Sunday, February 26, 2012


"But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed.  Salvation is of the LORD." - Jonah 2:9

I just had quick thought that I wanted to share before church this morning.  Have you really tried to grasp the reality of the statement "Salvation is of the Lord."  Prior to our salvation, it is God through the Holy Spirit, that convicts our hearts of our sin and need for Christ.  Then after salvation, it is the power of God that keeps us saved.  Any goodness that we have in us today is because of Jesus Christ and not because of anything in ourselves!  You and I cannot be the least bit spiritual except by the power of Christ.

Notice some things that Charles Spurgeon said concerning the extent of our inadequacies:

"If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because he upholds me with his hand. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me."

"Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely."

"As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in him."

"What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: Salvation is of the Lord.”

During this past week, the Lord has been showing me how inadequate I am in my own power to do anything.  I must completely and utterly rely and depend on Christ for EVERYTHING!  Today, I want to challenge you to realize how inadequate you are to do anything for Christ on your own, and then completely and utterly depend on Him for EVERYTHING!

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, please reveal to me how inadequate I am to serve and live for You in my own power.  Help me to completely and utterly depend on Christ for EVERYTHING in my life and service to You.  As You reveal my weakness, may I draw on the strength that is in Jesus Christ.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Power In Prayer

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." - James 5:16

Have you ever heard the phrase "the power of prayer?"  Have you ever stopped and thought about the reality of that phrase?  If we are not careful it is so easy for us to take those words for granted.  Prayer is our conduit to access the power of our Heavenly Father that is available to us through Jesus Christ.  Prayer is not something that we are to take lightly or that we are to just do occasionally.  However, I am afraid that we ALL are guilty of both taking it lightly and just doing it occasionally.

Prayer changes things and it changes us!  I know that is a very simple statement, but it is so true.  As you and I begin to pray and pour our hearts out before our Heavenly Father, our hearts begin to change as we commune with Him.  Even if our circumstances never change, our hearts have been changed, and that will change how we view our circumstances or how we handle our circumstances.  The quality of your spiritual life will be in direct proportion to the quality of your prayer life.  This is why we have so many people in our churches that are struggling spiritually, because the quality of their prayer life is low or non-existent.

Instead of turning things over in our minds, we must learn to turn them over to the Lord in prayer.  You and I have the tendency to try and figure things out in our heads, constantly going over it again and again trying to figure out what to do.  What we need to do is to quit worrying about our next decision, quit replaying events over again in our minds, and give it to the Lord and ask Him to lead the way for us.  We must learn to constantly and consistently pray about all things, great and small.

Will you continue to ignore the power that is available to you through prayer?

"When prayer has become secondary, or incidental, it has lost its power. Those who are conspicuously men of prayer are those who use prayer as they use food, or air, or light, or money." M.E. Andross

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me to bring everything to You in prayer; my hopes, my dreams, my doubts, my fears, and my burdens. Lord, may others see my utter dependence on You for everything in my life. It is my desire to devote my life to a life of prayer. Father, may I bring all things to You and may I trust Your will to be accomplished in areas of my life. In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking Up Your Cross

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

Several days ago, I shared some thoughts about denying yourself.  I would like to share a few thoughts about what comes next after denying yourself, taking up your cross.  Again, this is not something that we like to talk about because it does not sound as appealing as John 3:16 to our flesh.

Do you realize that "your cross" is God's will for you, regardless of the cost?  The sad reality is that this message of Christ has been lost in our modern day contemporary Christianity.  We try to tell people that they can follow Christ without having to first deny themselves and without them having to take up their cross.  Taking up your cross is not an option if you are going to truly follow Jesus Christ and be obedient to His Word.

I'm afraid there is also confusion today about what constitutes taking up our cross for Christ.  Modern American Christianity says that taking up your cross could involve having health problems, a rebellious child, financial pressures, or even the consequences you face as a result of your actions.  However, these things are not the cross that you and I have to bear.  The cross that we are to bear is the voluntary participation in Christ's sufferings.  Notice what Paul says in Philippians 1:29, "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake."  Then in Philippians 3:10 Paul writes, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."

Many Christians also have the tendency to go from denying themselves to following Jesus, but they leave out taking up their cross.  We can never truly follow Jesus Christ until we have denied ourselves and then taken up our cross first.  Just as Jesus Christ had to suffer and die on the cross to bring salvation, you and I may have to endure suffering for God to bring salvation to those around us.  Something else very interesting is that Jesus did not talk with the disciples about the cross until they had come to know He was the Christ.  You will never be able to endure the suffering of your cross unless you are convinced that Jesus is the Christ.

I'm afraid that contemporary, modern, American Christianity has forgotten this message, but there can be no Christianity without the cross.  It does not sound appealing, desirable, or glamorous but God's will for you and I involves a cross.  If you and I are going to truly follow Jesus Christ, then we must deny ourselves and take up our cross.

Are you willing to bear your cross?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, give me the strength to not only deny myself, but give me the strength to take up my cross and follow Christ.  Lord, may You be glorified through my bearing of this cross and may it point others to the Savior.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He Hath Said

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." - Hebrews 13:5

I normally don't do this, but as I was reading through one of my devotions this morning, the Lord really spoke to my heart.  I was reading from Spurgeon and I want to share what he had to say about three words from the above verse, "He hath said."  Even though it is only three words, the reality of what those three words communicate is tremendous.

If we can only grasp these words by faith, we have an all-conquering weapon in our hand. What doubt will not be slain by this two-edged sword? What fear is there which shall not fall smitten with a deadly wound before this arrow from the bow of God’s covenant? Will not the distresses of life and the pangs of death; will not the corruptions within, and the snares without; will not the trials from above, and the temptations from beneath, all seem but light afflictions, when we can hide ourselves beneath the bulwark of “He hath said”? Yes; whether for delight in our quietude, or for strength in our conflict, “He hath said” must be our daily resort. And this may teach us the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore you miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it, you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is so near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopoeia of Scripture, and you may yet continue sick unless you will examine and search the Scriptures to discover what “He hath said.” Should you not, besides reading the Bible, store your memories richly with the promises of God? You can recollect the sayings of great men; you treasure up the verses of renowned poets; ought you not to be profound in your knowledge of the words of God, so that you may be able to quote them readily when you would solve a difficulty, or overthrow a doubt? Since “He hath said” is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort, let it dwell in you richly, as “A well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.” So shall you grow healthy, strong, and happy in the divine life. 

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening : Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Contagious Faith

I just want to share a quick thought today about our faith and relationship with Christ.  I pray it is an encouragement to you today!

Are you genuinely excited about your faith and your relationship with Jesus Christ?  Do you make your enthusiasm known to those around you?  I'm afraid that too many of us are "silent ambassadors" for Christ.  The Lord intends for you and I to stand before others and proclaim our faith and relationship with Him.

Genuine, heartfelt Christianity is contagious.  If you have a life-altering relationship with Christ, that relationship will have an impact on others - perhaps a profound impact.

Does Jesus Christ reign supreme in your life?  Is He is preeminent in all things and areas of your life?  If so, share your faith and your testimony with those around you today.  Share your excitement of what Christ has done for you.  The world needs it!

"There seems to be a chilling fear of holy enthusiasm among the people of God.  We try to tell how happy we are, but we remain so well-controlled that there are very few waves of glory experienced in our midst." - A.W. Tozer

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, as I reflect on what Christ did for me on the cross, may it stir my heart and cause me to share that joy with those I come into contact with.  Help me to share Your goodness and Your grace with those who are in need of the Gospel today.  May others see how Christ has radically changed my life!  In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Denying Yourself

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

Why is it that we are so quick to quote John 3:16 and talk about God's love for us but we don't like to talk about what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 or Luke 9:23?  I believe that we like to skip over verses like Matthew 16:24 and Luke 9:23 because they don't sound very appealing.  The thought that God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son for us and that if we believe in Him we will have eternal life is a wonderful thought! However, when we think about having to deny ourselves and having to take up our cross to follow Jesus, that sounds like a bit much.

If you have not already figured it out, you are going to spend your lifetime denying self.  When you trusted Christ as Savior, you went from being self-centered to being Christ-centered.  One of the greatest temptations that you and I will face is to affirm ourselves while we follow Christ.  I'm afraid too many Christians today want a Jesus that does not impede their personal desires and ambitions.  We say "Lord, I want to follow you, but I want to stay where I am."

Most Christians today want to keep their lives unruffled, undisturbed, safe, and secure.  However, Jesus tells us that if we are going to follow Him and be His disciple that we must first deny ourselves, then we are to take up our cross and follow Him.  The startling reality of Matthew 16:24 is that most of us today are not truly following Jesus, even though we may have trusted Him as Savior.

Are we truly denying ourselves?  Are we denying all of our dreams, our hopes, our ambitions, and our desires? Are we totally surrendered to Christ in every area of our lives?

I would like to share with you three things that we all need to start each day doing:

  1. Deny myself
  2. Surrender to Christ
  3. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, today may I deny myself and totally surrender every part of my life to You.  Help me to not be self-centered and focused on the temporal, but help me to be Christ-centered and focused on eternal things.  Use my life in such a way that You would receive all the honor and glory.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Learning To Be Content

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." - Philippians 4:11

Are you content with things in your life?  We learn from the above verse that it is not natural for our flesh to be content.  Paul tells us that he had learned to be content in whatever state that he was in.  If you and I are to learn to be content, it is going to take prayer, denying ourselves, and surrendering to Christ.

Have you ever noticed that you do not have to teach your children to complain?  We are quick learners when it comes to the art of complaining, even without any education.  If you and I are to learn to be content, it is something that we must cultivate and grow in our lives.  You would not be able to plant a garden without plowing it, then sowing the seed, and cultivating that garden.  Contentment is not going to grow in you and I by nature, it is something that will only be produced by allowing Christ to grow it in us.  There is something else interesting about Paul's statement in this verse.  It cost Paul some pain and suffering to learn how to be content. If you and I are going to learn to be content, it is going to cost us something.

Here is what Spurgeon said about this verse:

"We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually."

How are you doing with learning to be content?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me to learn how to be content, no matter my circumstances.  Help me to surrender my complaining and allow You to cultivate a spirit of contentment in my life.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our Relationship With God's Word

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." - Matthew 4:4

Have you established a passionate relationship with God's Word?  I want to share a quick thought today about our relationship with God's Word.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were to go several days without eating any food or drinking any water?  It would only take a few days before you start to manifest physical signs in your body of the lack of food.  The longer you go without food and water, the weaker you will continue to become, until you finally die.  Do you realize the same is true when it comes to our spiritual lives?  The same is true, it will only take a few days before you start to manifest the spiritual signs in your life of the lack of food.  You will continue to become spiritually weaker and weaker until your flesh totally consumes you.

As believers, we must read God's Word everyday and meditate upon it.  Otherwise, we deprive ourselves, not only of a priceless gift from God, but also from the spiritual food that is necessary for us to live.  Here is what Martin Luther said about the Bible: "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.  The Bible is not antique or modern.  It is eternal."  The Word of God is truly an eternal and transforming treasure that the Lord has given you and me.

A passing acquaintance with God's Word is not sufficient for the child of God.  If you and I seek to obey God's Word and understand His will, we must immerse ourselves in His Word.

Are you spiritually hungry?  Are you starving spiritually?  Have you ever wondered why your spiritual life seems so weak?  It is because you have not formed a passionate relationship with God's Word and made it part of your life.  How is your relationship to God's Word?  Do you feast from it everyday or just sample from it when the urge hits you?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me Your Word.  Help me to cherish it, treasure it, learn it, and live it in my life.  I pray that You would speak to my heart every day as I read and meditate upon Your precious Word.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Starving Our View Of God

"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth." - Isaish 40:26

As you read through the book of Isaiah you will find that the people in that day had totally starved their view of God because of their idols.  I'm afraid that we have done the very same thing today.  We have failed to behold the One who has created all things and instead of cast our eyes upon idols.

Have you ever stopped and thought about the greatness of God that is revealed in nature?  Every time that the wind blows, every time you see a streak of lightning, every time a flower blooms, we see the might and greatness of God revealed to us.  However, many of us have so starved our view of God, because of our idols, that we fail to see and realize how awesome these things are and how awesome the Lord is.  I would encourage you sometime to spend some time surrounded by God's creation and just have a time of meditation, fellowship, and worship.  Allow the Lord to speak to your heart and truly see how great, marvelous, mighty, wonderful, amazing, awesome, holy, high and lifted up, that the Lord is.

