Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart!

Well, it is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Tonight at midnight, 2015 will be officially "in the books." Fifteen years have come and gone since the Millennium change at 2000. Remember the hype about Y2K? Seems so long ago, right?

I wanted to take the time and thank all of you who have read, followed, and commented on this blog. Thank you very much. Each one of you means much to me and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate each of you. The primary audience of this blog is an audience of ONE, and unto Him belong Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen (Revelation 7:12, ESV.) My secondary audience is you. I do this for you!

I know that this is a "different" kind of blog. As much as I try to be upbeat and encouraging, the topics can, well, be very heavy at times. My goal is to get you to think, to think Biblically, and to be a means by which the glorious nature and character of our Lord Jesus, the Christ is reflected to a lost and dying world.

I began blogging in February 2009. I was able by God's grace to blog throughout 2015. My goal and hope is to blog each day something beneficial and valuable to you in 2016, or as much of 2016 the Lord has decreed for me to enjoy.

We have had some fun this year in bloggyland haven't we? Here is a little something I have written just for you!

Very often as the days progress
I find that I for one must confess;
that I fail to appreciate all of you.
Words can never say nor explain
even with a very clever refrain
but it's all I have, it will have to do!

I looked for you each day you see,
wondering what words you left for me;
hoping the post you read would bless.
I hoped to offer some encouragement
as I hit the publish button that sent
thoughts of joy, peace, and rest.

As this year comes to it's end,
I take this time for you my friend;
to give you thanks from my heart.
Please join me in the year to come
for more words of joy and fun;
Let's stick together never to part!

Have a Happy New Year!

Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seven Resolutions for 2016

I resolve to improve my spiritual walk, to deepen my faith and commitment to God, and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ by…

…Trusting God to continue the work He began in me

…Taking the necessary steps in faith and obedience

…Talking to God in fervent prayer about these things

I, therefore, resolve to strive for…

  •           An acquiescence in his sovereign will to do what he wills with me as his own in all things 

  •          A full renunciation of my self-will 

  •          An acknowledgment of His righteousness and wisdom in all of his dealings with me 

  •          A sense of his care and love for me at all times with and understanding of the purpose of his chastisement of me 

  •          A diligent obedience and compliance with his will and purpose in the things that he has called me to 

  •          A keeping of my soul by preserving my faith preventing weariness and despondency 

  •          A full resignation of myself to his will, including the timing, manner, and length of any trials or tribulation

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

God's Holy Hatred

"The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup." (Psalm 11:5-6, NKVJ)

This verse was the primary verse of my morning devotion today. Talk about a sobering wake-up. I know that those who don't know God, know His word, nor understand the character and nature of God will not understand this verse. Many will deny that God can even hate anything let alone people.

I know that there are many who proclaim, "God loves the sinner but hates the sin." First of all, this concept is not in the Bible. Second, it was uttered by unsaved Hindu. Third, it just isn't true.

Prior to redemption a human being is at emnity with God. Reconciliation assumes that there is some type of separation and hostility between two parties. The separation between God and man is sin. God has a hatred, albeit, a perfect or holy hatred of sin and sinners. God's character or nature requires this to be true. God has a holy and perfect antagonism towards those who are sinners.

The good news is that God in eternity past, had some type of loving and intimate relationship with a number of individual sinners whom He chose to redeem. God initiated the act of reconciliation by offering His Son on the cross. Christ took our place and allowed His father to impute sin to him and his righteousness to be imputed to those whom God chose to love and reconcile unto himself.

This is a very sobering truth. We find just how sobering this concept really is in the words of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

 "A Christian is the result of the operation of God, nothing less, nothing else. No man can make himself a Christian; God alone makes Christians... A Christian is one who has been created anew; and there is only One who can create, namely, God. It takes the power of God to make a Christian." 

God loved both Jews and Gentiles, He loved some from all types and kinds of people and gave His Son for them, so that when they believed in Christ, they would be saved and not perish.

Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Live in View of the End (Part 1)

SERMON               GMT15-041

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Special Days – New Years

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (December 27th, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        How to Live in View of the End (Part 1)

SCRIPTURE:     1 Peter 4:7-11

SUBJECT:          The impact of the end of all things

SUMMARY:       The realization that the end is now here serves as the motivation for Peter’s call to prayer, love, and service towards one another which leads to the glory of God through Christ.

SCHEME:           To enable my people to transcend unbiblical means of motivation for the ministry they are to have for one another in view living at the end of all things

Our theme is:  The end motivates our ways

Proposition:  The Christian’s awareness of the end of all things impacts their present daily conduct

Interrogatory Sentence:  How does the awareness of the end of all things impact your daily conduct?

Transitional Sentence:  Our passage describes three (3) aspects of how the awareness of the end of all things has an impact on your daily behavior; The Assertion of the Apostle, The Application of the Apostle, and The Admonition of the Apostle.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

To My Christian Friends - Happy Holidays

To My Jewish Friends - Happy Hanukkah

To My Atheist Friends - Good Luck!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mary Had a Baby!

Yes, Mary had a baby. She had a baby boy. She and Joseph named that little baby boy, Jesus. Now what?

Our society as a whole has very little problem with the manager scene. Now, now, before you try to remind me about the ACLU, the Political Correctness Policies that have kicked the Nativity Scene out of Government buildings, and the pockets of godless atheists, try to relax and think about it.

For the most part people love this scene from what we call the Christmas Story. They lament the fact that there was no room to be rented by Joseph and the very pregnant Mary. They lament the fact that the birth of this child had to take place in a stable; it was really a rock overhang or cave in order to feed animals out of the weather. Even as they shake their heads and make those tsk tsk sounds they love the story of the birth of a baby.

Most people see just that. They see a young mother forced to make an arduous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem so her husband could register in accordance with Augustus's decree. They see her forced to give birth, not in a hospital surrounded by sanitary conditions and nurses in gleaming white uniforms. They see this baby born in a cave or stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and then gently placed in a manger or feeding trough. They love the fact that this new father and mother did all they could to take care of this beautiful little baby boy.

We as believers spend a great deal of energy and commitment trying to remind the world, not to mention each other, of "The Reason for the Season." What is that reason for the season? The incarnation of course. We spend a great deal of time trying to retain, maintain,explain, and train the multitudes who have commercialized this great and glorious event as they have turned it into sales, surprises, sundry ideas.

Yes, the reason for the season, (more probable in April/May), is the incarnation. We celebrate that God became man! We rejoice that God's plan was moved further along toward completion. A child is given, a King is born! God, in the second person of the Trinity, emptied Himself of His divine prerogative and became flesh, a human being - a baby boy!

Carols melodiously proclaim the joyful news. Pageants and plays demonstrate this wondrous event. Messages and sermons detail the circumstances that prompted and executed this tremendous miracle. Hearts are drawn to this "poor family", boorish surroundings, and to the story with a happy ending.

But, now what?

Why was this baby born? What purpose does the incarnation serve? Why is the incarnation so significant? More importantly, what is the response to be toward this holiday miracle? Ah, yes, here is the rub!

You see the same crowd that almost idolizes this wonderful event and acknowledges its reality, does not understand its significance or importance. As a matter of fact the same crowd that will buy and display a Nativity Scene will vehemently deny and denounce the reason for the season.

That little baby wasn't born just to be born. Nor was he born in a stable and placed in a manager in order to complete our holiday pageants. The reason for the season is not merely that a child was born or that a son was given. This baby was born to die. His purpose was to be an offering, a sacrifice which would when he was bruised and crushed would please the Father. This child in this incarnation was given to ransom His people from their sins and to satisfy the justice and wrath of a righteous God who had been offended. The reason this baby was born was for sin! For your sin and for my sin. That puts a different light on things doesn't it? Jesus wasn't merely born in the cave and placed in a feeding trough as part of a cute story. When I look at that "baby" I see my sin. My sin which would one day be imputed to him.

