Proverbs 21:17

He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

One of the things I want to encourage every Christian to do is to read the book of Proverbs every day.  We need the wisdom this book gives every day.  This particular verse makes us examine our work ethic and priorities.

Have you noticed how hard people work to get out of work?  They see work as a curse, but in reality, it is a blessing.  It is more than a necessary evil so that we may obtain more stuff.  It is an aspect of living that God has blessed us with so that we may serve Him and we may live complete lives.

Pleasure has its place in our lives, but pleasure should not be our primary pursuit.  There are things we all enjoy doing.  They offer us a way to unwind and rest.  The danger comes when that is all we do.  This wise saying encourages us to ensure our priorities are in check.

Notice this proverb warns us that pursuing pleasure is a sure way of making one poor.  Money is a resource.  It is a limited resource. We know there are certain things God wants us to do with money.  We are to tithe and give.  We are to care for our families and save up what we can.

Let me encourage you not to hate your job, but see it as a place of service.  God places us all where He wants us.  Embrace it.  Let me also challenge you to seek God’s help with priorities.  Don’t waste time and energy in total pursuit of pleasure.  Pleasure has its place because we do need time for rest, but don’t let it become your reason for living.


Something Jesus Prayed For

This message will be different from others.  I do not have an outline.  But like other messages, I am using a lot of Scripture.  I am asking you to turn in your Bibles with me.  I want to teach the Bible this morning and this is my text book.  “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:11-12)  We should do this with every message.  We should see what God said.  Our theology is based on this book.

Have you ever wondered at what Jesus prayed for?  We know that prayer characterized the ministry of Jesus.  He lived in prayer.  He taught on the subject of prayer.  The Gospels teaches us that there were times he set Himself apart from others just to pray.  He prayed before He chose His disciples.  This high priestly prayer of John 17 is a prayer He made after He taught the disciples in John 13-16.  

The key two verses in this chapter, 9 and 20, show us who He prayed for.  John 17:9 (KJV) I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  John 17:20 (KJV) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That means you were on the mind and heart of Jesus just before His crucifixion.

The way He prayed is important.  The Bible says that “He lifted up his eyes.”  “The request of our Lord thus given in John’s seventeenth chapter is clearly no prayer of an inferior to a superior: constantly there is seen in it the co-equality of the Speaker with The Father. The Two have but one mind… Where the Son speaks He is not seeking to bend The Father to Him: rather is He voicing the purpose of the Godhead.” (Trench).  When we pray we bow our heads and close our eyes in humility.  We are not His equal.  We are inferior.  Although we can come boldly to the throne of grace we must do so reverently.

His prayer to glorify the Father is far different from our prayers: How different are most our prayers. “In one form or another we are constantly asking the Father to glorify us. Glorify me, O Father, we cry, by giving me the largest congregation in the town; by commencing a great revival in my mission, by increasing my spiritual power, so that I shall be greatly sought after. Of course, we do not state our reason quite so concisely; but this is really what we mean. And then we wonder why the answer tarries.”

His prayer is very specific in the beginning.  Verse two is a clear statement of Divinity.  Jesus has power over all flesh, He has authority to give eternal life.  He was to glorify the Father by giving eternal life.  Herein lies the topic for the message.  No one but God could pray this way.  I want to use this message as an argument for eternal life.

As Baptists we will often use the expression, “Eternal Security.”  I understand what is being taught when we use these words.  I do believe in once saved always saved.  “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)  He did not say, “I knew you at one time.”  To never know someone is to never know someone.  When a person is born again they cannot be unborn again.  “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3-7)  

I prefer to use Bible language to teach Bible doctrine.  In this prayer Jesus uses the words “eternal life” and “life eternal.”  John 3:16 also uses the words, “everlasting life.”  “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 1:24)  When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security.  It is up to Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation.

My favorite illustration for eternal life was given by Jesus.  John 10 is filled with the richness of the Deity of Christ.  You will notice that His keeping and Divinity are tied together.  

“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:22-33)

The people wanted Jesus to be clear about His divinity.  So He tells them that He gives eternal life.  This gift means that a man who has eternal life will never perish.  This does not mean that he will never die.  Physically, we all will die.  This, of course, is under the assumption that Jesus does not rapture us away.  Life is more than physical.  Man is also spiritual.  We have body, soul, and spirit.  Our soul is who we really are.  Our soul will never perish.  He illustrates this by saying that we are in His hand and in our Father’s hand.  A child is safe in His parent’s hands.  Who could rip us out of their hands?  Then He claims to be equal with the Father, and this is how He prayed in John 17.  Jesus is coexistant, coeternal, coequal with the Father.  This is why they wanted to kill Him.  They disagreed with the Theology of our Lord.

