Showing posts from December, 2019

This is how the Lord works

This is how the Lord works: In special circumstances:  Independently of humanity.  Only Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension is a means of substitutionary atonement.  In usual patterns:  Dependently THROUGH humanity.  The moving ahead of the kingdom of God universally, nationally, provincially, within our county, within our city, within the church of our city, within our congregation, within our families, within our individual lives—-requires our cooperation! God’s usual pattern for evangelism is us speaking and preaching the gospel God’s money comes from our wallets God’s teaching comes from our mouths God’s love comes from our love We pray—God listens.  We pray—God acts. God’s hands are tied if we are loveless, if we don’t serve, if we don’t give money, if we don’t do something, if we don’t pray. In an era where the average Christian is giving less and serving less, God is being put on the shelf in our churches as a relic of the past. We are wondering w

Be careful what you say about yourself!

Matthew 26 Apostle Peter: I am strong!  I would never deny you!  I’m the man! Can’t pray… would rather sleep—even after Jesus’ appeal for prayer partners! Cuts off the servants ear. Runs likes a rabbit. Follows at a distance. Denies knowing Jesus at all. Weeps like a baby. Is this the average day in the life of Peter? Is this the average day for any one of us?   Peter is in and out of consolation/ desolation. He is ‘Peter’ confident… not ‘God’ confident. Lessons: Don’t boast… you don’t know what you would do.  You don’t know what you would say! Pray—pray lots.   Pray some more! Repeat the first three lessons.

Am I required by God To Tithe?

“Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give.”  Prov 21:26 I recall my boy’s first bikes—that is their first two wheel bikes.  I put training wheels on them to assist in training them to ride.  Once they were accustomed to the larger bikes and sitting on them, I took the training wheels off. Weekly giving of any sort is the training wheels for tithing. Tithing is the training wheels for generosity. Generosity is the goal—tithing is not. Understanding what tithing does Understanding what tithing does not do What tithing does: Tithing is a training ground for the following things: Tithing teaches you to give on a weekly basis (or whenever your income comes in).  Tithing trains you to begin to realize that God owns everything you have.  You are not an owner, you are a steward. Tithing trains you to become what God wants you to be—generous! Tithing trains you to think in terms of sowing seed.   Tithing trains you to look for

Save your breath to cool your soup!

Proverbs 9:7-9 (NLT) 7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. 8 So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. 9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. A few years ago I copied the following from Mike Murdock.  In my better moments I try to live by them: I don’t correct where I see error—I correct where I see humility. I don’t correct where I see disagreement—I correct where I see a learner. When you stopped asking, you stopped learning.  When you stopped learning your present became your future. It’s difficult for me to stay interested in someone who ignores counsel. I don’t control winds, I don’t correct liars, I don’t counsel the disinterested. Sometimes to be honest, my mother-in-law’s statement is true: “You might as well save your breath to cool your soup.” 


About a week ago I had breakfast with a dear friend of mine who is a missionary in Russia.  He told me the following interesting story. His daughter was involved in street evangelism in Russia.  She, along with other youth, carried clipboards and were doing surveys.  One of the questions they asked was this: “Do you believe in heaven and hell, and if so, where will you spend eternity.”  Ninety-five percent of the people interviewed responded along these lines:  ‘Yes I believe in heaven and hell!  I will spend eternity in hell because I am such an awful sinner.’ Now this same daughter moved to Canada and organized the same kind of outreach doing the same thing, asking the same question:  “Do you believe in heaven and hell, and if so, where will you spend eternity.”  Ninety-five percent of the people interviewed responded along these lines:  ‘Yes I believe in heaven and hell!  I will spend eternity in heaven because I am a good person!’ Over my forty-one years of pastor

First Sunday of Advent: Hope

The Arrival Of the Christ Child Christ and Pilgrimage Psalms 84:5 (NKJV) 5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. Today we begin an intentional journey!  We by faith move intentionally in our Christian faith.  This is our advent series on the journey: BECAUSE of Christ The Journey OF Christ The Journey TO Christ The Journey WITH Christ The Journey TOWARDS Christ Dec 1. Hope. The Journey BECAUSE of Christ. This is the first Sunday Advent We begin our journey, we plan our journey, we move ahead on our journey…because of Christ. Who is Christ to you? When did this first begin? What has changed since you began with Christ? What does the Bible tell us about who Christ is? (see how many of these you can think of before checking this link!) What is the relationship/