Monday, December 31, 2007

Questions For A New Year - Part 2

(This is a second part of a post which began yesterday, December 30.; some questions are spiritual food for thought, for those who are willing to face up to the spiritual aspect of their being, but many deal with practical goal-setting activities to improve the overall quality of your life. The questions posted both yesterday and today are for your personal benefit, and there is no need to share your responses here as a comment to the post. Personal responsibility must be accepted regarding the current status of your life instead of blaming others for possible circumstances or difficulties within your life; blaming others (especially God) is a cop-out. You made the choices in your life, and you can raise yourself back up if you have been knocked down in the past. A New Year is a good time to reflect upon some goals to incorporate into your life.)

In addition to these questions, here are 21 more to help you "Consider your ways." Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

11. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?
12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?
13. What's the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?
14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?
15. Who do you most want to encourage this year?
16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
17. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?
18. What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?
19. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?
20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?
21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?
23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?
24. What's the most important trip you want to take this year?
25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?
26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?
27. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?
28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?
29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?
30. What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?
31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year, you will be more likely to remember to encourage that person than if you hadn't considered the question.

If you've found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace – in a day planner, PDA, calendar, bulletin board, etc. – where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let's evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, "The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want." Proverbs 21:5. But in all things let's also remember our dependence on our King who said, "...... for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5b

From an article written by Don Whitney

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Questions For A New Year

Haggai 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. "Consider your ways!" he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It's so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we're going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up and get our bearings. For starters, here are 10 questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God:

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

Excerpt from article written by Don Whitney

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Atheist Paranoia

(Here is a recent post from the "Comfort Food" blog - I too have seen this to be true. Atheists can be fanitical with their quest to prove God and Christianity as false; yet, we as Christians are lazy and careless in taking the time to warn unbelievers about their future fate of Hell and fail to show them the truth from God's Word, The Bible. It's hard to share your faith in Christ and God's Word if you fail to take the time to even read it and incorporate it into your life!!!)

Joshua S. Black, when addressing an atheist said, “For people who don't believe in God, you guys sure are paranoid about something!!” How true that is. I have known many atheists, and I have found them to be totally committed to their negative cause. They are zealots, fanatics--who are serious, angry, hateful, and blasphemous towards something they don’t believe in. And what’s more, they spend their time gathering fuel for the fire of their hatred for God and those that love Him. They gather what they think is legitimate fuel, whether it is atrocities committed by hypocritical religions of history, or the horrors of the Inquisition (the Catholic church torturing Christians for their faith in Jesus). They even gather unintelligent and unscientific material. It qualifies for use because it fits their presuppositions. Any fuel will do, as long at it puts smoke between them and the God they hate “without cause.” It was Jonathon Miller who said, “In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.” So, what is this “something” about which they are so paranoid? It is the same “something” that makes criminals paranoid, and it is that paranoia that fuels criminals to have a deep-rooted hatred for the police. It’s not the individual officer they hate; it’s what he stands for--civil law. And that’s the root of the hatred that the atheist has for God and for those that represent Him. Once again, the Bible has said this all along. It hits the nail on its big and hard head: Romans 8:7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. They hate the morality that God’s Law demands. That's the fuel for their hostility.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Old-Time Way

Jer. 6:16 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.

Have you noticed that most of our contemporary conferences on how to live the Christian life leave us no better and, many times, confused and worse off? Like the woman who had the issue, we have "spent all...... and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse (Mark 5:26)."

What was it that gave our poor, ignorant, unenlightened Christian grandparents such inward peace and contentment, which is sadly lacking in us their grandchildren today? To begin with, I believe it was the fact that they didn't get involved in other people's business. They felt their own problems were enough, and they didn't need to add to them.

Secondly, as unspiritual as it sounds, they were not basically concerned as much with the interpretation and meaning of the Scriptures, as they were in obeying and enjoying them.

The third thing was that they were happy in their own skin. They accepted who and what they were. They changed what they could and didn't worry about what they couldn't. They didn't spend all their time in a lab, dissecting themselves.

A devotional thought posted by Pastor Ken Blue written by Richard Sandlin

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thus Saith The Lord GOD

Ezek. 22:28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.

Ezekiel’s message included God’s condemnation of the spiritual condition of His people. The prophets, priests, princes, and people were guilty of corruption. They had violated His law, profaned His holy things, and ignored His sabbaths. False prophets were using their influence to deceive the people and console them in their rebellion. We see in this Scripture that they, the prophets, were claiming to see things that were “vanity.” What they were proclaiming was destructive. The message they were preaching was dishonest. They were claiming to speak for God, “saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.” It is a horrible thing when those who claim to be God’s messengers proclaim their opinions in the name of truth. It is an extremely grievous thing for people to be without knowledge or revelation of truth. But there may be something worse than the absence of God’s Word. That is the substitution for error, in the name of, or place of, truth. Believing a lie is probably more damaging than believing nothing. If a person does not know what to believe, he may be prone to continue to search for answers. Whereas, if a person is given reason to think a lie is the truth, he is content in his deception. Likewise, when a person has been convinced that error is correct, he will be inclined to reject the truth if and when it comes, because his mind has been corrupted with falsehoods. It is often more difficult to teach someone who has been instructed wrongly than someone who has not been taught at all. There has always been a need for faithful servants to present God’s Word to their generation. True prophets were in the minority in the days of Ezekiel, as they sometimes are today. The truth may not always be received and believed, but it must be proclaimed. People need God’s Truth. When someone says, “Thus saith the Lord GOD,” how can we know if they are true messengers of God? The Bible must be the standard. God has spoken, and what He has said is found in the Holy Scriptures. When a preacher speaks of things pertaining to God and His will, he must speak that which is in agreement with His preserved Word.

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Virgin Birth - The Miracle of Christmas

Contrary to much popular lore, “The Miracle of Christmas” is not food for the hungry, or shelter for the homeless (though, of course, those are indeed wonderful things). “The Miracle of Christmas” is the Virgin Birth—better yet, “The Virginal Conception”—of Christ.

It is through the Virginal Conception that God became man while remaining fully God. Without the shedding of blood is no remission of sin. This is the blood of the eternal Son of God. Pastors are “to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood?” (Acts 20:28).

The first proclamation of the Gospel hints at the Virginal Conception. God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

Whenever Scripture speaks of descendants as “seed” it speaks of the male’s seed, i.e., “the seed of Abraham(Gen. 17:7). It is “Abraham’s seed,”not “the seed of Sarah.” It is “David’s seed,” not “the seed of Bathsheba.” But Genesis 3:15 speaks of “her seed.” Here is a wonderful intimation that the woman’s seed would be virgin born.

Perhaps the central passage presenting this subject is Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a Virgin [Heb.: almah] shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

There has been needless confusion over the word “Virgin.” Is this really a virgin, or is it just a young women who is of the age of marriage?

Normally, a young woman who is of the age of marriage would be a virgin in ancient Israel. However, comparing Scripture with Scripture removes all doubt. In Genesis 24:43 we read of Rebekah: “Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin [almah] cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink…”

In verse 16 of chapter 24 this virgin is described as “a virgin, neither had any man known her.” Jesus was virgin conceived. It was done by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20 makes it clear: “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”

There are two unfortunate trends regarding Christmas. There is an effort to secularize it; and there is an effort to mythologize it. The former is seen in the mad-cap spending and wild parties. The latter is seen in ecclesiastical leaders who tell us that the virgin birth never really happened. “But,” they tell us, “it is nevertheless true in the collective consciousness of mankind.”

Such intellectual gobbleydegook will only be accepted by those whose minds are blinded by their belief that they are the final arbiter of truth.

