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Wednesday, August 16, 2017



Revelation 1:6, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 5:10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Luke 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The question of being fit for the kingdom is not a Bible question about being redeemed or not for one cannot be fit for the kingdom of God if one is not saved. However, just being redeemed does not make one fit for the kingdom of God or putting ones hand to the plow does not save any one. For if that were true then looking back would cause one who was saved to lose his or her salvation.

II Samuel 16:5-14 may not be one of the darkest hours of David’s life, but certainly it must be the most humiliating. By all rights David is King of Israel. He has been anointed three times. He is the man after the very heart of God according to Acts 13:22.

David has been dethroned, David has been removed from his position, and his own son Absalom has dethroned David. I just cannot imagine a greater heartache than to be betrayed by ones own son or by someone whom you have given your very life too. 

I have more respect for a prostitute than a disloyal person. I have more respect for a pimp than a disloyal son, assistant pastor, staff member, or deacon. I cannot fathom David’s own son removing his father from the throne.

Absalom had stolen the hearts of the men of Israel. Ironic, for you never hear any one naming their boy Absalom. He as a good-looking longhaired boy. He was a charismatic self-centered son who never built anything and lived off of his dad’s success. His dad made him! His father gave every thing he had to him, for his dad gave him his position, his prominence, and the ear of the people.

However, this was not enough for Absalom. There is nothing wrong with receiving things from dad, but one had better do more with it than consume it and run it into the ground. Absalom had convinced himself that he deserved more than he had been given. He wanted to rule and he wanted his dad’s position. He set out to get it by guile, deception, and he did.


David refuses to lead by force so David gathers his family, his staff, faithful servants, and departs Jerusalem. David refuses to impose his authority for he knows his authority exists because of the followers and not him. He derives the right to lead from the right to follow. The day a leader decides the follower doesn’t want him should be his last day as leader. I’m not speaking of a minority of disgruntles for they will always exist. I am speaking of the majority however.

Please understand this David did not leave Jerusalem because he feared Absalom. David had dismembered bears, killed lions with his bare hands, and felled the great giant Goliath with one smooth stone. Don’t tell me you thought David feared Absalom for he did not.

Absalom has flattered the people and stolen their hearts from the king. He would say to the people at the gate, or head quarters of the government, “My father is too busy. Now, if I were king!”

The one who truly loves you is not the one who gives you what you want, but what you need knowing it may cost him your affection toward him. It is discipline not favoritism that is the maximum love given. You receive very little help when you get what you want instead of getting what you need.  As a pastor I would rather hurt the members’ feelings than harm their future. One will get over hurt feelings, but you will never get over the harm done to ones future.

Israel chose Absalom to rule over them because he promised that which he could not possibly produce. (Sounds like Obama) The carnal man will always choose what he wants and what feels good. The devil’s plan is to offer you what you have always wanted and rebellion is the only door to getting what you want.


Thus, David leaves Jerusalem and goes to Bahurim as a dethroned king, an exiled king, a rejected king, and a dejected king, but still a king nevertheless. By the way in his heart and God’s heart he was still a king. A just man may be down, but he is never out because he will always end up on his feet.

All of a sudden there appears a descendant of David. Shimei is his name. Shimei begins to curse David. He throws dust and dirt at David. He throws stones at David. Dust in Bible times was a picture of shame and scoffing. The throwing of stones was not to kill David, but a Middle East custom of showing disgust and provocation much like what you see on TV today in the Middle East with Arabs throwing stones at army tanks. They know they can’t hurt the tanks, but it is an act of disgust and provocation.

Shimei a bitter man accuses David of stealing the throne from Saul who was a bitter enemy of David and an old nemesis. He tells David that losing the throne is exactly what David deserves.

Then Abishai comes on the scene. I like Abishai. He is a loyal, loyal, loyal man. He is a man’s man! II Samuel 16:9, “Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the King? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.”  By the way this is the spirit every loyal man ought to have.

Please take note of David’s response concerning Shimei his accuser. David said Shimei’s not worth my attention. Sometimes the best answer is no answer. Silence may be the best sound to make. David rebukes Abishai his defender and ignores his critic. David defends the one who is insulting him and challenging him, and saves the life of the one who is cursing and stoning him. David rebukes the one who wants to silence his critic. Sometimes a leader has too much true grit and not enough true grace.

This is one of the reasons God called David a man after his own heart. In Isaiah 53:7 it is just like how Jesus responds to his accusers for “He opened not his mouth.” A Christian is more Christ like sometimes when his mouth is shut.

