1Timothy 3:14-16, “14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”
As I think of qualifications of a minister and the model by which the church is to run, I count on Paul’s epistle to Timothy because of its depth and clear instructions. This epistle appears to have been written to Timothy while he was at Ephesus facing numerous challenges as a young pastor. Paul wrote to instruct him in the choice of proper offices in the church by keeping to mind the right qualifications he outlined, as well as in the exercise of a regular ministry.
Galatians 3:6-9 , “6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.”
The blessing of Abraham is many times looked at as material blessings since God had blessed him with wealth, however Paul points out that the blessing of Abraham is in reference to salvation by faith apart from works. Vs. 7,”Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham” Continue reading →
Colossians 1:18-19, “And He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell… ” (KJV)
One of the drives I have as a minister is a call for discernment on believers we reach with the message of the bible. The name of the Lord and His work is seriously abused out here all done in His name. What is heard and elevated in the name of Christianity may be Christ labeled, the truth of the matter is, most are not CHRIST CENTERED. What is packaged and labeled with Christ’s name is transported locally and abroad. Not long ago I came across one of the most influential pastors in America with a big congregation on TV, as he preached for half hour, I noticed that the bible was never opened or read, Christ name was not even mentioned once leave alone glorified, exalted, or even honored. He did quote some scriptures out of context and wowed the crowd with his man catered message on how to get along with everyone.
2Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
Have you seen on TV “Police chase videos”. It’s interesting to watch and sad at the same time. People trying to run away from the law because of what they have done. Instead of surrendering peacefully, they think they can outrun the law. The more they try to, the more they break other laws making it worse for them. You find that they are exposing other people to great danger by their reckless behaviors. Something fascinating, the police will not give up chasing until they have apprehended the suspects. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, they will add more force to the chase if need be until they’ve arrested the culprits. Let’s swing this to the spiritual. Continue reading →
Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
I am drawn to hymns primarily for their packed theology. Read the lyrics of many of our songs today and compare to the lyrics of some of the old hymns, you find a huge difference. The hymns are so rich in God’s Word transcending feelings, they are grounded in truth. For the last few years I have had the privilege of tapping into teachings by some long gone preachers and I find again that their preaching and teachings are far different from many of the preaching and teaching we hear today. Their messages just like in the hymns were packed with theology. Oh I praise God for the age of technology (internet) giving us the ability to find materials lost over the years. Continue reading →
Acts 6:4, “But we will give ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word”
Desperate people do desperate things. I have come to learn that God answers desperate prayers. Those who do not treat prayers as secondary, what you do when it is convenient or only when there is a need; but you put it as priority because your life depends on it. Those who have learnt the secret prep themselves daily through it. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer” (paraphrased). In our time we say, “we are are too busy today to pray”
2Kings 13:21, “So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet”
To start us off, let me share with you lyrics of a chorus of a song entitled “Render your heart”, “Life is short and soon it will be past, it’s only what you’ve done for the Lord that will last. Render your heart and count up the cost. It’s only what you’ve done for the Lord that will last“.
Matthew 13:3&9, “3Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. … But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
I am spending more time on the groundwork because it is most necessary and easily neglected in the gospel. If we met already humbled convicted people, there may be little or no need for ground preparation because it is already prepared, under conviction, a repentant heart. All we would do is plant the seeds (give the good news) and expect God to grow them. I have shared my faith many times, rarely did I meet a humble person. Most were very self-righteous like the rich young ruler.
Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”
In reading the Lord’s prayer, I struggle understanding the first part “and lead us not into temptation” and the reason is this, James 1:13 tells us ” Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone“.