From the Eagle Newsletter

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Five Facts About Christmas

With Christmas in America becoming heedlessly commercialized, secularized or even outright banned, I want to share five key facts about Christmas and the One whose very name is incorporated in this blessed day.
  1. Jesus was God “manifest in the flesh - 1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. His birth was the realization of Old Testament prophecies which told of the coming of God to earth in human form. Jesus stated this Himself in Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Jesus came to earth in the most humble of circumstances, being literally born in a manger, linking Himself with the most common of peoples, indicating that His love is available to all.
  2. Jesus was born of a virgin - In fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, God came in the personhood of Jesus. This prophecy was fulfilled when Mary “found favor with God” (Luke 1:30), and she conceived in her womb “the Son of the Highest.” This is important because Jesus was the God-Man. He could not have retained His heavenly claim if he had been born of man, or born into sin with the nature of a mere man. Throughout His life, Jesus remained blameless so that He could fulfill His purpose.
  3. Jesus came to earth with the sole purpose of dying for our sins - The name of Jesus means “Jehovah Saves,” signifying that “by His very name and nature” Jesus is “the Saviour.” Sin alienates us from God; and we all have sinned. But Jesus’ death and resurrection bridged the gap between heaven and hell for us. This is the beauty of the Christmas story. The King of Kings willingly came to earth as a humble servant to save you and me.
  4. Jesus was real - Jesus’ life is not a fable or an allegory. The New Testament accounts of Jesus’ life are written by four eye witnesses to His earthly ministry. Josh McDowell states, “The New Testament has more manuscript authority than any piece of literature from antiquity.” So we have reliable historic evidence of the fact of Jesus’ life. Further, He was seen by hundreds of people (I Corinthians 15:5-8) following His death on the cross, meaning that His resurrection, his conquering of the tomb, was indeed factual. He lived. He willingly died. And He lives again! And through faith in Him, we too are freed from the awful power of death.
  5. Jesus is reaching out to you - This is the most important message of Christmas. No matter your race, creed, heritage, background or station in life, His love is available to you. Just as Jesus was born in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago, if you don’t know Him, He can be born into your heart and life. The most well known verse in the Bible, John 3:16, tells us the way to know Jesus Christ as your Savior: 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.

May the love of Jesus Christ be real in your life this Christmas and throughout the year.

Excerpt from The Falwell Confidential, 12/21/07

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Monday, December 24, 2007


Suppose that Christ had not been born
That faraway Judean morn.
Suppose that God, whose mighty hand
Created worlds, had never planned
A way for man to be redeemed.
Suppose the wise men only dreamed
That guiding star whose light still glows
Down through the centuries. Suppose
Christ never walked here in men's sight,
Our blessed Way and Truth and Light.
Suppose He counted all the cost
And never cared that we were lost
And never died for you and me
Nor shed His blood on Calvary
Upon the shameful cross. Suppose
That, having died, He never rose
And there was none with power to save
Our souls from death beyond the grave!
On faraway Judean morn,
Suppose that Christ had not been born!

Written by Martha Snell Nicholson

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Lessons From The Innkeeper

(Comments in parenthesis have been added by me and red bolded text is given for special emphasis.)
People the world over now celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but the first Christmas went almost unnoticed. With the exception of a few shepherds -- the wise men likely arrived well after the actual birth (the Bible tells us Jesus was a young child when this occured, and they visited Him in a house - Matt. 2:11) -- no one really paid much attention as Jesus made His entrance into human history.
Though the epicenter of Jesus' birth was teeming with activity, no one really took note of His birth. Caesar Augustus had decreed that a census be conducted of the Roman Empire which required families to travel to their cities of origin. Thus the small village of Bethlehem was bulging with people that had come to be counted.
When Joseph and a very pregnant Mary arrived in Bethlehem, the one inn we know they approached was filled to capacity. Someone, presumably the inn keeper, offered them space in a stable. Given Mary's delicate condition they choose to settle in with the animals and Jesus was born.
I have always wondered if the innkeeper made any kind of effort to find space for Mary inside the inn. Did he ask for a volunteer that would be willing to give up his or her space for a pregnant woman?
Perhaps the innkeeper was preoccupied with profit. Maybe he saw an opportunity to make just a little more money by renting the stable. Of course he might have been distracted just trying to keep the quests in his overcrowded inn comfortable. Whatever the reason for his preoccupation, the innkeeper missed the most significant birth in human history.
I have always found it rather intriguing that no one in the inn offered to give up space for a pregnant woman. They wouldn't even have had to leave the hotel. All that anyone would have needed to do was just sort of rearrange a kid or two or even have them double-up. Where there is a will there is always a way.
Perhaps everyone was settled in and comfortable. The idea of picking up and moving was just an annoying thought. It was difficult enough trying to take care of one's own family in the crowded inn without having to worry about the plight of some stranger, even if she did happen to be pregnant.
It is also likely that a family reunion atmosphere prevailed in the inn. Families had traveled from far and wide in order to participate in the census. Even though the conditions were crowded, extended families probably were enjoying being together. No one wanted to miss out on spending time with family. (family often keeps one from serving the Lord, or even coming to Him in the first place)
I don't know what kept someone in the inn from volunteering to give up their space. Whatever motivated the preoccupation of the guests in the inn, it caused each one of them to miss out of the most significant birth in the history of the world.
Even after Jesus was born we have no record that the innkeeper, or any of the inn's guests, came to check on the newborn. You would think someone would wander out and see how the new mother and child were faring out in the stable.
Preoccupation almost always produces indifference. When you focus only on your own wants or needs, nothing else and no one else seems to matter.
While the preoccupation of the innkeeper and his guests may have caused them to overlook the needs of a pregnant woman, they could not have known of the significance of the child she was going to deliver. Had they known the baby born under their very noses was their Savior, perhaps they would have reacted in a much different fashion.
While it is sad that the innkeeper and his many guests missed out of the birth of the Messiah, they can be excused due to ignorance. However, we have no such excuse.
We have the benefit of hindsight. We know that Jesus is the Son of God who came to deliver us from our sin and give us the hope of heaven. If we miss the reality of Christmas, we have only ourselves to blame.
Take care that you do not repeat the mistake of the innkeeper and his guests. Don't allow preoccupation with the festivities of Christmas to cause you to miss the reason for the festivities. It would be tragic to celebrate Christmas superficially, all the while missing the celebration of the most significant birth in human history -- the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Written by Kelly Boggs

