Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Diary of a Pastor, Entry 3

My heart is breaking for the condition of the church at large and for people who “call” themselves Christians. This week someone stated that they had picked up a copy of the movie Heaven for Real. I shuddered when I saw the various comments of support and validation of both the movie and the one who chose the movie.

I felt I needed to say something. There is something deep inside me that boils over when God’s word or His character is maligned. I also am concerned about those who say or think that they are God’s children. I have to say something.

What kind of person would I be if I knew that just two miles up the highway and around a sharp bend in the highway the bridge was washed out and I didn’t say anything to you? Wouldn’t I be a monster if I held my peace and said nothing while watching you drive towards immediate danger?

This is how I feel when I know someone is being deceived by the enemy. Regardless of how subtle, humble, or gentle my comment was, it was rejected. Not only rejected but actually ridiculed by those felt their experience of personal loss superseded years of schooling, study, and saturation of the word of God.

Many of the sheep have rejected the shepherd. That sad truth is they have not rejected the under-shepherds as much as they have actually rejected the chief shepherd. Admittedly there are many “shepherds” who have assumed the role without out having ever been gifted and appointed.

I am reminded of 1 Samuel 8:7 which says, “…for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:8, NKJV). Now, I am not comparing myself to Samuel nor am I anything more than a man whom God called and has burdened with the care of the souls of His children. I know that God is not diminished in any way by those who reject biblical truth over personal experience.

I can’t help but weep for them. I pray for them. I thank God that for whatever reason He had, He has been gracious to keep me from rejecting His wisdom for the wisdom of this world. Thank God He sent His Spirit to give me life and caused me to be born again.

Even though Heaven is for Real is very minor in comparison to the great blasphemy of the anti-Christ’s that is at work now and the Apostle John said was working even in his day, I cannot help but feel grief. Small lies are not innocuous. Small foxes ruin the field or vines Solomon said.

I can’t stem this tide that is rolling over the church at large today. It still amazes me that Paul stated that error and false doctrine in the church has been ordained by God so that the truth would be made known. This is another reminder that God is God and I am not. One more reminder that His ways are not my ways. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How To Prepare for the Day

On occasion and just recently I was asked how I "do devotions."  I think what they were asking is how do I fellowship with God and prepare for the day on a daily basis.

There is no doubt that there are probably as many ways to "do devotions" or prepare for your day as there are available opinions in the church. I have tried various devotional plans over the years and I have experimented with each one of them. 

Without impugning motives, most of the devotional plans are little "traps" that fool us into thinking we have actually fellowshipped with God and accomplished something beneficial. Most devotional plans lead you unwittingly and unintentionally down the path toward Pharisee-ism. We have a tendency to put our confidence in a plan, or a program, or a process rather than a person.

No devotion plan will "change you" or make you more spiritual. Only God through the Holy Spirit and use of His word can make a difference in your life. It is a person not a process.

Having said that, let me share with you the "guide" or "out-line that I use to prepare myself for the day and to seek/maintain fellowship with God. I am not tied to this and I change it up now and then.

1.      Invocation

-take a deep breath
-rid myself of all distractions
- opening prayer inviting God to meet with me and to do a work in my hear

-I : incline my heart to the word (give me an eagerness for your Word)
-O : open my eyes to the wonderful truths/principles in your Word
-U : unite my heart into one unit that worships in fear and awe
-S : satisfy me in the morning with your unfailing love

2.      Delight in the Word

-Psalm of the Day

3.      Confession of Sin

--Psalm 32
--Psalm 51
--1 John 1:8-2:6

4.      Scripture Reading of the Day

--Key Verse
--What Does God Say in this Passage?
--What are my thoughts?
--What do I need to do?
--What do I need to pray for?

5.      Prayer

-Adoration: what can I worship God for?
-Confession: what sin (s) do I need to confess?
-Thanksgiving: what can I thank God for?
-Supplication: what can I pray for?

6.      Sing Hymn (s)

7.      Benediction

-thank God for the fellowship
-ask God to help me remember the truth/principle/lesson
-ask God for strength to resist temptation & sin
-ask God for strength to be obedient & faithful today

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Ultimate Aim of Worship

The aim of our gathering today is to encourage, edify, and equip one another in our faith in order to continue to be faithful, holy, and obedient. The ultimate aim of God and the reason for the existence of this universe is to display the greatness of the character of God. Just as everything that God designed, displayed, divulged, deployed, and does is to reveal His character to the universe, everything that we do today through our gathering, singing, praying, teaching, encouraging, edifying, and equipping is to put on display the, magnificent, majestic, and marvelous character of our thrice Holy God.

Gregg Metcalf,
North Kelso Baptist Church
Kelso, WA

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Test of Sonship (Part 3)

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SERMON            GM14-024

SERIES:              Christian Living in a World of Chaos & Contradiction

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship     (Part 3)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 3:4-8

SUBJ:                  The problems of Sonship (Theme/Topic)

SUMMARY:       I propose to you that as Sons of God believers do not                                       practice sin since it is incompatible with their Sonship


SCHEME:           That Christians rely on God as they resist the temptation to consistently sin against God. (Objective)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What Think Ye of Riches?

Riches are long in getting with much pains, hard in keeping with much care, quick in losing with more sorrow.

—Thomas Fuller

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Diary of a Pastor, Entry 2

(Page 1 – Entry 2)

Yesterday we gathered as a body in North Kelso. The aim of our gathering was to encourage, edify, and equip one another in our faith in order to continue faithful, holy, obedient, and active as we await our Lord’s return.

Though few in number we praised the name, nature, and works of God through singing, verbalization, and prayer. I can only trust that God was worshipped and honored by our offerings.

Our theme was “Sonship has its privileges.” We examined four of those infinite benefits or privileges of being the children of God:

·        As a Son, we are the children of God
·        As a Son, we shall be like God (Christ)
·        As a Son, we shall see God (Christ)
·        As a Son, we have a hope that purifies us

Ø Sonship designates believers as children of God
Ø Sonship develops believers in God’s likeness
Ø Sonship destines believers to see God
Ø Sonship demands believers to purify themselves

I can only trust God now and pray that the Holy Spirit will embed these truths in the hearts of God’s people for their comfort and encouragement.

“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalms 126:6)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Test of Sonship (Part 2)

SERMON            GM14-023

SERIES:              Christian Living in a World of Chaos & Contradiction

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship      (Part 2)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 3:1-3

SUBJ:                  Sonship has its privileges

SUMMARY:       As Sons of God believers are the recipients of beneficial privileges.

SCHEME:           That Christians revel in the privilege of being a child of God.