January 23, 2014
When our bodies are dirty we seek clean water to wash them. Why then does it seem odd that dirty souls need the same thing?
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. KJV
Feeling soul dirty tonight? Come get yourself into the pure, refreshing water of the Word of God calling upon Him to save you from your sins and wash you by regeneration and renewing you though the Holy Ghost.
January 12, 2014
How time flies. I just realized that I have been answering questions on http://www.allexperts.com since June 7, 2003. I have answered 520 questions and could have set up a donation button after answering 100 questions and served two years. I seriously doubt that I would have answered 520 if I had set up the donation button.
If I had still gotten that many questions I doubt I would have received too many donations. People asked me more insurance questions after I left the career field than they did when I was selling insurance. They are like that with theological issues as well. They will play the lottery and spend money on many things but they frown on paying their pastor or get mad if he preaches on money.
1 Cor 9:13-15
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. KJV
I am glad that most of my ministry has been volunteer, though that has hurt me when looking for a place of ministry. Some have felt that if I was not worth a salary then I was not worth much. I thought it would show I was not wanting filthy lucre. (Titus 1:7) I even offered a church once to take a lower salary than they offered and I guess they thought I was crazy.
When I was saved all I ever heard was that preachers were just in it for the money. I have known many pastors and other ministers that are paid very poorly and some who finance their own ministry by working a job as well as pastoring. Like Paul, I can give glory to God because no one can say that about me. Even when I was a FT pastor I found out, by accident, that I was the second largest giver to the church and I went back to work to keep them from going under.
I hope in a few months to be in a position to do some sort of fulltime ministry. If they offer a stipend that is OK, but if God grants me the ability I will not let the lack of a salary deter me if that is where God wants me. I do not need a $5 mill house or a plane, just a place to serve.
December 20, 2013
“We poor sinners need to come back from our wanderings to seek pardon through the all-sufficient merits of our Redeemer. And we need to pray earnestly for the power of the Holy Spirit to give us a precious revival in our hearts and among the unconverted.” – Robert E. Lee
Lee was correct in that if we hope to see a revival in the land we must start with ourselves. As we see in our history, human power or wisdom often creates more problems than it solves. We wander through life thinking ourselves to be wise and suffer the consequences when we could have had Divine power and wisdom.
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV If we hope to be free from our sins we must seek Christ as Lee, Jackson and multitudes have done. When we do that and the unconverted see the joy and liberty in us they will come to Christ. As the numbers of people free in Christ increase so also will the land soon be full of liberty.
America’s freedom never came from the politics of men or even the power of our military, but by the faith of our Founders and heroes in God, His Son, His providence and His commands. When, as a nation, we turned from that we wandered from the path of His blessings and liberty. Listen to God and Lee and come back. He will grant us mercy as individuals and may extend that mercy to the land as well.
December 20, 2013
Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 KJV
The decline of the influence of the Church started when people stopped asking how much they can give up/sacrifice for God and started asking how much can I get by with and still be saved. When they stopped coming out and being separate from the world and started letting the World in to dictate how the Church should live instead of the Church changing the lives of the World.
There is a reason that Jeremiah says to seek the old paths. What we have done has not worked and to continue on expecting different results is insanity and that is indeed what we see in both Church and the World.
If we want change and revival we must return to the attitudes and actions that worked for the 1st Century Church and for the Christians who sought to maintain those things throughout the centuries though in these days it may lead to less than pleasant circumstances here, but a far better moment at the BEMA. However, as a whole, the last sentence of the passage reflects the response of the Church in this age.
December 2, 2013
Indeed, as Paul prophesied, we are living in perilous times. When in such times you need to know your enemy and your resources and the weapons required to defeat him. I am afraid that far too many of the brethren have been fighting the wrong enemy and have chosen to pick up the wrong arms thus losing many battles. With those losses comes discouragement and loss of focus making the future seem dark and fuzzy.
I see way too many references to taking up arms or saber rattling on FaceBook and other places by professing Christians. We do not defend our faith by guns. Nowhere will you find such an injunction in Scripture. Jesus went as a sheep to the slaughter. Indeed, He said that He could have called 12,000 angels to His side, but chose not to do so, but laid down His life for us. All the apostles were imprisoned and all but one were executed by the Roman government. None of them suggested forming an army to overthrow Rome or to avenge the deaths of saints.
Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and see how many suffered under persecutions throughout the centuries, often by people who claimed to be Christians. They did not just walk into the coliseum nor bring their own stake to the fire, but neither was there any kind of organized military action for they knew who their enemy was and that the enemy is not wounded or defeated by arms made by men.
Even today, many of our brethren worldwide face all manner of persecution and myriads have earned the martyr’s crown. Christian soldiers fight on another plane in higher spheres of reality. Indeed, our enemy would love to get us off mission and distracted encouraging carnal warfare as a means of camouflage to his tactics and as an evasive maneuver. We are not to be ignorant of his devices but rather destroying his strongholds.
2 Cor 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
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; KJV
There are no persons or groups of flesh that are the true enemy of Christians. Many people are pawns of the devil deluded, deceived and directed by demons. The people are not the real enemy. They are victims and prisoners to be loved and set free by the love of Christ. The enemy is devil and his minions. The war is a spiritual one.
Thus we have to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapons given to us. Paul shows us our armor in Ephesians 6. That is how we defend ourselves and take up the fight, but against spiritual enemies, not carnal ones. We sometimes forget how we were driven to do things that we look back on now with regret and wonder what were we thinking at the time. In many ways, we were not thinking, but rather being influenced by the thoughts of demons appealing to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
So also are all those who do not know the Lord are influenced directly by demonic forces or through the influence of some man or woman that is influenced or controlled directly by them. This is why we must pray for them and witness to them through the power of the Spirit not through wisdom of men. Too often we rely upon our skills in logic or debate and try to win them through vain philosophy and then wonder why we fail.
We must kneel more in prayer. We must become more knowledgeable of our field manual, the Bible. We must practice putting on our armor and understanding what each piece means and how it aids our fight. We must then look beyond our carnal antagonist and determine what spirits are influencing them and then attack that entity. We must enter into battle under the authority of Christ, endued with power from the Spirit speaking the truth in love with the goal of freeing the captive and defeating the one who captured him. Only then are we in the right battle against the right enemy with the right goal. Then and only then we can expect victory. All else is vain.
My brethren, quit talking dangerous nonsense that only makes the devil laugh at our furtive efforts and opens us up to further assaults that can only end in failure. Lay down your arms & take up your weapons. Why rattle sabers when you can wield the sword of the Lord? Go for the jugulars of the leaders of Hell and rescue the perishing. Let us be the overcoming victors we are destined to be. Fight the good fight for we were called into the kingdom for such a time as this. The war was won at the Resurrection. We are just doing mop up duties until our Commander-in-Chief returns and brings in the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven and make his enemies His footstool. He is risen! Marantha!
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. KJV
1 John 5:4-5
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? KJV
November 28, 2013
Today would be a wonderful day for Americans to take stock of themselves and just count their blessings and then shut up. We are the whiniest bunch of louts to be found. Our poorest are richer than a great many people in the world for indeed I know of very few places in the world where the poor are fat and suffering from the ailments that go with that.
While our minorities may not get all they should or think they should I can take you places where the minorities are happy they got to wake up and are never sure they will make it through the day without being beaten, imprisoned, raped or killed just because they are a minority.
Most of us have more than we know what to do with so we build storage buildings or pay for a building to store our excess that we may have never seen for five years eyt tomorrow will be an insane dash to get more stuff for those who really need nothing. I have gotten to where I really do not need or want much and getting rid of things to my life simpler as well as my kids so they will not have as much stuff to get rid of when I keel over.
Yes, indeed are so much to whine about here in the USA. Can we just man up and bow the knee to God and say thank you and be content? What a change in the country and maybe even the world if we just got to the place we are exhorted to be by Paul.
1 Tim 6:3-11
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. KJV
November 7, 2013
Seeing all these things about Veterans Day on FaceBook reminded me of an incident with my Mom. I spent a couple of years living across the creek from the only Black family in town. Loman and I fished the creek together and ate at each others homes so Mom was not a racist. Thus it was funny when I told her that when I grow up and join the Air Force I might go to Germany and get myself a Fraulein for a wife. She immediately said, “You will not! You’ll marry one of your own kind!” I said, “Mom, with a name like Shultz what else would be my kind?” She meant American! After all, her brother fought in the Pacific and we did fight the Germans in WWII. Well, she got her wish as I married a lass of Scottish descent, but born right here in the good old USA.
