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Monday, December 30, 2013

A WEEK END AT HOME!

Evangelist A. Domelle teaching Sunday school
Sunday Morning at LBT
Sunday Night at LBT

I was thrilled to be able to be at home this holiday week end and to attend my home church where I spent 3 decades of service as pastor.  My son Bob II is doing a marvelous job.   Many trusted Christ and were baptized this Lord's Day.

Evangelist Allen Domelle taught Pastor's Sunday school class on marriage.  If you have not purchased his latest book on marriage it is well worth the money and is being used in churches all over this nation.

Sunday morning and Sunday night were especially a blessing.  My son did an excellent job with his sermons.  The music was old fashioned and the spirit was electrifying to say the least.  YES, we still have church on Sunday night.  No cell groups at LBT.  



BOOK SIGNING SUNDAY NIGHT





The book signing Sunday night after church was a great success.  It was an honor to be in my home church and to have the dear people line up to purchase these books.  I was privileged to pastor for 3 decades this great church.  Many who stood beside me in those 3 decades came by to purchase my new books.  As long as the critics howl and attack I intend to DEFEND.  

Please visit SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM and order your copy today.  While you are there you can subscribe to this BLOG to insure receiving it each week.

These are hardback books with beautiful dust jackets. WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING is a 408 page hardback book filled with 33 chapters.  TRIAL BY FIRE is a 384 page hardback book with 33 chapters. JACK HYLES-The Communicator is a 384 page hardback book with 33 chapters.  My son Bob said last night his favorite chapter was "My Name Is Jack Hyles".   Order yours today!

GREAT REPORTS FROM PASTOR KEITH BELL
Sunday Morning at TEXAS BAPTIST CHURCH
San Antonio, TX


Sunday Night at TEXAS BAPTIST CHURCH
San Antonio, TX

This man of God founded TEXAS BAPTIST CHURCH 13 years ago.  They began in a bar and now have a church building of their own.  They have spent a lot of money in refurbishing their current church property.  The Sunday I was there they had 10 visiting families with 10 saved and 8 baptized.  The following week they had 22 saved and 13 baptized.  Amazing work.  Pastor Keith Bell is a grad of TEXAS BAPTIST COLLEGE and we are extremely proud of him  The dear church is averaging just under 400 each Sunday and is a strong soul winning church.

The Auditorium Sunday school class that I taught was full and the response was wonderful.  The strength of a church is found in its Sunday school structure.  That is the foundation that must be effective in order to have a growing church.  Thank you Pastor Bell for being faithful to God's work for over a decade in San Antonio, TEXAS.

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!




Thursday, December 26, 2013

WHO DOES VENGEANCE BELONG TOO?


VENGEANCE



Nahum 1:1-3, “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.”

“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”

“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”


God is saying here that he is a God of vengeance. He is saying the Lord revengeth. He then goes on to say he will not acquit the wicked. God then says there are something’s that help him. He has the lever that turns on and off the whirlwind. He has the buttons that turn on and off the storm. He has the power to make the clouds to come. He has tornadoes and hurricanes at his disposal. God is telling his people that he has all of these things at his disposal.

Our God is a loving God but our God will not acquit the wicked. He is a God of vengeance. Please do not misunderstand this but God wants people who do wrong to receive their just desserts. God will not acquit the wicked. God has three ways to see to it that people receive their just vengeance.


GOD’S PART

Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord.”

You are not to get back at anyone! “Avenge not yourselves” is in the same Bible that promises you Heaven if you trust Christ as your personal Saviour! The same God wrote this too. You are to attempt to get back and anybody.

God is not saying here that he does not want those who have wronged you to get away with it and not receive their just punishment. He is just saying you will not do the best job of vengeance. You want to scrape while God wants to salvage! God does what them to receive their just dues but it is not your job or my jog. “… give place to wrath…”

God’s children are to transfer vengeance to someone else. Defer to someone else who can do a much better job than you can! God wants people to get their come uppins! God wants people to pay for their wrong.

Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

However God’s children are not the judge, jury, and executioner. If someone does you wrong then “give place to wrath” or defer to someone else who can do the job properly. God said, “…I will repay…”


God’s children are not to get back at anyone

I wish all of us would stop and think about this before we react. In my 33 years of pastoring I spent more time refereeing stupid disagreements between church members. The Scripture says, “Bless those that curse you” and “Pray for those that despitefully use you” and  “Do good to those who do evil to you.”


God is for avenging wrong

It is not that God does not want the guilty to be punished. It is just that God wants it done right. We want to kill em’ while God wants to salvage em’! God will do it right and we will always do it wrong!


God says avenging is his job

If God is in charge of the storms, the whirlwind, and the tornadoes I would suspect God could get back at them far better than you and I could. You and I cannot send lightening, a hurricane, a tornado, or thunder. God has the entire universe at his disposal and God is saying stay out of my business and let me take care of this thing.  I’ll take care of it for you and I’ll do it right because you will blow it and mess of the job. You will and cannot do it right!

Please do not misunderstand me God does not want them punished for it is just that God wants it done right and he is the best one to do it. God is not saying here let the sinner go free for he is saying back out of it and I will take care of it. The truth is if you really want your enemy to get what he deserves then step out of the was and let God do it!

God will avenge

In verse 19 God said simply, “…I will repay…”! God will get vengeance on those that do wrong. God will see to it because he is a God of justice.


God can do a better job than we can

God admonishes his children to “…give place to wrath…” or in other words step back and let God do his work! Please understand personally I do not want any bad thing to happen to any of my enemies. There was a time when I wanted them to suffer but after 65 years of life and 33 years of pastoring I do not wish anything bad on anyone. Life is tough enough as it is!

I have learned that God can do a much better job of taking care of my enemies than I can. I suffer maybe because of lies but truth always prevails. I do not have to defend myself I only have to stand and fight for the truth of God’s word!

God is telling us he will get him for you

When I was 13 my dad took me one summer to work with him loading gravel for a road construction job. I was to operate a front end loader and daddy was driving the truck to the road construction area. He would pull the truck up and I would load it with gravel. He then would deliver the gravel. While he was gone I took the front end loader and went into the mound of gravel to have a load ready to load daddy’s truck when he returned. 

When I took the front end loader and pushed into the mound I hit a water line that I did not know was there. A man came running out of the worker’s shed screaming and cussing me. He pulled me off of the tractor and threw me into the mound of grave. He was on top of me and I was no match for him but here came daddy pulling up in his dump truck. He jumped out of the cab and grabbed the man on top of me pulling him off of me and beat the snot out of him! I was never so happy in my life to see my daddy!

Hey, I was no match for my enemy but my father was. Could it be that we are no match for our enemies but our Heavenly Father is?


Saturday, December 14, 2013

FLYING TO SAN ANTONIO TO TEACH AND PREACH

Pastor Keith Bell
I will be able to spend a little extra time at home this morning.   I will not have to leave the house until 10:30. My flight does not leave until 11:30.  Last week the ice storm caused the cancellation of thousands of flights and I was unable to fly to Nashville, TN.  I loved the time at home.

I have had some back problems for several years.  Recently it has become a little more troublesome.  I went to the emergency room twice for shots and then to my doctor for another shot for some relief.  This week I had an MRI and will find out the results in a few weeks.  I have not been able to do my daily 4 mile walk for 6 weeks.  I miss that. Of course none of this is due to old age.  I will be 68 in a few days (12-18) and I mention that because you forgot to send a card last year.   Ha! 

I spoke with Dr. Russell Anderson yesterday and he mentioned that he read in one of my latest books that I was 67.  He is 83 and he laughed and said I was just a young pup.  I like that! In many ways I feel young except when it comes to my lower back and the bone spur on my right heel.  Mrs Gray and I are going to put a sign out titled "THE GRAY NURSING HOME."

