Saturday, December 31, 2011

Directing Our Thoughts

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Philippians 4:8

How will you direct your thoughts today?  Will you think on the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8 or will you think on the things that are the opposite?  Are you so weighed down by the cares of this world that you do not praise God for who He is or praise Him for your salvation?  Are you discouraged, pessimistic, or even bitter?  If so, the Lord wants to talk to you.

The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to experience an abundance of joy and peace in our spiritual walk with Him.  Today, focus your thoughts on the things that are true, things that are honest, things that are just, things that are pure, things that are lovely, and things that are of good report.  If you have been born again, Christ has done far too much for you to be discouraged, negative, pessimistic, or even bitter.  Today, thank the Giver of all things good, Jesus Christ, for all of your blessings that are just too many to count!

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me today and everyday to have an attitude that is pleasing and honoring to You.  Help me to count my blessings and not focus on the negative today, tomorrow, and everyday.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Be Courageous

"Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." - Deuteronomy 31:6

Does life at times seem to be difficult and discouraging?  I'm sure that Joshua was feeling that very way here in Deuteronomy chapter 31.  Moses, their leader, is about to die and it is now time for Joshua to step up to the plate and lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land.  This would require courage and faith on Joshua's part because now he was the one leading instead of just following.

As Christians, we are able to live "courageously" because the ultimate battle was fought and already won at Calvary.  Just like in the Old Testament when the children sent spies into the land to check it out, they did not need to fear, because God had already promised them that He would go before them and give them the victory.  However, most of us in our walk with Christ fall prey to fear just like ten of the twelve spies did.  The answer to our fears is to trust God and His Word.  If He has promised us something, then we have no reason to doubt or fear, we can be bold and courageous.

Before I finish, I would like to mention that the month of January at Fairystone Baptist Church will be "Courageous Month."  We will be having special messages in our Sunday evening services during the month of January.  Then on Saturday January 21 we will be showing the movie Courageous at the church.  I pray that, just like Joshua, the Lord will give us the strength to be courageous.

Prayer For Today:

Lord, may I turn to you for courage and strength as Joshua did.  I know that You are always with me and will never forsake me.  Lord, help me to face the challenges of this day by completely trusting in and depending on You.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Starting Your Day With God

Recently I started reading the book Transformational Church by Thom Rainer and Ed Stetzer.  As I was reading a few days ago, the Lord spoke to my heart about using my blog for prayer and devotion.  So, here we go as we start on this journey.  I pray that it will be a blessing and help to us all in our walk with Jesus Christ.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me." - Exodus 20:3

I would like to start off by sharing a few thoughts about starting our day with God.  How do you start your day?  Do you get up enough early enough to spend time with God in prayer and His Word?  Most of us if we are honest would have to say that we sleep to the last possible moment and then spend our mornings rushing around while leaving us no time for spiritual matters.  Is it any wonder why we struggle to make it through our days when do not get the proper start to each day by spending time with Christ?

Here is another question to ponder.  When it comes to spending time with the Lord, are you a person who squeezes God into your busy schedule with an occasional prayer before your meals and a visit to church on Sunday mornings?  I'm afraid that this is where most of us are at in our spiritual walk with Christ.  We just try to squeeze Him into our already busy and hectic schedules and then our flesh says "You have done your part."

I would like to challenge you to start your day with God by spending at least five minutes each day in devotion, prayer, and fellowship with Him.  I think that five minutes each day is a great place to start, but that is exactly what it is, a place to start.  As we continue on this journey, we should find ourselves spending more time each day with our Lord Jesus Christ.  As you begin each day, use this time to align your priorities with the teachings and commandments of God's Word.  Making the effort to spend quality time with God every day will change your life!

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, I desire You to reign over every corner of my heart.  I will have faith in You, I will trust Your will, and I will praise You for who You are.  Help me Lord to start each day right by spending time with you in prayer, devotion, and fellowship.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 Signs A Church Is In Trouble

Yesterday on The Pastor's Perspective we discussed a study done by Thom Rainer called "10 Signs A Church Is In Trouble."  Here is the list.

  1. If the pastor does not have adequate time to be in the Word or if he chooses no to do so.
  2. If the members are spending time arguing about how money should be spent.
  3. If none or only a few of the key leaders are actively sharing their faith.
  4. If there is no clear process of discipleship in place, just a plethora of programs and activities.
  5. If corporate prayer is not a major emphasis in the church.
  6. If church members are arguing about worship styles or worship times.
  7. If church members expect the paid staff to do most of the ministry, instead of the staff equipping the members to do the work of the ministry.  ("Why didn't he visit me in the hospital?")
  8. If there are ongoing disagreements about matters of the church facilities.
  9. If the church has more meetings than new disciples.
  10. If the leadership of the church does not have a coherent plan for what is taught in small groups and Sunday School classes.

Mr. Rainer said that if four or more of these signs were present he would let the leadership know that remedial efforts were in order.  He said that if six or more signs were present then the congregation was in immediate trouble.

Do you see any of these signs in your church?  

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Sin Of One Person

"Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against the morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." - Joshua 7:13

Have we ever taken the time to think about the impact our sin can have on other people?  Most of us think that our sin will not affect anyone but ourselves.  However, the Bible makes it clear that the sin of just one person can paralyze an entire nation.  That is a very sobering thought!

In Joshua chapter 7 we read of a man named Achan, who took of the spoils from the Jericho, even though God had forbidden the children of Israel to do so.  I am sure that Achan did not believe that anyone would get hurt as a result of his actions.  However, the sin of Achan cost him and his family their lives.  It also caused Israel to lose a battle they should have easily won and innocent soldiers were killed as a result of his sin.  Israel was denied the victory, power, and the blessing of the Lord!

We must realize that our sin DOES have an impact on others!  Choosing to disobey Christ might cost us His blessing upon our family, or the power of God may be absent from our church because we are disobedient.  It is possible that those around us will have to suffer because of our sin and iniquity.  The Bible says that the obedience of one Christian can bring blessing to others, but it also makes it clear that the unconfessed sin of one Christian will have an impact on those around him.  Remember, one person does make a difference!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Welcome to The Pastor's Perspective!

I would like to welcome you to my blog!  I am the pastor of Fairystone Baptist Church here in Stuart, Virginia and a former missionary to Paraguay, South America.

The primary purpose of my blog is to share Jesus Christ with others.  I also want to share things with you that the Lord has shown me so that others might be encouraged and that they would be drawn closer in their walk with Jesus Christ.  The Word of God is my final authority on everything.  There are going to be times when I do step on toes, including my own!  It is my desire to share thoughts on the Bible and current events from a Biblical perspective.

I pray that you will find my blog to be a blessing and help!  Our Christian walk is a journey, and it should be a time of us growing closer to Christ.  This is something that is desperately needed among Christians and in the Church today!  I also welcome your thoughts and feedback on any of the topics that I share.  I hope that you will visit often so that we have the opportunity to walk and grow together!

God Bless!

1 Corinthians 9:16
Pastor Clint