The idols that we have allowed in our lives have lowered our view of God and elevated our view of ourselves.  Is it any wonder that we are hindered in our prayer life or in our worship of Christ?  When we are facing difficulties, discouragements, and disappointments, is it any wonder why we have no power?

I want to share with you a quote by Oswald Chambers:

"One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God. We have to learn how to be broken bread and poured-out wine on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact. Imagination is the power God gives a saint to posit himself out of himself into relationships he never was in."

Do you lift up your eyes upon high and behold the One who created the universe?  Do you behold the greatness of His might and power?  Have you lowered your view of God and elevated your view of yourself?  Have you starved your view of God?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, Your name is above all other names.  You are high, holy, and lifted up.  Help me today to see Your power, might, and glory in Your creation all around me.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Name Of Jesus

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Philippians 2:9-11

The name Jesus, to the believer, is the sweetest and most precious name that there is.  There is none sweeter or more precious!  The Bible tells us that God the Father has given Jesus a name that is above every other name.  There is no other name that is more important or worth more than the name of Jesus Christ.  The Lord Jesus Christ should be the most important and precious person to you and I.

Here is what Charles Spurgeon said about the Lord Jesus Christ:

"When a person is dear, everything connected with him becomes dear for his sake. Thus, so precious is the person of the Lord Jesus in the estimation of all true believers, that everything about him they consider to be inestimable beyond all price."

When Christ is precious to us, everything connected with Him, everything about Him, becomes precious to us as well.  We will love the things that Jesus loves and we will hate the things that Jesus hates.  What are some of the things that Jesus loves?  Christ loves His Heavenly Father, Christ loves the lost, Christ loves the Church, Christ loves humility and meekness.  You and I should also love our Heavenly Father, we should love and have a burden for the lost, we should love the Church and show our love by being faithful, and we should seek after humility and meekness.  What are some of the things that Jesus hates?  Christ hates our sin (not the sinner), Christ hates pride, and Christ hates self-righteousness.  You and I should also hate our sin instead of justifying it and making excuses for it.  You and I should hate pride in our hearts, for pride is at the root of each of our sins.  You and I should hate self-righteousness in our lives; may we exalt Christ and His righteousness and not our own.

Is the name of Jesus precious to you?  Are the things connected with Jesus precious to you?  His name has been set above all other names by God the Father.  May the Lord help us to never bring the name of Jesus Christ down to the level of mortal man.  May the Lord help us to never bring reproach upon His most holy and precious name.  May the Lord help us to never drag His name through the mud, and cause the most holy and precious name of Jesus Christ to be blasphemed by others.

What does the name Jesus Christ mean to you?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for exalting the name of Jesus above every other name.  It is my prayer that I would never do anything to bring reproach on or cause the holy and precious name of Jesus to be blasphemed.  Thank You for the most precious and holy name of Jesus.  It is my desire to exalt His name through my life.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


"But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done." - Luke 24:21

Do you ever feel dejected in your life and your walk with Christ?  The disciples sure did feel this way after Jesus had been crucified.  Just imagine, these men believed Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah, the One who would redeem Israel, and now they have just seen all of their hope and faith crucified on that cross with Jesus.

In the preceding verses every fact that the disciples stated was correct, but the inferences they drew from them were wrong.  Jesus Christ was sent from God, He did mighty miracles before all of the people, He was delivered to the chief priests and condemned to death, He was crucified on the cross, and He was the One to redeem Israel.  Their last statement is where they missed it.  The nation of Israel and even the disciples were looking for the wrong kind of redemption.  They were looking for a physical redemption from Roman oppression instead of a spiritual redemption from their sins.

If we are not careful, we will fall into the same trap that the disciples did.  Ask yourself this question: "What have I been trusting God to do?"  The disciples were trusting Christ to do something different.  Today, the immediate present, is the third day, and He has not done it, therefore we imagine that we are justified in being dejected and blaming God.  Does this describe where you are spiritually today?

