“Integrity”

January 7th, 2016

The LORD judges the peoples; Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteous- ness and my integrity that is in me.
(Psalm 7:8)

The preacher had left his office rather quickly, having several errands requiring his attention. On the road, he glanced into the mirror and noticed that a policeman was following with lights flashing. He pulled over and noticed that he had forgotten to buckle his seat belt. He quickly put it into place and awaited the officer’s arrival at the window. The formalities aside, the preacher told the officer who he was and how embarrassing this was for a minister to be stopped by an official. The officer asked, “Sir, do you always buckle your seat belt?” The minister replied that he did without fail. “I never drive without doing so.” The officer then asked, “Do you always run the strap through the steering wheel?”

I have a burden. It seems today that people all around us think nothing of speaking anything but the truth. Dishonest speech is glossed over like a shinny fresh coat of paint over an old piece of wood. Politicians make statements that are clearly false and think nothing about it. They’re more concerned with how many foolish people will buy their snake oil. Truth is a rare commodity in a society that has, many years ago, lost its moral compass. However, that is not surprising to me in light of a society that is possessed by relativism, where everyone names his or her own truth.

What burdens me more are the many believers I have encountered over the years who traffic in the land of lies, distorted reality and even “little white lies,” (whatever that means). Like this pastor in the above funny story, believers, if necessary for their own good, speak untruths and “little white lies” with impunity. The travesty of this is that they go on in their lives assuming and acting like they are just as spiritual and just as much in fellowship with God as they have ever been. The Apostle Paul said that can’t be so.

In Ephesians 4:25, as the Apostle Paul begins a new paragraph listing many sins of the flesh, he begins with “laying aside falsehood, speak truth.” What is significant about this statement is that after mentioning all these things, he says (in the literal Greek text) in verse 30 to “stop grieving the Holy Spirit.” Essentially, the Apostle Paul was saying lies and falsehood snuff out the Spirit’s power in our lives because our fellowship with God is broken.

Proverbs 6:16 lists the 7 sins that are an abomination to God; the second on the list, behind only pride is that of lying. God takes very seriously the issue of lying. One reason, I am convinced, is because when one habitually lies, one develops a clinical DNA that leads to believing other distorted rationale about oneself and one’s relationship with God. The more one lies, the more that one becomes calloused to his/her lies. The unvarnished truth is that habitual lying, beyond an abomination to God, is a major character flaw, desperately in need of the surgical work of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. As Percy Shelley said in the 1800′s, “Dishonesty is a scorpion that will sting itself to death.”

Let’s remember that in John 8:44, Satan is referred to as the “Father of Lies.” That means that lies come from Satan, expressed through the flesh. Thus, we must conclude, when lies become a part of our behavior, we can safely assume that we are much closer to pleasing Satan than we are God.

God places a high premium upon a life that is known for its integrity. This is the time of the year that we set New Year resolutions. Let me suggest one to you that is seldom mentioned at the top of the list of New Year resolutions. This year, determine to be honest in every dealing…in every relationship. Determine to view any lie as just as sinful as stealing, adultery or cheating…or any other you might place on your top list of sins. Make it your passion to so please God that you will tell the truth even if it incriminates you. If you do this, you might be surprised as to how God will bless. For we are told in I Samuel 26:23a, “The LORD will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness.”….And don’t forget. Calling sin by a softer name will change neither its offensiveness to God nor its cost to us.

Pastor Byron

Forgiveness: Freedom In Christ

August 31st, 2015

There are many things that can cause us to stumble in the Christian life: inability to walk in the Spirit, refusal to get into the Word of God, living with unconfessed sins and a lack of faith, to name a few. These can all be detrimental to our daily walk. However, over the years I have I come to the conclusion that there is one thing that impedes spiritual growth and success in the Christian life perhaps more than anything. I believe that to be an unforgiving spirit.

