Saturday, August 27, 2016



Twenty eight years ago today, Sunday, August 28, 1988, I preached my first sermon as the new pastor of Golden Triangle Church on the Rock. It’s been a great ride … but the greatest days are yet ahead!

My sermon that first Sunday was on the subject of faith. Today, now 28 years later, our text comes once again from:

Hebrews 6:12  Do not become lazy but be followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Faith; Patience; & Promises)
·        Faith is Trust in the Truth – the foundation upon which every Believer must build their life. (Faith)
·        Time is the constant in which God works to develop and implement His timeless plan for all mankind. (Patience)
·        Heaven is the fulfillment of every promise that God ever made to mankind. (Promises)

Each person’s eternity is determined by their own faith. Without faith no man will see heaven or the eternal promises of God. Works won’t do it; Money won’t do it; Good looks or Charm won’t do it; Family History or Fame won’t do it; only Faith over Time will unlock the promises of God.

Since Faith is the only key that can unlock the gate of Heaven for anyone, faith is decidedly the most important possession a person can own. Perhaps we should review what Faith is so that you will know for sure if you have Faith or whether you need to get some before you get leave here. Faith is a miracle in Time … only faith will unlock the promises of God.

Once more:
·        Faith is Trust in the Truth

What is truth?

John 14:6  Jesus said … “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Trust in The Truth, not trust in a truth. Jesus, the Living Word of God, is the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. When Jesus was communing with His Heavenly Father He prayed:

John 17:17  “Sanctify them by Your Truth. Your Word is Truth.”

Faith is the life expression of our trust in God. Living the expression of our trust in God means we will demonstrate a firm:
1.   Trust in God’s Word.
2.   Trust in God’s Will.
3.   Trust in God’s Way.

Faith over Time equals Heaven. Do you trust in the Truth? If you are not trusting Jesus with your life and goods right now, you may not trust Him.

Faith is the only key that can unlock the heaven’s promises. How then can you get more faith? There are 4 Ways to Faith:
1.  The Measure of Faith
Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
        2.  The Word of God
Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
3.  Faith is a Fruit
Galatians 5: 22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith …
4.  The Manifestation of God

The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom … To another faith by the same Spirit … (1 Corinthians 12:7-9)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Knowledge Is Power


The book of First Peter focused on the pressures and persecutions which were aimed at the Church and at the individual Believer from without. The devil wishes to use forces outside of the Church and outside our lives to bring us to a place of ineffectiveness for God. However, the book of Second Peter points out those enemies who attack the Church and each individual Believer from within. These, in many cases, are much more formidable foes.

The Apostle Peter hopes that we take a close look at ourselves, the doctrines of the Church which are being taught from our pulpits and those tendencies of human nature to relax and become carnal and accepting of sin even in its mildest forms. Satan is attempting to render us both individually and corporately as ineffective for the cause of Christ.

For these reasons Peter instructs us by the Holy Spirit to add some things to our daily lives. Let’s read this portion and then we will further discuss the importance of knowledge in granting us victory over the devil and the sinister carnal forces at work against us.

Remember, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. We must resist the devil for he desires to devour us!

2 Peter 1
1 ¶  Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3  as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4  by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 ¶  But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6  to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7  to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
8  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned five times and referenced twice more in the first 8 verses of 2 Peter 1. Philemon 6 encourages us to take knowledge of the good things which are in us in Christ. By seeking to understand and embracing what can be known about God and who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us, our faith becomes more effective in its working.

Hosea 4:6 ¶  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

1.  Knowledge is Power to Multiply Grace
2.  Knowledge is Power to Multiply Peace
3.  Knowledge is Power to Receive from God
4.  Knowledge is Power to Escape the Corruption of the World
5.  Knowledge is Power to Guide, Guard, and Govern your Life
6.  Knowledge is Power to Produce

2 Peter 1
9  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10  Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
11  for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

7.  Knowledge is Power to Enter the Kingdom

What Knowledge? Knowledge of Who you are in Christ and Who Christ is in you!

2 Peter 1
12 ¶  For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
13  Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
14  knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.
15  Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

If the devil can move us as individuals or us together as a congregation or us as the whole of the Church of the Living God in the earth to the place where we stop policing ourselves and give in to the devil’s schemes and allow brotherly love, Godly living or the unblemished Word to cease among us … he will have no need to torment us for we will torment and destroy our own effectiveness to work the will of God.

We must know, protect, preserve and defend the Truth of the Work of God and spread that knowledge. For the prophet declared:

Habakkuk 2:14  For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.

