The Master’s Class, Summit Church
HOW TO RAISE KIDS WHO WILL COUNT FOR GOD (Proverbs 1:7-9)

HOW TO RAISE KIDS WHO WILL COUNT FOR GOD (Proverbs 1:7-9)

January 17, 2021

I am always amazed at the wisdom of God.  There are times that I don’t always understand what God is doing, but that is ok, because God doesn’t need my understanding.  One area that I think about is the fact that most people are parents when they are young, full of energy, and make no mistake they need that energy to chase after those kids, but they lack the wisdom that it takes to be a really good parent.  You see, we tend to gain more wisdom as we get older, but it is when we are young that we need that wisdom, and raising kids is one of those times.  

Now, my wife is a terrific mother.  She has dedicated herself to our boys, and nobody ever loved a child more than my wife loves our two boys and their wives, and our grandchildren.  But, I have to admit, that I could have been a better parent than I was.  It wasn’t for a lack of trying.  I just never did get a copy of the how to raise kids manual so that I could read it and know what I was supposed to do.  I had to learn on the job, just like everyone else.  Now, it is at a time like this when I realize just how ignorant I was.  There I had, available for me in His Word, a complete guide to the way God wants us to raise kids to count for Him, and I just didn’t have the wisdom to use it like I should have.

 If you are a Christian parent, one of the promises of God that you should hold dear to your heart is that, the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Ps 112:2
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
KJV

This is a promise that God will bless your children and make them mighty upon the earth.  The strongest desire of my heart for my kids is not that they be wealthy, not that they be famous, not that they will always be praised or whatever, but that they will love the Lord Jesus Christ and count in His cause.  I want them to be people who will count for God.  God has kept this promise in my two boys and their own families, in spite of my failings.

I thank God for Christian homes. I don’t know of anything any better than a Christian home. Your home doesn’t exist so you can do your business; your business exists so you can have your home. God ideally wants everybody to have three homes. A family home, a church home, and a heavenly home. Jesus is the greatest homebuilder. Satan is the greatest home-wrecker.  God wants you to have a family home. Now maybe you’re an orphan. Maybe you’re divorced. Maybe you’re separated. Then you need some friends that will be sort of a family to you. That’s one of the good reasons we have Bible fellowship classes in churches. But you need some kind of a family home. And then you need a church home. You need a place with your brothers and sisters in Christ. And then you need to know that you know that you know that when you die, you’re going to heaven—to the Father’s house. Now Jesus is the key to all three. You have to know the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to raise kids who will count for God.

Amen.

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Proverbs 1:1-6)

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Proverbs 1:1-6)

January 10, 2021

Whenever I get ready to teach, or study, a book of the Bible, and I know that I am going to be spending a lot of time in it, I try to get in my mind why God put this book in the Bible and what it is that He wants me to learn from it.  The Bible is such a marvelous book. It is so simple that a child can learn about God’s love for them, and it is so deep that a person can spend their entire life plumbing it depths and barely get below the surface. I love the Word of God, because it allows me to know the mind of God, and when I know the mind of God, I know the love of God.  There is nothing that I value more than the love that God has for me.  It sustains me, it motivates me, it guides me, and it makes me the person that I am, a servant of God.  

I firmly believe that God gave us His Word so that we might know who He is, what He has done for us, and as a result, that we might live for Him.  It is His Word that answers all of the questions that we have in this life.  It is His Word that grounds me in the absolute truths about right and wrong, it establishes what good and evil are, light from dark, and it gives me the keys to living a victorious Christian life.  

So, what is it that God wants us to know from the book of Proverbs?  Why did God give us this very unusual book?  When you look at the book of Proverbs, you will find it to be an interesting collection of short, concise and forcefully expressive sayings.  Unlike our studies of the gospel of John, and the life of David, Proverbs does not even tell a story, or a series of stories.  We won’t find David slaying Goliath with five smooth stones, and we won’t find Jesus healing the sick and feeding the five thousand.  As a result, you may not consider the Book of Proverbs as a very thrilling story, but it is.  You also may want to think of the Book of Proverbs like a big collection of sayings that you might find in a Chinese cookie, but it is not.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on what God wants you to know about the book of Proverbs, and how it can give you the answers to many of your questions about life.  

Amen.

ARE YOU A LOST CHURCH MEMBER (1 Kings 2:1-6)

ARE YOU A LOST CHURCH MEMBER (1 Kings 2:1-6)

January 3, 2021

Let me ask you a question, how particular is the devil in how he gets someone to go to hell?  He is not particular at all, right?  In fact, he would just as soon send you to hell from the church pew as he had from the gutter. It makes no difference to him.  In fact, I think it gives him a sense of satisfaction when he can so easily deceive all of those church members into thinking they are going to heaven, just because they have their names on the membership role, and they go to church most Sundays.  

Now, there are people today who believe in Christ, I mean, you believe it in your head. You believe the facts of the gospel. You believe that Jesus is the Savior. You believe that Jesus is Sovereign. And you believe that Jesus is Sufficient, and yet you are as lost as you can be.  There is still something wrong with you, and that is you have a lack of genuine love for Jesus.

Now, let me give you the acid test for your salvation today.  I want you to look down deep in your heart and ask yourself, Do you love Jesus, and thereby love those whom Jesus loves?

Let tell you something very important, there are great number of people who identify themselves as Christians, and they have their name written on the church roll, yet they do not have their names written down in glory.  They have never been born again.  Paul describes them as having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.  It is possible to be loyal but lost, religious but rejected. Many are going to go to hell surrounded by baptismal certificates and receipts for church offerings.  Yet, at the end, Jesus is going to hand you over for judgment, because you have never been saved.

