Success God’s way!

from my Facebook posts:

Want to see more folks in the pews?….want to see more productivity in your church ministry?….want to sense the satisfaction of God and know as a church you are in His will?…most importantly, want to see the Father draw more of the lost to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?…PREACH THE WORD! No where does Scripture tell us to have better music, different schemes, more programs or more fellowships. Being friendly and enjoying visiting with our neighbors is fine, but it isnt the Gospel. The Word of God says that all the things we would like to experience in our lives as the church, will come about and can only come about, by the foolishness of PREACHING. Get the preaching right; get the Gospel right and the Father will draw to Himself whom He chooses.

Brief Sermon For Busy People-“On Staying Humble” | Pat Loftin

After his sermon a young preacher had a man to tell him that it was the best sermon he had ever heard! The young minister prayed inwardly, “Lord, help me not to get puffed up.’’ The next Sunday an elderly lady said, “I have been a member of this church for 40 years and I have never heard a sermon as bad as you preached today.” The preacher bowed his head and prayed, ”Lord, help me not to get puffed down.” One time I jokingly said to my wife, Kathy, “You have such an humble husband” and she said, “I have known you for over 60 years and son, you have a lot to be humble about.”

Life can give you some things that will make you proud and life can also give you some experiences that will bring you to your knees. One of the best passages on humility is Luke 18:9-14 and the last part states, “Everyone that exalts himself shall be abased and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Pat Loftin has served as a Baptist minister for some 62 years and resides in Epps, LA where he has been the husband of Kathy for 59 years, the father of 3, grandfather of 6 and great-grandfather of 3 more. His hobbies include fishing but his passion is for preaching, teaching and writing. To contact Bro. Pat Loftin, you may email him through our contact page here

Are You a Cultural Christian or a Biblical Christian?

youth-bible-study(My note: I have used the term “CHINO” to describe so-called cultural Christians. CHINO standing for “CHristian in Name Only.)

from Charisma News

Christianity is flourishing. There are more Christians today in America than ever before, both as a percentage and in total numbers. Roughly one in three Americans indicate they have asked Jesus to forgive their sins and grant them the gift of eternal life.

Here’s the question: If religion is such a big part of our lives, why isn’t it making more of an impact on our society? The sad reality is that claims of religious commitment run high, but impact is at an all-time low.

Here’s the problem: Although Christianity is flourishing, many of us who are Christians have gotten caught up in this increasingly bankrupt culture. We have adopted many of the values of the world around us. Maybe it’s the new sexual ethics of cohabitation or pornography, rampant greed and materialism, or winking at the needs of the poor. Gal. 5:9 explains why adopting these values is a problem: “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”

Read the entire article…..

How Should We Be Living? | Dr. Michael Brown

from Charisma News:

The time for slumber and playing games is long past, and the time for complacency is gone.

The harvest is ripe, the needs are overwhelming, and the potential is extraordinary.

The power of God is totally available, and the Lord Jesus is enthroned in power, ready to send, anoint and bless and use.

It is time to wake up, stand up and show up.

Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not somewhere else. But today, this year, where you live, right now.

How should we be living? “For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His” (2 Chron. 16:9).

Live with such wholehearted devotion that the Lord will show Himself strong on your behalf.

You will never have a regret.

That is how we should be living.

Read the entire article….

Michael Sam vs. Tim Tebow | Is It a Double Standard or Just Pure Christian Intolerance?

tim-tebow-seriousTim Tebow bowed a knee to Jesus Christ in prayer before every football game and took plenty of flack for his so-called “Tebowing.” Indeed, NFL players mocked his ritual—but not one of them that I know of was sent to Christian sensitivity training to learn how not to offend the faith-filled footballer and his many fans.So why did Miami Dolphins second-year defensive back Don Jones get fined by his team for tweeting “OMG” and “horrible” after the St. Louis Rams drafted Sam? Why did he get excused from the team, despite deleting the comments and now apologizing? – See more at: http://www.charismanews.com

Calif. Pastor Frustrated with ‘Comfortable’ Christianity

ChristianPost.com

Speaking at the Christian Resources Exhibition Thursday, Francis Chan said he had experienced resistance to the radical extent of his service for Christ, not from non-believers but from fellow believers.