I'm afraid that this is where many of us are when it comes to our prayer life.  Whenever our insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off track.  The purpose and meaning of prayer is that we get a hold of God, not of the answer.  The disciples already had a preconceived idea in their heads of what they thought the answer should be, and when it did not happen that way the became dejected.  If you and I are honest, we are guilty of the exact same thing.

I would like to share with you a quote from Oswald Chambers about dejection:

"We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God’s power (the fact that we are dejected proves that we do), and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized."

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me today not to be dejected and discouraged.  May I not have a preconceived idea of what I think You should do, but help me when I pray to seek You.  Help me Lord to see Your presence in the common things and people around me.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Love Of God

"Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine." - Hosea 3:1

I just wanted to share a quick thought on the love of God towards you and I.  Do we really comprehend the depth of God's love for us?  I personally think that we just throw around the phrase "God loves us" without fully understanding its implications and comprehending the reality of what those words communicate to us.

Here is what Charles Spurgeon said about the love of the Lord:

"Believer, look back through all thine experience, and think of the way whereby the Lord thy God has led thee in the wilderness, and how he hath fed and clothed thee every day—how he hath borne with thine ill manners—how he hath put up with all thy murmurings, and all thy longings after the flesh-pots of Egypt—how he has opened the rock to supply thee, and fed thee with manna that came down from heaven. Think of how his grace has been sufficient for thee in all thy troubles—how his blood has been a pardon to thee in all thy sins—how his rod and his staff have comforted thee."

Even as wonderful and beautiful as Spurgeon describes God's love for us, it still does not fully communicate to us truly the depth of His love for you and I.  When we take the time to meditate upon the Lord's love for us, it literally should overwhelm us.

Think about all of the ways that Christ has shown His love for us.  We all know that when Christ took our punishment that we deserved and died on the cross for our sins, He demonstrated the greatest act of love that there is.  Putting the cross aside for just a moment, think of all the other ways that Jesus has demonstrated His love for you.  If you were to start writing them down there would not be enough paper to contain them all.  In light of the reality and demonstration of Christ's love for us, why is it that we always question His love for us?

Just think about it, even though we murmur, complain, desire the things of the world, put our fleshly lusts first, and even many times turn our backs on the One who died for us, Christ still loves us.  WOW!  In spite of how miserably you and I fail Christ everyday and no matter how many times we put other things before Him, He still loves us!  This should literally melt our hearts and cause us to fall prostrate before Christ in repentance.

I would like to share one more quote with you from Charles Spurgeon about our response to this love.

"Surely as we meditate on “the love of the Lord,” our hearts burn within us, and we long to love him more."

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for loving me, even though I am unworthy of Your love.  Help me today to meditate on the depth of Your love and what that truly means.  It is my prayer and desire that Your love for me would cause my heart to burn within me, that I would love You more and more.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Vagabond Christianity

"When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." - Genesis 4:12

This coming Sunday morning at Fairystone Baptist Church I plan to preach a message entitled "Vagabond Christianity."  I do not want to give away my entire message, but I just wanted to share a quick thought with you.  I was very intrigued by the word "vagabond" as I was reading through this chapter.  After Cain murders his brother Abel the Lord tells Cain that he will be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.

What does vagabond mean?  How is that significant to us in our walk with Christ?  Websters 1828 Dictionary defines vagabond as someone wandering, with no settled habitation, no certain direction, and driven to and fro. Do you see the relevance and significance now?

I can help but wonder how many people we have in our churches that are simply vagabonds.  They are wandering, they have no settled habitation, they have no certain direction, and they are driven to and fro.  Does this describe you?  Is this an accurate description of where you are spiritually today?

There are so many people in our churches today that are simply existing, they are wandering into the middle of nowhere in their spiritual life.  They literally are floundering and starving to death spiritually because they are vagabonds.  I'm afraid this is why we are not seeing the spiritual growth in our churches like we should is because of this very thing.

If you read on in Genesis 4, you will find one of the saddest statements ever made.  The Bible says that Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.  Unfortunately, that is the end result of "Vagabond Christianity."  Examine your heart today and ask God to show you if this describes in you spiritually today.  Are you a "Vagabond Christian?"

