The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
THE CHARACTER OF A LEADER (Proverbs 29:2)

THE CHARACTER OF A LEADER (Proverbs 29:2)

February 27, 2022

I don’t think anyone listening to me today would disagree that we are in moral crisis in our world today, and especially in America.  But, we are also in a crisis of leadership, and certainly the Bible teaches us that a nation gets the kind of leadership that nation deserves. May I say clearly and plainly that leadership is crucial for any nation to be blessed by God.

There’s an old proverb that says, “If the gold rust, what shall the iron do?” Now, what that proverb is trying to say is that, if our leadership is not right, what’s going to happen to the rest of us? 

Now, here in our country, our government is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The very genius of our government is that the people participate.  It’s unthinkable that God Almighty would have ordained government and then told His people to stay out of it.  Because, if we do stay out of it, then who would that leave to influence and to lead?  Unfortunately, we see the answer to that question with the leadership that populates all levels of our government.  There is a crisis in leadership in our country today, nor is this anything new.  It has been a crisis for a very long time.  

Yet, don’t ever think for one moment that because wicked men make wicked choices, and wicked rulers lead, that God has forsaken control. He has not.  The Bible says, “For God is the King of all the earth,” and not only is He King of all the earth, but He is King forever. 

Now having said all this, what should we do? Well, number one, the very first thing that we need to do is to pray for revival. The second thing we need to do is prepare for suffering. We need to teach our children that it may not be like we had it. We need to be building character into these boys and girls. Then, the third thing we need to do: We need to prepare for the Lord Jesus Christ’s arrival.  He is coming. Jesus is coming.  All you have to do is look around and see that the signs of the times are saying that Jesus is near.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on the character of a leader.

Amen.

APPLYING GOD’S TRUTH (Proverbs 23:23)

APPLYING GOD’S TRUTH (Proverbs 23:23)

January 9, 2022

Our message today is on the subject of truth.  Now, the idea of real truth is something that is an often-discussed issue in our society, and everybody seems to think they can subscribe to their own version of truth.  The idea of God, as our Creator, having the sovereign right to determine the absolute truths that govern our world, is certainly rejected by the majority of our society.

We have a generation today that does not know how to differentiate between truth and facts. Now facts deal with knowledge, and knowledge may double, but truth, never. If it is new, it’s not true. Truth is settled in eternity. 

Prov 23:23
23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
KJV

So, we have substituted facts for truth. Not that facts in themselves are wrong. Facts are stubborn things. But there is a difference in acquiring facts and learning truth. We’re drowning in facts. What’s the difference between facts and truth? Facts are like a recipe; truth is the meal. When you digest the truth, it will change your life.

Now, the Bible says, “Buy the truth, and sell it not.”  When the child of God looks into the Word of God, and sees the Son of God, and is changed by the Spirit of God into the image of God, for the glory of God, I believe he has learned the truth of God. 

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to apply God’s truth in your life, and how that truth will set you free.

Amen.

A WISE MAN AND A FOOL (Proverbs 10:8-17)

A WISE MAN AND A FOOL (Proverbs 10:8-17)

September 5, 2021

The word "fool" is used 66 times in the King James Version of the Bible.  It appears 57 times in the Old Testament, and only 9 times in the New Testament.  37 out of those 66 times, it is used is in the book of Proverbs.  Suffice it to say that God was trying to get the message across about the consequences of being a fool.  

The word "fool" is translated from different Hebrew and Aramaic words that have various meanings.  Generally, it is speaking of someone who is perverse, morally deficient, a scoffer, and evil.  These are not just people who are slow-minded, as some might think.  No, these are people who have deliberately chosen to reject God’s Wisdom.  

They can be the intellectuals of the world who scoff at anyone who believes in God, to the corrupt businessman who steals from his customers.  They can be the friends in your social circle who try to get you to join them in the type of behavior that God has commanded that you do not participate in.  They will ridicule you for your moral and ethical values which are based on the Word of God, calling you Mr. Goody-two-shoes, kill-joy, and generally anything that means you are putting a damper on their fun, and that you are the simple-minded one because you refuse to party.  By-the-way, if this is what you close circle of friends are like, you need better friends.  It would be better to have no friends, than to have friends who would lead you away from what God wants you to do.  

Being careful about who you associate with is usually advice that we think of giving to younger people than to us older, wiser, people.  But, it is true of us as well.  Friends, even Christian friends, can lead you away from doing the things God wants you to do.  Satan, would like nothing better than to create division in the church from the gossip that happens out in the commons area before church or Bible Study begins, the false teachings from teachers and preachers, to the envy and jealousy over who gets to do what in the church.  Now, there is nothing wrong with good fellowship, which we ought to have.  But, there are wolves in sheep’s clothing among every church group. 

Click on the link below to hear a message about the contrast between living our lives applying God’s Wisdom and living it foolishly rejecting that wisdom.  One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death.

Amen.  