Now, I’m not trying to make you doubt your salvation, but the Bible says (1 Corinthians 11:28) “Let a man examine himself, whether he be in the faith.”  So, I am asking you to examine yourself, and ask are you saved? I mean, are you saved? Have you fully surrendered yourself to the will of Jesus Christ?  Please do not go away without Jesus. Don’t let pride keep you from coming to Jesus. Don’t worry about what people think. You obey the Lord, and you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.

Click on the podcast below to hear a message on the tragedy of a person who can serve the Lord for their entire life, yet still be lost.  

Amen.

WHO DO YOU TRUST IN? (1Chronicles 21:1-30)

WHO DO YOU TRUST IN? (1Chronicles 21:1-30)

December 27, 2020

The America that most of us grew up in, was a country where self-reliance was expected and taught.  You worked to provide for you and your family’s needs.  If that meant digging ditches, or working in a factory, or in an office, then that is what you did.  You relied on your physical skills and your mind to provide for you needs.  You did not rely on the government or others or to provide for your needs.  However, that is not the world that we live in today.  We are told by a corrupt media and educational system that we are to rely on an equally corrupt and all-powerful government to provide all of our needs.  The government takes from those whom they deem to have too much and gives it to those who they choose to give it to.  We are expected, and we are taught, to trust in our government.  

That is what the world teaches.  Yet, as Christians, we are taught to rely on God to provide for our needs.  However, that does not mean that we are to sit on our backsides and wait on God to turn rocks into bread so that we may eat.  The Bible tells us that if we choose to not work, then we will not eat.

2 Thess 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
KJV

So, the world teaches us to rely on the world, and the Bible teaches us to rely on God.  The question that we have before us today is who and what do your actions, not your words, say that you trust in?

Unfortunately, for most of us, even Christians, the answer to that question depends on how things are going at the time.  When things are going your way, who do you trust in, and what do you trust in?  Is it yourself, your bank account, your skills, and your intellect?  When things are going good, why should you bother God?  He is very busy.

However, when things are going against you, and each bad event seems to just stack one upon the other, then who, and what, do you trust in?  Is this the time that you choose to bother God?

If, when you search down deep for the truth in answering these questions, God only appears when the times are bad, then this lesson is for you.  If God is only your 911 call when things go bad, then this lesson is for you.  

Click on the podcast below to hear a message on one of the greatest sins that man can commit, the sin of unbelief.  

Amen.

WHEN THREE ACT AS ONE (2 Samuel 23:9-20)

WHEN THREE ACT AS ONE (2 Samuel 23:9-20)

December 13, 2020

God desires to fellowship with us.  God is sovereign, and we are to worship God, and we are God’s servants, but God wants more than that from us.  He wants our fellowship.  The interesting part of fellowshipping with God is that God is one God, but He is also three distinct persons.  So, let me ask you, when we fellowship with God, are we fellowshipping with The Father, The Son, or the Holy Spirit?  

I know the first thought that comes to my mind is that I fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is the Holy Spirit of God that resides in my heart, and He is the One that comforts me, and convicts me.  So, is He the One that I fellowship with?  

Then, it is the Father that I pray to in the name of the Son.  Now, I have often said that when we pray, we are fellowshipping with God.  It is supposed to be a two-way conversation.  We tell Him our needs, and then we have to stop and listen to Him.  If you do all of the talking, then it is a speech, not fellowshipping, and fellowshipping is what the Lord desires.  So, is the Father the One that I fellowship with?  

Then, it is the Holy Spirit that takes my words and makes them palatable to the Father, and it is the Son that is my advocate and High Priest before the Lord.  So, is it the Lord Jesus that I fellowship with?

The truth is that when I fellowship with God, I fellowship with each of the three persons of God, and yet I still fellowship with just the one God.  In other words, the three distinct persons of God act as One as they fellowship with me.  Now, isn’t that an amazing concept?  But that is not all.  

In today’s message we are going to study about an act by three of David’s mighty men where they rose up and acted as one to fulfill a need that David had.  It is a picture of what God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit did when they acted as One to fulfill our most important need.  The need for salvation.  There is, in the heart of every one of us, a thirst for the water of everlasting life. 

John 7:37
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
KJV

Rev 22:17
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
KJV

Our insatiable thirst is for the water of life.  Not the water of this world, for the water of this world can never satisfy the deepest longing of the human heart, and people are trying to satisfy that craving.  There is in every one of us an insatiable thirst that can only be satisfied with the wonderful water of life that Christ said, “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

The next time you partake of the Lord’s Supper, I want you to think of this.  I want you to think of what God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have done to bring the water of life to you.  When we take the precious elements into our bodies, when we hold these things in our hands, we’re saying, “This is what God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, did for us, that our deepest thirst might be satisfied.” But, we’re also saying, “Here, Lord, I give myself away. ’Tis all that I can do”—a life given, and a life given back.

Rom 12:1
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
KJV

Click on the link below to hear a wonderful story in the life of David, that reminds us what the three persons of God, acting as the One true almighty God, have done to meet our deepest need, salvation.  

Amen.

