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Saturday, July 29, 2017

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

SEVEN PRNCIPLES FOR LEADERS



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.


A SENSE OF PURPOSE

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!


EXCELLENCE

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.


CONTRIBUTION

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.


RESPONSIBILITY

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.


SECOND EFFORT

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.


TIME MANAGEMENT

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.


STAY WITH IT

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.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

GOD LEFT HIM TO TRY HIM...

PRIDE COMETH BEFORE AND AFTER A FALL


II Chronicles 32:31, "Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.”

 Hezekiah was one of the greatest of the kings. Probably God’s people knew only one king greater than Hezekiah and that was King David or at least he was in the top three of the greatest of the kings in the history of God’s people.

 Hezekiah led in a great revival. He gathered the people together at the Temple and led them in national repentance. The Temple worship was restored and the Passover that had been neglected for many years was kept. The Temple that had been run down and filled with rubbish has been clean up under his leadership. Choirs were organized to tour the land and to sing praises to God and lead the people of God to sing praises unto God. People began to tithe and give offerings again. They established certain places for the people of God to get right with God financially and by the way nobody ever has revival without a revival of giving. I would be ashamed to be a member of one of God’s blood bought local churches and not give my tithes and offerings to her.

 Idols were destroyed and the Scriptures were read in public places because of the leadership of Hezekiah. A time of thanksgiving was set and a mighty deliverance was given from their bitter and perpetual enemy Syria.

 It was a wonderful time of revival. Only a few other times in all of the life of God’s people where there was revival anywhere near to comparing to this revival in the days of Hezekiah. King Josiah led God’s people in a great revival and there were others who led God’s people in revival, but none were as great as this revival under King Hezekiah.

 As a result of this revival King Hezekiah became internationally honored. Ambassadors came from all over the known world to bring him gifts and to honor him. Other great dignitaries came to see this great King Hezekiah. Ladies and gentlemen when greatness comes your way you had better watch it, you had better be careful, because failure has slain its thousands while success has slain its tens of thousands! It is awfully hard for creatures of dust as we humans are to take success without nudging ourselves a little bit into the limelight of honor.

 Hezekiah was not able to stand the praise and the success he experienced! His heart was lifted up with pride and because of this pride Hezekiah was made sick even sick unto death. He turned his face toward the wall and the Scriptures tell us, “He sought the Lord” and he humbled himself and God healed him. God gave him 15 more years to live.

 With that blessing came more honors and more wealth! The Bible tells us about the silver, the gold, the jewels, the corn, the wine, the cattle, the flocks, the herds, the fame, and other things that man would associate with material blessings. All of this came to King Hezekiah.

 Ambassadors were sent from Babylon to bring gifts and to give him honor. Hezekiah was basking once again in the sunlight of fame all the way into Babylon. Please follow this carefully! Here is King Hezekiah; he led in a great revival, God blessed, pride came, he was made ill, he humbled himself, and sought the Lord and God healed him by giving him 15 more years to his life. 

 Then God said, “I’d better give Hezekiah a little check up. I’d better check his heart and give him a little spiritual stress test.” God said, “Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land God left him to try him that he might know all that was in his heart.” 

 God said, “I’m going to hide from the sight of Hezekiah for awhile. I’m going to find out what is in his heart. He served me when he had plenty of corn. I‘m going to find out if he will serve me when he has little corn. He served me when the vats were filled so now I’m going to find out if he will serve me when the vats are empty. He loved me and served me when he had silver, gold, precious stones, beautiful jewels, and expensive gems, but I’m going to find out if he will still serve me and love me when the gold, silver, jewels, and precious metals are all gone.” 

 God said, “He served me when he had fame now I’m going to take away his fame and see if he will serve me when he has no fame. He served me when he had cattle so I’m going to see if he will serve me if he has no cattle.”

 Why don’t we just put it down where we live? God sometimes says, “You served me when there was prosperity and I’m going to see if you will serve me when there is no prosperity. You served me when there was plenty and I’m going to find out if you will serve me when there is lack. You served me when you were employed and now I’m going to find out if you will serve when you are unemployed.”

 God says, “I’m going to check out King Hezekiah’s heart. I’m going to find out what is in his heart.” God said, “He served me when he had flocks and herds and now I’m going to find out what he will do without the flocks and the herds. He served me when ambassadors from other countries came and brought him gifts and honors. Let’s see if he will serve me when the ambassadors quit coming and the gifts quit coming and the honors quit coming his way. He served me when he was on top now let’s check him out and see if he will serve me when he is on the bottom. He served me when the sun was at high noon so let’s see if he will serve me when its midnight in his life. He served me when things were rosy and all was good, now let’s see if he will serve me when seemingly turn my back on him. 

 I’m going to hide from him so now let’s see if he will still serve me. When the rain comes will he serve me? When the clouds come will he still serve me? When the darkness overtakes him will he still serve me?

 The truth is God sometimes looks down on a nation and he says, “That nation had churches on every street corner. That nation believes the Bible to be the perfect, inerrant, and inspired Words of God Himself. That nation has prosperity and I’m going to send a recession and maybe even a depression to see what they are made of spiritually.”

 The same thing is true of individuals when God sometimes does the same thing to individuals. The real you will come out when the clouds roll in, when the storms come, the midnights arrive, the recession hits, the layoffs are announced, the depression is felt, the persecution comes your way, and illness knocks on our life’s door.