THE CONTRAST BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL (Proverbs 9:13-10:7)

THE CONTRAST BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL (Proverbs 9:13-10:7)

August 29, 2021

For the last several weeks, we have been studying about the virtues of God’s Wisdom.  We have talked about the character of God’s Wisdom, the majesty of God’s Wisdom, how to find God’s Wisdom, and then last week we talked about how to apply God’s Wisdom to our lives.  I think it is safe to say that God intends for us to use His Wisdom as we do the work that He has for us to do.  God drives this point home in our message today where He contrasts the differences between good and evil.  A good example of this is the contrast between a wise son and a foolish son.

Proverbs 10:1
1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
KJV

Do you see the contrast here?  “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”  You have the wise son and the foolish son, and the impact they have on the family.  

Now, many parents have understood the truth of this proverb. It describes the experience of a loving set of parents when their son, who is likely in his teenage years, goes through a rebellious phase and, as a result, he goes seriously wrong.  The young man may have run away from home, experimented with alcohol and drugs, and he ends up getting arrested, and is likely headed to jail.  The young man has rebelled against parental discipline, chose his friends from a worldly crowd, and had no use for preachers who have their own faults, or the church full of hypocrites.  He especially does not want to hear the Wisdom of God’s Word.

Solomon says that such “a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”  This means that the son’s actions drive the mother into a state of depression.  You can imagine the feelings of doom and gloom in the hearts of both of the son’s parents, but it especially impacts the mother.  Of course, the devil is having a heyday with all of this.  That is when the mother becomes convicted and asks the Lord for help, both for her and her wayward son.  She wears out the rug on her knees as she prays.  After perhaps months, or even years, of these nights spent in prayer with a broken heart, there comes a day, when late that night, the son comes stumbling into the house after a night of partying.  He sees his mother there, on her knees, talking to the Lord Jesus about her son.  He might even pause to listen to her cries for help, and see her tears fall down her cheeks.  

Sometimes, the son is impacted by this image of his mother praying over him, and other times it pushes them even further out.  But, I still believe there is nothing stronger than a mother’s prayer for her children.  Sometimes, that rebellious son will be so impacted by what he sees that he chooses to return and be saved.  It is then, that the foolish son becomes the wise son, and Solomon tells us, “A wise son maketh a glad father.”  A wise son is a blessing to both of his parents.

In this life one of two things happens to us. Either our sins get blotted out, or our names get blotted out. There can be no greater horror for a man than to wake up in a lost eternity to the terrible realization that his name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life.  If he had but chosen to make Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior, if he had been redeemed, then his name would have been written in the Lamb’s book of life to be remembered for Christ’s sake forever.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on God’s Wisdom of living an honorable life that is pleasing to God.

Amen.  

HOW TO APPLY GOD‘S WISDOM (Proverbs 9:1-12)

HOW TO APPLY GOD‘S WISDOM (Proverbs 9:1-12)

August 22, 2021

HOW TO APPLY GOD’S WISDOM (PROVERBS 9:1-12)

In today’s world, YouTube is a source of information of just about anything you want to know.  The problem is that 95% of it is done by people who think a lot more highly of themselves than they should.  In fact, most of it is just useless information.  If you are looking for the truth, it takes a lot of work to sort the wheat from the chaff, just to find a simple nugget of man’s wisdom. In fact, most times I walk away without an answer to my question.

However, my experience with the Bible, which is God’s Wisdom, has been quite different. The Bible is the bountiful table that Wisdom spreads. I find more help, insight, and instruction, and more practical, reliable, down-to-earth counsel in a half-dozen verses of the Word of God than in all the videos that can be found on YouTube put together. I never sit down to Wisdom’s table and come away feeling empty.

Wisdom and knowledge are by nature cumulative. We learn by adding to what we already know. For example, as a child we begin by learning the alphabet. Then we learn to recognize and pronounce simple words. After that we use complex words. We add words to our vocabulary. We put sentences together and learn laws of grammar. We learn to write and compose paragraphs.

In mathematics we learn to count, to add up simple sums, and then to figure more complex sums. We learn how to subtract, how to multiply, and how to divide. We learn how to handle fractions, decimals, and square roots. We go on to geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Moreover, we learn from our mistakes. When a teacher marks answers as being wrong, we do not just shrug our shoulders; we rework the problems until we get them right.

People who refuse to learn from their mistakes not only continue to make the same mistakes; they compound them. People who are wise, accept instruction and increase in learning. They find out where they went wrong, what they did wrong, and why. The same principles that enable us to add to our knowledge in the secular world, enables us to add to our Wisdom when it comes to living the life that God wants us to live.  We continue to grow in God’s Wisdom as we live a life of faith in Jesus Christ.  We add to that Wisdom as we suffer through tragedy and God responds to our needs.  We add even more to that knowledge as we study the Word of God.  We choose to accept God’s Wisdom.

How do we apply God’s Wisdom in our lives?  We hear Wisdom’s call.  We receive God’s Wisdom into our hearts and apply it to every decision that we make, and we share that wisdom with those who the Holy Spirit leads us to.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how we apply God’s Wisdom to our lives.

Amen.  

HOW TO FIND GOD (Proverbs 8:27-36)

HOW TO FIND GOD (Proverbs 8:27-36)

August 15, 2021

Gods’ wisdom is evident everywhere in God’s creation.  The promise of God’s Word is that if we seek Him, then we will find Him, and when we find Him, then we will obtain life everlasting.  