TEACHING AND PREACHING AT THE TEXAS BAPTIST CHURCH

I will be teaching and preaching for one of our TEXAS BAPTIST COLLEGE grads Pastor Keith Bell.  He founded the TEXAS BAPTIST CHURCH in San Antonio a decade ago.  He is running several hundred in Sunday school.   This is an unusual man with an unusual ministry.  He is one of the most exciting young leaders I know.  I thoroughly enjoy my time with these dear people.

There will be a Monday night service at 7 pm.  I would love for you to come and be apart of Monday night's service.  You can call 210-219-6216 or 210-654-7903 for directions to TEXAS BAPTIST CHURCH.

"TRIAL BY FIRE" and "JACK HYLES-The Communicator"

My two latest books will be available at the meeting along with a full book table of my other books.  There still is time to take advantage of the 50% off of a case of 16 with 8 of each new book in the same case.  Time is running out!  Call 903-576-1307 or 903-237-9019 or email dayres5@juno.com or bgraysr@me.com and order today.




These are both 384 page hardback books with a beautiful dust jacket containing 33 chapters of thought provoking material.  These are not books of sermons or Bible studies.

Dr. Anderson told me yesterday he is devouring these books and encouraged me to keep writing.   Mrs. Earlyn Stephens, sister of Jack Hyles, said that she loves the books and felt like I was there talking to her as she read the chapters.  Mrs. Beverly Hyles, wife of Jack Hyles, said that she loves the books.

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

DEEP RELATIONSHIPS

WHERE DO DEEP RELATIONSHIPS COME FROM?




I Samuel 18:1-5, “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

“And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.”

“Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”

“And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.”

“And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.”


The greatest of all loves is a friend love. John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for a friend.” It does not say wife, mother, husband, son, and daughter. Please do not misunderstand one can be a friend to their wife, mother, husband, son, daughter, brother, or sister. They are not automatically a friend because they are relatives

·      THE GREATEST OF ALL LOVES IS A FRIEND LOVE
·      THE FIRST RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE A FRIEND RELATIONSHIP
·      REAL BIBLE LOVE FOLLOWS REAL BIBLE FRIENDSHIP
·      BEING A TRUE FRIEND MEANS TRUE UNSELFISHNESS

To whatever degree one is totally unselfish to that degree only is one a friend. The hardest person to be a friend to is someone who has what you desire or need. That is why the mate friendship must be void of selfishness. It is difficult for a child to have a deep relationship with mom or dad for the same reason. Likewise when it comes to the parent-child relationship the same thing is true. 

It is not impossible just hard! It is easiest to be a friend to those you do not know. What if a friend gives you something? If I want what I have then what someone gives me I can enjoy because I have it. The obvious question then comes to mind where do the deep relationships come from?


ONE CAN CHOOSE ANYONE THEY DESIRE TO BE A FRIEND TOO

The issue is not having a friend but being a friend. Selfishness drives the quest for a friend while unselfishness drives the quest to meet needs, desires, and wants of others. The result is that you are a friend!


A TRUE BIBLE FRIEND NEEDS NO MUTUAL AGREEMENT

In order to marry one has to have a mutual agreement. In order to go into business one needs to have a mutual agreement. In order to be on the same ball team one needs a mutual agreement but to be a friend you need no mutual agreement. One can choose any one in the entire world to be a friend too. 

A true Bible friend needs no acceptance or no reciprocation. One does not ask people if they can be their friends? You can decide on your own to be somebody’s friend! Someone can hate you and you can still be his or her friend! A true Bible friend needs no response or mutual agreement in order to be a friend.


YOU CANNOT BE THE BEST FRIEND AND BE A FRIEND

When you desire to b e someone’s best friend you have disqualified yourself from being a true friend.

I decided 40 years ago to be the late Dr. Jack Hyles’ friend, Dr. Curtis Hutson’s friend, Dr. Tom Malone’s friend, Dr. Lee Roberson’s friend, Dr. Carl Hatch’s friend, and Evangelist Lester Roloff’s friend. I never worried about being their best friend because it would have not allowed me to be a friend.


