Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Steering Clear of Shaky Assumptions
If I make one mistake more often than any other as a preacher, it is assuming more than I should about my congregation. I assume, first of all, that people want to know what the Bible says.
- I assume they know I have their best interest at heart.
- I assume they understand the context.
- I assume they have a theological frame of reference.
And having begun on those shaky assumptions, I begin building a great big sermon when the foundation has not been laid.
I’ve discovered it’s better to keep the message simple (but not simplistic), to take it a little slower and to establish a good, firm foundation. Then I can build my case.
I’ll never forget when I was asked to speak to an audience who didn’t have a lot of biblical knowledge.
I decided to start simple.
“I will be referring to passages in the Bible according to numbers,” I told them. “For example: ‘John 3:16.’ Now, the ‘3’ stands for the chapter, and the ‘16’ stands for the verse.” And Cynthia was sitting on the front row rolling her eyes like, Oh, man, they’re going to think Chuck fell off a turnip truck!
But would you believe it? I had a guy come up to me afterwards and say, “All my life I’ve been wondering what those numbers are, and what that colon in the middle was for. Now I know! That’s a chapter! And that’s a verse!”
Most people will never see the inside of a seminary. (That’s why they have hope!) They don’t know a lot of the things we think they know. And unless we keep it simple, we lose them . . . and they never will.
I received an e-mail not long ago from a friend whose teenage daughter had taken notes during my sermon and then had written my application points on her bathroom mirror. (My friend sent me the picture.)
I’ve said for many years that if I can communicate in a way that teenagers get it, write it down, remember it, and then apply it—I will have accomplished something very gratifying.
Keep your stuff simple. The goal is to communicate, remember—not to impress.
The Pastors Blog: Chuck Swindoll (Reprint)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
The “Old Man of the Mountain” remained a huge tourist attraction for over 200 years until nature once again took its toll and, undone by natural erosion, the “Old Man of the Mountain” eventually broke apart and fell down the Franconia Notch mountainside in May of 2003.
The Bible reminds us that there is a solid rock that will never break and whose foundation will never crumble – that Rock is Jehovah God, the Almighty. Moses in making his final declaration to the Nation of Israel before his death, spoke to them reminding them of the awesomeness of the one true God:
“For I proclaim the
name of the Lord;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
4 “The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are]just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.” Deut 32:4 (emphasis added)
What a wonderful reminder for the children of God. That in a world of uncertainty, with social values that change like shifting sand, with evil and godlessness seemingly running rampant, one thing we can be sure of is that our God is solid and unchanging – a very present help in times of trouble (Ps.46:1). A glorious note of assurance in these turbulent and decadent times.
The question each child of God needs to ask themselves on a daily basis is ‘Am I building my life on a true and solid foundation?’
Jesus gives us the simple answer in His parable on the two foundations, found in Matthew chapter 7, when He said,
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” (emphasis added)
When we take the words of Jesus from God’s Holy Bible, and make a dedicated effort to have them become a viable & purposeful facet of our everyday way of life, Jesus says then we will have the wisdom needed to face life with an assured confidence and trust like no other, no matter how the tides of circumstance flow.
What solid rock are you building your life on today? There is truly only one you can trust - the Almighty God of heaven and earth. He will never let you down. He is the Omniscient and all-powerful God of the universe, who wants to hold you in the palm of His hands and to bless you to the fullest. He has given you His only begotten Son and asks you to trust Jesus like you trust Him. Jesus says the only way to do this is by listening to His every word and living our lives according to that word. That’s as solid as it can get.
“On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” William Bradbury – “The Solid Rock”
Friday, November 13, 2020
YOU ARE MY HIDING PLACE; YOU WILL PROTECT ME
FROM TROUBLE AND SURROUND ME WITH SONGS
Now when problems surround us and we feel
overwhelmed by them, we all would like to escape from
them even if it is for only a little while! When we turn our
problems over to God we can escape!
Thus, just like king David who wrote; THOUGH I WALK
IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE, YOU PRESERVE MY
LIFE; YOU STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND AGAINST
THE ANGER OF MY FOES, WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND
YOU SAVE ME. ( PSALM 138:7 ) FOR IN THE DAY
OF TROUBLE HE WILL KEEP ME SAFE IN HIS
DWELLING; HE WILL HIDE ME IN THE SHELTER OF
HIS TABERNACLE AND SET ME HIGH UPON A ROCK.
( PSALM 27:5 )
For; THE LORD WILL GUIDE YOU ALWAYS; HE WILL
SATISFY YOUR NEEDS IN A SUN-SCORCHED LAND
AND WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR FRAME. YOU WILL
BE LIKE A WELL-WATERED GARDEN, LIKE A
SPRING WHOSE WATERS NEVER FAIL.
