Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Surpassing Value of Knowing Christ

What would it take to get you to deny Christ?

If someone offered you $500 million to deny Christ, would you?

If someone threatened to take your life through prolonged and agonizing torture, would you deny Christ?

What if someone threatened to take the life of a loved one if you didn't deny Christ? Would you? What if that loved one didn't know Christ? Would you deny Christ to spare their life so that they could have opportunity to trust in Christ?

These extreme examples serve to illustrate a point. The choice is not between heaven and hell. I assume most people would make the right choice if those were the options. No, the choice is between heaven and the things of this world. And whether its possessions or relations, many would rather have the things of this world than heaven.

Every time we choose something of this world over obedience to Christ, we are saying that the value in knowing Christ really isn't of surpassing value.

So, we must let our minds dwell more on Christ and the things above. We must fill our minds with the truth. And, as parents, we must teach our children that there really is a surpassing value in knowing Christ. That will help them not to get sucked in by the things of this world.

Knowing Christ is of far greater value than possessing the whole world.

Friday, May 15, 2009

From Uganda to Disneyland

The last few weeks have been some of the busiest and most blessed of my life.
First, I went to Uganda. There I spoke at a pastor's conference to 200 Ugandan pastors. It was a great time and the Lord will surely use it to strengthen the churches in Uganda. If you want to hear the report I gave to the church on this trip, you can listen to it by going to our church web page: bfsatx.org.
I arrived home form Uganda on a Saturday, preached on Sunday, caught up on a bunch of stuff Monday, then, on Tuesday, Roberta and I flew to LA and went straight to ----- Disneyland (well, we stopped at In-N-Out on the way). Talk about a contrast! Uganda and Disneyland are definitely on the far ends of the cultural spectrum. While at Disneyland we got to see Bill and Cory, and Bobby, Christa, Tyler, and Emma. Priceless.
From Disneyland we drove to Santa Barbara to see my dad and we arrived on the night that a growing wildfire was threatening the city. When we got out of the car it felt like we were inside a smoky barbeque joint. Fortunately, the weather changed in time so that while the fire caused considerable damage, it could have been incredibly worse.
Just as a footnote: Going to Uganda was somewhat of a health risk. I had to get 7 shots before I left and I am still taking malaria pills. When I returned, however, I found out about the Swine Flu and that our city was at the epicenter of this outbreak. Then we go to fiery Santa Barbara. It appears I was safer in Uganda than I am at home.
Of course, as nice as it is to go to Disneyland and see Bobby, Billy and their families, and as nice as it is to visit my dad, the reason we were in California was to see Ben graduate from The Master's College. Ben is our youngest so this is it. They are all out of college now. It has been a joy to see Ben go through college and I have never known anyone who enjoyed everything about college as much as Ben did. I am thankful for The Master's College and, most of all, I am thankful for the Master's work in the lives of our children. The above picture is of Ben and me at his baptism last year.
Ben had preceded me in Uganda. He was there last summer for 6 weeks. At the beginning of my visit I was known as Ben's dad and that's okay with me. His being there before me really paved the way for me being so quickly accepted.
Jesus said that in Him we would find abundant life. Our Lord gives us a peace and joy that is full and complete. I am amazed at what He does in my life and the opportunities that He gives to me. For all of this I am profoundly thankful and I don't want to waste my life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To the Ends of the Earth

Tomorrow I leave for Uganda, Africa. Next week I will be speaking at a pastor's conference of national pastors. This is an amazing thing to me. This is an incredible opportunity.

Not that I haven't had any reservations about this. I wasn't excited about getting all the shots (7) that were required for me to be able to make this trip safely. I also have to take Malaria pills for 40 days (started 2 days ago). Additionally, I will need to be careful what I eat and drink while I am there and I have been warned that the facilities may not be the greatest. On top of all that, I must travel for about 21 hours to get there.

So why do it? First of all, I was asked to do it. But when I think about ministering to a few hundred pastors as a part of a larger ministry that has the potential to affect a whole country for the gospel, how could I refuse? I believe that the Bible is powerful and that somehow the Lord can use a guy like me - just a guy like me, to proclaim His Word for His glory. What a privilege.

So, I'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store for this trip. I'm sure I'll have some stories to tell when I get back - testimonies to His goodness, grace, and power.

Please pray for me and I 'll give a report when I get back.