Deut 4:29
29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
KJV

God is not hiding from us.  He can be seen in all the wonders of the world we live on.  

Rom 1:20
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
KJV

Then, when we find God, we find life everlasting.

Prov 8:35
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
KJV

There is a God sized hole in every individual.  We were created to have God living in us to fill that hole.  You can spend your entire life trying to fill that hole with the things of this world, but you will never be satisfied, you will never be complete, until you find God and make His Son, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.  Now, all you have to do to find God, is to seek Him with all of your heart.  

Where do you look for God?  God’s Wisdom tells us that God is all around us in the universe that He has created.  God’s Wisdom is available to be seen and found by whosoever chooses to love God and seek Him.  God promises that if we will love and seek Him, then we will find Him and find life.  

Amen.  

THE MAJESTY OF GOD‘S WISDOM (Proverbs 8:14-26)

THE MAJESTY OF GOD‘S WISDOM (Proverbs 8:14-26)

August 8, 2021

God’s Wisdom is available to us through the words that we find in the Bible, and the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit as He helps us to interpret God’s Words and apply them to our lives.  God’s Wisdom is not hard to find.  It cries out to us in every sermon given by a preacher who loves the Lord and is anointed by the Holy Spirit to teach God’s Word.  But the most important place we hear God’s Wisdom is when we let His Word, the God-breathed, divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible, and wholly dependable Word of God, speak to us and apply it to our lives.  

There is no other book available to man that holds the words of eternal life.  The Bible is unique because it contains a distillation of the wisdom of God concerning the children of men.  Such a book is a mystery to most because they are spiritually blind and deaf.  Yet, the meaning of these words is available to anyone.  There is no secret club that you must join.  No school tuition that must be paid.  God has promised to send His Spirit to speak to those who wish to learn who God is, what He has done for them, and then make Him their Lord and Savior.  

John 16:13
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
KJV

When a person makes Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, then the Holy Spirit of God will come and live in the heart of that person.  It is then, that the person who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit has the capacity to understand the Word of God.  This is the Wisdom that we can apply in our lives, and we know that it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Prov 8:17
17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
KJV

This is one of the most profound and comforting messages in the Bible.  Right here in God’s Word, He promises that He “loves them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”  This says, if we love God, and we seek His wisdom, then we have the promise of the Word of God that we will find Him.  

The wisdom of God is seen in creation—and in redemption too. Before time began, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit planned both creation and redemption. 

In the wisdom of God, creation was to be the stage on which God would display His power. 

Rom 1:20
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
KJV

In the wisdom of God, redemption was to be the stage on which God would display His love.

Eph 2:4-6
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
KJV

Click on the link below to hear a message on how we see the majesty of God’s Wisdom in creation and redemption.  

Amen.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD‘S WISDOM (Proverbs 8:1-13)

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD‘S WISDOM (Proverbs 8:1-13)

August 1, 2021

Our message today is about the characteristics of God’s Wisdom.  The things about God’s Wisdom that makes it so beneficial and good for our lives.  

During the week as I work on these messages, I sit in an office at home that is mostly quiet.  My wife doesn’t make much noise, and there are no kids living with us anymore to make a racket.  The only real noisemakers are our dogs, and one in particular, that cannot stand to have people walking up and down the sidewalk in front of our house.  He especially can’t stand it when a package is delivered to the front door.  So, for most of the time that I am studying, it is real quiet.  Sometimes too quiet and I will turn on a selection of piano solos of hymns in the background to give a little bit of noise to focus my mind.  

I have learned that most of us can operate at two levels of thought, one of direct focus, and another in the background.  For example, most of us can have an instructor behind us walking us through how to do something while we concentrate on the task at hand. However, if a third person tries to talk at the same time, we cannot manage it.  For me, I can be focused on studying and composing the lessons with God speaking as my instructor, but in the background, the activity of the day wants to intrude on my mind and distract me.  So, I will play a selection of piano solos of the old hymns that I grew up with and love so much.  I don’t have to concentrate on them because I know them so well, and they don’t distract me, but they do help to shut out the events of the day that are trying to distract and take over my mind.  It is like having God speaking to me through His word and His music at that same time.  It fills up my two levels of thought and I can study.

Now, I study very differently than how my father did.  He used books and hand wrote everything.  I do all of my work on a computer.  I hand write very little.  All of my notes are on the computer.  I have 26 versions of the Bible on the computer.  I have all of my reference material, commentaries, inter-linear Bibles, sermons, Greek and Hebrew translations on the computer.  They are all available to me at the touch of a button.  Yet, that same computer puts at my disposal all the news of the day, entertainment, and connection with my friends and family via the airwaves and the internet.  All in a machine that I work on in my quiet office, in my quiet home.  Often the only sound is the clicking of the keys as I type.

It is all available to me, but as I type my lessons, I’m not even aware that all of that communication and entertainment is there. If the music gets too loud or distracting, I can turn the volume down, or up, or even off.   

