Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stay Out Of Egypt!!!

Isa. 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

When God established Abram in the Land of Promise, Abram had a tendency to go to Egypt during times of famine. Jacob and the nation of Israel spent hundreds of years in Egypt before God delivered them under the leadership of Moses. Even after being freed from that Egyptian bondage, the complaining Israelites often looked back favorably to Egypt with a longing to return. Egypt represents for us the world system that we have been saved out of and delivered from. In our text, the prophet Isaiah is used to warn the nation of Israel about the dangers of going to Egypt for help. Going to Egypt is trusting in the world. God is to be our Source, not the world. He is our source of wisdom, not the wisdom of the world. It is a mistake to trust in the world. In our generation, parents trust the education and training of their children to the world. The world does not have the answers we need. The “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4), which is Satan, governs the world. Why should we trust in a system that has the devil as its god? The “wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (I Corinthians 3:19). Why should we make decisions based on the counsel of the world? God wants His people to STAY OUT OF EGYPT. We have to be in the world as far as our employment, lodging, etc., is concerned. We have been commanded to take the Gospel into the world. However, we are not to go into the world for our counsel, for our fellowship, or for our joy and purpose of living. We are not to trust in the world, but rather, we are to trust in the Lord. Isaiah cautioned these people because “they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!” They were leaning on the world rather than believing in God. They were trusting in the arm of the flesh instead of relying on the strength of their Savior. It sometimes seems easier to look to the world rather than seek the Lord. Many of our friends and associates, even those who claim to know the Lord, often rely on the world. But the world does not have the solutions we need. When we depend on the world, God is being robbed of His due glory when we bypass Him for Egypt.

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith from Mt. Zion Baptist Church

(Just a thought by me, and many may not know this, but all the modern versions of the Bible, God's written word for man for all eternity, are based from manuscripts "wonderfully preserved" (terminology given by modern Bible scholars) in Egypt. The King James Bible is translated from manuscripts primarily from Antioch, the place where the term Christian was first used. The modern versions all claim to be an improvement upon the King James Bible.

Now God can do anything, and I guess He could preserve His Word in Egypt if He really wanted too; but think again of the reference verse above; "woe to them that go down to Egypt for help," and the implication throughout Scripture that pictures Egypt as a type of the World.

Again, just a thought.......)

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Preachers Who Don't Want to Convert Anybody!!!

  1. Let your supreme motive be popularity rather than salvation.
  2. Study to please your congregation and to make a reputation rather than to please God.
  3. Take up popular, passing and sensational themes to draw the crowd, and avoid essential doctrines of salvation.
  4. Denounce sin in the abstract but pass lightly over sins that prevail in your congregation.
  5. Preach on the loveliness of virtue and the glory of Heaven but not on the sinfulness of sin and the terrors of Hell.
  6. Reprove the sin of the absent but make those who are present pleased with themselves so that they will enjoy the sermon and not go away with their feelings hurt.
  7. Make the impression on worldly members that God is too good to send anyone to Hell, even if there is a Hell.
  8. Preach the universal Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man so as to show that no second birth is really needed.
  9. Do not rebuke the worldliness of the church but fall in with the amusement policy. Instead of meeting for prayer, let people sit down to eat and drink and rise up to play.

By Charles G. Finney

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Good Christians are Good Followers!!!

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

The appeal to "follow me" is made by the Lord Jesus Christ several times. A consideration of each statement reflects the full orb of the victorious Christian life. Each "follow me" has a specific call to us.
  1. The Call to the Saviour! - Matt. 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
  2. The Call to Salvation! - John 1:43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
  3. The Call to Surrender! - Matt. 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
  4. The Call to Sacrifice! - Matt. 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Matt. 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
  5. The Call to Stick! - John 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
  6. The Call to Soul-winning! - Matt. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
  7. The Call to Serve! - John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

By Dr. Shelton Smith

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Saturday, October 27, 2007


Deuteronomy 4:1-2 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Israel was to be governed by the laws of God. His statutes and judgments were not subject to their vote or approval. They were to “hearken” or “listen intently, paying close attention to” what His Word taught. These holy commandments and principles were to be learned and then obeyed. The success of God’s people was dependent on their obedience to His Word. It has never been possible for the people of God to prosper and be blessed when they are leading disobedient lives. However, as long as they would let God’s Word guide them and faithfully follow His commands, no enemy could prevail against them. Therefore, God strictly forbids the altering of His Word. Our text clearly states, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it.” There have always been temptations to tamper with the Word. When the serpent came into the Garden of Eden, he was casting doubt on the Word of God. The devil hates the Bible. He despises the authority of the Scripture and fears the power of the Bible. Israel was to resist every tendency to alter the truth of God. This restriction regarding the Word of God has never been rescinded. God’s Word is never to be changed. The Bible is not the words of men, it is the Word of God. It will never be outdated. It will never need to be revised. The modern translations of the past century are direct violations of this clear command of Scripture. It is the height of arrogance for Bible publishers to assume they have the authority to add to or diminish from the Words of God. When the Bible is added to or subtracted from, God’s Holy Word is profaned. God’s Word is to be revered, it is to be feared, and it is to be obeyed. We live in a day when those who should be proclaiming the truth are diluting the truth and claiming that the Bible as it is, is no longer relevant. The Holy Scriptures shall always be the unchanging standard of truth.

