Archive for the ‘Our Baptist Churches’ Category

Defeating Defeatism in our Churches

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Have you noticed the spirit of defeatism that pervades Christianity today?  It seems that many fundamental Christians are assuming that the battle is lost.  They’re resigned to the idea that Bible-believing churches are no longer “relevant” to the world and that we are destined to get smaller and smaller with every passing day.

I can understand why some fundamental Christians would believe that.  We watch around us as good churches fail and close their doors.  We watch as worldliness slithers its way into good, solid churches until it pervades and conquers them.  We watch as people discard long, firmly-held convictions about the Bible and step toward the left into positions more palatable to mainstream, worldly Christians.

During these past two years, I have seen more compromise and failure in fundamental churches and Christians than ever before in my life.  I have seen and heard of good churches closing their doors because there aren’t enough people left.  Worldly music has crept into churches I thought would never fall into the rock and roll death trap.  Churches, in numbers I have never seen before, are discarding their King James conviction.

Christians are panting after the world, drooling uncontrollably, yearning for the approbation and acceptance of a fallen, violent, sensual, hateful, angry, licentious, sin-hardened society.  And, they’re standing up in church on Sunday trying to justify this addiction to a sin-ridden culture as an attempt to be “relevant.”

Once solid churches are looking for the money, the crowds, and the social position afforded by bringing worldly culture — including fleshy music, sensual dress, and faddish theology — into their midst.

It’s no surprise, when you consider that, as a preacher, standing firm on traditional doctrine, Bible truths, wholesome music, and the Bible versions issue (which is really about the underlying question of the very existence of God), often means having a small church, little prominence in the community, and a small or no salary.

Meanwhile, if you bring in just a little bit of the world into the church, you can get a larger crowd, more respectability,  and a better salary.

It’s an easy choice … if your motive is a larger crowd, more respectability, and a better salary.  Based upon what I have seen in the past couple years, this does appear to be the motive of the majority of preachers.  Few are willing to drive an older model car, live in a modest house, buy their clothes at Goodwill, work outside jobs, and pray in money day-by-day for daily expenses — just to pastor a small congregation at a little church that barely takes in enough in tithes and offerings to keep the doors open and the lights on. [If this is you, contact me so we can pray for each other and encourage each other.]

One after another, the churches fall.  It’s like watching a California mudslide.  One by one, two by two, and three by three they fall, plummeting down slippery slopes to the certain destruction that always results from worldliness.  I have never seen a church come back. Once a little worldliness is introduced, such as the shallow “praise” choruses, the mudslide increasingly gains momentum until it pulls the house down.

Meanwhile, the only media coverage fundamental Christians get is when a preacher molests a little boy or some self-promoter prays for the President to get brain cancer.   Where are the TV stations when a wife-beater gets saved and a family turns from violence to peace?  Where are the newspapers when a drunk gets saved and becomes a productive member of society?  Where is the media when a man gets his heart right under some old-fashioned preaching and throws away his pornography or becomes a better employee?

It is so easy to despair, and I understand why fundamental Christians often do. But, if we entertain a spirit of defeatism, then defeat is certain.

The fact is, we will only be defeated if we accept defeat.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

God never asks us to accept defeat.  We are — at the very least — to stand and face the enemy.  In fact, when we read about the “armour of God” in Ephesians chapter 6, we find that the weapon and armor are only effective when we are facing the enemy.  When we retreat, we are exposed and not completely protected.  That “shield of faith” can no longer quench the “fiery darts of the wicked.”  We are vulnerable when retreating, which explains why that is when most Christians fall.

When we begin to assume defeat or a defeatist mentality, then the enemy has us right where they want us.   We are strong when we stand and face the enemy, Sword in hand, clad in the armor of God, refusing to give ground.  We are weak and vulnerable when we retreat.

God not only gives us the admonition to stand against the enemy, but also gives us the armor to defend against them.   Plus, He gives us the ultimate weapon to pierce the enemy’s own defenses.  Why do we sit down and let the enemy move ahead?

I’ll answer that question in a moment.  First I want to share a quote from a famous general.  I love this quote, and you may have heard it from me before.

