining people’s problems with boldness – vs. 22
“…in all things ye are too superstitious.” Paul wasn’t afraid to confront them about their error.

VII. Describing the error of their devotion – vs. 23
I beheld your devotions…him ye ignorantly worship…”

VIII. Declaring the truth unto them – vs. 23
He spent the rest of his time preaching truth to them. Some believed, some mocked and some procrastinated.

Paul’s vision for this city stirred his spirit. Is your spirit stirred for your city??

Thursday, August 27, 2009

100 % Returns

How to Make 100% or More on Your Money

No, this is not some futures or commodities trading strategy. You don't have to join a cult or an MLM. And you can do this for years.

The only qualification is that you have a mortgage or home equity loan.

You can achieve more than 100% returns on your money simply by paying extra money on your mortgage each month or as often as you like.

Here's how it works: If you have a 30 year mortgage at 7%, for each $100 of your loan amount you will end up paying as much as $209 in interest. So within the 30 years of paying off your mortgage, you will repay that $100 that you borrowed PLUS you will pay up to an additional $209 in interest.

So if you "invest" an extra $100 along with your first mortgage payment, you will end up saving $209.42. That's a return on your "investment" of 109%! And it's guaranteed.

Plus you have just lowered the amount you are in debt and reduced the time it will take for you to pay off your mortgage. How many cold-calling investment brokers can offer you a deal like that?

So you could look at it as investing the $100 in your mortgage means that there is $309.42 you won't have to pay out in the future. You could even argue that this is a return of 209%.

But what if you are several years into your mortgage. Well, even if you are 10 years into your mortgage (and the average mortgage only lasts about 7 years these days), you can still save $139.42 in interest by paying an extra $100. Or if you are 20 years into your mortgage you will still save $69.42 by paying an extra $100.

So what have you got to lose but your mortgage debt?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peroxide vs Bleach

I got this in an an e-mail from a preacher friend of mine (Benny Carper). It is a little unusual for me but I was very interested in it and thought some of you might be as well. It was written by Becky Ransey of Indiana (a doctor's wife), and I want to share it with you.

"I would like to tell you of the benefits of that plain little ole bottle of 3% peroxide you can get for under $1.00 at any drug store. What does bleach cost? My husband has been in the medical field for over 36 years, and most doctors don't tell you about peroxide.

"Have you ever smelled bleach in a doctor's office? NO!!! Why? Because it smells, and it is not healthy! Ask the nurses who work in the doctor's offices, and ask them if they use bleach at home. They are wiser and know better!

"Did you also know bleach was invented in the late 40's? It's chlorine, folks! And it was used to kill our troops..

"Peroxide was invented during WWI. It was used to save and help cleanse the needs of our troops and hospitals. Please think about this:

1. Take one capful (the little white cap that comes with the20bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out.. (I do it when I bathe.) No more canker sores, and your teeth will be whiter without expensive pastes. Use it instead of mouthwash...

2. Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of peroxide to keep them free of germs.

3. Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe down your countertops, or spray it on the counters directly.

4. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour peroxide on it to Kill salmonella and other bacteria.

5. I had fungus on my feet for years until I sprayed a 50/50 mixture of Peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry.

6. Soak any infections or cuts in 3% peroxide for five to ten minutes several times a day. My husband has seen gangrene that would not heal with any medicine but was healed by soaking in peroxide.

7. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will.

8. Tilt your head back and spray into nostrils with your 50/50 mixture whenever you have a cold, plugged sinus. It will bubble and help to kill the bacteria. Hold for a few minutes, and then blow your nose into a tissue.

9. If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get t o a dentist right away, put a capful of 3% peroxide into your mouth and hold it20for ten minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.

10... Put half a bottle of peroxide into your bathwater to help rid boils, fungus, or other skin infections..

11. You can also add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing, pour it directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water.
Repeat if necessary.

12. I use peroxide to clean my mirrors. There is no smearing, which is why I love it so much for this.

"I could go on and on. It is a little brown bottle no home should be without!

"With prices of most necessities rising, I'm glad there's a way to save tons of money in such a simple, healthy manner!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

One of the sweetest words in the Bible. "O words of words the sweetest."

The first "Come" in the Bible is one of salvation (Gen. 7:1. Note "Come," not "Go!" A proof the Lord Himself was in the Ark), as is also the last (Rev. 22:17).

I. What Must we Come For?

1. Rest—"Come, and I will give you rest," Matt. 11:28
2. Knowledge—"Come and see," John 1:39
3. Satisfaction—"Come unto Me and drink," John 7:37
4. Discipleship—"Come and follow Me," Mark 10:21
5. Victory—"Come, put your feet upon the necks," Josh. 10:24
6. Fellowship—"Come and dine," John 21:12
7. Refreshment—"Come and rest a while," Mark 6:31
8. Inheritance—"Come and inherit," Matt. 25:34

II. How Must We Come?

We must come just as we are, without any attempt to make ourselves presentable, for the very good reason that we are too far gone, and only He can do anything with us, and then He will make us new creatures—a new creation—in Jesus Christ.

"Just as I am, without one plea.
But that Thy Blood was shed for me.
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee;
Oh, Lamb of God, I come!"

III. When Must We Come?

"One hour before you die?" said some one. Well, when will that be? You cannot say, so you had better come now. In fact, those are the instructions: "Come now," found over and over again in the dear old Book.

Monday, August 24, 2009


We all have different types of relationships with people. God's relationship with us and our relationship with God is very complex.

I. God. Ezekiel 11:20 "That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."
This one is obvious. He is our creator and master. He is the sovereign ruler of the universe. We need to recognize and honour Him as such.

II. Father. Psalm 103:13 "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him." Luke 15:11-24 gives us the story of the prodigal son.
Old Testament Saints didn't call God their Father. We have been adopted into the family of God. As our Father He is a guide and a provider.