MAKING EXCUSES TO GOD (2 Samuel 19:32-39)

MAKING EXCUSES TO GOD (2 Samuel 19:32-39)

December 6, 2020

Have you ever made an excuse to God to explain why you didn’t want to do something that He asked you to do?  God says “Keith, I want you to go witness to that big guy over there that is decked out in motorcycle gang leather and chains.”  I look at the man, at the long beard, the ear rings in his ears, and then I look back up at God, and say “Well God, he looks pretty busy right now, and I am pretty tired, I sure don’t want to have a long conversation right now.  You know God, the more I think about it, I am not sure I am the right person for the job.”  

Did you ever try to talk God out of making you do something like that?  It never works out, does it?  In fact, after you have been a Christian for a while, you learn to just say “Yes Lord, thank you Lord, I love you, Lord,” and then you go do whatever He wants you to do.  Things work out a whole lot better when we don’t make excuses and just be obedient to God. 

When I think of Biblical characters that gave excuses to God, the person that comes to my mind is Moses when God told him to go back to Egypt and stand before the Hebrews and Pharaoh.  Moses said things like, “Listen God, I’m not good enough.  I don’t have all the answers.  People won’t believe me.  I am a terrible public speaker, and, I am not qualified to do that.”  Making excuses didn’t work for Moses either and in Exodus 4:14 we see how God reacted when it says that “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses.”  God got tired of the excuses and sent Moses on down the road.  

Then, I think of a shoe salesman named Dwight L Moody that God called, or Billy Sunday, a professional baseball player.  God called both to be great evangelists, yet both had to wonder “Why me?  I am not qualified to do that.  I don’t know enough to do that.”  Yet, they both responded, and God used their faithfulness to reach millions.

Well, today’s lesson is about one of those men in David’s life that put on a good show to start with, but then just made excuses when David asked him to do more.  The man’s name is Barzillai.

Barzillai uses a whole list of excuses to not go with David, and he eventually looks at David and says, "I'm not going, David, and that's the end of it. There's Chimham here; he wants to go, take him." And David did. He said, "All right, Barzillai, please yourself, have it your own way. I wanted you to help me run an empire. I'll never ask you again. Good-bye. Come on, Chimham, come and take this old man's crown."

And that is where the Holy Spirit leaves him—where David left him, heading back for the rut that would soon become his grave.  Make no mistake, there is a limit to how many times the Holy Spirit will listen to your excuses before He says, “Ok, please yourself.  I wanted you to help me to bring the gospel message of Christ to a lost world, but you said no.  I will never ask you again.”  

Ask yourself, how many excuses have you given to God at this stage of your life, whatever that is, young or old?  I just can’t imagine that anything could be worse for a child of God than for the Lord Jesus, at last, to simply leave a person to himself.  Then for that believer to face, one day, the judgment seat of Christ and see someone else take their crown.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on what it means when we tell God, “I will go a little way for you Lord, but I am not going all the way.” 

Amen.

THE TRAGIC COST OF SIN (2 Samuel 11:27 - 12:3)

THE TRAGIC COST OF SIN (2 Samuel 11:27 - 12:3)

November 22, 2020

The story of David and Bathsheba is a story that is a challenge to each of us as believers, for if a man as great as David could fall into sin, then so could each of us.  It is also a tragic story, because of the tremendous cost of David’s sin.  There will always be consequences when we sin against God. Not just on what we might call the “big” sins, but any sin.  Too many times we get complacent with our sin, because we have rationalized them as “little” sins, or “socially acceptable sins,” and we do not realize the full extent of the cost of that sin in our relationship with God.  There is always a tragic cost of our sin, and that is what I want us to see in our message today.  

But there is also hope.  We can have our relationship with God restored, and that is what I want you to know today, there is hope for us when we fail, even when we fail greatly.  

If you’re living in sin and God is not dealing with you, then do you know what you need to do? You need to get saved.  You need to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  

If you’re living in sin and God is dealing with you, then do you know what you need to do? You need to get right with God.  You need to repent of the sin that is in your life and let God forgive you, and restore you.  

God is serious about your life. He wants you to live a righteous and a holy life.  God loves you and He wants you to be in fellowship with Him.  What is the hope for the child of God who has sinned?  God’s never-ending love for you.  God told David, that “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”  God tells you the same thing, 

1 John 4:10
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
KJV

1 John 4:16
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
KJV

1 John 4:19
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
KJV

Do you want to restore your relationship with God?  Do you want to once again “dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him?”  Then you must repent of your sins and find forgiveness in God’s love for you.

1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
KJV

The promise that God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” is our hope as believers.  

If this message is for you, if you are now walking in sin, it doesn’t even have to be a great big one, like adultery, but any sin, then that sin is impacting your relationship with God.  You need to repent of that sin.  This message is for people who want to live once again in the full love of God.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on the cost of sin, and the hope that the believer has in restoring their relationship with God. 

Amen.

WHEN A CHILD OF GOD SINS (2 Samuel 11:1-26)

WHEN A CHILD OF GOD SINS (2 Samuel 11:1-26)

November 15, 2020

Can a child of God sin?  Yes, they can and do, frequently.  Can a child of God sin a great big sin, like breaking one of the 10 commandments?  Now, before you answer that, I want you to work your way down the list of commandments, and tell me if you can break them and be a child of God?  Yes, of course, they can.  Then, can a child of God sin and not suffer?  Absolutely not.

Today’s message is about a child of God who sinned, and sinned greatly, which makes this a very sad story.  It is sad because a man whom God loved, and who truly loved God, committed not just the sin of adultery, but then he tried to cover it up by committing murder.  Now those are really big sins, and David committed them.