Sadly, I have seen numerous Christians hang on to a personal offense from someone else and never learn or choose to let go of that offense. The result is very evident. At minimum it quenches the Spirit’s power in their life. But all too often it leads to a subtle bitterness which presents a major roadblock to the Holy Spirit’s empowerment.

The undeniable truth is that forgiveness is a two-way street. For the child of God, to be forgiven makes it incumbent upon us to forgive. Ask almost anyone the name of someone who has done him wrong, and you will not need to wait long for an answer! All of us have been sinned against.

But honesty forces us to admit that we have sometimes inflicted the pain. We have all sinned against God and against other people. In our most transparent moment, we know that we have wronged others, usually those closest to us.

There are few believers who do not appreciate the depth of forgiveness in Christ that one enjoys. Yet, many believers find it extremely difficult to forgive others. Such is the pernicious cancer of the soul that torpedoes many believers’ spiritual lives. A failure to forgive or seek forgiveness can well be described as a kind of spiritual anorexia. The tragedy of anorexia is that a person somehow becomes convinced that food, the very thing that is God’s provision for health, is something dangerous, to be avoided. Even as her body wastes away, she clings to the notion that eating is bad for her. It is a delusion that ultimately leads to death.

Similarly, we can choose to not forgive or seek forgiveness because we are convinced that this is a way to punish someone else or to protect ourselves. But it, too, is a delusion that kills. It kills relationships, families, friendships, and churches. It is significant to note that researchers have discovered a direct link between forgiveness and physical and emotional health.

Equally, such unforgiveness not only kills our relationships, but it also kills our fellowship with God and leaves us in the clutches of bitterness. Bitterness is both toxic and imprisoning.

The antidote for the spiritual anorexic is that “great forgiveness (from God) inspires great love (for our Savor).”  Great love for the Savor frees us to forgive because we knows and trust that He would not ask us to do that which is unhealthy for us. Truly, forgiveness is the gateway to freedom.

May God help us to discover the freedom that comes from being great forgivers…and break the chain of remembered hurts that bind us to the past.

Charleston:How Should We Think?

July 1st, 2015

My first inclination after the recent shootings in Charleston, S.C., was to immediately write something or even say something on Sunday morning. However, I decided to think and ponder the truths of God as they relate to this incident rather than react. After some days of thinking and prayer, I have come away with a few thoughts I would like to share with you.

First and foremost, this was a hate crime – clear and simple. As with most hate crimes, this was driven by anger, bitterness and prejudice. While God is a God of grace and compassion, He is also a God of justice. Thus, justice should, and I believe, will be served concerning this matter.

In recent days, much has been said about what should be done to curb such heinous crimes. As a citizen of this great country, it would be easy to be drawn into that discussion. However, as I listen to all the pundits waxing eloquently, I can’t help but think, “they have all missed it.” The problem is not the lack of laws controlling whatever. The problem is the condition of the heart of man (and woman) in this country. First, we have to ask the question, where does anger and hatred originate? It originates in the human heart which the bible declares as “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” This is especially the condition of hearts outside of Christ. Please allow me to be a bit more specific when it comes to recent events.

One of the things those of us who do significant counseling understand is, that anger often grows out of a heart that feels (or perceives itself) unloved and rejected by the significant people in his/her live. These would be people such as parents, grandparents, siblings, peers, teachers, aunts, uncles, coaches or any who have had a strong influence in his/her life. When a person perceives oneself as unloved and unlovable, anger grows to the point that it becomes a deep root of bitterness. These people are angry with themselves and with others largely because they don’t like themselves. This root of bitterness leads one to displace one’s anger and bitterness onto someone or something else. For example, a few years ago I read that 70% of the inmates in the state penitentiary of Mississippi did not have a father growing up. Life without a father can lead to a sense of feeling abandoned and unloved. Such reproduces itself from one generation to the next. Anger begets anger. Bitterness begets bitterness. Bigotry and prejudice become convenient feeding grounds for such displaced anger. Thus, the breakdown of the family and marriages…and the anger and conflict that come with such are a root cause of much of the hate and anger that we see – whether it is in a crime such as the magnitude in South Carolina or simply the kid on the playground taking his/her anger out on someone else, or the kid or kids in high school bullying someone else. I suspect if one were allowed to dig deeply into the background of this perpetrator (in Charleston), you would find something akin to what I have said. Now, does this absolve him of his actions? Absolutely not! We are all accountable for our actions. My point is to show that anger, hatred and prejudice in our society have a root cause and it’s solution can’t be legislated.