( ISAIAH 58:11 )
So the next time problems start getting you
down, and you think it is impossible to handle them,
remember the words of our Savior Jesus Christ; "WHAT IS
IMPOSSIBLE WITH MEN IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD!"
Amen ( LUKE 18:27 )
Reprinted from God’s Minute
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Saturday, October 3, 2020
An amateur, genealogical researcher discovered that his great, great uncle, Remiss Starr, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana back in 1889. The only known photograph of Remiss Starr, shows him standing on the gallows, rope around his neck. On the back of the picture, is this inscription,
horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial prison 1885, escaped 1887,
robbed the Montana Flyer six times, caught by Pinkerton detectives,
convicted shortly thereafter, hanged 1889. “
A family friend rewrote the story of Remiss and this is the way he presented the biography:
“Remiss Starr was a famous cowboy in the Montana territory.
His business empire grew to acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad.
Beginning in 1885 he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility. Finally, taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad in 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remiss passed away during an important civic function held in his honor, when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”
While we find that rewrite of family history humorous, there have been many attempts down through the ages of people determined to rewrite history, to cover up the egregious behavior of past decades and centuries in the name of social justice and equality.
There are people today who deny that the holocaust ever happened. But after World War II, the Jewish nation was markedly determined that history would remember the horrors of the holocaust and the Nazi effort to wipe out a whole race of people. They preserved, as painful as it was, the stories and pictures and artifacts that would document the horrors of that time so that mankind would never allow it to be repeated or forgotten.
There have been many attempts down through the Gospel age of people and governments who have attempted to rewrite history by trying to destroy the Christian religion and eliminate any evidence that it existed, including it’s one great tangible of the faith, the written Holy Word of God.
The persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire was one of those horrifying realities of history. But of the 10 Roman Cesare’s who ruled after the death of Christ, Diocletian (284-305 AD), inaugurated the most venomous and violent persecutions of all. The 10th and last of the Emperor’s to inflict their wrath on the Christian faith, Diocletian began a systematic attempt to wipe the name of Christ from the earth and from the history books. In a.d.303, Diocletian issued an edict requiring the uniformity of worship of Cesare. By refusing to pay homage to the image of the emperor, all Christians became outlaws. Their public and private possessions are confiscated, their assemblies are prohibited, their churches are torn down and worst of all, their sacred writings are destroyed. Those tortured and killed is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. Every means was devised to exterminate the obstinate religion.
And yet, as it always does, the truth of scripture would prevail as God had promised, “But the word of the Lord abides forever.” I Peter 1:24
One promise is clear from
scripture that one day “… the earth will
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.”
So no matter how hard fallen humanity rails against Jesus and those who follow Him, the attempt to rewrite His history in this centuries old battle of good and evil, will still only end one way, when Jesus Christ ultimately rules as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over the entire breadth of humanity. The Word of God will endure forever because it is God Almighty who controls and writes the history of mankind.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. … and His name is called The Word of God. … And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
HE IS THE FAITHFUL GOD, KEEPING HIS COVENANT OF
LOVE TO A THOUSAND GENERATIONS OF THOSE WHO
LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
( DEUTERONOMY 7:9 *NIV )
Brethren, there is no way humanly possible to measure
the love that God has for each of us.
Moses wrote; KNOW THEREFORE THAT THE LORD YOUR
GOD IS GOD; HE IS THE FAITHFUL GOD, KEEPING HIS
COVENANT OF LOVE TO A THOUSAND GENERATIONS
OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDS.
( DEUTERONOMY 7:9-10 )
The Prophet David explained it best when he wrote: YOUR
LOVE, O LORD, REACHES TO THE HEAVENS, YOUR
FAITHFULNESS TO THE SKIES. YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
IS LIKE THE MIGHTY MOUNTAINS, YOUR JUSTICE LIKE
THE GREAT DEEP. HOW PRICELESS IS YOUR UNFAILING
LOVE! BOTH HIGH AND LOW AMONG MEN FIND REFUGE
IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS. ( PSALM 36:5-7 )
The Apostle John wrote; HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE THE
FATHER HAS LAVISHED ON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE
CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD! AND THAT IS WHAT
WE ARE! ( 1 JOHN 3:1 )
So tell God how much you love Him when you pray,
today and every day! Also thank Him for all of the
Blessings that He has given to you as well. Then before
you know it you will be saying, "I WILL SING OF THE LORD'S
GREAT LOVE FOREVER; WITH MY MOUTH I WILL MAKE
YOUR FAITHFULNESS KNOWN." Amen. ( PSALM 89:1 )
Have a wonderful day brethren, and may God Bless You!