So, not only is this a sad story, but it is also a tragic story because a man who the Bible describes as a man after God’s own heart will have to face the consequences of that sin.  Make no mistake, there is always a consequence to our sin against God, and David was no exception.  First, without a doubt you will suffer conviction from the Holy Spirit of God.  If you sin and you don’t feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit working on you, then you better check your salvation, because a child of God cannot sin and not suffer conviction from the Holy Spirit.  

Now, if we repent of that sin and ask God for forgiveness, then He will forgive our sin.  But, as we will see in this story, we may still have to face the consequences of that sin.  If you are a twice-born child of God, you will not lose your salvation because you sin, even if that sin is adultery or murder, but you will face consequences in this life, and perhaps a loss of rewards in heaven.  

Now, not only is this a sad and tragic story, but it is also a familiar story.  People who do not love God, people who believe all Christians are hypocrites, love this story because it details the failure of a man of God.  Of course, I am sure you know by now that the story in our message today is about David’s sin with Bathsheba. 

Now, I want you to pay attention to this scripture that we are about to cover, and it is going to be a two-part lesson.  This first week, we are going to cover the sin that David committed, and make no mistake it was a terrible sin.  But, the reason I want us to pay attention to this Scripture is that next week we are going to give hope to believers who have sinned greatly.  God wants you to know that no matter what you sin is, there is a way back to fellowship with Him.  This is important because we all sin, even as a child of God we sin, and we need to know that this hope is there for us.  We can be right with God.

Click on the link below to hear a message about a man of God who sinned greatly, and the warning in this message is that if a man as great as David can fall into sin, then so can you.

Amen.

LET GOD’S DREAM BE YOUR DREAM (1 Chronicles 17:3-4)

LET GOD’S DREAM BE YOUR DREAM (1 Chronicles 17:3-4)

November 1, 2020

I am going to tell you a little secret about me.  When I dream, I am always the hero.  I am the one who saves the damsel in distress.  I am the one who charges into the fire and carries out the little baby, and I am the one who captures the bad guy and puts him into jail.  In my dreams, it’s me who is the one doing everything wonderful.  In my dreams, I am the hero.  Yeah, I know, I have watched way too many John Wayne movies.  

However, in reality, if something bad happened, I know that I could barely save myself.  I would put up a good fight, especially if you threatened my family, and that includes my dogs.  But, I have learned from experience what my limitations are.  No, I know that in real life, when real danger comes, that it is the real heroes of our society that do the saving.  It is the fireman who climbs that ladder to save the damsel while the building is burning all around him.  It is the policeman who puts his life on the line to catch the bad guy and put them into jail, and it is the soldier who stands on the line between tyranny and freedom.  These are the real heroes.  

Now, truth be told, I am really glad we have these heroes because I couldn’t do it.  Not anymore, and probably never could, but that is not what I tell myself in my dreams.  Hey, a man can still have his dreams, right? 

In today’s lesson, we are going to talk about dreams, and what happens in the dreams that God gives us, and who the hero is in God’s dreams.  You see, sometimes God will put a dream in our heart. Sometimes God will lay something on us and give us a vision. 

I firmly believe that God speaks, God leads, and God will plant things down deep in your heart.  But, I want to be clear that when I say the word dreams or vision in our lesson today that I don’t mean that you will see movies in your mind, but I do mean that God will lay things on your heart.  Things that He wants you to do.

I’m also not talking about human schemes, or carnal ambition. I’m talking about things that God lays on us that I believe from my heart of hearts are from Him.  I believe that God gives a dream to everyone, that is, if they’ll listen. God didn’t just put us here to waste time and idle away. God made us for something very wonderful, and the Bible says, 

Eph 2:10
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
KJV

The word workmanship means that we are His work of art, and God built us to work for Him.

Click on the link below to hear a message about a dream that God laid on David’s heart, and how God expounded and expanded that dream beyond anything that David could imagine.  

Amen.

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD (1 Chronicles 16:29)

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD (1 Chronicles 16:29)

October 25, 2020

Most of the people who read my posts and listen to my audio messages have been Christians for a long period of time.  Some of you, like me, were saved as a child.  Others, were saved at some point later in life, and as we get older, we tend to get set in our ways.  

I say all of that to indicate that we have probably also gotten pretty comfortable in on our method of worshipping God.  We know what we like, and how we like to do it.  Some of us will be more ritualistic and formal than others, some with much less formality.  But we like what we like, and we resist change.  Now, I can hear some of you thinking, “Why bro. Keith this is the way we did it back in the church I grew up in, and that is what makes me happy, and you want me to be happy, don’t you?”  Well, I do and that is real good, because in today’s lesson, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to worship God, and who knows, maybe some of us seasoned citizens might learn a thing or two.  

The title of our lesson today is How to worship God.  Now, that is a pretty big subject, with lots of territory to cover, but we are going to make it short and sweet today, because the Bible is pretty straight forward when it comes to worshipping God.  It is us that makes it difficult, or complicated, not God.  

Do you want to have victory in your Christian life? Do you want to really be used of God? Then, learn to praise the Lord. Praise Him. Praise Him continually.  Praise Him creatively.  Praise Him celebratively, and Praise Him, confidently.  God is such a great God! Some people just don’t understand what real worship is.

Click on the link below to hear a message that tells us that Worship is all that I am responding to all that God is.

Amen.

TO DO A GOOD THING THE WRONG WAY (2 Samuel 6:1-11)

TO DO A GOOD THING THE WRONG WAY (2 Samuel 6:1-11)

October 11, 2020

David was a man that God loved in a special way, and David loved God in a special way, as well.  In our message today, David wants to be the kind of king that God wants him to be.  In order to do that, David knows that he needs God’s power, he needs God’s anointing, and he needs God’s presence. 