II Thessalonians 4:4, “Study to be quiet.”

A man appears more masculine when he shuts his mouth and a lady is never more lady like than when she’s quiet. There is no law that says you have to express your opinion. The truth is you do not say what you think you say without thinking, because if you would have thought about what you were going to say you probably would not have said it. Most have diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain.

David did not address Shimei, he did not allow Abishai to retaliate against Shimei, neither did David retaliate against Shimei, nor did David allow Abishai to silence Shimei.


David is a displaced king, but a king nevertheless. In II Samuel 16:10-11 David is saying leave Shimei along. David is saying this is a minor irritation. My own son has broken my heart for I gave him life, I fed him, I clothed him, I loved him, and he has chosen to betray me and this relative of my mortal enemy, Saul, is nothing to me.

David is saying I have more important matters to attend to than this and I do not have time to get side tracked with this Benjamite and what he has to say to me. David is saying to Abishai let me focus on the real problem; let me focus on the kingdom, and on that which really matters.


My question is, are you dear leader fit for the kingdom? Are you allowing the little things side track you and make you unfit to be king of your kingdom? We are so obsessed with our little inconveniences of life that we do not pay attention to real life issues of our kingdom.

Do not become an Abishai or allow an Abishai seek revenge. Do not let your whole life be defined  the wrong others have done to you. They will sleep at night while you toss and turn. Never let your life be defined by your enemies, or controlled by your enemies, or let your mind be distracted by your enemies, or allow your love of life to be destroyed by your enemies.

His own son dethrones David, but David knows he will return. David knows this is a small setback. Some men endured things that caused us to admire them and then watched them fall under the weight of a straw of something small or something insignificant. David refuses to let a response to Shimei disqualify him from returning to his throne. Do not think David could not have taken his head off.


God has made us kings and priests, a throne to inhabit, a scepter to hold, a royal crown, and a royal robe. Do not let a little conflict keep you from God’s blessings. Jesus is the King of kings. If we will stay focused Jesus will use us in our kingdom as a king.

The insignificant becomes significant to some. Some allow little petty things to get under their skin. Comments from someone who doesn’t really matter to the whole scheme of things can become a stumbling block. Refuse to let them cause you to be dethroned.

What a thousand Philistines could not do to Samson, Delilah did with a smile and a razor. The blessings of God are more important to me than the opinion of someone who doesn’t like me, maybe do not even know me, never heard me preach, never visited the church I pastored or some rebellious carnal Christian who has visited. 99 % of the people who criticized Dr. Jack Hyles never attended the church he pastored.

Do not become sidetracked by the Shimei's in your life or even the Absalom's whose life's goal is to take you down.  Only God can do that. Stay focused on God's will for your life and stay diligent in the service to your LORD.  Become fit and stay fit!

·      You are meant to rule
·      You have a kingdom
·      You will have set backs
·      You are still a king in those times of set backs
·      You must not let insignificant or significant enemies sidetrack you
·      You must do right even when done wrong

·      Never give up on your kingdom

Thursday, August 10, 2017



Psalm 119:45, “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”

The Psalmist is saying I will walk in liberty because I keep thy commandments. This is a strange statement to me for it seems to me that the opposite would be true. It seems like one would walk in liberty if one did not keep commandments. However, verse 45 is amazing for God says that those who keep his precepts or his commandments will walk in liberty. I will walk in liberty because I keep God’s commandments!

In our churches, schools, and colleges we have some rules, regulations, and standards. We have rules about dating, dress, haircuts on the males, makeup on the females, hairstyles, clothing, smoking, dancing, bad music, Hollywood movies, speech, respect for authority, proper conduct, etc.

Immediately the accusations begin to come when such a stand is taken. The cry is always the same and the charge is always the same. “Why, that is nothing but legalism with all those rules, standards, and regulations for they are nothing but promoting legalism!”

The truth of the matter is when you associate legalism with rules, regulations, and with standards people with neo-evangelical hearts who masquerade make such statements in fundamental Baptist clothing. Sometimes they are made by people who were real fundamental Baptist at one time and yet have become weary of the battle and long to return to the onions, watermelons, leaks, cucumbers, and garlic of acceptance. Also, this cry of legalism often comes from the desks of colleges and seminaries built on fundamental foundations with walls of compromise and a leaking roof of pseudo liberty.

We have grown to desire that our truth be accredited by worldly educated error. We want a license from wrong to do right! My I extol and return all of us to that fundamental world we believed in and practiced before we had teenagers, home-schoolers, liberal fundamental colleges, Bill Gothard, Oral Roberts University, Benny Hinn, his girlfriend Evangelist Paula White, amusement parks, and before Jerry Falwell slid down a charismatic water slide!

May I push what Dr. Jack Hyles used to call that little “reset button” to return us back to the old fashioned fundamental Baptist convictions. I’m speaking of when we believed in separating ourselves from the world and building walls to protect the next generation from being sucker punched by Satan and his crowd.

Since when did it hurt to not smoke? I would suggest that separation is not bad, but good for the next generation. No one can sow so-called wild oats and then pray for a crop failure with success! Each institution must decide themselves what is going to be good or bad for those following them. I am talking of old-fashioned standards our fathers use to have for us.

Faith of our fathers living still
In spite of dungeon fire and sword


This generation must not listen to the prophets of compromise who are silently bridging fundamentalism to a liberal Southern Baptist Convention in order to garner the crowds. No one is legalistic who insists on standards. When someone adds anything to salvation other than the shed and applied blood of Jesus Christ is by definition a legalist.

When you conveniently compromise you are not only betraying Billy Sunday, Sam Jones, Bob Jones Sr., Mordecai Ham, John Wesley, John R. Rice, Curtis Hutson, Lester Roloff, Lee Roberson, Tom Malone, and Jack Hyles but you are betraying your own standards of just a few years back.

If we cannot have our padded pews with hell fire and brimstone preaching then let us go back to the sawdust trail and the store front buildings while sitting on wooden benches.

If we cannot have organs with trained choirs without the seven-fold Amens and the crusty anthems then let us go back to the “pie-anar” and tuning fork.

If we cannot have a marriage of proper grammar and the mourner’s bench with preaching on hell, heaven, the rapture, the second coming, and separation then let us go back to split infinitives, dangling participles, and hung gerunds.

If tiled restrooms and chandeliers are not conducive to the old time religion then let us mark off a path and build an outhouse. Let us screw a 60-watt light bulb in it and order a Sears and Roebuck catalogue for the outhouse and get right with God.

If we have to include Kierkegaard, Brunner, and Niebuhr in our required reading in order to be intellectual theologically then let us go back to the Blue-black Speller, the ABC’s, the alphabet, and the simple preaching of thus saith the Lord God! 

We have listened too much to psychologists in the pulpit and not enough to leather lunged Baptist preachers. We have listened too much to philosophers and not enough to old-fashioned prophets of God. We have listened too much to so-called Christian TV and radio and not enough to men of God.

Ladies and gentlemen common shoes have historically shod the beautiful feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. The hands that have wielded the sword of the Spirit have been old and calloused ones. The eyes that have looked through the helmet of salvation have been tear stained ones. The bodies that have been protected by the shield of faith have been pure and separated ones.

It is sad to say but there are those inside the walls of a local independent Baptist church that would have their man of God forsake his standards simply because their daughter does not like them. It is sad to say, but there are those outside the walls of the local church who would have you forsake your standards or as they refer to it as “legalism.”

Standards do not make nor keep you right with God, but they do keep you from wrecking your life with one stupid stunt. No man of God is attempting to run anyone’s life, but he must do his best to use his influence to warn. I hate to say this, but there are more people in fundamentalism who want us to lower our standards than who want to raise the standards. These are the ones who cry “legalism.”

Legalism has nothing to do with living right, talking right, or walking right. Legalism is adding to faith something else for required for salvation other than just faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Dr. Bill Rice was a half-brother to Dr. John R. Rice. He was preaching a revival camp meeting when a deacon jumped him about being so negative with his preaching. One night Dr. Bill preached against dancing, then the next night against movies, then the next night against smoking, then the next night against teen petting and necking.

The deacon told Dr. Bill that he would have to preach something positive or he would see to it that the meeting was closed down. Dr. Bill agreed to do so. The next night Dr. Bill stood up behind the pulpit and announced that a deacon had asked him to preach a positive message. So he told them he was going to do that very thing. He said tonight my sermon is “If you don’t get saved you are positively going to Hell!”


Legalism is salvation by faith plus works! It is salvation plus baptism, plus church membership, plus keeping the law, plus communion, plus confession.

The Seventh Day Adventist doctrine, Church of Christ doctrine, Catholic doctrine, Armenian doctrine, Armstrong World-Wide Church of God doctrine, the Mormon doctrine, and the Jehovah (False) Witness doctrine are legalism.


Legalism is not a godly mother who insists that her daughter dress modestly. Legalism is not parents enrolling their children in Christian school that believes as they do about separation from the world. Legalism is not a dedicated aged godly dad who takes his son to the barbershop instead of a beauty shop every two weeks.

Legalism is not a faithful youth director who insists his teenagers dress appropriately. Legalism is not a hard working pastor who insists that his Sunday school teachers not smoke, not drink alcohol, no tobacco use, no movies, they visit absentees, and go soul winning.

Legalism is not the careful godly educator who forbids his students to dance or listen to bad music. Legalism is not the man of God who cries aloud against mixed swimming, in essence mixed nudity, against vampire lipstick promoting drugs, and young males with their Billy Idol bleached porky pine spiked chili bowl hair do!

Right has not changed and wrong has not changed just because you enter into a different century. Black is still black and white is still white. Good is still good and bad is still bad. Legalism is not the faithful man of God who cries aloud against sin.

Was Paul a legalist when he told men not to have long hair in I Corinthians chapter 11? Was Paul a legalist when he told the ladies not to have short hair in the same chapter? Sit still and read the rest of the article before you become mad!

Was Moses a legalist when he said, “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not steal,” or when he said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery?” Was Paul a legalist when he said in I Timothy chapter 3 that the deacon should not be double tongued, or when he said a deacon should be the husband of one wife, or should be honest, or should be temperate?

Was Paul a legalist in I Timothy chapter 3 when he said the pastor should be sober, or the husband of one wife, or not greedy of filthy lucre? Was Titus a legalist if he obeyed the Apostle Paul in Titus chapter 2 when he told the aged men to be sober, grave, temperate, sound, loving, patient and the aged women to be holy and temperate? Was he a legalist when the told the young ladies to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their husband, and the young men to be sober and of sound speech?


Most of the Scriptures are about rules on how Christians ought to live! I challenge you to take Genesis and try to show unsaved people how to be saved or redeemed form going to hell. Now you will find types of salvation but you will have a tough time finding the plan of salvation in Genesis.

Ok, after that go to Exodus. You will find the Passover and it is a type of salvation but the plan of salvation is not listed there. Try Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and you will have a tough time finding the plan of salvation.

That is why in Acts when the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading Isaiah the best chapter on salvation in the Old Testament and the best part of that chapter on salvation he said, “How can I understand unless some man should guide me.”

You will find how to live in Genesis and rules in Exodus, standards in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and in Nehemiah. The truth is if you do not believe in standards and rules you will have to neglect most of the Scriptures.

These pussyfooters dote in II Corinthians 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” The truth is that verse is not talking about where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty for the child of God to do what he wants to do.  It is not saying that where the Spirit of the Lord is the deacons can drink liquor or the Sunday school teachers can smoke. He is saying where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty for the Holy Spirit to work among his people.


As a result in our day we find ourselves not fighting the vehicle of formalism; as Dr. John Rice boldly put at the top of his SWORD OF THE LORD paper in a banner. We find ourselves fighting INFORMALISM. The pendulum has swung to another extreme with the same cry against the rest of us who hold our feet to the fire on being separatist and are being called "legalist." 

It takes more than facial hair to make a man. Your flowery shirts and glass pulpits are not impressing the Holy Spirit at all. Your "worship teams" disguised as a singing group are not fooling anyone. , especially the Holy Spirit of God. Your colored lights to get the atmosphere you want is insulting to the Holy Spirit. When you decided to secretly follow Rick Warren you had to embrace the tactic of calling the rest of us "legalists." You are substituting convenience for conviction.


Psalm 119:45 is saying, ”I will walk in liberty because I keep thy commandments” or “I will walk in liberty because I walk within the walls of the city.” Let us suppose that your church building is a city. Suppose your pastor were the mayor. Suppose outside the walls the enemy lurks with his weapons of warfare. Now are you at liberty outside the walls or inside the walls of the church auditorium?

Where is the freedom inside or outside the walls? I will walk in liberty if I keep thy commandments and the commandments of God are walls built around us to give us a little area where we can walk in liberty and not be enslaved with the captor outside of the walls. The enemy is outside and he cannot reach those inside of the walls.

God’s people have a choice! You can be free inside of the walls or you can be enslaved outside the walls. It bothers me when I hear God’s people using liberty as a license to sin. Liberty is inside of the Laws of God and not outside of the Laws of God. Every commandment, rule, or standard of God has been given for one purpose and that is to build walls around his people especially the young people.

Liquor, dope, elicit sex, Hollywood, cigarettes, bad music, etc., enslaves and is addictive. God’s do’s and don’ts build walls of protection for his people!

