Monday, January 31, 2011

Love of the World - Needing Your Comments

John writes in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” We understand in this passage of scripture that Christians are not to love the things in the world. Loving and serving Christ must be first and foremost in our thoughts and daily actions (Matthew 10:32-39). I want to ask a question of those of you who are reading this blog on a daily or weekly basis. What types of “worldly things” are you seeing Christians engaging in today? I solicit your input into areas in which you may be concerned with in which Christians are saying or doing things that are in violation of God’s Word. Over the course of the next several weeks I want to address some of the concerns that you, the readers may have. Please feel free to post your feelings and concerns in any area dealing with Christians who are supposed to be “set apart” from the world. Thank you in advance for your comments dealing with this very important issue.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Miscellaneous Sites

I maintain an up to date listing of "churches looking for preachers" and "preachers looking for churches." If your congregation, or if you know of any congregations who are looking for a preacher and would like to post the advertisement on my website, you can do so by going to the following URLs and completing the short form. I will get it posted as soon as I receive it:
For churches (non-institutional) looking for a preacher, please go to the following URL:
For preachers looking for a congregation to work with, please go to the following URL:
To view and print out sermon outlines and PowerPoint charts, please go to the following URL:
Thank you for visiting the above sites and I am hopeful that they will be useful to you. I also thank you for visiting this blog site for articles dealing with Christian living. May God bless you richly as you strive to teach the gospel to others.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christian Minus Christ = IAN (I Am Nothing)

A Christian is one who has put on Christ and is in the body of Christ (Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13). For a Christian to remain in the proper fellowship of Christ, to be one with Christ, then the Christian must be righteous in God’s sight. That means that a Christian must read and obey ALL of God’s holy inspired Word. A Christian will be able to live a life holy (set apart) for God and then will be able to enjoy the wonderfulness of heaven in eternity. However, here’s the problem for many "so called" Christians. When a Christian is NOT living a dedicated, holy, sacrificial life for Jesus, then the "so called" Christian will be separated from Christ at the judgment day (1 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, if a Christian is not in complete fellowship with Christ, then the Christian is one in name only. The "so called" Christian will find himself separated eternally from Christ at the judgment day leaving the “name only” Christian realizing that without Christ “I Am Nothing!

I have been preaching for 19 years and writing articles longer than that trying to get Christians to understand the absolute importance of living their lives truly devoted to serving God. That means that the Christian must let their light shine bright so others can see them living for God and that God will receive the glory because of it (Matthew 5:16). All Christians must be a good example before others. This is especially true among elders, deacons, and preachers as they are in a position of leadership. It is vitally important that leaders in the church be seen by other Christians as imitators of Christ. Unfortunately this is not happening in many cases today. Those looked to as leaders in local congregations are watching television shows and movies that are not appropriate. They, along with their family members are wearing clothing that is not modest – violating the very commandments of God that they are supposed to be living as an example to others. Without full compliance and obedience to God (being in fellowship with Him), then one must realize that “I Am Nothing” without Christ. Wearing the name of Christ is an honor and privilege. I am "something" only when I am in complete fellowship with Jesus. I have a sincere desire to be in heaven when my life ends on this earth – do you? If so, then we need to ensure that we are living a dedicated life for Christ and not mixing with those of the world (1 John 2:15-17).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Expose Sin and Live for Christ

What is my responsibility toward error and sin? The Bible teaches that we are to expose it. Paul writes, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11). When one commits sin, any sin, then one is not in the right relationship (fellowship) with God. It is very important that we are in the proper fellowship with God because if we are not, then we will be condemned. John writes, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:6-7). Christians need to be thinking about this on a daily basis. We must ensure that we are in fact in the proper fellowship with God. There is no room in the Christian’s life for darkness (sin). When we confessed before God that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and then buried in the watery grave of baptism all of our sins were washed away. We arose from the water free of sin, and determined to live a life devoted in service to God. We now are living a new life dedicated to His service and determined to expose sin! Romans 6:3-11 shows us how we are now changed to live fully and completely for Jesus. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord". Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every Christian took their baptism and "new" life seriously, understanding that sin is no longer part of our life in any way? Every Christian should now be devoted to Christ, following in His steps, as evidenced by our every action. We need more Christians to stand up and truly be counted as loyal members of the body of Christ. Can others really see Christ living in us?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Are you a contented person? The Bible tells us that we should be content with food and clothing. We read in our Bible where it says, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8). The longer I live as a Christian the more I understand the meaning of what the apostle Paul was saying to Timothy. When all is said and done we should be pleased (content) with the fact that we have food and clothing – the necessities of life. If we can learn to be physically content with the things we have, we can then concentrate more fully on doing God’s will. It appears to me that many people are just not satisfied with just the “basic necessities of life.” More money, more power, more prestige becomes the driving force of people. A contented person is the one who can stop day after day and “smell the roses.” We only have one life to live and Christians must be determined to live this life fully committed to serving Christ. It really does not matter what others have accumulated in this earthly life – what matters is that we have accumulated a wealth of treasure in heaven. Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). If our heart is determined to store up treasure (good and righteousness) in our life, then we will be able to look forward to being in heaven when our earthly life is over. Peace of Mind is a wonderful thing to possess. Individuals that have it are usually those who have learned to be content with what they have. We all need to learn to be satisfied with what we have been blessed with in our life here on earth. When we are, then we will be able to concentrate our efforts on loving and living for Jesus! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

