Tag Archives: preaching

The Signficant Three

I heard it said and fear its true, in that “We’re raising a generation that doesn’t even know the basics” when it comes to Bible. Twenty years ago at the age of 34 I didn’t know beans about the Bible. Even the acronym B.I.B.L.E – Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth, sent me into note taking frenzy. I’d never heard even something so simple. What a concept! Every preaching service I’d sit on the edge of my seat like I was being spoon fed pure sugar from Heaven, and Hallelujah and I’m still the same. The Word of God has never gotten old because as a young Christian I heard the power of the Spirit, the Water and the Blood.

As a product of what was probably the first generation that took the gospel too lightly, the blood wasn’t something my squeamish stomach liked to hear about. It made me very uneasy to hear about the sacrifice of critters and then to hear about the sacrifice of the Son of God was a horror my mind couldn’t fathom, until, through the preaching of the Word, I began to understand that were it not for that sacrifice I would have busted Hell wide open. And I knew that there had been several times in my 34 years where I was inches away from gate. When I came to that realization the preaching of the blood no longer bothered me, but I’d raise my hand and shout Amen with the rest of those crazy Baptists because the Spirit inside of moved me and bore witness that there was a well of Living Water within me and I was seated in Heaven with the Lord Jesus.

But in the modern age of today the blood is being preached on less and less and is being traded for a lukewarm version that no longer allows people to understand there’s more to getting to Heaven than just showing up to church.

Oh… the work is done. But there’s a head and heart knowledge of 1 John 5:8 that must be understood.

The significant three

Spirit

February 18th, 1996. That was the first time I remember feeling the Spirit in such a way that it made my heart well up inside of me to the point I thought it would explode! It missing in many, many services today, because that Spirit is a part of a threefold message. And without the other two, it’s not a complete message.

Water

At least 60% of the adult human body is made up of water and we can’t survive without it. A child of God won’t survive spiritually without the water of the word either. I was taught as a new Christian that if I wanted to grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I needed to read and study the word of God for myself. It was then that I realized it truly was like water; flowing through my body and encouraging me as the world around me did everything within it’s power to discourage me. A few days without it and I would begin to feel my soul drying up and crying out for a drink from the well called “The Word.”

Blood

Medical minded people could give you far more information than I on the purpose of the blood for living, but I will only tell you of the blood that made all the difference! When God sacrificed the first animals to cover the newly discovered naked bodies of Adam and Eve, I can imagine their gut wrenching horror of that act. The act that they, through sin, had made necessary. It was my same reaction when I realized that through my sin, I had caused the very Lamb of God to be sacrificed on the cross as payment for my sin. I can’t watch movies like “The Passion of Christ,” because the images are just more than my heart can bear. Reading it in the Word and having the Spirit bear witness to me is enough to make me understand the blood was applied to my wicked heart and made it white as snow so that I could have a relationship with God.

I’m grateful for the preaching of the Word and that Saints of God took their role of discipling me serious. I pray I never take the significant three for granted, and that I never fail to take the opportunity to instill in this generation the basics of salvation. That is why the world is in the shape that it’s in. The basics have been forsaken for words that appease the flesh. I know that if my heart had not felt the piercing conviction of sin through the preaching of the Spirit, the Water and the Blood, I’d still be headed to Hell.

If you’ve know that word… thank a preacher!

I’m not raising babies in the ministry

Dressing for Success takes on a whole new meaning when you’re talking about church, at least for me. I’m not referring to what you physically wear to church, I’m pretty flexible on that matter, just be decent, and be in church, and I’m a happy camper.  I’m talking about what you spiritually wear to church.

If you’ve been in church any time at all you’ve likely heard a sermon or two preached from Ephesians 6 on the whole armor of God. It’s a necessary sermon for getting through life’s every day battles that leave more than a dent or two on us. But what about the armor we wear to church? Is there such a thing?

