Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Importance of Biblical Knowledge

Temple Baptist Church - 11-29-2017
2 Peter 1:1-2


A.  The key word to this second epistle, written by Peter to the dispersed Jews, is “knowledge.” 

1.  In verse 2, we find that the grace of God to live in this present evil world and the peace to live in this present evil body come through the knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Knowledge belongs to God as one of His attributes is that of omniscience, or all knowledge. 

2.  Science without the knowledge of God becomes “science falsely so-called.”  Thus, we understand the importance of knowing God through the natural world and knowing Him personally through the Lord Jesus Christ.

3.  The biblical definition of the word “knowledge” is found its first mention.  I continue to express the importance of the First Mention Principle of Bible interpretation. 

a)  The first mention of knowledge was not found in the fruit of the tree but in the command of God.  Genesis 2:9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil

b)  I do not know what that fruit was, and it really makes no difference.  It was probably a tree that no longer exists as it was there for a divine purpose and that purpose is finished.  The purpose of the tree was to obey or nor to obey. 

c)  The word “knowledge” goes with both words: good and evil.  The knowledge of good was to obey God and not to eat; the knowledge of evil was to disobey God and to eat.  The possibility of knowing is found here.

Genesis 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,knowing good and evil.  (The actual knowledge or being fully aware of is found here.)

4.  Through disobedience to God’s clear command, Adam and Eve’s spiritual eyes were opened.  Genesis 3:6-7  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  (7)  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

a)  The fruit was good for food.  There was nothing wrong with the fruit! 

b)  The fruit was pleasant to look upon.  It was a beautiful creation of God!

c)  The fruit was desired to make one wise.  It was there to give wisdom to the obedient!

d)  The fruit did not cause their eyes to be open nor did it remove their innocence.  Their disobedience did that!  Disobedience to God brought about the knowledge of good and evil!

5.  In the First Mention of the word ‘knowledge,” it is the knowledge of both good and evil.  This principle remains consistent throughout the Bible. 

6.  The responsibility of knowledge is found in Genesis 2:9 and is also explained in the first four verse of the Book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 1:1-4  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  (2)  To know (to be subjected to knowledge) wisdom and instruction; to perceive (to understand knowledge) the words of understanding;  (3)  To receive  (to personally implement knowledge) the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;  (4)  To give (to pass knowledge along to the next generation) subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

B.  Here in Genesis, we find both the positive and negative aspects of knowledge:

1.  The positive side of knowledge.

a)  Knowledge informs the believer of the ways of God -Psalms 95:10  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  (The knowledge to Adam and Eve was to not eat of the tree.  We do not have to taste of sin to know it is sin.  If God said to leave something alone, He means it for our good.)

b)  Knowledge informs the believer of the will of God -Ephesians 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (The will of God is purposed in God!  Christ Jesus made this perfectly clear in the Garden when He said, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39) 

2.  The negative side of knowledge.

a)  A lack of knowledge destroys the believer - Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  (Adam and Eve transgressed the command of God and knew that they were naked of innocence and in a sinful state.  The verse keeps coming back to me: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  The transgression of the knowledge that God gives to us becomes the knowledge of nakedness or the loss of innocence which is sin.)

b)  A wrong use of knowledge puffs up the believer - 1 Corinthians 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. (To inflate by blowing; to make haughty; to make proud.)

C.  God wants His children to be knowledgeable concerning the Word of God and His will for our lives.  The word knowledge is used 41 times in Proverbs alone.

            1.  God wants us to know His Word for our profit.

            2.  God wants us to know His Will for our lives.

            3.  God wants us to know His Work for soul’s sake.

            4.  God wants us to know His Wherewithal to get the work done.

D.  Here is my definition of Wisdom: Wisdom is the right application of knowledge.  Knowledge is the foundation for wisdom, thus, the two are intricately tied together.

a.  The Wisdom Of Testimony - 2 Chronicles 1:10  Give me nowwisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?  (Knowledge can only be properly used with wisdom.)

b.  The Wisdom Of Silence - Proverbs 8:12  I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.  (Prudence means shrewdness or craftiness.  There is a time to be quiet.  As wise as serpents-harmless as doves.  Just because something is right does not mean that you need to say it!!!!)

c.  The Wisdom Of Discernment - Colossians 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.  (Knowing when and where to use the knowledge that God has given to you.  You can do the right thing in the wrong place or time and still be wrong.)

d.  The Wisdom Of Meekness – James 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  (Most correction is done in a harsh manner!)