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Are You in the Comfort of the Fire Station, or Out Rescuing the Lost???

Jude 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

I am always encouraged when I read the writings of men or women of the past who used the same analogies and seemed to feel the same frustrations that we do, when it comes to reaching the lost. Thomas Watson, way back in 1660, wrote of something he called “cruel mercy.” He quoted Jude 23 above and then said, “If a man's house were on fire, and another should see it and not tell him of it, for fear of waking him--would not this be cruelty? When we see others sleeping in their sin, and the fire of God's wrath ready to burn them up--and we are silent--is not this cruelty?”

All around us we have professed firefighters who prefer to stay in the comfort of the fire station and let people burn.

So you and I have a two-fold task;

1. To awaken those within the Church to their sober responsibility to reach out to the unsaved.
2. To reach out to those who are ignorant as to their true state before God.
Perhaps the two tasks are one in the same???

From "Comfort Food" by Ray Comfort

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Treasure Do You Have In Your Heart???

In Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34 we find the exact same words; “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Because the Bible says so it is true. This is a biblical principle. This then should cause us to carefully examine where our money goes. Is it any wonder why many Christians get sidetracked and away from God when a quick look at where they put their money reveals their priorities in this life. Is it any wonder that we find difficulty filling the missionary ranks today when parents have given their children such poor examples concerning the priorities of their treasures. From the expensive educations, the well respected careers, the best cars, hobbies, sports, vacations and the list goes on and on. All of these have the priority of our hearts because that is where we put most of our money. Is it any wonder then that reaching the world with the Gospel is not a priority? Is it any wonder that missionaries must travel several years practically begging from church to church to finance themselves as the ambassadors of Christ to these other lands when most of our treasure is tied up here at home? When will we begin to treasure what is most important to God? When will that which matters most to God begin to matter to us? The work of missions is a costly proposition. It will not be accomplished until we treasure what God treasures. When we put our treasures in it -we will put our hearts in it. When we give right, we will pray right. You pray for what you pay for.

From Let Us Go Into The Next Towns

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Big Three

What is it that keeps most people from coming to Christ? That question probably has a three-fold answer:

1. Pride
2. Love for sin
3. A lack of knowledge

The Bible tells us, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4). Sin and pride are intertwined. We puff our rebellious chest against the heavens and say, “Who is God to tell me what to do?” There’s no fear of God before our eyes. The reason we don’t fear Him is because we lack knowledge. We cling to our image of God like a child clings to his security blanket, and if you have ever tried to separate a child from his blanket, you will know what a hard job that is. But that’s what me must do (with the help of God)--separate the sinner from his idol. And the way to do that is to preach the Commandments, as Jesus did. The moral Law makes the issue clear--God is holy, and He will not tolerate sin in any form, nor will He tolerate any other gods before Him. That’s right--God is politically incorrect. He is uncompromisingly intolerant. Hell with prove that. The light of the Law not only exposes idolatry, but it humbles the sinner, and gives him the knowledge that without the grace of God, he will perish. So never despise God’s Law, and never neglect it when heralding the glorious cross.