He (Chan) said that all Christians were called to live like the early church believers who denied themselves, took up their crosses, sold their possessions to the poor, and shared everything they had.

“To me it’s crazy to live any other way than a completely radical lifestyle,” he said.

“It wasn’t just for the apostles. It wasn’t just for the early believers. It’s for us today.”

He lamented that Christians were too often “missing it” – the level of commitment and passion to spreading the Gospel demonstrated by the early church.

“I feel very concerned for those people who walk into these buildings we call church and think they are Christians because they said a prayer and made a decision,” he said.

“Saying a prayer means nothing if there’s no follow through.”

He continued: “Where’s the obvious truth and where’s the obedience because I think we’ve missed some obvious things and created a system that doesn’t really make sense and we’ve done that because we don’t really want to live out Christianity, we don’t really want to become like Christ.

“Do you really want to be like Christ – rejected your whole life, spit upon, crucified? … We don’t want that part of Christ and yet it is those times when we are rejected for the Gospel that we really feel the peace and come to remotely resemble Jesus.”

Read the entire article…

Taking Captive All Things

by Buck Parsons, Tabletalk Magazine

Not too long ago my family and I were eating at a local restaurant known for its home style southern cuisine and quaint family atmosphere. As we were leaving, I couldn’t help but notice a family sitting together, and each one of them — Dad, Mom, big brother, and little sister — was engaged in a conversation with someone else, somewhere else in a galaxy far, far away. With shoulders hunched down and their eyes staring lifelessly into their electronic mobile devices, their frantic fingers typed away as their carefully placed emoticons (electronic emotional images, such as smiley faces, sad faces, etc.) presumably took their appropriate places as emotional substitutes for their dispassionate, electronically glowing faces.

As a constant observer of my sociocultural surroundings I had to somehow capture this sad twenty-first century familial phenomenon. I immediately took out my handy iPhone and took a digital picture. Yes, it is indeed a brave new world in which we live — look how far we’ve come.

For better or worse I’m a bit old-fashioned, and I have a tendency to resist the new, the improved, the trendy, and whatever is deemed a product of supposed progress. However, ever since I became a Christian I have had an overwhelming conviction that I should make the most of my time and seize every minute of every day to accomplish whatever is worthy for God’s glory, using any appropriate new media or technology wisely and carefully, just as the apostle Paul instructs us: Redeem the time because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16).

Similarly, Jonathan Edwards resolved “never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can” (fifth resolution). For this reason, we should not shy away from whatever comes at us in this brave new world, however fast it might come. Rather, we should live each day in light of eternity, before the face of God who not only condones but commands the right use of all right things as long as they are all used for the edification of His people, for the worldwide mission of Christ’s church, and for the proclamation of God’s unchanging Word, which was superintended by the Holy Spirit and written with pen and parchment, and is now readily available to the entire world, by God’s sovereign plan all for His glory.

Burk Parsons is editor of Tabletalk magazine and associate minister at Saint Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida, and is editor of the book John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology.  

The Double Reach Of Self-Righteousness

By Tullian Tchividjian|Christian Post Guest Columnist

It’s simple: we can become self-righteous against those who are self-righteous. Many younger evangelicals today are reacting to their parents’ conservative, buttoned-down, rule-keeping flavor of “older brother religion” with a type of liberal, untucked, rule-breaking flavor of “younger brother irreligion” which screams, ”That’s right, I know I don’t have it all together and you think you do; I know I’m not good and you think you are. That makes me better than you.” See the irony?

In other words, they’re proud that they’re not self-righteous!

read the entire article…