Monday, October 20, 2008

Scripture is the Best Voting Guide!!!

(Here is an article in today's Baptist Press News worth sharing; I have added scripture references with verses to facilitate the article's reading.)

Ed Young Jr. : Scripture is the Best Voter Guide
written by Michael Foust

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP)--Scripture provides guidance for Christians in deciding which candidate to support on Election Day, Texas pastor Ed Young Jr. told his congregation Oct. 19.

It was the second part in a sermon series Young has dubbed "Politicked." The pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine gave five categories believers should examine about each political candidate.

"Once we ask ourselves these five questions and once we answer them, then we'll be ready to vote for the right person," he said.

The five categories are:
  1. Character - "Everything begins with character," said Young, pointing to Proverbs 29:2: "... If we elect righteous leaders, our government will be righteous, and if our government is righteous then the laws will be righteous." (Prov. 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.) Christians should take a political candidate's private conduct seriously, Young said. "Character can be defined as who you are when no one's looking," he said. " ... For a long, long time, people have said, 'Who you are in private does not really affect who you area in public office.' ... That's absolutely, friends, nuts, because who you are in private is who you are. Who you are in private is who you are in public."
  2. Conviction - Reading from Proverbs 28:1 -- which says the "righteous are bold as a lion" -- Young said, "We need to elect lionesses and lions in this day -- people who are not politicians, but people who are statesmen, people who are leaders." That conviction, he said, must be based on God's Word. (Prov. 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.) He mentioned the "gay agenda" as one area where society is moving away from scriptural teachings. "God has told us from cover to cover that there is only one context where sex should be enjoyed and practiced and celebrated -- marriage.... The Bible tells me and it tells you that during the end of time ... what is right [will be viewed as] wrong and [what is] wrong [will be viewed as] right." Referencing those who compare the homosexual movement to the civil rights movement, Young said, "I've known a lot of former homosexuals but I've never met a former African American."
  3. Courage - "Does this candidate display courage?" Young asked. "Can you look at this candidate's life -- the history of him or her -- and say, 'You know what? He stood up for courage there. She stood up for courage.' ... Courage is the God-given ability to stand.... Conviction is belief. Courage is behavior." Pointing to Proverbs 11:3, Young said, "The other day I heard a candidate being interviewed, and here's the response the candidate made to a question on morality, ... 'Well, for me as a Christian.' ... That was a relativistic answer. . The relativist says, 'What's right for you is true for you and what's true for you is true for you.'" (Prov. 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.) Giving an example of the absurdity of relativism, Young said someone could say, as part of the relativistic worldview, "What's true for me is to fly airliners into the sides of skyscrapers and kill hundreds and hundreds of people."
  4. Compassion - Giving the biblical definition of compassion, Young read from Proverbs 31:8-9, which says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Prov. 31:8-9 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.) He also read from Proverbs 24:11, "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter." (Prov. 24:11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;) Abortion, Young said, is an issue where a political candidate must show compassion. "We're taking the lives, of ... 3,200 babies a day -- taking the lives of developing babies -- when you'll get thrown in prison and pay an astronomical fine if you disturb the eggs of developing sea turtles," he said. "What's right is wrong and [what's] wrong is right."
  5. Constituency - Young said examining who supports and opposes the candidate can help determine who to support. "I can meet your friends, without even meeting you, and tell you what kind of a person you are," Young said. "Who applauds this potential candidate and who opposes them? We better wake up and smell the coffee, here, friends. If the mainstream secular media supports a candidate or an issue, there is a great chance that something is sideways, [and] you better look at that one very, very closely. Who opposes them? Who is for them?"

Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press. Young's sermon can be viewed online at

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


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

Jeremiah is testifying concerning his attitude toward the words of God that were given to him. We notice that Jeremiah’s language reveals that he was convinced that they were indeed God’s words, saying “Thy words,” and “thy word.” This is such a simple, yet powerful thing to consider. The way we view the Bible will have profound effect on how the Bible affects us. There are those who approach the Bible critically, seeking to find some discrepancy or holding it to be the words of mortals rather than the very Word of God. Their unbelief hinders them from experiencing the mighty power of God’s Word working in them. The words that Jeremiah found were not always pleasant words for those to whom he delivered them. The words announced severe judgment and identified false prophets that plagued the people. It was because of these words that Jeremiah found himself persecuted and in prison. Nevertheless, when he found God’s Word, he received it. Even though the message was severe and unpopular, he laid hold upon it. He said, “I did eat them.” He took God’s Word into his heart and life. “I did eat them” paints a vivid picture of how we are to ingest God’s Word. It is one thing to read the Bible or hear the Bible; it is another thing to engraft it into our lives. We are not to simply consider the Bible; we are to commit to the Bible. Jeremiah spoke of the truth as “the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” What a positive attitude toward the Word of God! He placed great value on God’s Word. We all should seek to cultivate a similar appetite for the Bible. Reading and loving the Bible is not the only thing that is required of consistent and growing Christians, but it is one thing that cannot be ignored. So often, we have found it to be true, that when a brother is struggling in His Christian walk, there has been neglect of the Word of God. Jeremiah said he greatly rejoiced in the Scriptures because of his identity: “for I am called by thy name.” This should be a characteristic of God’s children, those who are called by His name. There is something missing in the life of a professing Christian who is not interested in the Word of God. How can one love the Lord and not delight in what He has to say?