 Sometimes God gives His children a complete physical and gives them stress test to check up on us. The danger is that we don’t realize that pride cometh before and after a fall if we are not diligent spiritually. God checks our hearts to see if they are bitter the second time. God checks our hearts to see if it is proud the second time. God checks our hearts the second time to see if there is hatred, lust, covetousness, jealousy, or envying.

 So, after the first fall Hezekiah recovers and bounces back up onto his feet spiritually. God departs the second time for a season from Hezekiah to check out his heart because pride cometh before and after a fall. It is so easy when things are going well and we accomplished something of an extraordinary manner to bask in the sunlight. It is even easier to do it a second time and steal the spotlight from God. Failure has destroyed thousands but success has destroyed tens of thousands!


JOB

 That is exactly what happened to Job! Everything was going well for Job. He was on topside, had wealth, health, family, and was known throughout the known world. He lives in prosperity and Satan came to God and said, “Take away his positions and he’ll turn his back on you.” God said, “Ok, but don’t touch his life.” Satan came and took all of Job’s wealth and health. He destroyed all of his sheep, oxen, cattle, donkeys, camels, and all of his houses. Yet, Job said, “Though he slay me yet will I trust him.” “I know my redeemer liveth and he shall stand again at the last day.”

 Satan comes back and says, “I’ll take his children.” A great wind came and all ten of Job’s children were taken at one time in death. Can you begin to imagine the heartache? I see ten caskets. I see a man of God comforting Mr. and Mrs. Job. I see them standing at the graveside as those ten bodies are lowered into the ground. Job what do you have to say now? “Though he slay me yet will I trust him.” “I know my redeemer liveth and he shall stand again at the last day.” What a man!

 I can almost hear God saying to Satan, “You were wrong weren’t you!” Satan says, “Ok let me touch his body?” God said, “Ok.” I see Job with a severe disease. I see him sitting in the burning embers of the city dump. I see corruption oozing from his open sores all over his body. I see Job acquiring a knife and beginning to scrape his flesh attempting to find some relief. I see him sitting in the burning coals looking for any kind of relief possible. 

Then I see Job’s wife come and say, “Why don’t you curse God and die.” Wow, look at Job sitting in that ash heap. His children all gone, money all gone, camels all gone, oxen all gone. Sheep all gone, donkeys all gone, his houses and lands gone, health gone, friends gone, and his wife has turned on him.

 I can hear Satan saying to God, “Now, let’s look and see if he is still the great Job you said he was.” Job looked at his leveled houses, leveled barns, barren fields, dead cattle, dead oxen, looked at his children’s graves, saw his wife turning on him, friends left him, and then Job looked at his body wrecked and ruined by disease; he who was the richest is now the poorest, he who was in perfect health is now the sickest of all, he who was on top side is now on bottom side, and he shouts, “Though he slay me yet will I trust him.” “I know that my redeemer liveth and he shall stand again at the last day.”

 What a man! Job stood the test of failure, poverty, death, and illness. Wait something happened! Job said to himself, “Boy oh boy. I don’t think any one could have taken what I have taken. No one that I know of could have stood this test like I did and like Hezekiah Job became proud. God had to send a parade of what God Himself had done in front of Job to cause Job to realize he is nothing compared to Almighty God.

 God said, “Job here are some ostriches. How many of those have you made? Here is some snow. How many snow flakes have you made Job? Here is some rain how much rain have you made Job? Here are some peacocks. How many Peacocks have you made Job? Here are some elephants? How many elephants have you made Job? Here is a rainbow. How many rainbows have you made Job?” Job said at the end of God’s parade, “I abhor myself.”

 Hezekiah became proud. Job became proud. Pride cometh before and after a fall. God hates a proud look and you will no have a proud look until you have a proud heart. “My, my, I have become a pretty good soul winner!” Better watch it and be careful to always give the glory to God. If God has blessed you in any way be careful. Isaiah 4:6, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Not our badness but out goodness. Not our worst but our best.

ISRAELITES

 The Israelites came to God one time and said, “Everybody else has a king. Why can’t we have a king? Just because everyone else ahs something does not make it right nor does it mean you are supposed to have it. When in Rome do as Christians do and not as Romans do! What is at play here? Pride!

 Proverbs 16:18 is so true when it says, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” but it is as equally true that when you survive a fall you can also be struck down with pride. Success has ruined a lot of God’s people not only in the Scriptures but also in modern days. When these tests come into our lives and we survive them all of us should be careful that pride doesn’t sneak in the back door.

 Pride ruined Hezekiah, Job, and Israel not only the first time but also the second time. Pride cometh before a fall and after a fall!

 Israel said to God, “Let us have a king. Everybody else has a king. Syria, Moab, Amnon, Edomites, Egypt, Damascus, Tyre, and Sidon all have kings. Why can’t we have a king?” So God said, “Ok!”

SAUL

 God gave them the finest specimen of a man in the land. Saul was head and shoulder taller physically than anybody else’s in the kingdom. He was even taller than too-tall Jones! Ha! He was fair of face and countenance. He was strong of body. He was humble. He said one time, “Me, why I’m just a child. I couldn’t ever be king.” God like that quality and made him king. Saul sought help and because he was little in his own eyes and sought such help victory after victory came. The blessings of God came on Saul. What happened? Saul became proud!

 Little David came along and Saul became jealous. His pride led to jealousy and jealousy led to attempted murder of a lad. Little David fled from King Saul. Why was Saul doing this horrible thing? His heart was not right with God. He was no longer humble before God.

 Be careful if the victories are seemingly coming easily. Be careful if you have a pretty face. Be careful if you have a winsome personality. Be careful if you have a big physique. Saul’s pride led to his downfall.