Now, if you want to have, and to know, the conscious presence of the Lord in your life, then there is the holy reverence towards God, and the things of God, that you must express.  The reason that some people do not know the conscious presence of God is they have lost a holy reverence for God. We see an example of that in the way that David tried to move the Ark of The Covenant into the city of Jerusalem.   David’s first attempt to bring the ark in was lost because he did not express a holy reverence for the things of God. He became careless in the things of God, and his carelessness led to a great calamity that day.

The interesting thing here is David is following the way of the world rather than following the Lord. Now, God had said clearly, specifically, and plainly, how the ark was to be transported, but rather than transporting it as God had said to transport it, David starts out to do a good thing the wrong way, and what he’s doing is just simply disobeying the Lord.

Now, we can have the presence of God in our church and we can have the presence of God in our lives, but if we do, it’s going to be God’s way, not ours. You know what’s wrong with so many churches today? They’ve learned from the world, and they’re following the ways of the world. In fact, the world is conforming the Church more than the Church is transforming the world. We are being conformed by the world rather than being transformed by the Spirit of God, and it’s amazing how the spirit of this world has crept into so many churches.

When we choose to follow the way of the world, we are disobedient to God.  What follow’s our disobedience of God?  God’s displeasure with us, and then comes discouragement, and then comes defeat.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how if you want to have the conscious presence of God in your life, then you must have a holy reverence for God, and the things of God.  You cannot lay profane and unholy hands on the things of God by being disobedient to His Word.  We need a reverence for God, for holy things.  We ought to be on our face before the thrice holy God of Israel. We ought to tremble in the presence of God.

Amen.

SAUL, THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL (1 Samuel 26:21)

SAUL, THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL (1 Samuel 26:21)

September 27, 2020

When I look at the life of Saul, it gives me pause, and it challenges me, because what happened to Saul could happen to me, and it could happen to you or anyone.  Today, we are going to talk about the folly of disobedience. We need to learn that fools are not born, they are made, and generally, they are self-made.

Saul, was a man who had it all.  In fact, no man ever had a better start than the man named Saul, and nobody ever had a sadder finish than the man named Saul. When we first meet Saul in the Bible, he was Israel's first king, he is handsome, he is courteous, he is thoughtful, he is humble, he is young, and he is vital, virile, and vivacious.  Yet, when you look at this same man when he becomes older, you see him as a bitter, murderous, envious, wicked, and desperate old man.  You look at him and say, "How could it be? How could someone who started out so well, end so poorly?”

Click on the link below to learn that there can be no success without obedience. Saul failed to obey the Word of God. No matter how much you know; no matter how much you have; no matter how much influence and authority you have, if you do not obey God, then you are going down, because you are practicing witchcraft.  “God says that Disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft.”  

The song says that we are to trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

As I have gotten older, and God has made it plain that I have a lot fewer days ahead of me than I do behind me.  Do you know what my prayer is for me? I want to end well.  I would not be honest with you if I did not tell you that I believe that God has had His hand on my life, and I bless Him for it. I bless Him for these years.  I regret the years that I spent not doing what God wanted me to do, but I rejoice in the days that God has let me teach His Holy Word.  So, my prayer is now that God will let me end well.  

No one is immune to the deceiving and deadening power of sin if he becomes self-willed rather than Spirit-filled.  We will never be over the power of sin in our lives until we are under the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  We cannot defeat sin without God in our hearts.

I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve achieved. I pray God that every one of us will have enough sense not to play the fool. Never a man had a better start, and never did a man end more tragically, than Saul, the man who had it all.

Amen.

TO HAVE KINGDOM AUTHORITY (1 Samuel 24:1-7)

TO HAVE KINGDOM AUTHORITY (1 Samuel 24:1-7)

September 13, 2020

We live in a world today that is full of rebellion, and it is not just the riots and chaos that we see in our streets.  It is in our families, our churches, and in the places that we work.  People are choosing to rebel against the authorities that God has placed over them.  They stand up and say, “I will not wear a mask because my government tells me that I have to”, or “nobody can tell me I have to shut my business down.”  Even far worse, they take the streets looting, rioting, and burning down the foundations of our country.  The Bible is very clear about Christians who have a spirit of rebellion.

Rom 13:1-2
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
KJV

Now, you might say, "Wait a minute. You don't know the kind of government we have. It is full of a bunch God hating, progressive, socialists."  Well, maybe you don't know the kind of government that existed when Paul wrote this, when Nero was on the throne. Nero was feeding Christians to the lions in his arenas, and he was setting Christians on fire to light the streets of the city.

But you say, "What if I have an unworthy authority? What if my parents are unworthy? What if my husband is unworthy? What if my president is unworthy? What if my mayor is unworthy? What if my councilman is unworthy? What if my teacher is unworthy? What do I do?" That's a wonderful question.  The Bible says that one thing that you don't do, you do not have a spirit of rebellion.  If you wish to live a victorious Christian life, then one of the most important lessons that we can learn is how to live under the authority of God.  This includes those whom God has placed in authority over us.  

Now the phrase kingdom authority means to be able to act with the authority of God in your Christian life.  Let me assure you, it is not God's plan for you to be defeated by the world, the flesh, nor the devil.  Because, when Jesus died and rose again, He gave to His children authority over these things. But, listen carefully to me now, we will never be over those things that God has put under us until we are willing to get under, and stay under, those things that God has put over us. 