Yet, I also have a different kind of receiver in my room. The highest and holiest wisdom is as close as that computer, but it is not on that computer.  This different receiver sits on a table right next to me and it is my old Bible.  The one my parents gave to me 40 years ago as a graduation gift.  It is still very special to me.  The Bibles on my computer are just study tools, there is nothing special about them, I never use them to really open my mind to God.  However, there is just something special about being able to reach out my hand and take up that Book of books, turn its pages, and open my heart and mind to the words of the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of the Word—the revealed and inspired wisdom of the living God—is right there in my room.  God’s Wisdom is never farther away than that Book.  It calls to each of us.  It says, “Unto you, O men, I call.”  God speaks to me when I listen to the words found in His book and apply them to my heart.

God’s Wisdom says that “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.”  All the words of the God’s book are inspired by God, they are true, righteous, and nothing twisted can be found in them.  We may not understand all of the Bible, and we may not always interpret it properly. Nevertheless, every word of the Bible is God-breathed, divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible, and wholly dependable. All of God’s words are righteous. All of God’s words are right. We may not like them, and we may not want to obey them, but they are right.

The Scriptures contain unfathomable depths. How could it be otherwise when the words are those of an infinite God? A man can study the Bible all his life and still feel he has but touched the fringe of Inspiration’s garment. At the same time a little child can read and understand the Bible. It is that simple.

There is enough truth in the Word of God to save a soul and truth enough to occupy the sharpest mind for a lifetime.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the characteristics of God’s Word.

Amen.

THE PROBLEM OF IMMORALITY-PART II (Proverbs 7:16-27)

THE PROBLEM OF IMMORALITY-PART II (Proverbs 7:16-27)

July 18, 2021

I believe that God wants us to understand this problem because of the devastating impact the sins of immorality will have on our lives.  God loves us, and He wants what is best for us, and so in His Word He warns us about the dangers of immorality.  He then commands us to not commit those sins.  Then, He follows that up with the story of the flood, and of Sodom and Gomorrah, where He shows us the consequences of His judgment on those who ignore His warnings, ignore His commandments, and choose to commit the sins of immorality.  

Now, the wonderful thing about God is that He doesn’t just command us not to do something without providing us the wisdom that we need to avoid committing those sins.  God tells us in His Word,

Prov 7:1-2
1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
KJV

Our news media never tires of exposing the scandals of mighty men.  The headlines tell of the fall of religious leaders, politicians, and celebrities, and it doesn’t matter if happened yesterday or 20 years ago.  We also see that most people have a double standard. They expect a much higher moral profile in those they elect to public office than they expect from themselves, and woe betide the person who lets them down. Many a promising career has suddenly been shipwrecked because of a past immorality. 

This warning may sound overly dramatic, especially in the times that we live in today, with its acceptance of all things evil as good.  But, this is God’s warning, and it is a warning that is to be taken literally.  God will judge those who commit the sin of immorality. 

There is also a spiritual application in these words for us.  So far, we have been talking about committing physical adultery and immorality.  However, the Scriptures also have a great deal to say about spiritual adultery.  That is what God called it when His people left Him and went after idols.  They departed from the living and true God. They were to be joined to Him, but they had separated from Him. They were actually playing the harlot; they were being unfaithful and untrue to Him. That is spiritual adultery.

Today we have many cults and “isms” and all types of false religions around us.  For example, someone will say that “You don’t need to follow Christ any longer as you are following Him.  There are many ways to heaven.  What you need to do is join our group and do what we do, act as we act, and worship who we worship, and you can earn your way to salvation.”

Yet, the Bible is clear that we are saved by the grace of God alone.  

Eph 2:8-10
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
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

Paul is telling us that “Faith plus nothing equals salvation.” We are to be absolutely, utterly cast upon Jesus Christ as our Savior. Yet, many people cannot accept a salvation that they did not earn.  

God’s answer to this is that the believer is joined to Christ. A person who has been saved by grace, and grace alone, is joined to Christ.  Then, once saved, Christ has said that we are to keep His commandments if we love Him, and His commandments are not grievous. We are to love one another. We are to be filled with the spirit of God. We are to witness to the world. Those are His commandments today. We are joined to a living Christ; we live on a higher plane. The fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our hearts and lives.

Today there are isms and cults all dressed up like a woman of the street.  They are flattering and they are calling men and women. Yet, God tells us that to follow them is like an ox going to slaughter. It is like a fool going to the correction of the stocks.  God is reminding us that we cannot settle for anything less than the person of Jesus Christ!

Amen.

THE PROBLEM OF IMMORALITY (Proverbs 7:1-15)

THE PROBLEM OF IMMORALITY (Proverbs 7:1-15)

July 11, 2021

Here are a couple of questions for you.  What type of sin caused God to destroy the world with the flood?  Immorality.  What type of sin caused God to bring fire from heaven to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?  Immorality.  So, some of the most dramatic and seriously devastating judgements from God have been caused when man allowed immorality to consume their lives.

Gen 6:5
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
KJV 

When we think of the sin of immorality, we often think of the sins of pornography, adultery, fornication, or any sexual act that takes place outside of the bonds of Holy Matrimony as it is defined by God.  However, immorality is more than just sexual sins, it includes those sins, but it also includes sins that violate the moral standards established by God as right and wrong.  Words like evil, wickedness, promiscuity, sexual deviation, are all associated with the sin of immorality.  But make no mistake about it, sexual sins are the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about immorality as it is discussed in the Bible.  

