The Master’s Class, Summit Church
ARE YOU IN FINANCIAL BONDAGE (Proverbs 3:7-10)

ARE YOU IN FINANCIAL BONDAGE (Proverbs 3:7-10)

April 11, 2021

Have you ever had a time when you were sitting there working through paying your bills, and you just thought “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never have to worry about whether there would be enough?”  What if something happened to my health, or a family member’s health?  What about losing my job, with no prospects of finding another?  What if your brother-in-law came back, again, needing to borrow more money?  I mean, he is your wife’s only brother, and it really doesn’t matter that he has never paid back the other loans you have made to him.

One of the leading causes of divorce is financial stress.  If you allow it to, worrying about having enough money to meet your needs can consume you.  Dreaming about financial freedom is a natural result of that worry.

God knows that these things are all true, problems occur, you have needs, and so the question is, what does God have to say in His word about true Financial Freedom?  Does God have a financial plan for you and your family?  Well, of course He does.  God has a plan for every aspect of your life, and your finances are part of His plan.

Well, in this section of verses God has a very important message for each of us, as believers.  God wants you to know that He has a plan for you, and His plan for you is not to be in bondage; God’s plan is for you to have liberty and freedom. God does not want His children in bondage to anything or anybody other than the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you’re in bondage to the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s perfect liberty, for the Bible says,

John 8:36
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
KJV

Click on the link below to hear a message on how you can determine if you are out of God’s will for your life and in financial bondage.  God loves you and He does not want you to be in bondage.

Amen.

LET GOD SIT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT (Proverbs 3:5-6)

LET GOD SIT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT (Proverbs 3:5-6)

March 28, 2021

There is a popular bumper sticker out there that says “God is my Copilot.”  Well, if that is true in your life, then you better swap seats.  God needs to in the driver’s seat of your life.  We all like to be in control of our lives, but if you are to know God’s will, then you must let God be the one who chooses your way, not you.  You see, finding God’s will is not something that you are to figure out in your flesh.  It is not a puzzle that we need to figure out.  God is not leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for us to follow.  No, instead, we are called to trust in the Lord.

Someone once said, “To know the Lord Jesus is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to obey Him. To obey Him is to find God’s will for your life. And to find God’s will for your life is to be blessed.”  The Word of God says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” No ifs, ands, and buts about it. If you let Almighty God choose the way, control the way, confirm the way, and clear the way, then you will know the will of God for your life.

Now, let me just give you some very practical advice and I want you to think about it. The way to know the will of God for your life is to do the will of God immediately and in all things. In all your ways acknowledge Him. Don’t wait till tomorrow morning. I mean, starting now! Number two: Obey Him in the small things; then the big ones will take care of themselves. Everything big is made of little things. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10) 

It’s hard to steer a ship that’s not moving, that means that God can’t steer a life that is not moving towards Him. I want to repeat again, the way to know the will of God for your life is to do the will of God immediately and to do it in all things. Obey Him in the small things; then the big ones will take care of themselves.

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.

WIDSOM CRIES OUT TO YOU (Proverbs 1:23-33)

WIDSOM CRIES OUT TO YOU (Proverbs 1:23-33)

February 21, 2021

In our message today, Solomon discusses wisdom.  The interesting thing is that while we think of wisdom as something we obtain or achieve, Solomon describes wisdom as a person.  A person who cares for you and wants to teach you and guide you.  But most of all, the image that we are given is that of someone issuing a warning to those who are headed down a path that will lead to their destruction.  

It is like the lighthouse that shines its light out to the ships to warn them of dangerous reefs or shoals.  It reminds me of the old-time railroad switchmen who would signal trains with a green or yellow light to signal that all was well on the tracks, or a red light when there was danger ahead, like a bridge being out.  I think of wisdom as that switchman standing by the tracks with his red signal light, just to watch the train speed on by ignoring his signal.  I think of the tragedy of the people on board that train who will die because the train engineers disdained the warning from the switchman in their arrogance and pride.  

This is what our lesson is about today, God has given us His wisdom, in the form of His living Word, and it cries out to us to stop heading down a path to our certain destruction.  People ignore the cries of God, they disdain those who share His word, and they will lead themselves, and their families, friends, and loved ones to tragedy because of their own pride and arrogance.

Wisdom looks at the simple, the scornful, and the foolish.  She cries out to them, but these people cannot be bothered with wisdom.  They are so wrapped up in the world around them, that they do not have time to stop, look, and listen to her words of life.  Having money is more important than listening.  Succeeding at their job is more important than listening.  Going to school is more important.  Life in this world is demanding, keeping up with the Jones’ is hard, keeping the family fed, the clothes washed, the car running, and the dogs walked and fed, is hard.  There is no time to stop to look at some person standing by the road shining her red warning light, and listen to their words of life.  So, they go on in their self-centered, pride, and arrogance.  

The days of our lives are short and hurried.  During these days, we search for the answers to many of life’s most important questions.  If we are wise, then we discover that, apart from divine wisdom, we have no satisfying answers to any of these questions of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? What is life all about? Why is evil so prevalent and triumphant? Is there life beyond death? Is there a God? How can God be known? 

Only the wisdom contained in the Bible can answer these questions with the wisdom of the Creator of all things.  Foolish answers to these questions are plentiful, but they are all wrong to a greater or lesser degree. Wisdom stands, calls, and is disregarded, so she reproves us of our foolishness for listening to the answers of man.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how wisdom stands by the roadway at the intersection of the broad way and the narrow way.  She is holding her warning light out to those who will heed her words.  Each of us have a choice, to follow God’s Wisdom or reject it.  The consequences of that choice have eternal implications.