Now you know why Satan hates this time of year so much. Now you know why he inspires the pockets of vocal atheists, the political-correct politicians, and the campaign to remove the Nativity from public view. God became flesh in the incarnation to provide the only sacrifice that would appease his wrath, justice, holiness, and righteousness. If the world didn't hate this scene it would give me great concern. Let them remove the Nativity scene from government buildings - that doesn't stop God from being God.

‎"If every man were blind it would not diminish the sun; If every man an atheist, it would not diminish God" (A.W. Tozer)

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (C. S. Lewis)

One must come to grips with the purpose of this incarnation. One must recognize their sin and their need for salvation. The reason for the season is God has provided a means for our sin to be dealt with. Sin and guilt must be recognized and admitted. As one gazes into the face of any baby, real, ceramic, plastic, or wood, who represents the Christ-child of the Nativity scene, must see their sin. This baby was provided as an offering. As the majority of mankind "oohs and awes" this cute little baby will they come to grips with their own sin? The majority will not, thereby missing the true and real "reason for the season."

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21, (ESV)

Twas the Night before Christmas (Take Two)

Twas the Night before Christmas (Take Two)
Written by Gregg Metcalf

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through heaven
Not an angel was singing, not even the one named Evan
The cherubim were all packed and were waiting to send
A multitude of heavenly hosts to a town called Bethlehem

Mary and Joseph were all snug in the manager
On this dark night nothing could ever be stranger
For the Holy Spirit of God came there to hover
As a young Jewish maiden was to become a mother

The time had now come for Mary to deliver
The child formed by the great heavenly giver
It seemed the quiet of this once silent night
Would only be broken by sounds of delight

When out in the fields there arose a heavenly host
Praising God with great words which did boast
Of his glory to the highest in all of the creation
Peace on earth and good will to every nation

The glory of the Lord shone bright around them
As the angels brought glad tidings to Bethlehem
Do not be afraid was the message they heard
All these things had been written in God’s word 

The moon on the stalks of wheat in the field
Dancing along as the moonlight gave yield
When, what by the listening ear was heard
But words of comfort which were not slurred

A figure in shadows appeared so lively and quick
 The young mother sensing this might be a trick
With a message to the land this shadow came
Bringing words of joy to all the tribes by name  

Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Dan
Naphtali, Asher, Issachar, Judah, to the man
To Zebulon, Simeon, Reuben, Gad he spoke
The time has come to now throw off the yoke

This babe laying here in swaddling clothes
Is the sign which God himself has chose
He has come to save his people from sin
And to bring good news to all of them

When the angels returned to heaven on high
The shepherds made haste and did fly
To the town where this thing came to be
Which the Lord had allowed them to see

The shepherds found the babe in a crib
With no room at the inn they had to ad lib
A pleasure it was to visit this tiny family
The shepherds worshiped in great jubilee

The babe was wrapped in swaddling tight
To keep away the chill of this dark night
A pillow of hay gave rest to his head
Unbecoming for a King was this bed

The baby’s eyes did twinkle and shine
He neither gave whimper nor whine
His cheeks were like roses in bloom
Since safely delivered from the womb

As the shepherds saw him they made known
Of all they knew of this blessing on loan
All who were privy they too were amazed
And with one voice their God was praised

As the shepherds prepared to depart
Mary pondered what was in her heart
They were singing filled with great joy
Having been led to see this baby boy

All these things were brought forth by God
Since he had chosen to bless this vile sod
He says to each one of us with great delight
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Prophet Like Moses

SERMON               GMT15-040

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Christmas

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (December 20th, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        Jesus before Bethlehem: Part 3 – A Prophet Like Moses

SCRIPTURE:     Deuteronomy 18:15-22

SUBJECT:          (theme) a new prophet / (thrust) God will raise up a prophet

SUMMARY:       The LORD God will commission a prophet whom He will instruct in what to say and who will be distinguishable from false prophets

SCHEME:           To enable my people to see Christ featured in the OT prior to the incarnation at Bethlehem

Our theme is:  God promises a prophet like Moses

Proposition:  The LORD God will commission a prophet who will be like Moses

Interrogatory Sentence:  How will this prophet be like Moses?