I personally want a sermon preached to me that when it’s over my toes are bruised from all the times they’ve been stepped on. I know that’s not the norm. Most people like a sermon that powders their tush and makes them feel all fluffy inside. My opinion of that, is that’s what gotten America in the shape she’s in. My friend Roger preached last night and hit the nail on the head when he said, “We’ve quit preaching on personal sin.” Nobody wants anyone to hold them accountable, they especially don’t want God to hold them accountable. We want the Lord of love but we don’t want the Lord of accountability. Just save us Lord, then leave us be. And so the world now caters to that in churches across the land because it brings numbers… or does it?

I’ve heard those against the mega churches say that those churches are full because it’s easy believism being preached. There are those I’m sure. But I’ve listened to several that stir my soul. And I’ve been in little churches that have been mighty in the Spirit and some that were few in number because nobody was preaching a message of conviction to make anyone loyal to God. We need what David knew was necessary for successful living in Psalm 139:23 when he said “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts.” David didn’t want baby powder, he wanted talcum powder from a work out with God.  We need a strong word to make us stronger. Weak words do just that, they weakens us. So stomp my toes Mr. Preacher and I’ll wear the appropriate attire for church.

Fully Dressed

In earlier times, pre-spanking days, a father wouldn’t send you to your room to think about what you’d done. He’d fully dress ya. Maybe that’s a word from our region, I’m not sure, and I really never heard it from my own dad, but I’ve been fully dressed on more than one occasion by God.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Put on the whole armor, not just part of it. While we think of this as verses for life, it’s also verses for church. We need to be prepared to hear the word of God because in that place of worship the first one to show up for a service is Satan himself. He’s got every open pew filled with evil. And with the churches of today, there’s plenty of open seats. But while we’re there we need to come prepared to hear the word of God even if that means we’re gonna be fully dressed by him. That is how we grow. We discipline our children so they know there’s a better way, God does His children no different.

Fully Drawn

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Entering a spirit filled service of the Lord should find our minds fully drawn into the Holy Spirit. Focused on what He’d have us to know even if that means putting on blinders to all else in the room. Satan knows the house of God is a place of business for God. It’s not the only place He works but it’s one of the best. So it’s there that Satan launches an attack to keep eyes and minds off the sermon. He’ll do it with people, thoughts, bugs, babies, anything that can pull your mind away from the word. Get fully drawn into God when you hit the building.

Fully Determined

None of my three points sound like something you put on until you think of them in the spiritual sense. Being dressed, drawn and determined are all spiritual mindsets that must be put on inwardly and worn outwardly so that the not only Satan and his cronies can see it, but others can see it.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Each piece of the spiritual armor has a purpose to shielding us from the wickedness of the spiritual realm. But one of the most detrimental things to the spiritual man is self. We have to allow God to dress us when we’re drifting away from His purpose. We have to allow ourselves to be drawn to the spiritual side rather than the flesh and we have to put on that determination before we ever enter the service of God.

Fully Devoted

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We need to wear it, but above all we need to speak it. Telling others about Christ is a devotion few have any more. They’re devoted to Sunday morning… not so much Monday through Saturday. Tonight is Wednesday and I’ll teach this thought to my teens, because I’m not raising babies in my ministry. I want them battle ready when they hit life head on!0

3 Reasons to Add More Preaching to Your Diet

I love good preachin’! I’ve often said, and it may sound odd to those who know how much I love music, but for me I’d rather listen to preaching. It’s much like a song to my heart because it stirs my soul much like music does. With one exception… music doesn’t generally convict. Some songs may… but for the most part they soften and tenderize the heart for the word of God, or they encourage us in our walk with Jesus Christ. Both are needful and the Bible speak of both, but the greater share of emphasis should be on the preaching of the word.

Romans 10:13-15

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

3 Reasons you should make Preaching a Large part of your diet:

Seeking Salvation

Yours of course, but once you’re saved, you should be seeking salvation for others. It’s the primary purpose of the child of God but it seems to be lost on most of the world. Many Christians lose sight of it past Sunday morning. We rejoice when someone gives their life to Christ! But then the world takes over Monday morning. It’s hard to stay focused on the mission when Satan is so very good at his, which is to take our focus off the mission of seeing souls save and putting it on the problems in and around us.