III. Mother. Isaiah 66:13 "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." Isaiah 49:15-16 "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."
A mother's love is tender. They are given to us by God to nurture and comfort us. God does this for us.

IV. Brother. Matthew 12:49-50 "And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
A brother is an example and help. A brother will stick close in adversity.
The last three points are family ties. You can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives. In this case God has invited us to choose to come into His family.

V. Spouse. Song of Solomon 4:8-10 "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou has ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with the chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!"
The book of Hosea gives us a lovely picture of God's love for His people illustrated in the love of a husband for his wife.
The love of a husband is a jealous love that allows great intimacy.

VI. Shepherd. John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." Luke 15:4-7 gives us the parable of the lost sheep. Psalm 23.
A shepherd offers care and feeding. He protects and rescues.

VII. Friend. Proverbs 18:24 "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
A friend offers loyalty, companionship, and encouragement.

God is everything we need. To the orphan He is a father and mother. To the only child He is a brother. To the single person He is a spouse. To the misguided and mistreated He is a shepherd. To the lonely and friendless He is a friend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Have You Done?

Mr 14:6-9 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

One of the most impressive commendations our Lord ever made about a person is found in verse 8 regarding Mary of Bethany (Martha’s sister): "She hath done what she could." There was nothing more that she could have done! Could the Lord make this statement of me or you?

People find all sorts of EXCUSES for not doing what they could do.
A neighbor asked a farmer if he could borrow his plow. The farmer said, “I’m sorry, but my wife is combing her hair with it.” The neighbor was confused and asked, “How does she do that?” The farmer answered, “Well, she’s not really combing her hair with it, but when you don’t want to do something, any excuse will do.”

After a physical examination, a man said, "Tell me in plain language, Doc, what's really the matter with me?" "Do you want it straight? "Yes." "Well, there isn't a thing wrong with you except that you're just plain lazy!" "Okay," said the the listless patient, "now give me the medical excuse for it so I can tell my boss!"

God never holds you responsible for what you cannot do. God is not unreasonable. He asks for “your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).
“I am only one, but I am one; I cannot do everything, but I can do something. That which I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do!”

Notice what it doesn't say about this woman.
She didn't walk on water.
She didn't raise the dead.
She didn't heal the sick.
She didn’t build a temple.
She just "did what she could" - Amen!!!

•“I can’t give a million dollars, but I can tithe.”
•“I can’t sing like Squire Parsons, but I can make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
•“I can’t paint a picture like Thomas Kincade, but I can help clean the church.”
•“I can’t preach like Dr Sightler, but I can invite people to church.”
•“I can’t win souls like Curtis Hutson, but I can pass out tracts.”
•“I can’t write a commentary like Matthew Henry, but I can write a letter to tell someone my testimony.”
James 4:17 "…to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Giving Is Contagious

King David lead the nation of Israel to do things that they did not think they could do. He exhorted them to go above and beyond and he lead by example that they could do more than they thought via the Lord working through them. Once he began to give, so did the nation.

Giving is contagious. The bible records at least two occasions wherein the nation of Israel gave so much that the leaders requested them to cease their giving.
1. Exo 36:5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.
2. 2 Chr 31:10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.

Each of us ought to ask and answer some questions. Questions such as:
1. Who sets the example for giving in your church? Your home?
2. Do you give willingly?
3. Do you hear murmuring relating to giving?
4. Do you merely give your tithes, but withhold giving of you time and talent?
5. When was the last time you recall an epidemic of giving breaking out in your church? Will you be the one to start it?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nehemiah: A Great Leader

Nehemiah held the high and honored position of cupbearer for Artaxerxes, the king of Persia. Because of his position he enjoyed a life of luxury and ease and security.

Nehemiah’s heart grew heavy at every news report from Jerusalem, his homeland. After much prayer he ask the king if he would allow him to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall. The king gave his permission, so Nehemiah went back home to begin this seemingly impossible task of leading the people of God in the rebuilding of the wall.
Nehemiah’s leadership was not inherited, nor was it voted on. It was something he earned.

In Nehemiah’s life we see some of the qualities of leadership needed in our churches today.

1. Vision. – Vision is the ability to see beyond today. It is the capacity to anticipate the future. It is seeing the unseen. Not many have this ability. Many people have sight; few have insight. The masses saw only a trash heap that was once the wall of a mighty city. They saw only hopelessness and defeat. But not Nehemiah he looked beyond what was, to see what could be. His leadership started with a vision and a dream born of God (Neh. 2:12). Leaders are people of imagination, insight, dreams, and vision.

2. Courage. – Courage is the boldness to implement your vision despite almost sure opposition, criticism, and a chance of failure. Most of us settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure. To be a good leader we must be willing to take chances, to try the new, and even to risk failure. To be a leader you have to be strong enough to make hard decisions and daring enough to risk failure. Nehemiah had this kind of courage (Neh. 4:14)

3. Confidence. – Confidence is believing in yourself and your goals. Confidence can be acquired in several ways. It can come through training, through skill, through experience, and through the confidence in knowing that we are doing God’s will. This was the source of Nehemiah’s confidence (Neh. 2:20).

4. Humility. – A great leader’s confidence must be balanced with humility. He must not be so self-assured that he feels no need of God. He must not be so confident that he ignores the counsel of others (Pro. 11:14). Humility makes a person a better leader.

5. Determination. – This is the persistency that refuses to quit or become discouraged because of hardships, difficulties, or opposition. It is determined people who become leaders (Neh. 4:8-9).