From "Comfort Food" By Ray Comfort

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Monday, December 17, 2007


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ten Commandments For Christmas

1. Thou shalt not leave "Christ" out of Christmas.
2. Thou shalt not value thy gifts by their cost, for many shall signify love that is more blessed and beautiful than silver and gold.
3. Thou shalt give thyself with thy gifts. Thy love, thy personality, and thy service shall increase the value of thy gifts a hundred fold and he that receiveth them shall treasure them forever.
4. Thou shall not let Santa Claus take the place of Christ, lest Christmas should become a fairy tale, rather than a sublime reality in the spiritual realm.
5. Thou shalt not burden thy servants, the salespersons, the mail carrier and the merchants. They all shall have thy consideration.
6. Thou shalt not neglect the Church. Its Christmas services are planned to help spiritualize the Christmas season for thee, thy family and thy friends.
7. Thou shalt not neglect the needy. Let they bountiful blessings be shared with the many who will go hungry and cold unless thou art generous at Christmas.
8. Thou shalt be as a little child. Christmas is the day of the Christ Child; not until thou have become in spirit as a little child art thou ready to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
9. Thou shalt prepare thy soul for Christmas. Verily most of us spend much time and money getting gifts ready, but few seconds in preparing our souls.
10. Thou shalt give thy heart to Christ. Let thy Christmas list have Christ in thy heart at the top as thy gift to Him this Christmas.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Government Cannot Do Church's Job

(Here is an excerpt from an article posted by Pastor Chuck Baldwin earlier this week with some interesting commentary. The entire article can be found at

One thing that Christians should come to terms with is the truism that government cannot do the church's job. Not in any shape, manner, or form. Yet, by the way many Christians and pastors behave these days, one gets the impression that they don't really understand this truth. Instead, it seems that many Christians and ministers see the government--especially the federal government--as an extension of the church.

It is equally apparent that many Christians and ministers today have developed the attitude that somehow the federal government is supposed to enforce by law what only the Spirit of God can enforce through grace. Let's be plain: the federal government cannot do the church's job.

The role of the federal government is to secure the rights that are given to us by God. Namely, the rights of life, liberty, and property. Properly understood, the role of the federal government has little to do with providing "services," and everything to do with securing the liberties of the people. It is just that simple.

However, a majority of Americans today believe that the federal government (in essence) is supposed to be father, mother, provider, teacher, doctor, and even preacher to people. Instead of looking to God, the family, the church, and individual responsibility, we look to Uncle Sam. And this sentiment is shared by a host of professing Christians as well.

Therefore, instead of doing the hard work of teaching and disciplining our children, we look to Uncle Sam to straighten out our rebellious kids. Instead of preaching the hard messages of truth from our pulpits, churches expect Uncle Sam to straighten out (through the power of law) all those "bad" people out there. Instead of taking personal responsibility for our own health and livelihood, we expect Uncle Sam to be our provider and protector.

Take the issue of morality, for example. When, pray tell, did it become the responsibility of the federal government to define, inspect, and enforce morality? Is this not first, the responsibility of the home, and second, the responsibility of the church? Do we really desire a federal government with the power to define and enforce morality? God forbid!

At this point, I should make it clear that state and local governments have every right--and even the responsibility--to establish community standards. State and local governments are legitimately within their rights to prohibit those activities deemed harmful to the health and well-being of their communities.

If states or municipalities want to prohibit "adult" book stores, they certainly have the right to do so. If they want to make prostitution and drug use illegal, they have every right to do so. If they want to regulate nightclubs and honky-tonks, more power to them. I, for one, have no desire to live in Pottersville. However, none of this is any of Uncle Sam's business!

Here is the problem: our pastors have become spiritual pantywaists and our churches have become spiritual playgrounds. Pastors and churches have sold their souls to success-driven "ministry." We want big attendances, big offerings, big family life centers, big youth departments, big Sunday Schools, and big-name people on our membership rolls. And we will do whatever it takes to achieve it.

And most of the time, in order to accommodate our overwhelming desire to be a "big success," pastors and churches will soften the message to the point that the average Sunday sermon is little more than a glorified "how-to-get-rich," or "how-to-be-happy," or "how-to-avoid-guilt," ad infinitum, ad nauseum, pep-talk. Words such as "sinner," "Hell," "judgment," "retribution," and "repentance" have been permanently removed from the vocabulary of the average pastor. The plain, powerful, old-fashioned Gospel has been replaced with sloppy, mushy, offend-no-one sermonettes that could not bring Holy Spirit conviction if one even wanted it--which hardly anyone does.