I have referenced John 3:16 earlier.  Let’s go there for a moment.

“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:15-17)

We learn that whosoever, and I like that word, believes in Jesus will have eternal life.  This is a promise.  Think of who made this promise.  Jesus, who is God.  Can God lie?  “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)  If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.  That would make God a liar.

When we think of theologians in the Bible we think of two people.  Of course we think of Jesus.  There is no greater theologian than God.  We also think of Paul.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)  We are saved by the Lord who loves us.  What can you do to make Him stop loving you?  The obvious answer is nothing.  You cannot maintain your salvation.  You are kept the same way you were saved.  Jesus saved you and He keeps you.  This is because He loves you.

I realize that many would argue against this great doctrine by saying that there is nothing that will prevent you from living in sin.  This argument says that when a person sins they stop being a child of God.  Just as it is natural for a man to think that he must earn his salvation, it is also natural for a man to think that he must maintain his salvation.  This “gut feeling” is not right.

If a person believes that they could lose their salvation then I would question if they believe in the substitutionary death of Christ.  That means Jesus died to pay for all of our sins.  All means all.  Not part of our sins were laid on Christ, all of them were.  “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)  He died before we were ever born.  All of our sins were in the future.  Denying eternal life is a denial of the substitutionary death of Christ.

If you could get lost after you get saved, what can you do to get lost?  Commit sin?  I do not know one man who is without sin.  Some might say that they just have not sinned enough.  How much is enough?  What verse tells us about the limit of sin?  There are no verses that put a cap on sin.  What if you quit trusting?  What would cause you to quit trusting Jesus?  When you came to Jesus you trusted Him.  The longer you know Him the more you trust Him.  He is the assurance of our faith in Him.  

Let me tell you what happens if a Christian sins.  He does not lose his salvation.  If he did he was never saved.  Our fellowship with God is broken, but not our relationship. When David had committed adultery and murder, he prayed in confession to God, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12). He did not pray, “Restore unto me thy salvation.” He did not need to, David’s relationship with God had not been altered, just his fellowship and joy.

Not only is the fellowship broken, but chastisement comes.  “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:5-7)  Eternal life does not condone sin.  Eternal life must also be linked up with our personal accountability to God.

Here is another Bible Word that teaches us about eternal life.  That word is “preserved.”  “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” (Jude 1:1)  When I read that word “preserved” I think pickled.  We’re not pickled.  Preserved means to guard or prevent from escaping.  It implies a fortress.  Jesus Christ is our fortress.  A mighty fortress is our God.  Is our enemy stronger than our fortress?  There is no breach in our fortress.  No, our enemy is already defeated.  Read the book of Revelation.  Jesus has preserved us.

I go back to our text.  Jesus prayed that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me.  This is part of how Jesus prayed before He died as our substitute payment, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and three days later was resurrected out of that tomb.  He prayed that way because that is what He paid for. He knew what He wanted.  He paid for you to have eternal life.  I have sought to lay out the Biblical case for eternal life.  Let me read two more verses so that I may ask a pointed question.

“And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:38-39)

Eternal life is a Bible doctrine.  I do believe in once saved always saved because that is what the Bible teaches.  Based on this I must ask this question.  Do you believe?  Another way of asking this question, “Are you born again?”  Let me ask it another way that will force a direct answer.  If you were to die today, and you would stand before God and He would ask you, “Why should I let you into Heaven?”, what would you say?  If you do not know the answer then during the invitation I will invite you to come forward and we will take the Bible and show you how you can know that you are saved. You can know and you should know.  You can have eternal life.

If you’re a Christian, and you know the answers to this most important question, let me extend the invitation to you in this way.  Are you living a life that can produce doubt.  Believers doubt because of sin.  Sin does create doubt.  Doubt does not mean you’re not saved.  Doubt could mean that there is something in your life that has taken the joy of your salvation away.  Come to the altar and come clean before God.  Do not give the devil a tool to cause doubt.

Redeeming the Time

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
(Ephesians 5:15-17)

(Ephesians 5:15-17)
Time is short and the work that needs to be done is never-ending. This will never change. There are only so many hours in a day and you will only live for so many years. You know how many hours there are in a day, but you do not know how many days you have left to live. Add this fact of life to a dilemma many face, “How can I make my life count for eternity?” In other words, “How can I redeem the time?”

