Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Amazing Truth



Romans 11:33  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable areHis judgments and His ways past finding out!


I believe Truth is objective. This simply means that truth stands alone without support from any other source. Truth is not dependent on anything else. In fact it is the opposite. Everything else is subject to truth. 


Truth is objective, everything else is subjective. Once truth is established, everything else is filtered through, dependent on, and understood in light of that truth. The greatest problems known in heaven and earth have always come from deception. Telling, believing, or acting on a lie will cause problems. The truth will set you free.


The Bible is God’s gift to mankind. The Bible is God’s Word. The Bible is the Truth. The Bible does not need any other source to confirm its validity. Who is qualified to contradict God or to become His editor, His counselor, or His judge?


Not only has God given the Bible to us, but He has also given us His Spirit to be our teacher, counselor, and guide. The Holy Spirit confirms the Truth. We either accept or reject it, often and unfortunately based on how it impacts our life as we imagine it.


Many men have espoused their speculative philosophies born from the seeds of demon ideology, planted in their minds, which they then speak with great conviction. They are at best imagined reality based on personal consideration in the vacuum of human opinion. These notions that there is no God; all religions lead to the same place; man came from monkeys; 70 virgins await each martyr; some people get their very own planet to populate; or you have lived many lives and when you die you may come back as a cow … all of these notions are not God-inspired, and they have no basis for truth. Yet men believe them and teach them to others.


We have been given the truth by Almighty God. And it is an amazing truth.


Neither science nor the collective wisdom of man can create a soul, forgive a sin, or affect salvation. We have but one source of truth. It is the Bible.


The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 


1 Timothy 6 NKJV

20  O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 

21  by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.


Contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge” – The general intelligence and understanding of man.Men believing a lie.


I have met some smart people. But I’ve never met anyone smarter than God. Allow me to share an amazing truth.


Hebrews 1

10  “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

11  They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment;

12  Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”


Truth is objective. I believe God and I believe the Bible is His Word. I don’t know how He spoke the universe into existence, nor can I explain how God breathed His Spirit into a man He made from clay to create the first living soul in His own image. It is an amazing truth that I believe because I have His Word which tells me and His Spirit which confirms His Word in my heart and in my mind. After all, I am His child.


Romans 8:16  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.


1 John 5:6d … because the Spirit is truth.


The Holy Spirit of God is constantly dealing with the heats and minds of men and women. Stop fighting and have faith. Faith is the acknowledgment that you trust God’s Word more than you trust any other source. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. 


Faith is the deposit God makes in our lives when we open our heart to His Word and Spirit. 

1. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and live in your life.
2. Search the Word of God for answers to the questions you have.
3. Have faith that God can do exceedingly abundantly above all you could think or ask.


Ephesians 3 NKJV

20  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

21  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


This is the amazing truth!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

God’s Clockwork


Perhaps you’ve noticed that it is getting a little colder. We are approaching another winter. Just like clockwork … in fact it is clockwork … it’s God’s clockwork.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.

God ordered the earth on which we live to be a habitable, life-sustaining, fruit-filled oasis in a vast galaxy of hostile planets inconducive to human existence. The resources necessary for life as we know it are found on the earth in abundance. God has provided everything we need all around us.

With minimum effort, and at times with no effort at all, the earth buds and brings forth its fruit each spring as an offering to meet our needs. And yet, there are seasons in which nothing grows, despite our best efforts. This too has a purpose in God’s greater plan.

The 8th chapter of the book of Genesis tells us that after God destroyed the earth with a flood, He made a promise to Noah. The promise was aimed at helping Noah to be secure in, and prepared for, the future. We find a part of that promise in verse 22.

Genesis 8:22  “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

·        Seedtime and harvest; Cold and heat

·        Winter and summer; Day and night

God’s clockwork. Wintertime is a part of normal life.

Three days ago we Americans celebrated our annual Thanksgiving holiday. There were parades and football games, family gatherings and special events, turkey dinners with cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, and apple pie. The smells of sage and celery were everywhere. From homeless shelters to army chow halls, church socials to nursing homes, mansions to hospitals, America was celebrating an event from the pages of history all the way back to the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in the year 1621.

That year The Pilgrims were thankful because they were prepared for the next winter. It had been a little over a year, September 6, 1620, since 102 passengers had set sail from England, aboard a ship called the Mayflower. After almost 70 days they arrived at their new settlement, Plymouth Rock, in upper New England.

Do you know how cold it is in Massachusetts in December? Take away your house, add some rain, hunt for your food, and cook over an open fire … it can and did get pretty bad for the Pilgrims. Less than 50 people were still alive when it warmed up that first spring of 1621. Winter demands respect.

When Jesus was having a private conversation about the end times with Peter, James, John, and Andrew on the Mount of Olives just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus admonished the disciples:

Mark 13:18  “And pray that your flight may not be in winter.”

Paul respected the winter and wanted to be prepared for it in prison.

2 Timothy 4 NKJV

13  Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come — and the books, especially the parchments.

21  Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.

Not every place was considered a good place to stay during the winter.

Acts 27:12 ¶  And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

The Apostle Paul did not expect to do in the winter what he did in other seasons.

1 Corinthians 16:6  And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.

Winter demands respect and Thankfully winter won’t last forever. The Pilgrims, along with the Apostle Paul, understood the value of being prepared for winter. Even animals and insects understand this principle.

Proverbs 6 NKJV

6 ¶  Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,

7  Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler,

8  Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.

Why are we discussing this? Because winter is coming, and it is wise to be prepared.

Genesis 8:22  “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

Nothing is too difficult if you are prepared for it … including eternity!

1.  Wire yourself for winter.

a.   This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

b.   Just because a tree has no leaves on it does not mean it’s dead or that there is no beauty in it.

c.    Don’t allow the winter to depress you … prepare … it’s coming.

2.  Learn to conserve.

a.   Complete a critical review of your life and assets.

b.   Trim the ship. When you can’t afford cigarettes, it’s a good idea to stop smoking.

c.    Winter is a natural time for some things to die.

3.  Not everyone feels like you do.

a.   When Paul and his companions were experiencing a personal shipwreck, the people of Crete were experiencing a rescue.

b.   The people on the ship felt sad … the people on shore were excited to have visitors for the winter.

c.    And Paul started preaching, praying, and healing people.

Our nation didn’t just survive, our nation thrived. Much of the success we have enjoyed as Americans is due to the value we place on being prepared. This is a God thing and a good thing.

The blessings of God are abundant right now, and we are in a very fruitful season in America and in many other places around the world. People in many places are making more and doing more and going more and enjoying more. While people in some places are in difficulties we cannot imagine. Thankfully winter won’t last forever.

However eternity will. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah of the Jews, and Savior of the world. He will rescue your soul from hell and from the hell of this life. He will give you peace even in the midst of war. He will hear your cries and answer your prayers.

I believe each one of us would be wise to prepare for winter. Like Joseph in the seven years of plenty in the book of Genesis. God warned Joseph that lean times were ahead.

With that knowledge, Joseph became the wealthiest man in the wealthiest country in all the known world. We have also been warned. Let’s not waste this season of abundance and blessing. Let’s be thankful and prepare for winter … and for those who did not spend their time preparing for themselves. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

A Thankful Sacrifice


I’ve gone well out of my way several times while driving through the country of modern-day Turkey, to visit the ruins of the old city of Colossae. I enjoy its place in New Testament history so much that I have also taken perhaps 75 or so of our congregation members to climb the almost 100 foot high, 22-acre hill on which the city sat prior to the devastating earthquake in the AD60’s. Huge columns can still be seen at this as yet unexcavated, history rich site situated by the Lycos River about 10 miles from Laodicea.


I often prefer to visit places where tourism and treasure hunters have not yet claimed and messed up the experience. There is a natural beauty to an obscure site. Colossae is a quiet place where the adventurer is free to explore and enjoy while pondering the words written by the Apostle Paul to both the whole congregation of Colossae and specifically to his friend, Philemon. Both of these letters were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit while Paul was in prison in Rome.


One of the reasons why I feel drawn to the book of Colossians and to the Biblical site of Colossae is because of its constant reminder to be thankful. Paul admonishes the Church and each member of the congregation in Colossae to be thankful in each chapterof the Epistle


This evening, on the eve of Thanksgiving in America, we are going to begin our study by reading a short exhortation from Paul to the Church at Colossae from:


Colossians 3 NKJV

12 ¶  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

13  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

14  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


This passage is clearly one of the best and most concise pieces of Godly advice a Christian can find in the Bible. Paul encourages everyone who has been chosen by God to put on:

• Tender mercies
• Kindness
• Humility 
• Meekness
• Longsuffering
• Bearing with one another
• Forgiving one another


And above all these things …

• Put on love.
• Let the peace of God rule in your heart.
• Let the Word of Christ dwell in your heart.
• Sing spiritual songs.
• Say everything you say and do everything you do in the name of Jesus.


And be thankful!

• Not because we have to …
• But because we want to
• Being thankful can sometimes be a sacrifice. 