I don't want to waste my life.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Change Of Course

Actually, I've decided to take to the course, the golf course. For years people have told me I should take my golf game out on tour. Especially, as I approached the age of 50, folks said I was made for the Champions (Senior) Tour. Well, 50 is a few years in the rear view mirror and so I've decided that if I'm going to do it, now is the time.
I was inspired by Tiger's victory over the weekend. If he can come back after eight months off following major knee surgery and win, then who's to say I can't come back after 30+ years away from competitive golf. I haven't had any surgery and I am certainly well rested.
In fact, after some of the ministry situations I've been through and some of the counseling cases I've handled, a three foot putt to win would be like playing on the playground.
So I'm going to put my ministry on hold and pursue my life-long dream of playing professional golf. Oh, I won't be totally leaving the ministry. I'll lead a Bible study out on tour and give my testimony at different events. Also, I'll write John 3:16 underneath my autograph so I'll be faithfully witnessing too.
Yes, I am going to suspend my ministry of following the Son for the time being as I follow the Sun out on the tour. No doubt the popularity I gain by being a golf champion will boost my ministry when I come back to it.
By now you might have guessed that this is an April Fools blog post and you would be right. I have the greatest job in the world. I have the privilege of proclaiming God's Word and I wouldn't give that up for anything. The guys out on the tour can rest easy - I'm staying in the pulpit.
I hope that both of you who might read this post had some fun with me.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Radical Christianity

This Sunday I will be preaching on the Final Judgment from Revelation 20:11-15.

Do you really believe that there will be a final judgment?

Do you believe that the Lord will sit on a great white throne and that everyone who never believed will stand before Him in judgment?

Do you really believe that those unbelieving people will then be sentenced to eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire?

If you believe this, how did it affect your life today?

I read recently of two young Moravians who sold themselves into slavery in 1732 because that was the only way to evangelize 2,000 to 3,000 slaves on an island then a part of the West Indies.

Those two believed in a final judgment. They also believed in a great Savior who had given His life and could save men in every place and situation. These men acted like they believed these things.

We think we're being radical Christians when we invite someone to a church picnic.

How does a belief in these great, awesome, amazing eternal truths affect our lives?

Would anybody accuse you of being a radical Christian?

Monday, February 09, 2009

God is Amazing...

A number of great things have happened since I last posted and I want to give you an update.

I spent a week at The Master's Seminary working on my Doctor of Ministry program. 12 preachers and a prof in a room for eight hours a day talking about studying and preaching the Word. It doesn't get much sweeter than that for a preacher.

God is Amazing...

Roberta and I went to California for the celebration of John MacArthur's 40th Anniversary as the pastor of Grace Community Church. It was a great weekend. We got to fellowship with lots of friends. We got to see all our children. We got to hear Iain Murray preach. And we got to thank God for the influence of a godly, faithful man.

God is Amazing...

This past Saturday we received The Call from Bobby telling us that his daughter (our granddaughter) had been born and that she and Christa were doing well. If you want to see some great pictures of Bobby, Christa, Tyler, and Emma Jane then just go to Bill and Cory's link to the right of this post.

God is Amazing..

The title of this post was inspired by a quote from John MacArthur. A couple of years ago he was asked how he stayed motivated to keep producing two sermons a week plus all of his other ministry responsibilities. His answer was, "It's simple. God is amazing and I am amazed."

God is Amazing...

Are you amazed?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Committed to the Word

Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses among American church attendees in our day is a lack of discernment. In our complex days when we live in a culture which is so overpowering because of the media capabilities, many who call themselves Christians have a difficult time making wise choices.

No doubt the biggest reason for this is because they are not being trained to think biblically. Churches today want people feel good about themselves and help them in their relationships. Some of this may be practical and beneficial, but people need to be taught what God says from His Word so that they aren’t led astray by a seductive society.

Where are the churches that are seriously training their people from the Scriptures? Where are the John Calvins and Martin Luthers of our day? We need a real return to the Bible or you won’t be able to tell the difference between the church and the world.

At Believers Fellowship we’re committed to the Word.


Today was the last broadcast of Cutting It Straight on KSLR. I am thankful to Baron Wiley and Kevin Bel for all their help in making these broadcasts possible. It was a joy to work with them and I benefitted personally from putting these messages together. I'm thankful too, for any who were encouraged by these broadcasts.

The blog will continue but not with the same frequency which we have had in the past year.

May God Bless you with a fruitful 2009 to the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.