E.  Six reasons why it is important to pursue knowledge of the Scriptures:

1.  Knowledge gives substance to faith.

2.  Knowledge stabilizes us during times of testing.

3.  Knowledge enables us to handle the Word of God accurately.

4.  Knowledge equips us to detect and confront error.

5.  Knowledge makes us confident and consistent in our walk with God.

6.  Knowledge filters out our fears and superstitions.

F.  As a lack of knowledge destroys, the wrong use of knowledge also destroys:  Knowledge must be accompanied with charity in order to be used properly.  It is interesting that charity is a New Testament Word.  In the Old Testament, under the law, it was do or die.

1.  Knowledge Without Charity Becomes An Instrument Of Criticism!  Luke 18:9-14  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  (Some people are simply critical.  They know that they are critical and continue to use their tongue in an unloving manner.)
2.  Knowledge Without Love Becomes An Instrument Of Condemnation!  Romans 14:1-5  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.  One man esteemeth one day above another: nother esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  (Some people are simply hard and harsh.  They know that they are hard and harsh and yet continue to be so. To harshly judge or to tell someone off.)

3.  Knowledge Without Love Becomes An Instrument Of Cruelty!  Luke 9:51-56  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.  (The lost are lost!  Every harlot, drunk, drug abuser, shacked up person, etc. are more than welcome on the pews of Temple Baptist Church.  We have biblical standards for the lifestyles of our people and expect them to abide by those standards and, yet, even babes in Christ who come to Temple and must be taught.  Let your pastor decide who needs to come and when to correct!)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

We Glory In Tribulations

Temple Baptist Church - 11-26-2017
Romans 5:1-11


A.  In these verses, there are two things found in which we are to glory: our salvation and our tribulation.  Most would totally agree with the first but have some difficulty with the second.  We will look at them in the biblical order to get the mind of God on both subjects. 

B.  Last week, we looked at glorying in our salvation which glorifies God.

C.  The second thing that we are to glory in are our tribulations.  Verse 3.  We who are older understand the hardness and brevity of life.

Job 14:1  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

D.  At this point, I doubt if any of us would raise our hands when asked, “Do you really like to suffer?”   God answers that question for us in 1 Peter:

1 Peter 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be,ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 

E.  I would say that the Apostle Paul was a spiritual man who loved God.   Paul asked God thrice to remove the thorn in his flesh.

F.  Going back to 1 Peter, the next verse shows the importance of trials in the life of God’s people.

1 Peter 1:7   That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

G.  Our text shows the reason for our glorying in tribulation.  There is a progression that follows tribulation.

Romans 5:3-5  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (4)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (5)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

1.  Tribulation – this comes from a root word that means to “crowd or pressure.”  This shows that tribulations are troubles which are both hard and lengthy in nature.  Though we do not enjoy troubles, especially lengthy ones, they are the basis for our spiritual growth.  Children grow into adults through hardship, not easy times.

2.  Patience – to stay under or to persevere, to have fortitude or to bear with continuance, hopeful waiting.  Patience is, though we want our troubles to come to an end, spiritual endurance or not quitting when things do not go our way.

3.  Experience – to be properly approved or trustworthy.  Experience cause one to know how to get something done.  There is an old saying that “experience is the best teacher.”  As we learn how to handle life, we can teach others who follow us.

4.  Hope – expectation or confidence.  As we learn to patiently endure our problems, we find the faithfulness of God which instills more confidence.  Before our next trial begins, we know that everything will be alright.  Proverbs 3:5-6 becomes a reality instead of just a memory verse.

5.  Not ashamed – the word “not” is an absolute negative.  It means never for any reason.  “Ashamed” means to be disgraced.  The ultimate sign of spirituality is to never be ashamed of our heavenly Father, our wonderful Saviour, or the precious Holy Spirit who indwells us.  I had still rather be an old time Christian than anything that I know.