In World War I, Field Marshall Foch was in command of the French forces defending against the German invasion.  France was pervaded by a spirit of defeatism, much as our fundamental churches are today.  Everyone expected the enemy to roll into the country and take Paris, as they had a few years earlier during the Franco-Prussian war.  The Germans seemed unstoppable, and there was little optimism left in France.

As the Germans advanced, Field Marshall Foch wired this message to Paris:

“I am hard-pressed on my right. My center is failing. It is impossible to move. The situation is excellent. I attack!”

And he did.  Despite his seemingly untenable situation, he launched an offensive instead of retreating and the enemy assault ground to a halt.  For the rest of the War, the lines between the two armies moved only a few hundred feet.  His decision to attack instead of letting the enemy push him back or wither his army away through assault and attrition saved the nation.

I believe that our Captain is calling for us to attack today.  I believe that He wants us to advance, not retreat or whither away.

We look at circumstances and think, “These are the Last Days.  It’s all over.  The enemy is winning.  More churches will close or go liberal.  Fewer people will have the character to stand for sound doctrine and holy living.”  Then, we make decisions accordingly.  We accept defeat as if it is inevitable, and by accepting it, defeat does become inevitable.

But God is calling for us to advance.

I don’t believe that this is a time to roll up the carpet and lock the doors.  And, it’s certainly not a time to become softer in our preaching.  In fact, if anything, we should become bolder and harder in our preaching.  These are Jeremiah days.

Here’s the problem.  Fundamental Christians themselves have become so enamored of this world and this nation’s culture that they don’t care to stand for the Old Time Religion anymore.

Our Captain sounds the horn and calls for  advance, but few join Him.  The bulk of us are sitting back in the trenches, our weapons unready, listening to our CDs, watching our TV shows, planning our futures, counting our money, promoting ourselves, surfing the Internet, or just plain worrying about whether or not the Captain really has the resources He needs to advance.

The Captain calls, and a handful of men and women grab their weapons and climb up out of the trenches, and charge across the muddy battlefield at His side.  The majority stays in the trenches where they don’t have to deal with the enemy fire, or the mud, or the other inconveniences of Battle.  They are neither answering their Captain’s call to arms nor supporting their brothers and sisters who are trying to advance against the enemy.

And, if the enemy gets too close to their trench, they pick up their CDs, their TV, and their money, and they retreat back to the next line of trenches.  But this is where many of them fall — not advancing against the enemy (when their God-given armor protects them), but when they are giving ground to the enemy and retreating, arms full of this world’s things.  The more encumbered they are with the things of this world, the more likely they are to be wounded.

The enemy has no problem shooting you in the back.  In fact, that’s about the only place they can shoot you.

The faithful Christians are advancing into enemy territory.  They are crying out for reinforcements.  They are pleading for supplies.  Some are pinned down by enemy fire. Some are engaged in fierce combat.  Some are throwing up new fortifications in new territory, freshly taken from the enemy.  They are depending upon their brothers and sisters to be behind them, or beside them, supporting them.

But where is the support?  Where are the rest of the troops?  They are back in the trenches, too enthralled by this world to move from the trenches to the battlefield, while their faithful brothers and sisters are being wounded, enduring unrelenting assault, or finding themselves simply unable to advance because so few of the troops showed up for the battle.

Then, many of the faithful begin giving up their gains, considering them to be too small to be significant, or considering their positions to be untenable without the support of their brothers and sisters.

If I could give only a 10-second message to all King James, fundamental Baptist, it would be this:  “We are hard pressed by the left.  Our center is failing.  Modernism and worldliness are flooding in from every direction. It’s time to attack!”

This is a time for advance, not retreat.  It’s time to solidify our positions and to use them as a base to achieve greater gains.  It’s time to search out the faithful brothers and sisters who are serving in isolated, under-supported positions and support them.

And, brothers and sisters, it’s time to put more resources into reaching America  for Christ. International missions is necessary and it is a wonderful privilege to support a missionary bringing the Gospel to a foreign land, but we need to start shoring up our own foundations here in America.  If we don’t make some significant gains here in our own country during the next decade, we will not be able to support international missions anymore.

