Enjoying the Journey

We are in the season of the year that many churches hold revival meetings. I have been in many of them over the last few weeks. Whether they are truly revival or not is another issue, but it is what we pray for – a spiritual awakening among God’s people, fresh life breathed into the church of the Living God. It is my conviction that the most important times in a revival meeting are not the days of the meeting themselves. Rather, it is the weeks leading up to the meeting and the days coming out of the meeting. It is in the weeks leading up to a special meeting that spiritual preparation is made which will determine the fruitfulness…

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Recently a teenage boy wrote to tell me that God had called him to be a preacher. What a joy to see another generation of young people yielding their lives to serve Christ! He asked if I would give him some advice. Below are the simple things I wrote to my young friend. It is my prayer that other young people will be helped by them. 1. Work on your devotional life. Everything else grows out of your own walk with the Lord. 2. Spend time with your pastor and youth director. Ask them questions and learn all you can. 3. Begin now to witness and serve. If you don’t start now you won’t later. 4. Plan to attend a…

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We have just come through one of the busiest seasons of the year for revival meetings. In reality, God chooses the season for revival. It cannot be scheduled or planned. It will not be confined to our calendar. Revival comes in God’s time and God’s way. As I sit in meetings week after week, preaching and praying for revival, the Lord has impressed this truth on my heart… In every revival there are divine moments that must not be missed.  Is it possible that the Lord Jesus could show up in a meeting and His own people fail to recognize Him? I fear that the Holy Spirit is often a stranger in the places where “spiritual” men conduct the annual…

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Several weeks ago I published a short post on how to know when you have been called. (You may read the original post here.) It was encouraging to hear from so many who are sincerely praying about the Lord’s will for their life. We need more people laboring for souls, not fewer! I had the privilege of having lunch with a couple of young men recently who surrendered to be preachers in a youth meeting last year. Our conversation was a reminder that those who have been called must begin immediately to both prepare and act on the call of God upon their lives. The night that I yielded my life to God’s will a wise old preacher said to…

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tools to evangelize, encourage, equip strengthening believers through helpful resources

This week I am preaching a revival meeting in the low desert of Arizona. (Yes, it is hot. No, it is not a tent meeting!) The pastor has worked diligently to prepare the church and hearts have been very responsive to God’s Word. I have come to realize that the most important days in a revival meeting are not the meeting itself. Instead, they are the days before the meeting. Prepared hearts are more important than prepared sermons. No evangelist brings revival – God Himself revives His people when they get where they can hear Him. Vance Havner used to call this being “in tune with heaven.” For this reason I have come to believe that the prayers of God’s people…

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Teachers are powerful people.  This month thousands of teachers will be recognized.  Few will be appreciated as they deserve. As I think over my elementary, junior high, high school, college, and seminary years I remember quite a variety of teachers, and realize that God used each of them to help shape my life in some way. A few months ago my mother called and said that she had found an old book of mine at home and was sending it to me.  (My wife was very excited that I would have one more book to add to the collection around the house!)  This book was not a biography, a theological treatise, or one of the classics.  No. It was The Phantom…

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Events are not everything; life is made up of many ordinary days.  Yet special events are simply a way of emphasizing what is important.  We have just returned from our annual Christmas Mission to New York City with the Crown College Choir.  God blessed in an unusual way.  It is my joy to be involved in many of our conferences and events throughout the year.  Every month is an adventure and every event is an education. Coordinating special events is very different from attending them.  Nothing just “happens.”  Big events are made up of little details and every good thing requires work. Reflecting on so many special events over the last few months, I have come to understand several truths……

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A fine young man was driving me to the airport in another state recently.  We had a pleasant conversation about many things.  He is soon to be married and has much to look forward to in life and ministry. He reminded me of so many young men that I have the privilege to work with every week.  He reminded me of me.  Trying to figure it all out.  Soaking up what older preachers had to say.  Watching.  Listening.  Appreciative for those men who would invest in a young preacher. During the course of our talk he asked me several questions.  At one point we talked about physical exercise and he told me that he spent some time every morning working…

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Today we begin our annual Baptist Friends Conference at Temple Baptist Church and Crown College.  Pastor Sexton and our precious people love hosting this meeting and seeking to encourage hundreds of friends in the work of world evangelism.  There are always so many people working hard to prepare for a meeting like this.  Yet we have learned that the most important preparation is not physical but spiritual. The greatest preparation is the work that is done in prayer.  Remember, when we pray GOD works!  We always have a 24 hour prayer vigil on the Friday and Saturday before the Conference begins.  For the last several weeks teams of our people have visited in all of our member homes gathering prayer…

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