YOU CANNOT CHOOSE WHO IS YOUR FRIEND

It is natural for you to desire for someone to be your friend instead of someone else’s friend and that is why the average person has no deep relationships in life. You have failed the friend test! It is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the believer that allows him or her to lay down his or her own life in lieu of someone else’s life.

The truth is if we would worry, as much about being a friend as we do in the having of a friend all of our relationships would be enriched.

·      We must die to our self
·      We must die to our desires

We have a shallow Christianity and a shallow service in these days because it is all wrapped up in what it means to us and what are the benefits for me and mine! This explains the phenomenal growth of the Evangelical and Charismatic movement in this so called mega-church age. 

These men go into their communities and find out what the people want instead of going to God and His Word to find out what God wants. The catering to selfish side of man will not produce real Christians! It will produce the crowds!

Most redeemed folks want to know how to get things from God for themselves. That is not true praying and it all starts with this door called “friend” that must be entered first.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY?

My God, My God, Why?



Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

A lady came to counsel with me and told me, with tears in her eyes, “My husband and I have been married for one year, and now he has been told he has just six months to live.  Why?” 

After I had preached in a distant city, a pastor came to me and told me that his son had been killed in an automobile accident.  The pastor said he had not been able to overcome the tragedy, and he asked, “Why?” 

Another pastor, a godly man, told me he had just been fired from his church, and he asked, “Dr. Gray, why?”

A few years ago, my son, Scott, and his wife, Jenny, went to the hospital so she could give birth to their new baby. They had been to the doctor a few days before, and everything had been fine. However, when they arrived at the hospital, the doctor could find no heartbeat. Jennifer gave birth to a beautiful, stillborn daughter, a granddaughter I will never meet until we are in Heaven. I found myself asking, “Why?”

I can understand our asking “Why?” but I cannot see Jesus asking “Why?” Yet, on Calvary He cried, “My God, my God, why?”

It seems to me that when I ask "Why?" my doubt is unveiled, but this cannot be true if Jesus asked "Why?"  This was Deity talking to Deity, God Incarnate talking to the Creator of the universe. This was God the Son talking to God the Father.  Even Jesus looked up and asked, “My God, my God, why?”

It is amazing that even Jesus asked "Why?" Did Jesus doubt His Heavenly Father? Did God the Son doubt God the Father? Was there a breach, a paradox?  

The Question “Why” Tells Us There Is an Answer


Stop and think about it. The very fact that I asked my God "Why?" implies that I know there is One who has the answer. I would not ask if I did not think there was an answer. This does not indicate doubt; it actually indicates faith. When you ask why, you imply you have confidence that there is Someone who knows the answer. Jesus did not doubt; He was simply saying there is Someone who has the answer.

Jesus tells the lonely widow there is Someone who has the answer.  He tells the abandoned husband there is Someone who has the answer.  He tells the sick there is Someone who has the answer. He tells the cancer patient there is Someone who has the answer.  He tells the child who is mourning the loss of a parent that Someone has the answer. He tells the broken-hearted pastor, whose staff has turned on him, that Someone has the answer. He tells the jobless husband, Someone has the answer.  He tells the single mother, Someone has the answer. He tells the child abandoned by his father that Someone has the answer. 

When you ask why, you are implying Someone has the answer. You would not ask unless you thought someone had the answer. 

There is a God in Heaven Who loves you. If you are stricken with illness, God in Heaven loves you. If you come from a broken home, God in Heaven loves you.  If you have lost your job, God in Heaven loves you.  He knows the answer, and He allows us to ask "Why?"

We were broken-hearted as I performed the funeral for our stillborn granddaughter. Scott and Jenny had bought the bassinet, the clothing, the little socks, the blankets, and then the baby was gone. It is hard to imagine the grief until you have felt the same pain. I felt guilty about asking why, until I read this verse. When I realized even Jesus looked up to Heaven and asked, “My God, my God, why?” I did not feel so guilty. I realized that, instead of living in the land of doubt, I was really living in the land of faith, because I realized I had a Heavenly Father Who has the answer.