6. Energy. – Leaders are hard workers. The price tag of leadership is long days and sleepless nights. No man can be a successful leader in an eight hour day. Leadership is a selfish taskmaster. Nobody will follow a lazy man. The responsibility of leadership belongs to the Nehemiah’s who will roll up there sleeves and work day and night to accomplish their task (Neh. 4:6).

7. Organizing & Supervising. – A wise leader realizes that he can do very little himself. A leaders success is largely determined by what he is able to get others to do. Nehemiah was a master at organizing and utilizing others. With incredible skill he organized, assigned, and supervised his people to accomplish God’s work (Neh. 4:13-23).

8. Concern. – A good leader cares for his people as much as for his goals. No man can be a great leader unless he loves his people and sincerely has their best interests at heart. You must be willing to always take more than your share of the blame for failures and a little less than your share of the credit for success.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Men and Women Who are Leaders
There are three kind of people:Those who don't know what's happening; Those who watch things happen; Those who make things happen.
If you can be a leader out in the world, surely you should be one for Christ. Leaders are people that manage their lives.
What do leaders do to be leaders?
1. Leaders make decisions.
2. Leaders solve problems (they see guidelines not stop signs).
3. Leaders take responsibility - true mark of great leaders (consequences of it).
4. Leaders have a sense of timing.
5. Leaders rise to the occasion.
* Plan carefully
* Prepare carefully
* And when it's time - give it all they've got
6. Leaders take a challenge.
7. Leaders lead with enthusiasm.
8. Leaders can lead men to accomplish a mission.
9. Leaders focus.
10. Leaders find - they "look for, don't wait for."
11. Leaders see opportunities - they grab and run with them.
12. Leaders set the sail - always looking for ease will seal your doom.
13. Take charge-don't surrender to:
* Outside forces,
* Outside faces,
* Frustration,
* Fear.
* Fatigue - it they enjoy this life, they won't get too tired.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dealing with Dissenters

I found this piece in my "Leadership Files". I don't know who wrote this but it is very good and I believe it will help some of you. I have talked to several pastors recently who have some issue in their church that they need to deal with. Maybe this will help you to handle the situation without hurting your people. I have certainly found it very helpful.

Dealing with Dissenters

Guts and grace--that's what we Christian leaders need as we face conflict. We must have the guts to take a stand on important issues and the grace to handle them correctly.
The real questions for most of us when handling difficult issues are: (1) when to take a stand and (2) how to handle dissenters gracefully. We want to act with integrity, but we don't want to be arrogant or abuse our power. We want to share our insights, but we don't want to damage the relationships we've developed.
The bottom line is that we want to take a stand and strengthen unity at the same time. How can a leader know when to stand up and how to do it with grace and finesse? No method is fool-proof, but here are a few guidelines that can help you.


The most common cause of confrontational blunders is lack of understanding concerning the issue. Before you tackle any issue, be sure you have all the facts. Clarify vague areas, and get the other person's side of the story. If your inclination is to confront people while angry, don't do it. That almost always causes damage and makes the issue harder to resolve.


When you face an organization-wide conflict, you will have to determine who has the greatest influence in the organization--not the highest position or greatest title. If you have the most influence, then be careful. The more influence you have, the more selective you should be about using it. Always ask yourself, "Who will this affect, both positively and negatively?" You don't want to abuse your authority or monopolize power in your organization.
Sometimes the person in a leadership position is not the greatest influencer. That can be a problem because the person with the most influence wins--whether he's right or wrong. If you find yourself in that situation, ask yourself these questions before confronting a dissenter whose influence is greater than yours:
1. Is the issue worth it? Some issues don't really matter because they don't really affect your organization or its mission. If the issue is insignificant, then let it go.
2. Is the issue greater than the influencer? Some issues must be confronted no matter what--such as an ethical problem. If so, you must take a stand.
3. Do I have unsettled issues with the influencer? If old personal issues are involved, settle them first before you consider the current issue.
4. Is my agenda personal or corporate? You always have to ask yourself this question to keep yourself accountable. If it's just personal and doesn't affect the organization, swallow your pride and let the issue go.
5. What are the odds of the outcome? Predicting an outcome is usually as easy as counting up who will follow the dissenter and who will follow you. If you are likely to lose, your first step needs to be meeting individually with the people you can win over to your way of thinking. Do this before you confront the dissenter. And use any positive momentum in the organization to your advantage. Timing is important. Even the right decision at the wrong time can cause trouble.


Once you've determined that it's time to make a stand, you need to do it with grace. Start by assuming that any dissenter's motives are good. This fosters a climate of love and understanding with the other person. Likewise, show that you value the dissenter and his or her position. When it comes time to confront, express your appreciation for the person, explain that you understand his or her point of view, express how difficult it was for you to make your decision, and then reaffirm his or her value.
It's really important that you speak from your heart to the other people's hearts. Be sensitive to their feelings. When you're done, you may even be able to ask for and receive their support in explaining your decision to others.


Once you're done, move on. Never bring up the conflict again unless it reoccurs or you can use it to affirm positive change and growth. People will respect you for that.

Here's one last important guideline for confrontation: Before you stand up and speak on an issue, you first have to live it yourself. "Nothing is more confusing than people who give good advice but set bad examples." If your example is good and your credibility is intact, you can approach difficult issues successfully.

Monday, August 17, 2009

They Turned The World Upside Down

Acts 17:1-9

Acts 17:6 “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.”

How did they do it?

