Unified

Unified

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

It is important that we, the church, be unified in all things. We should be in agreement when it comes to both spiritual and cultural issues. We should be so like-minded that we even speak a like. If someone comes up to me and asks, “What does your church teach and believe about such-and such?” and then they go to you and ask the same question, they should get the same answer.

We must be of one mind when it comes to the many hot-button cultural issues of our day. If we aren’t, if we give people varying answers to their questions, then we either come across as incompetent or hypocritical, and neither of those are acceptable to the Lord.

So we must agree. There can be no division, there can be no infighting in the Lord’s church. We must be of one voice and one mind because we will all stand in the same judgment. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10)

As a church let our yes mean yes and our no mean no and let there be no divisions among us. Let us stand firmly united in the doctrine we teach, the love we share, and the faith we proclaim.

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Landmarks

Landmarks

Proverbs 22:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.

The book of Proverbs warns us against removing the physical landmarks that set the boundaries for ancient landholdings, but this wisdom runs much deeper than just maintaining a survey of the land. The Church Fathers, men who established the Church from its inception, set the landmarks for the Church, and the Founding Fathers of our nation set the landmarks for our country; it was also our Ancestral Fathers—our earthy fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers—who set the landmarks for our families.

In a culture that seems bent on tearing down heritage and history we need to be reminded over and over again to leave those landmarks in place. Without them we have no boundaries for our most beloved institutions, church, country, and family. In order to move forward we must always be looking backward to see where our fathers established those landmarks. Without them we wander blindly outside the boundaries our fathers set for us, and the result is chaos within the church, the nation, and the home.

For those who desire to deconstruct, teardown, and remove the ancient landmarks our historical fathers set for us and establish new landmarks with new boundaries for the Church, our Nation, and the Family, consider the wisdom of this Proverb.

“Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.”

To “cancel” our heritage and our history, to remove the landmarks that define us, is an act of foolishness.

Have a God Filled Week and a Happy Father’s Day,

Brother Donnie

Virtual

Virtual

Luke 11:23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Everything seems to be going virtual these days. Recently, Beverly and I wanted to buy some new kitchen countertops. We went to one of the usual building supply stores and we were told they couldn’t sell us countertops in the store. In order to buy countertops we had to go to their website and buy them online. It didn’t make sense to me, so we went to another store where they had a real sales staff.

Now as bad as that might seem, a lot of people are doing the same thing with church. There are a lot of people going to church in the metaverse as they call it. They’re going to virtual church. They create an avatar, a fake digital person that looks like them, and then they go into a digital sanctuary and listen to digital musicians and a digital preacher as they interact with other fake avatars.

No matter how you look at it, that’s not church. Maybe it’s some kind of game, but it’s not church. As Christians we’re supposed to gather together, face to face, in-person. We’re not to forsake assembling together (Hebrews 10:25). We’re to eat together (1 Corinthians 11:33) and we’re to greet each other with a holy kiss (2 Corinthians 13:12). We’re to encourage each other and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We’re to have unity of mind, love each other, bear one another’s burdens, and provoke each other to good works.

None of that happens in the metaverse. It happens in real church, where real Christians gather together to worship in spirit and in truth.

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Separate

Separate

2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”

The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ has no part in darkness, no fellowship with unrighteousness. We aren’t to live and think as the world lives and thinks. Through the Apostle Paul the Lord explains that in 2 Corinthians 1:11-16, and then He tells us to, “Come out from among them and be separate.” But too often these days the Church looks like, acts like, and thinks like the unbelievers of this world.

There has been a great falling away from the Church over the last ten years. Every denomination is reporting significant losses in membership and attendance, and when people are asked why they aren’t attending Church the most common response is, “I don’t think going to church is very important.” And when you probe further you’ll find that many of those people really don’t see any difference between what the Church has to offer them and what the world offers them.

It’s a sad state of affairs. Many churches are hung up on entertainment; many are hung up on politics and nationalism; many are hung up on social issues and the fight for or against some “cause” or some perceived “human right.” It seems many churches are hung up on something other than Jesus Christ and the spread of the Gospel. The Church today looks just like the rest of the world. Why would people come to a church that doesn’t offer them anything more than the world offers? Well, they don’t.

The Church needs to get back to the basics. The Church needs to, “Come out from among them and be separate.”

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Messed Up!

Messed Up!

Titus 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:

A recent Barna Group Poll suggests that roughly 20 percent of professing Christians have a “Biblical Worldview.” By that they mean only one out of five Christians look at the world through the lens of Scripture and four out of five don’t. Now as surprising as that might seem the poll goes on to proclaim only one out of every three church Pastors have a “Biblical Worldview.” That’s messed up.

This means if you walk into a room containing 100 pastors about 66 of them don’t have a Biblical Worldview. They don’t examine what’s going on in the world today through the lens of Scripture. Instead they blend human philosophy and cultural relativism into their cherry-picked biblical beliefs to achieve their individual worldview. That’s what theologians call “Syncretism.” (In my opinion it’s just plain old sin.) That means 66 out of every 100 pastors in the pulpits of American churches today are false teachers. That would also lead us to conclude that 66 out of every 100 churches in America today are false churches because they tolerate those teachers.

Look, the world is messed up because so many churches today are messed up. And those churches are messed up because church leadership is messed up. If the preachers in the pulpits are preaching messages based on a view other than the Bible then how can they possibly speak things that are proper for sound doctrine?

They can’t!