So what is the answer? Yes, it would probably help if the leaders of our country championed the importance of the institution of the family and marriage. Perhaps it might help if they even provided legislation that would give incentives for staying married, etc., but that would not solve the problem of the human heart in this country or the world for that matter. The only answer to this dilemma is for people to find that love and acceptance for which they deeply long in Jesus Christ. In the first chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul states that “we are accepted in the Beloved (Christ).” He also wrote that his prayer was that all believers would come to understand the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (believers).” In simple terms, the Apostle Paul’s great desire was that all believers understand just how much they are loved, accepted and valued in God’s eyes. This is the healing balm that so many today desperately long for and need.

We are an angry society. Ultimately, people are angry, mean, bitter and unforgiving because they are void of the transforming power of God. The family unit, for many, is falling apart because Christ is not at the center of it. God is left out of our government. This is why the Church of Jesus Christ must rise up and be the Church in America. We must stop playing church while the world around us is dying without a Savior.

These are chilling days but they are also days in which so many long for the Truth. Let’s not be deceived that the answer is out of our hands…that it is somehow left to those in Washington. The Church of Jesus Christ is the only one that has the answer. We must, with a great sense of urgency individually and corporately, storm the gates of hell with God’s transforming message of love and forgiveness. The stakes are too great to do otherwise.

Of course, let’s not forget, that the Body of Christ (the Church) has been assaulted and wounded, as well. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ in Charleston. While I have been incredibly impressed with their testimonies of forgiveness, I know their pain is incredibly deep and we should pray for the members of this church well into the days ahead. They have lost their shepherd, as well as many of their members. Except the healing grace of God intervenes, the pain will be long lasting. To that end I will pray and ask that you please join me in that prayer.

FEAR

January 27th, 2015

In our new series on the epistle of II Timothy we have talked a good bit about Timothy’s fear and about our fear as well. Here is another installment on the subject.

In a recent study of two hundred patients, a psychologist discovered that fear was their major problem, and learning to cope with it, their greatest need. He said, “We are becoming a nation of fearful people.” Fear can be an ominous thing when it plagues our thinking process.

Fear wears many faces and depending upon how we handle it, it can either be a God-given instinct for survival or an emotional tyrant, plaguing our lives with anxiety.

For example, fear of flames, hurricanes, floods, and consequences of inappropriate and destructive behavior can be healthy. However, most fears are unhealthy and usually cripple human potential. Some of these fears are the fear of failure, or the future, or of growing old, or of children leaving, or of loss of vitality, or of retirement, or of death. There are myriads of fears, but the one that bites at our peace of mind and robs us of our joy often is the fear of men. Fear of what people might do, fear of what they might think, and fear of what they might say can cast a dark cloud over our lives. Social acceptance seems to be terribly important these days. The fear of being shunned, rejected, or disliked can have an impairing effect upon our lives.

The person struggling with fear doesn’t put himself out because he is afraid of getting hurt. He doesn’t speak up because he is afraid of appearing foolish; he doesn’t offer friendship because he is afraid of being shunned. He withdraws from activity because he is afraid of appearing incompetent or of tarnishing his image before men. That kind of fear is an emotional prison.

Many great men of the Bible had lapses of fear. Abraham lied about his wife, fearing the wrath of Abimelech. Elijah fled from the face of Jezebel because of fear. Joseph of Arimathea was a “secret” disciple of Christ for fear of the Jews. And who, of course, could forget Peter’s open denial of the Lord because of his own crippling fear?