A Devotional Thought from Pastor Smith, Mt. Zion Baptist Church


MODERN LANGUAGE BIBLES HAVE NOT INCREASED BIBLICAL LITERACY (Friday Church News Notes, October 19, 2007, http://www.wayoflife.org/ fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - A river of new "easy to read" Bibles has poured from the presses over the past 50 years and yet biblical literacy has diminished dramatically during this time. A recent article observed: "According to estimates, never have so many Bibles been published and distributed, yet never has biblical literacy been so low. (Americans know the names of the four Beatles better than the four Gospels and more about the ingredients of a Big Mac than the Ten Commandments.) Gone are the days when Scripture--namely the King James Version--supplied a common vocabulary for daily speech, public morality and national literature. Today, hundreds of colorful translations and editions feed the market (a $600 million business, some say)..." ("Bible Would Still Be Life Guide Today If People Actually Read It," The Tennessean, Oct. 6, 2007). The multiplication of "easy to read" Bibles has been accompanied by the rise of the "seeker friendly" church philosophy, but the result has been a decrease in church attendance and Bible reading. When the old "antiquated" King James Bible was the standard and when the churches were "old-fashioned" and conservative in their approach to evangelism and worship, the effect on society was much greater. "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein" (Jeremiah 6:16).

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Poll: Atheists Less Likely to "Do Good"

Is it necessary to believe in God in order to have solid personal values? A new survey seems to answer that question with a "yes."

The survey by a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important."

The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.

According to the survey, there is a:

-- 32-point gap between theists and atheists on whether forgiveness is "very important" (84 percent vs. 52 percent).
-- 33-point gap on patience (72 percent vs. 39 percent).
-- 30-point gap on generosity (67 percent vs. 37 percent).
-- 19-point gap on concern for others (82 percent vs. 63 percent).
-- 23-point gap on family life (88 percent vs. 65 percent).

Among the poll's other findings, there was a 13-point gap between theists and atheists on kindness, 16-point gap on "being loved," 11-point gap on friendship, 10-point gap on courtesy, 12-point gap on politeness, 13-point gap on friendliness and 5-point gap on honesty.

If the poll is correct, Canada has a higher percentage of atheists than does America. A Gallup poll of American adults this summer found that 6 percent consider themselves atheists. Also, most polls find that roughly nine in 10 Americans profess a belief in God, a higher percentage than in Canada.

The Ottawa Citizen took the poll results seriously, asserting in an editorial that "declining religious affiliation could be accompanied by a decline in civility."

"Clergy and theologians have long argued something similar, namely, that without formal religion it is hard for society to maintain and perpetrate ethical behaviour," the editorial stated. "Of course, clergy are not the most objective analysts in these matters. Bibby, however, speaks as an academic. …

"Bibby's research suggests that as religiosity declines, we start to travel blind -- and society pays a price," the editorial continued. "Religious affiliation, apparently, has a civilizing function. We become socialized at church. The fear, then, is that as we separate ourselves from these institutions, social harmony could suffer."

Article found here: http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=26675

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Sin of Harboring Sin in the Church

When a local New Testament church has secret sin amongst its people, or known sin that is being ignored, tolerated and not being dealt with biblically, there can be no question that there will be turmoil, unrest and a real lack of the power of God's Spirit upon the work. There are far too many churches today that harbor known sin in their midst, and then wonder why God's hand of blessing is not upon them. God cannot tolerate sin in a church and be consistent with His Word. If sin in a church is left unaddressed and unresolved, eventually God must write "Ichabod" over the doors of that local assembly. Sad, is it not? But please let me remind you that God's people who allow sin to live and fester in the local church bring this upon themselves.

The longer I live, and the more revival meetings I preach, the more convinced I have become that many of our Bible-preaching Baptist churches are full of secret sin. Preaching on Achan and the "accursed thing" in recent revival meetings, God has reminded me that His hand will come off of any church where the accursed thing of hidden, covered-up sin is permitted to exist. Though it was but one man who had sinned against God in disobeying His command to not take any spoil for self at the defeat of Jericho (Joshua 6:17-19), yet God held the entire nation accountable and responsible for that one man's sinful disobedience. "BUT the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel" (Joshua 7:1). Achan had covered up what he had done in clandestinely taking "a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight." He intentionally stole from God that which was designated to go into the treasury of the Lord alone (Joshua 6:19), and then set out to cover up his treachery and his sin. In doing so, he not only troubled himself and his family, but the entire nation of Israel as well. One man's sin set off a chain of catastrophic events to include the death of about thirty-six good men who went up to war against Ai fresh from victory over a much greater opponent at Jericho, and yet could not stand in battle. God's hand had clearly come off the nation, and their enemies were allowed of the Lord to master them. Read here the chilling pronouncement of God regarding this cancerous secret sin within the camp.

Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed thing among you. Joshua 7:11-12

Again, though but one man from amongst so many had committed the trespass, yet God held the entire nation accountable for it. His declaration that "neither will I be with you any more" ought to strike fear into the heart of every Blood-bought believer! God is serious about this thing of secret sin, and He is serious about how we should deal with it. We will not experience revival until it is ferreted out in our assemblies, dealt with biblically in love, confessed and forsaken, and those given over to it come clean with God. And consider that God could have dealt with Achan directly and left the rest of the people out of the equation. He could have just ended Achan's life, and that would have been that, but He did not. He required that Joshua investigate and find who was the guilty party in this matter, then carry out His prescribed discipline and punishment.

These are strange and confusing times, and we are seeing more and more of the "accursed thing" and secret sin finding a home in our assemblies just like a malignant tumor finds a home in the human body. The healthy churches are those that are chaste and purged of sin. They are churches where the pastor knows the sheep and spends time in the sheepfold with them. He knows them so well he can sense when they become sin-sick, and will rush to them to admonish, exhort, rebuke, correct and restore them. The need of the hour is preaching that first awakens and convicts, then calls to confession and repentance of sin, and then encourages and challenges God's people to live a godly and separated life for the glory of the King.