 Look out Hezekiah your pride is showing! Look out Job your pride is starting to show! Look out Israel your pride is beginning to show! Look out King Saul your pride is showing! Pride will cause more people burn in Hell than anything. Pride of God’s people will cause them to go deeper into sin. All of us had better be careful!

 If Saul, the most humble man in the kingdom and the outstanding man in all of Israel can be lifted up with pride so can you!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR

 I think honestly that he was overall a pretty decent man. I think later on in his life that he was saved. I think he is an underrated man. Yes, he led the attack on Israel as a heathen king and was used by God to take Israel into captivity.

 Nebuchadnezzar became proud and God caused him to become so physically down that he ended up walking on all fours like an animal. Go ahead and don’t stay right with God. He can still reach you no matter where you are!

 Hezekiah you had better be careful! Job you had better be careful! Israel you had better be careful! King Saul you had better be careful! Nebuchadnezzar you had better be careful! By the way all of us ought to be careful!

DAVID

 The same thing happened to King David. He was king why should he go to battle? He can just send others to fight and with that pride came adultery and murder! Watch it Hezekiah, Job, Israel, Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, and David!

 How does God respond? He will hide Himself so you can’t see Him. That way you will realize your need of Him. You will think that God has forsaken you! All God is doing is checking your heart out.

 Pride cometh before and after a fall. All of us have to be careful and allow God to test our hearts from time to time.




Sunday, July 16, 2017

GREATNESS!

THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE OF GREATNESS



Matthew 20:27, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”

Matthew 23:21, “And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.”

Mark 10:42-45, “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

“But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever of you will be great among you, shall be your minister.

“And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”


The truth of this chapter will cure 95% of the marital problems by those who read it. This truth could stop 95% of the marriages headed to divorce court. I will tell you what could stop 50% of all the church problems that exist in America. Most of the problems we have between labor and management could be solved with this Bible truth in this chapter.

None of us have all of the answers, but we all have a Bible available to us that does have the answers. This truth is a truth, which could be revolutionary if practiced.

If you have any type of a position of leadership please take especial heed to this chapter. Our concept of leadership in this day and time in which we live is a perverted one in my opinion Take note of Mark 10:42-45. The word “Gentile” was used in context of being a heathen. The Jews used the word “Gentile” in the sense of meaning heathen.  Uncle Sam to us means America. Gentiles to them meant heathen.

In Mark 10:42 God is saying that with heathen people the leaders are Lords. Heathen people have this hierarchy not Christian people. However in verse 45 God said, “…but so shall it not be among you. Whosoever be great among you shall be your minister.” Then in verse 45 God uses Jesus as an illustration.

Please allow me to address those of you who hold positions of leadership and all of us to one extent or another have some positions of leadership. I’m speaking to myself as well! I’m speaking to  evangelists, missionaries, pastors, pastoral staff, administrators, college teachers, academy teachers, coaches, choir directors, parents, bus captains, Sunday school teachers, and Sunday school superintendents.

Unfortunately our interpretations of the above mentioned verses are erroneous. We interpret it like the servant is the greatest. An example would be when we say, “Whosoever serves is the greatest person.” However, that is not what these verses teach. This is teaching that the greatest is to serve. It is not saying that if you serve you become the greatest. It is saying that the greatest should serve the least. 

Take into consideration verse 45 where the purpose of greatness is serving. The person who has the greatest title like that of the kings and rulers back in verse 42-43. He says the person who has the greatest title is supposed to serve those who have lesser titles!

Since the title pastor is the greatest in the local church the pastor is supposed to serve the members and not the members the pastor. God is speaking of those with the titles and positions that should be the servant. 

The word mercy and grace always precede truth in the Scriptures meaning that the one with the greatest title should and must exhibit the most mercy and the most grace before executing truth. In so doing he is serving.  The letter of the law kills.

This means that the teacher is supposed to be a servant of the pupils. The leader is to serve the follower! The administration is to serve the schools and the students! One is not great because he or she is a servant but one is a servant because he or she is great!

When we say, “He serves over there” that does not make him great! The Bible is saying that if you are the “Big Shot” you are supposed to serve. The heathen say that those who are under are supposed to serve those who are over them. That is heathenism according to God!

It is unfortunate that some preacher boys cannot wait to graduate so they can Lord over a local church somewhere. That is not why God gives the title pastor. God puts you in the ministry so as pastor you can serve those dear members. God is saying those of the lower positions serve the highest position among the Heathen. However, Jesus said the one in the higher position is supposed to serve the one in the lower position.

If God’s people could only get their arms around this truth it would revitalize marriages, homes, parenting, and job environments. Those of you who are dictating in the home, the school, the work place, and in churches are nothing more than little Hitler’s and your thousand-year reign will not last a thousand days! Some of you males that have Ephesians 5:25 tattooed on your forehead are exposing your spiritual ignorance.

I am the leader of my home and since I am the leader I am to serve! Swallow deep! You read it correctly! It does not say I am to have my wife serve me that would make her the greatest. I want to be the greatest! Thus, I must serve! God is saying, “Whosoever has the title if he serves he is the greatest.”

The word “father” happens to be the highest title in the home, because it comes from the name God the Father. Thus, the father in the house represents God the Father. If the father in the home serves his wife then and only then does he become the greatest! If that were true then one goes down to go up in God’s economy!

In our house I serve Mrs. Gray. Leadership is when one serves one so well that God gives you two to serve. Then you served 2 so well that God gives you 4 to serve and you serve 4 so well that God gives you 8 to serve. 