I. By the power they possessed.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
A. The person of the power “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” Ordinary men and women filled with the Spirit of God will do it.
B. The purpose of the power “And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” God gave us the power for witnessing. Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

II. By the prayer they practiced.

A. They prayed in times of trouble. Acts 12:4-5 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
B. They prayed in times of thanksgiving. Acts 2:46-47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

III. Because of the person they proclaimed.

Acts 2:22-24 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

IV. By their participation in the preaching.

Acts 8:3-4 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

V. By the price they paid.

Every one of the apostles, except John, were killed in the service of Christ.
The measure of a man’s dedication to the service of Christ was measured by the blood he shed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Called To Contend

Jude 1:3,4 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In these last days, there’s a cry from every corner for unity, fellowship, lack of friction, and the raising of divisive issues. It all sounds so good, but there’s only one problem – it is not Biblical! The proponents for this ‘let’s all just get along’ philosophy has NO idea what true unity involves. In fact, they don’t know anything, if their knowledge is as shallow as their ambition. Let’s examine what the Scripture tells us about this matter of contending and our involvement in it.

I. Contending Involves a Birthunto you of the common salvation A. Only born again believers are commanded to contend!
B. Only born again believers can contend!
C. Only born again believers care enough to contend!

II. Contending Involves a Burdenit was needful for me to write unto you
A. There is opposition to the gospel – do you care?
B. There are deniers of the faith – do you care?
C. There are heresies and false religions sending millions to hell – do you care?

III. Contending Involves a Battlethat ye should earnestly contend
A. Contending is a command; it is your duty!
B. Contending is not casual or complacent – it must be done earnestly!
C. Contending is a conflict with people and ideas and philosophies – it often causes pain

IV. Contending Involves a Brotherhood - for the faith once delivered unto the saints
A. There were others before us that contended and were martyred for their faith.
B. This faith that was delivered was entrusted to us to preserve and propagate.
C. We are obligated to uphold for our children what our forefathers passed down.

V. Contending Involves a Betrayal certain men crept in unawares A. They creep in unawares – you can’t tell who they are when they first arrive
B. They have an agenda from Satan – who were before ordained
C. They show their colors by condemning Bible believers – to this condemnation
D. They are ungodly men – men with no fear of God
E. They pervert the grace of God
F. They deny God and His Word.

What are you going to do about it? Are you going to defend and answer the opposition? Or are you going to sit idly by while the devils ‘certain men’ continue to creep in and condemn and pervert the faith that was once delivered unto the saints???

Friday, August 14, 2009

Come Apart Before You Come Apart

1. You Must Realize Your Need For Physical Rest – Mark 6:30-36 (God gave the Jews the Sabbath for both worship and physical rest. Six days a man was to work and rest on the seventh.)
a. Here we find the disciples weary from their service. They have labored in the vineyard of the Lord and have come back to report to Him.
b. Here we find the understanding and compassion of the Lord as he commands them to “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.” We are human and need to do so on occasion.
c. They departed to a desert place and the crowd followed them. The Lord, in His compassion, began to teach them.
d. The disciples said, “It is a desert place, and now the time is FAR passed: Send them away!”
1) There needs to be personal times of rest. (Personal hobbies are good for one’s rest.)
2) There needs to be family times of rest. (Vacations and special get-a-ways for the family.)

2. You Must Realize Your Need For Spiritual Rest - Luke 10:38-42

a. Rest In Our Salvation - Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

b. Rest In Our Service – 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. (Sometimes you have to get alone in a quiet place for a little while.)
Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

c. Rest In Our Spirit – 2 Corinthians 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. (Continual spiritual warfare will wear on you to the point of exasperation if you do not handle it in a right manner.)
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

d. Rest In Our Sanctuary - Psalms 42:1-4 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (God’s house is a sanctuary for the believer. A place separate and secure from the world. A place of glorious worship and spiritual rest for the weary.)

e. Rest In Our Saviour - Matthew 11:28-29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Spending quality time with Him. Not our scraps and leftovers of time, but good, quality time.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Man of God's Responsibility

A. Feeding the flock
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

B. Leading the Flock
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
II Thess. 3:7-9 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

C. Warning the flock – to point out danger specifically
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

D. Rebuke or Reprove the Flock
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

E. Taking Care of the Flock – has a meaning of love and protection
1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
2 Corinthians 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Calvinism Illustrated

I am an enemy of the doctrinal teachings of John Calvin or any that line up with his heresy. I am an enemy of the doctrine because it does two things.
1. It destroys the very person of God.
2. It destroys the very purpose of Christ.
Let me give you a little illustration that may help to explain the devastation of the doctrine of Calvinism.

I am the father of two daughters (whom I love dearly). I am their father by choice as neither of them was neither an accident nor a surprise. My wife and I planned to have both of our children and looked forward to their birth with great love and anticipation. Just suppose that as a father who chose to bring both of these daughters into the world:

1. I chose from birth to love my younger daughter because I thought it was my right as the father and chose to hate my eldest daughter because of that same right. Neither child had done anything right or wrong but because of my sovereign will I simply chose to hate one and to love the other.
2. Because of this choice, I would send the eldest out into the world and cut her completely from my will and fellowship while lavishing both gifts and love upon the younger daughter. I choose to never to have anything else to do with the eldest while holding the younger in the highest esteem.
3. As a matter of fact, I even decided to see the eldest (who has done nothing to me) suffer eternal punishment of the most horrible kind because of this hatred. 4. I tell everyone now that I am really a loving father: both kind and generous.

I think that it would be ungodly to do such a thing! I would not be a good father or Creator and the word love would be out of the question. Most of you would, after several attempts to win me to the Lord, ride me out of town on a rail and have nothing else to do with me.

I believe that God is a sovereign God! He does as He wills and asks counsel of no one. I believe in that God and love that God! The Bible declares that “God is love.” He does not attempt to love but love is one of His divine attributes. He is the very essence of love and I love Him for it.

He created every man with an eternal desire to both restore and eternally fellowship with him. He loved so much that He gave the very best that He had to reclaim fallen man. He allowed man to both sin and fall from that fellowship because He desires for man to want Him, not be forced into an eternal relationship based upon sovereignty. He loves everyone and died for the sins of not only the saved (1 John 2:1-2) but for the sins of every man. Calvinism teaches just the opposite.

