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Disaster

Disaster

Zephaniah 3:15 The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.

Like many people this past week my heart has been with those who suffered through the recent tornados, especially those who live in and around Mayfield, KY. I’m truly grieved in my soul for those who lost loved ones, friends, and family; or even those who lost homes, businesses, or personal property…

It’s tragedies like this one that force us to remember how precious life is and how suddenly it can end. And perhaps the hurt from this particular calamity is excessively deep because it came so close to Christmas. At a time when families should be gathering together to celebrate the birth of our Lord there will be empty seats at the table and in some cases no table at all. There will be churches with no bell ringing on Christmas morning because there is no steeple; no church building remains.

Why do these things happen? Well, we need to understand that God did not originally design the world to be like this. God designed a perfect world with no storms and no death. But sin entered the world and the world has been broken ever since. The world is a damaged place. Even the weather destroys and kills. But also understand this. There is great hope. You see, the same Child that was born in a manger that first Christmas will return. And when He does He will rule this world with and iron rod. He will cast out the Devil and sin. All will be set rightagain, and we will see disaster no more. Thank God for our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie

Fellowship

Fellowship

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Over the past few months I have really enjoyed our coming together in fellowship at Midland Baptist Church. The recent pandemic has been holding us back some, but we’ve had a fairly consistent string of meals and activities as of late, and I’m truly thankful for that.

I love gathering with those who walk in the Light, those who have true faith in Jesus and live out that faith daily. As John says in this verse people who do that have fellowship with one another. Scripture says true believers have fellowship with the gospel (Philippians 1:5), fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3), and fellowship of the Spirit (Philippians 1:3). And because of all that fellowship we also have fellowship with each other.

But we also need to understand the negative side of fellowship. We are not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead we are to expose them (Ephesians 5:9). We are not to have fellowship with lawlessness (2 Corinthians 6:14). We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. In other words, be careful who you fellowship with.

There’s nothing like being a part of a group of true believers in Jesus Christ when they come together in fellowship with each other. If you’re not a part of our fellowship I hope you’ll consider joining us.

Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie

A Good Wife

A Good Wife

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.

Beverly, my wife, has a birthday this week, and I thank God for the day she was born. You see, I am one of those men who have obtained favor from the Lord because I found a good wife. She is a blessing to me.

Notice this scripture says “finding a wife is a good thing.” Men, if you want a good wife you have to go out and find one. Finding a good wife is like panning for gold; it takes some work but she’s well worth the effort because when you find her you will receive favor from the Lord.

Now you might be asking, how can finding a good wife bring the Lord’s favor to me? Well, it’s pretty simple. A good wife is a godly person, a God honoring person, a God first kind of person… If your wife puts God first—that means ahead of you, and ahead of the kids, and ahead of her work, and especially ahead of herself—then you, as her husband, will receive God’s favor because she has God’s favor. If your wife blesses God with her life then God will bless her, and when God
blesses her all that blessing will run over on you.

How is my wife a blessing to me? She loves me despite the mess that I am. She supports me in all my doings. She is there for me when I am sick. She is there for me when I am down. She shares the best of times with me and she sticks with me through the worst of it all. She puts up with all my dreams and schemes. She mourns over my losses and she celebrates my victories. I found a good thingwhen I found a good wife, and God’s favor has been raining down on me ever since. Happy birthday Bev.

Have a God filled Week,
Brother Donnie

I Thank My God

I Thank My God

Philippians 1:3-4 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy…

Whenever Thanksgiving comes around I start going down a mental list of all the wonderful people God has placed into my life. From the time of my first breath God has surrounded me with loving family, friends, and Christian brothers and sisters.

Of course I thank my God for my wonderful wife. I can’t imagine what life would be like without her. I thank my God for my parents, my brother and his massive family, my grandparents, my aunt and uncle as well a plethora of cousins, and all their families. I am a blessed man, and I thank my God for family.

As a teacher and coach I was blessed to have MANY people, both adults and children, come and go in my life; some for only a short time and others to become lifelong friends. I thank my God for friends.

And then there are all the people God placed in my life through the church. Many loving brothers and sisters in Christ have crossed my path over the years and I thank my God for all of them.

I’m sure most of you feel the same way. You have family, friends, and fellow believers God put into your life, maybe for a short time or maybe for a lifetime. But in every case those people are gifts, and we should always be thankful for gifts. Who do we thank for all those loving people, all those gifts? I thank my God for them upon every remembrance. So should you.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Manipulation

Manipulation


2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.


Beware of those who would manipulate you. That warning is clear throughout Scripture. In this verse Paul reminded the Corinthian Church of what happened between the serpent and Eve back in the Garden of Eden. The serpent manipulated Eve and that caused her to sin against God.


False teachers, preachers, evangelists…still use the same method today; they manipulate people. And though manipulation is rampant in all forms of ministry these days I think youth evangelism is one of the areas where such manipulation is most evident. Many “leaders” in youth ministry put a lot of pressure on kids to “accept” Jesus Christ as Savior. Rather than using their position as a Youth Pastor, Sunday-School Teacher, VBS Teacher, (or whatever title they bear) to lovingly proclaim the Good News about Christ, many of these people use high pressure manipulation tactics to acquire a “commitment” from young people. “Get them to say the prayer, sign the card, raise a hand, and get baptized as quickly as possible.” That seems to be the preferred method of youth evangelism these days.


Friends, that’s not evangelism; that’s manipulation. Youth leaders have a God given responsibility to present the Good News about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to young people, but they cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit for Him. Rather than manipulate kids into a “commitment” all they need do is present the Gospel Truth about Jesus and then let the Holy Spirit take over. There’s no need for high pressure tactics, no need for the “make a decision right now” approach, no need to hit them with the Sinner’s Prayer or the Commitment Card… Just tell them the truth about Jesus and let the Holy Spirit take over from there.

Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie

Veracity

Veracity


2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.


Veracity is another word for truth—absolute, valid, authoritative truth. The problem is that we live in a culture that doesn’t know how to define truth. Even worse, this culture often denies there is such a thing as absolute truth. They say no person can know the truth. For this generation truth has become gray rather than black and white. This culture demands that truth be flexible, pliable, and even malleable. In other words, the world around us has no veracity. Truth is whatever any individual determines it to be at any given moment and it changes based on shifting conditions. Our culture believes there are multiple truths and what might be true for one person isn’t necessarily true for another.


But the culture is confused. Even more than confused, the culture is wrong about the truth. There is only one truth. God is the author of all truth, and with God there is no shadow of turning, no change in His truth. One of the major themes of the Bible is “Truth.” There is one God, one truth, and the only way to know His truth is to know His word—the Bible.


We who know the truth have a responsibility to spread the truth, obey the truth, and defend the truth. We’re to fasten the belt of truth around our waist and stand firm in that truth. God’s truth is firm, unchanging, and unyielding. And the same truth applies to everyone, there is no difference. In this culture people are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7) But we who have come to saving faith in Christ know the truth, and since the truth has set us free we must live a life of veracity.


Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie

Drought

Drought


Revelation 7:16-17 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


A few nights ago I saw a news story about people living in Madagascar. Little known to the rest of the world they’ve been suffering a terrible drought there.
People are starving; not hungry in the way we think of people being hungry here in the United States. I mean starving to death hungry. There are no foodbanks there, no government programs to sign up for. It hasn’t rained there in over five years and there is no food or water to be had. To see the children with their extended stomachs and tiny arms and legs brought tears to my eyes. There were people digging pits in the bottom of dried river beds in hopes of finding a few gallons of muddy water to drink. A mom was boiling cactus because it was all she had to feed her family.


Scripture says there will come a day when such things will not happen, a day when God’s children won’t hunger or thirst anymore, a day when the sun won’t strike them and they won’t suffer from the heat. And God will wipe away their tears. That’s the future.

But in the meantime let us pray for the people of Madagascar. Pray they receive food and water. Pray that God will send the rain they so desperately need. If God leads you to do so consider a monetary donation of some sort, but this a crisis for nearly a million people living in a poor nation halfway around the world. This is a God sized problem. The only long term solution is rain and only He can provide that. Pray for the people of Madagascar; pray that God will send them rain.


Have a God Filled Week,

Brother Donnie

Stumps

Stumps

Job 14:7-9 “For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground, Yet at the scent of water it will bud And bring forth branches like a plant.

This morning I decided to remove some tree stumps from my yard. I had cut the trees a few years ago and I’ve been patiently waiting for the stumps to rot so I can get them out of the yard. Two of them came out easily enough, but one is stubborn. Not only does it refuse to rot, it keeps spouting new branches.

As the book of Job says, a tree that has been cut down still has hope that it will live again, that when the old roots make contact with water new sprouts will grow. We Christians are like that. We live in hope that when these mortal bodies are cut down our deep roots of faith will find living water that will make us sprout into new life.

Jesus said, “…whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)

One day these old trees will be laid low. Our mortal bodies will cease to draw breath. But if we have deep roots of faith that drink in the living water Jesus provides our stumps will spring forth with new branches. New life will come to those who persevere in their faith, eternal life that flows from “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

One, Two, Three

One, Two, Three

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one. Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Alone is a difficult place to be. The English poet, John Donne, once wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” and he was right, especially concerning Christians. No believer is better off alone. God designed us to be together. When believers work together the results are magnified. When we fall together we don’t stay down; we lift each other up. When we’re cold and lonely we encourage each other, and when one of us overpowered we stand up for one another.

As believers our relationship with each other makes us stronger, but our saving relationship with Jesus Christ makes us indestructible. When brothers and sisters are corporately empowered by our faith in Jesus there is nothing we can’t do in the name of our Lord. Nothing can keep us down and nothing will chill our spirit. There is no power that can stand against us.

Yes, one is a lonely number; two are definitely better than one, but when the Lord Jesus is interwoven in the relationship three becomes imperishable—eternal.

Have a God Filled Week,
Brother Donnie

Two Gifts

Two Gifts

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…

For centuries people have argued over whether we are saved by God’s sovereign will or man’s free will. Calvinist would say you are saved because God sovereignly chose to save you, and Armenians would say God chose to save you because you made a free will choice to believe. Who is right? Both.

You see, salvation comes to us through two gifts from God—grace and faith. You can’t have either of those gifts unless God chooses to offer them to you. They are His gifts to give to whom He chooses. Yes, God sovereignly chose to offer you the gift of faith; you had nothing what-so-ever to do with that. But by His sovereign will God also gave you the free will choice to accept or reject the gift of faith. Now if you decide to accept God’s gift of faith God will grant you a second gift, the gift of grace, and that second gift is irresistible. Once God decides to pour the gift of His grace into you, you have no choice but to accept it.

There’s an order to our salvation. God chose to call us through the power of the Gospel; God chose to offer us the gift of faith; and God chose to pour out the gift of grace on those who chose to accept the gift of faith.

You see, there are two gifts leading to salvation. Both grace and faith are gifts from all mighty, eternal God. If you accept God’s gift of faith you will receive God’s gift of grace. You have been saved by grace through faith.

Have a God filled Week,

Brother Donnie