Expository Preaching

Expository Preaching
I found this video at Gunny’s site yesterday, and thought I would share it with you. After having visited other churches while on vacation, I have to agree. There is a loss of doctrine and confidence in the Scripture. There is a lack of confidence in God’s word and this has led to all kinds of things taking place in the pulpit that is not preaching God’s word. Remember, the charge to every pastor, and let me stress every pastor, if he is a true pastor, is to preach God’s word. It’s not to make it relevant, or funny, or to turn it into some form of pop psychology, but to preach God’s word. (Remember that God’s word doesn’t need to be made relevant, it IS relevant because it IS God’s word.)

It is also not to use God’s word as a spring board into something we would rather talk about. That is what happened at one of the churches I visited. The pastor merely used the text as a spring board into a sermon he had already prepared. That is looking for a text to support a sermon. That is always a no! no! Why? Because the text should drive the sermon, not the other way around. In the case I’m referring to, the man never mention the text again once he started preaching.

The irony is that I visited a Methodist church the following Sunday, where a WOMAN was preaching, and she did a better job expositing the text than this fellow did at the big, steeple Baptist church. The Methodist church where she was preaching, was more doctrinally sound, more textually sound and more reverent towards God than the Baptist preacher and his church. That is not what I expected at all. And the fact that she preached a more doctrinally sound sermon than he did is a rebuke towards that man. Allow me to be a bit sexist, but no man should ever be out preached by a woman!

The man, and every other man who gets into the pulpit week after week, needs to listen to the video below and then rush out and buy D. Martin Lloyd Jones’ book entitled the Preacher and Preaching. Yes, it’s an older book, but very good. Unfortanetly, I’ve loaned out my copy and don’t know where it is. Remember what Mark Twain said about loaning books. “Never loan books because people don’t give them back. In fact, the only books I have left in my library are ones I’ve borrowed.”

Hope you enjoyed that, and pass it on to your pastor. He may actually exposit the text, and bring out the truth. If that is the case, the video will be an encouragement to him. If not, it will be a rebuke, one that he needs.

We must admit that expositing the text is very difficult to do every week. But that is a pastor’s calling. If he wants to truly minister to his people, then he must preach God’s word. Only God’s word has the power to change the heart and convert the soul. Only God’s word can truly change lives. Only God’s word can lead to salvation and a restoration of that broken relationship we have with our Maker. Nothing else can do it.

This is why I look down on such guys like Joel Osteen. He says his calling is not to preach about sin and redemption. If that is the case, then he needs to quit draping what he does in the guise of a church. He is not leading a church, but a religious pep rally. That is not the calling of the preacher/pastor. It is to preach and teach God’s word, not make people feel good about themselves. Feeling good about ourselves means we are lying to ourselves. What do sinners have to feel good about? Our rebellion towards our Maker? Why would we feel good about that?

What we must feel good about is His mercy, His grace, His Son, His redemption and salvation that is made for His children and that by simple faith, we become a part of His family. Do I feel good about myself? No! I’m a sinner and deserve hell. But I feel truly joyful that God has not given me what I do deserve. He has shown me grace and I rejoice at that. God’s grace is essential to our salvation and it’s not coming to those who’s pastors have decided to preach something other than God’s word.

Only the Word of God can bring about true change. As Paul told Timothy, the pastor is to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2).

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The Ultimate Stinky

1,040 miles there…
350 miles in between,
1,090 miles back again…

Finding my refrigerator dead as roadkill and smelling like it too??? Unforgetable! It’s like a constant smell that won’t go away no matter how much we spray Fabreeze and clean and wipe and clean and wipe…

Despite the loss of some good steaks, and a frozen roast, I’m glad to be home…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving every one! I definitely have a lot to be thankful for. I have two wonderful boys, a beautiful and loving wife, a wonderful church to pastor, plenty of friends galore, more food and clothing than I actually need, more stuff than I know what to do with and the salvation of the LORD!
I’m glad our forefathers had the wherewithal to set aside a day to thank God for all that we have been blessed with. Had our forefathers not done so, we would never get a holiday like this in today’s political and atheistic climate. I hope all that read this will take some time and thank our Creator for all that He has blessed us with.
The church I attended on Sunday used the following verse for the message. (It was a message and not much of a sermon. To my family’s credit, they did say that it wasn’t one of the pastor’s better sermons). The verse in question: Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. I think it’s a wonderful verse to ponder when you think about what the psalmist is saying. He is saying that the true believer has the privilege of entering into the presence of God. Remember that not everyone has this privilege. Those who are outside of Christ are outside the camp and kept at a distance. Not that those of us inside the camp should boast, but be grateful that through the blood of Christ we have been given this privilege. Remember Ephesians 2. There Paul shows us that we, because we were born children of wrath, were far off from the promises and through Christ we have been made one with the believing Jew. All those who trust in Christ for salvation are brought inside the camp. They have been given the privilege of entering into his gates, and should do so with thanksgiving.
I believe too many Christians miss the reality of being allowed into the presence of God and all the implications. We have been given the privilege to sit at His feet and learn from Him. Just as Mary did when her sister Martha complained, so too should we sit at that Master’s feet and learn from Him. It’s an honor to be allowed to do so.
Think of the honor of learning from great men and to be in their presence. How much more is it to be in HIS presence, the Holy One of Israel. Far too many take this for granted. We need to be thankful for this honor and take advantage of it. Let’s sit at His feet, in His presence and learn from Him.

BTW, the picture is of Andy feeding Birthday Girl. See the next post… Happy Thanksgiving… I would blog more, but Joey is up and I need to help feeding my wonderful boy!