No matter what you are facing, it is alright for you to ask why.  It is alright for you to cry, “My God, my God, why?”  Do not feel guilty for asking.  You are just saying that Someone has the answer, and you are asking Him.  You are not going to your friends, you are not going to your spouse; you are going to God Almighty and asking "Why?"

You may never know the answer. Our minds cannot comprehend the effects of the things that happen in our lives.  Even if God were to tell me the answer, I do not speak the heavenly language, and I would not understand His reasons.  I can trust that God knows the reason and it is alright to ask why. We do not need to know the answer; we just need to know there is an answer. As long as I know there is a reason, I can keep on going.

The Question “Why” Tells Us We Do Not Have the Answer


When I ask why, I am saying I do not have the answer, and I need God. I need to wake up every morning and read my Bible. I need to be faithful to church.  I need to win souls. There is no reason for me to quit. 

The Question “Why” Says the God, Who Has the Answer, Wants My Presence


God allows things to happen in my life because He wants my presence.  When He took our granddaughter from us and put her in Heaven, He drew us toward Heaven.  He did not drive us away. When we have gone through other difficult times in our lives, those times have drawn us closer to God.

When God takes something from us, He wants to bring us closer to Him.  When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why?”, He was being drawn to the Father Who had the answer. He was drawn to the One He needed.  When God allows a tragedy in our lives, He is simply trying to bring us closer to Him.

Do not feel guilty for asking why. Just make sure you ask the One who has the answer.  Ask with confidence because God has the answer.  Hold your head up high because even Jesus asked "Why?"

GOTTA LOVE SERVING A GREAT GOD!

Monday, December 2, 2013

GREAT WEEK END IN MT. VERNON, ILLINOIS

 Pastor Sean Hicks
I arrived in St. Louis, MO, Saturday and was greeted by Pastor Hicks and his dear wife Angela.  We drove to Mt. Vernon, Ill., which is an hour and a half drive.  We had wonderful fellowship.

This pastor started this church a year ago and is an excited young man.  He and his wife are personal soul winners and I suspect the great days are ahead for this man and BLESSED HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH.

Saturday Night Service
He had me preach Saturday night.  This is a church that is only one year old and I was pleased to see a wonderful crowd.   I preached my sermon "HOW TO KEEP IT GOING"from Psalm 85:11.

When God's people spread the truth of God it always attracts Satan. He then attacks us in an attempt to cause us to stop spreading truth.  Satan doesn't mind a church gathered studying truth, but he hates a church scattered spreading truth.

I then pointed out that when we spread truth we will attract Satan, but if we keep on spreading truth with Satan on our back we will then attract God.  God loves what Satan hates and Satan hates what God loves.   In Matthew chapter 4 Jesus answered the Devil with "It is written"when being attacked.  We are no match for Satan, but also Satan is no match for the truth.

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning I preached my sermon "WHY DO I STILL HAVE MY BURDENS?" out of Matthew chapter 11:28-30.   Jesus never asked us to lay our burdens down.  In Galatians 6:5 he said we are to bear our own burdens.   

He asked us to come to Him and then pick up His burden and go back into our world with both burdens.   The astonishing thing is that Christ said then and only then you will "learn of me."  You will have a greater understanding by bearing your own burden and Christ's burden in a yoke.   The LORD gave us 6 adults who trusted Christ.

Sunday night I preached my sermon "EVERYTHING RISES OR FALLS ON FOLLOWSHIP."   The power is in the hand of the follower and they make or break the leader.   Dr. Lee Roberson had a 1,000 soul winners who followed the lead of Dr. Roberson.  No wonder they could baptize a 1,000 converts a year and run 10,000 in Sunday school.

Dr. Jack Hyles had 4,000 soul winners out on the streets of Chicago.  No wonder he could baptized 200 a Sunday and run 20,000 in Sunday school.  These dear people followed the lead of Dr. Hyles and accomplished great things.

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!