On the other hand, the Bible gives us some radical examples of those who looked fear in the face and called its bluff.

Daniel, who was ordered not to pray for 30 days or be thrown into the lion’s den, refused to be shaken. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, when commanded to worship the golden image or be thrown into the fiery furnace, responded with the boldness of a drill sergeant when they said, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace…but if He doesn’t, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your god or worship the golden image.” (Dan. 3:17-18)

David, who lived constantly in the shadow of Saul’s threat, wrote, “What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee…. In Thee have I put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” “The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” (Ps. 56:2-4; Prov. 29:25)

What enabled these men to be so strong and bold in the face of incredible odds? How are they able to resist that which has so many people in its grasp?

It seems too simple, yet so difficult. When a person gets to the point in his life where the strongest desire he has is to please the Lord, he will be liberated from the fear of men. We cease to be a prisoner of the fear of others when we are most concerned about what God thinks of us and what most pleases Him.

As we are about three weeks into the new year, let every one of us make it our occupation to resist the temptation to seek the praise of men (applause-aholics) and seek only the applause of heaven . . . It is probably the best new year resolution one could make.

Best Time of Year…Worse Time of Year

December 16th, 2014

We call this the season to be jolly. We sing joy to the world. There is a heighten excitement and happiness that seems to hit its crescendo on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. According to tradition, there is the anticipated gathering with family and the exchanging of gifts.

However, there is also a wide range of emotions experienced by many during this season that have little to do with joy and happiness. During this season, there are those who will experience loneliness, rejection, disappointment, fear, anxiety and apprehension. Sadly for some, the conclusion of these feelings will result in suicide.

Make no mistake about it — the Adversary, Satan, works overtime during this season leading people to the hope and expectation of excitement, joy, happiness, love and acceptance. As he leads some to the crest of this euphoria, he then pushes them over the edge, watching as they fall into a canyon of depression and emotional despair.

As believers, we have a God who is a refuge and stronghold. It is He alone who promises hope and joy. Therefore, in light of the Adversary’s great deception, I want to suggest to you five traps to avoid during this season.

1. Personal danger . . . trying to impress instead of loving for Christ’s glory. Our over the top gifts or shower of goodness can be more about us than about loving for Christ’s glory. Beware!

2. Economical danger . . . spending more than you have. Before every purchase, think: Is this within my budget? Is it appropriate? What is my true motive? Be careful!

3. Emotional danger . . . believing your purchase will make things “all right.” Money won’t buy happiness. Be realistic!

4. Expectation danger. . .believing that everyone should meet your expectation in order for you to feel happy. It is during this season that people often find themselves deeply hurt and wounded by others. This occurs because someone has not met another’s expectations and often leads to anger and bitterness in families. Be gracious!

5. Psychological danger. . . believing that if my gift is good enough, I will be loved and accepted by the recipient and thus, I am okay…I am loved. Be wise!

Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Psalms 46:10a-11)

Why Can’t We Talk About It?

October 27th, 2014

One of the biggest obstacles to a good marriage is poor communication. That is unfortunate, because “the lifeblood of a marriage is its communication.” We could even say that a marriage relationship is only as good as its communication. —That is, it is only as good as its ability to send and receive the right message.

Neil Clark Warren, in his Learning to Live With The Love of Your Life said, “It is my conviction that a marriage is about as healthy as the level of communication that transpires within it. It’s impossible to imagine a triumphant marriage without two people who have worked hard at mastering the art of give and take. And with every new bit of mastery comes a dramatically increased potential for blending and merging.”

Communication is the vehicle that is used to accomplish many relational aspects of marriage. Couples can neither address issues nor resolve conflict without effective communicational skills.

We are in the middle of a message series entitled, ‘Marriage-Built to Last.” For the next few weeks we’ll be talking about things that make for good communication. We will cover a lot of territory. As I think about communication I often have to think of the pre-requisite each person should have in order to reach the deepest level of sharing or communicating.