Furthermore, the music program of the average church is nothing more than a hard-rock concert, and our youth programs are little more than dating services. There is no church discipline or accountability. People can dress (or undress) any way they want, talk any way they want, and act any way they want with little or no supervision or oversight.

Then, when our families and communities go to Hell, instead of hitting the prayer closet and asking God to send revival to our hearts, our homes, and our churches, we demand that Uncle Sam fix it. We support presidential candidates who say they will lead the federal government in finding solutions to all of our ills.

Ladies and gentlemen, the federal government cannot do the church's job. The church has an obligation to be the "light" and "salt" of society. It should be setting the standard of righteousness through its preaching and teaching. It should be willing to call a spade a spade, even if it offends business leaders and politicians in the process.

Likewise, the federal government cannot do the family's job. It is the responsibility of each mother and father to teach morality and faith to their children. Parents are given the task of disciplining and correcting their children.

Let's tell it like it is: America is fast losing its moral compass because our families and churches are not doing their respective jobs. And the problem is, when families and churches fail, there is no Plan B. That is, not without the loss of freedom and independence.

The federal government cannot do the job of the family and the church, because everything it does is at the expense of something else. The only wealth it has is what it confiscates from someone else. The only power it has is what it steals from someone else. The only "services" it provides are at the expense of someone else. This is why our country's founding documents state that the federal government's role was to be very limited and narrowly defined.

As someone rightly said, "A government that is big enough to give you all you want, is big enough to take it all away." Amen.

Therefore, instead of looking to presidential candidates who will use the federal government to accomplish everything we want done (even the good things we want done), we should support only those candidates who recognize the proper role of the federal government as being limited and narrowly defined (by the Constitution). And then, it behooves us to look to ourselves to be the parents we should be to our own children at home, and to look for pastors and churches that are not trying to be popular, but that are courageous and faithful custodians of the truth.

© 2007 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who Is God Looking For???

2 Chron. 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

Asa was one of the greatest kings of Judah. He removed the altars of strange gods and commanded his people to seek the Lord and obey Him. He even removed his mother from being queen because of her idolatry. However, when the king of Israel came against him, Asa made a league with the king of Syria and sought his help. Rather than depend upon the Lord, the king would put his trust in man. When Asa did this, the Lord sent a prophet to tell the king that He was displeased because Asa was relying on the king of Syria and not relying on the Lord. Our text is the great proclamation included in the prophet’s message to king Asa. Although these words were given specifically for Asa, they remain a promise for all of us. God is looking for people who will trust Him completely. His eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Wherever people are, God is surveying the population. He is looking where we are. WHO IS GOD LOOKING FOR? He is looking for those “whose heart is perfect toward him. What does that mean? He is looking for those who meet a certain condition of the heart. He is not looking for those who never fail and are perfect in their deeds or performance. Although He is not pleased when we sin, we know that if He were only looking for those who are sinless, He could discontinue His search. We all are still sinners. He is looking for those who trust Him with all their hearts. Asa was rebuked for trusting in the king of Syria instead of trusting in the Lord. The man of God told Asa that he did not need to rely on a heathen king, for God was looking for people who were willing to trust Him. God wants to find those who trust Him completely, that He might “shew himself strong” on their behalf. He wants to demonstrate what He can do through the lives of those who are willing to trust Him. This is as true today as it was in Asa’s day. God’s eyes are still looking to show Himself strong through those whose hearts are looking to Him in faith. He wants us to rely on Him, not on ourselves or the plans or programs of the world. As God’s eyes today “run to and fro throughout the whole earth,” will He find our hearts trusting perfectly in Him?

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

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

What The Church Is To Me

A door:
Into an opportunity for service.
Into the most useful life.
Into the best of life’s experiences.
Into the most helpeful future.

An armory:
To get power to fight evil.
To get inspiration to keep doing right.
To get an uplifting influence.
To learn how to use spiritual weapons.
To get a vision of Christ.

An anchor:
To steady me in the storm.
To keep me from the breakers.
To guide me in the strenuous life.
To hold me lest I drift from God.
To help me in the hour of temptation.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hating Knowledge

Prov. 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

The wise man Soloman posed this ancient question almost 3000 years ago, but it is still relevent in today's world. How long will men continue to scoff at true knowledge? Again, allow me to ask, "How long???"