However, I want to be clear that to be under authority does not mean that we give in to wickedness.  It does not mean that we approve error.  It does not mean that we blindly obey an ungodly government. The prophets in God's Word preached against the wickedness in the kingdom. Nathan warned King David when he did wrong. Elijah warned Ahab. Eleazar spoke to Jehoshaphat, Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, Moses to Pharaoh, and God forbid that we should have pulpits today that are silent when little babies are being murdered and when wickedness prevails in so many ways. 

One of the most disturbing and reprehensible rebellions that is taking place today is against our police officers, and it breaks my heart to see this occur.  Pastor Adrian Rogers quoted this description of a policeman in one of his sermons, and he says the author is unknown.  It is similar to what Paul Harvey once said about being a policeman, but it is not quite the same.  Every time I read this it moves me. 

"A policeman is many things. He is a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, and sometimes even a grandfather. He is a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow. His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration. He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from the notoriety produced from unfounded charges.

Too often acts of heroism go unnoticed, and the truth is buried under all the criticism. The fact is that less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform. That's a better average than you'll find among clergymen. A policeman is an ordinary guy who is called upon for extraordinary bravery for us. His job may sometimes seem routine, but the interruptions can be moments of stark terror. He is the man who faces a half-crazed gunman, who rescues a lost child, who challenges a mob, who risks his neck more often than we realize. He deserves our respect and profound thanks. 

A policeman stands between the lawbreaker and the law abider. It's the prime reason your home hasn't been burned, your family abused, and your business looted. Try to imagine what might happen if there were no policemen around, then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding. Show them the respect you really have for them. Offer them a smile and a kind word. See that they don't have to be magicians to raise their families on less-than-adequate salaries. We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys who said they would be policemen and all who kept their promise. We hope you feel the same way, and we hope you will show it, so that there will always be enough good policemen to go around."  That is a description of a hero that speaks to my heart.

Click on the link below to learn how to have kingdom authority in a world full of rebellion.

Amen.

THE BLOOD COVENANT (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

THE BLOOD COVENANT (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

September 6, 2020

One of the most important concepts in the Bible is that of the blood covenant. The blood covenant is what the Bible is all about.  In fact, it is the subject of the Bible.  The Hero of the Bible is Jesus, the subject is the blood covenant.

Now, not only is the blood covenant the subject of the Bible, but it is therefore the strength of the believer.  The believer's security, the believer's victory, comes to the one who learns what his covenant rights are.  If you want to live a victorious Christian life, then you want to have the strength that belongs to you because of your covenant rights.  It is no wonder that it is the secret of blessing.  

Why would God show mercy to me? Why would God have mercy on such a person as I am? 

Eph 4:32
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
KJV

Why does God forgive me? Because I am worthy? No, I am under a sentence of death. Because I deserve it? No, I'm a rebel. Because I first loved him? No, I feared him. Why does God forgive me? For Christ’s sake, "Be ye kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." 

It is because of the blood covenant that the Lord Jesus Christ made with God the Father that I am forgiven. We are brought in, not because of what we have done, but because Jesus Christ made a blood covenant for us.  When you understand the covenant, no longer do you become a slave to fears. Sometimes you feel unworthy, but that doesn't make any difference. The covenant is kept no matter how you feel about it, and the Lord will never break his covenant.  Quit living by the tyranny of feeling, just live by the covenant.  It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not. 

Christianity is not based upon your ability. It is not your responsibility. It is your response to his ability. That's what Christianity is. Jesus cut a covenant for you.  There is no longer any need for you to live like a beggar, and die like a pauper, when you can walk on this earth as one of the king's sons because of the blood covenant. Hallelujah for that. 

Click on the link below to hear a message on how the covenant that David made with Jonathan illustrates the blood covenant that Christ made for us, so that we can have everlasting life.

Amen.

DAVID, A MAN OF FAITH (1 Samuel 17:1-49)

DAVID, A MAN OF FAITH (1 Samuel 17:1-49)

August 30, 2020

The Bible story of David and Goliath is one of the most familiar in the Bible.  You don’t even have to be a Christian to know this story.  There have been books and movies, and even TV shows based on this story.  Michelangelo even depicted the story on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  We are told this story from the time we are a child.  The image of a young man with just five smooth stones and a sling against a giant of a man in full battle armor is iconic in Bible history.  It is a story that reveals more than human bravery.  It reveals that, even as a boy, David had a heart for God. 

The key to this whole story is found in the fact that David didn’t volunteer to fight the giant because his people were being shamed.  No, David fought Goliath because Goliath was defying the armies of the living God!  David, put his faith in God.  He knew that God would deliver the giant into his hands.  David testified to his faith in God telling the giant “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

Powerful words of faith from such a young man.  

David knew that it was not by chance that God had led him to this battlefield.  David could say in his heart that it is not by chance that he was born into Jesse's family. It is not by chance that he had seven older brothers. It is not by chance that he had to fight for his place in the family, not with carnal weapons, but with spiritual ones. It is not by chance that I learned early to love, trust, and obey the living God. It is not by chance that God has become my constant companion and guide. It is not by chance that I learned to play the harp and write great hymns which will be sung by God's people forever. Such things do not happen by chance; they happen by choice. God chose me, and I chose Him.

It is not by chance that I became a shepherd and developed a heart for the flock. It is not by chance that God gave me courage to face the lion and the bear in the wilderness of which you speak. It is not by chance that I have great skill with a sling and a stone. That skill represents hard work and constant practice. And it is not by chance that I am not afraid of Goliath and you are.  And it is not by chance that we are where we are and that we are who we are.