The fact that God has reserved some of His most severe judgments upon man because of the sins of immorality should tell us a great deal about how God feels about the sins of immorality.  I believe it is important to God because of the devastating impact the sins of immorality will have on our lives.  God loves us, and He wants what is best for us, and so in His Word He warns us about the dangers of immorality.  He then commands us to not commit those sins.  Then, through the story of the flood, and of Sodom and Gomorrah, He shows us the consequences of His judgment on those who ignore His warnings, ignore His commandments, and choose to commit the sins of immorality.  

God is speaking to His children, to you and I as believers, and the overriding message that He repeats over, and over, and over again is to keep His commandments and to bind them in our hearts.  God’s wisdom is found in His commandments, and the solution to every problem that we have in our lives can be found right here in God’s Word.  All we have to do is follow them and bind them in our hearts.  Amen?

Click on the link below if you want to hear a message on how to stop immorality in your life.  There is only one way, you have to deal with it in your heart using God’s Word.  Although the irresistible logic of God’s Word may be clearly understood and accepted in the head, the irrepressible love of God’s Word in the heart is what holds tight the fortress walls of the soul against the full force of the foe. 

Amen.

THE COST OF ADULTERY (Proverbs 6:20-35)

THE COST OF ADULTERY (Proverbs 6:20-35)

July 5, 2021

Our lesson today is about a sin that is destructive to the lives of so many people in our world today.  It is the sin of adultery.  Adultery destroys marriages, families, and our relationship with God.  Adultery is a sin, like so many others, where the person puts their own lusts and desires ahead of the needs of their spouse, their family, and their duty to God.  It is a self-centered sin, and it is a sin that will destroy your life, both physically and spiritually.  If you repent of it, God will forgive you of the sin of adultery, but the consequences of that sin will spread far beyond your own life, and even God’s forgiveness does not usually change that.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the high cost of adultery.  God reminds us of these consequences, and then, as always, He tells us how to avoid it.

Prov 6:20-21
20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
KJV

As the children of God, we are told to hear and to heed our parent’s commandments, and most of all, we are to hear and to heed God’s commandments.

Amen.

THE PROBLEM OF PRIDE (Proverbs 6:16-19)

THE PROBLEM OF PRIDE (Proverbs 6:16-19)

June 13, 2021

Every one of us, everyone, wrestles with pride, and pride is a dangerous sin. I don’t know of anything that is doing more to hold back revival, doing more to ruin our nation, doing more to break up homes, doing more to blast lives, doing more to steal power from Christians, doing more to populate and fill that place called hell, than the sin of pride. It is a damaging, destroying sin. But it is also such a deceptive sin. The people who are the proudest are the least likely ones to admit that they are the proudest. And many people think that they don’t need to hear a lesson on pride. They say, “Well, my goodness! If there is one thing I don’t need, it is a message on pride.” As a matter of fact, they are quite proud of their humility. And many of us have pride that is well hidden, but it is right there.

Now, when the Bible condemns pride, it is not talking about self-respect.  It is not talking about taking pride in how you work and dress.  It is not talking about giving or receiving honor when honor is due to be given, or honor is due to be received.  However, the type of pride that the Bible does condemn is an attitude of independence from God.  It is when we say, “God, I don’t need you; I can do it myself.” This attitude of independence from God is what the Bible calls “pride.”

Click on the link below to hear a message on the problem of pride.  How, pride is the basic sin. It is the sin that leads to all other sins. It is the sin of independence against God. It is wrapped up in not believing God.  Countless people will spend eternity in Hell because they shook their fist in the face of God, and said “God, I don’t need you,” and God will turn His back on them and say, “as you wish.”  

Amen.

GOD‘S BUSINESS ADVICE (Proverbs 6:1-15)

GOD‘S BUSINESS ADVICE (Proverbs 6:1-15)

June 6, 2021

In today’s message God gives us some advice that is good for anyone in the business world today, for Christians or non–Christians. These are simply some good business principles.  It is interesting that God has given us a lot of good advice for all mankind, the saved as well as the unsaved.

So, if I were to ask you what are the keys to running a successful business, what would you say the main ones are?  Making sure you have a product that people want, right?  That it sells for an amount that people are willing to give up their hard-earned money for.  Good customer service, both before and after the sale.  When it comes to choosing who you are going to buy from, customer service will usually win the ties.  Price is generally first, but if it is a tie, or close to it, customer service can win out.  Having good employees.  Being innovative with your product, always improving it.  Being able to manage your finances well, like when to borrow money, and just plain hard work, right?  

Now, these are the things that you can learn from any business training class.  Well, God has some pretty good advice for the business person in our lesson today on the topics of loans, hard work, and the kind of people you need to be careful around.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on God sharing His wisdom on how to handle our business life, and our moral life.  He tells us to beware of borrowing or co-signing on a loan, then He tells us that it takes hard work to succeed in anything that we need to do, most of all in completing the work that God has for us to do.  In other words, don’t be a sluggard, and then we are to beware of the wicked person who has no other intention than to harm us.  These seem like pretty common-sense pieces of advice, the question is, are we smart enough to listen and apply it to our lives?

Amen.

TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE (Proverbs 4:14-27)

TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE (Proverbs 4:14-27)

May 16, 2021

This message is about a task that God has given to every born-again believer.  That task is to allow the light of Jesus to shine through us to reach a dark world full of people who need to hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  What makes this challenging is that we must live our lives in such a way that brings glory to our Lord, and still avoid the sin that is around us.  I believe that is one of the reasons that God has given us the book of Proverbs.  To show us how to live a victorious Christian life, in a world full of sin.

God’s wisdom is the key to living in this dark world that is full of evil.  Satan would like nothing better than to destroy the witness of a child of God.  The world likes nothing better than to see a righteous man fall.  This chapter of Proverbs is giving us the instructions from our Creator to live a victorious Christian life so that we can bring people to Christ and eternal life.

Click on the link below to hear a message on God’s instruction manual for living a life that honors God.

Amen.

A PARENT‘S ADVICE (Proverbs 4:1-13)

A PARENT‘S ADVICE (Proverbs 4:1-13)

May 11, 2021

When your children were growing up, did you have certain lessons in life that you wanted to share with them?  Perhaps, it was a work ethic, the value of morals and integrity, to be kind, yet strong, and to have the convictions of their faith.  Most of all, a love for God that surpasses all other things.  A parent shares with their children the things they value the most.  Our love of God is what we should value the most, and it is that love that we need to share with our children.

The book of Proverbs is God giving parental advice to His children. He is sharing with us the things that He wants us to value the most, wisdom, humility, honor, integrity, a kind and gentle spirit, a love for others, and most of all to know how much He loves us.

Click on the link to below to hear a message on the value of holding tight to God’s wisdom that He shares with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  God has told us that there is nothing that compares to His wisdom, and that if we will put Christ first in our lives and hold onto His wisdom, then God will bless our lives as we work for His purposes.  

Amen.

TO WALK GOD’S PATH (Proverbs 3:23-35)

TO WALK GOD’S PATH (Proverbs 3:23-35)

May 2, 2021

God wants us, as believers, to be free from the bondage of the world so that we might live a life that follows God’s chosen path for us.  But, have you ever asked yourself, how do we walk that path, and what should we expect as we walk that path?  That is the focus of today’s message, what does God’s Word say about what it is like to walk God’s chosen path for each of us.  God wants you to know that it is a peaceful life.  It is peaceful in the good times, and it is peaceful in times of stress. 

God’s path requires that you give the Lord your love and loyalty, and to put Christ first in all that we do. If we do these things, then we will have God’s peace.  As a result, we know that, come what may, all will be well.  There is no greater gift this side of Heaven than to have the peace of God standing watch over our hearts. 

Phil 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
KJV

When we walk along God’s path for our lives, His wisdom tells us that we can have peace in good times and times of stress because we know the place where faith stands:

Prov 3:26
26 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
KJV

Faith takes its stand in the Lord.  Never believe that this struggle between good and evil, light and darkness, and truth versus lie, is a mighty battle between equals.  It is not.  It is not even close.  God is the omnipotent, omniscient, Creator of all things.  He has but to speak and all evil is defeated.   

Click on the link below to hear a message on what we should expect when we walk God’s path for our lives. The answer is that God does not ask us to walk that path without His promises to bless us with His wisdom and power to succeed on our course. The key to finding these promises, and to accomplishing His will, is to put Christ first in all things, and to hold dearly to the wisdom that comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. 

Amen.

TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD (Proverbs 3:1-6)

TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD (Proverbs 3:1-6)

March 21, 2021

Each of us, as a believer, is seeking the will of God for our lives.  We ask, are we doing what God has planned for us?  Are we touching the people around us with the gospel message of the cross?

As husbands, are we prayerfully leading our families in the path that God has chosen for us?  Are we the spiritual leaders of our families?  Does our family even know that we think about the will of God for the family?  Do they ever see us praying?  Do you pray together as a family seeking God’s will?

As wives, are you the prayer warrior that God wants each of us to be, but so often it is the wife and mother of the family that fills this role?  Does your family know that God is the one making the choices in your life?  Can they see God in the way you conduct yourself on a daily basis?

As married couples are you walking in the same direction, yoked together, pulling in the same direction, with your eyes on God?  Are you both surrendered to God?  Not just committed, but completely surrendered to the one, true, living, almighty God of all creation.

How to decide when and where to move in the work of Lord?  That is always a crucial question facing those that would do the Lord’s work.  Certainly, for most believers, the most difficult part is separating the desires of our own heart from the desires of the Lord.  Sometimes they coincide, sometimes they do not.  

Seeking the Lord’s will is something each Christian should be doing on a daily basis.  

Finding the Lord’s will is the result of quiet, careful, meditation on the Word of God with a surrendered heart.

So how do you know which way is right?  You start by asking yourself whether your heart is in a condition that can even hear the will of God?  In other words, are you speaking from a surrendered heart that is fully obedient to God?  If your heart is not surrendered to God, if you are not obedient to God’s Word, then you cannot know the will of God.  

Then, have you prayed and asked God to reveal the sin that is in your heart, and then confessed and repented of it?  If there is unconfessed and unrepented sin in your life, that sin will keep you from hearing God’s will.