Friday, August 14, 2020
Our calling as pastors includes fighting. I don’t mean we strap on the gloves and go toe-to-toe with our elders and congregational members. I mean, as pastors, we’re called to defend the faith.
As time passes, we will see our orthodox faith in Jesus Christ attacked more and more. We will find that the things of God are increasingly viewed with suspicion . . . addressed with cynicism . . . and, eventually, banned completely.
When we entered ministry, whether we knew it or not at the time, we entered a war zone. The pastorate is a battleground, not a playground.
This is why Paul included in his first letter to Timothy these sober commands:
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12–13)
As pastors, it is never appropriate for us to earn a reputation as a fighter, in the sense of being argumentative or a bully. That’s the last thing the body of Christ needs—another angry, bullheaded preacher pushing his agenda.
What We Fight For
No, here’s the type of “contender” we need to be:
- We must have a strong determination mixed with keen discernment.
- We must refuse to allow anyone to intimidate us in our convictions.
- We must fight against those things that can damage the flock.
- We must have a tough hide and a tender heart.
Paul commissioned Timothy to pastor the church at Ephesus. Interestingly, the letter Paul penned to that local body echoes with battlefield metaphors. Because our battle is a spiritual conflict, our weapons also are spiritual (Ephesians 6:11–17).
What We’re Up Against
May we never forget that our adversary is the devil, not our congregations. Speaking of our adversary, here are a few reminders:
- He is wily, clever, and brilliant.
- He stands against everything you stand for.
- He will despise the times you preach the truth.
- He will want you to soften your blow.
- He knows you better than you know yourself, making a study of every chink in your armor.
Drawing Upon the Strength God Gives
The battleground of ministry always reminds me of Martin Luther’s ageless hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Take a moment now, lean back in your chair, and sing these verses out loud and clear.
And I mean sing! After all, we’re in a battle.
… to them, abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours thro’ Him Who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also— The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still: His kingdom is forever. 1
|1.||↑||Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” in The Celebration Hymnal: Songs and Hymns for Worship (Nashville: Word/Integrity, 1997), hymn 151.|
reprinted from The Pastor's Blog - Chuck Swindoll
Monday, July 27, 2020
AND WHOEVER TRUSTS IN THE LORD, HAPPY IS HE.
( PROVERBS 16:20 *NKJV )
Dear Brethren, do not let the enemy steal your joy and leave you downcast! Instead enjoy what God has given you, for HAPPY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN SUCH A STATE; HAPPY ARE THE PEOPLE WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD! ( PSALM 144:15 )
Now when we have negative thoughts it draws negative
results into our lives. Likewise, when we think positive
thoughts we draw positive results in as well!
After all when we are downcast it brings on depression,
worry and anxiety. All of those things are known to cause
health problems. So always think positive for A MERRY
HEART DOES GOOD, LIKE MEDICINE, BUT A BROKEN
SPIRIT DRIES THE BONES. ( PROVERBS 17:22 )
Now I know that, MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE
RIGHTEOUS, BUT THE LORD DELIVERS HIM OUT OF
THEM ALL. ( Psalm 34:19 ) So again, do not let the
enemy steal your joy each day. For you know that
YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL WALKS ABOUT LIKE
A ROARING LION, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR.
( 1 PETER 5:8 )
So Dear Brethren, enjoy what God has planned for you,
and show that pretty smile of yours. For when you smile
it shows God's joy within you!
a God's minute reprint
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
PROMISE, WHICH HE PROMISED BY THE HAND OF MOSES HIS SERVANT.
( 1 KINGS 8:56 *KJV )
Dear Brethren ,
Did you know that there are 8,910 promises in the Bible? There are 7,706 promises in the Old Testament, and 1,104 promises in the New Testament! That is a total of 8,910 promises in all!
Now you will find that God made 7,485 promises to mankind,
and mankind made 1,416 promises to God. [ The remaining 9
promises were made by satan to mankind! Most of those you
will find in the Book of JOB.]
Well, these 7,485 promises from God to us just about
cover all of the bases! Isn't it wonderful that we have a Heavenly
Father that is gracious enough to give us all of those promises?
A God that also anticipates all of our needs and often sends us
help even before we ask Him too. After all it is written; HE SHALL
GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE OVER YOU, TO KEEP YOU IN ALL
YOUR WAYS. ( PSALM 91:11 )
So, HAVING THEREFORE THESE PROMISES, DEARLY
BELOVED, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES FROM ALL
FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING
HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OR GOD. ( 2 CORINTHIANS 7:1 )
Therefore my dear brothers and sisters in the faith, why not enjoy your day thinking about how well GOD has taken care of you, and knowing that HE
always will! Amen.
a God's Minute reprint
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD.