Calvinism destroys the purpose of Christ. He came into the world to save sinners! All sinners! I despise how they take the words such as all and make them to mean some. A Calvinist may say that he is an ardent soul winner and he may actually be, but he destroys that desire in the hearts of most of those who follow him. Calvinism is fatalism! If they are elect and have no say in the matter, then leave them alone and go fishing for fish instead of fishing for men. They will be saved regardless of how good you soul win or how terrible you soul win. They will be saved if you do not soul win at all!

Hell was not made for man but for the Devil and his angels. Man goes there because he makes a God given choice to reject the wonderful God of Heaven who loves him so much. I guess the Lord said it all when He said, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” To indict a man for not coming when he has no power to come is ludicrous.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As Seen In Ephesians

1. The Seal Of The Spirit (Eph. 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,)

2. The Earnest Of The Spirit (Eph. 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.)

3. The Revealing Of The Spirit (Eph. 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:)

4. Access By The Spirit (Eph. 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.)

5. Strength Of The Spirit (Eph. 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;)

6. Fulness Of The Spirit (Eph. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit)

7. Praying In The Spirit (Eph. 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Can You Hear God Speak

I. You Can Hear Him Speak In Creation.
If we take notice, we can hear him speak in his creation. His creation speaks of his creativeness, his glory, his power, his love !
We can clearly see God in the creation. It is the work of his fingers, and is ordained of him.
Psa 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained;
Psa. 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.Both of the verses which I have just quoted from written by David.......a man who spent much time outdoors in his work as a shepherd. He was in tune with nature, and being so he was in tune with God. When he sat underneath a starlit sky at night doing his work, it was quite clear to him that his surrounding were the handiwork of God. If we will take time to explore, and to experience his creation, it has his fingerprints all over it !
When we look at the creation, how can we not think of the creator ?

II. You Can Hear Him Speak In His Conversations.
The Bible is a record of God's conversations with men in the past.....and his words still speak to us today. It is just as relevant, and real as when it was first given to men of old.
If we really want to know for sure if we're hearing from God, we need to get in his word, read it, pray over it, and meditate on it !
2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Bible is God revealing himself to us.......conversing with mankind !
If you would hear God speak........know his will, then you must read his word.
If God is not speaking to us, it is probably because we are not spending time in his word !

III. You Can Hear Him Speak Through Circumstances.
It would be a good and wise thing to ask God what he is trying to say to us when we experience pain, sickness, loss !

IV. You Can Hear Him Speak At Church.
God can speak to us in many places because God is everywhere.......but the primary place in which he meets with his people, and speaks to them is in his house !
You can hear God speak at church ! Most everything that I have learned, and been taught has been received at church.
In Sunday School......I learned about God, and the people of the Bible that he used.......the lessons of Noah, and the great flood........of Jonah, and the great fish..........of the three Hebrew children, and the great furnace ! I learned about Daniel, and his determination to pray, and how God protected him from the lions.
When we come to the house of God, do we expect to hear God we come to listen ?
We can hear God speak through the teaching, the music, the prayers, the Spirit, the preaching..........the invitation !

V. You Can Hear Him Speak At The Cross.
If we had been at the cross on the day that Christ was crucified, we would have heard God speak. What he said is recorded in his word for us to read, and for him to still speak to us today.
God spoke words of "acceptance" to the dying thief !
"Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise "
Though he was a sinner, and deserved all that he was receiving on the cross, and said so himself.......Jesus reached out to him on the cross. God is speaking to sinners today......calling them to himself !
God spoke words of "forgiveness" to those who rejected him, and condemned him to die on the cross. He spoke words of forgiveness even to the very ones who drove the nails into him, and fastened him to the cross.
God spoke words of "salvation" to the whole world when Jesus uttered his last words from the cross..........It is finished !

Saturday, August 8, 2009


"Behold He cometh with clouds…" Revelation 1:7
I want us to think about this one word "clouds." This may seem like a peculiar subject to some. Yet, I believe it is one that deserves our attention from the Word of God. In our text the Scriptures remind us that the Lord is going to return with "clouds." However, "clouds" also tell us many other stories from the Bible.


Since God made all things, we know that clouds are a part of His creation. God made clouds for a purpose. There is a purpose in all that He does. Clouds are the vessels He fills with water to send us rain. Without the clouds to carry us water to irrigate our lands, none of us could survive for very long. Ecclesiastes 11:3 says, "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth." Yes, clouds carry out their duty in helping to provide our food and water as they are a part of God's creation.


I think clouds also speak of life. Have you ever noticed the many colors of clouds? Before a storm, they are dark and black. On a lazy summer afternoon, they may be white as snow. During a sunrise or a sunset, they turn many colors. Clouds come in many colors. Life also comes in many colors. One moment we may be on the mountain top of success and achievement, the next moment in the valley of failure and defeat. One moment the white clouds of joy, health, and happiness come our way, then without warning come the black clouds of sadness, sickness, and sorrow. Yes, the many colors of the clouds speak of the many extremities of life.


Thirdly, clouds also speak of God's promises. In the antediluvian period the world became marred and stained with sin, violence, and corruption. The Book of Genesis tells us that God saw the wickedness of man and decided to send judgment and destroy him from the face of the earth. But one man, Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He commanded Noah to build an ark which would save himself and his family when the flood came. Noah obeyed God! Noah believed in God's promises. God sent the flood as He had promised. God kept Noah and his family safe in the ark as He had promised. When the flood was over, and Noah and his family came out of the ark, God made another promise. He promised Noah that He would never destroy man with a flood again. God sealed this promise by placing a beautiful rainbow in the clouds and saying, "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth, that bow shall be seen in the cloud. And I will remember my covenant" (Genesis 9:13-15). Every time we look up at a rainbow arched across the clouds, we can be assured that God is keeping His promises. We are told by Dr. Lee Roberson that there are 32,000 promises in the Bible. We can be certain that God will faithfully carry them out.