Hebrews 13:15  Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.


Leviticus 22:29  “And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will.


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.


If you don’t have a willing mind, ask God to give you one.


Above all these things, put on love.


1. Love is where you will find peace.
2. Love is where you will find joy.
3. Love is where you will find the strength to be thankful and offer the sacrifice of praise.


Choose to put love on like a garment so that all you say and all you do is done in the name of Jesus, bringing glory to God!


Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The World Without God


Jude 1 NLT

3 ¶  Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His holy people.

4  I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

11  What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.

14  Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of His holy ones.

Allow me to tie this all together.

All of the evil, hurt, and hatred we see around us in the world around us is nothing new. It began long ago as referenced by Jude with his mention of Cain and Enoch.

Last Sunday’s message, entitled “The Land of Nod,” was taken from the Genesis 4 account of the firstborn son of Adam and Eve who murdered his brother. Cain killed Abel and was exiled to the Land of Nod.

The Land of Nod is the world in which people live when they do not praise God; do not acknowledge His purpose for their lives; do not live according to His plan for their lives; and do not feel His presence in their lives. It is the world without God. People who live their lives without the true God.

Cain displeased God; Abel pleased God; Cain hated Abel because Cain was evil-minded; Cain murdered Abel because Abel was righteous and favored by God. It is in the spiritual DNA of the wicked to hate the righteous. (Proverbs 29:10 The bloodthirsty…)

The plan of God will not be stopped. God gave Adam and Eve another son named Seth “in the place of” Abel. And God “appointed” Seth to carry on the plan and make a way for the promise of a Messiah to be born Who would one day bruise the serpent’s head and save the world … Jesus!

Two lines of people lived in the world, both children of Adam and Eve, born under the curse of sin and subject to death. One line were descendants of Cain living in the land of Nod, the world without God, while the other were descendants of Seth, in the world with God, calling upon the name of God.

We still have these two groups of people living in the world today. 

                     Descendants of Adam and Eve

The Land of Nod                  The World With God

 Cain                       Abel                     Seth

Enoch (trained up)                              Enos

Irad                                                    Cainan

Mehujael                                          Mahalaleel

Methusael                                          Jared

Lamech                                       Enoch (trained up)

Both lines had Enochs, men who were trained up in the ways of their father. And in 7 generations in the Land of Nod, a world without God, Lamech followed in his father’s footsteps:

Genesis 4 NKJV

23  Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me.

24  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

The killings continue … and notice – the end of Lamech’s concern is purely selfish … no concern for the dead man or his family.

Whereas 7 generations into the story of those who called on the name of God, we see a man named Enoch. Again, Enoch was “trained up” well.

Genesis 5 NKJV

23  So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.

24  And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. 

What is the truth of these things? God didn’t die … he just went to heaven.

Proverbs 22:6 ¶  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

It has been critical for every generation, including the times in which we live, to lead our children by example. The greatest gift you can give your family, your friends, your neighbors, and even your enemies, is Jesus Christ. Jesus by example …

The Bible says in Numbers 14:18 that the Lord is a gracious and forgiving God, but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.

Lamentations 5:7  Our fathers sinned and are no more, But we bear their iniquities. 

Somewhere the curse of sin must be broken in a family. You can be the one who does it for your family. You can be the example. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.

1 John 3 NLT

12  We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.

13  So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

The Lord is gracious and forgiving … He will hear your prayer and rescue your family from a world without God. Let’s pray and break the curse of every family member, those born and unborn, right now!

PREPARED FOR BATTLE: THE ARMOR OF GOD Part III: The Breastplate of Righteousness


• Paul wrote to people in Ephesus who new a thing or two about armor (training facility; Paul chained to a Roman guard)
• There is a spiritual battle happening around us
• Therefore we must be prepared for battle
• We must be strong in the Lord; by the power of the Holy Spirit
• We do this by putting on the whole armor of God
• The armor of God allows us to stand against the wiles” of the devil
• Wiles = Schemes, trickery, deceit
• We cannot wait until the battle commences before we arm ourselves
• Our battle is not against people, but against demonic forces at work
• We must put on the whole armor of God to resist the enemys trap
• Belt of truth: Truth is absolute and it does not change. The devil wants to change what you believe to be true. Therefore we must know the truth so that we can be free from deception. We must engage, confess, and stand on Gods Word so that we can know the truth and believe it. 


