Friday, January 30, 2009

The Bible and Such

While working in a warehouse in Columbus, GA a few years ago I wore headphones and listened to Bible teaching all day long. I distinctly recall telling my wife that I was bored out of my mind at work once and this is what she said:

“Are you serious? I am at home all day with loud children. Not that I don’t love them or love what I do… but I wish sometimes that I had even an hour to spend studying the Word of God.”

Wow… I praise the Lord that I have been commissioned with teaching and preaching the Word of God and have been given the time to study. Here are two somethings to think about:

1. Is there something in your life that you wish you had more of MORE than time with the Lord? If so, why?

2. It is often the testimony of those who have less of what we complain about that tend to put things into perspective.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This Morning’s Meeting.

I had the privilege to meeting with the elders of Bethany Baptist Church and Pastor Don Singleton of Redeeming Grace Baptist. Wow! What a great guy and what a great ministry. Here are a few things that really stuck out:

  • He told us about his conversion and what powerful testimony he has! I never tire of hearing about how the Lord works in the lives of people.

  • He told us about his call to ministry and one thing in particular stuck out. He was sweeping the chapel floor and the Lord told him in no uncertain terms… I CAN GET ANYONE TO SWEEP THE FLOOR. Wow! What an awesome truth that is! Those who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much! Luke 16:10

  • Referring to sowing the seed of the Gospel Pastor Don said, “The hard part is really the easy part.” He went on to say that it is God that gets the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.

I was so blessed to meet with some really godly men today. How has the Lord blessed you today and what lessons is He trying to teach you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A day off

Yesterday the Fab 5 and I, along with some out of town guests, went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was a lot of fun. Here are a few things I noticed while I was there.

The factory workers kept looking up at us as they worked. I wondered what they were thinking. Maybe something like, “Why aren’t these people at work? It’s Monday for crying out loud!” or, “I feel like I am in a zoo exhibit with all those people watching me work.” As I watched them and watched them watching me, my mind went to 1 Peter 1:12:

Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. (KJV)

We do not know what the angels’ searching looks like exactly or what interests them the most about it. But we do know that we are being observed, we are being watched. I wonder if we were reminded of this often if it would change the way we do things… or don’t do things?

We were at the factory for a while. As I watched the workers and the machinery in action, something else stood out. Every so often, the line would stop. Something at the beginning of the cycle would jam or stop and subsequently, others down the line would stop as well. Now I do not know who gets paid more or what the internal structure is, but I do know this: The guy at the end of the line is depending on the guy at the front of the line to do his job efficiently and exactly.

Paul writes:

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-21, KJV)

In the body of Christ we are dependant on each other. If we are not in unison, then the body does not function properly. This is one of the reasons we ought to pray one for another.

I learned a lot about cheese and how it is made yesterday. But even more importantly I was able to teach my children some very important lessons.

But going back to my first point, the author of Hebrews has something more to add:

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
(Hebrews 13:1-2, KJV)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Loving Leviticus

For some, the Gospel according to John is the most refreshing book of the Bible. Others find comfort in the book of Romans. I love both of these, but I am falling more and more in love with the book of Leviticus. Sure, most of it does not apply to us as a rule of life but we learn a lot about God and His holiness by studying it.

How do you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? (2 Peter 3:18)


Hide His Word in your heart! (Psalm 119:9 - 11)


Friday, January 23, 2009

Good Stress

It is interesting to me how our bodies handle stress. I used to weight train and my muscles responded positively to good stress. (There are some that might read this and ask, "Is there such a thing as good stress"?) Those same muscles respond very differently when I am fatigued and trying to function on little rest and a lot of caffeine. Those same muscles will atrophy (shrink, if you will) if not used at all.

Our faith is sort of like this. When we are challenged to strengthen our faith and have a steady routine of prayer, Bible study and fellowship so our faith matures and we grow stronger. But that same faith, if not properly exercised will atrophy. You will not loose the faith, so to speak, but you will loose the impact and strength you, and others, once benefited from.

If you don’t spend enough time in the spiritual gym, get in there. You will not only benefit from it but so will those you minister to.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration day.

Here we are. The 44th president of the United States of America has been sworn in. Whether you voted for the man is a moot issue. He is our President and as such needs our prayers.

I watched the Swearing In Ceremony via the internet. It was amazing to see how many people were out to see (rather, participate) in the inauguration.

Today has been called a “historic day”. But then again, everyday is a historic day. You were not sworn in as the President, but as a soldier you have been charged with a mission:

To be a witness of the Resurrection power of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)

Friday, January 16, 2009

When Satan Attacks pt. 5

So now that we know that the enemy wants to take your attention off of the Lord and His commands, we need to ask, “What does the enemy look like?” That is not an easy question to answer.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan “masquerades” (literally disguises and changes) himself into a messenger of light. As we saw in the Garden of Eden, he is hardly a messenger of light.

  • Isaiah 14:12 - 15, in speaking about Satan, tell us that he was once a high ranking officer in the Angelic army. Because of that we know that he is both powerful and understands the holiness of God. Because he understands the holiness of God he knows how to strike. Be cause he is powerful, we have to be on guard.

  • Even the disciples sitting at the “Last Supper” (to use a popular term) did not suspect that Judas Iscariot would betray the Lord (John 13:21 - 29). Satan is a crafty enemy.

This, of course, is not an exhaustive treatment on the persona and work of Satan. But it does raise some interesting questions. One of them is this, “How can you and I protect ourselves against the enemy?” The Apostle Paul tells us very plainly what to do:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

Stand your ground and trust in the Lord.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Satan Attacks pt. 4

So far in this short series of blog posts we have been looking at how to handle the attacks of the enemy of our souls.

