Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spiritual Maturity

1 ¶  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 ¶  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

Jesus said that we would know the nature of the tree by the fruit it bears. Good fruit means good tree. We can see this in nature, and we can see this in the lives of our spiritual leaders. What sort of fruit would we look for in one who is spiritually mature?

1. Humility. 
2. Integrity
3. Steadfast in spirit
4. Grateful
5. Not self seeking
6. Not easily offended
7. Not hungry for the world's gain

These are just a few of the qualities I would look for in a leader. Any comments?

Thursday, February 25, 2016


In the parable of the sower, the seeds that fell among the rocky ground grew initially, but because they were not able to put down roots, the plants were not able to endure drought, or wind, or any kind of adversity. I am a gardener. From my own experience, I know that my peppers or tomatoes do not automatically grow just because I plant a seed. The soil must be properly prepared. They must get the proper amount of water. When they sprout, I always need to guard against bugs and diseases. But if the conditions are right, I will get fruit.

Today's preachers, for the most part, understand the gospel of grace. They will tell you that there is nothing you ever can do, or could do, to make yourself holy. Only by receiving freely the gift of God's salvation through Jesus Christ can a man be saved. I have staked my life on this truth. Yet how many who have "walked the sawdust trail" have later fallen away? Well, actually, I wish the old tent revival preachers were, in fact, preaching today. I doubt many of their converts would be so fickle. The problem I see today is that though the church correctly presents a message of grace, it is preaching to those whose lives have not been prepared to receive the Word. Somehow, our message is received as a free ticket to Heaven with no impact on how we live on earth. Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that this is how I understood grace when I first heard. I don't recall so much the part about denying myself, picking up my cross and following.

The truth is, we are all living on borrowed time. We are headed for destruction unless we stop, turn around, and head the other way. But most of us are not even aware of the danger. We are all alive only on account of God's mercy and grace. When Adam sinned, Death entered the world, and he remained physically alive because God's grace trumps justice. Today, 6000 years later, we do not realize that we also are alive only on account of grace. We are physically alive, but spiritually dead. Yes, the Gospel is indeed good news, but we can't receive it unless we understand first the problem.

I suppose this is the angst I have about today's preaching. They start with the good news without fully explaining the bad news. If I were to give counsel to the preachers, I would say start with the Holiness of God. Then present the depravity of man. Spurgeon and all the great preachers of the 19'th century understood this. Finney would make them wait, sometimes for days, in agony, before he would even let them walk that sawdust trail. We must come as mendicants, simple beggars with nothing to offer, to receive this unimaginable grace. But when we come, the soil of our hearts has been made ready.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I wonder what is really going on. Can "The Donald" really win the Presidency? Sure seems like many voters are furious about what the "establishment" has done. What will become of America? The whole thing seems headed for a crash. Most likely some sort of "crisis" will appear before the election. Obama will impose martial law. No elections. "Presidente for life". Hope I am wrong.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Object of our faith

"We are looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2 

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us . . ." 
Eph. 3:20

Years ago Monty Hall was the host of the TV game show "Let's Make a Deal". I have not seen the show in years, but as I recall the basic theme was that a contestant picked one of three doors. Behind one door was a brand new car, the second maybe some nice furniture, and finally one door would gain the contestant the booby prize. Hall would tell the contestant that what was behind the door was theirs, but of course, they had no way of knowing what it was. So Hall offers them money to see if they will sell their prize back to him. So do they give up the dream of a new car for 1000 dollars? 

B. Al-Zebub Esq., *a.k.a "the devil". knows very well what's behind the door called "Eternity", something with which nothing on earth could ever compare. No matter. As long as Satan can convince the believer that the trinkets of this earth are much more to be desired than the gold of the Kingdom, he has won the battle. Compared to the riches of Christ, anything on Earth is but a weak imitation. The believer less experienced in the way of the Cross might jump on that deal. And be ripped off, for the object of his faith was something temporal. 

So what is the true object of our Faith? Nothing short of the LORD himself , the "author and finisher of our faith". Solomon could have asked for anything from the LORD, and it would have been his. Riches, power and fame were options. Ever humble, instead he asked for Wisdom (Proverbs 4:7). Instead of temporal riches, which fade away and are burned up, the new king wanted the Eternal Word, and the LORD granted Solomon this, and everything else he did not ask for as well.

This year I hope to have my eyes focused on that Eternal City of God, the reward I shall seek will be the LORD Himself. I am not asking for anything temporal. Whatever I would ask for would doubtlessly be well short of what the LORD would do. So, by faith, I see that City, though I may not know exactly what I will see when I get there. For some saints, death comes before they receive the promise (Hebrews 11), but it is nevertheless sure. God IS a "rewarder of them that diligently seek Him". Hebrews 11:6, Psalm 37:4 etc.