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill writes the following about the closing year of 1940 and the War in Europe:

We may, I am sure, rate this tremendous year as the most
splendid, as it was the most deadly, year in our long English and British story.
It was a great, quaintly organized England that had destroyed the Spanish Armada.
A strong flame of conviction and resolve carried us through the twenty-five
years’ conflict with William III and Marlborough waged against Louis XIV. There
was a famous period with Chatham. There was a long struggle against Napoleon, in
which survival was secured through the domination of the seas by the British
Navy under the classic leadership of Nelson and his associates. A million
Britons died in the first World War. But nothing surpasses 1940. By the end of
that year this small and ancient island, with its devoted Commonwealth,
Dominions, and attachments under every sky, had proved itself capable of bearing
the whole impact and weight of world destiny. We had not flinched or wavered. We
had not failed. The soul of the British people and race had proved invincible.
The citadel of the Commonwealth and Empire could not be stormed. Alone, but
unborne by every generous heartbeat of mankind, we had defied the tyrant in the
height of his triumph.

Such is the attitude that we need to take against the tyranny of the terrorist. We, as the strongest nation in the world, need to be willing to have the resolve to continue the fight against tyranny on every level. The sad reality is that so many on the left are hell-bent on seeing us defeated in this fight. Their hatred for Bush and those of us on the right, has blinded their sight of the greater good, in bringing about peace by standing up against those who would send their children into our markets to bring about terror, death and destruction. They hate Bush with such a level of vitriol, that they equate him with the man that Churchill set out to defeat. But Bush is no terrorist. He is just the president of the United States. His office dictates that he seeks the best for this country and that means taking on the terrorists that no one else is willing to take on.
I’m thankful we have him in office. I hate to think what would have happened had Gore been in office during 9/11. No, I don’t think for a moment that Gore would have stopped it before it happened. I don’t think for a moment that Gore would have taken a course that would have brought about the defeat of the terrorist. So I am grateful for the president we do have. I’m grateful that he is sticking it out, even though he is heavily criticized by those who seek our defeate, and his defeat. We are winning the war on terror. Is it almost over? Hardly. But we must press on to defeat every radical Islamist who seeks our destruction. That is the only right thing for our president to do. That is what Winston would have done and did do. Thank God for such men.

Monday’s Happy Blog

The Zoo
Work on the front flower beds… check.
Paint the living room… check.
Take the boys to the zoo… CHECK!

Yep, we took to the boys to the zoo in Columbia on Friday and had a wonderful time. It was the first time for both Andy and Joey, although Joey probably won’t remember much except the stroller. As you can see from the pictures, Andy was having a wonderful time. He actually fed the giraffe until the beast took his big grey tongue and licked Andrew’s hand. At that point, Andy started saying, “Daddy do it. Daddy do it!” He’s no dummy. He was also delighted at the fact that I feed the beast as well.

As for the gorilla, he seemed to have the sweetest personality and was as happy to look at us as we were at him. Andy thought he was really neat until he discovered the souvenir coin-pressing machine. It has a crank on it that you put in 50 cents, then a penny, turn the crank, and it turns the penny into some pressed image of the gorilla. He liked turning the crank and had no more use for the gorilla.

We only got to see about a quarter of the zoo because we were taking our time. Since we have season passes, it’s not a problem. A benefactor bought us a membership for a year and we plan on going back several more times before the membership runs out. It’s worth the price just watching Andy run through the zoo and seeing all the different animals. I have to say that his favorite was the aquarium because it had “Nemo” in it. He wanted to just sit and watch all the fish, and we obliged him. He also got to see a lot of snakes and ucky bugs as well.

While we didn’t get to see the lion, we did get to see the tigers and the bears. The lion was inside when we went by there.

We also wanted to take him on the carosel, but it was closed by the time we got to it. We closed the zoo down!

Blogger Light
As for the number of blogs this month, I have to confess that I won’t be blogging a lot. I’m taking the rest of the month off and won’t be able to blog very much. But you can check out the blog roll to the right to keep in touch with what is going on in the world. BTW, what is going on in the world? Did the Pakistan crisis pass?

Congrats!
Also, for those of you who keep up with this blog, you know that Tug and Xena had their baby last Tuesday. They have posted pictures at their site, which is listed as Trucker Philosophy in the blog roll. Congrats to both of them. Life is really going to become full in the best way for both of them. When you have little ones to take care of, it helps keep life in perspective.

Free Markets Bring Blessing

Free Markets
The question for a Christian is: which economic system helps the poor the most? I know that some would immediately say that communism or socialism would do so since there is no, or very little private property under both those systems. But according to a report out of the United Nation’s Millennium Project, it seems just to be the opposite. The report titled 2007 State of the Future by Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon, shows that the poor actually benefit from capitalist economies.

This is something that I have said for years. That when you open up markets for others to participate, the economic pie does indeed get sliced in more ways, but it also grows and expands outward, helping all those invovled. According to the story, the book reports the following:

“In 1970 37 percent of people over age 15 were illiterate, compared to just 18 percent today. Worldwide life expectancy, meanwhile, has grown from 48 years in 1955 to a predicted 73 years in 2025. Rates of extreme poverty are also falling, from 28 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2005, according to the World Bank.”

The cause for all of this is the increase of global trade. “Thirty percent trade growth last year led to the third straight year of 6 percent GDP growth for the least developed countries, raising per capita income 4.3 percent in just one year.” According to the authors of the report, “world poverty will be cut by more than half between 2000 and 2015…”

I love how the author concludes the story: “While Gleen and Gordon found room for gloom in their report, their overall point is clear and positive: The poor we may always have with us, but their numbers are falling and their lifestyles are improving. And, by implication, anyone who claims to care about the material condition of the world’s poor, and then opposes free trade, should be laughed out of the room.”

The source of this report is from WORLD Magazine and was written by Timothy Lamer. I would provide a link, but can’t seem to get into WORLD’s web page.