In the final analysis, sin, secret sin, open sin; all are robbing many of our local church assemblies from the power of God and the mighty manifestation of the Spirit of God upon them. Rather than come clean with God, totally clean, it is often easier for folks to strive to counterfeit the true presence of God through a never-ending, frenetic list of programs and methods whereby there is a modicum of "success" that creates a comfort-zone and an allusion that "all is well" in the camp when it isn't. This is self-deception at its worst, and we need to beware of its insidious nature.

We will never see revival until we come clean with God. When we purge ourselves of the "accursed thing" of secret sin, open sin, and sin of all descriptions, then, and not before then, we can see God move in our midst, and on our behalf in a mighty way.

BLESSED is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit is no quile (or COVER-UP). When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found . . . . Psalm 32:1-6a

By Evangelist Paul Mershon from Revival Thoughts - 10/25/07

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Good Recipe

2 Kings 7:9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.

The four leprous men upon discovering the abandoned Syrian army camp, decided they needed to share the good news with those back in the city of Samaria. Because they were lepers they were not permitted in the city, so they told the porter at the gate. The porter told the good news to the porters of the King’s household. They, in turn, told the King. The King then told the good news to the entire city! Good news is meant to be shared!

My wife Barb was telling me about a good recipe she found for Pasta E Fagioli. She made this Italian soup for a ladies fellowship at church. It was a big hit! She passed the recipe on to another lady who loved it. She in turn sent the recipe to a friend of hers in California.

That is common when someone comes across a good recipe, they pass it on! It makes the rounds quickly. They same can be said about finding a good restaurant, a good mechanic, a good dentist, or a good book. When we find a good thing, we are quick to recommend it to others.

The greatest recipe a person could have is the recipe of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is the recipe of salvation! If there were ever a recipe that needed to be circulated, the Gospel recipe would be it! Sadly, a cookie recipe is often more readily passed around than the Gospel.

The Bible says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good...” (Ps. 34:8).

A devotional thought by Pastor Al Hughes

Friend, what about you??? Are you helping to spread the news of the Gospel, or are you too busy telling others about that new restaurant in town???

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Plea to Christian Young People to Be Fools

(Here is an article from the 10/16/07 issue of the Worldview Weekend newsletter that I thought I would share with my faithful blog readers.)

Note: This is a short but poignant appeal from Bryan Elliff. He is 18 and in his senior year of homeschooling. Bryan teaches young people weekly in KC, and has spoken in a variety of other venues in the US and overseas. Please listen carefully to what Bryan is saying. If possible, copy this article and share it with young people. We are seeing a dramatic impact among youth who understand the importance of this biblical viewpoint. You may read other articles by Bryan on his blog designed specifically for the youth he is teaching each week at www.bryanelliff.blogspot.com. Jim Elliff

A Plea to Christian Young People to Be Fools by Bryan Elliff

The people of God are called to be fools for the sake of Christ. Many Christian young people are not.

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, he was fighting this very battle. He brought into sharp contrast the wisdom of the world and the foolishness of God. To the world in their wisdom, he said in chapter 1, the cross of Christ is utter stupidity. It is bloody, dirty, poor, and intellectually bankrupt—the historical execution of a Jewish, religious criminal. “But,” he said, “to those who are the called . . . [it is] Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1:24).” The cross does not cease to be dirty, and bloody, and poor, but to the called, this “foolishness” is seen as the glorious power and wisdom of the omnipotent and omniscient God.

The world hates the gospel. How else can you explain the martyrdom of the many early Christians in the Roman Coliseum, or the beheading of John and Betty Stam, missionaries to China, in 1934, or the brutal torture and death of three missionaries in Asia this past year? To the world in their wisdom, the cross of Jesus Christ is still dirty, bloody, poor, and stupid. And, possibly what is the most hateful of all, it demands of them absolute submission. That is the gospel that you are called to preach and live.

When I travel with my father, I have the opportunity to meet many people, in churches and conferences, who are near my age (18). I am very weary of seeing so many young people who are completely enamored with living and preaching a gospel that is cool. The true gospel is not cool. It is foolishness. Jesus Christ is not cool. To the world, He is a fool. If He had been wise in the world’s opinion, they would not have murdered Him. And if Jesus Christ came back today to live among the Western church, I think it possible that many youth groups, discovering that He is not the Jesus Christ they had created, would crucify Him again.

Much of the problem is that many young people are holding a rope that is not held by God on the other end. They are resting in a salvation that is based, not by God’s grace and Christ’s work, but on family tradition or one-time experiences. My object, however, is not to deal with that problem. My object is to plead with genuine Christian teenagers and college students to be fools for the sake of Christ.

Ultimately, I am saying this: if you are a true follower of Christ, you are not called to be cool. You are called to preach and live out a gospel that is hated by many of your friends—maybe even some in your church. Christians are not supposed to be loved by the world. Christians are supposed to be like those in Hebrews 11 who were “stoned . . . sawn in two . . . tempted . . . put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground (11:37-38).” They were men of whom the world was not worthy.

I yearn for an army of young people who are world-hated, Christ-exalting fools—young men and women of whom the world is not worthy.

Bryan Elliff © 2007 Permission granted for electronic copying in complete form. All other uses require written permission. www.CCWonline.org

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Monday, October 22, 2007

In Our Jerusalem

We're concerned for the sinner in China,
The heathen in Mandalay.
But, say, do we care, have we offered a prayer
For the neighbor just over the way?

We say we would go with the Gospel
To lighten dark Africa's shore.
Have we spoken a word in the name of the Lord
To the people who live next door?

That farmer who lives down the highway,
Who looks so forbidding and grim,
Do we have no "call" to witness at all
Or to speak of the Saviour to him?