If fundamentalism is not careful we will lose everything that is near and dear to us! Being a fundamentalist is more than believing salvation by grace, verbal inspiration, plenary inspiration, preserved inspiration, virgin birth, sinless life of Christ, security of the believer, and vicarious death of Christ. Being a fundamentalist also includes having some rules and standards to live by so we can be free.

Those rules are bricks in a mighty wall that has been built by our founding fathers so that we might have a place of freedom in this world of slavery. Rules and standards have never enslaved for the truth is they liberate for all that enslaves has been placed outside the wall.

We know cigarettes enslave so we put nicotine warnings on the outside of the packages so why shouldn’t God’s people put them outside the wall. The same is true of marijuana, liquor, and dope.

Rationalize with me as I ask you a question. “Thou shalt not kill” is a law but you say I want my freedom so who is free, the man who does not kill or the man who does kill?

I’m free and if I want to go outside the walls of God’s Laws for dope I’ll do it! Yes, and you will find out when you arrived outside those walls that you will be a slave on the outside and that you left your freedom inside of those walls you escaped from. Where is the freedom in I am free to drink liquor? Where is the freedom in I am free to use dope? Where is the freedom?

Love is not breaking down the walls for love is the building up of the walls! Love is not freedom to go to the captor for love is freedom from the captor!

Elvis Presley was free he thought and yet ended his life at the young age of 42 enslaved to dope. The same is true of Jimmy Hendricks, Janis Joplin, and hundreds of other rock stars. The youth director who breaks down those walls loves himself more than he does his youth The truth is he loves their love and not them.

The preacher who breaks down those walls loves you not for he loves your love. The principal who breaks down those walls loves his students not for he loves their love. The preacher, the youth director, and the principal that love will build up the wall of standards and rules to keep the ones they love from that which will enslave them.

·      There is dope outside those walls
·      There is liquor outside those walls
·      There is addiction outside those walls
·      There is indecency outside those walls
·      There is heartache outside those walls
·      There is heartbreak outside those walls
·      There is disease outside those walls
·      There is divorce outside those walls
·      There is wife beating outside those walls
·      There is child abuse outside those walls
·      There is enslavement outside those walls

The Psalmist said he would walk in liberty because he of keeping God’s commandments and not because he breaks them. God has built for his people a wall where he can protect his people. This gives freedom to his people from those enemies outside of that wall who would enslave God’s people.


If I unplug the microphone from a pulpit because the microphone cries and pleads to be free does not give freedom to the microphone. The microphone was made for one purpose and that purpose is to be attached to the source of power.

Here is a piece of steel or iron in the ground. It is held captive by earth. A man takes a pick and shovel. He digs, digs, digs, and digs! He reaches down into the ground and retrieves that piece of steel or iron. That piece of steel or iron is detached but not free because that piece of steel or iron is meant to be apart of a great machine somewhere. It is not free because it is detached! It is free only when it is being used for what it was intended to be used for.

When you go to servitude that is a higher servitude from a lower servitude you are free. It is not leaving a purpose but arriving at a greater service that is true freedom. Jesus pleaded, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest…” However, he did not stop there for he continued, “… take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

He is saying come unto me and I will free you, not to be detached, but so you can be attached! That is why the Scriptures speak of  “the law of liberty.”

Here is a piece of coal held captive by the earth and the earth says, “I’ll hold you.” The piece of coal says, “I want to be free!” A miner comes to that Kentucky mine and he goes down into that mine. He breaks free that piece of coal from its’ captor. He puts that piece of coal from that mine on the ground outside the mine. That piece of coal is not free it is just detached! That coal was not made to just be detached and to lie there on the ground. That coal was meant to give warmth, blessing, energy, or comfort to human beings by its usage somewhere!

Jeremiah puts it this way, “Thou hast broken the yokes of wood but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.” A young person says I’m tired of rules and slavery of my Christian school. Let me be free! So he or she runs from the yoke of wood of the rules of their school and so the yoke of dope overtakes him or her. “I’m free to drink liquor if I want too!” He or she breaks away from the yoke of wood of the rules and the yoke of liquor captures him or her.

God is saying to the government, parents, schools, colleges, and churches free the young people by building walls of standards and rules around them so they will be safe from the captors outside of the walls. That is why our educational system in the USA is so low in world rankings.

That is what Romans 8:2 means when it says, “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” A law made me free from a law! Freedom is when you are liberated from a bad law by a good law.