The apostle wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). When one hears the word of God, believes, repents from sin, confesses Jesus, and is immersed in water (baptized), then all their sins are forgiven. One is now a Christian! They now will be able to enjoy every spiritual blessing by being in Christ. Only Christians are blessed with this privilege. Christians have so much to be thankful for and so very much to look forward to. The apostle Paul serves as a great inspiration to all Christians. He said “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). After his conversion to Christ, Paul lived his life for Christ, longing for the prize that would be awaiting him at the end of his life. He understood that he did things in his past that were contrary to the will of God, but after his conversion he knew that he was forgiven and now enjoyed every spiritual blessing in Christ. That helped him get through every day and it should also help us get through every day. After all, when all is said and done in our life, all that really matters is whether we are going to be able to be in heaven with our Lord for eternity. Christians who live their life fully dedicated to Christ know and understand that day will be a reality. We can have confidence in that by the very words of Paul. He said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Paul assures us that if we too will live our life for Christ to the very end, keeping the faith, having loved His appearing, that there will be a crown of righteousness waiting for us. Eternity with Christ is the absolute greatest blessing that we will have by being in Christ. No matter what has happened in our past we can have great confidence that if we will just be obedient, faithful, loving, and loyal to Jesus, that we will one day be with those “few” who have submitted to His authority (Matthew 7:13-14; 28:18-20).  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making the Right Choice

At the conclusion of Joshua’s life he told the Israelites, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). God made each of us with the freedom of choice. God is pleased when we make the choice in life to serve and be loyal to Him above our family or friends. Unfortunately far too many Christians are not making the right choices in their life on a daily basis. We need more Christians who are ready and willing to confess Christ no matter what their family or friends may think (Matthew 10:32-39). The apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Rome concerning the proper way to behave when he said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). We too should ensure that we are living our lives holy (set apart) and sacrificially for God which is what we are expected to do. We must not become conformed to the ways of those in the world in any way, shape, or form. When we read and study God’s Word on a daily basis then our mind will soon become transformed so that we will prove by our words and actions that we are righteous before God. Before saying, wearing, or doing anything, we should ask ourselves, “would Jesus say, wear, or do what I am about to? If Jesus is really the one we love and live for (above all others), then we will make the right decisions because He is the one instructing and guiding us. Do we really love Jesus? If so, we will be determined to “walk in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Don't Blend in With the World

The Bible teaches in 1 John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."  We also learn from  1 Peter 2:5 "you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." These, along with many other New Testament verses teach us what our mindset must be if we are centered on loving and serving Christ first and foremost. We must understand that we are not supposed to be like everyone else in the world. Jesus is our example and first love (1 Peter 2:21; Revelation 2:4), or at least He is supposed to be! We have a responsibility to say, wear, and do that which Jesus would approve of. In the society that we live in today we must be very careful not to allow ourselves to do things that those of the world may be doing. We must conduct ourselves as Christians even in cyberspace. In the internet world of facebook, myspace, blogs, and web sites, we must still make sure that we are speaking, writing, and acting like Christians, striving to please our Lord in all things. Remember, that God sees us everywhere and other Christians who know us can become discouraged when we blend in as others in the world. Peter says to Christians "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct" (1 Peter 1:15). Remember we are a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). It is great to have many friends, but we must make sure that we are not letting our friends' influence to become greater than God's. May we all stay focused on loving and serving God first and foremost in our life. His Word teaches us that we certainly cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being Obedient