We'd take the Gospel to savages;
We'd cross the stormy tide,
But not personally tout what the Gospel's about
To the fellow who works by our side.

We'd testify to our great Saviour
And His love we have found so sweet
To the Hottentot, but certainly not
To the friends whom we meet on the street.

By Lorie C. Gooding

Don't misunderstand the point of the poem above; I have the highest regard for those who go abroad to serve in some distant field. But here's the point - if we truly have a heart for souls, that ought to be most obvious the closest to home. In fact, if we would do a good job reaching the lost close to home, we would have a lot more ambassadors of Christ going to the unreached multitudes all over the globe!!!

Our "Jerusalem" must be a priority!!! Otherwise, the "uttermost part" of the earth will never be reached at all.

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.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Every Place Holy to the Child of God

Gen. 28:15-17 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

When people come into the house of God, they put on a sober appearance. They act as if there is something very strange about the house of God.

I would not say a word to detract from its holiness. But let us bear in mind that every place ought to be holy to the child of God. We ought to be just as true to Him in our place of business as we are in the church. When Jacob said, "This is the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven," he was under the canapy of high heaven. That was where God met him. God will meet us in the street as well as in the place of worship. He will meet us at home. He is also with us in our prayer closets. Anyplace where God is, is holy.

This putting on another air and a sanctimonious look when we come into the house of God and laying it aside when we go out, thinking that this is going to be acceptable to God, is all wrong. Every place ought to be holy to a true child of God.

By D. L. Moody

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Deep and Wide

The assumption that a church must be as deep as it is wide reveals that one has very little understanding about the ministry. Those who believe outreach and discipleship are equally important are criticized as being "an inch deep and a mile wide." That is, they are shallow and know very little about deeper Bible study.

That criticism is rooted in pride. Churches, adding new members regularly, will have believers at different levels of spiritual growth. It is a mark of insanity to feed them the same diet. Some require milk; others need meat.

If I had to choose, which I do not, between a church that is "an inch deep and a mile wide or a church that was a mile deep and an inch wide," the choice would be easy. I would take the wider church every time. I have no interest in a handful of "deeper life Christians" that sit around and criticize those who have not reached their spiritual depth.

As a pastor …
  1. I am called to feed the sheep.
  2. I must not destroy a brother with my stronger faith.
  3. I must speak words easily understood.
  4. I must be like Jesus and speak to the common people.

By Ken Blue

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Friday, October 19, 2007

How To Listen To A Sermon

Luke 8:17-18a For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear:
  1. Come to hear them, not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to know and do your duty. To enter His house merely to have our ears entertained, and not our hearts reformed, must certainly be highly displeasing to the Most High God, as well as unprofitable to ourselves.
  2. Give diligent heed to the things that are spoken from the Word of God. If an earthly king were to issue a royal proclamation, and the life or death of his subjects entirely depended on performing or not performing its conditions, how eager would they be to hear what those conditions were! And shall we not pay the same respect to the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and lend an attentive ear to His ministers?
  3. Do not entertain even the least prejudice against the minister. That was the reason Jesus Christ Himself could not do many mighty works, nor preach to any great effect among those of His own country; for they were offended at Him. Take heed therefore, and beware of entertaining any dislike against those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers over you. And though we should even hear a person teaching others to do what he has not learned himself, yet that is no reason for rejecting his doctrine.
  4. Be careful not to depend too much on a preacher, or think more highly of him than you ought to think. Preferring one teacher over another has often been of ill consequence to the church of God.
  5. Make particular application to your own hearts of everything that is delivered. When our Savior was discoursing at the last supper with His beloved disciples and foretold that one of them should betray Him, each of them immediately applied it to his own heart and said, "Lord, is it I?" (Matt. 26:22).
  6. Pray to the Lord, before, during, and after every sermon, to endue the minister with power to speak and to grant you a will and ability to put into practice what he shall show from the Book of God to be your duty. If only all who hear this day would seriously apply their hearts to practice what has now been told them! How ministers would see Satan, like lightning, fall from heaven, and people find the Word preached sharper than a two-edged sword and mighty, through God, to the pulling down of the devil’s strongholds!

By George Whitfield

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

I believe we should love and appreciate the pastor of our church each and every month of the year, but since October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month, I thought I would share this article by Bro. Ron Hood regarding a Christian Bible-believer being a help to their pastor and church.