Seeking Solutions

The Word of God is amazing! Whether it’s read or preached it speaks to heart of the matter in our souls. Countless times I have left a service pretty sure someone had spilled the beans on the sins of my life to the preacher because his sermon stepped all over my already tender toes. All the while someone else receive an entirely different message from the same sermon. How could that be? Because that’s the power of the Word of God. When seeking answers to life’s problems the bible should always be our first resort, not our last. But is it? Not generally speaking.

Seeking Sanctuary

One of the sweetest times of life is in the presence of the Holy Spirit. For certain He loves good Christian music, but the Word of God being preached can be so soothing to the soul in days of distress and doubt. It reaffirms our faith, builds strength in our souls, highlights areas of our life that need work and most of all creates a dialogue between us and the Lord.

I’m a preaching junky. I seek it out. I’m in church every service available and when I’m not I love listening to it via YouTube and Podcasts. I have my favorite preachers, and for the record they’re not all Baptist. We don’t’ have the exclusive on the Holy Spirit.

That being said, I do listen to preachers who preach what I believe. And I’d advise great caution in choosing an online ministry to follow. There’s some junk that people throw into their sermons that will undo the good work your preacher is doing in your life by causing you to doubt what you’ve been taught. If you’re unsure of who you should follow, ask your preacher. And you should have your own personal, local pastor; one that you attend his services and have a relationship with that allows you to ask questions like that.

Seek God’s word today!


I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

To Contribute to this ministry follow the Paypal Link!

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A Conversation For The Church

onward-christian-solider

Since the day I stepped into the ministry I’ve looked to define who I am, where I should be and where I should go. That changes most every day, and truthfully many days I’ve been directionless. My fear is, that that is truth in regards to many churches.

I’m always seeking leadership ideas. It drives me and excites, and it’s why I believe God has placed that purpose in my heart and placed me in the positions in life for which He has. But… that’s not to say that I don’t fail… really often. So as I approach a leadership event this weekend my mind is in hyper-drive for ways to encourage church staff, but I don’t want it to be about fluff (i.e. church programming, church events, etc.) I want a meeting that charges an ongoing conversation among the people who attend.

Ha! That should be what church should be, right?

So three questions I ask myself this morning about my ministry direction:

  1. Does my conversations bear witness of Christ and His cross?
  2. Is my conversation bold?
  3. Does my conversation bring a battle?

John 10:25

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

Bearing Witness

Christ and the cross should be first and foremost in anything I do in ministry work. And yet it’s often down the list. It’s very easy to get programs started that are to entertain but if they don’t sustain a conversation once the program has ended then they likely didn’t serve the purpose we intended, which was to draw folks to Christ.

As an example that likely most in the ministry can relate to; how many pizza parties have you had that netted members? Owch…

Acts 9:29

And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

Being Bold

Speaking boldly is speaking in confidence. How confident am I? I for certain am confident in the message I want to relay but my methodology is not always so sure. If I want to relay a message that is a conversation starter I have to exude courage and confidence in a way that causes the listener to want to pick up the cross as well! And that takes preparation, which takes time and commitment, and that my dear fear is a church wide failure. People are not committed to anything past 12 o’clock noon on Sunday.

1 Corinthians 1:10

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

The Battle Plan

You better believe if you are a bold, witness bearing child of God starting conversations for Christ, you are in for a battle. And not just from other people! You yourself will be your most vicious opponent.

ry to study the word and see how many other notions come into mind, try to speak boldly and watch timidity rear its ugly head, try to share an idea and watch fear enter your heart as to the reaction of people. Creating change in the church always brings apprehension but it doesn’t have to bring division. If the purpose is for Christ’s glory and you’ve earnestly sought God’s plan, God’s people will more than likely get on board… even if you have to nudge them from behind.

I’ll leave you to talk amongst yourself…

We are without excuse

#WithoutExcuse

We’re without excuse. I look about me this morning and I’m grateful for the “raisin’ up” I had in the hills of West Virginia. This is where God placed me and by His grace I was placed in the hands of two wonderful Holy Spirit filled parents. But were I not, I’d still be without excuse. And though I was, that still did not guarantee me to become who I am; a child of God. We all get to grace the same way, by accepting what Christ did; not by being born into a certain family. The world is so full of excuses. This morning I’ve had my eyeballs full…

  • The World says: “So and so made me who I am.”
    • No, “so and so” may have hurt you, but you decided who you are.”
  • The world says: “All religions lead to Heaven.”
    • No religion is just the practice of a learned behavior, Heaven comes from a relationship with Christ. Side note: If you have a relationship with someone, you’re pretty close.
  • The world says: “We control our destiny.”
    • Only so far as God allows. So technically you don’t.
  • The world says: “There is no God.”
    • Those who say that are without excuse because we’ve been raised better.

Gene and Violet Hardway raised me, but God raised me up.

Amos 2:11-13 says

And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

It is God who put me in a higher place that I may have the privilege of sharing the gospel. Not because I am great, but because I am His. A privilege afforded anyone who accepts the holiness, sacrifice and will of God. He has a purpose for you just as He had a purpose for Israel, and still does. But they rejected Him. Here God tells them I raised up your sons for prophets. God selected and set into place men of God to shine the light to Israel but they chose to ignore it; continually falling back into the ways of the world until disaster struck and then they’d call on God.  But there came a day when God had been rejected one too many times. (His eyeballs eventually got full too I guess.)

Is America there? God raised up prophets and of those He set aside the Nazarite men, many in the prime of their life vowed themselves to the service of God to the extreme, and today we have as those as well. Sure, there are those in the ministry who do not walk the walk they profess, but there are those who do. They’re not perfect, no man is, but they live what they preach. America is without excuse. I speak collectively. I’m an American, but my country is not here, my homeland awaits on the other side of Jordan.

I understand Amos’ frustration at Israel. That’s how I feel about the arrogant lot of people in my face every day. Those who justify their immoral behavior because of how they were raised or treated. I am truthfully sorry for your heartache… but you’re without excuse. Someone else may have hurt you, but Christ, the Creator of all the earth,  loved you enough to die for you and longs to be in a relationship with you through the Holy Spirit and you have hurt and turned your back on Him. He who is your perfect friend and Father. You are without excuse.

The trash talkers of the waves tell the world that all religions are right. Tell me any other than Christianity who’s God died for them.  None. Tell me any other religion that has the moral standards that every human being in their soul knows is right. None but Christianity. Tell me any other that puts themselves in the role of a servant to a heathen nation that rejects them so they might be saved. None but Christian. … Yes… I’m with Amos!

Our destiny is written in the scripture of old. It’s done. Or in Christ’s words, “It is finished.” The only thing we control is self-will; God has the power at any time to stop the world from spinning and throw us into space. Dwell on that thought for a second. God has put the evidence of Himself through His creation before us and He sent messengers to tell the world of His desire to be our Father. I am one.

Amos prophesied that when judgement came, and it would, it would feel like a cart bogged down with weight to the point it couldn’t move. How many in America feel like that today? I love America… but I do not love what she has become. I love her people… but I’m not fool enough to think that God won’t wipe that arrogance off of their faces through judgement so harsh I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.   Saved and unsaved we are without excuse.

There’s no excuse for rejecting Christ.

There’s no excuse for not telling someone about Him.

Are You at His Feet Today?

at His feet

Matthew 19:14

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Early on in my salvation the Holy Spirit may have gone to bed a few nights saying “Wow! that was quite the workout!” It seemed that minute by minute He was guiding and instructing me in a better way to live and removing 34 years of bad ideas or misnomers of what was acceptable for a Christian to do and not to do. I remember sitting in a revival service one evening when Dr. Norris Belcher preached at our church, feeling as though every thought and sin in my life had been revealed. His sermon hit on everything the Holy Spirit had been dealing with me that day. I ask him when I shook his hand that night “Who opened my heart and allowed you to see in?” I don’t think he understood the magnitude of what had happened to me that night as he preached, but I certainly did. I discovered that sermons were supernatural events where, if you allowed, you could be ushered into the Lord’s presence and the light that shined during that time would illuminate every speck of dirt in your soul, and I loved it.

I wanted Him to show me what was wrong and I wanted to get it right. But not always. Many times I would flick the switch back to the flesh and say I’m not ready. It began during that time of my life that I couldn’t get enough preaching. I listened to preaching like many other Christians listened to music, it stirred my soul in a way it had never known and I couldn’t get enough. Not much has changed, I’m still a preaching fanatic. There’s an old time image of Christ with children all round His feet looking at Him adoringly, that’s how I envision myself during those early years, I sat in awe.

But just as we do in the physical realm, I grew up. I’m not just sitting at the feet of the Savior I’m also teaching as I had been taught; I teach Sunday School, I write and speak at ladies events when given the opportunity. Sometimes I get so busy doing life that I forget to spend time at His feet. I go to church, I take notes, I ponder the Pastor’s thoughts but I don’t always prepare my heart to hear the message as God would like.

As I prepare to go to church today, that is my heart’s desire… I pray the same for you.

Winter Jam Tour 2014, pain killers and the Road to Jesus… let’s talk.

Last night I traveled to Charleston, West Virginia to see “Winter Jam.” A Christian rock concert; and before those of you who don’t believe children should listen to Christian rock turn me off, tune in for just a minute. For years I’ve advised youth to be wary of Christian rock music in their worship for a couple of reasons. Number one, because I was taught to… and number two because I would ask the kids what a certain lyric said, and they couldn’t tell me. Therefore how can you say you’re spreading the gospel, when the words are not understood?

So why did I go to Winterjam? Because I love my youth group and because I didn’t believe I could effectively teach against something I had not experienced. And before anyone screams “You don’t have to lie down with the pigs to know they stink,” – yes that’s true, but my kids weren’t in a sinful place, they were in a place that “they had said they experienced God.” I needed to see for myself. So I laid down my southern gospel, bluegrass frame of mind, and went. (With a bottle of Aleve, ear plugs, and a pass for a pre-concert interview with the artists.) If I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right.

So… did I convert to a rocker? What do you think? Of course not. But… I did experience God in that place, because I looked for Him. He wasn’t always obvious to me, and in truth that bothered me. When a heavy metal group was on the stage… oh my stars. I didn’t see God, I seen the flesh at its finest. If you want me to be real, I have to say that because that’s how I felt. If something makes babies cry (and it did) makes your head ache, the lyrics are verbal confusion and the noise causes you to want to flee from the room… God’s not in that, just saying.

1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

I would be hard pressed to believe that God was in it. Am I saying the artist was unsaved? No. God is their judge, not me. I’m just saying it appeared to me to be a performance, not a ministry.

So what about the times that I did see God. One, that really surprised me was a rapper named Lacrae. Again… I didn’t care for his music style, but his testimony was spot on, his love for the Lord obvious, his influence on the kids was very positive. He preached as he sang and when he stopped rapping and began singing my initial thought was, “You’re not doing God justice with your talent.” He sang great! But the kids liked the rap. And although I couldn’t always understand it, he would slow back down and talk Jesus, and I had to believe that the gospel was going out. There were other bands that I felt the same way about, God’s moving was evident in their ministry and I’m not arguing that with anyone. Who am I to say that I have the only “right” way of ministering to souls?

So what did I learn on my field trip? I was drawn to the story of Samson this morning.

The story of Samson brings more to my mind the story of rebellion and Delilah, but long before Delilah came into the picture, Samson was chosen by God as a servant to Israel and as a young man Judges 13:25 says “And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” The evidence of God’s hand on him was there from a youth. The problem came when he began dabbling in the world. There has got to be a line in the sand that we won’t cross.

My personal belief is some of those musicians crossed the line last night. But not all. During the preaching hundreds of kids stood making a profession that they wanted a deeper relationship with the Lord, it is my prayer that they found the road there last night.

I’m short on time this morning, I overslept because of the late night. I may or may not tackle this subject again. If the response is great, I’ll chit chat more. If it’s not…I’ll let sleepin’ dogs lie