( ROMANS 8:16 *NKJV )
Indeed we are God's Children for; GOD SENT FORTH HIS
SON, BORN OF A WOMAN, BORN UNDER THE LAW, TO
REDEEM THOSE WHO WERE UNDER THE LAW, THAT WE
MIGHT RECEIVE THE ADOPTION AS SONS. AND BECAUSE
YOU ARE SONS, GOD HAS SENT FORTH THE SPIRIT OF
HIS SON INTO OUR HEARTS. ( GALATIANS 4:4-6 )
The Apostle Paul used adoption or "sonship" to illustrate
to us, the believer's new relationship with God. For when a
person becomes a Christian, he or she gains all the privileges
and responsibilities of a Child in God's family.
One of these privileges is being lead by the Spirit. Now we
may not always feel as though we belong to God, but the Holy
Spirit is our witness! For His inward presence reminds us of
who we are and encourages us with God's love. For it is written;
NOW HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT, BECAUSE THE LOVE
OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS BY THE
HOLY SPIRIT WHO WAS GIVEN TO US. ( ROMANS 5:5 )
So, have a wonderful day remembering that you are
indeed a Child of God Almighty, and an heir as well. For it is
written, YOU ARE NO LONGER A SLAVE, BUT A SON; AND
SINCE YOU ARE A SON, GOD HAS MADE YOU ALSO AN
HEIR. Wow! Wow, Indeed! Amen. ( GALATIANS 4:7 )
reprinted from God's Minute
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUES, AND YOU WILL KEEP MY JUDGMENTS AND DO THEM. (EZEKIEL 36:26-27 *NKJV )
Now this verse proves that GOD did the very first
heart transplant. In fact HE has been doing transplants for
thousands of years! Even better than that, the heart that
GOD gives to us is filled with the fruit of the spirit! And;
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE,
PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS FAITHFULNESS,
GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL.
Remember when you invited GOD into your life.
Think about how hard your life was before that day! Also
think about how your life has changed for the better since
Now just in case you haven't received that new heart yet,
today would be a great day to ask GOD for it! No appointment
is needed, and HE won't leave you in the waiting room for two
hours, reading last years magazines either!
By the way you won't need health Insurance to pay for it
because is a free gift from GOD as well.
So why not ask GOD for that new heart today, if you
haven't already? For HE has said; "THEN I WILL GIVE
THEM ONE HEART, AND I WILL PUT A NEW SPIRIT
WITHIN THEM, AND TAKE THE STONY HEART OUT OF
THEIR FLESH, AND GIVE THEM A HEART OF FLESH,
THAT THEY MAY WALK IN MY STATUTES AND KEEP
MY JUDGMENTS AND DO THEM; AND THEY SHALL BE
MY PEOPLE, AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD."
Now, may you; GROW IN THE GRACE AND
KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS
CHRIST. TO HIM BE GLORY BOTH NOW AND
FOREVER! AMEN. ( 2 PETER 3:18 )
God's minute reprint
Saturday, May 23, 2020
The following is a reprint of a blog message written by Chuck Swindoll that serves as an important reminder to Elders; Pastor/Teachers about our calling.
Pleasing God, Not People
I see it every night on the news. The politics of backslapping and handshaking and making sure “so-and-so” isn’t turned off—it’s maddening! (We call it “smoke-blowing” here in Texas.) It’s become a political race where the objective is favorable public opinion. Period.
If we’re not careful, we can let politics work its way into our churches. And even worse, into our pulpits. In fact, the pastorate is a breeding ground for this sort of thing—maybe more than most professions.
I love the way the apostle Paul keeps our motives clean and our focus sharp:
People-pleasing is a very tempting allurement, especially for people in ministry, because most of what we do gets done through people. When needing volunteer positions filled—whether in the nursery, for a Sunday school class, among the ushers, or even in our music ministry—it’s easy to massage our words and say more than we mean . . . or say something other than what we mean. (That’s called a lie.) The pastor must resist the temptation to flatter. We must refuse to play both sides against the middle. Don’t go there. Why? Because once you start, it’s hard to stop.
When a pastor is a people-pleaser, he sits on the fence so as not to offend anyone. He remains neutral when he should NOT be playing it safe. He tells people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. That’s not pastoring . . . that’s politics.
Look at the apostle’s words one more time. I find myself both challenged and refreshed by Paul’s transparency: “We speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.”