The first church I pastored I served those people and loved those people by serving them. We had a 40 drive in crowd with 90 on the buses. This church grew until we were averaging 500. God then sent us to Texas not to lead but to serve. We averaged 400 to 500. After a split in March of 1981 our church to grew to averaging 2,041 in 2009 when I retired. I served those people and every pastor who desires the blessings of God must SERVE the people of God!

God gave us more to serve after we served the ones God gave us. Most young men of God want authority not service. God gives you and I opportunities to serve via a title. What most desire is a title of  “Boss” but God only calls those with titles great when they serve. The job of leader is to serve the follower. In so doing mercy and grace are the hallmarks of such leaders which causes truth to be palatable. 


LEADERSHIP WAS CREATED BY GOD TO SERVE

Our government was created by God to do three things: to protect our person, property and our freedom. The Police Department is there to protect my personal safety and my family by serving. The Fire Department is there to protect my person and my property by serving. Government was created to serve. Government was never meant to educate or create. When Government exceeds its purpose of serving it creates chaos in our society. The less interference by government the more the ingenuity and creativity of the individual citizen can benefit our nation.

When a pastor, pastoral staff, principal, or teacher begins to feel empowered by a title they have ceased to be able to serve. When a pastor has to remind the church he pastors that he is the pastor he is not the pastor. He may have the title but he does not have the anointing of God or of those who follow him. There are two anointings on a leader: one by God and the other by the people. 

God may call a man to pastor a church and the people vote him down. God may call a man to pastor and he turns God down even though the people want him to be their pastor. A man who is called by God and the people call him also still may have a man who has forfeited his right to lead because he refuses to serve and demands to be served! If you have to tell them you are the pastor you are not the pastor.  This is where a man usually turns into a tyrant and hurts rather than helps God's people.


LEADERSHIP COULD TURN INTO LORDSHIP

I as pastor would go to God on the people’s behalf and then to them on God’s behalf. If I were to reverse it then I would be exercising “lordship.” When I would preach a strong message on sin I was not attempting to be “Lord” over them and control them for I am simply trying to warn them about things that would wreck their lives according to God’s Word and not my word. A pastor is serving the people when he preaches against sin just as a policeman is serving by giving a speeding ticket.

A pastor who violates Scripture in order to get his way is not serving he is lording over God's people. Much damage has occurred to the cause of Christ because of transgressing Biblical guidelines in order for the pastor to accomplish something he wants.  Lordship causes the local church to be involved in unscriptural action that displeases Jesus the head of the local church. 

The pastor and staff prepare the materials for the church members so they can function as Sunday school teachers, bus drivers, bus captains, altar workers, name takers, baptistery workers, usher, choir member, soul winning clubs, Christian school, and maybe a Bible College, etc. When the bus driver shows up on Sunday morning the bus is ready to roll. The Sunday school classroom is ready on Sunday morning. The auditorium is clean and all is ready for a Sunday service. All of this is serving! The counseling, the preaching, the teaching, the administration, and the leadership are all serving the members! The goal is to reach higher ground in our service.
  
I believe the only reason some surrender to the ministry is to obtain a parking spot close to the building with their name on a parking sign! America is in trouble because of how we have perverted that which God created which entailed serving instead of being served. 

Politicians who want to be President are the ones who should not be President of these United States. When followers push someone to the top it will always be because that person served well those whom he led!
  

LORDSHIP CAUSES DECAY

When those who hold titles fail to serve those they lead then decay begins from within. When the father of the home fails to serve and lives off of his title the home will begin to decay. When the pastor of a local church fails to serve and lives off of his title pastor that particular church will begin to decay. When the President of a nation fails to serve the nation he presides over and lives off of his title then decay begins in that nation. This is true of businesses or government at every level.

Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Jesus came to serve us and it would do us well to copy Jesus our Saviour in our relationships in life. I’m speaking to tyrannical husbands who treat their wives like they were your children, or a slave. The same is true of politicians, pastors, teachers, or parents who spend more time ranting and raving than teaching and training. If the pastor is strong arming to get his way he will ignore Biblical guidelines and is creating a false template for the church he leads. This is where the cancer and the decay begins from within.

Let me share with you an example. In the old Baptist denomination of which our family was apart they had what was called a State Missionary. He was hired by the State Association to start churches in the state. However, after a while he became the man who recommended pastors to those churches. Then after a while he would find himself checking up on those churches and their new pastor. 

After a while he became a little “pope” who meddled in everybody’s business. In the Southern Baptist Convention these men are called District Missionaries and in some cases called District Superintendents. Before we know it we create titles that are not found in the Scriptures and then decay begins. 

The same thing can be true of a pastor who goes beyond his calling and Biblical position to where he is flying solo. Just because one holds the title does not mean he is infallible in his decision making.  That is why God said there is safety in a multitude of counselors. As long as he serves with a servant's heart he is tender toward those whom he serves. When he desires the best for those he serves he will be less likely to do harm.

The highest title is there to serve people and no one is great because you serve you are great because you use your title to serve! If you are the right type of a leader your wife will let you be the “boss.” If you are the right type of a parent your children will let you be the “boss.” 

If you are the right type of pastor your people will let you be the “boss.” If you are the right type of a teacher the students will let you be the “boss.” If you are the right type of a bus captain your bus workers will let you be the “boss.” Only when there is a title with no or little service do you find a revolt!

