Friday, June 26, 2015

God & Country Day

Several of local Churches are celebrating God and country day this Sunday.  Some of our elected officials will be visiting various local churches rather than attending their home church.  For this I am grateful.  Sometimes a guest speaker brings a message or shares a testimony of how Jesus has changed their lives.  If I were to proclaim a message it would come from these passages, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14), or this one, “But he gives more grace.  Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep.  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:6-10).  The message to the body of Christ is very clear “Repent of our sins!”  If you have called on Jesus to save you from your sins and to take you home to heaven when you die this message applies to you.  How do we expect a world that is dying apart from Jesus to believe our message if we do not live out the gospel in our own lives? God is not mocked!   The truth is that we will reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow.  Here are some of the sins we may need to repent of “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies and one who sows discord among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16). “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21) “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31)  What sin are you holding on to?  Take a moment to look up 1 John 1:5-10 in your Bible or on your phone.  Ask the Lord to help you to confess all known sin to him.  Join with me in searching our hearts before the Lord and confessing the sin that he shows us we need to repent of.  He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin if we confess it to him.  Thank you for reading this article today, I pray that this helps us to become a Church that Jesus can use.  I would like to invite you this Sunday to our God and Country day, here at First Baptist Church in downtown Lake City.  If not here then I invite you to attend one of our other Churches in Lake City where God’s word is being taught.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Celebration At Disney in Orlando

 This past weekend, my bride and I celebrated five years of being married.  We celebrated our anniversary at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  This is where we got to spend the day being a kid all over again.  It was fun, seeing the characters interacting with the kids.  The rides were fun, but one thing we both agreed on was this: we will go back when it is cooler.  We got to hot.  We drank lots and lots of water but that still was not enough to stay hydrated.  I am learning that being a husband is the same way.  I am learning that it takes lots of preparation to stay hydrated as a husband.  I remember the vow that I took, the pledge that I gave not just to my wife but also the Lord Jesus.  So how did we get this far in marriage when the average marriage only last a year or two? May I say, “Lot's and lot's of prayer.”  You say this sounds cliché but it is not really.  Here let me explain.  When we have a disagreement, I have to ask the Lord to help me understand what the disagreement is.  Then I have to ask am I being selfish in this.  To help me grow in my faith and in being a good husband I memorized this “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)  This one verse helps me in our marriage because no matter what we are going through I want her to see Christ and not me.  To stay hydrated as a husband I spend time with the Lord Jesus.  I purposefully read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation on a regular basis. Then as I read the Bible, I pray the Scripture back to God asking him to make me like Jesus.  You see to stay hydrated I need the Living Water in my soul, because how I respond as a husband comes from the over flow of my heart.  I would like to invite you as a person to spend time with the Lord in his word and in prayer asking God to do the same work in you.  This way if you are married your spouse will see Jesus and not you.  This way as a spouse, the love that you show will be real love that gives not expecting anything in return.  This is just one way to stay hydrated in your marriage.  If you are not a follower of Jesus let me invite you to follow him.  Give him your heart and ask him to make you like him.  This will be the best exchange you will ever make in your life.  This way you to can stay hydrated in your marriage.  If you would like to learn more may I invite you to come and worship with us at First Baptist Church in downtown Lake City, if not with us then may I invite you to one of our local Churches where the Bible is taught. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Balanced Prayer Life

Balanced prayer life 
Romans 1:8-10

Have you ever had to walk on a balance beam for gymnastics?   Have you ever been asked to walk a straight line by an officer of the law?  I don’t know what your response is but learning how to have a balanced prayer life is essential in our relationship with God.  Let’s read, Romans 1:8-10 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.  In this passage of Scripture we learn about the balanced prayer life of Paul in this letter.  For each of us to have a balanced prayer life we need to be thankful for what the Lord has done.  When we acknowledge what God has done creating us for his pleasure and providing for us not just our physical needs but also our spiritual needs (including salvation from sin) we ought to express genuine gratitude from the bottom of our heart. He did not have to create us for his pleasure, nor provide a way to have all of our sins forgiven and to have a restart.  When was the last time we sat down and counted our blessings, naming them one by one?  Paul wrote to the Philippian believers that with thanksgiving they could let their request be known to God.  Making our request known to God is not the difficult part, I will readily admit I ask God some big prayer request, a lot of times however they are big in the sense that they are selfish.  For example, the other morning over coffee with a friend we were discussing church matters and I shared with him my dream, my prayer request.  My friend had the nerve to ask me the hard question, was that a selfish prayer.  I honestly had to say yes it was.  There is a lot that Jesus teaches us on prayer, everything from thanksgiving, ask whatever you desire.  I have done a lot of that in my life. Ask Jesus for just about everything, a lot of times the answer is no, for that I am thankful.  This brings us to the second part of our verse today, that somehow by God’s will, I must be submissive to God’s will in my prayer life.  Being submissive to God’s will is the key to a balanced prayer life.  James writes, Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Submitting to God is the best advice anyone has ever given.  When we submit to God we are coming up under his authority.  When we learn to pray with thanksgiving in our hearts for what the Lord has done, submit to his will, he will teach us what we should pray for.  When we learn to listen to the Lord and ask according to his will we will receive that for which we ask.  If you are a person who believes that just because you prayed and asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to save you without submitting to him, then your prayers where not heard for salvation.  But if you have genuinely submitted to the Lord, not matter what your sin is, your church affiliation, your lifestyle at the moment.  He will hear your prayer and answer accordingly and for that you will be thankful.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bearing fruit

This morning as I sit in our sanctuary, I am reflecting on what John the Baptist preached, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."  He told those who came out to hear him to bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  Repentance, having that change of heart about my sin.  I cannot do anything else about your sin except tell you about the one who can take it away and make you a new person.  But true biblical repentance does have fruit.  The question is this: Am I bearing fruit in keeping with repentance as John the Baptist preach?

Monday, June 1, 2015


I find it amazing that a lot of people say that preaching from the Old Testament is not applicable today except for a few good stories.   I don't find this true.  It my current reading of the Old Testament, I happen to be in the book of Deuteronomy. This book is load with the blessings and curses.  Blessing's if one obeys and curses if one doesn't.   I don't know about everybody else but Jesus said if you love me you will obey me.   Since Jesus is the God of the Old and New Testament, and he changes not, my obedience to him expresses my faith in him and my love to him.