Sunday, April 5, 2020

Those That Be Planted

Temple Baptist Church - 4-5-2020
Psalm 92


A.  Psalm 92 contrasts the wicked with the righteous. 

1.  The righteous love God!

2.  The unrighteous are the enemies of God!

B.  If the righteous love God, then they will love God’s church!

1.  They will be faithful where they are planted.

2.  They will be thankful where they are planted.

3.  They will be flourishing where they are planted.

C.  It is interesting that the Holy Spirit used the word “planted” when referring to the faithfulness of God’s people to the house of God.  That word is normally used when speaking of trees, flowers, etc. being permanently placed into the ground.

1.  I only plant specific plants.  I pick and choose what kind of plants that I buy because my yard is limited in area.  I remember well that my mom would plant anything and everything in our yard when I was growing up and I had to mow around them.  Most of them just looked like weeds and did not have flowers.  Dad would mow them down.

2.  I only plant in specific places.  I try to plant where there will be the fullest sun, which is hard in my yard as I live in the woods.  I try to plant them in an orderly fashion so that they will look well.

3.  I only plant for specific reasons.  For beauty and fruit!

D.  Several kinds of plants come to mind when looking at them considering God’s people and the church.

1.  Special Occasion Plants – Easter Lilies and Poinsettias! 

a)  Some people only come to church on special occasions such as Easter and Christmas.  We are always glad to see them when they come and, evidently, two or three times a year is plenty for them to get their “religion” for the year. 

b)  We leave them in the church for as much as a month around Christmas but, eventually, we give them away to someone who will take them home and care for them.

c).  You cannot lead them, and you cannot feed them because they are a type of the “natural” man who cannot receive or know the word of God.  They just never seem to get it!  They are satisfied with a little religion that soothes them a few days out of the year but have neither love nor desire for fellowship with God’s people. 

2.  Artificial Plants – These are plants with no life in them that we buy that remain in certain places in the church. 

a)  They just “adorn” the church but never produce or grow.  These are the unsaved that never get right with the Lord.  They never get saved and become spiritually alive through the new birth. 

b)  They always sit in the same place and they are always there.  I am not knocking our people sitting in the same places nor indicting them because they are always there.  I say a sign that said, “Visitors welcome, members expected!”  I actually pay them little attention because they require none.  Every now and then, Marty will replace them or dress them up a little and they are beautiful but dead.

c)  I have actually tried to water them at times because I took them for the real thing but, alas, that never helped them.  They never grow; they never need pruning; they never accept your efforts to care for them; they are just there and lifeless.   You cannot lead them and you cannot feed them because they are the “natural” man who cannot receive or know the word of God.

3.  Potted Plants – These plants do have life but, like the Artificial Plants, are moved around quite a bit and eventually are replaced. 

a)  They cannot be planted because they are not able to withstand the elements.  When it gets cold, you have a frost, or it becomes snowy, they must be brought in for the winter or they will die. 

b)  These are people and many are true believers (because they do have life) who can never get settled and continually, for always a “good reason,” move on.  They will never get settled because they do not like problems or imperfections in the environment.  Spring and summer (good times) are their favorites but fall and winter (hard times) are not. 

c)  Potted Plants need special care.  You must be careful how you handle them so as not to damage them.  They must be watered and fed continually or they will die.  They constantly have to be moved for cleaning or other purposes. 

d)  Unfortunately, I always kill potted plants.  I try my best to get them to live but everything I do with my “Brown Thumb” turns out wrong and they eventually die.  I cannot lead them nor can I feed them because they have no need of either a pastor or a church family.

4.  Planted Plants – These are the believers that come to get in, not get out. 

a)  They become a vital, living part of the local church.  I have been a member of only three churches in the 43+ years since I was saved.  I joined the church I was saved in and remained there until God called me into the ministry.  I joined the church where I spent my Bible College years and remained faithfully there until God called me to pastor Temple Baptist.  I joined Temple Baptist and have remained here.  In March, it was 33 years. 

b)  As a general rule, these planted plants feed and water themselves.  I may have to pour a little water on them in drought or fertilize once a year, but they are self-feeders.  About once a year, I prune them so as to help natural growth.  I am careful in my pruning because they can be cut back too hard.  They will still grow but may skip a year in fruit production.  I prune as to leave buds for natural growth and buds for fruit.

c)  I thank God for our people as most of you have been here for years and can be depended upon in both good and bad times.  Planted plants are buried deep in the soil and survive because they can withstand the elements in the area in which they are planted.  You can lead them and you can feed them.

d)  Planted plants stay planted.  We have a Windmill Palm in our front yard that is app. 20 feet tall now.  It is a thing of beauty and adds so much to the overall d├ęcor of our yard and home.  I never come home and find that my Palm tree has moved over to the neighbor’s yard or somewhere else.  Planted plants are always where the planter put them!

e)  These “planted plants” are the “heart and soul” of the local church!  It is them that carry on the work of the ministry.  It is them that support the local church with their tithes and offerings.  It is them that help missionaries get on the field and stay on the field with their missions giving.  You cannot support new missionaries with inconsistent support!  You cannot pay bills and maintain the church with inconsistent tithes and offerings.  God bless these “planted plants!”