Ten Ways to be of Help to Your Pastor, Your Church, and Yourself
  1. Treat him with the proper respect. Treat him the same way you would a doctor, a lawyer, or a politician. A pastor's role is more important than all of these professional roles because he is God's appointed leader for you and your family. Therefore esteem him very highly in love for his work's sake (I Thessalonians 5:12-13).
  2. Follow your pastor as he follows Christ (I Corinthians 11:1, Hebrews 13:7). Never blindly follow anyone but always follow the man of God who is following Jesus Christ as set forth in the Word of God (Philippians 3:17-21).
  3. Pray for him often (Ephesians 6:18-20; II Thessalonians 3:1-2). You know how much opposition you receive from the world, the flesh, and the devil; your pastor receives even more, therefore, pray for him!
  4. Obey him as he admonishes you and teaches you the Word of God (I Thessalonians 5:12 and Hebrews 13:17). These verses teach that you should submit, obey, and follow.
  5. Do not speak against or listen to any gossip or slander about your pastor. I Timothy 5:19 reads, "Against an elder receive not an accusation.. ." and Ephesians 4:29 reads, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth...," Prov. 6:16-19 teaches that God hates for us to hurt people with words. Actively listening to gossip and slander is just as much a sin as speaking it.
  6. Support him financially so he can keep his mind on the work of the ministry (I Tim. 5:17, 18 and Phil. 4:10-19). If a man cannot properly care for his family, he will be distracted from the ministry. It costs your pastor just as much to live as it does you, and in some cases more because of the additional transportation and the way he is expected to dress, etc.
  7. Encourage your pastor. Tell him when he has been of help to you. Ephesians 4:29 teaches that we should speak that which edifies. You minister grace to your pastor when you tell him how he has helped you. He will be a more effective, dedicated servant of God if you give him some feedback on his ministry to you (Prov. 3:27). It will also be very encouraging if you tell your Sunday School teacher, husband, or wife, and children how they have helped or been a blessing to you. Praise doesn't cost - it pays great dividends - in the home, in the church, in the school, and on the job.
  8. Be patient and understanding with your pastor, his wife, and his children. Do not expect your pastor or his family to be perfect, they are human. John 1:5, and James 5:17 teach that a man of God has the same human weaknesses and temptations that we all face.
  9. Stay busy serving the Lord. This will bless your life and be a tremendous encouragement to your pastor. You have a spiritual gift, so use it. John 13:17 teaches, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." Happiness doesn't come from knowing what is right, happiness comes from doing what is right. Therefore, serve the Lord.
  10. Be a blessing to your pastor, your family, and all who know you by being a soul winner. People all around us are lost in sin, dying and going to hell. Do all in your power to win them to Jesus Christ. Tell them what Christ has done for you and what He can do for them. Reflect on what your salvation means to you and then realize that those who are lost in sin need the same joy, peace, assurance, and hope that you have.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Using the Word GOSPEL to Fulfill the Great Commission

(Article written by Jerry Ferrso in the September 2007 issue of The Baptist Voice published by Lancaster Baptist Church)

Have you ever asked someone to deliver a message and then found out later it was never communicated??? Every Christian has been commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to share the message of salvation with anyone and everyone!!! Have you been communicating this important message faithfully???

As we consider the Gospel message and its importance, may this acrostic of the word "GOSPEL" be of help to you in being a faithful and frutiful messenger.

Go soulwinning every week - Matt. 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus commanded his disciples to "... go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." Dr. Don Sisk has often said, "Christ's last command should be our first priority." One way we can make soulwinning our priority is by scheduling time every week to go.
Opportunities are everywhere - John 4:34-35 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

It amazes me that there are certain people who can find great deals on anything. The reason for this is simple - they are looking for them. This is the same idea with soulwinning. If you want to see more people saved, look for the opportunities.

Seek the filling of the Holy Spirit - 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.

We need the empowerment that comes from the Holy Spirit. Seek His filling so that you can accomplish the Lord's work in His power!!!

Persuade people to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour - Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Do not give up on people who do not readily accept Christ as their Saviour. Pray for them, encourage them, witness to them, and even plead with them to receive Jesus Christ.

Eliminate any excuses why you can't be a soulwinner - Php. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

With God's calling comes God's enabling. We must recognize our dependency is on the Lord. It is not my personality, my strength, or my presentation, but it is by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ that He enables me to be His messenger.

Live with eternity in mind - James 4:13-14 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

We live as if we have an unlimited amount of time to do God's work. The Bible says, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work." We cannot believe Satan's lie, "We can serve God tomorrow." With all honesty, tomorrow may never come for you. We do not have a guarantee that we will have tomorrow to serve the Lord. May I encourage you to find someone today with whom you may share the wonderful message of Jesus Christ. Today may be your last opportunity!!!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Amazing Bible!!!

My Bible's a source of surprising wealth;
A storehouse of food for the spirit's health;
A refuge of peace from a world in strife;
A place of surcease from the storms of life;
A firm foundation beneath my feet;
A shelter and shield from the noonday heat;
An unfailing help in the time of need;
A joy and comfort to all who read;
A Book that presents, as I read it more,
A friendly Face and an open door;
A plan for the man who is down and out;
A goal for the soul that is torn by doubt;
A chart for the heart that has lost its way;
A light in the night and a guide by day;
A cure that is sure for the soul-sick soul;
A calm and a balm that can make men whole;
So planned and so grand that it stands alone,
The greatest Book that the world has known!

By Joseph Baldwin Haston

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Big Mac vs. The Ten Commandments

Below is a brief news story which caught my eye this week that shouldn't come as a surprise to most Bible believers today. The simple fact is this: even with all the new, easy to understand bibles in the churches today, as well as, all the "seeker oriented" church ministries today, the people of "Christian America" know very little about the things of God and His Word. Satan has been doing his job at bringing "religious confusion" and worldly entertainment as the chief priority in the average individual's life.

It is also a fact that many know very little of God's commandments since their lifestyle shows very much the opposite in their day to day living and belief system. Sadly, this is true of many Christians today; we expect the lost to not understand God's Commandments, but Christians are to be Christ-like and willingly obedient of God's Word as they read it and learn abut its teachings. However, looking around the average church of today, we sell very little genuine Christianity. America is in need of revival, and that revival must first start with us Bible believing individuals and our churches!!!!! We have sin in our lives which much be addressed before we can present the Gospel message to the ever increasing lost and dying world around us.

"Ten Commandments" survey of Americans: Huh?

From http://www.onenewsnow.com/2007/10/ten_commandments_survey_of_ame.php

"Two all-beef patties, special sauce ...." A new survey finds that nearly twice as many people can name the ingredients of a Big Mac than can name the Ten Commandments.

The survey, conducted by Kelton Research, asked 1,000 Americans how many of the Ten Commandments they could name. Among the survey's findings: 80 percent knew the ingredients of a Big Mac, and 6 in 10 respondents knew the sixth commandment -- "Thou shalt not kill." Also, Bobby and Peter -- the least-recalled names from the early 1970s TV family "Brady Bunch" -- were more familiar to respondents than the least-recalled commandments, "Remember the Sabbath," and "Do not make any false idols."

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the upcoming nationwide release of the animated feature, "The Ten Commandments." Paul Lauer is founder of Motive Entertainment, the group marketing the new movie. He says although there has been much debate in recent years over the public display of the Ten Commandments, the survey shows that God's laws are not being taught in many homes.

"I think the message is clear that we're failing, not only on a society level, but also on a personal level, to teach and spread these most important building blocks of our faith and our morality," he says.

He points out that it is ironic that God's Laws are not well known in a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values. Lauer says he hopes the movie will encourage Americans to get re-acquainted with the Ten Commandments and the Holy Bible.

------------------------- End of Article ---------------------------

Leave it to a movie to help us get re-acquainted with the Ten Commandments????? What has happened to the church and its members today?????

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Why Say Amen???

I. What it means:
“So be it”, “I agree” , "That which is true"

II. Some misconceptions:
1. Does not make you a Pentecostal.
2. You do not have to be over the age of 60 to say it.
3. It should not be done for show. Don’t scream it or be disruptive.

III. Why do it?
1. It is Biblical (1 Cor 14:15-16) "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" Example of people who were to say Amen when the preacher said something that was a blessing to them. It is a way of saying to singers, pianist, guest speakers and others that they have ministered to your spirit and been a blessing to you.
2. It helps to keep a church from growing cold and formal. Also, it keeps the praise based on Spiritual blessings. While clapping is an appropriate way to praise the individual or entertainer, the Amen is more a praise for the message. I can say Amen to anyone who tries to testify for God, regardless of their ability.
3. It helps keep some people awake!!! : ) : ) : )
4. It helps the preacher know he is getting through. It helps him to know people are listening.
5. It helps affirm that we as a church are in unity on certain points. It testifies that the preacher is not the only idiot that believes it!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Have You Seen the WAGONS???

Gen. 45:25-28 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

Jacob had a rough life in many ways;
  1. He thought his favorite son, Joseph, was dead.
  2. There was a tremendous famine and he had to send his remaining sons, less one, to Egypt for food.
  3. When his sons got back, it was minus Simeon, who was detained in Egypt. The Prime Minister (they didn’t know that it was Joseph) demanded that they return home and bring back their youngest brother with them.
  4. After much hesitation Jacob consented to send Benjamin with the others back to Egypt.

Jacob was evidently depressed by the events of his life, until he heard the words of Joseph sent to him; "…and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: " Joseph saw the wagons as evidence that his son was alive and he revived.

When we feel depressed and out of sorts we need to look at the evidence that God has given us. We need to see the “W. A. G. O. N. S.” and be revived.

W. - WONDERS (of Calvary) - John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

A. - ASSURANCE - Rom. 8:15-17 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

G. - GRACE - Eph. 2:8-9 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. 2 Cor. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

O. - OMNIPOTENCE - Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Eph. 1:21-22 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

N. - NEARNESS - Heb. 13:5b for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb. 10:22-23 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

S. - SECURITY - John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

Excerpt of sermon notes from Pastor Jack Peters

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Passion or Pastime???

(Here is a post by Evangelist Ron Maggard from his Oct. 8th email ministry newsletter "Let Us Go Into The Next Towns." Although his message is directed towards those who are in "full-time service for the Lord," I have always been one to believe that all of us, no matter what vocation we may be employed, should be a full-time servant of the Lord, and should have a passion to reach and teach and encourage those whom God has placed in our own circle of influence, i.e. family, friends, co-workers, people in our community, and internet acquaintances. Friends, is your service for the Lord a true passion, or is it just another pastime in your life???)

Many preachers today exhibit little real passion for their calling, if indeed it is a calling and not a career choice. More and more pastors, associate pastors, youth pastors and other full-time church employees exhibit little passion for their responsibilities. What was at one time a high and holy calling has become little more than a nine to five and a pay check. Many of these look for the church where they can put in a few hours of face time in the pulpit two or three times a week, a few hours in the office and even less time in soul winning and discipleship. Many of the most popular pastors today are more comfortable with the contemporary corporate titles than the long established biblical ones. This begs the question: are they SHEPHERDS or CEO'S? I believe the ministry calls for greater dedication, sacrifice, and even passion than we can find in even a Fortune 500 company. Where are the pastors who follow the example of Christ when he was weeping over the sheep without a shepherd? Where are the pastors like Him who spent whole nights in prayer, who gave his time to prepare His followers?

Let's take this one example of Paul in Acts 20 to see whether the ministry is Passion or Pastime with us.
  1. Gives 100% - "from the first day - at all seasons" (vs 18)
  2. Has servants heart - not looking to make a name - "serving - with - humility" (vs 19)
  3. Has an undeniable testimony of faithful work - "kept nothing back - profitable" (vs 20)
  4. Has a life that is worth emulating - "have showed you, and have taught you" (vs 20)
  5. Has a credible public ministry - "publickly" (vs 20)
  6. Has a house to house ministry - "house to house" (vs 20)
  7. Not a respecter of persons - "both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks" (vs 21)
  8. Available for compassionate ministry 24 / 7 - "night and day with tears" (vs 31)

Brethren, I am not saying there are none with passion in the ministry today. What I am saying is that many times they have more passion for their pastimes than for their ministry. Many have unmistakable passion for football, baseball, golfing, fishing, camping, internet surfing, game playing, and a myriad of other pastimes. What would happen if the same passion, pursuit, participation, practice and perseverance were shown for the ministry as is shown for these other interests? God alone knows. What is your ministry? Passion or Pastime?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Boldness of Faith

It is therefore our responsibility, as Christian parents, to instill biblical values in our children and to bring them up in the ways of the Lord. This is true especially as mainstream prophets of secularism attempt to denigrate our message and teach our children that all beliefs should be incorporated into a common national hodgepodge.