When ninety percent of our troops here in America are in retreat from or falling in the face of the enemy’s advance, we need to redouble the effort and resources for the missionaries serving right here in our own nation.  We need to support the rescue missions, the domestic church planters, and small churches at a much higher level if we seriously expect to make advances or even hold our own in America.  If we begin making gains again in our nation, then a massive expansion of foreign missions actually becomes feasible.

The fact is that we currently have the resources in our midst to both support foreign missions at its current level and to dramatically expand “home” missions.  But, those resources are tied up at the moment.  They are tied up in the big houses and cars of Christians who are obsessed with being “middle class” while the country around them is going to Hell.  They are tied up in the bank accounts, hobbies, properties, boats, clothing, jewelry, and other encumbrances of Christians who have forgotten that we are pilgrims in a foreign land.

We have become much too comfortable in this world.  We are striving to achieve this world’s norms instead of the next world’s goals.

This is a time to advance.  Defeat is not an option — in fact, I’ve read the last chapter of the book and see that defeat never happens.  Our Captain wins this war.

Today, He has given us, as a whole, the resources and people we need to make great gains.  Let’s cut the cords that bind us to this world, climb out of the trenches, and charge the enemy at the side of our Captain.

The outlook seems gloomy when we look at circumstances, but remember that a handful of Christians who left the upper room filled with the Spirit — the cross before them and the world behind them — eventually conquered the Roman empire.  They were ready to die to advance the Gospel.  They gave up everything that this world offered them, in order to advance the Gospel.  They didn’t care what the world thought, and they didn’t encumber themselves with the things of this world.  The opposition seemed overwhelming with the whole world against those 120 faithful, but they nonetheless charged the enemy lines and won, planting churches all over the known world.

We can do that today, too.  We can climb out of the pews and start new ministries.  We can bring in more on the buses.  We can go out across the countryside planting little churches (and don’t forget that 2-3 little churches can be pastored by one preacher — that model worked for our ancestors on the frontiers, why not today?) across this nation instead of giving over huge swathes of territory to the enemy.

Don’t discount small churches.  A small church is always better than no church — where there is even a little church, there is hope. Where there is none, there is no hope.  Only darkness.

Let’s follow our Captain out of the trenches.  Let’s advance.

Evangelist Mike Patterson

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Please continue to pray for Evangelist Mike Patterson.  He had a heart attack in July and has been off the road since.  He has had to clear his schedule through October.  His cardiologist has not yet determined the best way to treat him.  Pray for his health and for financial support for his family during this time that they are off the road.

Will we be spared?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Yesterday I wrote about the food shortage that is not at our doorstep, but already in the door and sitting at the kitchen table.

The smug say, “I don’t care. I’ll be raptured before it gets too bad.”

Who do we think we are? Millions of faithful Christians and their families throughout history have died in famines, persecutions, and war. Why do we think that we are immune to these things?

Because we’re American? This stiff-necked, rebellious, worldy, sin-filled nation with it’s stiff-necked, rebellious, worldy, sin-filled Christians is headed for difficulty and divine judgment unparalleled in modern times. I’m not talking about the Great Tribulation, I’m talking about old fashioned divine judgment.

Think we’re immune? Think again.

Read the Old Testament again. When Israel and Judah were judged for their infidelity and rebellion, the faithful and upright in their midst suffered loss, were carried away, died in famine and war, right along with the unjust and unfaithful. It was a national judgment.

Daniel stayed faithful, and God blessed him abundantly even in the face of loss. Ezekiel stayed faithful, and God blessed him. Others, like Jeremiah, continued to suffer hardship and persecution despite their faithfulness – but God made it up to them on the “other side”.

Are we so much better, by virtue of our nationality, than all of the just, faithful men and women who have died in famine, war, natural disaster, persecution, and hardship over the last 6,000 years? Why won’t those woes overtake us?

We’re not promised an easy life here. There is no promise that my family and I won’t starve to death in the coming famine, no matter how faithful we are. Our hope lies not in this world, but the next.

Let’s be ready, sober, and vigilant. There are things that we can do to prepare, and I do believe that God will bless the preparations of His faithful. A little preparation now will save a lot of difficulty down the road.

What does God want you to do today?

“Letters of Commendation”

Monday, July 14th, 2008

I remember how obsessed President Clinton was with defining some sort of legacy for himself during his last couple years in office. He was determined to achieve something to be remembered by. Of course, he had a legacy already, and no matter how much he tried to undo it, we remember him today for his women and his compulsive lying, not any political achievement.

