The Shepherd’s Sacrifice

Today is the day that we in the USA set aside to recognize and honor the place of mothers in our society. Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of their mother goddesses, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the … Continue reading

The Shepherd’s Staff

The Shepherd’s Staff – Ezekiel 34:7-16 This is a difficult and ambiguous time at King’s Grant Baptist Church. It is hard to take in that the person who has shepherded us for all these years has decided to leave us. Many couples have been married, many family members have been buried. A pastor goes through life with us, we were a family. On the other side, now we feel alone, vulnerable, anxious, and to some degree we feel betrayed by the simple fact that our pastor is going to shepherd other people instead of us. Yes, we recognize God’s calling on his life, and sometimes following that call moves our ministers in a different direction, but we grieve the loss none the less. There is … Continue reading

Choosing a New Pastor

Choosing a new pastor HAS to be different than an episode of The Bachelor, and let me tell you why. It was disturbing to recently see a handout that takes the reader through the pastor search committee process. While much was in order and took the reader through the logical and practical steps in the process, there was a disturbing and concerning section that I want to address. Perhaps just writing this is therapy for me, because once the committee begins its work, I have no influence whatsoever on how they conduct their business. One block in the process is to “narrow the field down to 6-10 potential candidates.” Certainly this is all well and good. But the next step was to “check all references” … Continue reading

False Expectations

This message is a part of the new sermon series for 2016 at King’s Grant Baptist Church, taken from Luke 14:25-35. Here is the video of my message. There was a debate perhaps 25 years on the meaning of salvation. At that time I discovered a tremendously insightful resource by John MacArthur called, The Gospel According to Jesus. It changed my life. This is what it was all about… As Baptists we understand that salvation by grace through faith. No one earns salvation through their deeds. But can someone be saved and not follow Jesus as a disciple? Can Jesus be your Savior without him being your Lord? Can you pray a prayer as a younger person, and because Baptists believe in “once saved always … Continue reading

An Outline of Daniel

DANIEL The Man of Vision It is interesting to note that the Jews placed Daniel is in the book of Writings, rather than the Prophets. Daniel in Babylon – Daniel 1:1-21 Selected: How Daniel came to Babylon – Daniel 1:1-7 (Daniel’s Resolution) Conquered: Nebuchadnezzar over Jehoiakim – Daniel 1:1-2 Captured: youths without defect – Daniel 1:3-5 Candidates – Daniel 1:6-7 Hebrew names: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah Pagan names: Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshech, Abed-nego Steadfast: Daniel turns vegetarian – Daniel 1:8-16 (Daniel’s Recommendation) Statesman: God’s gifting and Their rise in favor – Daniel 1:17-21 Daniel’s Reward) Knowledge, intelligence, dreams, visions – Daniel 1:17 Presentation to the king – Daniel 1:18 Daniel and the boys are 10 times better – Daniel 1:20 Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus … Continue reading

Becoming a World Class Leader

This is the final command of Jesus, regarding the Great Commission, from Matthew 28:16-20, Sec. 256 in Thomas and Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels. Purpose: These are some of the last words of our Savior to His faithful followers. Last words are important. Do you remember the last words of a loved one who died or moved far away? It’s rare that we would forget last words from a loved one. The purpose of this lesson is to remember these last words. Christ’s last words in this passage ought to be our first concern as the church! These last words are the church’s marching orders. This passage is often called the Great Commission. The Bible never calls it the Great Commission. It is great because … Continue reading

How to Abide in Christ

This is the first of the two multiplying commands, which comes from John 15:1-17 (Thomas and Gundry, Harmony: NASB Sec.219) Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to stress the importance of a life of dependency on Christ instead of self-sufficiency. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Abiding in Christ, depending on Him, is the only way that we can experience spiritual fruit. Abiding in Christ involves believing in Him and maintaining unbroken fellowship with Christ. Historical Background: John 13-17 contains Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples on the night before his crucifixion. Here Jesus sought to strengthen … Continue reading