Ezekiel chapter 13 speaks of false prophets who confused their thoughts with the thoughts of God. These false prophets were like foxes among the ruins because they scavenged for themselves while causing, ignoring and profiting from the human wreckage surrounding them.

I believe this is a picture of our modern culture as our schools, our families and our communities are in turmoil while politicians and “experts” blindly refuse to see the roots of our escalating cultural meltdown.

My friends, we must train up the next generation of Christians to stand in the gap, for the sake of our country. There are many who have decided that God is not relevant, that He should no longer play a role in the modern culture.

We must be proactive in standing on truth, in lifting up truth and in preaching the Gospel, without apology, to this generation. We must ensure that our fellow Americans see the importance of the Word of God in their lives.

In addition, we must ensure that we teach moral absolutes. So many today have determined that there is no absolute truth, that we can determine what is right and wrong as long as we don’t offend someone else. This type of moral relativism is tearing at the fabric of our nation.

The problem with this idea is that the Bible clearly tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?). That being the case, it is impossible to determine morality by looking inside our own hearts, even as Christians.

Instead, we must look to the only source that is perfect and holy. That source is Almighty God!

There are four commitments that I believe we, as Christians, must make in order to ensure the future of our nation. Briefly, they are:

  1. We must be bold in our faith and unashamedly stand up for truth.

  2. We must be prophets, speaking out against sin in our land. We must stand against attacks on the sanctity of life, on the traditional family and on our religious freedoms.

  3. We must be gentle. In the midst of standing up for truth, we must reach the world in meekness and gentleness. I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

  4. We must always be proclaimers of the Gospel. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. We must remember that winning souls changes everything and that when we win people to the Christ, we will change the culture.

May we join together in these four commitments to spark change in our culture and bring the truth of Jesus Christ into the lives of those who do not know Him.

Excerpts from email message by Jonathan Falwell - October 5, 2007

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Pastor's Wish For God's People

  1. May a dying Saviour’s love inspire you! - 2 Co 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
  2. May a risen Saviour's power preserve you! - Php. 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
  3. May an ascended Saviour’s blessing enrich you! - Eph. 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
  4. May a constant Saviour’s ministry aid you! - Heb. 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
  5. May a living Saviour’s Word sanctify you! - Eph. 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Taken from May 1998 Sword of the Lord

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Leading Our Children

(Here is a follow-up post by Pastor Paul Chappell from his daily devotional email list which goes along with the earlier post this week found here on my blog site. Parents are to lead their children!!!)

2 Timothy 3:14–17 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Over the last few days we have seen that we as parents are given the privilege and responsibility of raising our children for the Lord. God desires that we as parents would take this responsibility seriously and seek His help. We have seen the steps God has given us in raising children who love Him. Today, let’s see how we must lead our children in making right decisions.

First, we must lead them to salvation. We cannot force our children to get saved or to accept Christ, but we can influence them spiritually. We can teach them of God’s gift of salvation and of His sacrifice on the Cross. We can tell them of our need for His redemption and of His promise of Heaven. We can fill their hearts with stories about God.

Sometimes people say, “I’m just going to let my child make up his own mind about religion.” But this is not wise! Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” The Bible warns us that if we fail to nurture a child and lead them to right decisions, they will bring us to shame! We must be actively teaching our children about salvation so they will want to trust Christ as their Saviour.

Second, we must also lead them to separation. We see a perfect example of a young person who was separated in Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” I am sure this decision was not made on impulse but came from years of right parenting by Daniel’s parents.

We must lead our children to be set apart from the world. So many young people today are trying to “fit in” but we must show our children that God desires for them to be separate. We must teach them to set standards for themselves and to be separate like Daniel.

Last, we must lead our children to be surrendered to God. We can’t make the decisions for our children, but we can lead them in the way they need to go. We must lead them to have a sensitive heart toward God and His leading in their lives.

It is so vital that we instill these principles in our children at a young age. As parents, we must be leading our children by actively teaching them the things of God. We must also be modeling separation and surrender in our lives so our children will see our examples.

Are you leading your children to know and love God? Are you helping them develop godly habits and principles in their lives? Because the devil is active in trying to corrupt our children’s hearts, we must be active in protecting them and leading them to God. Ask God for help in leading your children. Commit to helping your child live for God by teaching them and leading them today.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Witnessing To Children

During our evening prayer/Bible study mid-week service last night, our pastor taught a helpful lesson for all our workers in our children's ministries, as well as the rest of the congregation. The goal for the bus ministry this Sunday for the pastor's 12th Anniversary at our church is just under 600, so there will be double the amount of children's Sunday School classes and "children's church" services to orderly handle the expected total of bus riders. There will be many workers from our church in these special ministries, including many helpers who have not worked in this area. Our pastor always does a good job of planning to handle the unexpected, so he wanted to prepare the church family for this special day. The operation of the church should be orderly, and any good leader will make planning and instruction a vital part of his leadership skills. If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail!!! Many churches have very few visitors and even fewer converts because of poor planning and inadequate instruction of God's Word.