King David said, “I’ll be free to court Bathsheba.” He went outside the wall that he though enslaved him and found slavery was outside the wall. He ultimately discovered he was really free on the inside of the wall.

Samson said, “I’ll be free! If I want Delilah’s head in my lap, or if I want to live in sin with Delilah I’ll be free to do so!” He later found out he was really free on the inside. While on the outside of those walls the put out his eyes. They bound him to the mill. Blind and bound while grinding around and around and around on that giant grinding wheel!

I do not hear him saying how much he loves this freedom now! Samson you are a slave!


Leaders must take this seriously and quit massaging their egos by being like Aaron and allowing the people to do what they want to do and start speaking for God to man. Leaders must quit bringing God down to man and start bringing man up to God. We are made in his image! God is not made in our image! We conform to him not he to us!

Leaders please let us keep the people free with walls of standards, rules, and protection so that the enemy from without will not capture those whom God loves and we love!

I thank God every day for an old-fashioned wall building Mama, teachers, and preachers! Thank God for wall building schools, colleges, churches, Bible Conferences, and leaders who stand firm inside the walls. This is not legalism but rather it is liberty!

We need the walls to remain strong so that our young people can stay innocent and remain fearful of an enemy that lurks on the outside of the walls of protection where there is the bondage of compromise. Give me liberty inside of the walls.

The rules must be consistent between the pulpit, parent, and peer pressures. If all three are going in the same direction and provide the same consistency the odds are in favor of the follower being allowed to make right decisions! Liberty or legalism?


·      Rules do not make rebels they merely expose rebels
·      Obeying the rules does not make one spiritual
·      Rules keep you from that which will scar for a life time
·      Rules will keep one innocent
·      It is the responsibility of leaders to provide standards and rules
·      Rules cannot be established by a novice
·      Rules come from Scriptures

·      Rules come from Seniority that has dealt with destructive behaviour

Thursday, August 3, 2017



Hosea 13:9, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.”

 Israel was destroyed! The same thing that happened to Israel is occurring in America today. The people of Israel observed in their day what we are observing in our day. They watched the deterioration of their nation as we likewise are seeing in our day. The destruction unfortunately is a self-inflicted thing for Israel as well as the America we call home. They loved their nation as we love our nation. However, their love for themselves was greater than their love for their God.

 Liberalism is not the answer for any nation, society, family, school, college, and especially for the house of God and the man of God. It appears that appeasing is the appeal of the day. Why can’t we all just get along seems to be the cry of the day without any consideration of the outcome. The mantra of our day is as long as we get along we could care less about the future of our children and grandchildren.

 Truth trumps any relationship in life because it sustains a relationship with God, which in turn is reflected in human relationships bathed in truth. Human relationships are not the means to an end. A divine relationship is the relationship that allows us to be a conduit for God to live through us and develop proper and productive relationships with other humans for Christ’s sake and not our sake.

 Israel was destroyed and she blamed her enemies. She blamed Samaria, Assyria, Egypt, Judah, Tyre, Sidon, and her northern neighbor Syria. She was destroyed and God said Egypt, Samaria, Syria, Assyria, Tyre, Sidon, and Judah did not destroy you. God said, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself…” God is saying to them you have no one to blame but yourselves.

 Many folks in our churches are saying the same thing. “I would have succeeded if I had a good wife, but my wife was the reason for my destruction.” No, she was not the reason! Husband, thou hast destroyed thyself! If you ever fail in a marriage you cannot justifiably point to your wife. Now, she may have not been everything she should have been, but in the final analysis the Scriptures say, “…every man will give account of himself to God…” 

“I could have succeeded if my parents had reared my properly.” Please pay attention, son thou has destroyed thyself! Daughter, thou hast destroyed thyself. If you fail you cannot blame a drunkard father. If you fail you will not truthfully be able to blame a careless mother or an unhappy home. If you are destroyed God will say to you, “Thou hast destroyed thyself…” It is a personal decision not a parental decision that brings about success in life.

 God pity the soul of every young person who comes from a good home that does not turn out right. “But, my daddy never took me fishing!" Son, thou hast destroyed thyself. “But, my mother never showed any affection!” Daughter, thou hast destroyed thyself. “But, my daddy never took me to a Texas Rangers baseball game.” Son, thou hast destroyed thyself. “But, my mother never taught me how to be a good wife.” Daughter, thou hast destroyed thyself. “But, the pastor mistreated me and my family.” Sir, thou hast destroyed thyself. “But, the principal mistreated my son.” Parent thou has destroyed thyself. “But, the teacher flunked my son.” Parent, thou hast destroyed thyself.