Prov. 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Well, to answer Solomon's question, it has at least been 3000 years. Today, standing close to the end of the year 2007, we still have plenty of fools who look to man for wisdom instead of acknowledging God and His truth. Peter told us (2 Peter 3:3-4), "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." Paul told us (2 Timothy 3:1-2, 7), "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.... Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Throughout history men have scorned the true knowledge of God and His creation. Peter tells us (2 Peter 3:5a), "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God..." Paul tells us (Romans 1:20), "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" Yes, even with these warnings in God's Word, men still "delight in their scorning" today.

Men's hatred of God's true knowledge, remarkably, is cloaked in a robe of scientism and evolutionary psedo-knowledge that even deceives many professing Christians, despising the true wisdom and instruction of God's Word. Paul again warns (Romans 1:22), "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

Isa. 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Those who scorn God's Word have no light of their own, despite their scientific pretensions.

Prov. 10:14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

To many, their destruction has already come since they have passed from this earth without acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. To others, your destruction is near if you continue in the same path, but it is not too late to turn to God and the truth found in His Word. Trust in Jesus by simple, child-like faith....

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Friday, December 07, 2007

A Loss For Words

Eccl. 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Prov. 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Some years ago, a man who worked as a Longshoreman in Seattle was saved in our church. He had such a bad habit of profanity; he had to learn a whole new vocabulary. He told me, "Pastor, since I got saved, over half of my vocabulary is gone." I said, "Good."

How about you, do you need to adjust your vocabulary? You say, "But, pastor, I am a Christian and I no longer use profanity." Perhaps not, but isn't there something you might need to eliminate as you speak? There is something worse than profanity, you know.

Let's take your preaching, for example. If you completely stopped attacking other pastors and believers from the pulpit, regardless of their denomination or practices and strictly focused on edifying God's people, would you have a thirty minute message left?

The longshoreman was convicted by the Holy Spirit each time he said a dirty word. He prayed he would not do it again. Shouldn't you be as noble and ask God to put a watch about your mouth so you don't talk dirt about another believer; even if it is true?

1. You may talk dirt because of jealousy-
2. You may talk dirt because of a bad habit-
3. You may talk dirt because of inferiority-
4. You may talk dirt because you keep bad company-
5. You may talk dirt because you are covering a personal sin of your own-
6. You do not talk dirt because the Holy Spirit is leading you to do so-

By Pastor Ken Blue

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speak My Words Unto Them

Ezekiel 2:7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

As a young adult, Ezekiel was among the thousands taken captive by the Babylonian army and exiled to Babylon. There God revealed Himself to Ezekiel, and called him to be a watchman and prophet to the captives of God’s rebellious people. His responsibility was simple and clear: “thou shalt speak my words unto them.” This is still the responsibility of God’s watchmen. We are to speak His Words unto the people. People need to hear the Words of God. They need to know the truth. We all have realized that everyone does not necessarily have an appetite for the Word of God. There are those who claim to know the Lord who are not actively seeking to know God’s will. Multitudes are steeped in religion, yet are ignorant of what the Bible says. And so many others are simply blind to the ways of God. We are to speak God’s Word unto them. Thank God we have His Word! The Bible contains the full revelation of God’s Word and His will for mankind. We can speak with others confidently, knowing that what we are sharing is not our opinion, but the very Word of God. God warned Ezekiel that the listeners might not always be interested. We should not be surprised or discouraged when people are complacent, critical, or calloused toward God’s Word. Such has always been the case. Our responsibility is not to make sure they listen or appreciate the message, only that they hear the message. The Lord said of those Ezekiel would preach to, “they are most rebellious.” The same could be said of some that we will speak to. They are not simply ignorant or unlearned; they are willfully disobedient. However, even the rebellious need to hear. In every way possible, we must attempt to get God’s Word to the people. Primarily, we are to personally tell those we can of the message God has for them. It is both a message of love and mercy, and a message of pending judgment. We should also invite people to church that they might hear God’s Word, and give out gospel literature that others might hear. Like Ezekiel, our Lord has given us an assignment and purpose for our lives. We are to communicate God’s truth to our generation. Whether they receive or reject makes no difference. Our responsibility is to make certain that they hear it.

