Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 23:10-11

  For the two summers before and after my final year of high school, I worked for a uranium company. It was my job of lay out mining claims in central Wyoming so that drillers could come in and pull out core samples to see what was under the surface of the ground. For those of you who know Wyoming this was between Muddy Gap and Lander; primarily between Highway 287 and the continental divide a few miles to the south. Our crew would go out in search of a specific benchmark, a government landmark, and from there we’d lay out our 1200′ by 600′ claims. Those benchmarks had planted at exact geographic locations, sometime with other data – like elevation. My job, as a young fit, 16-year-old, was to carry 4, large posts which we’d set in the corners of each claim. This was wild country – sometimes desert and sometimes on the sides or tops of those short “mountains” which mark the continental divide in that region. It often looked like no man had ever been on this land before, but with work we’d find that benchmark. I have no idea when they were driven into the ground, but someone HAD preceded us. They were “old” and perhaps even the word “ancient” might apply. I doubt that Israel had government surveyors who planted brass benchmarks all over the country. But there were probably agreements made between residents, whereby property lines were identified. And when two grandfathers agreed that their properties were divided by a straight line between two posts or cairns of rocks that arrangement was to...

The Temple, the Temple, the Temple of the Lord – Jeremiah 7:1-7

  Wednesday, when we were going over our prayer requests, I mentioned our need of revival. I immediately heard a few “amens” and some other heads were nodded – we need “revival.” “Revival” is a good, old-fashioned religious word, but I’m not sure if it is still in vogue – still fashionable. Are you aware that it is foreign to the Word of God – “Revival” is not to be found in the Bible. We find a few revival’s but not the actual word. And even though the word “revive” is Biblical, it is not at all common. The best known verse with the word comes from the obscure book of Habakkuk 3:2 – “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, REVIVE thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” From the other six verses using this word, we have the Psalmist’s – “Wilt thou not REVIVE us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” THIS is what I meant when I said, “We need revival,” and I hope it was to this you said, “Amen.” But our text this evening, obviously, isn’t coming from Habakkuk or the Psalms. Jeremiah served God during the days of a revival in Israel – but he also served in the years that followed. The blessings of that revival were not as blessed as he hoped – or as we might think. What good was produced was short-lived and then it was twisted into something quite negative. In order to see the full picture, we...

I Find no Fault in Him – John 19:6

  Knowing basically what I’d find I looked up the word “tolerance” in my biggest dictionary. It had six definitions, and three of those were a bit more fine-tuned into sub-definitions. It also listed about two dozen synonyms – including words like “indulgence“ and “acceptance.” But, you know, I didn’t find a definition that said: “Tolerance is the quality of being soft and fuzzy.” What’s wrong with being soft and fuzzy? Could it be that there isn’t much tolerance when it comes to definitions about “tolerance?” If I sent a letter to the editor of our newspaper which said that homosexuality is sinfully deviant behavior, or if I paid for piece which said that abortion was murder, or if I publicly said that Mormonism is a cult and should not be considered a part of Christianity, there would be a dozen letters to the editor vociferously condemning me as being “intolerant.” But the fact is, according to the Bible, those three things are absolutely true. “Intolerance is not an issue when it comes to the matter of truth. A growing number of people in the United States today are absolutely intolerant toward intolerance. “Intolerance“ is one of the bats with which honest people are beaten up these days. But just as the dictionary is intolerant toward false definitions, truth is truth, error is error and heresy must be clearly condemned as heresy. And even though the Lord Jesus was gracious towards erring sinners and heretics, He didn’t redefine sin in order to make it something less than sinful. When a machinist is manufacturing a delicate piece of equipment with...

June 30

John Sutcliff was a pupil of Caleb Evans at Bristol Baptist College. Sutcliff was a good student, but not a great orator, and after graduation and the beginning of his first pastorate, he became disheartened and wondered whether or not he should be in the ministry. After only four months there was such opposition to his ministry, for the sake of the church, he knew he had to leave. After this me became paralyzed with discouragement. When the Baptist Church of Olney in Northhamptonshire asked him to come to preach, he turned them down, thinking he wasn’t qualified. They wrote again, and again – their letters were ignored. On this day (June 30) in 1775, Sutcliff’s mentor, Caleb Evans, sat down and wrote a letter to his former pupil. Each man knew the other very well, so Evans knew exactly how to address the discouraged young man. It was not a motherly letter, but forceful and fatherly. At one point he wrote, “If you do not at least visit the Olney church, I will be personally offended.” The letter arrived on July 3 and three days later Sutcliff began making arrangements to visit Olney. John Sutcliff was received well by the church in Olney, and together they began a blessed and important ministry together. Over time, Sutcliff would meet John Ryland, Andrew Fuller, and William Carey. Through these four pastors, a new era in mission work was begun. Perhaps it was Sutcliff’s timid nature which contributed to William Cathcart’s praise – “He was full of gentleness, and of a devotional spirit. He was among the best that ever lived.”...

Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 23:1-8

  I can’t tell you if Solomon or the Holy Spirit intended these verses to be considered a paragraph. But that is what I’d like to do. At least for our purpose tonight, I think they all talk about the same general subject. For the purpose of an introduction I take you back to late 1990. Just a few weeks after our family moved to Post Falls, I was invited to attend the local Chamber of Commerce meeting. I was young and naive so I agreed. It involved a nice free lunch at Templin’s Resort. After the opening remarks by the president, I was asked to lead the mixed multitude in prayer, and I did. It was a standard Christian prayer which I concluded in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t remember the meal, but I do remember being ignored for the rest of the afternoon. And I also remember feeling very uncomfortable. Did the Chamber have an agenda in asking me to bless their meeting? I really don’t know. If I was asked to attend and lead in prayer again, I would try to politely refuse. Now back to Proverbs. If I was trying to develop this scripture into a sermon, the title would be “Beware.” And it would have three points. Beware of an evil appetite, beware of the evil eye, and beware of the evil heart. First, beware of the evil appetite. “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” Obviously, it...

The Mission in Crete – Titus 1:4-5

  I’d like to talk to you about the Lord’s work in Loveland, Colorado. Almost from the beginning, I have thought of that work as a mission of our church. But it is not something which our church has determined to do; it has just been my perception so far. I think that for clarification purposes, we need to vote authorizing our mission work in Colorado. There are already, in Loveland, some of the common characteristics of any mission work. There is the preaching and teaching of the gospel in meetings open to the public. But just as important, the people are personally sharing Christ with their neighbors and co-workers. They have a sincere desire to have a mission and to see it grow into an independent Baptist church, even if some them eventually move to Post Falls. And the Holy Spirit is blessing with souls saved and the Christians there are growing strong in the Lord. These are things we like to hear in reports from any mission – Romania, Siberia, Brazil – wherever. But there are things about Loveland which are not typical in modern missions. For example, it didn’t begin the way that most missions are started these days. When it seemed that the former ministry in Loveland was closing down, the Lord declared it to be otherwise. Even though God didn’t send a missionary to Loveland or Fort Collins, the Holy Spirit has established a missionary-type ministry. I don’t think any observant Christian can suggest that God is finished with the front range of Northern Colorado. And yet, many of the people there have been...

The Blood of the Red Heifer – Numbers 19:1-22

  I was reading Spurgeon the other day when I ran across these words. “It is a marvel that any man should be a Christian at all…” When we come to understand the depth of our wickedness – our sinfulness – it is incredible that God should save us. And that anyone should think that we can save ourselves or contribute to our salvation is asinine. Spurgeon went on “It is a marvel… and a greater wonder that (any man) should continue (to be saved). Consider the weakness of the flesh, the strength of inward corruption, the fury of Satanic temptation, the seductions of wealth and the pride of life, the world and the fashion thereof: all these things are against us, and yet behold, greater is he that is for us than all they that be against us, and defying sin, and Satan, and death, and hell, the righteous (remain righteous in God’s sight).” Spurgeon understood the doctrine, but he also understood the weakness of his own heart. That God should continue to love us after saving us despite our ongoing sins and unbelief is astounding Spurgeon has not been alone in this mental and spiritual agitation. And that is despite the fact that the Bible is crystal clear on the matter. Hebrews 7:25 – “Wherefore he (Christ) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” I Peter 1:5 – “We are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last day.” John 5:24...

May, 2019

  Dear Pastor and Brethren: Unusual Weather Month The beautiful spring weather that blessed us in April turned into severe weather that swamped us in May. In the last three weeks of May we had over thirty inches of rain as measured in my rain gauge in our front yard. Flooding was the result of that amount of rain and our road was flooded in both the ingress and egress directions to our house. Our gravel driveway is heavily washed out, and I will need about fifteen tons of gravel to replace what was washed out. The worst part of the gravel road we use was to the south with about six feet of water covering the road. The north part was not so deep and dried up much sooner so we were able to get out and go to our services and do our work by going about six miles out of our normal way to get to Stillwater and back home. The heavy volume of water has washed out bridges and culverts in many areas making it difficult to travel. Many others here in Oklahoma were not so blessed but suffered damages from flooding, tornados, and hail. The Lord was good and gracious to all of us associated with the mission work for which we are thankful. The building in which we assemble did leak a little bit but the damage is repairable with caulking and paint. It seems that not so long ago I was reporting about the drought we were in here in Oklahoma. Now the Lord has made up for all of that lack...

June 23

Samuel Medley was born on this day in 1723. At age 16 he was an apprentice in the cloth trade when war broke out between England and France. He was permitted to leave his apprenticeship, if he agreed to serve on one of his majesty’s ships. With the thrill of the fight before him, he served as a common sailor during the Battle of Cape Lagos. When a cannon ball shot away most of the calf of one leg, he was sent to the surgeons. They recommended that his leg be removed. Filled with horror, the young man begged for a little time. He sent for the Bible his father had given him, and he spent the night in prayer over the Word of God. The next morning when the surgeon came in he found the leg doing surprisingly well, and it was decided to repair the wound and to let time and the Lord to work. Having to convalesce, Samuel was sent to live with his godly grandfather in London. The old gentleman, whose name was William Tonge, was a deacon in the church pastored by Andrew Gifford. Brother Tonge witnessed to his grandson of Christ, but despite God’s mercy in sparing his leg and life, for months there was no humility or repentance. Then one Sunday evening the grandfather began to read aloud a sermon by Isaac Watts, and the Holy Spirit broke the young man’s stubborn heart. Samuel Medley was immediately struck with a thirst for the things of God, beginning to read and study through his grandfather’s library. By this time he was twenty-two years...

June 16

William Baynham was born into a wealthy Virginian, Episcopalian family. At the age of 21 he earned his degree, intending to practice medicine. Then during the summer of 1834, through the preaching of William Broaddus, he was converted to Christ. It is reported that for some time after that when he heard the name of Jesus, he would weep. William Baynham joined the Eon Baptist Church in Essex County, Virginia. Before long he began to fill the pulpit – much to the delight of the church. In January 1842 he was called to become their pastor. Ten years later he was called to pastor the Upper Zion Baptist Church, but in the process he didn’t forsake his first charge. He pastored Enon Baptist for 43 years and the Upper Zion church for 33 years. In 1880 The Religious Herald, a Virginia Baptist paper, requested and published a number of letters from elders who had served lengthy pastorates. Bro. Baynham submitted the following: “The real ground of my continuance for so long a period as pastor of my two churches has been our strong mutual love. In my portion as pastor I have endeavored to be one with my charge. I have tried to show myself the friend… The children have had a good share of attention. In affliction I have been prompt and attentive, ready to render personal assistance as necessary. One rule has been unvaried with me; not only not to neglect the poor, but to show them all kindness and attention. My social relations I choose for myself – my kindness and affection for my church member...