Praying for Salvation

Romans 10 is one of the greatest chapters in the word of God, and the Apostle Paul opens it by showing us one of the most important kinds of prayers we can pray:  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”  Notice the following about verse 1:  Continue reading

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Divided Kingdoms Can’t Stand

In Mark 3:24 Jesus responded to the Jewish leaders who accused Him of casting out demons through Satan’s power by saying “if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom is not able to stand.” His word made sense in His present situation, but it also applies to some of ours. Continue reading

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Don’t Live Like An Animal

Although animals have  many good qualities, and many of us have been blessed by their faithfulness and labor, there are some ways in which we are not to be like them.  Psalm 32:9 admonishes: “Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding …” Continue reading

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“The Discipline of Giving” (Genesis 28:20-22 sermon)

(Preached at Pleasant Ridge Baptist, Morganton, NC 6-28-15)

It has been a very disappointing week for Bible-believing Christians, the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage at the top of the list. But we have much to be thankful for — including the blood of Jesus the choir just sung about — and that never changes! Because of what Jesus did for us, like that song says, we owe our lives, our all. And we will show how much that truth has impacted our lives in many ways — not least of all through our giving. When you love, you want to give.

One day last week Cheryl took our oldest grand baby, Corley Jane, to Walmart, and when I looked at the sacks when she got home, I said; “You have more bags of toys for Corley than you do for our food!” Cheryl said: “They aren’t all toys; there are some clothes and sandals in there too!”

Of course, grandparents are famous (or infamous!) for buying things for their grandchildren, and the reason, of course, is that we often demonstrate our love by the way that we give. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) In other words, you are willing to spend money on what is important to you. If you want to see where a person’s heart is, just follow their checkbook (or their debit card these days!) — what they spend money on will lead you to what is most important to them.

This morning as we continue our study, “The Disciplines of Disciples”, we remember that Jesus did not call us to merely “come to church”, but to “Follow Me”! We have seen that there are a number of ways in which we are called in the Bible to discipline ourselves and follow the Lord, among them a morning prayer time, as well as spontaneous prayer throughout the day; daily Bible reading and scripture memory; and some more “horizontal” disciplines, like fellowship and service in the church, and evangelism. Today we are going to look at a discipline which should be a part of every disciple’s life: the discipline of giving. As we will observe in our passage in Genesis 28, it’s not merely about money, but gets right to heart of what being a disciple is all about:

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.'”

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The Ultimate “Wrong Side of History”: A Psalm For Our Times,

Christians in America have been dismayed by many recent events in our country, the Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage prominent among them.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed by what seems to be an unrelenting tide of ungodliness, and to throw up one’s hands and say like the Psalmist did at one point: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (11:3)  But all is not lost.  Psalm 2 reminds us of that. Continue reading

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Bonhoeffer on Preaching


Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer contains a one-page description of the German pastor and theologian’s outlook and practice of preaching. It is well worth reading by anyone who preaches, who hopes to preach, or who is instructed by preaching on a regular basis:

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Draw Near To Listen

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools …” (Ecclesiastes 5:1)  

Here is a good word for many of us: when we draw near to the Lord in our devotional times, let us do it more to LISTEN, than to speak our own mind to Him.  Continue reading

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