In today’s installment, I would like to look at the way Satan gets us into trouble. In all began in the Garden:

Now the serpent was  more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1, NKJV)

Notice how he attacks Eve. Not with force… not with violence… but with doubt. The first thing Satan does is to draw your focus away from God. If he can get you doubting the Lord and relying on your own finite understanding then he knows you are only a few steps away from disaster.

Next time we will dive in a bit more into Genesis 3, but until then please accept this challenge:

Ask the Lord to examine your heart and see where you doubt Him. If something is revealed, confess your lack of trust as sin to God.

It is not easy, but it is worth it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

When Satan Attacks pt.3

A few days ago I mentioned that I have had the most challenging week of my ministry and I was rejoicing over it. That means, among other things, that the enemy of our souls has me and this church square in his sights. That is a good thing (read my prior posts.)

I left off on the fact that we need to pray, seeking the Lord’s direction for us, and that we will be obedient when He tells us to move in a certain direction. Here is the hard part:

God wants all of you.

While it is true that He wants each and every one of you, He wants 100% obedience from His people. Consider the words of Samuel, the prophet of God:

Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

May the Lord guide you and direct you as you submit humbly to His leading.


Friday, January 9, 2009

When Satan Attacks Pt. 2

He sure can be relentless can’t he. The enemy knows no bounds. I remember talking to a lady back East on several occasions about her relationship to the Lord. One of the things she said was, “Chris, it is so hard to maintain a balance between what I want to do and what the Lord wants me to do.” I told her, in no uncertain terms, that God is not interested in being her Lord on a part-time basis. He desires total dedication.

Some will say, “But that is impossible.” That statement is only partly correct:

For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)

As you pray about God’s direction for your life, ask Him to show you the areas that need to be totally given over to Him. That’s the easy part.

We’ll talk about the hard part tomorrow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When Satan Attacks

To be perfectly honest, not that I am in the habit of lying, I have been under enormous spiritual attack this week. I have faced the enemy on more fronts this last 10 days or so than I have in the past six months. That is encouraging!

I can see some eyebrows going up at that last statement, but yes… I am encouraged. The enemy of our souls attacks when he is threatened. And as we edify, rebuke, and exhort as we teach systematically through the Word of God he has reason to feel threatened.

I remember a southern preacher telling me once that, “If you aren’t doing anything for the Lord the Devil won’t bother you. He already has you where he wants you.” There is a lot of truth to that. How do we keep our enemy on his toes (so to speak)?

  • Memorize the Word of God (Psalm 119:9 - 11)
  • Submit to the teaching of the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16 - 17)
  • Resist the enemy and his temptations (James 4:7)
  • Abide in the Vine, The Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:1 - 5)

To be sure, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good start. One last thing in closing:

The first century church thrived under satanic attack.
The reformation church expanded under satanic attack.
Our churches will prosper under satanic attack.

It is my prayer that our churches stay under attack. It is then that we are making the enemy sweat as we do the job we are called to do.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday Morning Commentary (Tuesday Edition)

I am still recovering from Sunday, it took a lot out of me. What an amazing time we had in worship of our God and King. And now, Sunday morning’s happenings from my perspective:

  • One of the joys I have is studying the Word of God for rather large chunks of time. So far, last week’s study of Leviticus has been the most challenging and, to be frank, the most frustrating. I say frustrating because every time I turn the page and allow myself to be honest with the text I find myself under great conviction. Trust me… that’s a really good thing.

  • The worship / praise team did an amazing job (as usual)!

  • The Lord saw fit to schedule the teaching of the burn offering (basically all of Leviticus chapter 1) and our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

  • The Spirit of God is moving at Bethany Baptist Church in such a way that has not been in years, so I am told.

  • While there were several families still out on vacation and individuals who could not come for various reasons, God proved last Sunday that it is not the size of the meeting that is key, but the heart that worships the lord in Spirit and in truth.

  • I am totally beside myself in awe as I see both what the Lord is doing here and what He is going to do. I wait in blissful anticipation.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Seeking God’s Approval

I am having some serious issues with the book of Leviticus and once you start getting into the details, you may have the same issues I am having.

  • God redeems a people, purchasing them with the blood of an innocent sacrifice
  • God then calls these people, whom He purchased, to be holy.

Some one will say, “So what’s the problem?” Here’s the problem:

The same God that called Israel out of Egypt is the same God that calls you and I out of the world and unto Himself.

While it is true that we are not under the law as a way, or rule, of life, the sobering reality is that the same God that required holiness from His people in Leviticus 20:7 requires the same thing of the church in 1 Peter 1:15 - 16.

Here is my issue. I am not holy, and neither are you. Pray with me that we will be vessels of honor and clean instruments that the Lord of lords would be pleased to use.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another New Year with Nothing New Under the Sun

It has been a while since my last blog post, but then again, there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

There are many New Year’s resolutions that are made because of guilt and regret. Many of these resolutions will be broken and forgotten… just like last year’s. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

I had a great time last night with friends and family, and yet there are people who have no friends or family to spend time with. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

My children will grow up and learn more, while I will grow out and forget more. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The Lord Jesus Christ’s offer of eternal life remains a valid offer right up to His appearing! Yet, despite His love and mercy, people will reject Him. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

God’s will for His people has been and will always be to grow in their relationship with Him and conform to His likeness. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Many students of Biblical prophecy are saying that we are no longer inching toward to the Second Coming of Christ, but running faster and faster toward it. When He comes everything will change, but until then there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).