Words mean something. The Strong’s Concordance teaches us that redeeming means to buy something up. Webster’s definition is similar. I know that this sounds simple, but think about it, can you buy time? No. We can buy all sorts of things, but time is not a thing. Time is allotted to us by God. What we can do is use the time given to us, “understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

There are many books, blogs, podcasts, and all kinds of resources that teach us how to use our time. The premise behind many of these things is often to be more productive. If one is more productive then they are more successful. For the child of God, success is never defined by how much we get accomplished in** the world, but by doing the will of God.

God’s will gives our lives purpose. James London said, “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use them.” Let this be a challenge to all of us; are we just existing or are we doing the will of God for our lives?
Allow me to be personal. I want to do more than just exist. I need more for my life than just punching a clock. I need more than just living for the weekend. I would imagine you are the same, you want your life to count for something.

This is why it is so important for us to learn how to redeem our time. How can our lives count for the Kingdom of God if we waste the limited resource of time that makes up our lives?
I am seeking to learn how to manage my time better, not to be productive by the world’s standards, but to do the will of God. This is where we will begin for this post.

You may be reading this and you’re thinking that you do not even have that part taken care of; you may not know what God’s will is for your life. I do not believe that there is a step-by-step guide that can be used to “discover” God’s will for your life. There is no book called “Finding God’s Will for Dummies.” I am not saying that it is difficult, but you must be willing to do what is needed so God will show you what He wants you to do.

When we think of the will of God we automatically think in terms of the big picture. Our minds need to be retrained to start looking at God’s will in terms of a small picture. I am not saying that God’s will is small. Anything that has God attached to it is not small. God’s purpose for your life is not small. But I have learned that God will not show us the big picture, He shows us one piece at a time.

I have also learned an important lesson that can be tied to the previous thought, God only shows us the next part of the puzzle, the next step on the path of life, when we obey Him. Pastor Sexton has often said that the job of the servant is to obey. This is why it was said previously that there is no guidebook (outside of Scripture) on finding God’s will. Why would God show someone the big picture if they are not willing to do a small piece of the puzzle?

My life’s verse is 1 Timothy 1:12. I will give you a minute to look it up. Paul praised God that he was put in the ministry. I guarantee that this was not some sudden revelation from God, but it was the natural sequence of events in being faithful to the will of God. This is seen in Acts 13:1-3. Verse 2 says, “As they ministered to the Lord…”. This was when the next step was shown. He was separated for the purpose of the ministry.

Really, we are all in the ministry. The question is how much are you willing to do. This will be the extent to which you will find God’s will. If you are willing to obey what God wants you to do now then He will show you what to do next, in His timing. Now is the time of service and preparation.

I have not left the thought of “Redeeming the Time.” I am simply trying to build to it. Why should we redeem the time? Why should we be better stewards of our time? It is so we can do the will of God for our lives. For right now, a good exercise would be to develop a purpose statement for your life. Write it down in a place that you will see on a regular basis. Then I will ask you to be open to learning what the Bible has to say about time and then we will learn, together, some practical tips on how to redeem the time we have.


We have forgotten what patriotism really is. Patriotism is not racism or rioting. These are divisive and destructive. Patriotism is not kneeling while our country is being honored. Kneeling is showing disrespect to all people of all races who have sacrificed and who are sacrificing.

Webster defined patriotism this way. Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity. patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.

Patriotism is about character. These professional athletes are not exhibiting what it means to be a good citizen. They believe they are to big to fail. I personally gave up on the NFL last year. I have found something better to do with my time than to watch the unpatriotic acts of these people who are abusing their freedom. It will not be long before those freedoms are forgotten.

It is not enough for Americans to say they are fed up. What America needs now more than ever is the most patriotic act anyone can do. America needs to return to the Lord. We must go back to church and fall on our knees and pray for our country. Have a burden for the USA!

A Dry Morsel

I want to challenge you to read from the Proverbs every day.  There is much wisdom that can be gleaned from this book.  This morning I read from verse one.  Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.  

It is so easy to be ungrateful for what we have.  We have the dry morsels.  This is the simple thought that hit me this morning.  God gave me my “dry morsels.”  So when I am ungrateful for these “dry morsels” I am ungrateful for what God has given me.  What God gives me is enough to sustain me.  What God gives me is enough to give to the work of the Lord.  What God gives me is what God deems necessary for my life.

There are so many people that have less “dry morsels” than I have, but they are doing more to serve God than I do.  This tells me that the devil uses discontentment as a diversionary tool.  He wants to prevent me from serving God.