The focus of this special day will be evangelistic, giving a simple Gospel presentation to all who attend. Usually, it is up to the church member to witness during his normal week outside the church, bringing his converts to church for discipleship, especially following the new Christian's first command to be baptized, identifying the new believer as one who has placed their complete faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, for this special service this week, we have focused more on going out into the highways and hedges, compelling them to come to church to hear the Gospel message. Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Helps for Children's Ministry Workers - Witnessing to Children

The most important thing is to treat each child as if they were your own, and when presenting the Gospel message, take all the time that is necessary; never rush through the Gospel or deal with children in groups; focus the Gospel presentation one-on-one with each child, taking plenty of time to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the heart of the child. Remember, the most important thing is to treat each child as if they were your own.
  1. Consider the child's age, background, and knowledge.
  2. Are the parent's available?
  3. Do you have the child's attention?
  4. Is the Holy Spirit at work in the heart of this child?
  5. Use Scripture to present the Gospel message.
  6. Explain the obvious.
  7. Use terms the child can understand.
  8. Do you feel confident that the child is grasping the truth you are presenting? There is a difference between knowing and understanding. A child may know the right answer, but does he understand the truth behind the right answer?
  9. Can the child answer the following questions? What is sin? Are you a sinner? What did Jesus do for you? Why? What should you do about it?
  10. Do not prompt a child when asking him about his salvation. This is the only way to know if the child is grasping the truth. Be sure that a child nearby is not prompting him either. It is always best to deal one on one with a child.
  11. Never discount the decision of a child or their desire to make a decision. Should we discourage a child from making a decision? I think not. Since I do not know when the child is sincere, I must believe that he is and give him the opportunity he desires.

Matt. 19:13-14 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Luke 18:15-17 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Teaching Our Children God’s Word

(Here is a devotional article written by Pastor Paul Chappell that was in my mailbox early this morning. This thought and command from God's Word has been my goal with the six children God has blessed my wife and I with over the years; it's a never ending job, but it is so rewarding when you see how God blesses in our lives as well as the lives of our children.)

Prov. 4:1-4 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

God desires for us to raise our children for Him. He delights in the faith and love of small children and He has a special place in His heart for them. He even sets distinct consequences for those who harm children. Matthew 18:6 says, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” God takes the raising and nourishing of children very seriously.

In giving us the gift of children, God has also given us a responsibility. We are to raise our children to love the Lord. We are to help them develop hearts for Him. Yesterday we saw how we can help them by expressing our love to them each day. Today we will see that God desires for us to teach them His Word.

We are the ones responsible for teaching our children God’s Word. Every child needs a set of principles to live by. They need to learn respect, integrity, honesty, and discipline. These attributes can only be learned if we, as parents, are teaching them God’s Word.

Many of the problems in our world today can be traced back to parents who failed to teach their children God’s Word. Many times parents avoid teaching their children the Bible because they do not know it themselves! Parents, we must be in God’s Word each day so we can teach it to our children.

Also, we must realize that God’s Word keeps the heart. When we teach our children Bible verses and Bible stories, their hearts are nourished. We may not think so, but even young children can learn and retain Bible stories! It is a good practice to nourish their heart early on in life with good Bible stories and verses.

Time in the Bible does not have to be boring for your children! You can make it fun and exciting so they will want to learn God’s Word and spend time with Him. As you cultivate a love for God and His Word early on in your child’s life, they will be more established in Christ when they are older.

Parents, it is our responsibility to teach God’s Word to our children. Our world is not teaching them about God and how to live a moral life. If we do not teach them, who will? Also, we can help protect their hearts by teaching them His Word. As we teach them to hide His Word in their hearts, they will be better prepared to face the devil and his temptations.

Are you actively teaching your children God’s Word? It isn’t the job of the church, Sunday school, or even the Christian school to teach your children of God! It is your job as the parent. Spend time with God now and commit to helping establish your child’s heart by teaching him God’s Word. Take time today to teach your child a Bible verse or to tell them a Bible story. Help ground their lives in God’s Word today.
(Comment from Jim; The example of Timothy shown from the verses below has always been a guide to my wife and I in raising our children in God's Word.)

2 Tim. 1:5, 2 Tim. 3:14-17 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

No Neutrality

(Here is another great devotional thought by Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church sent to my mailbox 10/1/07.)

Matt. 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

The Pharisees, as usual, were criticizing the Savior. A man who was possessed of a devil, and was blind and dumb was brought to Jesus. Jesus healed the man. When the Pharisees heard the people’s praise of Jesus, they began to claim that He cast out devils by the power of the prince of the devils. Obviously, they would not rejoice in this miracle or in the wonderful healing this man had received. They must find something wrong with what had occurred. They could not deny that Jesus was doing a good thing, so they accused Him of doing something good by the power of evil. It seems there will always be those around who are bent on trying to find fault. The Pharisees were obsessed with this occupation. Jesus refuted their allegations by teaching that their position was not logical. If He were casting out devils by the power of Satan, the enemy’s kingdom would not stand. He then gave us this powerful statement, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” With this declaration, Jesus clearly drew lines between two kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Everyone who is not with Him (God’s kingdom) is against Him (Satan’s kingdom). Those who are not gathering people to Jesus (God’s kingdom) are driving people away (Satan’s kingdom). The Pharisees wanted to keep themselves looking good as the religious leaders and supposed men of God, while trying to make Jesus look bad. Jesus wanted them to understand that there was no middle ground. If they were not supporting Him, they were against Him. We have all seen those who seek to remain neutral on important spiritual matters. They do not want to take a stand for or against issues. The clever work of the devil is to make things appear to be gray—neither black nor white, neither right nor wrong. However, Jesus will not allow us to do this. He wants us to see things as they are. He wants us to line up on the side of right (God’s side), and be committed to the strait and narrow way. A person who is not supporting Jesus’ cause is advancing the devil’s cause. A person who is critical of God’s work is promoting Satan’s work. Neutrality is a myth. God is looking for those who will take a stand for Him, His truth, and what is right.

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