Breastplate of Righteousness


Ephesians 4:14 - Stand firm then… with the breastplate of righteousness in place


A Roman soldier wore a breastplate at all times. It was like a bullet-proof vest in that day with the purpose of protecting their vital organs from being struck. This included their lungs, their stomach, etc. However, the most important of those organs was the heart. A shot to the heart by the enemy would have been a fatal blow, killing a soldier in battle. Therefore, it was extremely important for a soldier to be equipped with his breastplate in tact. 


Similarly, we as Christians have a breastplate that is necessary for us to wear as well. It is one that must be worn at all times as we are in a battle as well. This breastplate is meant to protect us from the attack of the enemy. We as Christians are constantly under spiritual attack. Like the breastplate of a Roman soldier, it is meant to protect our heart. 


The devil will attack your family, marriage, finances, personal habits, desires, etc. However, that is not his end game. While he may launch an attack in these areas of your life, his purpose is only to use these things to gain control of your heart. His desire is to lead your heart away from God. This is why the Bible commands us to guard our hearts.


Proverbs 4:23 - Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.


Our life, who we are, flows from the heart. In other words, we make our decisions from the heart. We may come up with different possibilities in our mind, but the heart is where the decision is made. When we have decided in our heart what we are going to do, more often than not that is what we end up doing. 


Therefore the Bible commands us to guard our heart with all vigilance.” That is to watch as a guard who is watching a prison cell, let us watch and guard our hearts. This is because on its own, the heart is so easily led astray. Therefore we must guard it. How? By putting on our breastplate. That breastplate is called righteousness


So what is righteousness? Simply put… 


Righteousness = the standard in which we please God


Righteousness = Right Living


Righteousness is living a life that is right before God. By living righteously, we guard our heart from attack like a breastplate or a bullet proof vest. Living right before God guards us from the devil successfully leading our hearts away from God. We live how God wants us to live, we talk how God wants us to talk, we spend our money the way God wants us to spend our money, etc. We are meeting a standard. That standard is not determined by culture, popular opinion, or societal pressure. Instead that standard is set by God. 


So righteousness is the spiritual breastplate we put on to guard our heart from being led astray. Check out this scripture here.


Proverbs 13:6 - Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked.


If righteousness keeps the enemy out of your life, then unrighteousness  (sin) opens the door and invites the enemy into your life. [Story of aunties house in Kansas] If you leave trash in your home for a long period of time, you are inviting roaches and ants into your home. That trash is the source that bugs are attracted to. If you want to get rid of the roaches, you have to get rid of the trash.


Similarly, if we allow sin in our life then we are inviting devils and demons into our life as well. Along with sin come demons. They feast on sin and wrongness. You can call on God to help you, but if we are still living in sin then we are limiting Gods help. Sin gives the enemy legal right in our life. If we want to get rid of the demons and their influence, we have to get rid of the source; we have to get rid of the unrighteousness in our life.


The devil is trying to lead your heart astray to cause you to buy into a lifestyle of sin. Righteousness is a lifestyle, and so is unrighteousness. However, as a born again Christian we can cry out to God, repent, and turn to Him. We must put on righteousness, live right before the Lord.


Only true righteousness can guard us from the enemy. True righteousness is not living right only on Sundays and Wednesdays. That is not just living right when I am around other Christians. That kind of lifestyle may look righteous to others, but it does not fool God; nor does it fool the enemy. True righteousness is a lifestyle of living rights before God. Man-crafted righteousness will not work in a spiritual battle. We need true righteousness that is from God alone. 


True righteousness is something that is:

1. Put In (Justification) - Received at salvation
2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

2. Put On (Sanctification) - Worked out every day
Ephesians 4:24 - put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.


Let us embrace true righteousness in our life and work it out every single day. You may think, I dont know how to change.” Just let Jesus do the work. Allow the Word of God to feed your spirit and produce righteousness in your life through obedience. 




I. Guard your heart through true righteousness
• True righteousness guards our heart from being led astray from God
• Unrighteousness (sin) gives the enemy legal right into our life
• Right living before God protects us from the attack of the enemy

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

II. Embrace the righteousness of Christ
• You received the righteousness when you were born again.
• When you sin, you have an advocate on your behalf; go to God, repent, and turn to Him.
• When the devil tries to accuse you of what you have done, remind him that you have been justified by the blood of Jesus and that you have been forgiven.
III. Apply the righteousness of Christ
1. True righteousness is put in you by God and put on by you.
2. Put on the new man every single day by going to the word of God and obeying it.
3. We have to work out our salvation; put it to work
4. Feed your spirit through the word of God and work Him out by following His commands.


Doing these things will keep the enemy from leading you away from God. Equipping yourself with righteousness will keep demons out of your life. Arm yourself with the breastplate of righteousness.