It has to do with a spiritual quality to which God’s word calls us as believers. Beyond the importance of such in our Christian walk, it takes a great deal of humility to communicate in our marriages for the right reasons with the right attitude. Without it, we are prone to react to our spouse out of pride or our insecurities.

In Ephesians 4:1-3, we read I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We can make a few observations from this passage. Humility will cause us to be meek, patient and longsuffering with others. That would include your spouse. Humility will set us free from the inclination to be right, or to defend ourselves at all cost. Pride often causes our hearts to be encased in a cement shell of indifference constantly looking for self-justification. Humility sets us free from that indifference enabling us to hear the words and heart of our spouse.

Someone has captured the importance of humility in the marriage relationship in the following statement:

”The quality virtue of humility is a necessary attribute to have in and for healthy marriage relationships. Humility is a yielding door to understanding, insights, and wisdom. Humility is a virtue that is like medicine for relationships and marriages, when applied it shifts the attitudes of our personal constraints. Humility is a humble view of one’s own importance, it is the quality of being humble that comes from a lack of pride.”

Additionally, I would say that it is pride that erects walls of indifference in the communication process. It is humility that brings those walls down like an avalanche.

How would you evaluate your communication in marriage? May the communication in your marriage be one of seeking to hear the heart of your spouse rather than that of defending oneself.

We invite you to come join us this Sunday at 10:45 a.m. as we continue the series, “Marriage–Built To Last.”

Marriage–Built To Last

October 10th, 2014

There are approximately 107 million married people in the United States, and most of them are aching for a better marriage. They desperately want their primary love relationship to be deeper, stronger, and more fulfilling. They want to feel a deeper bond with their mate, more consistently in sync. They crave to know in their heart of hearts that their marriage is on its way to being healthier and more exciting–maybe even great. However, recent research has proven that only 6 out of every 100 couples are considered happily married.

Why is that? First, there is a lack of understanding about what the marriage covenant means. Secondly, many people learn about marriage from illegitimate sources such as media/Hollywood, friends, and the home in which they grew up. Few couples begin marriage with a deep understanding of God’s blueprint for marriage. Because of that, for many marriages, the duet has become a duel, holy wedlock has become holy deadlock. Even marriages that start out with great promise seem to hit autopilot past 50 years of age. The excitement has been replaced with boredom and the romance has been replaced with disappointment…sometimes even grief.

This is why I think it is important to have a ministry to the family beginning with marriages. The Christian marriage has the greatest potential for good and yet also for evil. The world takes note when they see a marriage that is radically different and attractive. Therefore, Christian marriages should reflect the beauty and glory of the Lord through that relationship.

This is also why I am excited about the opportunity to do another message series entitled, “Marriage—Built to Last.” I personally believe that marriage, even for those 50 and above, can be exciting. Christians should not feel that they have to settle for less than the best…or that it has to be boring.

In this series we will be looking at things such as, “What is love from God’s perspective?” We will talk about how to restore lost love. This one is especially for those over 50. I have found that there is not much written for marriages over 50 and yet, it seems there is an enormous number of couples who are looking for something to re-ignite lost love. We will address this issue along with the issues of communication and roadblocks to communication. “Seven components needed for healing marital relations” will be another great study. One topic that always gets a lot of attention is the topic of how to handle conflict or what I call, “How to have a good fight.”

These and others will be discussed during this series. If you live in the Marietta area, I would encourage you to invest in your marriage, regardless of how long you have been married, by coming to this series each Sunday morning.

Eggshells Or Still Waters?

August 5th, 2014

Many believers live their lives walking on eggshells. What I mean by that is that many believers are more often than not motivated by fear in reference to their Christian life. To them the Christian life is made up of jumping through spiritual hoops in some effort to please God or to gain His approval. The natural question is: if this mentality is incorrect, then what causes believers to be so misled?