Jesus said in the heathen world the big shot is the Lord over the follower, but in Jesus’ world the man who has the highest title is supposed to be servant of all. For 33 years I pastored. How did I serve during those 33 years?

·      I averaged counseling 29 folks a week for 33 years
·      I spent thousands of hours attempting to salvage marriages
·      I spent thousands of hours attempting to salvage children
·      I spent thousands of hours attempting to salvage businesses
·      I spent 7 to 8 hours per sermon
·      I spent 7 to 8 hours per Bible study
·      I served by challenging God’s people
·      I served by teaching God’s people
·      I served by organizing God’s people to win souls
·      I served by creating multiple ministries for God’s people to serve in
·      I spent 20 hours a week praying
·      I spent 15 hours a week winning souls to Christ
·      I spent thousands of hours keeping the bills paid
·      I spent thousands of hours helping staff to reach their potential so they could serve more effectively
·      I served by teaching Wednesday Night Bible Studies.
·      I served by teaching Sunday school
·      I served by preaching Sunday mornings
·      I served by preaching Sunday nights
·      I served by keeping God’s people motivated to win souls
·      I served by teaching God’s people how to serve God by serving man
·      I served by writing books
·      I served by walking guard around our ministries to make sure they stayed the same for our grandchildren.
·      I served by paying our bills on time
·      I served by overseeing everything
·      I served by having departmental meetings
·      I served by having staff meetings
·      I served by providing places for God’s people to serve
·      I served by providing ministries for the youth

In March of 1981, 400 plus people walked out on our church. The reason they left was because I refused to allow them to exercise “Lordship” over me to limit my service to them. The question was not whether I would be “boss” or not, it was would I be allowed to “serve” them or not. 

Don’t forget the chain of command God to God’s man to God’s people. God serves us and God’s man serves God’s people. It is not God’s people to God’s man to God. Men of God who are successful in their ministries are successful because they served not because they are served.

The flow comes from top to bottom not bottom to top. The one with the title is great when he serves and not “Lord’s” over God’s people. If God’s people refuse to allow God’s man to serve then they will miss out on the blessings of God. The same is true for you businessmen, husbands, parents, teachers, and principals.

Jesus is saying if you are the kind that is “bossy” then you are like the heathen. The “boss man” ought to be the servant. The word “leader” is not mentioned one time in the New Testament. The word “servant” is mentioned in the singular 69 times in the New Testament. 

You husbands who demand that your wife obey you I hope you die so she can find a real man to marry! It’s not the job of the husband to dictate. It is his job to serve those he loves so much that they wouldn’t want any one else to lead them. The leader who serves by establishing boundaries based on Bible principles and consistently serves within those boundaries will discover the blessings of serving.

Moses was never called a leader but he was called a “servant.” Paul was never called a leader but he was called a “servant.” James was never called a leader but he was called a “servant.” John, Joshua, Jonah, Abraham, Caleb, Hezekiah, Job, Isaiah, Jacob, Samuel, King David, and Jesus Himself were never called leaders but they were called a “servant.”

Those of you who have the titles are to serve those who have the lesser titles. The one who holds the title is only great if he or she serves and not because of the title. The greatest is not the servant but the one with the title who serves!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2ND GENERATION FUNDAMENTALISTS BEWARE!

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HONORING OUR ELDERS IN THE FAITH?





There seems to be something in the water with some "2ND GENERATION FUNDAMENTALISTS" What are these back handed criticism in their little Bible conferences of our mentors who built great works . Our mentors had more people in their restrooms than these young pups have listening to them. There seems to be a need to find something wrong in order to make this second generation fundamentalist relevant.  

This is your turn young men to do something great for God. This is not going to be done by slapping at those who preceded you and provided for you a clear path to building great works for God. The sad part is you were not even around when these works were being built. Your perception of what occurred during those days is blinded by your desire to hang your spiritual hat on one or two things to provide a distinction. What a waste of time to subtly attack those whom you did not know. Innuendos will be your undoing in the final analysis. 

How about winning souls, baptizing converts, and building great Sunday schools again. How about strong old time religion preaching. How about separation from the world. How about promoting solid grounding in the faith. How about not being ashamed of being independent Baptists. How about opposing formalism and informalism. How about dressing up for church rather than dressing down for church. How about doing away with the flip flops and the shorts for church. 

How about standing strong on the King James Bible. How about calling out the Rick Warren wannabes in our midst. How about buying more buses and building great Bus Ministries again. How about females dressing in modest dresses Monday through Saturday instead of just Sunday only. How about taking up our heritage instead of knit picking our fore-fathers.  How about old fashioned hymns instead of theses little ditties that have about as much spirituality in them as a Rick Warren song service.




Glean the best and leave the rest. 


I'm Glad to promote my mentors and their ministries. Put me down on that side of the spiritual ledger. In my minds eye I can still see and even sense the power of those churches with powerful teaching and preaching happening on a regular bases.  I never heard a bad lesson or sermon by those great men of God. They were great because God decided to magnify them in the sight of God's people.  I know what it is like to help fill a 20,000 seat building in Detroit. I know what its like to help fill a 15,000 seat Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. I know what is is like to be a part of 15,000 in an Indianapolis meeting.  I know what is like to be a part of 10,000 in a Columbus, Ohio meeting. 

I know what it is like to see God work in a great way with thousands coming to Christ and being baptized on a regular basis year after year. Most of these young men are seeing one or two here and there coming to Christ.  This should cause them to study the great men of the past not critique the great men of the past in order to justify a lack of power in their own ministries.

God's power was demonstrated week in and week out with their services. Some of these men were short, some tall, some large, some small, some loud, some soft, some dynamic, some mundane, some educated, some uneducated, but all were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and endued with power from on high. 

When you go to hear preaching and a rock concert breaks out something is wrong. When you have to have a rock n roll religious show in order to draw a crowd you are telling off on your lack of power from God. When you have to have lower standards in order to attract young people you are admitting you have no spiritual power. Where is the Lord God of Elijah? Where is the old time moving of God through old time preaching?

Your churches young men are but a shadow of what these great men of God did in their day. You have a form of greatness, but an obvious lacking of greatness.  These great men were all different, but they had one thing in common the power of God was on them. None of them crossed their "t's" or dotted their "i's" like each other, but at the end of the day they had scores coming to Christ because of the drawing power of the Holy Ghost.  

Shame on you for belittling the great ministries and great spiritual days in America led by these whom you are slapping at. Oh, you refuse to come and say it directly because you are basically cowards. You place little hints in your little sermonettes in order to prove to those following that you have real courage. The truth is you are exhibiting a child like attitude in an adult body. 

Just because you can grow a beard does not mean you are a real man.  No one is a self-made man and our mentors knew that and were always learning from those who preceded them and then beat out a path of fundamentalism in order to help the next generation. Your problem is it really irks you that you are not THE MAN.  Pride is the sin that caused the fall of Satan and not adultery, drinking alcohol, pornography, etc.  We can learn from our mentors and do more than they did because "greater works" are promised to those who learn from their elders.  However, it will not happen because you discover something wrong about these great men. You do not build your house by tearing down their house.








CONCLUSION

Re-read their books.   Spend time listening to their sermons. Talk to those who knew them.  Find out why they did what they did by studying them.  Talk to those who lived in that time who are still living for God today. Put soul winning at the top of your daily duties. Build a strong Sunday school program of small intimate classes. Set a goal of baptizing every week. Work at getting your converts into a Sunday school class where they can be cared for by a teacher. Build up your soul winning numbers.  Push three to thrive. Build a solid music program that is traditional and character building. Understand that being casual can lead to being a casualty.  Be a strong preacher on all subjects. Remember there are divine methods as well as a divine message.




Thursday, July 6, 2017

WHERE ARE THE SERMONS ABOUT HELL?

IS THERE A PLACE CALLED HELL?

Luke 16:19-24, “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”


 Is it true that Hell is mentioned 162 times in the New Testament? Is it true that Deuteronomy 32:22 says, “A fire is kindled in mine anger and shall burn unto the lowest hell.” Is Job 11:8 true? “God is higher than heaven and deeper than hell.” Is Psalm 9:17 true? “The wicked shall be turned into hell.” Is Proverbs 27:20 true? “Hell and destruction are never full.” Is Isaiah 5:14 true? “Hell hath enlarged herself.” Is Ezekiel 31:16 true? “I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit.” Is Amos 9:2 true? “They dig into hell.” Is Habakkuk 2:5 true? “Who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is a death, and cannot be satisfied.” Is Matthew 10:28 true? “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul! But rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Is II Peter 2:4 true? “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down into hell.” Is James 3:6 true? “The tongue is set on fire of hell.” Is Revelation 20:15 true? “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”



 R. A. Torrey said, “I claim to be a scholar and I believe the old fashioned doctrine of Hell.” D. L. Moody said, “If there is no Hell, let’s burn our Bibles.” Henry Ward Beecher said, “A future punishment is enough to make an earthquake of terror in a man’s soul.” Dewitt Tallmadge said, “Not having enough intellect of my own to fashion an eternity to my own desires, I will have to accept what the Bible has to say about Hell.” Charles Spurgeon said, “Dread for Hell a saved man will never know.” Billy Sunday said, “You won’t be in Hell 5 seconds until you will believe there is one.” Sam Jones said, “Every sinner carries his own brimstone.”

 Is there a place called Hell? I ask that question for I fear we have gradually become a health and wealth preaching nation rather than having our pulpits aflame with Holy Ghost preaching and conviction about the realization of a real place called Hell. We preach as if we are a people that will never die and face God!

 I ask the question is there a place called Hell? Why are we fundamental, Hell-fire, and damnation preachers instead of calm Bible expositors? Why are you a Hell-fire damnation preacher or maybe better why are you not a Hell-fire damnation preacher? The answer finds its answer in another question, “Do we really believe there is a place called Hell?”

 If there is a place called Hell that should settle once and for all why we take a Hell-fire and damnation position. Is there or is there not a place called Hell? We must answer the question!

 Is there a place where people are burning at this very moment? Is there a place that exists called Hell where now people who have died without Christ are burning in torment and will be there forever and ever?

 Luke chapter 16 is not a parable! Parables never use proper names and they never use the word “certain.” That means that this rich man is still burning in Hell and crying out for a drop of water these 2,000 years later.

 Is there a place called Hell? Is there a place where people beg for one drop of water? Is there a place where people cry for mercy? Is there a place where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched? Is there a place where people go when God says, “Depart from me for I never knew you.”

 Is there a place where people will go after God says to those on the left hand, depart from me ye cursed in to everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels? Is it true that the wicked shall be turned into a place called Hell and all the nations that forget God? Is there a place where those who are not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into forever? Is there really a place called the Lake of Fire?

 Is the rich man still weeping and crying after all these many years? Is he still crying for one drop of water to cool his tongue? Is he still begging for someone to go tell his descendants not to come there? Is he still falling and screaming and begging for mercy after 2,000 years? Is this man still burning in a place called Hell?

 Hey, we have to decide once and for all is there or is there not a place called Hell? Hey, we have to decide who is a person who is not saved going to burn in Hell forever and ever and ever and ever or not?

 If there is no place called Hell let’s quit and go home, but if there is a place called Hell let’s all become apart of the battle for the souls of mankind!

 Is it true that my dear wife’s dad who died in pure agony without receiving Christ is burning in Hell tonight and has been for over four decades? Is it true then why don’t we forget all of our petty gripes, pretty grievances, petty prejudices, petty disagreements in our local churches and let us rise up like a might army and take the Gospel to our city. Why don’t we remove our pharisaical phylacteries and lead someone to Christ. “But preacher we don’t save anybody” one man said to me. Ok, then introduce Jesus to some one! You don’t save any one, but you can win them over to the Saviour!

 If there is a place called Hell! If men are burning! If men are crying! If men are begging for mercy then why don’t we leave our classrooms and tell someone how to miss Hell and make Heaven? Is there a place called Hell?

 While I was preaching in New Jersey a professor in a college approached me and told me that he taught Greek and Hebrew to prepare others to spread the Gospel. I asked him this question “Is there a place called Hell?” Is there a Hell Mr. professor, Mr. PHD, Mr. Bible teacher, Sunday school teacher, deacon, usher, secretary, staff member, faculty member, choir member, teenager, church member, and retired person?

 “But preacher I’m a Methodist!” Ok, is there a Hell Mr. Methodist? “But I don’t agree with my pastor on everything?” Ok, but can you agree with him that there is a Hell?”

 These modernistic liberal Southern Baptist Convention Seminaries don’t know whether Hell exists or not! You who know there is a Hell ought to be ashamed of yourselves for sending innocent young men of God into their liberal clutches to be trained for the ministry. They become Bible correctors and destroy everything that the previous generations have bled and died for! 

 I can tell you SBC professors how to find out if there is a Hell buy yourself an old King James Bible and read it and quit correcting it. Billy Graham stated that he did not know whether there was literal Hell or not because it could be just the absence of God’s presence. That is exactly what he told TIME MAGAZINE. That is the same thing Joel Osteen said to Larry King. I realize it is not very popular any more, but I ask the question, “Is there or is there not a place called Hell?”

 If there is a place called Hell and you let your loved ones die and go there you are a dirty crook! Is that plain enough? I can hear you now saying, “But it pricks my refinement to think there is a place called Hell!”

 However, we must answer the question is there or is there not a place called Hell? If its true that there is a Hell then preach it, teach it, and tell it! If its true that the one who carried you in her body and labored in the jaws of death to bring you to life and at whose breasts you found sustenance is not saved and she’s lost and on her way to Hell then how can you go out to eat at night? If this were true how can you sleep at night? Again, the question must be answered is there or is there not a place called Hell?

 If people by the multitudes are plunging toward a Christ less and godless burning Hell it looks like no one should be called a fanatic who works to keep people from going to Hell? Is it true that the only man you have ever called legitimately dad is unsaved at this very moment? Is it true that you dad is only one breath from the torments of a devils Hell? Is it true that the one you call mother is only one breath from eternal Hell fire? Is there or is there not a place called Hell? We must face the question and answer the question!

 Is it true that the one who joins you in bringing life into the world and with whom you became the heirs of the grace of life is lost without Christ and is one heartbeat from going to Hell? Is it true that he or she is not saved? Is it true that you have a brother or sister who’s without salvation and only one heart beat from a devils Hell?

 Do those who work beside you day after day know the answer to keep from going to Hell? Is it true that they are on breath away from Hell? Do those who live beside you to whom you waive too in the mornings as you pull out of the drive way and head for work know how to keep from going to Hell? Is it true that they are one heartbeat away from an eternal Hell? If they die without Christ will they burn forever in the Lake of Fire?

 Preacher, do those to whom you preach die and go to a place called Hell? If so we need to start having altar calls. Is there a place called Hell? “But preacher I rebel at this kind of old fashioned preaching!” Well the devil doesn’t like it either so classify yourself! Its time to quit playing church, spiritual patty cake, and religion and start believing like there is a place called Hell!

 Is it true that those potential bus riders have souls and could spend an eternity in Hell? Is there or is there not a place called Hell? If there is a place called Hell then show up for soul winning night at your church. Shut down the formalistic and ritualistic church services and let’s go back to reaching sinners with the Gospel. Is there or is there not a place called Hell? We must answer the question!

 If there is not a place called Hell then I’m gong back to the house.  If there is no place called Hell let’s eat, drink, and be merry! If there is not place called Hell then let’s call the missionaries home. It’s silly for the Kevin Wynns, Rick Martins, and Tommy Ashcrafts to leave their home land to go to a country that fights them being there if there is no place called Hell! It’s ridiculous if there is no place called Hell to go somewhere to teach people how to grow corn!

 If there is no place called Hell let’s stop the buses from rolling, let’s make a planter box out of the baptistery, let’s close the church doors, and call the deacons what we have always wanted to call them! If there is no place called Hell let’s quit the ministry and make money and live it up! If there is no place called Hell I have purchased my last airplane ticket to go preach somewhere! If there is no place called Hell I have spent my last Labor Day away from home attempting to stir Christians about personal soul winning. If there is no place called Hell then I have checked into my last motel room. If there is no place called Hell then I have spent my last night in prayer.