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

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Things A Christian Can Know From God's Word!!!

The Bible contains many truths that a Christian can know; things that we can count on, things that do not change. In contrast, the world's philosophy is based on situational ethics, relativism, and changing social mores. Listed below is a sampling of such truths that a Christian can know;
  1. We can know that Jesus Christ is God - John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
  2. We can know that we are saved - John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
  3. We can know we are His dear children - 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
  4. We can know His protection - John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
  5. We can know He answers prayer - John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
  6. We can know He will help us through temptation - Heb. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
  7. We can know how we should act - John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
  8. We can know He desires us to speak on His behalf - 1 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:
  9. We can know that He will come again - John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
  10. We can know of our eternal rewards in Heaven - 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

"No Excuse" Sunday

Here are some ideas your church might use to address those "christians" that somehow can't make it to the house of God, but have no trouble at all getting to work, Wal-Mart, the grocery store, McDonald's, the ball field, etc.

1. Cots will be available for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep."
2. We will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof will cave in, if I ever come to church."
3. Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold and fans for those who think the church is too hot.
4. There are hearing aids for those who think the preacher speaks too softly and cotton for those who think he preaches too loudly.
5. Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present. (I especially like this one; I thought hypocrites could be found in almost any place one would visit, not just churches?!?! I wouldn't let a hypocrite keep me from hearing the Gospel and giving me the opportunity to get saved and miss Hell!!!)
6. Relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.
7. There will be TV dinners for those who can't go to church and cook dinner also.
8. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to see God in nature.
9. The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Consider Your Latter End

Deuteronomy 32:29 “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!”

Moses, the aged prophet, had rehearsed God’s dealings with Israel, placed before them a challenge to obey God, and publicly charged Joshua to be his successor. He then taught the children of Israel a song. The verse of Scripture we are considering is actually part of the song that Moses is leaving his people. In speaking of a shortcoming of his beloved people, Moses describes a mistake that is all too familiar today: “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” Moses laments the fact that they were too shortsighted in their vision. They did not consider where their present decisions and choices might lead them. This is good advice for each of us. CONSIDER YOUR LATTER END. If people “would consider their latter end,” it might serve as a strong deterrent to disobedience and an incentive to resist temptations. Israel was guilty of disobeying God’s commandments. They had made marriages with the heathen in defiance of the Word of God. Rather than separating from the ungodly worship of their neighbors, Israelites participated in their idolatrous practices. Where did they think these decisions would lead them? What might be their “latter end”? Are there not consequences for rebellion and disobedience? Chastisement would surely come. The sins of the fathers would invite greater abominations by their children. Idolatry accepted in the high places would open the door for idolatry in the house of God. Eventually, the nation would be overcome by its enemies, the temple destroyed, Jerusalem ravaged, and the people taken captive. They would not “consider their latter end.” Satan wants us to believe that willful disobedience will bring no consequences. He wants us to think only of the immediate, with no regard for the future. God wants us to think about where our journey will lead us. What will be the “latter end”? Where will a life of selfishness end up? Will we be thankful we lived for self rather than for God? Will our children be left with a good example of what Christian living is supposed to be? What about that appointment we all have at the Judgment Seat of Christ? Many heartaches and disappointments could be avoided if people would “consider their latter end.”

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

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Seed Spitting Contest

You probably remember those summer picnics where the watermelon was cut and those interested were challenged to a seed spitting contest. It was fun and the watermelon could be safely digested.

On many occasions I have heard seminar speakers admonish others to "spit out the seeds," if anything was said they disagreed with. Dr. Jack Hyles taught smorgasbord style. He said, "Take what you can use, but don't spit on the rest." That is good advice and is necessary in the maturing process. That is why parents pick the seeds and bones out for small children.

I recently preached in the Southwest and a church member who disagreed with me, demanded that his pastor put in writing that he too reject my teaching. The pastor would not, and the troublemaker left. This is typical of critics who cannot spit out the seeds and leave the rest alone. If I burned every book in my library that I disagreed with on some point, I would have nothing left but ashes. If I demand that my friends agree with me on every point, I would find myself all alone.

Are we still wading in the "kiddy pool"? Must we have "parents" to censure our friends, our books and our decisions? Some are incapable of spitting out the seeds and choke on everything they can't agree with.

Brothers can disagree without becoming disagreeable!!!

By Pastor Ken Blue

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