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

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Good Can Come from the “Bad”

What a world this would be if bad things never happened; but since sin entered in, they always will. Many think that hard things should not happen to good people, but they do!

Just because a person is born into the family of God, does not mean he will be exempted from the consequences of natural disasters, disease, aging, others’ actions, and death. Being saved from hell does not magically put a force field around a person. Yes, God does protect us many times, but it still rains on the “just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45). Calamities and hard times will happen to everyone many times in their lives.

God could certainly protect us from all misfortunes, but the trials and tribulations in our lives often do much to strengthen us and get us closer to Him. It is during the hard times that we should grow closer to God, and trust Him to carry us through them. It is also during those times that our faith can grow, as we see his mighty hand of deliverance.

Many great and wonderful things have happened because of the “bad” times. Here are some “bad” events that happened to godly people in the Bible, and how God used those events to bring honor to Himself, to bless those going through the dilemma, and to bless others:
· Noah: If Noah did not obey God and sweat for many years building the Ark, mankind would not have had a second chance.
· Abraham: If Abraham had not come to the point that he chose God over everything else, including his son’s life, he may not have had God’s blessings on him and his generations.
· Joseph: If Joseph’s jealous brothers had not thrown him in the pit and sold him into slavery, he never would have been second in command to the pharaoh and been able to help his family during a time of drought and starvation.
· Children of Israel: If they never were in hard bondage in Israel, they may have accepted their plight and never turned to God for deliverance. Think of all the mighty miracles they saw, when He answered their prayers.
· Moses: If he had never kept his father-in-law’s, Jethro’s, sheep and suffered loneliness in the wilderness, he would never have been in the place to see the burning bush and be called to be God’s people’s leader.
· Moses: If the people of Israel were not pursued by the angry Egyptian pharaoh, they never would have seen the Red Sea part, not have seen their enemy destroyed, and not have known that He would certainly guide them.
· Ruth: If Ruth had not been faithful to her mother-in-law and worked to support her, she never would have met the man she was to marry.
· Hannah: If she had never gone to the temple to pray with a broken heart because of her barrenness, and made a vow until God to dedicate the child to Him, she may never had been the mother of Samuel and given Israel a godly leader.
· Elijah: If Elijah never stood faithful to God when it was not popular, Israel may have indulged longer in the idolatry of Baalism.
· Nehemiah: If Nehemiah did not love God and weep for Jerusalem, Jerusalem would never have been rebuilt.
· Job: If Job had never been tested by Satan, he never would have had twice as much wealth and belongings as he had had originally (Job 42:12-13).
· David: If David had not had hard times and heartbreaks, he never would have helped write much of the book of Psalms which has encouraged and blessed billions of people.
· Daniel: If Daniel was never a captive of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he never would have been able to interpret the king’s dream and spare the lives of the other wisemen (Daniel 2) or be the leader he was.
· Paul: If Paul was not shipwrecked on Malta, the island’s ruler’s father would never been healed of his fever.
· Jesus: If Jesus never was mocked, persecuted, whipped, beaten, or lied about, we would never have escaped our due punishment in hell.

Sometimes hard times do come to people to turn them in a godly direction, or stop them from doing more damage to themselves or others. The difficult tribulations can get them closer to God, so they can see his mighty hand in helping them. Other times the trials can be to change a situation to the way God has planned.

There are people that spend their whole life mad and blaming God for the death of a loved one, or for a trial they went through. Do they possibly think that death will be missed by their loved ones, or that they will have a perfectly sheltered life because they are so “good”?

Hard times will and do come to everyone. No one is exempt. Those times are either a time to foolishly shake your fist at God, (which can only make matters worse), when you need Him the most, or to draw close to Him and see His mighty hand produce “good” from what seemed “bad”.

Why should bad things not happen to us? Are we more special than even God’s only son, who also went through hard times? God has a plan for all that happens in our lives, even though its purpose may be cloudy when we are going through it.