As much as you might love him, don’t assume your pastor has a Biblical Worldview. Compare what he teaches to the Scriptures. Examine his life to see if he’s living out a Biblical Worldview. Hold church leadership accountable for what they say and do according to the Word of God.

Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie

What a Friend

What a Friend

John 15:13-15 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Jesus laid down His life for His friends. Now that leads us to a very important question. How do you know you’re a friend of Christ? How can you be certain that He laid down His life for you?

Jesus answers that question clearly for us here. He says, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” That’s how you know you’re Jesus’ friend. If you live a life of obedience to His commands you are His friend. When you tie obedience to your faith Jesus no longer calls you a servant; He calls you His friend. Why? Because now you aren’t just acting out of blind ignorance. Now you’re obeying your master because you’ve heard Him and understand Him. As a believer in Christ you understand what Jesus did for you, and you also understand what He expects from you and you lovingly do it.

As believers we aren’t slaves who grudgingly live in blind obedience to our master. As believers we willingly obey the voice of a friend who gave up His life for us. What a friend we have in Jesus.

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Fishing

Fishing

John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

I like to go fishing, so did Peter and many of Jesus’ disciples. Fishing has always been a great pastime, but if you go fishing when you should be doing something else it’s nothing but a distraction. Jesus had commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. What did they do? They went fishing. What did they accomplish? Nothing; they didn’t even catch any fish.

Now it might not be fishing that distracts you from carrying out the Great Commission, but as Disciples of Christ we’ve all been given that same command. Go and make disciples. If we put our own desires ahead of His and refuse to obey Him then we’re no different than Peter and his friends. There’s nothing wrong with going fishing, golfing, hiking, or shopping. There’s nothing wrong with working around the house or going on a pleasure trip somewhere. Many people put in long hours working and playing. But if anything takes precedence over doing the Lord’s work then all you’re doing spiritually is fishing, and it won’t be of any benefit to you or anyone else. You won’t accomplish anything.

For a brief time Peter had forgotten what Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Don’t make the same mistake Peter made. Don’t get distracted by the world. Go out and catch some people; make some disciples. Spread the word about Jesus—tell them about the salvation that comes through faith in Him.

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Mother

Mother

Proverbs 23:25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and it’s a day we can all celebrate because we were all born to a mother, so whether your mother is still living or long dead this should be a time of remembrance for all of us. Most of us probably had good moms, but I’m sure some didn’t. And there may even be a spare few who never knew their birthmother at all. But even if you didn’t have a great relationship with your mother I would hope there is some godly woman in your life who made a positive influence on you. Maybe it was a grandmother or an aunt. Maybe it was a neighbor or a friend. But hopefully there’s some motherly woman who made an impact in your life you can honor this Mother’s Day.

But how do we honor our mothers? How can we best show our appreciation to the women who shaped our lives? Well the answer might surprise you. It’s not with a gift or a card. It’s not by sending them money. A phone call—or even better, a visit—would be nice, but the best way we honor our mother is seen in how we live our life. When you live a life that pleases God you honor your mother and all the dear women who put time into making you who you are. The best gift you can give to these women is to be a loving, respectable, respectful, God fearing son or daughter. So if you want to give your mom a great gift this Mother’s Day give her the gift of being the best son or daughter you can be.

Proverbs 31:28Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Have a God Filled Week and Happy Mother’s Day,
Brother Donnie

A Soft Answer

A Soft Answer

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Harsh words. We hear a lot of them these days. There are a lot of people shouting at each other. In an attempt to take a stand on some issue or point of view people often resort to harsh words. But a wise person won’t do that. The wise will give a
soft answer.

Now note that God’s word doesn’t say, “…don’t answer.” It says give a, “…soft answer.” Look, there are times when we need to keep our mouth shut and be quiet. Some fights just aren’t worth fighting. But there are times when we must speak up and give an answer. It takes a lot of wisdom to know when to answer, and it takes even more wisdom to know how to answer.

When words start flying in the midst of conflict do we scream and shout, using “harsh words,” or do we offer a firm, confident, soft answer. To answer softly isn’t to cower or back down. To answer softly is to present a controlled, reasoned argument for your position without raising your voice or personally offending the person you disagree with.

We’ve lost the art of honest debate in this generation. People no longer know how to state their opinion without being insulting, derogatory, and inflammatory. The result of these harsh words is a sharp line of division. Harsh words result in anger—wrath. When harsh words make people angry that only leads to greater division. But when we answer softly the anger resides. Then people will listen to each other and the walls of division start to come down. So when you find yourself in a disagreement with someone remember what scripture says, answer softly and you’ll turn away wrath.

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Grass

Grass

1 Peter 1:24 “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away…

As I cut grass today I was reminded of this scripture. Human life is like grass and any earthly thing we accomplish is like the flower grass. It’s all temporary. We dry up and die, and any worldly deeds we do are soon forgotten. Now as depressing as that sounds Scripture also says we can have eternal life and store up treasure in Heaven that will not fade away. The key word here is “glory,” and the question is, whose glory are you living for? If you live for the glory of man you diminish quickly, but if you live for the glory of God you’ll never perish. So the question is, how do you live for the glory of God?

In the next verse Peter says, “But the word of the LORD endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25) Peter goes on to say, “Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” God’s word shows us how to have eternal life, and God’s word teaches us how to live a life of obedience. The word of God shows us how to glorify God rather than man.

Yes, our mortal bodies will wither, and our works will fade away. In earthly terms we are destined to die and be forgotten. But in Heavenly terms we can live forever and store up treasure in Heaven that God won’t forget. It’s God word that shows us how.

Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie