Enjoying the Journey

Sometimes God scatters His people. This is seen in the early church when believers were scattered because of persecution (Acts 8:4). But there is a huge difference between the scattering of persecution and the scattering of neglect. When God scatters a flock He does it to multiply and reproduce the flock in other places. If sin, fear, or the Devil scatters a flock it is always to divide and conquer. We may soon see scattering because of persecution in our land but we are already witnessing the scattering of neglect. It is time to regather the flock. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments God’s people are repeatedly referred to as sheep…prone to their own wanderings and the attack of…

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One of the great joys of serving the Lord is watching Him work in ways we could never have planned. Yes, we are “laborers together with God” and He has graciously allowed us to be participants, partners in His mission. But, in the end, all of us recognize that we are just along for the ride. He is doing the work and we are witnesses of it. Recently I told someone that it has been thrilling to see that the most blessed things I have been privileged to be part of were those things that were not my idea at all! God has a way of doing the unexpected and producing the unexplainable. Only He gets the glory. This is…

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What if you received a letter from the Founder of the church? In fact, you have it in your hands each time you hold the Word of God! The Lord has written in black and white exactly what He designed and desires for His church to be. The New Testament is the divine manual on the local assembly. In our day the church is being minimized and marginalized by society. Satan and his minions are on the attack. Many Christians have taken a passive, take-it-or-leave-it approach. This is not the time for believers to take a step back from church! We live on the edge of eternity and now is the time for every church member to find their place…

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Many of you have asked in recent days about this year’s Rest Conference. Pastor Scott Hooks and I, along with our wives, love hosting this meeting each September. It is a refreshing time in God’s Word and with many of God’s servants. Due to the unusual situation this year with COVID-19 restrictions we have decided to make some adjustments to the schedule. We will not be gathering in Hickory, NC as normal. Please note the following: We will be hosting an online conversation on Tuesday, September 8 for pastors, evangelists, and Christian workers. This will be an encouraging few minutes and I hope you will make plans to join us. More details will be sent out soon about how you…

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Churches are beginning to open back up. Pastors are trying to find some rhythm again. It will take some time to get everyone back and schedules fully normal, but it is a start. In fact, it is an opportunity for a new beginning! Over the last months I have had the privilege of working with and talking to many pastors who have had to “get out of the comfort zone” and do some thing for the first time. We all have been stretched, and the world should see a difference among the people of God. Some things should not change. Our doctrine, our commitment to Scripture, our faithfulness to biblical distinctives – all of these must never change. On the…

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These are unusual days for everyone and unique days to serve in a church. Over the last few weeks I have spent a great deal of time talking and praying with pastors who are doing their best, under God, to lead their churches through this crisis time. While these faithful pastors are working to help God’s people, we should also be thinking about how God’s people can help God’s pastors. Remember, we are all in this together! Be prayerful. The most effective use of our words is always in talking to the One who can do something about it! In Hebrews 13 we are encouraged to “remember…follow…obey…and submit” to spiritual leaders (Hebrews 13:7, 17). However, one of the most overlooked…

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Perhaps like me you are beginning to get impatient or bored with the current state of things in our nation. A little stir crazy? We must remember that, like everything in this world, “this too shall pass.” Soon the crisis will be over. The great question is not: “Will the crisis every pass?” but, rather, “What will God’s people do when the crisis has passed?” This could be – should be – a new beginning for the work of God in this world. Remember that it was after the breaking up of the early church in Jerusalem that the greatest gospel advance in the history of the church took place! O, Lord, cause that to be the case in our…

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We have become a nation of “shut-ins” in many ways. (This should make us more compassionate and caring of those who truly are shut-in and unable to ever leave their homes!) The current shift in schedule has disrupted a mobile society and the ripple effects are just beginning to be felt. What should Christians do? They should do what they can where they are! The will of God and the work of God always begins with what is right at hand. As we do our part, God will surely do His. If we want to get to the ends of the earth we must begin at our Jerusalem (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). When we began 2020 I challenged churches to…

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The term has been lost with the passing of time – and so has the use. Few people today think much about a “family altar.” Yet in days of revival in our nation the principle of families praying and worshiping together was vital. True revival does not start at the church house, it starts at our house! The family altar does not mean that we build a physical altar in our homes. It means that we build into our schedules and routines the priority of praying with the family and talking about the Lord. The home altar is greater than the church altar in this way: it can be accessed every day! Matthew Henry wrote, “Wherever man has a tent,…

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In crisis hours we are all reminded of what is most important in life, and who truly watches for our souls. We are all living through a season that reminds us of the importance of the local church. This season will pass but the church remains. Christ is building His church even now! He is purifying it. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. You can count on that! In good times and bad believers need one another. We need the church. Sheep need to be led and fed. This is why the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, calls under-shepherds to care for the flock. Though schedules have come to a screeching halt pastors are working harder…

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