Friday, July 31, 2009

Objective #1 Fear God

The Seven Objectives #1 Fear God

Ec 12:13* Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The Bible is our Final Authority in faith and practice.

Some might hear that statement and get all spiritual and say, "No, God is my final authority!"

I understand that; but the Bible says, " I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." (Ps 138:2) Besides, how does God express Himself to you outside of His Word.

But the Bible is so massive; It's truths are unfathomable.

We can never fully deplete all of the wealth and wisdom of the Scripture; how do we comprehend it all? I believe everything a Christian is supposed to do, say, feel or think can be summed up in seven objectives. If I can get you to grasp these seven objectives, I believe you can get a good grasp on walking with God, living for God, dwelling in Him and understanding His will on a daily basis.

I believe every aspect of the Christian life is covered by these seven objectives: Note: in Scripture, seven is the number of perfection.

Seven Objectives:

Fear God

Obey God

Please God

Praise God

Glorify God

Trust God

Love God

The Book of Deuteronomy teaches the purpose of God's Laws

(Note: This is the Law of Moses rendered again to the second generation before entering the Promised land)

De 6:2* That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

De 6:13* Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

De 6:24* And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

De 10:12* And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

De 10:20* Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

The Book of Ecclesiastes gives us the motivation to fear God.

Ec 3:14* I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

Ec 5:7* For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

Ec 8:12* Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

Folks used to say, "He is a God-fearing man." or "I'm a God-fearing man." That's not bragging to say that. But we don't hear that any more. This is a lost doctrine to most Christians. In the oldest book of the Bible, Job, God brags on Job for being a God-fearing man.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Job 1:8

First command we find in the Psalms is to fear the Lord.

Ps 2:11* Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

To fear God is our primary objective.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God, and keep his commandments:

for this is the whole duty of man. Ec 12:13*

Why is this the primary objective? Why fear first? Because without it, there is no motive for the other six objectives.

Ps 34:11* Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

What is it to fear God?

The word means more than reverential respect. It means fear. The book of Hebrews says:

For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:9)

God is not an angry agent of doom waiting to throw lightening bolts at us. Neither is He a tottering old beneficent "Grampaw" up in Heaven waiting to give us candy when we visit. God is as powerful as He is personal. I have to understand that God has expectations of me.

To fear God simply means to choose behave with an awareness of God response to our actions.

If we are to be successful as God's people, we must once again become God-fearing people.

Just a thought, thank you for reading.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seven Objectives


Before any successful venture, the first thing a good leader does is define the objectives. To be a success in building a business, launching a new ministry, playing in a sporting event or fighting a war the first step is to define our objectives. Every good business man, every coach, every General and every Pastor knows this is true. I believe it is also true of the Christian life. I we are to be successful Christians we must first establish our objectives.

Wrong Objectives

The first mistake we make is setting improper objectives. As Christians, we have become self-centered and, dare I say it, humanistic when it come to our relationship with God. Our objectives are:

Feel guiltless

Feel good

Look good

and get stuff from God

If we see Christians who appear to feel guiltless, look good, feel good, and get stuff from God, then that must be a good Christian, right? On the other hand when we see Christians who struggle with sin, or with their walk with God, then obviously these are bad Christians, if Christian at all! Right? O.K. With that premise in mind, would some one please explain Job to me? or John the Baptist? or Steven? If our goals or objectives focus on us, then something is amiss.

God-centered Objectives

As Christians, if we are to succeed in our Christianity, we must set God-centered objectives. We must etch those objectives in stone. Every action must be taken; every decision must be made in light of these objectives. And God must be at the center of those objectives. A prominent television news anchor was said to carry a small piece of paper in his pocket everywhere he went. The words written on that paper were also written on a note that lay on his deck, and another on another card, stuck to his bathroom mirror at home. The papers all read:

"How is what I am doing right now, going to effect the evening broadcast?"

Seven Biblical Objectives

I spent over a month chewing on this idea of the objectives of the Christian life. I believe their are seven main objectives of a Christian that will lead to a successful Christian life. I plan to share them in detail in the days to come. But to sum it all up, I believe the Christian truly has six objectives in his life:

Fear God

Obey God

Please God

Thank God

Glorify God

Trust God

Love God

Every goal, every action, every step the a Christian is supposed to take will fall under one of these seven objectives.

(Note: Seven is the Biblical number of perfection.) Follow along, if you will in the next few days, as I share with you what the Bible says about these Seven Biblical objectives.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Technical Difficulties

I seem to be having problems editing my latest post. There is some kind of technical problem with Blogspot. I hope I can get it worked out soon.

Contending for the Faith vs. Contending with the Faithful

¶ And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Nehemiah 4: 16 - 18

This week, something happened that made me a bit sad. It annoyed me, but greater than that, it saddened me. I was attacked for quoting Abraham Lincoln on my Facebook page. My assailant stated that Lincoln was a racist, an atheist and a slave owner, and I was ignorant and didn't know my history, etc.. etc ... I responded with private messages and tried to reason with the man, to put the statement into historical context, but he continued to attack me personally. I broke off the conversation, giving him the last word.