 However, if there is a place called Hell then let us plead for God’s power, let us show up for church soul winning, let us win our neighbors, let us win our dads, let us win our mothers, and let us win our co-workers to Christ.  If there is a place called Hell then let us run the buses, get the soul winners out, get the preacher boys out soul winning, get the Sunday school teachers out soul winning, get the college professors out soul winning, get the staff out soul winning, and get the pastor out soul winning.

 If there is a Hell then put water back into the baptistery, quit trading the prayer closet for the voting booth, quit turning the bus captains into precinct captains, and quit trading disgruntled church members. If there is a Hell let us keep our concern about the murder of the unborn but be more concerned about the rebirth of the born. If there is a place called Hell let us keep our burden for the right to life but have a bigger burden for the right to eternal life. If there is a place called Hell let us return to Hell fire, spittin’, sloberin’, damnation, brimstone, and leathern lunged preaching!

 “But preacher if I preach like that my deacons will fire me!” The truth is if you don’t preach like that your deacon’s ought to fire you! If there is a place called Hell let us talk about Jesus the King of King is He, the Lord of Lords supreme though all eternity, the Great I am, the way, the truth, the life, the door, let’s talk about Jesus more and more.

 If there is a Hell then let us lift up Jesus as the only hope of salvation from Hell. If there is a Hell let’s keep the Bible standards in our local churches and schools. If there is a place called Hell let’s keep preaching the same old King James Bible without casting doubt on its Words. Hey Christian there is more to this thing than just making a living or holding the fort together.

 Soul winning will sober more alcoholics than AA, clean up more slums than federal social programs, feed more families than welfare, do more for the children than head start, and save America quicker than politicians. If there is a place called Hell than trade your record attendances for record baptisms, trade your emphasis on record offerings for record conversions of the lost.

 Is there a place called Hell? Ok, then let’s return to talking about Jesus more than politics, more about baptisms than budgets, more about the church than the school, more about the saving of souls than basketball scores, and more about who lives in the Father’s house than in the White House.  Is there a place called Hell or not?

 One man said to me, “But I’m a Methodist.” My reply was so was Sam Jones, Bob Jones, and Peter Cartwright! “But I’m a Presbyterian.” Ok, so was Billy Sunday! “But, I’m a Congregationalist.” Ok, so was D. L. Moody. The truth is most Bible professors believed there is a place called Hell before they became a Bible professor.

 Billy Sunday, the Presbyterian, said, “Call it Gahanna, Hades, or whatever you want to call it, but it’s all Hell to me.”

 Is there a place called Hell? Matthew 25:41 says it is a prepared place. II Peter 2:4 tells us it is a place, which is down. God cast wicked angels down into Hell. Revelation 10:13 tells us that Hell is a pit, which has no bottom to it. Matthew 5:22 lets us know that there is fire in Hell. II Thessalonians 1:8 and Luke 16:24 reveals that there are real flames of fire in Hell. Luke 26:24 tells us that fire in Hell causes pain and torment. Luke 16:24 says that Hell is hot. Matthew 3:12; 25:41; Mark 9:43-45 tells us that Hell’s fire is unquenchable. Revelation 14:11 says that there is smoke that rises from the fire in Hell. 

 Revelation 19:20; 20:10 lets us know that there is brimstone in the fire and that brimstone is sulfur, which is extremely flammable. Psalm 55:1-5 and II Thessalonians 1:8 tells us that the inhabitants of Hell will be people who have rejected Christ as payment for their sins. Matthew 25:41 lets us know that the devil and his angels will inhabit Hell. Mark 9:43-46 reveals that worms or maggots will be in Hell. Luke 16 tells us that memory will exist in Hell. Luke 16 tells us that bodies will be in Hell.

 Luke 16 tells us that the minds of those in Hell will be conscience. Luke tells us that there will b e anguish of mind. II Peter 2:4, 17 reveals to us that darkness will engulf Hell. Matthew 6:25-34 tells us that hunger will be in Hell because the Bread of Life will be in Heaven and the Tree of Life will be in Heaven. Daniel 12:2 tells us that shame and contempt will be in Hell. I John 4:7; Matthew 9:17 tells us that hate, bitterness, and unhappiness along with all bad human traits will be in Hell. 

 I Corinthians chapter 15 and Colossians chapter 3 lets us know that no intelligent conversation will take place in Hell. II Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Psalm 92:7 says that there will be everlasting punishment and destruction. Luke chapter 16, Matthew chapter 23, and Psalm chapter 55 tells us that there is great gulf fixed. Psalm 75:8 lets us know that God will not and cannot alter his justice.


Hell is the prison house of despair,
Here are some things that won’t be
No flowers will bloom on the banks of Hell
No beauties of nature we love so well
No comforts of home, music, and song
No friendship of joy will be found I that throng
No children to brighten the long, weary night
No love nor peace-not one ray of light
No blood washed soul with face beaming bright
No loving smile in that region of night
No mercy, no pity, no pardon, no grace
No water-oh, God, what a terrible place!
The pangs of the lost no human can tell
Not one moment’s ease-there’s no rest in Hell

Hell is the prison house of despair
Here are some things that will be there
Fire and brimstone are there, we know,
For God in His Word has told us so
Memory, remorse, suffering and pain,
Blasphemers and swearers, haters of God
Christ rejecters while here on earth trod
Murderers, gamblers, drunkards, and liars
All have their part in the Lake of Fire
The filthy, the vile, the cruel, the mean,
What a horrible mob in Hell will be seen!
Yes, more than humans on earth can tell
Are the torments and woes of an eternal Hell!