When going through a valley, it is the time to call for the God of the mountain. He sees what we are facing, and is willing to guide us through the hard times. Call upon Him and seek His help during those tribulations.

An article written by Bro. Bill Brinkworth published in The Bible View

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Sunday, October 12, 2008


Joshua 18:3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?

Under the leadership of Joshua, the occupation of Canaan was under way. Cities were being conquered. Several of the tribes were busy subduing the land of their inheritance. The tabernacle was set up at Shiloh. Yet, there were tribes that had done nothing in regard to their inheritance. In the words of Joshua, they were “slack to go to possess the land.” We cannot know all the reasons for their inactivity, but we can be sure that in the mind of Joshua, it was time to get serious about their responsibilities. We can all learn from this passage. Joshua’s question needs to be answered in our hearts. “How long are ye slack?” The word “slack” usually describes idleness, procrastination, or slothfulness. Just as the children of Israel were not to be idle about their responsibilities, we are not to be idle about ours. Personally, I doubt if there has ever been a time in my Christian journey when I could not benefit by honestly doing an evaluation to identify slackness in my life. Have we not all been guilty of putting off things we know we should do? Are we aggressively seeking to advance the kingdom of God, as we should? Does our prayer time reflect the faith and urgency that the needs of the world demand? Have we been diligent to search the Scriptures and study the Word of God? Excuses and procrastination can result in wasted hours, wasted days, and wasted years. Joshua’s question was, “How long?” He did not want the children of Israel to become comfortable in their idleness. It is one thing to rest when weary from the fight; it is another thing to be idle and disengaged from the purpose God has for us. Often God will use His servants, the preachers of the Word of God, to stir us from our apathy and indifference and to motivate us to service. One day, our day for duty will cease. We must be motivated to diligent service. There will come a time when our opportunity is over for occupying the land or possessing our inheritance. We cannot afford to wait or be idle. “How long” will we be slack about our solemn responsibility to our generation? What we are going to do for the cause of Christ and the help of lost souls must be done now.

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

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Thursday, October 09, 2008


James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

There is more than one source of wisdom. This verse is part of a larger context that describes the wisdom of God. Here we are told that there are sources of wisdom that do not descend “from above.” Our text details sources of what we might refer to as COUNTERFEIT WISDOM. God is not the author of this wisdom. Wisdom that gives rise to strife and envy is not from Heaven. Wisdom that is prideful and quarrelsome did not originate with God. This COUNTERFEIT WISDOM is “earthly, sensual, devilish.” In looking at these three individual sources of COUNTERFEIT WISDOM, we see that they answer to the three spiritual enemies of man: the world, the flesh, and the devil. We should beware of wisdom that is “earthly.” Wisdom that has its origin in this world is not godly wisdom. We could also call this “worldly wisdom.” Earthly wisdom has only this life in view, not life in the world to come. Worldly wisdom would tell us to think primarily of ourselves, justifying greed instead of sharing our resources to win others for our Savior. We are also warned to recognize and reject wisdom that is “sensual.” Sensual wisdom is “natural wisdom.” Just because something seems right to us is not an indication that it is true wisdom. We need to be seekers of the truth, not seekers of what we naturally prefer. Too many times, people are deceived by sensual, or fleshly, wisdom. The Bible tells us to “cease from thine own wisdom” (Proverbs 23:4). We cannot afford to make decisions or determinations based on our personal appetites or passions. We are to be governed by the spiritual, rather than the natural. Then we are told to avoid wisdom that is “devilish.” This wisdom is demonic; it is actually inspired by demons. Satan wants to deceive and confuse by offering COUNTERFEIT WISDOM. We see an example of this when Peter sought to prevent Jesus from going to the cross. Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23). The devil was convincing Peter, with false wisdom, that the cross should be avoided. This directly contradicted God’s true wisdom. The world, the flesh, and the devil offer wisdom, but it is not the true wisdom of God. We can recognize COUNTERFEIT WISDOM because it is not in agreement with the Word of God.

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

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pride Goes Before Destruction

Prov. 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

The verse above is the middle verse of the entire book of Proverbs, and in view of the obviously structured original verse divisions throughout the book, it may well have been divinely designed as such. Since the sin of pride is so deadly it is appropriate that a solemn warning concerning it should be placed here right at the heart of God's book of true wisdom.

The sin of pride was the primeval sin of Satan; Ezek. 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. It was the sin by which Satan led Adam and Eve to fall. "Ye shall be as gods" (Gen. 3:5) he had said. It is always the "easily besetting" sin of Christian leaders, especially those who have assumed such leadership prematurely; 1 Tim. 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Even Jesus was thirty years old before He began to teach.