People know us by our fruit.

The Apostle Paul had a legacy, but it was a much better one. Part of his legacy was the young church at Corinth, which God had used him to nurture, train, and grow.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2 Corinthians 3:1-3

Paul said that the church at Corinth was a “letter of commendation” for him, written not with paper and ink but “in fleshy tables of the heart.”

In those days, as was typical until 30-40 years ago, if you went to a church you had never been to before, you were not accepted into membership without a letter from another church stating that you were a member in good standing there. Many traditional churches still, even today, have a policy of admission to membership “by letter or by baptism” — in other words, you can become a member by presenting a letter from your previous church, or by being saved and baptized.

This system helped to prevent people who were removed from membership of a church, such as the man Paul speaks about in I Corinthians, from simply going to another church for fellowship. As Christians grew in numbers and multiple churches grew up within the same city or town, it became easier for someone who was removed from fellowship on one church to simply “go across town” to another church and continue to live their life of sin. By requiring a “letter”, a church protected its members somewhat from this type of abuse, and against people who wanted to do them harm (Roman or Jewish spies, greedy con-men, etc.).

Paul asks the Corinthians if he needs to present them with a letter in order for he and his teaching to be accepted in their church. He answers his own question by stating that the church itself is his letter, written not in ink and paper or carved in stone, but written in flesh. They themselves were his witness and testimony – he had no further need for a “letter”.

Even today, people judge a tree by its fruit.

People judge a church by its members. When folks out in the world meet a church-goer, they can very quickly form an opinion about the church based on the member(s) they meet. For instance, they will decide if the church is friendly based on how friendly the member is. Many of the character attributes of the member(s) they encounter will be inputed to the church.

People will judge a college by its graduates. Even within church circles, a college is known by its fruit. If you meet a couple graduates of the same college, and they both have the same unbalance, the same weakness in doctrine, the same obsession with a particular doctrine or style, then you have a tendency to judge the college by those graduates you meet.

It’s sobering to realize that people judge Christ based on the Christians they meet.

When a person meets a Christian who is critical, hypocritical, noncommittal, ungraceful, brash, grumpy, judgmental, doctrinally weak, unfriendly, arrogant, or [fill in the blank], they will often judge Christianity and Christ based upon that Christian.

It’s even more sobering to realize that we, as individuals, may be the only Christ that someone sees. We may be the only “letter of commendation” that an unsaved person sees, and based on our actions and words they might judge whether or not they want to fellowship with Christ.

We may be the only testimony for Christ that our coworker sees. We may be the only “Christ” seen by our neighbor, friend, or family member.

In a day when we use the label “Christian” so casually, when Christians are so casual and lazy about their relationship with Jesus, it is so important for us to be sure that we show others an accurate picture of Christ.

This doesn’t mean we have to work harder to look like better people. It means we need to be more surrendered to Him, more rejecting of the flesh, in order that Christ himself might shine through more clearly.

Remember, we want people to see Him, not us. It won’t do us any good to try to polish ourselves up so that folks see how good we are. Instead, we need to show less of us, so that more of Him shows through.

We have His Holy Spirit within us. We can choose to either yield to His Spirit or to yield to our flesh. By choosing the Spirit, we enable Him to have more free rein in our life, which means that when people see us, they’ll be seeing more of Him, which will give them a clearer picture of Christ and a better testimony.

Yes, we can choose to yield to the flesh and give Christ a bad name among our acquaintances, but I don’t like to think about what that would lead to when we stand before the Judge. The words I most want to hear from the Judge are, “Well done thou good and faith servant….” After what Jesus has done for me, anything less would represent abject failure on my part. He has given me life eternal, so why shouldn’t I give him this temporal life?

If we have yielded to Christ, what will folks see when they look at us? I talked about the “fruit of the Spirit” last week, but we can also see some hints right here in the this same passage (II Corinthians 3).

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2 Corinthians 3:6

If you have your Bible handy, read the verses around this, too. The Old Testament Law was a fleshy manifestation of a spiritual concept. It seems that our inclination is always to write laws and create standards so that we can, with eyes of flesh, see how close we are to God. We try to earn our way into God’s favor and Heaven by doing good works.