David learned that he could not use the weapons of this world to fight the battle. He had to use his own weapons, his own methods, those in which God had schooled him. The believer today needs to recognize that the world can be overcome only by his faith and confidence in God.  

Amen.

JESUS ASKS, DO YOU LOVE ME? (John 21:15-25)

JESUS ASKS, DO YOU LOVE ME? (John 21:15-25)

August 16, 2020

The section of verses that we are about to cover is very familiar if you have been a Christian for a while.  They are the verses where Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him.  They are verses with a lot of different messages that can be taught and preached on, but they all deal with the word love.  It is loving Jesus that is the secret of serving our Lord.  

Now, most pastors spend time talking about the differences in the Greek words that Jesus and Peter use for the word love.  Jesus, the first two times He asks Peter if he loves Him, uses the word “agapao” meaning to love deeply, but Peter doesn’t feel worthy to respond using the same word, so he uses the word “Phileo,” which means a brotherly love.  Peter’s deep feeling for the Lord is real, but having failed Him miserably, Peter just cannot bring himself to claim that he loves the Lord deeply.  This feeling in Peter is certainly important because Jesus has come here to prepare Peter for the things to come.  Jesus is here to show Peter what love really is, and to be honest, that is what the gospel of John is all about, love.  God’s love for us, but also what it means for us to truly love Jesus Christ.

Jesus doesn’t ask Peter about whether he believes the Lord’s doctrine.  He doesn’t ask if Peter is obeying His commandments, or if he is giving large sums of money, or what great things he has accomplished.  Jesus looks right at Peter, and He asks, do you love me?  Jesus is asking you that same question, do you love me?

Why does Jesus want you to know this?  Because the secret of serving our Lord is that you must first love Jesus with all of your heart, then you can feed His sheep.  It is love for Jesus that is the secret of service and if you're a teacher in a church, if you're a greeter in a church, if you're on a committee in a church, or if you are on the staff of a church, and if you serve for any other reason than that you love Jesus, then quit that job right now, or get right. You will have a deadening influence if you don't get right with God. You say, "Well, I just love music, I want to sing in the choir." That's not good enough. "I just love playing instruments." That's not good enough. "I just love to teach." That's not good enough. Do you love Jesus? If you love Him, then you can feed His sheep.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the secret of serving the Lord Jesus is that you must first love Him, then you can serve Him by serving others.  

Amen.

JESUS PREPARES HIS FOLLOWERS (John 21:1-14)

JESUS PREPARES HIS FOLLOWERS (John 21:1-14)

August 9, 2020

Today, we come to the last chapter of the gospel of John.  It begins with the same dynamic life of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of the other chapters in the gospel begin with.  Jesus has some unfinished business with His disciples before He ascends into heaven.  He has directions to give them.  Directions that they will need in order to share the gospel message to a dark world that needs to hear the words of eternal life.  But, He needs to speak to Peter most of all.  

Peter was to be the great preacher of Pentecost, the first disciple to reach out to the Gentiles, and the one who will lead this group of men on the trail to share the gospel.  But, at this moment, Peter was a broken man, full of self-doubt.  Jesus had already spoken to him separately, but He had more to say.  The Lord now had to minister directly to Peter's conscience.  Jesus knew the role that Peter would play in the days to come, and so He needed Peter to know that he had been forgiven.  

In each of our lives, there is a place, a time, where something happened, something where we failed the Lord by what we did.  I know that is true of me.  I have hurt those close to me when I sought to please myself instead of the Lord.  If you are a Christian, with the Holy Spirit living in your heart, then these are things that you come to regret with all of your heart, something you would give anything to undo. You wish you could go back and live the incident over again, only doing it differently this time.  You cannot erase the memory. 

Click on the link below to hear Part 1 of a two-part message on how the great physician deals with our own conscience. How he lays even the persistent ghosts of our past to rest.  

Amen.

THE SCARS THAT GOD BEARS (John 20:24-29)

THE SCARS THAT GOD BEARS (John 20:24-29)

July 19, 2020

Let me ask you a question, is Jesus God or man? Is Jesus God or man? Well, the answer to that question is yes. He is the God-man. He is God incarnate in man. He is God in human flesh. Now, the fact that Jesus is both God and man is absolutely foundational to our faith. There is no compromise on this fact that allows our faith to be real. The rock our faith is built on is Jesus Christ, who came to this earth as fully God, and fully man. Yet, it is this question that vexes the world, and there are so many false religions, major, world religions, that deny this is true.

The prophet Isaiah said, "Unto us a child is born and unto us a son is given..."

When Isaiah said, "a child is born," he was speaking of Christ’s humanity. When he said, "a son is given," he was speaking of Christ’s deity. Jesus Christ is the God-man. Now, as a child, He was born in Bethlehem. As God, He has ruled from eternity. But, understand this, He did not have His beginning at Bethlehem, only His birth. As a man, Christ was born to die. As God, Christ died for our sins.

Now, as I was preparing this lesson, I had to pause and think about how I envision God in my mind. So, I want you to think of God, and then think of the very first image that comes to mind. Now, notice that I am deliberately using the name God, here. Is the image you have of God, as He is described in the Bible, the baby Jesus there in the manger that we think of at Christmas time? Probably not, I just don’t think of God as a baby. He was, but that is not how I think of Him. Is it the man with white flowing hair sitting on a throne with a light so bright coming from Him that you cannot even look at Him? This is closer, right? When I think of God, I think of Him sitting on His throne. Ok, if that is not your image of God, then is it Jesus as the kind and gentle man that we see in all the portraits? Sometimes, right? But let me ask you, do you draw a distinction in your mind between God and Jesus? God is indeed a triune God, three persons, but there is just One God. All three make up the One God. So, when you think of Jesus, do think of Him as God, just as you would the Father and the Holy Spirit?