 Israel said we have neighbors that are always bothering us and it is Samaria’s fault we are destroyed. However, God said, “Thou hast destroyed thyself…” Israel said to God our perennial enemy Syria has caused our trouble and God replied, “Thou hast destroyed thyself…” God let them know that they have no one to blame but themselves.

 A wife says, “I could have succeeded if I had a better husband!” No, if you do not succeed or succeed it will not be the badness of your husband. It will be the badness or the goodness of your character. My dear 98 year-old mother, who is in Heaven, did not have it made, but my mother was a success as a wife and mother. If Mary Elizabeth Gray had failed she would have had no one to blame but Mary Elizabeth Gray.

 I am feed up with this “blame it” generation this victim society we have created in the USA. These idiotic academic head shrinks who explore into the past in order to find someone or some thing to blame are destroying our people. They remind me of those who blame devils for every thing. No one wants to take personal responsibility for their actions and as a result we not only fail we take others down with us.

 Sorry Israel, “Thou hast destroyed thyself…” I do not care what your background is. I do not care who hurt you, who your mother is, what your daddy did, what kind of a wife you have, what kind of a husband you have, and what kind of a poverty stricken life you lived in, you will self destruct if you do not take the challenges of life head on! 

Every life that is destroyed is a suicide! “I would have succeeded but I have lost confidence in my pastor.” Your pastor did not destroy you! You destroyed your self with self-destruction! You have no one to blame but yourself. You committed suicide.

 “My church ruined my life because it was not what it should have been.” It may not have been, but you have a copy of God’s Word that is what it ought to be and you could have read it, if you had wanted too! Jesus is what He ought to be. The Holy Spirit is what He ought to be. God the Father is what He ought to be. You have no one to blame but yourself.

 “I would have succeeded but I had an awful boss and everyone knows what he is life. That is the reason I did not succeed.” No, the reason you failed is because you self-destructed! “I would have made it if I had not been born in Shreveport’s slums.” No, the reason you may not make it because you have not taken personal responsibility for your life and not your birth.

 “I would have made it if it had not been for bad luck.” It is amazing to me that the ones who make it in life are lucky and the ones who fail are unlucky. Isn’t it interesting that those who work hard always have good luck and lazy devils have bad luck? It is amazing to me how those who rise early and stay up late are always so lucky and succeed. If you fail it is your fault and the words on you tombstone ought to be “Thou hast destroyed thyself…”

 Others can wound you, but they cannot destroy you. Others can hinder you and knock you down but they cannot knock you out. Others can lead you to self-destruct, but they cannot destroy you. Others can discourage you, but they cannot destroy you. Others can depress and tempt you, but they cannot destroy you.

 God is saying to Israel, “I know your neighbors! I know Assyria, Syria, Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt, but thou hast destroyed thyself!”

 If you destroy yourself it will be you who pulls the trigger or flip the switch on your life. Students who wash out, quit, go home, become Benedict Arnolds, turn yellow, become spiritual cowards, spiritual weaklings, tuck tail and go home from Bible College give reasons that are not the real reasons. The truth is they destroyed themselves. Oh, they blame the teachers, Dean of Men, Dean of Women, Registrar, Vice-President, President, Chancellor, or Pastor; but the truth is they self-destructed.

 Life is not fair! Read that again! Life is not fair! It makes no difference where you are, who you are with, or who is over you. You either succeed or fail in life because you either refuse to self-destruct or choose to self-destruct!

 When you decide to quit your Sunday school class, bus route, choir, orchestra, ushering, staff position, or being a deacon you will give every reason in the world except the real reason. You self-destructed! I can prove it! Others made it with the same circumstances while you failed!

 Here is Israel, she is defeated and destroyed! She blames everybody around her, but God said, “Thou hast destroyed thyself…”

 If you get knocked down you don’t have to stay down. If you can’t get through you can certainly try again. If life pens you to the mat you can still lift that shoulder one more time. If your way is blocked today go at again tomorrow. Quit blaming every one else. REFUSE to self-destruct!

 If people have discouraged you, depressed you, tempted you, made it hard for you; you can still make if you refuse to self-destruct.

 Deuteronomy 33:25, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” God gave the tribe of Asher a mountainous terrain when the land was divided. God said to Asher, “I am giving you ‘iron shoes.’” Why, you have got some rocky days ahead of you! God never said to anybody else that he would give them shoes of iron! They did not get their shoes after the trip or when they got into the trip. He said before you get started I am going to give you shoes of iron. God is saying He will give to His children what they need to make it through the rough days. He always has!



