October 26, 2018                               

                         The Investment of a Lifetime

Preaching is meant to stimulate the mind and stir the soul. Phillips Brooks was a great American preacher who could do both. He reminds us that;
"The greatest danger facing all of us is that we may fail to perceive life's greatest meaning, fall short of its highest good, miss its deepest and most abiding happiness, be unable to render the most needed service, be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God - and be content to have it so."

I do not wish to "be content to have it so." I wish to burn deeply, feel acutely and live intensely. I wish to invest my life in things that matter and that matter most; discerning the difference between the urgent and the important, the distinction between the good and the best. To do so, wisdom is essential. We need the wisdom from the Word that we might walk in the world.
Eugene Peterson the well-known Christian writer passed away this week at the age of 85 years old. He understood the issue of the investment of a lifetime:
 "We practice our death by giving up our will to live on our own terms. Only in that relinquishment or renunciation are we able to practice resurrection."

As the Apostle Paul declared, "...that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death." (Philippians 3:10)
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

October 19, 2018

                                      Thy Word is Truth

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you felt God using you in a special way? This week was one of those weeks and I feel so spiritually energized that I hope you will indulge me if I share it with you.
This past Monday through Wednesday I was at the National Free Grace Alliance conference in Dallas and spoke on the topic: "Let not many of you become teachers." It focused on the demands of exegesis in the study of the Bible. It was a wonderful time to also see some old friends and sell some books.
This week I also started a new seminary term and have the privilege of teaching Bibliology and Theology Proper. What a choice opportunity to teach and train future pastors.
Early this morning, I had the privilege of teaching a Bible study in Dallas. Later today I will fly to Houston to teach a Bible Conference over the weekend. I will speak on How to Deepen our Fellowship with the Father.
As a professor of Theology it makes sense that I teach the Bible. And make no mistake, I love to do so. But as Chaucer said and coined the phrase in 1386 in the Tale of Melibee, "Familiarity breeds contempt."
I pray that my familiarity with the Bible never leads me to be unimpressed or unamazed. The goal of studying the Bible is not to teach or impress others. The goal is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds by the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit as He uses the infallible and inspired Sacred Scripture to conform us to Christ.
I hope you are reading and studying your Bible and sensing the Lord utilizing His word in your life.
Always remember the insightful words of Merrill Tenney:  "This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book!"
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

October 12, 2018


"When the debate is lost slander becomes the tool of the losers."

We have seen much of this type of slanderous speech and behavior from both common protesters and many who comprise the august U.S. Senate. The truth is, Truth was held hostage by the mob. Originally "mob" meant "a large group of people" or "the common people," from the Latin phrase mobile vulgus, "fickle common people." Corrupt might be a more accurate description.

Let us hope and pray for the safety of Judge Kavanaugh and his family. Let us also pray for the safety of the United States, the constitution, the rule of law, and the presumption of innocence. Let us also pray and make sure that we are people of the scriptures, and that we demonstrate that we are people who are led by the Spirit. Make no mistake; the world is watching the world of the evangelicals of America.

We demonstrate a great deal of who we are and whose we are with our speech. We as Christians are to "speak the truth in love." (Eph. 4:15) I must admit that at times I lean more toward the truth then I do toward love, but I need to balance my belief in the truth with my behavior that is love. After all Jesus was full of grace and truth. He was the perfect balance of conviction and compassion.

Most of us desire more civility in our social political world. In our republic, dialogue and debate are essential. But we must remember what Senator Susan Collins reminds us; "when passions are most inflamed fairness is most in jeopardy." As the scriptures remind us - "Life and death are in the power of the tongue."

Christians must make sure that we "speak the truth in love" for our audience is not simply "the other side." Our audience is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

There can be no liberty for a community which lacks
the means by which to detect lies.
-Walter Lippmann-
The soul of man under secularism and the soul of man under socialism: The former the concern of Christopher Lasch, the latter of Oscar Wilde, are both concerns to me concerning the soul of the U.S. Senate. What we are watching is what happens when a country no longer lives by law that is anchored in the belief of ultimate objective facts and creates subjective and situational values. When utilitarianism is the test for truth we are left with secular legality but not spiritual morality. Situational Ethics is our new Sociological Ethos.
The prescient observations of Alexis de Tocqueville are ever haunting and true.
"I searched for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. I searched for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forest, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

Good to Great? That only happens when we include God.
A friend of mine reminded me this week of a pungent "political" insight from Chuck Colson; 
"Christians should never have a political party. It is a huge mistake to become married to an ideology because the greatest enemy of the gospel is ideology. Ideology is a man-made format of how the world ought to work, and Christians instead believe in the revealing truth of Scripture."
I believe we are to vote, for that is the system of government we live under. But we must also pray for our leaders, including our Senators for that is the scriptural command. But our trust is now and must always be not in men but in God.  Perhaps as never before, America is standing at the crossroads.
Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side:
With each choice God speaking to us
Offering each the bloom or blight,
Then the man or nation chooses
For the darkness or the light
~ James Russell Lowell~
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,