Prayer For Today:

Lord, please help me today to examine my heart to see if I am vagabond in my spiritual walk with You.  Help me Father to be rooted and established in Your Word everyday.  I desire to grow closer to You each day and to have a higher level of intimacy with You than I presently do.  If I begin to wander and stray towards being a vagabond, I pray that You would open my eyes and show me through Your Word.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Pastor & His Friends

This was one of the messages that was preached last week from the Pastors Conference at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL.  Dr. Mac Brunson brought a tremendous message on "The Pastor & His Friends."  I promise you that it will bless you, but it will also be very convicting to your heart.  I pray that you will take the time to watch this message.  You won't regret it!

Pastor Clint

The Pastor & His Friends from Jax Pastors Conference on Vimeo.

Victory Through Christ

"But thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Do you experience disappointments, detours, false starts, and failures in your life?  If you are honest, you will answer yes.  Even in our Christian life and walk with Christ there are going to be times when we feel like failures, times when we are disappointed, and times when we are discouraged.  However, you can be encouraged because God's Word tells you that you can have victory in your life through Jesus Christ!

God's Word goes on to tell us that because of the victory we have through Jesus Christ that we are to be steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.  You can stand firm in your faith today because you already have victory in the Person of Jesus Christ.

There are going to be times when you feel discouraged, disappointed, and feel like giving up.  However, you must not give up because God is not finished with you yet.  The Lord walks with you every step of the way on your journey through this life.  He never tires and will never fail you!  Pray as if everything depends on God (because it does) and work for Him as if everything depends on you (even though everything doesn't depend on you).  Then simply trust Jesus Christ to give you the victory in your life!

"Stand still and refuse to retreat.  Look at it as God looks at it and draw upon His power to hold up under the blast." - Charles Swindoll

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, when I am discouraged, disappointed, and when I feel like a failure, may I be reminded that You have promised me victory through Jesus Christ.  Help me to live a victorious life through the Person of Jesus Christ being steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in You work.  Thank You for the precious promise of victory.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


"Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." - 2 Corinthians 5:9

Your life is a series of choices.  You make them from the time that you wake up till you go to sleep everyday.  You make the choice to get out of bed in the morning and this starts a series of choices that you will make the rest of the day.  Some choices you make will be good and some will be bad.  As a Christian, you must strive to make choices that are pleasing and honoring to Jesus Christ.

I must say honestly that I am very disturbed and troubled by the choices that many in our churches make today.  These are people that have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.  Even though with their mouths they profess Christ, they make choices that show Christ in not really a priority in their lives.  Jesus Christ demands preeminence in your life, He will not settle for second place.  Are you giving Christ preeminence in your life?  Do you skip out on church to do other things?  Do you neglect to spend time in God's Word each day because you have more pressing things to attend to?  Do you fail to spend time every day in prayer because you are too busy?  If you are going to tell the world that you are a Christian and that Jesus Christ is your Savior, YOU MUST MAKE HIM PREEMINENT ABOVE ALL ELSE, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS!  This is a choice that you and I must make in our lives everyday.  Do the choices you make show Jesus Christ to be preeminent in your life?

I'm afraid that far too many of us are making choices that show how little we really think of our Savior and how little He really means to us.  Jesus Christ, God Himself, took our sins upon Himself and suffered our punishment on the cross that we deserved, and saved our wretched souls from eternity in Hell.  In light of this, why is that we choose not to make time to read His Word, why is it that we choose not to make time to pray to Him, and why is it that we choose not to make it a priority to be faithful to His Church?  If Christ has really done for us what we say He has done, then why do we choose to put other things and other people before Him?

If you sincerely want to lead and model a life that is pleasing to Christ, then you must make choices that are pleasing and honoring to Him.  CHRIST DESERVES NO LESS THAN PREEMINENCE!

"Life is a series of choices between the bad, the good, and the best.  Everything depends on how we choose." - Vance Havner

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me today to make choices that are pleasing and honoring to you.  Help me to make Jesus Christ preeminent in my life.  May I put you above all other things and above all other people.  I pray that the choices I make each day will show the preeminence of Christ in my life.  In Jesus name, Amen!