Lincoln's politics is not the issue here. For that matter, who I quote on my Facebook page is really nobody's business. You don't like it don't read it. The sad thing is, this man is an independent fundamental Baptist pastor. He and I would line up doctrinally right down the line. He has a reputation for such attacks. I explained, it is not his position that bothers me, it is his disposition that concerns me. When will fundamentalists ever get it?

Are we contending for the faith, or are we being contentious with the faithful?

In Nehemiah, the workers were trying to build the wall. They faced strong opposition from enemy forces. They built the wall with one hand and had a sword for the other. However, notice the sword was strapped to their side. The sword was not their building tool. The purpose was to build, not fight. Fundamentalism is fractured today because we live with a sword in our hand, and build when it is convenient. Our churches are withering while we are out looking for someone stab.

The enemy was not the other men on the wall. If you don't like the way I'm building, leave it to the master builder to correct. As a pastor, I watch for my flock. I will warn them against false doctrine. I will call heresy, sin, evil, and deception by name. I will call out a heretic. However, I will not take a sword to another pastor or his flock.

Some suggestions if you find yourself being attacked:

  1. Pray. Pray for those who have attacked you. Pray that God would give them grace and understanding.
  2. Humble yourself. "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." Proverbs 13:10
  3. Do not rush to strike back. Answer your attackers, but only as far as reason will take you. Being right is more important than proving right. Some folks just will not listen to reason.
  4. Do not prolong the fight. State your case once, and walk away. Having the last word matters only to the prideful.
  5. Remember to keep building. We battle when we must, but we are to be builders not battlers. Do what God put you here to do. Battle viciously against anything that hinders building. Nevertheless, the objective is to build.
  6. Do not be the attacker. I have a real problem with the positions some of my brethren have taken lately. My response is to train my people in Bible truth, and keep building. I could go the rest of my life without getting another "Open Letter to Dr. Big Wig," and I would be just as happy.
  7. Walk away. Remember the saying I was taught when I was a vocal music major my first two years of college. "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it waists your time, and it annoys the pig."

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Great Quotes

"All originality and no plagiarism makes for dull preaching"
Charles Spurgeon

As a preacher, I am constantly on the lookout for a great thought or a great quote. Recently my beloved bride came across Christian It is a good site where the reader can search by topic, Author or by key phrase. I have come to use it regularly.

"A word to the wise is sufficient."

One preacher from days gone by was known for what were called "one-sentence sermons." This is the idea behind "the quote." One great thought, versed well can often paint a picture that clearly illustrate a point.

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

I personally enjoy it when someone takes some great sage statement and turn it on it's head. I had a friend, a successful business man, who coined one of my favorite sayings:

"Everything worth having is worth working hard for. But not everything you work hard for is worth having."
Kenneth Jewel

I heard about a teacher who gave her students half of a "wise saying." Their assignment was to complete the saying with something original. One student with a particularly morbid since of humor wrote:

"Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.
By then you're a mile away and he's bare foot; you can say anything you want."

I have long been a collector of such quotes. I thought that some day I might make some great statement for which I would be remembered. I have made statement that I feel might merit repeating. So lets give it a shot. Here is my attempt, (however vain) to wax eloquent.

"Do not lie to God; He knows better."

"Pastor and playing golf must be similar. Both get me criticized quite a bit."

"Don't marry some one because you want to go to bed with them. marry them because you want to wake up next to them every day for the rest of your life."

(And my all-time favorite:)
"It is always encouraging to know that the devil is interested in what you are doing."

Check out the web site at:

It's good! You can quote me on that.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ragged Old Flag

Of all the patriotic recitations, I think this one moves me the most. It was written by the late Johnny Cash. As you read it, I hope Independence Day is renewed in your heart. God bless you, and God bless America.

I walked through a county courthouse square.
On a park bench, an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda' run down."
He said, "Awe, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "The old flag pole is leaned a little bit.
And that's a ragged old flag you've got hanging on it."
He said, "Have a seat." I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is."
He said, "Well, I don't like to brag,
but we're kind of proud of that ragged old flag.
You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
It git powder burned the night Francis Scott Key,

With Packenhan and Jackson tuggin' at it's seems.Stood watching it writing,
'O, Say can you see.'
It got a bad rip in New Orleans,
It almost fell at the Alamo; beside the Texas flag, but she waved on low.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville. She got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that ragged old flag.
On Flanders's Field in World War one, she got a
big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War two. She's hung limp and low a time or two.
She was in Korea and Viet Nam; she went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.
She's waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
but now they've just about quit waivin' her back here at home.
In her own good land she's been abused.
She's been burned, denied, dishonored and refused.
And the government for which she stands, is scandalized throughout
the land.
Yea, she's getting threadbare, and she's waring thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.

You see, she's been through the fire before.
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.
So, we raise her up every morning, and take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right
On second thought, I guess I do like to brag,
'Cause we're mighty proud of that ragged old flag."

Just a thought.
Thank you for reading