Ephesians 1:17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

2 Peter 3:18  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Hosea 6:3  Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Whole Armour of God


Ephesians 6  KJV
10 ¶  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The Apostle Paul depicts the life of a Believer as a life at war with the spiritual forces of darkness. Even though inspired by the Holy Spirit to pen and send these words of instruction and encouragement to the Church and Believers living in Ephesus, Paul knew whereof he spoke.

Each day from his prison in Rome Paul was reminded of the battle that was being waged against God on earth by heavenly creatures fighting to capture and destroy the souls of men. This elder Apostle of Faith to the Gentiles had a clear picture of the war and understood the need for every Believer to be prepared, focused and engaged in the daily duties of a soldier of the cross. This passage teaches us that the Holy Spirit does not leave us defenseless against our enemies.

1.  The Belt of Truth
·        There is no substitute for the truth.
·        The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth!
2.  The Breastplate of Righteousness
·        Living a cleaned up, right life before God covers 90% of life.
3.  Sandals and Greaves
·        Be prepared – pay attention – give attendance …
·        Beware your temperament does not belie your mission.
·        Do not be easily offended by stepping on or walking through the pricks of the enemy.
·        We can ill afford to become at odds with the ones we are sent to save
·        Expect and be prepared for some irritants to try and hinder your progress in the Gospel.
·        Peace is both the motivation and the destination of Godly soldiers.
4.  The Shield of Faith
·        Faith is best used as a shield, not a pair of tweezers.
·        Faith makes things possible it does not necessarily make things easy.
·        Hebrews 11:1&6  Faith is … Without faith …
5.  The Helmet of Salvation
·        Guarding the consciousness of victory …
·        Psalms 27:1  The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
·        Psalms 27:2  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
·        Psalms 27:3  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
·        Our confidence of victory is our greatest advantage.
·        Romans 8:31 If God be for me who can be against me!
·        1 John 4:4 Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world!
·        1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world but he who believes …
·        1 John 5:4 This is the victory that overcomes the world … faith!
6.  God’s Spiritual Sword – His Word!
·        The two edges of God’s Sword are represented in the Old Testament and the New Testament – the Law and the Gospel
·        Psalms 149:6  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,
·        Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
·        Revelation 1:16  He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
7.  Praying in the Spirit
·        Spiritual Prayers as opposed to carnal prayers, no prayers, praying only in distress or only for oneself.
·        Prayers which watch and persevere
·        Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
·        Romans 8:27  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
·        Jude 1:20  But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.

We have both the opportunity and the potential to look like God!

I challenge each one of us to insure we receive the admonition of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul and arise each day to put on the Whole Armour of God before we go out to meet the enemies of that day who but want to confuse and confine our souls and the souls of all mankind. For this I am confident that the Lord will remind you if you will but ask!

You can ask Him now to start reminding you first thing in the morning!

Pursuing Faith


A little over 20 years ago our Church went through some very difficult times that resulted in great financial need. As with any endeavor that requires money to keep the doors open and the electricity bills paid, Church, like businesses and families, can go through hard times. Through no design or fault of any particular person or group of people it came about that while the numbers of people attending was steadily increasing the amount of tithes and offerings being given to the Church decreased steadily over the period of about 18 months to the point to where we could barely survive.

Our Elders and the Board believed God wanted our Church to continue its mission and for this we needed to restructure our finances and position ourselves to continue the vision of reaching our communities and the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It would not be easy but we believed it was worth our best effort…

Those who gave and those who didn’t … both shared in the benefits and blessings of God delivering our Church from the failure that the devil had planned for us.

I Samuel 30  NKJV
4  Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5  And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.
6  Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

8  So David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" And He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all."

10  But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor.

16  And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.
17  Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled.
18  So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives.
19  And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.

23  But David said, "My brethren, you shall not do so with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us.
24  "For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike."

We learn Three Spiritual Truths from this account.
1.  Nothing is sacred to the devil.
2.  At some point you will have to encourage yourself.
3.  Faith makes things possible, it does not make them easy.

Mark 9:24  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Romans 3
3  For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?
4  Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar …

2 Timothy 2:13  If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Saturday, August 13, 2016



(Account of our first Church building at WOF … Fall of 1982)

Key Scripture: Isaiah 1:19  If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land.

Both life and the scriptures teach us that God values and rewards a willing heart. Willing to:
·        See things from God’s perspective
·        Trust God and do things His way
·        Let go and let God be responsible for the outcome
·        To be at peace with God’s will

The greatest struggle we face is to know the will of God. Then we are left with a simple decision to accept and obey or do things our way. Sometimes people imagine the will of God to be whatever favors, protects or prospers them … this might well be a wrong assumption.  