Amen.

TO BE A FATHER-PART II (Proverbs 1:20-22)

TO BE A FATHER-PART II (Proverbs 1:20-22)

February 7, 2021

This is the second message in a two-part series on the role of a father in the direction that a child will go as they get older, and our message today will be about the way parents can raise a child who is wise and loves God.  

Certainly, we would like to think that every parent, every father, loves their child and wants what is best for them.  And as believers, we want to believe that the deepest desire of every parent, every father, is that their children will love God with all of their hearts.  

But unfortunately, not all children have the benefit of loving parents.  Sometimes children are caught up in the mistakes and the pride and the arrogance of their parents, and more often than not it is the pride and arrogance of the father.  Sometimes it is the mother, or even both, but more often than not it is the father.

So, what happens to that child who was not taught by their parents to love God?  There is an evolution of that child into becoming someone who does not know the love that God has for them.  They become someone who lives their life without God.  The really sad thing is that they never learn what it means to have eternal life with God in Heaven.  

But that is not the way that child starts out.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  That is where a godly father, and a godly mother, come into the picture.  It is their responsibility to teach that child what it means to love God with all of their heart.  Now, the fact is that, ultimately, it is the child who must choose to accept or reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Even with the best of parents, that child still has to make their own choice, and some don’t choose Christ.  But as parents, we can have tremendous impact on the path that child will take.

Click on the link below to hear a message on what it takes to raise a child who loves God with all of their hearts.  

TO BE A FATHER (Part I)(Proverbs 1:20-22)

TO BE A FATHER (Part I)(Proverbs 1:20-22)

January 31, 2021

One of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed on me is that I am the father of two godly sons.  The fact that they both love God and serve Him is not a testament to anything that I have done, but to the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  They were also blessed with the love of a truly wonderful mother.  That undying love that she has for them has shaped them in many ways.  Now, it is true that I have loved them both with all of my heart since I held them in my arms on the day they were born.  It is also true that our deepest desire for our children was that they loved God with all of their hearts.  

Unfortunately, not all children have the benefit of loving parents.  Sometimes children are caught up in the mistakes and the pride and the arrogance of their parents, and more often than not it is the pride and arrogance of the father.  Sometimes it is the mother, or even both, but more often than not it is the father.

There are many children who are going to be shipwrecked because of the pride and the arrogance of their fathers, who willingly choose not to guide those children into a safe and secure haven.  Those fathers will shipwreck their own lives, and then the lives of their children who will suffer in their own ignorance because their father did not teach them the ways of God.  

You might ask, “Well what about the mother, isn’t she just as responsible?”  Yes, but the Bible is clear that the father is to be the major teacher of the family.  But, when the father doesn’t perform that role, whether it is because he is lost and does not know God, or he is too proud and arrogant to do so, or he just isn’t there anymore, then the mother has to step in.  But, God gives the role of the spiritual leader of the home to the father.

Our message today is on how To Be a Father, and it is part I of a two-part series.  In this first part I am going to describe what happens when a father fails to teach his child.  We are going to talk about what happens to that child as a result of that father’s failure.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on what happens when we do not teach our children.  When a father, who is so wrapped up in his own life, who is so proud and arrogant that he does not love God, and does not wish to teach his children to love God.  I hope you hear my words today, and I pray that you will not let this happen to your children.

Amen.

ARE YOU PREPARED? (Proverbs 1:10-19)

ARE YOU PREPARED? (Proverbs 1:10-19)

January 24, 2021

Are you prepared?  Well, prepared for what?  In these days of unrest there is a whole group of people who are called “preppers.”  They have go-bags that are at the ready to grab in the event of an emergency, be it a hurricane, a riot, or some other cataclysmic event.  Those bags contain food, camping equipment, and tools for survival without all of the support that we have in our society, like electricity, grocery stores, hospitals, gas stations, and even the internet.  They are prepared to face a crisis event.

So, how you respond to the question of Are You Prepared depends on what you need to be prepared for?  Is it a crisis event, or is it just to go to work today, or to school to take that exam?  

Our message today is going to ask the Christian believer Are You Prepared to go out into the secular world?  This message is for every believer, young or old, rich or poor, educated or not.  For you to live a victorious Christian life you have to be prepared to face a world full of temptation and sin.  This is especially true of our children as they get to the age where they will enter the world.  But even though this message seems to be directed at our children, the principles that Solomon describes are just as applicable to adults.

One of the primary responsibilities of a Christian parent is to prepare their children to go out into the world and live a life that honors and glorifies God.  Now, every parent wants their child to go out and succeed, but a secular parent and a Christian parent should have different definitions for the word succeed.  The world looks at success in terms of wealth, power, happiness, and a family.  

A Christian looks at success as finding fulfillment in always being obedient to the will of God for their lives.  Now, wealth, power, happiness, and a family, may, or may not, come for the Christian, but if they do, they are simply due to the grace of God, not because of anything that we have done.  Our trust is in the love that God has for us, and the certain knowledge that He will provide everything we need, and much more than we deserve.  

If your trust is in something other than God to provide for your needs, like your own hard work, then you are not prepared to do God’s will for your life.  This is true because it impacts your priorities.  If your priority is to provide for your needs, then those needs will always come before your work for God. 

Other than making sure your children know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, teaching them this concept of duty and service to God is the single most important principle that we can give them.  It is to be more important than teaching them how to read, to write, to dress themselves, and to be polite.  All those things are important, but without God, and without a desire to serve God, they will be easy prey for the world.  

Click on the link below to hear a message that asks the question Are You Prepared to go out into the secular world?  

Amen.

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.

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