Monday, December 30, 2019


Just A Thought To Think About – GRASSHOPPERS.

Grasshoppers are interestingly referenced in Scripture. Sometimes they are referenced as locusts. What needs to be understood is that they are pesky creatures that can easily become a nuisance. They are described in Encyclopedia Britannica as: “any of a group of jumping insects that are found in a variety of habitats. They occur in greatest numbers in lowland tropical forests, semi-arid regions, and grass-lands…One lone grasshopper can't do too much harm, although it eats about half its body weight in plants each day—but when locusts swarm, their combined feeding habits can completely defoliate a landscape, leaving farmers without crops and people without food. In the U.S. alone, grasshoppers cause about $1.5 billion in damage to grazing lands each year.” 

The Biblical reference about the grasshopper is in Numbers 13:26-33. When the spies were sent out by Moses to assess and  explore The Promised Land, they return with a mixed report. All of the spies concur that it is a fruitful and prosperous land. That being reported, ten of the spies share a negative concern. They said: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.” To reinforce their presentation, they tell the people about walled and fortified cities. Additionally they said: The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.”

It is at this point that they place emphasis upon the large size of the inhabitants by adding: “We seemed like GRASSHOPPERS in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” They have returned with A Grasshopper Mentality. The Grasshopper Mentality impacts the hearers negatively: (1) It will cause the people to underestimate their potential; (2) It will cause them to disregard the Power of God and forgetting their impetus: ‘I can’t - - but – God can and will’; (3) It will paralyze an entire generation – becoming wholly incapable of forward movement; (4) The ten willingly lead the people astray and to disbelieve God: and (5)  All of the people will miss out on the available blessings of God IF ONLY they had followed the Lord Wholeheartedly - only two men (Joshua and Caleb) will ultimately realize those blessings in The Promised Land.

Many church ministries are thwarted and hindered by leadership that is governed and exhibited by two non-Biblical characteristics: (1) Obviously, church officers and people with The Grasshopper Mentality, and (2) church officers and people who lack commitment to and confidence in the Lord and following Him wholeheartedly. It is the half-heartedness that has been crippling the church and hindering effective ministry. There has been a failure to align the local church with The Church of which Jesus spoke – Matthew 16:18 (MSG), “This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.”

What has become of that church that is “so expansive with energy”? Is the Church of which Jesus was speaking in need of a refresher course from Revelation 2 and 3 and comparing what they have become with that which The Head of the Church requires of His Church? Consider His first observation and questions about one of the seven churches referenced – Revelation 2:4-5 (MSG) – “You walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? A Lucifer fall!” This is where The Grasshopper Mentality will bring one – namely – confrontation with The Head of the Church, Jesus Christ – and his assessment, recommendation and/or condemnation. Will the church leaders and people in the local context listen to The Head – or – will they be content with their demise as they cherish  and cling to their Grasshopper Mentality?

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Saturday, December 28, 2019


Just Thinking About A Thought – SO WHAT?

Years ago, I had the privilege of attending classes on Systematics and apologetics taught by a gifted professor. He was also a dynamic preacher of God’s Word. He shared with the class that one of the best critiques he had ever received on one of his sermons was stated with just two words. He had asked a friend and church officer what was his thoughts about the sermon he had just preached. His friend replied – SO WHAT? He would go on to add that while the exegesis was done excellently and the presentation given effectively, he was leaving the service thinking – SO WHAT should I do or act upon from the sermon I just listened to intently? The professor confessed that he knew how to structure the sermon but the critique was valid because he has neglected to give practical applications regarding what people should DO with what they had just HEARD.

Paul instructed Timothy many specifics about ministry. First Timothy 6:11, 20 - “But you, man of God…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentlenessguard what has been entrusted to your care.” In Second Timothy 2:14-16, “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.”

An old Methodist minister friend would often remind his Pastor friends: “when you preached God’s Word, did you remember to draw in the net?” He was echoing the call of Jesus Christ to His disciples,  Matthew 4:18-20 – “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Some may look at these thoughts and Biblical references and still respond with – SO WHAT? God might very well say to those with such an attitude and response – SHAPE UP or seek some other occupation in which one can waste his time.

There are many dysfunctional families, needy people, unmentored ministers, untrained and unqualified leadership, those who are struggling to survive life as they are experiencing it. Some Worship formats are a lot of “fluff”, deafening music and unwelcoming people who need to “SHAPE UP.” There are ministers who measure sermons by their length rather than practical content causing the listener to sense – SO WHAT? There is the meaningless clutter in the structure of a Worship Service that relegates preaching of God’s Word near the end of the service when people are near worship exhaustion by the time they hear God’s Word and feel – SO WHAT? There are strong-willed officers and erudite ministers who model being in control and cause people to silently feel – SO WHAT?

Rather than – “SO WHAT? - IF ONLY, we would see the ministry of Paul emulated in the Biblical Christian Community today - Acts 20:19-21, 27 – “I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.  You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.  I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus…I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will (counsel) of God.”

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


I Was Just Thinking About – MOMENTS THAT MATTER.

The overnight news (Thursday, December 19, 20019) showed an amazing weather moment on the East Coast of our nation. With a video from atop the Empire State Building, one could see a normal day sunshine day that dramatically changed to what was called a phenomenal instant Blizzard. The “white-out” caught drivers unawares and chaos occurred on the highways and streets. Large trucks were jack-knifed and automobile accidents had taken place. Drivers thought they could keep on driving even though it was impossible to see clearly where they were much less how to safely proceed.

Life, in general, is a lot like that weather phenomenon. A person can be following a normal day’s activity and suddenly have a heart attack –  dying unexpectedly. One can be driving on a highway and a vehicle going in the opposite direction suddenly swerves or veers causing a head-on collision that results in instant death of innocent and unsuspecting people in the other vehicle. This happened to a friend who was carefully driving across a four-lane highway and was struck by another vehicle driving at an excessive speed – jack-knifing my friends vehicle – that would within hours would result in my friends death. It left behind his dear wife and two young children. Such moments and consequences matter.

Jesus spoke about the moments that matter. To an unfocused group of disciples, he would instruct and remind them – John 4:31-38 – after having visited with the woman at the well, the disciples are curious about what he had been doing. Jesus had her salvation in focus whereas the disciples had food and a meal in their focus. What was the thrust of what Jesus wanted His disciples to learn and know about moments and opportunities? He states to them – John 4:35 – “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” His conversation with the Samaritan Woman was coming with most of the town-folks to see The One who “told me everything I ever did” (John 4:29).

On another occasion, the disciples are trying to understand the return of Jesus Christ.  Jesus tells them - Matthew 24:42-44 – “You do not know on what day your Lord will come…You must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Luke 17:24 (MSG)  indicates: “You know how the whole sky lights up from a single flash of lightning? That’s how it will be on the Day of the Son of Man.”

Paul describes this moment that matters in First Corinthians 15:51-54 – “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash (a moment), in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

Are YOU ready for that eternal moment that matters? Are YOU fully and completely committed to Jesus Christ?
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

Prayerfully – Consider These Things With Me.