E.  We need to remain or to become “planted plants” in 2014! 

1.  Planted Plants are Faithful Plants – vs. 1-2    Psalms 27:4  One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

2.  Planted Plants are Happy Plants – vs. 4  Psalms 122:1   I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

3.  Planted Plants are Protected Plants – vs. 9  Psalms 27:5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

4.  Planted Plants are Fruitful Plants – vs. 14  Psalms 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

5.  Planted Plants are Satisfied Plants – vs. 14  Psalms 42:4  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

F.  Now, the question is, “How do we become planted?”

1.  Planted comes through Realization!  There are no perfect churches!  There are no perfect pastors!  We will never agree with everything that we see or hear!  We will not get our way!    People are imperfect and no two will ever agree on everything.  Where there are people, there will be problems and this includes the pulpit!  If we do ever find the perfect church and pastor, we need to leave them along because joining it will mess it up which leads up to point number 2.

2.  Planted comes through Remembering!  We are not perfect!  We are not always right!  God knows best and faithfulness to the local church is not a request!  When you join a church, you join it—it does not join you!  We are not there to change the church; we are placed there to enhance it!  When we fail to remember that we are flawed and often hard to get along with, then we hold others to a standard that we are not willing to live with ourselves.  Critical people not only hurt others but also hurt themselves.

3.  Planted comes through Resolve!  We are joining because we love the Lord and the church is His design and will for us!  We are joining the church because it takes the combined effort and talent of the corporate body to get the job done!  We are joining the church, not to be seen or to be somebody, but to be a blessing and encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ!  We have ability to be used for the Lord and the Holy Spirit places me in a church that needs us.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Parenting Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 4-1-2020
Hebrews 11:23; Exodus 1:8-2:10


A.  Tonight, we will begin to look at the life of one of the Bible’s greatest men, Moses.  As we begin, let us remember that Hebrews is God’s “Hall of Faith,” not “Hall of Fame.” 

b.  Hebrews, chapter 11 is about the faith of God’s people.  People like us.  Flawed people who sometimes fail God.  I am still glad that God can take a “crooked stick and draw a straight line.”  GOD HONORS FAITH!

C.  The life of Moses begins with his birth, not his adult life.  Like all babies, Moses was born in innocence.  Moses, as a small child, could not make important decision for himself, therefore, God gave Moses parents!

D.  God gives parents both responsibility and ability to raise these precious gifts from God for His glory.

Psalms 127:3  Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

E.  Before Moses came to a place of greatness in the sight of the Lord, the Bible mentions his parents. 

1.  Notice that the word “parents” is plural.  In Exodus 2:1, a godly man married a godly woman, so we know that both parents were “on the same page” in the raising of their children but the rest of the story only involves Amram’s wife, Jochebed!  (Exodus 6:20; Numbers 26:59)

2.  Here, we find the importance of a godly wife and mother in the life a great man of God!  Ladies, both you and your husband are of equal importance in the lives of your children, but, by default, you spend more time with them!

F.  Moses was born in a difficult time.  The children had gone from blessing to bondage after the passing of Israel’s Patriarchs!  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the sons of Jacob, and especially Joseph have died and there arose a Pharaoh who knew not the God of these men.

G.  Because of Pharaoh’s fear of Israel, the people of God became slaves and the order was given to kill all the male children that were born.  Amram and Jochebed stood firm against the orders of the Pharaoh because “they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”

H.  We too live in difficult days.  Someone said that the most dangerous place in the world is the womb!  We live in perilous times for sure as:

1.  Children have become a Burden instead of a Blessing.  We live in the days of curtailing the birth of children because of the personal expense of raising them.  Yes, it is expensive to raise children; yes, parents may have to give up some things to raise children.

2.  Children have become an Option instead of an Obligation.  From conception to live birth, children are being aborted and killed in our day with the approval of both society and government.  In Moses’ day, infanticide was practiced; in Jesus’ day, infanticide was practiced; in our day, infanticide is practiced.

3.  Because of their faithfulness, God’s “deliverer” was raised up for the Lord.

I.  A Parents Recognition of the blessing and value of children.  “a proper child.”  The word “proper” is used 4x in the Bible: 1x in the Old Testament and 3x in the New Testament.

1.  A Proper Child is of Great Value.  1 Chronicles 29:3 - “Proper good, of gold and silver.”  Something of great value.  ALL children are to be valued and Moses’ parents valued this baby boy.

Psalms 128:3  Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

2.  A Proper Child is Common to Every Parent.  Acts 1:19 - “Proper tongue.”  Something that is common among the people.  ALL children are to be valued!  Every baby is precious in the sight of the Lord.  There were many babies born to Israel in the time of Moses’ birth.

Mark 10:13-16  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.  (14)  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  (15)  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  (16)  And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

3.  A Proper Child is of Uniqueness.  1 Corinthians 7:7 – “Proper gift of God.”  Something given specifically to individuals.  ALL children are uniquely different and, therefore, special.  I have often said that God gives special children to special parents.