War brings out things in you that you would not normally have. Had I said I might marry a Japanese woman she might have beat me half to death after seeing what the war did to her favorite brother. He could not watch anything like Combat or 12 O’clock High (which I loved) without breaking out in a sweat and shaking a bit. My father-in-law who fought his way up the Italian boot could watch documentaries and tell me some things because I was in the military, but he had some very vivid and bad dreams right after the war.
I don’t even think I could have brought a Filipina, though we had been allies, anywhere near an European Theater veteran as he would not have seen any difference between her and a Japanese woman. My uncle would have known the difference and may have accepted her.
It takes a long time for people and even a nation to heal after such conflicts. Indeed, this nation is still not healed after the War Between the States or the Indian wars, let alone the scars of more recent conflicts.Some Nam vets would still have some animosity and not want to be around any Asian though some married Viet Namese and Thai women. When you have been wounded physically or emotionally by representatives of some group it is hard to see an individual. Somewhat a reverse of the old saw of not being able to see the forest because of the trees. In this case, you can’t see the trees because of the forest.
Not only the participants in the conflict, but also the families are affected and so the pain fades even slower. Imagine a Japanese or German woman moving next door in 1947 when you lost a son in the Pacific or you have a disabled husband that cannot get out of bed because he was a POW in Germany. It would be tough to embrace her like you might any other new neighbor.
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:19
We have been a nation of wars both foreign and domestic since our inception. Much pain and sorrow has been experienced or passed on so bitterness exists between many people groups. While this day is a time of remembrance of our fallen and gratitude to all that have served, may we also make it a time of prayer for healing and reaching out to heal wounds no matter in what conflict they were created. It may be hard as the verse says, but not impossible if you let the wisdom, love and peace of Christ guide you through the process. Shalom! Maranatha!
November 5, 2013
One of the best pastors that I have ever served with always replies with “Better than I deserve” whenever someone asks him how he is doing. There is a bit of a debate over whether Dave Ramsey stole that phrase from him, but I have been using it as well. I think it is a good answer. Many times we tend to forget where we have come from and how frail and failing we truly are and what we would actually get if we got what we deserved.
Lamentations 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? KJV
We Americans tend to be the whiniest bunch of folks on the planet. Let anything go wrong or not be as we think it should be and out comes the moans, whines and complaints. Being a cheese lover, I also ask folks if they are going to serve cheese with that whine so at least some good will come of it.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of our problems come from our direct sin or someone else’s sin that we may have directly or indirectly caused. Indeed, the whole world is suffering from the sin of our first parents. We have just done more and greater sins than they did. I have often said that if I got what I deserved I would be bouncing off of the walls of Hell like a pinball. If you are realistic, you would concur that you would be doing the same. All have sinned, not just the ones whose sins are public and horrific. Indeed, there would be far more public and horrible crimes if everyone acted out their thoughts.
When I grew up, I often heard people say in anger that they were going to kill someone or mutilate some part of their body. We were not politically correct back then and such things were accepted as just expressions of anger with no intent of following through albeit the look in their eyes and the rate, pitch and volume of their voice along with vivid charades movements made you think that in any second they might put words to action. At that moment, they had actually done all those things in their heart and only fear of imprisonment or execution held them back. The person was as good as dead or in intensive care in their minds.
Think of all the things you wanted to do and did not because of fear of being caught. Since Jesus said that the NT took the OT up a notch saying that to look in lust is the same as actually committing adultery there are far more adulterers and fornicators even among virgins, both male and female, in the world and church then many believe. Mental sins can be as dangerous and debilitating as physical commissions of the acts because there is guilt. The hardening of the heart opens the door to ultimate commission of the sin and in the Christian it causes the same loss of fellowship, fruit and rewards making life far less than the abundant one Jesus came to give us,
So when things go to pot do not blame God or complain, look and see what brought it into your life. Did it come because of someone’s sin? Did you plant the seed in that person in some way? Is it because of your sins mental or physical? Is it because God is chastising you to bring you to repentance? If so, He is seeking to restore and renew you so don’t complain. Confess and submit and all will be well. Is it self-inflicted punishment? Are you sabotaging your life because you are experiencing guilt over some past or present sin? Is that past failure keeping you from future fruit? Confess and submit in trust to the One who can forgive the past, heal the present and give a glorious future.