Clouds in the Bible, also speak of forgiveness. In Isaiah 44:22, God says, "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins." Did you ever think about this? The sun is the strongest force in the universe with all its light and heat. Yet, a thick cloud is able to blot out that light and heat and make it ineffective. On a dark and dreary day, I have often been traveling by plane; the jet would take off and in a few moments pass trough the thick layer of clouds. Then suddenly the sun would break through in all its brightness. The sun was there all the while. The only difference was the thick cloud between the sun and the earth. So it is with your sins. When you bring them to Christ they are blotted out as a THICK cloud. In Isaiah 1:18 the Lord says, "Come now, and let us reason together…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."


God's people were in bondage in Egypt. God had promised to deliver them. He appeared to Moses in a burning bush on the backside of the desert. He told Moses He wanted him to go bring His people out of bondage to a land flowing with milk and honey. Moses began to make excuses. But God said, "I will be with thee" (Exodus 3:12). Finally, God put a rod in Moses' hand and sent him to do the job. After the Lord had performed many miracles, sent many plagues, and instituted the first Passover, He instructed his people to begin the journey. Of course, Moses did not know what route to take, so God sent a pillar of clouds before them to show them the way. Exodus 13:21-22 tells us, "The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way;…And He took not away the pillar of cloud…before the people." What does this tell us today? It tells us that God will lead His people. He doesn't lead today by a cloud, but by His Holy Spirit. When a person is born again, the Holy Spirit comes into the believer's heart to guide him in the way he should walk. Thus, what the cloud was to the Israelite in Moses' day, the Holy Spirit is to the believer today. When Jesus went away He promised to sent the Holy Spirit, and "When He is come, He will guide you in all truth" (John 16:13). As you and I travel the pathway of life, often we come to the crossroads. Which way shall we go? Which way is best? If we trust our own feelings and wisdom we will often go the wrong way. But Jesus said the Holy Spirit will teach us and guide us. As the Israelites were to follow the cloud, we need to follow His guidance.


After Christ arose from the grave, He appeared many times to the disciples. He finally met with them on the Mount of Olives, gave them the Great Commission, and while they looked on in amazement, He went to Heaven on the bosom of a cloud. Acts 1:9 says, "While they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight." His work on earth was finished. The plan of redemption had been completed. The way of salvation had been made. What a reception must have been awaiting Him in Heaven. The Scriptures also teach that as Jesus went away, He shall so come in like manner (Acts 1:11). I Thessalonians 4:17 tells us that all believers "shall be caught up together…in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Yes, Jesus will come again on a cloud.
Dr. W. Herschel Ford related the following incident:
John Knox, the great Scotch preacher, went away to minister in Southern Europe. The Scotch people were so anxious for him to return that they flooded him with letters, begging him to come back and preach for them. Finally the message came back to Scotland that Knox would soon return. The news was so glorious that everyone became a messenger. Every time one man met another, he would say in jubilant tones, "John Knox is coming, John Knox is coming."
Thank God I have another message for you today! JESUS IS COMING! Jesus is coming on a cloud! Let's get the message to others before it is too late. Many years ago a tourist was traveling along the shores of a lake located in Northern Italy. He came to a castle. He was greeted by a friendly old gardener who opened the gate and showed him the grounds, which the old man kept in perfect order. The tourist asked when the owner of the castle had last been there. "Twelve years ago," replied the gardener. "Does he ever write to you?" asked the tourist. "No," said the gardener. "From whom do you get your instructions?" asked the amazed tourist. "From his agent in Milan," answered the gardener. "Does he come?" said the tourist. "Never," was the quiet answer. "Who, then comes here?" said the tourist. "I am almost always alone; only once in a while a tourist comes." "But you keep the garden in such fine condition just as though you expect your master to come tomorrow," replied the tourist. The old gardener promptly replied, "Today, sir, today!"

JESUS IS COMING. He is coming in the clouds. He may come today. Are your prepared for His coming, as the gardener was prepared for his master's coming? If not, why not make that preparation now? Receive Him now. He will save you. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

Friday, August 7, 2009

How Do You See The Cross...

Matthew 16:13-23

The Cross is the central and most important truth of the entire Bible and the very foundation upon which the Christian tradition is built. Out eternal salvation and security both were finished on the Cross and on that Cross all questions about God's love for us were answered. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that there is no grey area when it comes to the Cross; you either believe it or you don't. 1 Cor. 1:18; 1 Cor. 2:14-15.

Look closely at the two ways we can view the cross:

1. Natural View of the Cross

A.) Distorted – To see the sufferings as something terrible. To see only the negative side and not the positive side and conveniently overlooking the resurrection and focusing more on the roadmap than the results. (Proverbs 19:3) (1 Corinthians 2:14)
B.) Dysfunctional – To have an inability to see the reasons for suffering, heartache, and pain. Always wanting to help others when you do not fully understand the process by which God is working. Instead of accommodating the grace of God we are frustrating the grace of God. When you feel you know things you give your personal opinions and offer your personal appeals. (Romans 11:34)
C.) Demonic – To actually assume the personality of Satan. To be an agent, under the inspiration of the devil. One moment in the Spirit and the next in the demonic by denying his Lordship. (Matthew 4:9-10) We get influenced by Satan and we begin imitating Satan.

