Thursday, December 29, 2005

Why Read Through the Bible in 2006???

I found this message from Dr. Tom Wallace on a mailing list which he has offered for use to others so that many Christians can grow closer to the Lord during this New Year. Here is a portion of his message..... I hope it will help you make a covenant with the Lord, just as I have, that you will commit to read through your Bible in 2006.

Why Read Through the Bible in 2006? by Dr. Tom Wallace

What will it do for me if I read my Bible through this year?


Prosperity is promised over and over again in the Bible to those who understand and obey the teachings set forth therein. However, the promised prosperity covers a lot more ground than money and finances. Success and prosperity will come in the spiritual, the physical, the social, emotional, the mental, domestic, as well as the financial area of life.

The Lord wants His children to prosper.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. “ (3 John 1:2)

There is a hint of at least three areas of prosperity in this one verse. He touches on the financial, the physical, and the spiritual.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

“Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.” (Deuteronomy 29:9)

“And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: (1 Kings 2:3)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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.” (Psalms 1:2,3)

“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)

“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25)


“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Many in this day are basing their faith on experience. It is not safe to build one’s faith on feeling or something that happened to us.. The devil is very subtle and deceptive, and has led away a multitude in this way.

D. L. Moody said, “For years I prayed for faith and thought that someday faith would come down and strike me like lightening, but faith did not seem to come, then one day I read Romans 10:17.”

First, It is the avenue through which we are saved.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

Second, when faith is developed it will please God..

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Third, It will quench the fiery darts of the wicked.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)

Fourth, It is the condition of answered prayer.

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)


David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11) Someone wrote, “This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.”

Anyone who is well read will be familiar with the tragedy of Aachan. Reading this account in the book of Joshua will cause a person to do some serious thinking about stealing and being deceptive about it.

Becoming familiar with the results of David’s act of adultery and murder, and the awful fourfold judgment of God upon him and his family because of his deed will surely prevent a thinking person from making the same mistake.

Reading the story of Ananias and Sapphira will help one see the seriousness of lying about the things of God.

The story of Absalom and the resulting heartache and tragic end surely will keep a person from rebelling against authority.

The terrible outcome of Lot’s turn toward Sodom resulting in the awful exposure to wickedness, the loss of his wife, and the resulting incest with his own daughters, should keep anyone from turning away to the world.

We are told that the things that happened to the people in the Old Testament times were recorded and shared with us for our examples.

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition..” (1 Corinthians 10:11)


Peace comes in three stages.

First, there is peace with God. Isaiah stated,

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Second, there in peace of God. This results from peace with God.

In Philippians 4:6, Paul said, “ and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

And third, there is peace with others and situations and circumstances around us. Peace with my neighbor, peace where I work, and peace where I live depends on the first two.

David wrote, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalms 119:165) The word nothing covers a lot of area.

Isaiah added, “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (Isaiah 54:13) He also said “ O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: (Isaiah 48:18)


The Bible teaches that it is possible to get 100% of our prayers answered. This is not very likely but it is possible. Jesus taught, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7) The Bible sets the guidelines for getting prayer answered. John wrote, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” ( 1 John 5:14) He also penned the words, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:22)

Doubt is the major enemy of answered prayer and doubt is expelled by reading the word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)


Jeremiah the prophet of old cried out, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)

Jesus Himself said, “”These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”( John 15:11)

We read in John’s writings, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” 1 John 1:4

In all of these verses it is clear that joy comes from hearing the word of the Lord.


The Spirit of the Lord uses the word of the Lord to build a fire in our heart. Jeremiah testified to that when he said, “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jeremiah 20:9)

When the simple truth of the gospel is opened to us by the Holy Spirit, we will feel like the song writer felt when he wrote, “Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”

Sunday, December 25, 2005

No Room in the Church

One of the most prominent characters in the Christmas story is the innkeeper who had no room for Joseph and Mary in his inn. Over the ages, the innkeeper has been one of the villains of the Christmas story and grouped into the same lot as Herod who sought to destroy the Christ child. Each time the story is retold, it is hard to believe that the innkeeper wouldn’t make room in his inn for a pregnant woman and her soon to be born Child. In the Christmas story, the innkeeper put money, greed, maybe family, his own comfort or some bureaucrat ahead of the King of kings.

Yet this Christmas we find the story is once again repeated with many churches cancelling their Christmas Day services. In the name of spending time with family and letting their people spend this holiday day with others, these places of worship have also put out an “No Room in the Church” sign for the soon coming Lord. On a day when people of the Lord ought to be putting their Redeemer first, they are putting a “day off,” a day with family, and a day away from their place of worship ahead of the Holy One who came in the form of man to save all mankind from their sins. By closing their doors they are making a bold and loud statement of who is their first love. Christ said that if He be lifted up all man will be drawn to Him.