Conclusion: Life is as hard as it is short!  Though our troubles may vary, it through the corporate trials of the members of the local church that we God in all our tribulations and can be an encouragement to others.  If we suffer for Christ, we will reign with Christ.

I Thank God For Our Church

Temple Baptist Church - 11-26-2017
Philippians 1:1-7


A.  Thanksgiving Day is over and gone but we have so many things to be thankful for that is hard to name all of them.  The song, “Count Your Blessings,” should be a reminder to us to give God the thanksgiving that is due Him.  Even during problems we have much to be thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

1.  We can thank God for the precious gift of His only begotten Son.

2.  We can thank God for hearing the gospel and being gloriously saved.

3.  We can thank God that salvation is eternal and depends upon Him and not us.

4.  We can thank God that His mercies and grace are far greater than all our sin.

5.  We can thank God that Heaven is our home and not this world.

6.  We can thank God that we were born in America and had opportunity to hear and believe.

7.  We can thank God for all His marvelous provision:  food, shelter, conveniences, automobiles, etc.

8.  We can thank God for our health and strength to be here this morning.

9.  We can thank God for our families and friends.

10.  We can thank God for ample opportunity and freedom to serve the Lord.

B.  We can thank God for so many things, but as a pastor, I am thankful for Temple Baptist Church!

            1.  The Philippian Church was a special church – Philippians 4:15-19

            2.  There are a lot of churches, but few special ones!

            3.  Temple Baptist is one of the special ones!


1.  I Thank God For a saved congregation.  So many churches are full of lost people but I have confidence in your profession of faith.  Our pews are filled with sheep who follow and not goats that butt!

2.  I Thank God for Your Faith In Missions.  Our church is missions hearted instead of just missions minded.  Missionaries are both welcome and wanted here.  They can come and stay with us!

3.  I Thank God For Your Testimony In The Community.  Our church is respected in this county.  Many may not agree with us and many are a little scared of us but they know who and what we are.

4.  I Thank God for Your Friendship With This Pastor .  I am a part of you and you are a part of me.  We are family; we are friends; we are one.

5.  I Thank God for Your Following Your Pastor.  You do not follow me blindly but you follow me as I follow Christ.  Pastoral authority is a biblical gift that the people give to their pastor and you have given it to me.  I do not take that lightly.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord …

6.  I Thank God For Your Faithfulness To God’s House.  We have good crowds at all three weekly services.  I know that some are hindered by work schedules at times but, as a rule, you are faithful.

7.  I Thank God For Your Love For the King James Bible.  Notice that I never call it a version because, if it is a version, then there are other versions.  It is the Bible, God’s Holy Word, and this is not debated in this church.

8.  I Thank God For Your Love One For Another.  We do not have a lot of fussing or fighting here.  We love, we laugh, we labor as one.

Conclusion:  I will say again that I have never had a desire to leave this church.  Barbara and I plan to spend the rest of our lives here with you.  We have so much to be thankful for and you are a major part of our thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Like Precious Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 11-22-2019
2 Peter 1:1-2


A.  Any time that you have a 2nd or 3rd epistle with the same name, the first is normally doctrinal in nature while the others are prophetic of the times preceding the Second Coming of Christ.

1.  The key word in 2 Peter is “knowledge.”  God’s people, in light of knowledge, are destroyed in two ways.

2.  God’s children are destroyed by a lack of knowledge.  Not giving God’s children the truth of Scripture.  Knowledge is what the Bible is all about.  Knowledge of God, knowledge of sin, knowledge of Christ, knowledge of propitiation, knowledge of salvation, and knowledge of doctrine.  God’s people have a right to be taught the Word of God.

3.  God’s children are destroyed by a false knowledge or teaching.  On one side of the “coin,” we see Biblical knowledge withheld; on the other side, we find Biblical knowledge perverted or rejected.

4.  2 Peter is all about false teaching or heresy.  In 1 Peter, Satan is a “roaring lion” seeking whom he may devour.  In 2 Peter, Satan is a “serpent,” subtly deceiving God’s people through heresy.

5.  False teaching within the local church is far more dangerous than persecution from without as persecution from without strengthens while false teaching from within destroys.

B.  Chapter 3:1 tells us that Peter is writing to the same “strangers scattered.”  First, I want to call our attention to Peter’s opening statement and compare it to that in 1 Peter.

