Thursday, February 28, 2019


I Was Just Thinking About – BRIEF MOMENTS.

The past Lord’s Day, I was privileged to preach a Morning Sermon on the subject of MOMENTS MATTER.  The text was taken from I Corinthians 15, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.A Moment is defined as: “A very brief period of time. An exact point in time.”

It reminded me of how precious each moment of our lives and each day is. In Psalm 90:12, The psalmist reminded us: Teach us to number our days – Our Moments -  that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” In James 4:13-14, we are reminded:  “Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist (A Moment) that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
As I was preparing the sermon, two particular Hymns began to drift through my mind:
Once to every man and nation, -
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,

For the good or evil side…

Another Hymn that was written in 1893 that came to mind was: Moment By Moment…
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.
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.

The Sermon application connected moment with immediately.As and when Jesus was calling disciples to follow Him, how did Jesus want them to respond to his invitation: Come! Follow Me?Could they have stated a reason for delay such as: (1) We have to repair and store our fishing nets? (2) We have to off-load the catch of the day/night? (3) We have to discuss this matter with our parents, especially our father who depends on us, about a change of course for our lives and an imminent departure? None of those questions or thoughts would be acceptable. At that moment, they left want they were doing immediately – and – they followed Jesus.

The term immediately means: Without any lapse of time; Without any delay; Instantly…at once. The Synonyms for immediately are: Instantly; urgently; in a flash; without delay or hesitation; without any lapse of time… How important is a moment of time for the genuine/authentic Christian? How do you respond to the Scriptural directives of Jesus for your life and commitment to His will?  He expects you to respond in a moment…immediately? Do You? Do you routinely procrastinate (delay; postpone action; put off doing something)?

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Friday, February 22, 2019


I Was Just Thinking About – EARNEST EXPECTATION.

On different occasions, the Word of God addresses earnestness and expectation. Paul combined these two concepts when he wrote, Philippians 1:20-21 (NKJV), “According to my EARNEST EXPECTATION and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Paul also emphasized “earnestness” when he wrote in Second Corinthians 8:7 (NIV), “But since you excel in everything…in complete earnestness…” Question: Does the organized Church today radiate “Earnest Expectation”? What about the genuine Biblical Church, does it display “Earnest Expectation”? If Jesus Christ appeared in a given Church today, what would His assessment be of the Church that is supposed to be His Bride? Would He be pleased with it? Would He commend it? Or – would He point out the inconsistencies between His “expectations” for it and point out the Church’s drift and complacency?

There is a reason why hundreds of churches close each year. One consideration that is rarely given notice are the words of Jesus Christ to the Seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3. The ever-present measure of Jesus for His Church is whether or not a Church remembers, returns, repents and renews according to His prescription for the purpose and mission of His Church. One area that is often overlooked is in the words Paul wrote the gifts that were given by the Lord, as well as the purpose of those gifts, Ephesians 4:11-13. What did the Lord gift men to be and do? What was His “earnest expectation” for His Bride, the Church?

Paul wrote: “He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherd- teachers,  to equip the saints (the genuine people of God) for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” Is any of this happening as Jesus Christ expressed it? Maybe to a degree – but – why then are Churches dwindling in size and closing?

There are no simple answers for the question. It is a combination of several diverse factors, such as – changing demographics; lack of vision and focus in terms of ministry opportunities; overall complacency; reluctance to become engaged; a resignation for the Church to survive as best it can until its resources are expended; a contentment to preserve a “legacy” by means of a maintenance type of operation; inability to be engaged in doing the work of ministry. 

Dr. J. I. Packer shared a paper on the subject of Revival. In one section of that paper, he addressed the local Church: “There must be Fruitfulness In Testimony. Revival always has an evangelistic and ethical overspill into the world. When God revives the church, the new life overflows from the church for the conversion of outsiders and renovation of society. Christians become fearless in witness and tireless in their Savior’s service. They proclaim by word and deed the power of the new life, souls are won, and a community conscience informed by Christian values emerges. Also in revival times God acts quickly; his work accelerates. Truth spreads, and people are born again and grow in Christ, with amazing rapidity.”

Is that what you desire as a genuine Christian? Is that what the Church you attend is committed to be and do? Does your “earnest expectation” square with the expectation of Jesus Christ? Are YOU willing to step into the gap and be what God wants you, and all true believers, to be and do? If not now – when? If not here – where?

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


I Was Just Thinking About – STORMY WEATHER.

Several years ago, a gloomy type romantic song was composed and popularized. It contained a repetitive phrase: “Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky, Stormy weather…Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere; Stormy weather - Just can't get my poor self together…” It represented a lost or fracture relationship due to some unmentioned reason. It conveyed the idea that life was not worth living unless that lost person was found and the relationship restored to that which it once was.

There is a much different tone and focus in the spiritual realm. Rather than hopelessness or despair, there is hope and optimism. Rather than an inescapable end, there is an anticipated beginning in the full dimension of eternal life. A Hymn was written by Fanny Crosby (1885) that expresses the anticipated heavenly home: On the happy, golden shore, Where the faithful part no more, When the storms of life are over, Meet me there; Where the night dissolves away Into pure and perfect day, I am going home to stay—meet me there.”

Part of the story behind the Hymn (based upon a Poem written by Carl G. Boberg and popularized by Stuart K. Hine in 1885), How Great Thou Art is: “The first three verses were inspired, line upon line, amidst unforgettable experiences in the Carpathian Mountains. In a village to which he had climbed, Mr. Hine stood in the street singing a Gospel Hymn and reading aloud, John, Chapter Three. Among the sympathetic listeners was a local village schoolmaster. A storm was gathering, and when it was evident that no further travel could be made that night, the friendly schoolmaster offered his hospitality. Awe-inspiring was the mighty thunder echoing through the mountains, and it was this impression that was to bring about the birth of the first verse.”

Some of these things came to mind because of the storms being experienced in different parts of the country. While some tend to attribute it immediately to global warming, the Scriptures address it in different significant terms. The Psalmist used terminology in Psalm 93:4 that references: “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!” The prophet, Isaiah 30:30 (NIV) references: The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.”

I thought about these significant words during a severe storm in Alabama last night about 2:00 A.M. The thunder caused the house to rattle slightly, the lightening was flashing amid torrential rain. Revelation 11:19 describes a special event in Heaven: “Then the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and a great hailstorm.”

The Weather prognosticators can predict certain weather patterns and timing of anticipated storms. Many times those predictions do not occur as forecasted. However, the Scriptural prediction will in fact take place. Jesus indicated, Matthew 24:27, “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Revelation 4:5 gives a description of the Throne of God: “From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder…”

When will all of these events take place? How precise can one be when anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ? Jesus stated the way one should be prepared and ready – Matthew 24:44, “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Are you prepared and ready for his coming? Are you ready and eagerly anticipating that moment?

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.