Many people will find it hard to believe that these events are happening on one the holy days of the years, yet they themselves will also join in the chorus of the “Oh, Stay at Home, All Ye Unfaithful” by practicing their same habit of honoring everyone but the Lord on His day. Fifty-two times a year many Christians cast their vote against the Lord, His church, and the edifying of other believers by planning each Holy Sunday around the things and works of man and once again forsaking the assembling of themselves together. Not only is Christmas Day a special day, but each Sunday is a sacred day in which we testify to the whole world, our (lost) family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers who we value the most. The Bible says that we are an epistle that many know and read of men. I have never seen lost family and friends come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior through the testimony of a believing friend or family member that was lukewarm in their devotion to the Savior. Even though others may not understand fully our passion to the Lord, our actions speak louder than words.

This Christmas will we have room in our lives for Christ and as we prepare to start the New Year, will Christ receive our supreme devotion and service? God has given us His best, why don’t we give Him our best also.

Gary L. Berry - Sr. Pastor
Southland Baptist Church
Belton, Mo

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Fellowship of the Unashamed

(An African Martyr's Last Words)

I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed." The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.

I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I won't give up, back up, let up or shut up until I've preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes.

And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ..." Rom. 1:16

Be part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. It is the only way to live this life.

Remember this: To be a missionary you don't have to cross the sea, you just have to see the cross.

(Copied from pg. 219 of One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill)

Friday, December 23, 2005

What I Owe My Pastor

RESPECT: I owe my pastor respectful attention as the ambassador of God.

AFFECTION: I owe my pastor affection, that he may be strengthened by the knowledge that the members of the church are with him in the bonds of holy life and unity.

TRUST: I owe my pastor trust that he may be free to serve the church unhampered by fault finding.

GENEROSITY: I owe my pastor generosity, that if his Bible methods seem a little strange to me, I may not be silly enough to insist that he shall change them.

PRAYER: I owe it to my pastor to pray for him each day, that God may bless him and make his service a blessing.

PROTECTION: I owe to my pastor the protection of kindly silence by refraining from repeating the slander or unkind gossip that would burden him and prevent him from doing his best work.

TIME: I owe my pastor enough time to help in his work, when and where he needs me.

ENCOURAGEMENT: I owe my pastor encouragement when vexations and annoyances make his work difficult, or when he feels discouraged.

APPRECIATION: I owe my pastor a kindly word of appreciation when his ministry is especially helpful to me.

CONSIDERATION: I owe it to my pastor not to interrupt and hinder his work with petty and unnecessary calls upon his time and sympathy.

ATTENTION: I owe my pastor the courtesy of attention when I go to church that he may not be annoyed by my careless actions.

Copied from the October, 2005 edition of the MaranathaBaptist Watchman, Maranatha Baptist Church, Elkton, MD

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Modernist Preacher - Entering Hell

He was an ordained minister, but modern in his views.
He preached his twisted doctrines to people in the pews.
He would not hurt their feelings, whate'er the cost would be,
But for their smiles and friendship and compliments sought he.

His church was filled with wicked souls that should be saved from sin,
But never once he showed the way or tried a soul to win.
He preached about the lovely birds that twitter in the trees,
The babl'ing of the running brooks, the murm'ring of the seas.

He quoted fancy poetry that tickled list'ning ears
When sorrow came to some, he tried to laugh away their tears.
His smooth and slipp'ry sermons made the people slide to hell.
The harm he did by preaching goes beyond what we can tell.

He took our Holy Bible, and preached it full of holes,
The Virgin Birth, said he can't be believed by honest souls,
The miracles of Jesus and the resurrection tale
For educated ones like us, today, cannot avail.

We're living in an age, said he, when wisdom rules and reigns,
When man's intelligence is great and superstition wanes.
He said, we're all God's children who live upon this earth,
No message of salvation, no need of second birth.

His coat was bought with money that he had wrongly gained,
For through his twisted sermons his wealth he had obtained.
He was just like the Roman soldiers that watched at Jesus' grave,
For money in abundance, to them, the people gave;
It all was theirs by telling what was a sinful lie -
A resurrected Savior, they, too, were to deny.

The day at last had come for the minister to die,
When to his congregation, he had to say good-bye.
His form lay cold and lifeless, his ministry was past,
His tongue with all its poison was hushed and stilled at last.

His funeral was grand; he was lauded to the skies-
They preached him into heaven where there are no good-byes.
Upon the lonely hill, underneath the shady trees,
His form was laid to rest in the whisp'ring of the breeze.

A tombstone was erected with words: "He is at rest,
He's gone to heaven's glories to live among the blest."
His body now is lifeless, but Ah! His soul lives on,
He failed to enter in where they thought that he had gone.

The letters on the tombstone or that sermon some had heard,
Could not decide his destiny, 'twas not the final word.
He still had God to deal with, the one who knows the heart;
While others entered heaven, he heard the word, "Depart."

He pauses for a moment upon the brink of hell;
He stares into a depth where he evermore will dwell.
He hears the cries and groanings of souls he had misled,
He recognizes faces among the screaming dead.

He sees departed deacons which he had highly praised.
Their fingers pointing at him as they their voices raised:
"You stood behind the pulpit, and lived in awful sin,
We took you for a saint, but a liar you have been."