God gives me every day what I need to sustain me.  He sustains me so that I may serve Him.  Therefore, I must refocus my efforts away from being ungrateful for the “dry morsels” to seeing them as a gift from God given that I may serve Him.

Let us be grateful for what we have and use what we have to serve Him.




Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Extraordinary times require extra ordinary prayer.  Our Scripture tells us two things that we need to do as Christians, watch and pray.

The word watch gives us the idea that we must be alert.  We must be alert to the fact we are in a spiritual war, we must be alert that our adversary the devil uses many tactics to attack us, we must be alert and on guard.  

We must be vigilant during the day and the night.  During the day we can see dangers afar off.  During the night we cannot see the dangers, but we know they are there.  Both times require that we take these dangers very seriously.  Unfortunately many of us do not take these dangers very seriously.  

The word “watch” is a warning that we often get distracted.  We hear the preaching of the Word of God and believe that it does not apply to us.  We read the Bible and do not submit to God’s precepts.  

The word “watch” should lead us to “pray.”  Watching gives us the burden.  Watching shows us the need.  Prayer is asking God to intervene and protect.  Prayer is pleading for God’s help.

These two words make an appearance after the armor of God is put on.  Ephesians 6:18 tells us to pray and watch.  A prayer warrior has put on the armor of God and then uses them.  We use them by watching and praying.

Are you alert to the dangers, to the needs, to God’s will?  Are these things moving you to pray.  Do not avoid the responsibility that we have to be prayer warriors.  We may not be able to things that others can do, but we all can pray.  

“I’d rather be able to pray than be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught His disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.”—D. L. Moody


An Aspect of God’s Will.


But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:24

My first year in college I went to my mail box and found a tape of a message preached by Dr. Curtis Hutson.  It was entitled, “But none of these things move me.”  Every student was required to listen to it.   I only share this story because whenever I read this verse I can hear his voice in my head.

Let us consider an spect of God’s will.  When we think of God’s will we tend to think about going to certain places and doing specific things.  Have we given thought to dealing with certain things.  

God’s will is specific.  He does call certain people to do very specific task.  The apostle Paul reached the gentiles.  He started many churches.  He was used of God to write much of the New Testament.  But when Paul wrote this verse he said none of these things.  These things were the trials that he had to deal with along the way. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 and see all the perils that Paul had to deal with.  Those perils were part of God’s will for his life.

We do not enjoy the perils; we want the profits.  We do not enjoy the burdens; we want the blessings.  We are afraid of the endangerment; we want the experiences of victory.  Let us be encouraged through the Scriptures that the things that we have to deal with as we attempt God’s will is part of God’s will.  

Paul also said that he finished his course with joy.  Determine to do the same.  Do not let the things you have to deal with along the way detour you from the will of God.

Weep with them.


What is missing from Christianity today is tears.

Romans 12 is a popular chapter because of the first two verses.  As we continue reading we come to an important group of verses.  Verses 9-21 gives us “Characteristics of a Christian.”  They are short straightforward identification marks that can be seen in a Christian.

I want to focus on one of those identification marks found in verse 15, we are to weep with them that weep.  This is a very convicting verse because it shows how little we weep for others.  We may say that we are praying for someone to be saved, but when was the last time we have wept for them.  We may say that we are praying for revival in our country, but when was the last time we have wept for our country.

Weeping is mentioned forty-four times in forty-one verses.  It means to wail or to sob.  It is something that will happen when we get close to someone and their situation.  The absence of tears should reveal to us that when someone is hurting we distance ourselves from them.  We must invest ourselves in the lives of others.

Jesus wept.  He is our example.  I believe that He wept because He felt the grief from the family and friends of Lazarus.  Jesus also rejoiced when He was at the marriage feast in Cana.  We enjoy that part, but we should not neglect the latter part of the verse.  

There are many things that is missing from modern day Christianity.  One of those things that is missing is tears.  It also shows that we are not carrying a burden for and with others as we should.  I want you to consider the word, “BURDEN” as we meditate on Romans 12:15.  As we consider the word, “BURDEN” there will be some thoughts will help us as we help others and thoughts that will help us with our burdens.

Burden Bearer:  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2  We are to be burden bearers.  We must not distance ourselves from others, but we must invest our lives into the lives of others.  This means that we will be moved emotionally.  

Unbearable:  There are many things that we will encounter that will be greater than us, but never greater than Jesus.  

