Saturday, January 04, 2014

Joy

A prayer from The Valley of Vision

O CHRIST,

All thy ways of mercy tend to and end in my delight.
Thou didst weep, sorrow, suffer that I might rejoice.
For my joy thou hast sent the Comforter,
                    multiplied thy promises,
                    shown me my future happiness,
                    given me a living fountain.
Thou art preparing joy for me and me for joy;
I pray for joy, wait for joy, long for joy;
          give me more than I can hold, desire, or think of.
Measure out to me my times and degrees of joy,
          at my work, business, duties.
If I weep at night, give me joy in the morning.
Let me rest in the thought of thy love,
                    pardon for sin, my title to heaven,
                    my future unspotted state.
I am an unworthy recipient of thy grace.
I often disesteem thy blood and slight thy love,
          but can in repentance draw water
           from the wells of thy joyous forgiveness.
Let my heart leap towards the eternal sabbath,
          where the work of redemption, sanctification,
          preservation, glorification is finished and perfected for ever,
          where thou wilt rejoice over me with joy.
There is no joy like the joy of heaven,
          for in that state are no sad divisions,
          unchristian quarrels,
          contentions, evil designs,
          weariness, hunger, cold,
          sadness, sin, suffering,
          persecutions, toils of duty.
O healthful place where none are sick!
O happy land where all are kings!
O holy assembly where all are priests!
How free a state where none are servants except to thee!
Bring me speedily to the land of joy.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

10 Reasons Jesus Came


At Christmas we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The fact that He was born is amazing. However, why He came is the most amazing thing about Christmas. Here are 10 specific reasons Jesus came from the Bible.

1.    Jesus came to do the will of the Father (John 6:38).
In John 6:38, Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

2.     Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
In Luke 19:10, Jesus says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

3.     Jesus came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul says, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

4.     Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Luke 5:31-32).
In Luke 5:31-32, Jesus says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

5.     Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
1 John 3:8 says, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

6.     Jesus came to kill death (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

7.     Jesus came to bring light to a dark world (John 12:46).
In John 12:46, Jesus says, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”

8.     Jesus came to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).
In John 18:37, Pilate asked Jesus, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

9.     Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matt 5:17).
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

10. Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10).
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

2 particular responses to these truths:

1.     Thank God for the coming of Jesus.
a.     Utilize this season to think about and thank God for all that Jesus accomplished in His coming.

2.     Spread this good news to others.

a.     Tell others why Jesus came. Everyone in our culture knows that Jesus came, but not many are thinking about why He came. Talk to people about why Jesus came.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ways to PRAY for your church...

THAT YOUR UNITY AND LOVE WILL ALWAYS BE GENUINE.

THAT EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL BRING GLORY TO GOD.

THAT YOU WILL REACH THE LOST AND MAKE DISCIPLES FOR CHRIST.

THAT YOU WILL GROW IN SPIRITUAL MATURITY.

THAT YOUR FAMILIES AND MARRIAGES WILL BE STRENGTHENED.

THAT YOU WILL TREASURE JESUS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

THAT THE LORD WILL USE YOUR JOYFUL WORSHIP AS A MEANS TO DRAW OTHERS TO HIMSELF.

THAT THE LORD WILL PROTECT YOU FROM SATAN AND SIN.

THAT GOD WILL ENCOURAGE YOUR STAFF AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Am A Church Member

After I finish preaching through Philippians, I am going to do a short series from the Bible on our responsibilities as members of Christ's church. This series is inspired by Thom Rainer's book I Am A Church Member. This is an excellent book on the attitudes that should characterize us as we pursue unity in the local church. Just glance through the table of contents to see that this book is a challenge to apply God's Word to our relationships and commitment to the church.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy 66th Anniversary Miller Heights Baptist Church

The church I pastor celebrates 66 years of God's faithfulness this Sunday. I've made it my goal to "retire" at our 100th anniversary celebration (God willing...). I'll be almost 70 :)

Here is the bulletin insert for Sunday:

Celebrating 66 Years of God’s Faithfulness to


Thanking God for the past…

Miller Heights Baptist Church has experienced God’s faithfulness for the past 66 years. God established this church on July 6, 1947 in a small one room building with about 10 members. And God has provided all our needs by His grace through these 66 years. All praise, honor, and glory go to God alone.

Treasuring Jesus in the present…

Miller Heights Baptist Church is a fantastic church full of loving people who treasure Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. God has uniquely knit us together as a multi-generational, multi-cultural people who seek to make much of Jesus Christ in all we do. God’s kindness is evident all around us.

Trusting God for the future…

Miller Heights Baptist Church has a bright future. God created this church and He will sustain us for His glory. Jesus is building His church and we are glad to be part of His eternal plan to fill the universe with His beauty. People change, buildings change, and communities change. But, our God will not change. He will continue to be our Rock, our Refuge, and our very strong Fortress. So, let us move confidently into the future with massive confidence in the One who was and is and is to come.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Saving Eutychus

This is a good book on preaching: Saving Eutychus by Millar and Campbell. When DA Carson and Alister Begg say a book is a "must read," I'm reading it. It is full of very practical tips and very weighty ideas. I highly recommend it for all those who preach God's Word.

Friday, May 24, 2013

What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name?

Did you know that the Bible never commands us to say, "in Jesus' name" at the end of our prayers? So, why do we do it? Well, because Jesus commanded and encouraged us to pray in His name (John 14:13-14). But, He wasn't commanding us to say, "in Jesus' name." He was commanding us to pray in His name. So, what does that mean?  Well, it means a whole lot more than simply saying 3 words at the end of our prayers. It is an attitude and recognition.  Here is my attempt to get at what it means:

Praying in Jesus’ name means recognizing that it is only through Jesus that we can ask anything of God.
We must come to the Father acknowledging that, without the atonement of Jesus, He would not even hear us.

Praying in Jesus’ name means praying for what will bring Him most glory.
 “In Jesus’ name” is another way to say, “for Jesus’ glory.

Praying in Jesus’ name means praying in submission to His revealed will.
  “In Jesus’ name” is another way to say, “if it be according to Your will.”


Paul Miller, A Praying Life, p. 134.

“Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: ‘I want to see the king.’

Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, ‘Jesus, I come in the name of Jesus.’ At the name of Jesus, all of a sudden, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.

The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. ‘Asking in Jesus’ name’ isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.”