Accusing cries! He hears them, "Ah! You have been to blame,
You led us into darkness when you were seeking fame."
"You preached your deadly doctrine, we thought you knew the way.
We fed you and we clothed you, we even raised your pay.

You've robbed us of a home where no tear-drops ever flow,
Where days are always fair and the heav'nly breezes blow.
Where living streams are flowing, and saints and Angels sing,
Where every one is happy, and Hallelujahs ring.

We're in this place of torment, from which no soul returns;
We hear the cry of lost ones, we feel the sizzling burns;
Give us a drop of water, we're tortured in this flame;
You failed to preach salvation to us through Jesus' Name."

The preacher turns in horror, he tries to leave the scene,
He knows the awful future for every soul unclean,
But there he meets the devil, whom he has served so well,
He feels the demon powers as they drag him into hell.

Throughout eternal ages, his groans, too, must be heard-
He, too, must suffer torment-he failed to heed God's Word.
He feels God's wrath upon him, he hears the hot flames roar,
His doctrine now is different, he ridicules no more.
By Oscar C. Eliason, c1960

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Night Before Christmas From a Homeschool Mom

Homeschooling has been a part of our life for sixteen years now, but we still get some stares or questions from those who are new to this concept. It has been a joy for us to watch our children learn and grow over the years. We get to see their "firsts" long after that infant stage of first smile, first word, first step, etc. The spiritual "firsts" are the most important, although we know the physical and mental "firsts" are also important and necessary, and we are amazed to see God working in each of our children's lives as we point them and teach them about Him!!!

I found this on a homeschooling mailing list and I thought I would share this in honor of my wife, as well as all the other homeschooling moms, whom God has called to do the greatest job in her life, to "train up a child in the way he should go..."

The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the home,
Children were still studying for their test on Rome.
Mom was planning, she had just an hour,
To teach 'one more lesson' before their night shower.

A whole week of vacation, the children were thrilled,
But Mom saw the lesson plans, and the blocks were still filled.
"Can I stop for a day, much less a whole week?"
Just the thought of time off, made me shudder and shriek!

Would they remember anything, would they fall behind?"
Lord, I need your help, just give me a sign!!!"
Then out on the sidewalk, I saw my four boys,
And I heard them say, "it's not about toys."
To the neighborhood kids, they explained Jesus' birth,
And how through Jesus, not toys, we gain our worth.

At that point, math and spelling and learning to write,
Meant little to me as I had lost the sight
Of what teaching at home was truly about.
Then I sat at my desk and began to pout.

The pouts turned to sobs, "Lord what have I done?
It's not about grades, but to follow your Son!"
"Please guide me and show me my job is to teach,
and turn them to you, and of Jesus I'll preach."

Now we'll put away books and not open them 'til later,
We'll focus on Jesus, our Lord and Creator.
It's His day and so we will all celebrate,
I'll never mention the words "behind" or "we're late".

So, Thank You, Lord, for blessing me,
With such a great husband and family.
Now homeschooling moms, TURN OUT THE SCHOOL LIGHT!
And, "Happy Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Do We Really Witness???

"You Lived Next Door to Me For Years"

You lived next door to me for years.
We shared our dreams, our joys, and tears.
A friend to me you were indeed,
A friend who helped me when in need.

My faith in you was strong and sure.
We had such trust as should endure.
No words between us ever rose,
Our friends were alike--and so, our foes.

What sadness, then, my friend, to find,
That, after all, you weren't so kind.
The day my life on earth did end,
I found you weren't a faithful friend.

For all those years we spent on earth,
You never talked of the second birth.
You never spoke of my lost soul,
And of the Christ who'd make me whole.

I'm lost today eternally,
And tell you now my earnest plea.
You cannot do a thing for me--
No words today my bonds will free.

But do not err, my friend, again.
Do all you can for souls of men.
Plead with them now quite earnestly--
Lest they be cast in Hell with me.
-- Arthur unknown

Friday, December 02, 2005

Twenty Causes for Personal Failure

By Curtis Hudson

1. Drifting through life without a definite goal.
2. Overly curious about other people's affairs.
3. Inadequate education or inadequate information on your subject.
4. Lack of self-discipline.
5. Lack of ambition to aim high.
6. Lack of persistence in carrying through that which you have begun.
7. A negative mental attitude in general.
8. Lack of emotional control.
9. The desire to get something for nothing.
10. Failure to reach decisions promptly and definitely when all of the facts necessary for a decision are at hand.
11. Fear of failure.
12. Indiscriminate spending of time and/or money.
13. Lack of control over the tongue.
14. Having a closed mind; that is, unwilling to take advice from others.
15. Lack of loyalty where loyalty is due.
16. Lack of vision and imagination.
17. Egotism and vanity without control.
18. Having wrong motives.
19. A desire for revenge for real or imaginary grievances.
20. Unwilling to go the "extra mile."

"The person who succeeds is the one who does more than enough and keeps on doing it."

Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and thou shalt have good success."