Isaiah 59:2
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
KJV

In my experience, this is the single biggest block between the prayer of the believer and the answer from God.  Many people want to live in sin, knowingly, and then expect God to ignore it and act like it doesn’t exist.  That will not happen.  God knows every sin, in every dark corner that you have placed it.  If you want to know the will of God, then you must first confess and repent of your sins.

Next, ask yourself, have you prayed about the question and then listened for God’s response, or have you simply told God the answer you want to hear?  

Then ask, is what you want meeting the purpose of Christ for this church being here, or for you still being on this earth?  Will it bring lost people to know Him?  If it doesn’t, then you need to rethink, and change your desires.  

Are you willing to accept God’s answer, whatever it may be?  You cannot know the will of God by intuition, or based on past experience, you must be willing to pray and accept God’s will, or it will never be revealed to you.  Why should God reveal His will if He knows you will not accept and be obedient to it?

Now, we have been talking about how to have God’s wisdom in our lives.  We need God’s wisdom in order to discern God’s will in our lives.  Our study over the next couple of weeks will be on how to determine the will of God in our lives, and the very first thing we must do is to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  You cannot know the will of God unless you have made the Holy Spirit the president of your life, not just a resident in your heart, but the president of your life.  Then, once you are saved, once you have completely surrendered to the Holy Spirit, the very next thing you must do is to be obedient to the Word of God.  You must obey God’s commandments.  In order to do that, then you must have God’s Word hidden in your heart.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to determine the will of God for you life.

Amen.

HOW WISDOM LIGHTS OUR PATH (Proverbs 2:9-22)

HOW WISDOM LIGHTS OUR PATH (Proverbs 2:9-22)

March 14, 2021

One of the luxuries of being a seasoned citizen is that we can look back on the choices we have made in our lives and see how our decisions impacted our lives for the better, or the worse.  If you are like me, I have made my share of poor decisions, and a few really good ones.  The wisdom to choose right from wrong, good from evil, and truth from lies, is something that each of us desperately need in our lives.  The Bible describes this as choosing between light and darkness.

John 1:5
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
KJV

Notice what John says here about the light that shines in the darkness, he says, the darkness comprehended it not.  Now, other Bible translations render this phrase in various ways:  “the darkness has not overcome it,”  “has not put it out,” or “can never extinguish it.”

Whatever the exact words, the message is the same.  Jesus Christ stands as the unconquered Ruler of time and eternity, and all of history is a battle between light and darkness.  God’s kingdom is a kingdom of light, and Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of darkness.  

But, and this is important for us to understand, don’t ever get the idea that the kingdom of darkness is somehow as strong as the kingdom of light.  Satan is a formidable foe, but the grand truth is that darkness is totally powerless against the light.  

Satan’s darkness is not the opposite of God’s light, but the absence of it.  A lost person’s heart does not know God’s light, because it is filled with nothing but darkness.  God’s light is absent from the lost person’s heart.  A believer’s heart has a light within it that no lost person can ever know.  A believer has the light of the Holy Spirit of God within them, and no amount of darkness can ever overcome that light.

Have you ever been in a room or place where the darkness is just so great that you can almost feel it? It oppresses you, it weighs down on you.  For example, have you ever walked in a cemetery on a dark moonless night and felt the darkness surround you?

We once took a tour of Fantastic Caverns in Missouri, and at one point in the tour, the guide shuts off the lights and you are surrounded by complete darkness.  They do this, because in a cave underground, you can learn what real darkness is.  Yet the simple light of a candle can dispel even the worst darkness, and no amount of darkness can overpower that candle.  Satan and his kingdom must bow before God and the majesty of His light.  When God’s light comes, Satan’s darkness must go.  

It also means that there is only one way to get rid of Satan’s darkness; the light of the Word of God.  We have victory in Jesus because no force on the earth, or below the earth, can stand against the mighty majesty of God’s light.  When our lives are filled with sin, it is the light of the Word of God that will give you victory over that sin in your life.  In fact, it is the only light that will give you victory over Satan and sin.  You cannot live the Christian life without the power and light of the Holy Spirit in your heart. The concepts of God’s wisdom and God’s light are intertwined.  They are both based on the Word of God, and they both come from the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  But, most importantly, they enable us to determine right from wrong, good from evil, and truth from lies.

Click on the link below to hear a message about how God’s wisdom, God’s light, can deliver us from evil.  For it is when we acquire wisdom, that we will have light in darkness.

Amen.

THE INFALLIBLE PATH TO WISDOM (Proverbs 2:1-9)

THE INFALLIBLE PATH TO WISDOM (Proverbs 2:1-9)

March 7, 2021

If you are searching for wisdom from God because you have a question, you have a problem, or you have a need, then there is good news for you.  God desires that we have His wisdom so much that He sent His own dear Son, the Lord Jesus, to die upon Calvary’s cross that you might know His wisdom; and He sent His dear Holy Spirit to teach it.  The book of Proverbs is indeed God’s book to health, wealth, and wisdom for His children.  These proverbs are God’s ways for God’s people.