Psalms 139:13-16  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  (14)  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  (15)  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  (16)  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Jeremiah 1:4-5  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  (5)  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

4.  A Proper Child is one who Deserves Godly Parents!  Hebrews 11:23 – “They saw he was a proper child.”  Something that all parents should recognize.  ALL children deserve to have godly parents who will raise them for the Lord.

Psalms 127:4-5  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  (5)  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Ephesians 6:4  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dying Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 3-25-2020
Hebrews 11:20-22


A.  A man once said that dying was the “acid test” of faith.

1.  Death – an event that cannot be evaded.

2.  Death – the door to eternity.

3.  Death – an enemy feared by most.

4.  Death – either friend or foe!

B.  To the unsaved, death is a foe.  Death for the unsaved is devastating.  Hebrews 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1.  A Life without God is a life without purpose.

2.  A Death without God is hell for eternity.

C.  To the saved, death is a friend.  “These all died in faith.”

D.  To the Lord, death is precious - Psalms 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

E.  The 3 Fathers of the Nation of Israel were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Abraham, the Father of Faith, was the most spiritual of three though we still see his faults in Genesis.  Isaac was less spiritual, and little is said about his life.  Jacob was a supplanter, a man of the flesh that God chose to bring forth a nation.

F.  Joseph, a beautiful type of Christ who came unto His own and His own received Him not, yet He gave His life for those who rejected Him.

1.  Isaac died in FaithHe blessed his Children in Disappointment.  Verse 20. 

a.  Isaac Resigned himself to God’s will.  and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.”  He knew that the birth order was wrong and he, no doubt, was disappointed in the actions of his children but put them in God’s hand.  Isaac knew that, though it was not the design of his will, it was the design of God’s will to bless the supplanter, Jacob instead of the eldest, Esau.

b.  Isaac Recommended his God to his children.  Jacob and Esau may not understand God’s workings, but God could be trusted.

c.  Isaac Remembered his God would accomplish all that He promised.  God had a will in the life of both Isaac and his children. 

2.  Jacob died in Faith:  He blessed his Grandchildren in Worship.  Verse 21.

a.  Jacob Blessed his grandchildren.  He stressed the importance of family in this life and leaving a model for them to follow after he was gone.

b.  Jacob Believed God’s leading in blessing them outside of their natural birth order.  God can use the oldest, but he can also use the younger children.  Though most of the patriarchs were the first-born, at times the Lord changed the birth order.

c.  Jacob Bowed unashamed in his worship.  God’s people should never be ashamed of their Lord and worship before both saved and lost.

3.  Joseph died in Faith:  He blessed his People in Hope.  Verse 22.

a.  Joseph had Forgiveness.  If any man ever had a reason for bitterness and a chance for revenge, it was Joseph!

b.  Joseph had Foresight.  He made his funeral plans before time.  We are all going to die if the Lord does not come soon.

c.  Joseph had Faith.  Joseph knew where “home” was though he would never live there in the remainder of this life.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Keeping Your Pastor In A Right Perspective

Temple Baptist Church - 3-22-2020
1 Corinthians 4:1-21


A.  Many people never understand their pastor.  Paul, when writing to the Corinthian Church, rebuked the divisions that were brought about through this ignorance.  The Corinthians’ perspective was off.  Not having a proper perspective of God’s man will cause you to do one of two things.

1.  It will cause you to elevate your pastor to a plane of perfection that he cannot fulfill and, if he falls, you will fall with him.

2.  Or, it will cause you to lower your pastor to a position of disrespect and, therefore, render his influence ineffectual and he will not be able to help you.

B.  You need a pastor!  God made it that way!  Sheep without a shepherd will soon lose their direction, scatter, and fall pray to their enemies.  God’s people are like sheep. 

Matthew 9:36 says, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  I want to look at the person and position of the pastor tonight in order to help you better understand what God is doing in your life.

1.  The Pastor Is God’s Man – vs. 1 - Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

a.  Be careful how you treat him.

b.  Be careful how you talk about him.

2.  The Pastor Is A Man – vs. 6 - 1 Corinthians 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

a.  He has feelings.

b.  He has faults.

c.  He has failures.

3.  The Pastor Is Your Man – vs. 8 - Jeremiah 3:15  And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

a.  He is your gift.

b.  He is your friend.

4.  The Pastor Is A Hated Man – vs. 9-13 - 2 Timothy 4:14  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

a.  He is hated because of the stand that he takes.

b.  He is hated because of the Word he preaches.

c.  He is hated because of the Lord he represents.

5.  The Pastor Is A Loving Man – vs. 14-15 - 2 Corinthians 12:15  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

a.  He loves the Lord.

b.  He loves the Word.

c.  He loves the saints.

d.  He loves the sinner.

6.  The Pastor Is Beseeching Man – vs. 16-17 - Hebrews 13:22  And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.  (Paul used the word beseech 24 times in the Book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles.)

a.  He desires only the best for you.

b.  He desires only the best for your family.

c.  He desires only the best for the church.

7.  The Pastor Is A Concerned Man – vs. 18-21 - 2 Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

a.  He watches over you.

b.  He worries over you.