Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I have had a few of you who read this blog who have said you were going to try to come tonight as we begin a study of Philippians. I find there to be two themes that run through this book: humility and joy. I think that it will be an exciting time in the word together as we seek to glorify God by learning more of Him through His word. My hope is that as we study this book together we will become humbly joyful. Even if you haven't responded, you are welcome to come. We would love to have you here.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I had the opportunity to preach at Enfield Baptist Church this morning. I spoke on Galatians 5:16-26 and spoke about the importance of walking by the Spirit. Paul gives a command to actively and continually walk by the Spirit in verse 16. Our flesh is at war with the Spirit who is dwelling within those who believe. I have not typically been good at given specific ways to apply the text. However, I did give five practical ways that we can actively try to walk by the Spirit.
1. Learn your Bible. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, He used Scripture to fight the battle. There is nothing in this life that we will be tempted by that Scripture cannot fight.
2. Learn to pray. Most of us pray when times are tough, but we need to learn to pray without ceasing so that we will be prepared in our walk with God to fight our flesh at all times.
3. Find accountability within your local church. The Christian life was never meant to be a solo journey. James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another. We all need this in our lives.
4. Place your hope in the finished work of Christ. While we will battle against our flesh in this life, Jesus has already won the war. He who began a good work will bring it to completion.
5. Remember where you've come from. Look back over the journey of your life since you came to Christ, and let that be an encouragement to you. Your sanctification ought help you in your daily battles.
If you claim the name of Christ then you have crucified the flesh. If you say you are in Christ, and yet you do not feel the war against sin, you need to check and see if you really have the Spirit living within you.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I desperately need to be held accountable by my brothers and sisters in Christ. Over the past few months I have had several conversations with several friends who have challenged me, made me check my heart, made me think through hard issues, and several other issues. Iron really does sharpen iron. I have noticed that we (in America at least) are so individualized that we think we can live this Christian life alone. This is not the way God has intended it to be. The New Testament is full of "one another" commands. I have been looking at these over the past couple of months as I've prayed about church planting and what the church is supposed to be. The bottom line is that I need accountability...and so do you! We all need it. There is not one person on the face of this earth who doesn't need others in their lives to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. I pray for more brothers and sisters in my life to help me become more like Christ.
With that being said, I have decided to have a Bible study at my house beginning this coming Tuesday night (April 29) at 7:00 PM. We are looking to church plant, but it may not be in Rocky Mount. This is simply a time for those who are interested to come together and study the book of Philippians together. If you are interested in coming, and hopefully sharing life together, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to being challenged by the Bible and encouraged by others.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
We just returned from a quick trip to Charlotte. I heard yesterday that my grandmother was having some complications after having a knee replacement this past week. We packed up and went to visit her yesterday and today, and it appears she is doing better. If you think about it, please keep her in your prayers.
Friday, April 18, 2008
T4G was excellent. I have received several free books (which is always good, though it takes me forever to get through them). Every message was top notch. You can go here and listen or download them all. I think John MacArthur delivered a masterful paper on the Total Inability (Depravity) of man to respond to the gospel. Thabiti Anyabwile delivered a message that EVERYONE of every color should hear. I am still thinking through that. It was very powerful. I could say the same thing for every message. I think Piper's had the greatest impact on me. As always, C. J. was C. J. When you get 8 men together who love the Lord, love the Word, and love the gospel, it makes for a great conference.
On another note I enjoyed hanging with Jim U. and Justin N. all the way up and back (about 10 or so hours each way). It was great to see many of my friends there and visit with them some. To everyone's amazement, I bought ZERO books at the bookstore. God has been gracious to give me the opportunity to go there and to be even more zealous to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. I look forward to the wonderful privilege to pastoring His sheep again soon.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I am leaving in about an hour to head off to Louisville, KY to attend the Together for the Gospel Conference. Many of my favorite pastor/preacher/authors will be there. Please remember us as we drive today and as we attend this time. If I get a chance, I will give some reflections through the week.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Just before I went to Mexico a few weeks ago I was reading through James and read some familiar verses that have been with me ever since. It is found in Chapter 2, verses 14-17:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
There is nothing new to say here. Only that we need to be reminded of the importance of showing mercy to those in need. I think this why I have been stuck on the need of mercy ministry over the past few weeks (more so than normal) for churches. How can we say we have faith, but we have no works to display our faith? May we all be challenged to demonstrate our faith by showing mercy to those in need.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
In case there is anyone who reads this blog and not the R and R Fellowship Blog, we are meeting today with Jason Kovacs from The Abba Fund to talk about adoption and how churches can get involved. We are meeting at Gardner's BBQ on 301 at 12:00. Lunch is around $10.00, but everything else is just for learning and fun. Please come out and hear from Jason.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I have been trying to figure out how a church could really help meet needs and reach people. Here is one thought that has come to my mind and I would love to hear some thoughts about it. What if a church were to find a person/family that was in need of some things like food, house work, clothing, etc. and the church spent the next few months or even years to try to meet those needs. During this time the people of the church would be in constant contact with this person/family and continually sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. In other words, the church actually invested their time, resources, and lives into a particular person/family over the long haul with the hopes of reaching them for Jesus Christ. I am sure there is more to think about through this, but this has been a thought of mine this morning. Wouldn't it be great if the church became that sort of light in the community?
Monday, April 7, 2008
Church planting has been more and more desiring to me as of late. The funny thing is that I am not sure where or when that will happen. I should be in bed right now, but I can't stop thinking about planting a church. I have a great desire to see a Bible based healthy church established where there is a great need for mercy ministry and ethic diversity. That doesn't narrow down much of anything! I have been working on core values and a vision and a mission statement and church structure and about a thousand other things. I was hoping that I would hear from others in the Rocky Mount area about this, but I haven't as of yet. With that being said, I simply ask you to pray for us as we seek the face and wisdom of God in this decision. It is my desire to see a church planted somewhere where others appear to be fleeing. In other words, I want to go where the greatest need arises. So please pray and feel free to make suggestions.