It just doesn’t work that way. Paul tells us elsewhere that the Old Testament Law was given as a “schoolmaster” specifically for the purpose of showing us that we can’t please God that way. After all, all our righteousness is as filthy rags in comparison to His glory.

Mankind has such a fixation with rules and laws, with presenting a form of godliness without the power. God wanted to show us, for all time, that this is not a fleshly battle that will be won by fleshy methods, such as abiding by the “letter of the law”, but it is a spiritual battle. The letter brings death, while the spirit brings life and power.

Paul uses the Old Testament Law as an example, but we needn’t stop there. We are so prone in our own churches to resort to a works-based religion. Works are something that can be seen and judged with our eyes of flesh, so our natural man inclines toward the letter of the law.

As James writes (James chapter 2), if the Spirit is really there, His fruit will be manifest in good works; but the opposite is not true – we cannot invoke the Spirit by doing good works. We can do all the good works we want, but that doesn’t mean the Spirit is present with it. It just makes us a good imitator.

Let’s finish by looking a little further down in II Corinthians 3.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Where Christ is, there is liberty. If Jesus is in a church, there will be liberty in that church, not a spirit of domination and bondage.  If Christ is in a person, that person will be known for their grace and moderation (in the biblical sense of the word), not their law and judgment.

Let us yield more to God in order that more of Him might shine through us, making us better witnesses and testimonies of Him.  This is the first and greatest step we can take to winning souls for His kingdom.

Cages of our own building

Friday, July 4th, 2008

I hate being limited. When I want to do something, I want to be able to just go do it. Yet, I look around and see all kinds of limitations on my life.

Some of these limitations are put there by God. I have seen many times in the past where God has limited me by circumstances in order to protect me from something. These are good limitations. These limitations are much like the moral lines drawn up in the Bible – they may seem onerous to the unspiritual, worldly-minded person, but in reality they are there to protect us.

For example, God says to keep sex inside of marriage in order to protect us from emotional damage, sexually-transmitted diseases, and shattered families. God’s “laws” are all like that – they are in place for our good, for our protection, because He loves us. It’s much like a parent telling a child, “don’t touch that hot stove.” The parent does not say it to be mean, but to protect the child whom they love.

But, most of us have many other limitations put in place by our own choosing, not God’s. We make choices or have attitudes that cause our effectiveness and our freedom to be limited.

We once had a dog that would run to the road. Every time we let him loose, he would sprint toward Route 27, where the slower traffic drives at 65mph. Because of this, we had to put him on a runner, and he was greatly limited as to where he could go after that. Instead of being able to run around the whole yard, he could only go as far as his chain and runner would take him. We did not tie him up to be mean to him, but to protect him from his own bad choices and bad habits.

He could have been free and had the run of the yards and house. But he consistently chose badly, so we had to limit him to save his life.

Often, God finds the need to put us on a leash, to limit us in some way in order to protect us from our own bad choices, habits, and attitudes.

Piece by piece, we build our own cages, in which we remain imprisoned.

Many American Christians are quick to run up credit card debts, get loans for newer model cars, etc., because we don’t have the cash on hand to pay for things out-right. “Everyone does it”, we say. “That’s the American Way.”

Since when was the crowd always right? In fact, experience shows us that the crowd is usually wrong!

The Bible points out that the borrower is servant to the lender. It’s just a fact of life. We borrow money, and in so doing add more bars to our cage while lining the pockets of the same billionaire bankers who leach the prosperity from our nation’s economy. [But, that’s a message for another day.]

Christians bind themselves with debt – cords of our own making – then when God calls and says, “Son, I want you to go build a church in Argentina,” or “Daughter, I want you to go teach people about me in Nigeria,” guess what? We can’t go. We’ve got thousands of dollars of debt binding us to our present situation, so we have no freedom to go when God says “Go.”

We are imprisoned behind bars of our own making.

Sometimes it’s an ungodly attitude that binds us. Sometimes Christians get the idea in their minds that they will give God control of their lives up to a certain point and no further. God wants to bless us beyond measure, but He needs that extra bit of us that we refuse to surrender. Maybe it’s the refusal to go to Sunday School. Maybe it’s the refusal to go to prayer meeting. Maybe it’s the refusal to witness to others about Him. Wherever we draw the line, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that we have drawn a line and not only limited what we can do on God’s behalf but also limited the blessing God will give to us.