Transitional Sentence:  Our passage indicates three (3) ways that this prophet will be like Moses, This prophet will be commissioned by God, This prophet will be commanded by God, and this prophet will be championed by God.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Lamb of God

SERMON               GMT15-039

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Christmas

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (December 13th, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        Jesus before Bethlehem: Part 2 – The Lamb of God

SCRIPTURE:     Exodus 12:1-14; I Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29

SUBJECT:          Christ is featured as our Passover lamb

SUMMARY:       The sacrifice of Christ secured exemption from death for God’s people


Our theme is:  Christ is featured as our Passover Lamb

Proposition:  The sacrifice of Christ does for the believer what the Passover did for the Israelites
Interrogatory Sentence:  What does the sacrifice of Christ do for the believer that is pictured in the Passover for the Israelites?

Transitional Sentence:  The passage before us describes at least three (3) comparisons of what the sacrifice of Christ does for the believer that is pictured in the Passover of the Israelites.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Twas the time for Christmas

Twas the time before Christmas
And all through the USA
Not a believer was concerned
Nor hoping to stay
The hand of evil in our land
Nary a one who’d take a stand.

Parents were in a loud uproar
Because kids couldn’t sing
Or talk of the baby Jesus
Or make much of angelic things

It seems everyone only thought
That a problem was a foot
Anger spread toward the PC Police
Now Christmas was caput
You could hear them all say
December 25th is our holiday

Believers still spent their cash and credit
With similar frenzy they rushed to get it
They made loud protests for God
While His glory disappeared from this sod

It was important for retailers to meet their quota
As commercials promoted Buick and Toyota
What if Target hung trees upside down
Or at Lowes the word "Christmas" wasn’t found
Why should K-Mart or Staples or Penny’s or Sears
Be responsible for what tickles your ears

Are you surprised at the push for diversity?
These things do not intimidate me
Why are you surprised at all this clatter?
God’s name and fame is all that matters

No one can take a true believer’s faith away
No need to shut up salvation or grace
Why such a fuss over a pagan holiday
Christ’s Mass doesn’t have a place

We are called to be witnesses to the fact
that Christ was resurrected and not to an act
of birth not even in December by the way
To compete with a pagan holiday 

There is no gift of Christmas to exchange or discard
No reason for a season to stop or to start
Whether you are on winter break under a dream tree
Take the time to sip some Seattle’s Best and listen to me

Forget this battle that once a year doth rage
Honor the King of glory, the Sovereign of age
Speak of his glory and resurrected power
Live for him every day and every hour

Don’t be surprised when the world tells lies
The god of this world has blinded their eyes
Choose your words carefully think what you say
It is not merry Christmas, it is Happy Holidays

Friday, December 11, 2015

They Kept Watch

Scripture:  John 19:18-27

"Sitting down, they kept watch over him there."

The soldiers sat down and guarded Jesus while we was nailed to the cross.


Why did the soldiers guard him? This seems to be a waste of time. These soldiers could be doing other duties that might be more productive or advantageous to the Roman government. Why keep watch? Consider the position Jesus is in:

  • He has been securely fastened to the cross
  • He has been severely beaten and has no strength
  • He has lost a consider amount of blood
  • He has undergone debilitating pain

It does appear that Jesus could not free himself from the spikes that had pinned his hands and feet to the cross. Even if he were to free himself, he could not mount the effort to escape. Normally those who were to be crucified were nailed to their cross and left to die a slow and painful death. The guards would return to their barracks or other duties while the victims were left to die due to pain, blood loss, bird attacks, and suffocation. Sometimes these deaths took days. This is why the soldiers often returned and broke the legs of the victims so that they could not use their legs to stave off suffocation. Why did they need to keep watch or to guard him? I think there are at least four plausible and viable reasons.