If you want this wisdom, then God tells us that the first step on this infallible path to His wisdom is that you must pursue the Scriptures.  God says, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words …” It’s all predicated on that. If you choose not to receive God’s Word, then you will never have God’s wisdom.  God’s Word, the infallible, inerrant, Word of God, is God’s handbook of wisdom for His children. You must pursue it. You must pour over it. You must study it. You must saturate yourself with it.

In order for you to receive God’s Word, then you must appreciate God’s Word.  You must be willing to receive it with an open heart.  You must welcome it into your heart. Yet, appreciating God’s Word is not enough, you also have to appropriate God’s Word.  That means, not only do you need to let it get in, but you have to let it get down deep inside of you.  Then, once you have appropriated the Word of God, then you must assimilate it.  The word assimilate means to take in information, ideas, and understand it fully.  Then, you must activate the Word of God in your life.  You must apply it in your daily life.

God says that we must,“…apply thine heart to understanding.”  When you apply it—when it gets out of the notebook and into your head, and then when it gets out of your head and into your heart, and when it gets out of your heart and into your life, and you begin to live it, and you begin to apply it, and you begin to activate it—at that moment, it becomes wisdom to you. 

Listen, there is no finer food known to man that a plate full of biscuits and sausage gravy, at least the way my wife makes it.  But it is not enough for me to simply appreciate that plate of biscuits and gravy.  I can sit there and say how wonderful it is all day, but that is not enough.  It is also not enough for me to appropriate it by sitting it down in front of me, possessing it.  No, that is not enough.  It is also not enough for me to assimilate it, to bend down and smell that wonderful aroma of goodness.  It is not until I activate my hand to put that biscuit and gravy into my mouth and let it settle down in my stomach that I have put that food into my life.  It is the same with God’s Word.

Jer 15:16
16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.
KJV

You must activate the Word of God in your life.  You must apply it in your daily life.  Now, when you come to God with fervency, consistency, expectancy, and after you have received the Word of God, then you can pray to God for wisdom, and it shall be given. God’s not going to scold you. He’s not going to say, “Is that you again, pestering me?” Oh no! God is pleased when I come to Him daily and say, “God, I need wisdom here.” “Lord, I’m preparing a lesson; Lord, help me.” “Lord, I’m making a decision; Lord, help me.” “Lord, I’m seeking a college, a wife; I need to buy a home; I want to win souls; Lord, I want to be used; God, give me wisdom!” God will give it. God wants you to have wisdom.

However, there is one thing above all else that you must have if you are to have the wisdom of God, if you would know wisdom.  There must be the presence of the Savior in your heart.  You see, a man can have knowledge, but he needs understanding. He needs wisdom!  In order for you to know the secrets of the universe, you have to know the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Bible says,

Col 2:3
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
KJV

Jesus is the secret of the universe. Jesus is the glue of the galaxies. Jesus is the secret of it all, and the only way that a man can know it, is not by books, but by knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. There are some things that you cannot learn from experience.  Wisdom is the presence of the Savior. You will never have real wisdom until you know the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart.  

Prov 2:7-9
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
KJV

Who is our righteousness? Who is our wisdom? It is the Lord Jesus Christ.  God is telling us that in Christ, there is soundness; in Christ, there is strength; in Christ there is security, and in Christ, there is satisfaction.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how you can have the wisdom of God.  Do you want God’s wisdom? Then you must follow the infallible path to that wisdom.  You must know Jesus.  Christ must be in your heart!

Amen.

THE INCOMPARABLE WORTH OF WISDOM (Proverbs 2:1-10)

THE INCOMPARABLE WORTH OF WISDOM (Proverbs 2:1-10)

February 28, 2021

There is an old proverb—not a biblical proverb, just a proverb—that says, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But the problem is that a lot of people who go to bed early and get up early, they’re not healthy, they’re not wealthy, and they’re not wise. Going to bed early and getting up early doesn’t make you healthy, wealthy, and wise.  However, what is taught in God’s Word will make you healthy, wealthy, and wise, at least by the standards of God’s word.  Not by the world’s standards, but by God’s standards.  

So, what is a proverb, anyway? Somebody once said that a proverb is a short sentence based on long experience—that is, it is a lot of wisdom that has been distilled, crammed into, packed into, a sentence. That is, by a proverb, we can learn from the experiences of other people. Somebody else said, “You’d better learn from the mistakes of others, because you’ll not live long enough to make them all by yourself.”  That is probably a wise statement for most of us, but I know of some people who are definitely trying to do it alone.  They like making their own mistakes.  

But the proverbs that we find here in the Bible are not like earthly proverbs. Earthly proverbs are learned from experience. But that is not what Biblical proverbs are.  Biblical proverbs are truths that are given to us by divine revelation. These are not just simply things that are being worked out by human ingenuity; these are God’s words of wisdom given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

This is telling us that Jesus is wisdom personified. Let me tell you about wisdom. It commences at conversion, and it deepens by discipleship. 

Prov 9:10
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
KJV

That is, a man does not even have a modicum of wisdom until he knows the Lord. When a man reverences God, when a man receives Christ, when a man has a personal encounter, that man receives the wisdom of God. 

This is the incomparable worth of wisdom, it is provided by the Father; it is produced by the Spirit, but only by the presence of the Son. When you have the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart, then you are ready to have that real wisdom.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the incomparable worth of wisdom.

Amen.

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