One more bar for our cage.

How clever is our enemy. He gets us to build our own prisons and to live voluntarily within them! All the while we blame God, the preacher, the economy, our parents, etc., for our inability to serve God and for the absence of His blessing upon us.

Perhaps it’s the company we keep which limits us. We don’t want to do certain things for God for fear of losing our friends.

Perhaps its the religious crowd or multi-church fellowship we run with, and we can’t study or preach the Bible honestly and with integrity for fear of losing that fellowship or our position within it.

George Muller came out of the Lutheran environment in Germany and into an Anglican-dominated England. Coming from that background and being in that kind of environment, he naturally supported and taught sprinkling rather than baptism. One day a woman challenged him to search out baptism in the Bible and to see what was the proper way to do it.

Muller had taken the personal stand that if he found something clearly taught in the Bible, he would change his ways to conform to the Bible rather than try to do doctrinal acrobatics to conform the Bible to himself or some creed. He did a thorough study of baptism in the Bible and concluded that biblical baptism is by immersion only (not by sprinkling) and that only professing believers (not infants) should be subjects of baptism. He immediately changed his belief and practice on the subject in order to bring himself in line with the clear biblical teaching on the matter.

It didn’t matter to him that he might lose some ministry support, position, or endorsement over the matter. What mattered to him was being right with God.

Muller was a great man in his time. He was a renowned Christian leader. How many Christian leaders today are willing to search out a matter and change their own beliefs and ideas in order to conform to the Bible rather than to blindly follow the party line of their fellowship, their crowd, their friends, their college, or their denomination.

More limits, more bars. Less and less ability to serve Christ.

Often we make lifestyle choices that confine us. The typical American middle class lifestyle is not one that fits well with the Bible. It is a consumption-oriented life, steeped in superficiality. God does not want us to be consumers, but providers and givers. A consumption-based lifestyle is excessively wasteful. How much we could learn from our grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression!

Every resource God gives us should be treated with thankfulness and care, not just used and discarded.

Does it really matter what label is on our clothing, or what store is was bought at? Is that flashy car really necessary? Does the lawn and house really have to look so pristine? Are sweat and dirt really so vulgar? Who in the world are we trying to impress?

When we live an excessive lifestyle, what do our children learn from it? What do young Christians, whose eyes are turned to us, learn from it?

What kind of move of God is it going to take to lift us up from our plush, comfortable surroundings and drop us into a dirt-floor grass hut in Burma?

How much more could we give to God’s work if we bought that $20 shirt at the discount store instead of the $50 one from the “cool” store? How many orphans in India or impoverished people in your own home town could be fed if you bought a two-year-old car instead of a brand new one?

Bar-by-bar we build our cages. We huddle in these prisons of our own making, saying “God, please use me” or “God, please help me,” still unwilling to surrender every aspect of our life, heart, and mind to the King of Kings.

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Timothy 2:24-26

Day by day we oppose ourselves, limiting our ability to be used by God by choosing selfishly, pridefully, or ignorantly those things which lead to imprisonment and captivity. Of the Bible-believing Christians in our country today, probably 95% are held captive by the enemy, unable to truly give and serve as He would have them.

How can such an army be effective, when most of the soldiers are bound and caged by the enemy? We holler “Amen” to the preacher, full of pride and zeal, shouting through bars of our own making, unwilling or unable to actually do something.

There’s a lot of amening in our churches and precious little doing.

Today is Independence Day in the USA. Today, brother and sister, let us not only resolve but act to break those bars that imprison us and hold us captive. Let’s have a renewed commitment to not only studying the Bible but to applying its clear teaching to our lives. Let’s be providers and producers, not consumers. Let’s begin a debt retirement plan rather than binding ourselves with more debt. Let’s surrender every corner of our selves to God, letting Him shine His light into each dark, protected closet and hide-away.

Let’s break every yoke and loose every burden (Isaiah 58:6) that we might be free to carry His yoke and bear His burden (Matthew 11:30).