The first reason may have been to keep Jesus from being freed by his disciples.  The Roman government might have felt that some of his followers would risk their lives in an attempt to free Jesus from this shameful and painful death. However this seems highly unlikely to me since his disciples scattered and had abandoned Jesus. Peter has denied him and ran off in the night. The other disciples are seemingly nowhere around.

The second reason may be closer to a reasonable answer. They were there to possibly stop or prevent some "miraculous" freeing of Jesus. I am not sure how they thought they might accomplish this should it happen. But Jesus had performed a number of spectacular miracles. He had healed people of horrific diseases, had raised people from the dead, and had even cast out vicious demons. Tremendous claims about Jesus had been passed around, including the ability of Jesus to rebuild the Temple in three days. Pilate who had commissioned the guard might have felt that Jesus whom he determined to be innocent might be "supernaturally" released from the cross.

The third reason may have been part of why he was guarded. The leading Jews of the Sanhedrin who demanded the trial and death sentence may have demanded a guard to prevent Jesus' followers from interfering with the death of Jesus. The leadership may have been fearful of the fact that Jesus' followers would prolong the death or even prevent his death with treatment. They would have wanted a guard to make sure no one interfered with the death of Jesus.

The fourth reason is probably the answer, the Romans and the Jews did not want his body stolen and secreted. Jesus had claimed a number of times that he would rise from the dead. He made this claim literally and at least once symbolically (destroy his body and he would raise it again.) Both entities would have wanted to make sure that Jesus was in fact dead and that no one stole his body in order to claim he had been resurrected.


This should have been the end of Jesus. He was to die. He was even guarded preventing any hopes of preventing his death. This would give cause to disbelieve God and His promises. These events could lead to the loss of faith and ultimate abandonment of Jesus. I need to remember that regardless of the seemingly impossible circumstances that God will always keep His word. I need to continue to exercise faith and be obedient in the face of the impossible. Guard the dying criminal all you want, at the precise time in God's plan, Jesus was raised from the dead.


Father, may I always be comforted and encouraged and enabled to believe you and trust you even in light of the most impossible circumstances. You were nailed to the cross and guarded by Roman soldiers to prevent any tampering with your death or resurrection and yet you were raised from the dead and declared to be the Son of God. I pray that I will always trust you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jesus is led to Golgotha

Scripture:  Matthew 27:31-34

And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.


 The soldiers finished mocking Jesus. They then led him to Golgotha where he and two others were going to be crucified and put to death. The beatings were so severe that he could not carry the cross the entire way and they engaged Simon to carry it for Christ. Here is a totally innocent man being led to his death to fulfill God's plan and purpose for our redemption. This is a picture , an illustration, a graphic lesson for the genuine believer.


It is my duty to pick up my cross, carry it, as the instrument of my death to self. In order to be fully surrendered to God, and to be able to conform to his will/purpose for my life I must die to my own desires and designs.


Father, may I be so passionate about and committed to obeying your will for my life that I would always be willing to pick up my cross in order to die to myself daily for your glory and honor. Amen!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Remember Pearl Harbor

There is no post today so that we can focus
 on the terrible events of December 7, 1941. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Seed of the Woman

SERMON               GMT15-038

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Christmas

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (December 6th, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        Jesus before Bethlehem: Part 1 – The Seed of the Woman

SCRIPTURE:     Genesis 3:14-15

SUBJECT:          The promise of victory

SUMMARY:       Victory is promised over Satan who will be completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman’s triumphant seed

SCHEME:           To prove that Satan will be ultimately defeated

Friday, December 4, 2015

God's Measured Grace

"So he [God] supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming needs, overwhelming grace. God's grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely, but not foolishly; bountifully but not blindly." (John Blanchard)

Let me encourage you and exhort you, that in regards to your particular trial or thorn, don't:
  • disregard the perfectly measured grace
  • decline God means of supply of His measured grace
  • demand grace beyond God's purpose
  • demean the means of God's conveyance of His measured grace