2. Spiritual View of the Cross

A.) Delightful – Knowing that without the Cross there is no Kingdom. From the Lamb on the Cross to the Lord on the Throne. From the Suffering One to the Sovereign One. (2 Timothy 2:12) (Philippians 1:29) We enjoy a willful participation and a personal liberation in the Cross.
B.) Definite – If he is not Lord of all then he's Lord not at all. We are not God's coach, counselor, or caregiver. We are his servants, matter of fact his slaves. We have no right to question his authority or his ability. All He does is necessary for the working of his ultimate plan. (Acts 17:3)
C.) Divine – The Cross represented a co-crucifixion for the believer. That when He died for me, I died with Him. The only way I can be forgiven is if He died. He was born for my representation, he lived to give me an illustration, he died for my salvation, he rose again for my justification, he sent his spirit for my sanctification and he's coming back for my glorification! (Romans 8:18)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beware Of Altering God’s Word

By C. H. Spurgeon
Every motive that could move men to alter the Word of God has been fully stated in various portions of the Bible. It shows that God was aware from the first of the reception that would be given to His truth; and it is as instructive to the humble believer as it is humiliating to the modern man who critically cuts away portions of God’s Word.

The desire to alter the Word of God is dangerous. In the wilderness God Himself pointed this out: "Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it" (Deut. 4:2). The nations they were advancing to conquer had long cast aside their allegiance to their Maker, and the least tendency to question or alter God’s Word might result in the same downfall for Israel. Deuteronomy 12:32 distinctly refers to this danger, and reasserts the warning: "What thing soever I command you…thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

The act of altering the Word of God is sinful. "Every word of God is pure…Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Prov. 30:5-6). He who essays to improve upon it imputes error to the all-wise One. Only unholy minds could attempt it.

The desire to alter the Word of God is weakness. Jeremiah’s was a terrible message, and he might yield to feelings of pity for his race. God saw this, and in words that could not be misunderstood, He said to the prophet: "Diminish not a word" (Jer. 26:2). If God’s message is diminished, its power is lessened, and its results are consequently less certain. The authority, the power, the meaning, the terror of God’s truth must be preserved in all their fullness if God’s purposes are to be carried out.

The ambition to alter the Word of God is Pharisaic. To break the perfection of the law and teach our own alterations or additions as if they were of God is vile indeed. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19-20).
Our Lord reproved this spirit in scathing and unmistakable language. Why is it His Words are forgotten? "Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition... teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:6-9). The Pharisaic spirit thus renders impossible obedience to God as the supreme teacher.

The craving to alter the Word of God is accursed. Revelation 22:18-19 should be read with fear and trembling: "I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Thus all down the ages God has warned men against this crime. He is a jealous God, and has determined to visit with the direct punishment all who dare to alter His complete and full revelation. This is a crime of the present day: the Lord preserve us from it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baptismal Regeneration

Matthew 28:19-20
Baptismal regeneration is the teaching that a person must be baptized in water before they are saved. We’ve already encountered this heresy when we dealt with Catholicism and Mormonism. Another proponent of this false doctrine is the Church of Christ.
The Church of Christ (sometimes called “Campbellites” after their founder Alexander Campbell) bears several similarities to Roman Catholicism:
• Both believe there is no salvation outside of their church.
• Baptism performed by one of their priests/elders is essential to salvation.
• Any Christian can lose salvation.
• No one can have absolute assurance of salvation until they die.
• Jesus Christ is not coming back to earth to reign upon the throne of David (a-millennialism).
“Cambellites” will argue in a well-defined circle. Around they will go like they were on a religious Indianapolis 500. It starts with Mark 16:16 and ends with 1 Peter 3:21. In between they will have pit stops at John 3:5; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:5. After 1 Peter 3:21 he will return to Mark 16:16 for another lap around the course.
The basic error in this “run-around” is false idea that every baptism in the Bible is a water baptism. There are actually seven different baptisms in the Bible and only four of them involve water.
1. Baptism of Israel in the sea (1 Cor. 10:2).
2. John’s baptism (Acts 19:3-5 cf. John 1:28-32; Mt. 3:1-6). To manifest the Messiah to Israel and prepare her for the kingdom.
3. Baptism of suffering (Mt. 20:22)
4. Kingdom baptism (Acts 2:38). Similar to John’s baptism.
After Jesus was crucified, buried and risen, the question on the minds of the Apostles was: “Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6-8).
Ten days later, thousands of Jews from all over the known world gathered at Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2). God sent the Holy Ghost upon the disciples and the Apostle Peter preaches to those Jews gathered at Jerusalem:
• To Jews only (Acts 2:5, 14, 22, 36).
• Confronts Israel with their sin of murdering their Messiah (2:22-23, 36)
• Jews are convicted and ask what they should do (2:37). No one is asking how to be saved in the context.
• Peter’s answer (Acts 2:38).
• Three thousand accept Peter’s invitation (2:41).
5. Church Age Baptism (Acts 8-10; 16:30-33).
• Up until Acts 8, only law abiding Jews are baptized.
• In Acts 8:5, 12 the Samaritans (half Jews) get baptized. But they still do not receive the Holy Ghost until the Apostles camp up from Jerusalem and laid their hands on them (8:14-17).
• In Acts 8:35-39 Ethiopian eunuch (Jewish proselyte) is baptized.
• In Acts 10 the first Gentile is baptized.
1) Peter is lead by the Lord to preach to Cornelius.
2) Before he can finish his sermon, Cornelius’ household receives the Holy Ghost, without baptism or the laying on of hands (10:43-45).
3) Peter then baptizes them (10:47-48).
• From Cornelius onward people are saved without baptism (Acts 16:30-33).
6. Spirit Baptism (Mt. 3:11 cf. 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5).
7. Fire Baptism (Mt. 3:11 cf. vs. 10, 12).
With that in mind, we will look at the Campbellite’s “proof-texts:”

I. Mark 16:16—One is damned for NOT BELIEVING. Believing is the essential for salvation, not baptism (cf. Acts 9:42; 11:21; 13:12, 39, 48; 14:1; 15:9; 16:1; 17:4, 34). No where does the Bible say, “He that is not baptized shall be damned.”