Saturday, July 29, 2017



Philippians 3:13-16, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as man as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

Every 58 minutes someone in America becomes a millionaire. 80% of them will have a blue-collar background. 80% of them will have average intelligence. 75% of them will have average grades in school.  There is an intelligence trap and a spiritual trap that stops people from reaching their potential. People stop learning. People stop being teachable. People fail to develop a second effort mentality. There is a second effort barrier that stops people from reaching their potential. The issue is not how high ones potential is, but rather are you reaching your potential.


Leaders need to decide now what God wants them to do. The people who reach their potential are intensely goal oriented in the short term not the long term. There is a difference between a man who dreams and a man who has a vision. These who reach their potential have a sense of mission. There is a vast difference a position and a purpose. Those who live for a purpose will keep on going while those who live for a position may lose their position, but they can never lose a purpose.

Those who reach their potential have a clear picture of what they believe God wants for them. Billionaire H. L. Hunt said, “There are only two clear requirements. One is to decide what you want and two is determine the price and pay the price in advance.”

Short-term goal oriented people have two thoughts in mind: quantified and qualified. The first is numerical and the second is staying within Biblical boundaries. 75% of these people who reach their potential have written short-term goals. They have their life on paper!


Leaders must decide to be the best early in life and commit themselves to quality. Average commitment brings average market price. Work should be the play of a leader. There is no substitute for quality of work. Work ethics have been sliding in our society and within a few generations we will have an undercutting of our moral values that always follow the work ethic slide.

Leaders lead by example and exhortation. However, example gives the punch to the exhortation of the leader. Exhortation is necessary but not viable without the example of the leader. Excellence is the quality that will lead to quantity.


The leader must focus on what he or she can give and not what they can get. Consumer needs that go unmet is where failure lives. Spiritual needs that go unmet is where failure lives in God’s economy. The law of compensation of sowing and reaping brings with it good results if the proper seed is sown.

The Wal-Mart’s of the world exist because they meet the needs of the consumer. The McDonald’s of the world prosper because they meet the needs of the consumer. It is the common man they reach. May I suggest to you that real leadership is meeting the needs of the common man? Spiritually there has to be contributing centered on the need not the wants. When a ministry asks the unsaved sinner what he wants in a ministry he will always end up with carnality. However, only God knows the needs of the common man. We were made in the image of God not the other way around. God is not made in the image of man.


Until leaders are willing to accept 100% responsibility for their lives they cannot grow. The followers then become the losers. It is imperative that we remember we are totally responsible from birth to death for our lives. When leaders convince themselves they are self-employed and quit being co-dependent they can tap the depths of wisdom. Some leaders recognize it and some do not recognize the principle of responsibility from birth to death.

Those who do reach their potential act as thought they own the company. The timeserver is one who will never reach let alone expand their potential. All high achievers see themselves as self-employed and indispensable.


There is a second effort barriers that must be broken at will. Multi-millionaire Dr. Russell Anderson teaches that one makes a living from 8 to 5 and a success from 5 to 8. One works for 8 hours a day to survive while everything over 8 hours is an investment in ones future.

Stress comes from working below our performance level. The second effort barriers being broken explains those in history who have given us the great inventions that we take for granted. The telephone, the computers, the satellites, the automobile, aircraft, etc., have become commonplace yet all began with second barriers being broken by the second milers of life.


In order to be efficient time managers there is a necessity of developing a bias for action, speed, dependability, accuracy, and heroes.

·      Set priorities
·      Concentrate on one thing at a time
·      Put your life on paper
·      Keep your life in balance

Time is an event not seconds, not minuets, not hours, and not days. What we throw away may be more important than what we keep. The file 13 mentality will save more time than any other concept of time management you can think of.


The ability to stick with it longer than the other man is foundational. When the president of IBM was asked his reason for his success he said, “I last one day longer than the other guy!” The doubling of a person’s failure rate was a common denominator to those who reach their potential.

Possessing a non-teachable spirit is deadly for a leader. Intellectual arrogance is a cancer to the spirit of a leader. A leader can be right so much of the time that he or she thinks they are right all of the time.

Courage in a willingness to take calculated risks exists in all who strive to reach their potential. Playing too safe will always steal ones courage. Keeping ones heart in their throat will build ones courage. In order to develop courage it is necessary to classify obstacles as opportunities and building resistance to quit.

Persistence builds character and character helps one handle success of reaching their potential. Unless the leader jumps ten feet the follower will not jump five feet.