How is it with you today? I freely confess to you that my life is not all I would like it to be because of the consequences of sin. Some were physical manifestations, many were just mental, but sin nonetheless. I have been a Pharisee. I am seeking to be healed of that. Yet, I do not want to pendulum swing the other way and become a Sadducee as many have done who have been convicted of having the Pharisee spirit. I have been arrogant and God is humbling me. I have lived in ways that gave the enemies of God reason to blaspheme God because of me. I would absolutely not be breathing if God gave me what I deserved. My every breath of life is due to the mercy of God. That I have many blessings in my life is due to the manifold grace of God and not because of any holiness on my part. If I am not the Assistant Chief of Sinners, I would be surprised.
Some might ask, “If all that is true, then why don’t you sit down and shut up?” I have tried. I can’t. God is real. Jesus is Lord. The Bible is His Word. Sinners need saved and saints need edified. I am bent, battered and worn, but if I can point someone in the right direction even as a detour sign to make sure they do not go down some of that roads I have traveled, then in my weakness, baseness and foolishness God’s power will have prevailed and souls saved from Hell and heartbreak.
When I took Luke 22:31,32 as my life verses, I was in the midst of torment thinking I had committed the unpardonable sin. I clung to these verses in hope. At one point, I thought that was the sifting satan desired to take me through and my desire in ministry has been to strengthen the brethren, but I think it was just a foretaste of what I have been experiencing. Therefore I am clinging to them again as the call that God has given me and will at some point bring to fruition as the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. I had been running on my own resources and they were not enough. Yet, while I am waiting for the completion of what God is doing in me, I cannot hold in what I feel He gives me. After all, it is all about Him and not the vessel He uses. A thirsty person will not stop drinking from a cup just because the cup is cracked and maybe even leaking a bit. He needs the water that is in the cup more than the cup. God can use cracked, leaking and even broken vessels. If you are thirsty and you find living water in anything I write, then thank God for the dispensing of it and ask God to repair the cup.
Look to Jesus, not a vessel and you will do well. Shalom! Maranatha!
October 31, 2013
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
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.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. KJV
If we ever start truly believing this and listen nearly every denomination and all cults will fall. Most Megs and Mini churches will close as there will only be a need for one church in each town and city since we will all be in one accord with the Truth. Fleshly and heretical divisions will not exist and the line will be clearly drawn between good and evil as the Truth will do away with gray as gray is an admixture of light and darkness and God has no darkness in Him and neither does His truth.
Sadly, I do not foresee that happening until He returns as we delight as in the days of the Judges to have every man doing that which is right in his own eyes and denying the inconvenient truths that get in the way of our fleshly and prideful desires. Even so, come Lord Jesus and grant us some sort of revival before the end. Amen.
October 9, 2013
“Strangely enough, one of those times I me God, one of those times which became to me a veritable Bethel, a true house of God, was when under strong temptation and serious threats of denominational men, I decided I must be true to my convictions. I must oppose modernism and evolutionary teaching in Baylor University where I had graduated and where my teacher, Dr. Dow, had been a bone of contention because of his teaching of evolution.Facing threats that I would be blackballed and branded and that I would never be invited to hold revivals, that I would have no chance as an evangelist, I told God that if I were serving a God who could not look after His preachers unless they kowtowed to the leaders, unless they sought to please men and played politics with the brethren I would leave His service.But I told Him that I was willing to risk everything to prove that the God who called me would care for me.Oh, what a day of decision!The friends of a lifetime I lost overnight.I was a marked man, branded man.”- John R. Rice, “Come Back To Bethel”, written in 1958.Copyright 1962, Sword of the Lord Publishers.
Oh, that I and many of my brethren would take such a stand. We do so many things to appease men so that we might be able to achiever some level of success in ministry when the only one we need please is Christ. We seek their will in what schools we will attend and what degrees we will get instead of seeking God who may be pleased to use us as an Amos or an unlearned fisherman that people will note that we have been with Jesus. There is more power and fruit in that than in a thousand degrees and the right references.
In case you did not know, Dr. Rice went on to pastor and had a very fruitful revival and evangelistic ministry for many years as well as a college professor. Take your stand for that indeed will be a Bethel in your life. The house of God may not always be full of your mentors and brethren, but if it is a house of God, He will fill it and you! Marantha!