C.  In 1 Peter, he described himself only as an Apostle: one with a divine commission—one with authority.  It is because God entrusted him with sound doctrine and 1 Peter is doctrinal in nature.

D.  In 2 Peter, he describes himself as one “with them” instead of one “over them.”

1.  “Simon.”  Peter’s humanity.  Simon, in the New Testament, was a common name.  It comes from the Hebrew word of Simeon, one of Jacob’s sons.  Because of the commonness of the name, it identifies Peter with the common people.  Our Lord called Peter “Simon” when he was in trouble.  (John Milton!)  This was the fleshly side of the great Apostle that identified him with us common people.

Luke 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:  (Was he ever in trouble.)

2.  “Peter.”  Peter’s strength.  Our Lord called Simon “Peter,” (Petros): a rock, larger that a small stone but smaller that Petra—a mass or massive Rock which is Christ.  Though a “rock” of a man, not the Rock of God!

Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (Petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  (Petra, or rock, was the statement “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”)

3.  “Servant … of God.”    Peter’s humility.  A servant was one of low class in Biblical times.  One who waited upon others.  A servant of God!  One who waited upon the Lord and ministered, not only for Him, but to Him.  Stewards were required to be faithful.  Peter was faithful to Christ!

1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

2 Corinthians 6:4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

4.  “An apostle.”  Peter’s purpose.  He has declared himself a common man and yet a rock.  Now he has declared himself a servant and yet an apostle: a man sent with a mission, a man with apostolic power.  Though he is a servant of Christ and the people, he is also one commissioned by God with authority.  Apostles were chosen, empowered, and sent with a commission.

Luke 6:13-14  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;  (14)  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

5.  “Of Jesus Christ.”  Peter’s obedience.  Jesus Chris was Peter’s Master!  Though Peter was a servant of man, he was obedient to Christ.  A beautiful picture of the New Testament pastor and evangelist: though they are servants to the people (ministers), they are to be obedient only to Christ.

John 21:20-22  Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?  (21)  Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?  (22)  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

E.  Those to whom Peter was writing: “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”  Let us look at these words:

1.  The Preciousness of our salvation – “obtained”  Our salvation is personal and it is finished.  We are not obtaining our salvation but eternally saved by God’s amazing grace.  It belongs to us.  What a gift.

2.  The Performance of our salvation – “like”   Everyone has the same saving faith in the finished work of Christ.  He is our salvation and He is our life. 

3.  The Preciousness of our salvation – “precious”  “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee!”  The most important, the most wonderful, the most thrilling thing in this world is our salvation.

Acres of Diamonds, mountains of gold, 
Rivers of silver, jewels untold; 
All these together, wouldn't buy you or me 
Peace when we're sleeping or a conscience that's free. 
A heart that's contented, a satisfied mind, 
These are the treasures, money can't buy; 
If you have Jesus, there's more wealth in your soul, 
Than Acres of Diamonds, mountains of gold. 

4.  The Purity of our salvation – “righteousness of God”  Faultless we shall one day stand before the throne of His glory.  “Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”

5.  The Person of our salvation – “our Saviour Jesus Christ.”  What makes Christianity different from every other religion in the world.  Our salvation is in a Person!  It is not about us, it is all about Him.

Romans 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Temple Baptist Church - 11-19-2017
Psalm 100


A.  One of the signs of these last days is that of ingratitude.  2 Timothy 3:2says, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”  Unfortunately, it is a characteristic of the professing Christian as well as the religious lost person.  The word thanks is found in many places and in several forms in the Bible:  Thanks – 71x  Thank – 26x  Thankful – 3x  Thanksgiving – 27x.  

B.  We live in the day of “entitlements.”  People believe that they are entitled to things without working for them.  Instead of being thankful, people are expectant.  They have been taught that this world and this nation owes them something.  We areENTITLED TO GET A JOB, TO BE PRODUCTIVE, AND TO PROVIDE FOR OUR FAMILIES!

C.  Most people are not thankful because they do not take the time to reflect upon just how good the Lord has been to them!  They take the blessings of God for granted.