Ok, do you have the image of God in your mind, the very first image that comes to mind? Now, in that image, do you think of God, the triune God, as having scars? It just doesn’t seem to fit with our images of God, does it? Yet, those scars in the hands, feet, and side, of Jesus, the God-man, the second part of the triune God, are real, and they tell us so much about God. That is what our lesson is about today, The Scars That God Bears.

Now, it's very important that you understand this—that, as a man, Jesus suffered. When Jesus appeared before Thomas, He invited Thomas to examine those scars. They were a brute testimony to the fact that Jesus, indeed, was pierced with those hideous nails.

There is a great problem in the world today when you try to testify about God. The problem is not primarily science. The problem is not primarily history. The problem is primarily suffering. When you try to tell people about God, they will ask you again and again how can you believe in a God, if there be a God, who allows so much suffering? And this causes great doubt because here's the way the human mind works. "Well, if God is love, and God is all powerful, why does God allow so much suffering?" And so, they think well, perhaps He is a God of infinite love, but He has no power; therefore, He is a weak God. Or else He is all-powerful, but He has no love and so He is a cruel God. Or perhaps He has no power and no love, so He is no God at all.

That's the way people think. But there is a more important question that you should be asking. Not why do men suffer? No, the more important question for us to understand and consider is why does God suffer? That is the most important question that should be in your heart. Not why do we as humans suffer, but those scars tell us that God in human flesh suffered, and so why did God suffer?

Click on the link below to hear a message that tells us why God allows suffering in this world, and why God chose to suffer.

Amen.

THE JOB OF A CHRISTIAN (John 20:21)

THE JOB OF A CHRISTIAN (John 20:21)

June 28, 2020

The title of the lesson is “The Job of a Christian,” but I could just as easily have used the title of, "Getting People Ready for Heaven" because that is what Jesus is telling His disciples, and us, about what comes next. The resurrection is real, Jesus is alive, and this is what He wants us to do next.

John 20:21
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
KJV

Jesus didn't come as the great teacher. He didn't come as the great financier, and He didn't come as the great politician. He came to be the Savior of the world. The mandate that the Father sent His Son to do was a mandate of salvation. Our mandate today is the same mandate that Jesus had, and that is the salvation of souls.

Does God want people saved? Of course, He does. Has God put His instructions in the Bible? Of course, He has. What we need to do is to give the simple, glorious, message of Jesus Christ. There are thousands of people out there who will respond to the simple message of the gospel. The gospel is so incredibly simple—not simplistic—but simple, clear, plain, and sweet. You don't have to be a PhD to understand it. God loves common people, and so, what you need to do is to learn the simple, sweet, glorious message of the gospel, and then share it with others.

The world is hungering for this truth. His message is to be our message.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how we need to make a full, total, surrender to Jesus Christ. Learn how to share the gospel. Pray that God will lay some soul upon your heart, or that God will open extraordinary opportunities to you, and then be bold enough to speak for Jesus. Don't be afraid of failure. There can be no failure if you obey. Whether they are saved or not, you will be a success if you share the Lord Jesus. Successful witnessing is sharing Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.

Amen.

THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST (John 19:30)

THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST (John 19:30)

June 7, 2020

Our message today is going to be about a simple phrase. A phrase that contains just three words, and yet they are three words that shook the world then, and they are still shaking the world today. They are “It is finished.”

John 19:30
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
KJV

There is a prayer in my heart about this message today. It is that God would anoint this message with supernatural power. I pray that God would make these words a blessing. I pray that the Lord will speak through me, and as a result, that Christians will be strengthened, and that the unsaved will be convicted, and converted, and drawn to confess Christ as their Lord and Savior. I pray that everything that is said and done here today will glorify and magnify the name of Jesus. That is my prayer for this message today. I hope that is your prayer as well.

Now, I want you to notice that Jesus did not say, "I am finished." Even though all of the demons in Hell were howling in glee and saying, "We got Him, He's gone. He's finished." it is really important for us to see that Jesus didn't say, "I am finished."

Even though the disciples were mournful and brokenhearted because their leader, their Sovereign, their King, was dying there upon a cross. We need to understand that it was not that Jesus was finished. Instead, Jesus said “IT was finished.”

Click on the link below to hear a message on what Jesus meant when He said IT is finished. We will talk about the prophecies that were completed, and the suffering that was completed, but, most importantly, I want to tell you, thank God, God's way of salvation was finished. God's mighty work of redemption was finished. When Jesus died, all that was necessary for you to be forgiven and to be saved was done. There's nothing for you to do but to receive what Jesus Christ has already done, because "It is finished."

That is the difference between any false cult and biblical Christianity. There's nothing for you to do. What you must do is to receive the finished work of Calvary. Jesus Christ said: "It is finished". It is not what you do to be saved, it's what He has done. It's spelled d-o-n-e. "It's finished." Jesus Christ has purchased your salvation. It's paid for.

What I want you to hear in this message are God’s promises to you. When Jesus Christ said “It is Finished, He is telling you that if you want to be saved, you can be saved. If you want God to give you a new life, He'll give you a new life. If you want power over Satan, you can have it. Because "It is finished"

Amen.

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