As we look through the pages of our Bible we can see on just about every page one very important theme. That theme is "Obedience." God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit want all men to understand that obedience is necessary in order to be saved. All humans have been created by God and have a responsibility to do His will in order to enjoy an eternity with Him after we pass from this earth. We should live our lives striving to "be imitators of God as dear children" (Ephesians 5:1). When we understand that we have an obligation to obey God in all things, then the better our life will be here on earth. In addition, when we become submissive to His teaching then we will have peace of mind knowing that we are living our life doing what God wants us to do. Most Christians know and understand that we are to obey God, but in many cases our actions do not correspond with what we know. We must read our Bible and have a willing mind to do that which God commands of us. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven" (Matthew 7:21). We learn from this one verse that the only ones that will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do the Father's will. I have seen in my life that those who practice Christianity are those who have become completely submissive to God's teaching. This is shown in their life in the things they say, what they wear, and how they act. When God is in control of our life then we will truly be a shining light to others. Jesus said,  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). May we live our lives so that God will be pleased with us and that He will receive all the glory!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Bible

A mother once gave her son a  Bible and she wrote these words inside the flyleaf: "This Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Bible." These words are so true. When we take the necessary time to read and study our Bible then we become more focused on what we need to do in order to live a righteous life, trying to please God in everything that we say and do. The Bible says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). There is no way that we can know how to properly divide God's Word unless we study God's Word. On the other hand, if we go about life living for ourselves, not caring about what God's will for us is, then we will easily get caught up in sin and find ourselves serving Satan rather than God. Everyone of us holds the key to life not only in this life, but in eternity. That key is the Bible. We must make a conscious and consistent effort to read and study our Bible on a daily basis so that we will not be ashamed when our final day on this earth comes. We must not let sin keep us from reading and heeding God's Holy and Inspired Word. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PowerPoint Themes

I do recommend using a "theme" for each sermon or lesson that is presented. I believe that it is good to be consistent with your background and font with each lesson. The audience needs to be able to concentrate on the material presented and not all the different background colors, fonts, font colors, etc.  When preparing PowerPoint charts individuals may use the customized "themes" that are included with the PowerPoint software. Most of these themes are really not appropriate to use in an auditorium setting because in many cases the text does not stand out like it should. Remember -- make sure that the background is dark with light text (dark green or blue background with white text), or a light background with dark text (white, light blue background with dark blue, red, black text). When I prepare my charts I usually first begin by deciding which "theme" I want to use. I decide to make my background dark or light and which dark or light color to use. Then I decide on my complimentary color. For example if I decide to have a real light baby blue background then I will choose to have dark blue and black text as my primary colors. After creating my background on my first slide I usually then add a border. The border would be a complimentary blue color to go with my baby blue background. As I "duplicate" each slide it keeps the border that I added to the first one. The key to "themes" is this: 1) Keep your theme consistent for the entire lesson or sermon. 2) Make sure that the audience does not have any trouble reading your slides. The text should stand out and be very clear. I hope this little bit of information will be of some help as you prepare PowerPoint slides. I always welcome any questions or comments that you might have. May God continue to bless you as you prepare your material for others to effectively learn the truth of His Word.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daily Bible Reading

As we begin a new year, many Christians have made a resolution or two. One resolution that many make is to gain more knowledge of the Bible. This is a very commendable and important resolution. The most effective Christians are those who feel very confident of their spirituality as a result of Bible study. This is one resolution that we should really strive to keep. The more we read the Bible the more knowledge we gain and the more confidence we have in talking to others about Christ. Many do not talk to others about Christ, the church, etc. because they simply do not feel they know enough. The solution to this problem is to read the Bible as often as you can. It is good to set some time aside each and every day to read the Bible. We all have different schedules as a result of our jobs, etc. and so we must decide when the best time is to take some time to do our daily Bible reading and study. I'm a late night person and so I enjoy taking 30 minutes to one hour each night to just read my Bible and to do some personal study. There are many different Bible reading charts that you can get that you can use to help you progress through your daily reading in a systematic way. I use one that allows me to read the Old Testament through in one year and another one that allows me to read through the New Testament each month. It is a fact that the more we read, then the more we will comprehend. Paul encouraged Timothy to "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). The only way that we are going to know how to "rightly divide the word of truth" is to know what the Word says. Therefore, if you are among those who have resolved to read your Bible daily this year -- you have resolved to do a very good thing! May God bless you in your efforts in gaining knowledge and becoming a devoted and dedicated Christian.