II. John 3:5—“Born of water” refers to the physical birth of a baby. Baptism is not mentioned within 15 verses of the context!

III. Acts 2:38—The word “for” doesn’t always mean “in order to.” Sometimes it means “because of” (see Luke 15:14—“for thy cleansing”).

IV. Acts 22:16—Paul was already saved prior to baptism as evidenced by Ananias referring to Paul as “Brother…” (cf. v. 13). It was the calling on the Lord that washed away his sins, not arising to be baptized (cf. Rev. 1:5).

V. Romans 6:3; Gal. 3:27— NOT water baptism. It is Spirit baptism.

VI. Ephesians 4:5—ONE real baptism—Spirit baptism. Baptism of any kind occurs only ONCE AND IS NEVER REPEATED.

VII. 1 Peter 3:21—Baptism is a FIGURE of salvation.

SUMMATION: 1 Cor. 1:14-17—If baptism is essential for salvation, why didn’t Paul make it a priority?
• Romans 1:16—No baptism for salvation.
• Romans 10:9-13—No baptism for salvation.
• Ephesians 2:8-9—No baptism for salvation.
• Titus 3:5—No baptism for salvation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Job 16:6-8, "Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased? But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company. And thou hast filled me with wrinkles,which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face."

Job was clearly speaking in the physical realm but there is a spiritual side to this. Age takes its toll on us and we begin to show it, but the Christian walk does too. "Thou hast filled me with wrinkles." You try creams, makeup, injections, and face-lifts to make you look younger – and to some degree of success. But the marks of your pilgrimage; your battle scars, don’t seem to go away. You have some wrinkles that go down to the depths of your soul – hurts, injuries, wounds received from the hand of Satan, sinners, and even the saints. You wish they would never show - that some sort of spiritual cream would magically make them disappear. But every time they reappear you sigh in frustration.

Dear friends, please hear me out. You have no reason to be ashamed, in fact, you should bear your marks as a testimony of the Savior. Today’s thought reminds us that bearing your cross after Christ will mean splinters and scars. These "wrinkles" are marks of ministry – the price we must pay to serve the Lord. Paul put it this way, "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." (Galatians 6:17). Though the devil would like you to feel ashamed or embarrassed for what you have been through, don’t let him trouble you anymore for it was the Lord who gave you those "wrinkles." Wear them as a testimony.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Better Than I Deserve!

Gen 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant;
We have all been asked, “How are you doing?” Most answer, “Fine,” even if they feel lousy. However, there is one standard answer that fits every occasion and every condition. When asked, “How are ya doin’?” I simply answer, “Better than I deserve.” I get all kinds of looks and reactions! Most say, “Oh, you deserve to be doing good.”
The truth is, I’d hate to think what I’d get if I got what I deserved! It’s not that I’m what people would call a “wicked-bad person.” Actually, most people who know me would say I’m a pretty good guy. But, when it comes to getting what we deserve, it doesn’t matter what people think about us. What you or anyone else thinks you deserve and what God says you deserve may be two different things.

A.Deserve means “to be worthy of” (Websters). It can be applied in an evil sense (“he deserves to die”) or a good sense (“I deserve a raise”). It is only found two times in the Bible:
• Job 11:6–…God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
• Ezra 9:13 – And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this;
Both verses convey the idea of someone deserving worst than what they were getting because of their iniquities (sins). In other words, they were doing better than they deserve! They recognized God didn’t owe them anything and no one else owed them anything.
The question is—Do you want what you rightfully deserve (judgment for your sins in hell), or would you rather receive what you don’t deserve (salvation in Jesus Christ)? God has already been merciful to you by giving you this opportunity to accept His free offer of salvation through His Son. Will you receive it?
“How are you doing?” Can you say YOU are doing better than you deserve? As long as you think you are worthy of heaven, you will never see heaven. Before we can be saved we must admit “I deserve to go to hell.” Can you say that? Say it with me, “I deserve to go to hell.”

Remember, the word deserve means “to be worthy of.” Jacob admitted, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies...” (Genesis 32:10). The Apostle Peter recognized his unworthiness when he said to Jesus, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8). Peter was admitting he didn’t deserve to be in the Lord’s presence.” May we all be as honest regarding our unworthiness. The Lord is not our debtor. Any blessing, or restraint of punishment is because of the grace and mercy of a loving God!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Be an Overachiever

Joh 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

You and I each know at least one person who we consider to be an overachiever. They never stop working. They always need to be accomplishing something new. They have to be the best. They seem to work beyond their ability to get things done. Many think that it’s wrong to be an overachiever. “Why should we be so committed to achievement that it drives ourselves and others crazy?”

Jesus was an overachiever.
· He walked on water.
· He raised three people from the dead.
· He fed thousands of people with a minimum of food.
· He made lame men walk, blind men see, and dumb men speak.
· He calmed storms at sea.
· He died for the sins of the whole world.
· He arose from the dead.
· He ascended into Heaven.
· He sits on the right hand of the throne of God.
“Of course, Jesus is an overachiever,” you say, “He’s God!”

Jesus wants you to be an overachiever. But let’s define the word overachiever a little differently. Let’s think of an overachiever as a person who accomplishes things above his own natural ability.

John 14:12 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

John 15:16 - Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Acts 1:8 - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Phil 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Why would Jesus ever want you to be an overachiever?
· Because much can be accomplished for His glory when we trust Him.
· Because it shows how much we love Him.
· Because the needs are so great and Christ is so compassionate.
· When we overachieve properly He gets the glory.