When Jesus faced His greatest struggle it was aimed at only one thing – He wanted to know the will of His Father God. Every prayer He prayed and every sweat drop of blood that fell to the ground in that Garden of Gethsemane was in His fervent pursuit to know what God wanted. He ended each petition with “Not My will but Thine be done.” And when at the end Jesus knew the will of His Heavenly Father He found peace.

2 Corinthians 8:12  For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

God accepts whatever a truly willing heart can give. In fact, our willing heart becomes our greatest gift. Our text for this morning comes from:

2 Corinthians 12
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God and Paul wanted the same thing: for Paul to be victorious over the thorn in his flesh. They both got what they wanted only it came in a very different manner than that which Paul would have prescribed. Paul prayed he be out of the situation while God desired Paul to be a strong and victorious soldier in the situation. Why? – I don’t know the specifics but I can tell you that it had something to do with what was best for others.

Others … it’s always all about others. (Concerning that old Church building God gave us instead of that new one I had been praying for … others!)
·        My Father and Mother
·        Joe and Peggy Kruse
·        Vick Jones
·        Miss Powel
·        Mr Dalt Rogers
·        Mr Everett Skelton
·        The prayers of the founding congregation of Corley Baptist Church
·        Those who are yet to be saved at WOF in Simms, Texas

The life of a soldier - even though it may affect him, is not about him.

There are three things I want to ask you to consider this morning:

1.   Are you willing to pray “Not my will but Thine be done”? (afraid)
2.   Will you accept God’s decision as the best decision? (even if …)
3.   Can God use you to bless someone else? (how much …)

I pray you find the peace, the joy and the strength that comes with the willingness to let God be God. His grace is sufficient! Are you willing …

(Note: The Church building my father bought was the old First Baptist Church of Corley, Texas. It had once been the center of town located at the intersections of US Highway 67 and Texas State Highway 8 and US Highway 67 facing the St Louis Southwestern railway. The old wooden structure was built by the townspeople in hopes it would service a young growing community for years to come. Sadly it had been abandoned for many years prior to its sale. {CORLEY, TEXAS. Corley is on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway three miles west of Maud in southern Bowie County. The community was named for John C. Corley, an early settler. A post office was established there in 1882 with J. Carr Turner as postmaster, and by 1884 the town had a sawmill, a gristmill, a gin, a store, a church, a hotel, and a population of seventy-five. By 1890 the community's population had reached 100, but in 1896 it was reported as only fifty. The Corley post office was discontinued in the 1950s. In 1982 the town had a reported population of thirty-five and no rated businesses. The population was still reported at thirty-five in 2000.})

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Song of David


Set up the account of David leading up to:

1 Samuel 21  NKJV
10  Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
11  And the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: ’Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?"
12  Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
13  So he changed his behavior before them, feigned madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard.
14  Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me?
15  "Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"

1 Sameul 22
1  David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.
2  And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

About 40 years later David, now the older much wiser King of Israel wrote a song about his encounter with Acish the king of Gath. This morning I want to share 3 verses of this song with you. We find these three things in:

Psalm 34
1.   verse 7  The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
2.   verse 8  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him
3.   verse 19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Those who fear and trust God will be delivered from every affliction.

1.  How does a person fear the Lord?
a.   The fear David wrote about is better known today as:
                                         i.    Respect
                                        ii.    Reverence
                                      iii.    Deference
b.   It’s not wanting to disappoint or disrespect
c.   It’s submission

The greatest show of respect is to humble yourself in the hand of God and accept the sacrifice of His Son as sufficient for your salvation.

2.  Do you trust God?
a.   Not just for things you can’t change …
                                         i.    Sometimes it’s easy to believe you trust God when there is really nothing you can do about it anyway … things like eternity or past failures.
b.   But for things over which you currently have power
                                         i.    Your current relationships
                                        ii.    The money you have in your account, purse or pocket
                                      iii.    Deciding where to spend your time or efforts today
c.   You aren’t trusting God if you aren’t trusting Him right now!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts Him.

Late in life King David wrote a song about a very difficult time in his life. What David remembered was the deliverance that came to him because he feared and trusted Jehovah, the Lord God Almighty. David did not focus on the afflictions but rather he focused on the goodness of God which comes to all who put their trust in Him.

This morning I want to encourage you to fear and to trust the Lord in all things. God will deliver the righteous from every affliction. Do it now!