Busy But Not Barren
August 28th, 2012

Jesus said in, John 15:4-5 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Yesterday was a busy and a blessed day for me. For one, it was a Monday and I was home, not out of town preaching. That was a treat. The morning started early with several hours of Bible study and prayer. I had a pretty full schedule. The day began with two appointments and a counseling session. Then off to an appointment with our church’s banker. That was followed up with three counseling appointments in the afternoon. I met with several staff members, then made a bunch of phone calls. After some administrative tasks, I had to run to another appointment. When I got back to the office at about 5:00 PM I had an hour to get ready for a deacons meeting. A good deacons meeting came to an end a little after 8:00 PM. Our church sure has some fine men who serve as our Deacons. I ran home to get some farm chores done. I Had to work on a couple of chain saws. I enjoyed some fellowship and a bite to eat with my precious wife before a few more phone calls and some phone texts and then got in bed about 11:30 PM.

I don’t normally chronicle my daily schedule for folks but there is a reason I wanted to share this with you. For far too long, many conservative Christians and Churches have worn themselves out performing. By that I mean, we are so worried about what others think of us that we are more focused on our Image than we are our Integrity. Christian Stop Performing! My job is to be busy for Christ but my Ministry For Him should never take the place of my Intimacy With Him. Abiding In Christ is my primary resource to keep me Busy without my life becoming Barren. Quit trying to impress people and just be a real and authentic Christian.

Our church memory verse for this week is Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. “ This is the 35thmemory verse that our church family has memorized so far this year. As I meditated on that verse all day yesterday, I can testify that God truly does reward those who diligently seek Him. He does it with not only prosperity but also peace, purpose, perception, and power. Christian Stop Performing! Our life is not supposed to be as complicated as we make it. I think Micah 6:8 pretty well sums it up, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
How Important Is Faithfulness?

August 27th, 2012

This past Sunday evening Evangelist Brian McBride preached to an overflow crowd here at Grace Baptist Church. Bro. McBride preached an incredible message on the subject “Does Faithfulness Really Matter?”. I heard scores of folks after the service rejoicing in both the great encouragement and the powerful challenge. How Important Is Faithfulness?

The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, asked a profound question in Proverbs 20:6, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?How Important Is Faithfulness? Faith is a Theological term.  Faithfulness is an Ethical term.  Faith speaks of What You Believe; Faithfulness speaks of How Much You Believe It.  Faith deals with Who You Are; Faithfulness deals with What You Do. I recently found this quote that said, “The Spirit filled man is a faithful man.  He is faithful to his friends.  He is faithful in his secular job and in his Christian service. The world has confidence in him, and God can trust him!” 

Can God count on you?  How Important Is Faithfulness? 

1. With God Accountability Is Regarded.

I Corinthians 4:1 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” In this text, Paul explains that God wants men who just want to serve Him.  He wants men who are willing to be accountable. 

The great Confederate general Robert E. Lee once said, “Duty is the sublimest word in our language.  Do your duty in all things; you cannot do more, and you should never wish to do less!”

God Desires our service.  And, God Deserves our service.  As Ministers For Christ, we are accountable to Him for Our Role.  As Stewards Of Christ, we are accountable to Him for Our Rule.  We are to take what God has given, or loaned to us, and get the most out of it for the advancement of His kingdom and His honor and His glory.

2. With God Responsibility Is Required.  

I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 

Our responsibility as Ministers For Christ and Stewards Of Christ is to be faithful.  We are to be counted on.  It is not a matter open for debate, discussion, or deliberation.  God requires it of us, and it is to be a priority in our lives.

A young, devoted missionary in Central America.  He had encountered great difficulties, and persecution in his attempt to reach the natives with the gospel.  He wrote a letter to his parents back home, that read:

“The work is hard, and I go about on fishing boats all day long.  At night I sleep on piles of hides on the decks.  The people here don’t seem much interested in the Gospel message that I bring, and sometimes the enemy attacks me with discouragement, and tries to convince me that it all has been a failure.  But, I take courage, and press on, for I remember that God doesn’t hold me responsible for success, only faithfulness!”  

3. With God Dependability Is Rewarded. 

When we do what God Desires; when we do what God Deserves; and, when we do what God Demands; we receive what God Delights to do, and that is reward us. 

If your car started one out of every three times, would you see it as dependable?  If your newspaper was delivered 3-4 days out of a week, would you see it as reliable?  If your refrigerator stops working for a day, every now and then, would you consider it to be faithful?

There is one thing of which I am convinced and that is God honors faithfulness.  I believe that there is a special place in the heart of God for those who have been dependable, accountable, reliable, and faithful down through the years.  God rewards it. Be faithful to Christ, your church, your commitments and your conscience.

Grace Is The Place

August 15th, 2012

The dorms open here at Grace Baptist College for the 2012 Fall Semester in just 72 hours. We are truly excited about another miracle year at the miracle college of Northern Michigan. Next week Grace Baptist College marks a milestone of ministry.

For a decade now, GBC has been a premier place to receive a Christian college education. Grace Baptist College opened its doors for the very first time in August of 2003. Students have come from 31 states and several countries in just our first decade of ministry. Our passion is to train and equip servant leaders for ministry. We are focused on more than just student enrollment. The primary focus of Grace is on student graduation. Over 150 GBC graduates already are fanned out across the country and in several foreign lands preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.   
We are filled to capacity, but there is still room for you as we are poised for a record enrollment. The excitement is high at the School For Thinking Fundamentalist. Come discover what hundreds of other students have already discovered – Grace Is The Place!

A Judgment Call?

August 15th, 2012

Does the Bible teach us that it is always wrong to Judge someone else or to Judge a particular situation? After all Jesus said in Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” On the surface this would seem to be the case, but Jesus has more to say about this subject. Jesus declares in, John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
The simple truth is this – We have been given permission by God to make very careful and very cautious judgment calls. This is not however blanket permission to be judgmental. To begin with we must honestly ask the question, What does it mean to judge? Is there a proper way to judge? Whom and what are to be judged? All of us have opinions on just about everything under the sun, and I fear much of what happens in this arena may not be scriptural.

The Bible speaks about this subject frequently. Matthew 7:3-5 says, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” In essence, Jesus is saying, “check yourself before you check someone else.” Once we have checked ourselves for any sinfulness and remove the obstacles of sin out of our own lives, then we can help others to see the bondage they are in and help them remove the same obstacles from their lives. It is in this context that judging has a scriptural and spiritual function.

Judging is never to be done from a critical of a pharisaical vantage point. The Bible counsels us in Galatians 6:1-2 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

It really is very simple:

1. We Only Have Permission From God To Make Very Careful, Cautious And Christ
    Like Judgments.
2. We Only Have Permission From God To Make A Judgment Call Regarding Other Peoples 
3. We Never Have Permission From God To Judge Other Peoples Motives.

This is why God warns the prophet in, I Samuel 16:7 “… for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” I do not, nor can I truly see your heart, therefore to judge your motives is to assume for myself a right that God alone has the right too. God is the only one who can see the heart and therefore God alone is qualified to judge motives. When I say stuff like, “I know why they said that” or “I believe he or she aimed that comment at me” I am really claiming that I am God and that I can see the thoughts and the intents of the heart. When we cross over this line our judgment just became sinful.

The most definitive passage in the Bible seems to be Romans 14:9-13 “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”

Joy, Joy, Joy

August 6th, 2012

George Willis Cooke, born in Comstock, Michigan in April 1848 wrote the beloved children’s song, I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart”. Millions of children have sang themselves delirious as they cried out “Where? Down in my heart to stay.”
For the past 5 weeks we have been on a journey here at Grace Baptist Church discovering how and why Christians loose their joy and how to get it back. The name given to this series of eight timely messages has been Joy-Out. In this series we saw that Christians Do Not Burn-Out They Joy-Out! Too many Christians have lost their joy and do not know how to get it back. We all want joy and we all need joy in our lives! It is not a Luxury it is a Necessity!

The key verse in the bible on this subject is, Psalm 51:12  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” To Restore means to reclaim or to regain that which has been lost.

The messages in this series are available for download at our church website. They are as follows:


How To Finish With Joy

Joy Stoppers Part 1

Joy Stoppers part 2

Joy In Tribulation

Enduring Joy

Full Of Joy


One of our dear church members told as they left church yesterday, “Pastor this series has been a life saver.” Another member joyfully told me, “I got my joy back.” One precious member commented, “I did not know how badly I needed these messages.” I have been hearing thrilling comments like this for all five weeks of this series. Praise God!
We have genuinely seen a liberating joy sweep across our church as this series has progressed. The Christian life my friend is not a Rule Book it is a Relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I invite you to down load the sermons and enjoy a newfound journey of Joy!

Perilous Times

August 2nd, 2012

I just finished a seven month Wednesday evening Bible study here at Grace Baptist Church from     II Timothy 3:1-17. The crowds were often jam packed and overflowing as we looked at our times through the prism of II Timothy 3. The outline for our study was broken down this way:

1. Perils That Are Ruinous.
    (II Tim. 3:1-4)

2. Powerlessness That Is In Religion.
    (II Tim. 3:5-9)

3. Preachers That Are Real.
    (II Tim. 3:10-13)

4. Pages That Are Right.
   (II Tim. 3:14-17)

In this timely study we were reminded of both the dangers facing and discernment needed by the believer, in the last days of the church age. In these perilous days in which we are living with church growth philosophies that bring more and more of the world into the church, and with the prevalence of watered-down preaching in our pulpits today, I wonder how many Christians even know how close our times mirror II Timothy 3?  I also wonder how many of us would stand for the truth in the face of persecution if and when it comes to us here in America? Dr. J. M. Carroll wrote the historically accurate booklet “The Trail of Blood”. This famous work lets us know that we come from a real heritage of people who have paid a price with their blood that we might have the Bible and preach its truth today.

In the perilous “Every Man Does That Which Is Right In His Own Eyes” mentality of today, we need to treasure the truth and preach Bible doctrine. We should not be ashamed of our heritage as conservative, Bible believing Christians. We need to identify ourselves with sound doctrine in this age of pluralism.

When the compromising age we live in, brings more and more uncertainty to our families and our churches we need to stick with the Bible. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, and remain true to our sacred heritage.  

Stay on course my friend! Jesus is coming again!