Real:  Do not make light of the burdens others are carrying, nor of the ones you are carrying.  What do I mean by that.  Is it true that if you were close to God you would not carry any burdens.  No.  In fact the closer you get to them the more burdens you may end up facing.  When we get to the letter “E” we will talk more about this.

Discouraging:  David faced discouragement.  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.  Psalm 56:3  We like the second part of that verse, but do not ignore the first part.  The man after God’s own heart faced fear.  That is discouraging.  Instead of focusing on His fears he trust God.  The sin is not in being discouraged, but it is in not trusting God with our discouragement and our burdens.

Endure with God’s help:  The book of 1 Peter can be entitled, “A Call to Faithfulness.”  Peter was helping a church that was facing difficult trials.  1 Peter 5:6-7 gives us some help in this matter.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  This church had real burdens.  Peter did not make light of them.  He just told them something that helped him in his personal life.  He said humble yourselves, then cast your burdens.  Why was humility mentioned?  Because we think we can handle it.  We believe our silence is strength.  It will not be long before we have to much to handle and become overwhelmed.  What we need to do instead of carry we need to cast.  We will not cast our burdens to Jesus until we humble ourselves.

Not in Heaven:  We can debate all we want about the fact that the Lord will dry all of our eyes when we are in Heaven.  The fact is when we enter Heaven’s gates we will deposit all of the burdens we have now.  We can look forward to Heaven because we know we will have no more burdens.  Until then we are to be burden bearers.  Until then we must be moved to tears with those who are broken and battered by life.  May God help us see that we must weep with them that weep.

Lessons I Am Learning.

I am glad God speaks to me.  What good is it if I do not listen?  I believe that this is what is missing from our walk with God.  He speaks and we do not listen.  I want to share with you a thought that God has been dealing with me; hopefully you will be able to use it.

I want to be a better Christian, husband, father, soul winner, preacher and pastor.  I have felt like that even though I know that these are my God given roles in life that I have not been able to find much direction with them.  I want my life to count for eternity.  I am tired of average preaching and average service.  I want God’s blessing on my life.

I have been reading a book by Dr. Paul Chappell entitled, “Stewarding Life.”  I would encourage you to read it too.  I believe God has brought this book to my attention because I have been praying and asking God to help my life and my preaching to count for eternity.  This book is not the Word of God, but there are Biblical principles that I have needed to apply to my life.

God has helped me to identify my God given roles in life.  They are as follows:  a Christian, husband, father, soul winner, preacher, and pastor.  These are the things that God has given me to do for Him.  This is my only time that I have to do something for eternity.  I must make sure that what I do everyday helps me accomplish my God given roles.

What are your God given roles?  This life, this time you have, is the only time you have to do something that will matter in eternity.  Life is short.  We cannot get it back.  Don’t waste it on things that will not matter when we stand before God.

life is short


Gratitude can change your life.

Gratitude can change your life.

Psalm 136:1-4, 23-26

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.

The Psalmist is reminding us to give thanks.  Being thankful is a command.  We should say that it is the will of God for us to be thankful.  We did not read the whole Psalm, but it is praise directed to God.  He gives some reasons for his gratitude.  Let me reread the last few verses again.  He is grateful for God’s goodness to him.

There is also a recurring theme throughout this Psalm, it is the mercy of God.  He never forgot what he was (sinner) and he did not get what he deserved.

I want to make a point.  We tend to take for granted the good that is already present in our lives.  imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. In addition, you need to start finding joy in the small things instead of holding out for big achievements—such as getting the promotion, having a comfortable nest egg saved up, getting married, having the baby, and so on–before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy.  We need to appreciate each day’s gifts.

Another way to use giving thanks to appreciate life more fully is to use gratitude to help you put things in their proper perspective. When things don’t go your way, remember that every difficulty carries within it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit. In the face of adversity ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”  The Bible teaches this.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  1 Thes. 5:18

There are a number of ways that we can express our gratitude.  We can keep a journal.  A written of the abundant blessings of God will help us not to forget.  We can write a thank you letter to those who have been a blessing or an influence.  We can tell others.  We should set aside a time every day to practice “Thanksliving.”  

I believe that attitude is everything.  Life is what we make it to be.  When we are thankful it affects our daily lives and those who inhabit it.  When we are unthankful it does wear on us and others around us.  Look for the good and not the bad.

There are 12 until Thanksgiving day.  I would like to issue the “Thanksgiving Challenge.”  Let the next 12 days be filled with praise.  Make your homes a “No Complaining Zone.”  We cannot complain if we are grateful for the goodness of God.
Once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations. Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful; in this way, you’ll be on your way toward becoming a master of gratitude.