D.  Here is a short breakdown of Psalm 100: a Psalm of praise.

1.  The Purposing of Thanksgiving – “Make”

2.  The Praise of Thanksgiving – “a joyful noise”

3.  The Person of Thanksgiving – “unto the Lord”

4.  The People of Thanksgiving – “all ye lands”

5.  The Presence of Thanksgiving – “come before His presence”

6.  The Pondering of Thanksgiving – “He is God … He hath made us

7.  The Place of Thanksgiving – “His gates … His courts”

8.  The Perpetuity of Thanksgiving – “For the LORD is good; his mercy iseverlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. 

E.  Just a few things that I am thankful for:

1.  I Thank God For My Salvation.

a.  At age 28, He came to me when I could not come to Him.

b.  He gave me the faith to be exercised.

c.  He granted me repentance.

d.  His mercy keeps me from hell.

e.  His grace gives me Heaven.

f.  His power to keep me saved.

g.  His watch care to keep me safe.

h.  His chastening to keep me straight.

2.  I Thank God For His Grace.

a.  Grace to live.

b.  Grace to suffer.

c.  Grace to stand.

d.  Grace in sorrow.

e.  Grace when it is my time to die.

3.  I Thank God For His Longsuffering And Mercy.

a.  When I am good He loves me.

b.  When I am not so good He loves me.

c.  When He chastens me it is with love and compassion.

4.  I Thank God For My Family.

a.  I thank God for my wife.

1)  For her faithfulness.

2)  For her forbearance (she has to put up with me 24/7 while you only put up with me forabout 5 hours/week!)

b.  I thank God for my family.  I am proud of them.

c.  I thank God for my family in Kentucky. 

5.  I Thank God For Mine And Barbara’s Health.

a.  I am getting older and still feel good and am able to work.  As far as the doctors are concerned, I am cancer free.

b.  Barbara has been cancer free for 19+ years now thanks to the Lord.

6.  I Thank God For My Nation.

a.  I love America!  I am an American by both birth and choice!

b.  I love her freedom.

c.  I love her prosperity.

d.  I love her mountains, plains, deserts, farmlands, for the north to the south, and from the east to the west.  This is my country!

7.  I Thank God For His Inerrant Word.

a.  Its calm assurance.

b.  Its open prophecy.

c.  Its power to save.  (It still works!)

d.  Its comfort in troublesome times.

e.  It is inerrant, infallible, inspired, powerful, wonderful, and it is free!

8.  I Thank God For Calling Me Into The Ministry.

a.  That God could use a sinner such as I.  Unworthy and unprofitable!

b.  To let me preach in a time such as this.  There are more sinners to preach to; more sin to preach against; more opportunity to shine for the Lord than at any other time since the beginning of time. 

c.  The school from which I graduated.  Tabernacle Baptist Bible College.  It was a good school: faithful to God’s Word and the doctrines of the faith.  It was a place of old-fashioned worship where God was praised and pleased.

d.  Godly pastors and laymen who faithfully taught us the Word of God.

9.  I Thank God For The Church That God Called Me To Pastor.  Temple Baptist Church of Laurens, SC.  The greatest church on the face of the earth!

a.  For 7 people to start with.  I couldn’t have handled 8!

b.  For godly deacons and their familys who have never given me one ounce of trouble.  Who have stayed by the stuff and continue to faithfully serve their Lord.  (Deacon jokes are like mother-in-law jokes, but I have none to tell!)

c.  For a church full of people who are not only members of Temple Baptist Church, but are my friends.  They follow instead of fight!  I am theirs and they are mine.  I am proud of them.

10.  I Thank God For His Many Blessings.

a.  Food on the table.

b.  A good bed to sleep in.

c.  Two cars and a truck to drive.

d.  Shoes on my feet and clothes on my back.

e.  We could camp here for a while!

11.  I Thank God For A Heavenly Hope.

a.  All of this and Heaven too.  Glory!!

b.  The blessed hope of His soon appearing.

c.  The blessed hope of my disappearing.

d.  Ruling and reigning with Him.

e.  Living in the New Jerusalem in a mansion.

f.  Spending an eternity with my blessed Saviour and those who have been redeemed throughout all ages.
Conclusion:  This year, let us be thankful for God’s many blessings!