Though pride is not named as such in the Ten Commandments, in reality it is implied in the very first one. Ex. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. The essence of all false religion is evolutionary humanism, worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). Pride and unbelief are two sides of the same coin. When men and women refuse the word of their Creator, it is fundamentally because they want to be their own "gods," as did Adam and Eve. Human pride is the hidden root of humanism, and of evolutionism, and of "every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:5). It is the very essence of the sin nature which we have inherited from our first parents. How carefully we need to guard against this secret sin of pride. If we do not, it will inevitably lead to humiliation and defeat.

A devotional thought by Henry Morris

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Friday, October 03, 2008


Matthew 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.

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

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

When You Miss Church....

All should go to church: saved and unsaved. An unsaved person will learn God’s way to heaven and, hopefully, be saved. A saved person should go to church because God commands it (Hebrews 10:25); it is the place to learn about spiritual things; it is a place to serve God, and it is a place to receive spiritual encouragement.

Too many born-again people stay away from the house of God. Sometimes the excuses are legitimate, such as sickness or an emergency; but too many times, they are not legitimate. When a Christian stays home from attending services at the house of God, he can do damage to himself and to the cause of Christ. Some of the negative impacts of his avoiding church include:
  • His lack of faithfulness to the house of God is a bad example to other believers and the unsaved. If his avoiding church is observed, others may justify their staying home as, “Well, if so-and-so doesn’t go to church, why do I have to go?” The lack of attendance encourages others also to miss. Others observe our actions and reactions. We may be all of “Christ” many see. It is important to be a good testimony to others. We never know who is watching us.
  • He will miss a blessing that God intended for him to hear to help him through life. The day the believer stays home may be the day that God laid a special message on the pastor’s heart that was desperately needed by the one that did not make it to church that day. Encouragement from the Word of God, taught in church, is spiritual food a believer needs to make it through life’s trials.
  • When a person stays home and misses church, he is showing God and others what is important in his life; and unfortunately, it may not be the things of God.
  • A saved individual is born into the family of God. When he misses church, he is missing a “family” gathering. When any family does not spend time together, they grow apart. When a child of God misses church, he too, can grow apart from his spiritual family.
  • A stay-at-home Christian is showing the unsaved world that church is not really important.
  • When a believer stays home, it can discourage those that know he is gone, and also discourage the preacher.
  • If a believer is involved in a ministry and misses church, others have to fill in the empty spot his absence has left. Most of the time, the ones picking up the slack are those that are already busy in their own ministries. They soon get tired of doing too much and get discouraged, all because a believer missed church.
  • If a believer stays home, he often does not give to the cause of Christ for the time he missed. The money not given is needed to keep the ministry running. A church will suffer, because all are not giving their share.

God went to a lot of trouble to have a local church for us to go to. He called a shepherd for the flock of believers. Many gave, so the church would have its doors open. Many sacrificed their time to minister to the needs of others. Avoiding church is missing what God intended for us to have. Be at church every time the doors are open. It is the right thing to do!

This article was written by Bill Brinkworth published in The Bible View

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Numbers 2:2 Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.

This Old Testament passage gives us insight about the place of the two most important institutions for our lives, THE HOME AND THE CHURCH. We see this typified in the positioning of the tribes or families of Israel around the tabernacle. Every man was to pitch by “his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house.” Every family had its own standard, or flag, and its own ensign, or insignia, to identify them from the other families. Family identity is important. In our nation, we have lost much of this. A few generations ago, it was common for extended families to grow up on the same piece of property that their parents and grandparents once farmed and lived on. Often, more than one generation lived in the same house. Our society has become much more mobile with occupations and other interests moving families far away from their relatives. In the Old Testament, they were to pitch their tent under the family banner. The families camped with their family, but they also pitched “about the tabernacle of the congregation.” The place of worship was central to their lives. Each family was positioned around the tabernacle as the Lord directed them. Each tribe had their assigned place around the house of God. When the tabernacle moved, they moved. They kept their family identity and maintained their nearness to the place of worship. I believe this typifies to us the importance of these two institutions in our lives. Our lives, in essence, should include a close relationship with our family while maintaining a close relationship and participation with our church family. This picture not only reveals how important these two relationships are, but it also reminds us of the importance of keeping a wholesome balance between the two. It is easy for us to over-emphasize one and neglect the other. There are those who are so zealous about the church and its work that they fail to give the home the attention it deserves. Then there are others who, for the love of the family, neglect the place and ministry of the church God placed them in. This example teaches us to keep THE HOME AND THE CHURCH in their proper places.

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

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