This answer is found in the fact that many believers do not know the difference between their “Position in Christ” and their “Condition in Christ.” When we come to Christ, we relate to God in two spheres. One is our position or standing before Christ. Some would call this our relationship with Christ in contrast to our fellowship with Him. The Bible is clear. We have been given a position or standing before God that is complete. In Ephesians 1 we are told that God has Ablessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.@ Heavenly places could easily be translated “from God’s vantage point or view.” Because Christ went to the cross, we are now blessed with all of the riches of divine grace. In terms of our spiritual bank account, we are made spiritually rich or wealthy. The Greek tense that is used in Ephesians 1 gives the idea that this blessing is a “once and for all” blessing. There is nothing that we can do that can add to what God has already provided for us in Christ who went to the cross to purchase our redemption.

Here’s the deal: God desires that Christians walk with Him with confidence based upon an understanding of their “position in Christ.” Such confidence does not engender fear but rather a heart of love and appreciation for all that Christ has done for us on the cross. Positionally (or in terms of our relationship in Christ), we are accepted and loved unconditionally. Nothing can change that. Even when we sin, in terms of our position (and relationship) we are still accepted by God – in Christ – even though God does not accept our sin. This helps us to understand what the Psalmist meant when he said, “He leads me beside quiet waters.” These are waters of rest where we can rest in the assurance that our position in Christ is secure.

This brings us to the other sphere in which we connect with God: our condition in Christ. This condition has to do with whether we are “in fellowship with Him” or “out of fellowship with Him.” As parents we have a relationship with each of our children that is established at the point of their birth. They are “our children.” Nothing can change that even if we disowned them. They would still be our (biological) children. But our fellowship with them may or may not be strong. There are some adult children and parents who have not spoken for years; they have no fellowship. There are others that have occasional fellowship. The same can be true of the believer. (I John 1:6)

Fellowship comes by walking in the Spirit or being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). In that fellowship we experience the fullness of our relationship with Him, that is, the fruit of the Spirit. This means we are habitually confessing our sins (I John 1:9) and walking by faith trusting God to empower us.

There is much more we could explicate, here but the point is that so many believers live confused lives – often joyless lives – because they do not understand the mechanics of the Christian life that I have just unpacked. When one fully understands the difference between our position and our condition in Christ, one is motivated more out of God’s grace and love – not His wrath or displeasure.

Anyone who has been a parent will remember those first days of teaching their young child to walk. Often one parent will hold the child up and the other will stand a few feet away with outstretched arms beckoning the child to walk to them. What happens? Usually the child will take just a few steps and then fall. What does the parent do at that point? Does the parent scold the child for falling? Absolutely not! No, they pick the child up and start cheering again for the child to take more steps. Such is our Heavenly Father’s heart toward His children even when we fall in our daily walk with Him.

What motivates you? Do you have a clear understanding of God’s grace and your “position in Christ?” Is your Christian life one that is based more on fear than on God’s grace and forgiveness? An accurate understanding of one’s position in Christ can be tremendously liberating from guilt and fear. Thus, you are free to live in a way that brings great glory to Christ – and great peace to our hearts.

Not A Fan

January 8th, 2014

On the Sunday before Christmas, I shared a quote by Kyle Idleman taken from his book Not A Fan. I love the metaphor that he uses to speak of what is true of so many Christians. Ever since reading the statement by Idleman, his thoughts have been echoing throughout my mind. They are choice words! Grab a hold of Idleman’s quote.

“But Jesus was never interested in having fans. When he defines what kind of relationship he wants, ‘Enthusiastic Admirer’ isn’t an option. My concern is that many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums. And every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him. The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.”

We can be fans in many ways and yet not be completely “sold out” to him. We can be fans of His worship music, of the nuances of His Word, of the fascination of studying His Word and of uncovering those spiritual nuggets, of the satisfaction of serving in some capacity in which others are blessed while we are affirmed and of the fellowship with His people. . . and yet, in all of it, we can still not be completely “sold out.” As Idleman states, we can “want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them (us).”

This year let’s knock down any inclination in any of us to be a “fan” and embrace all that it means in being a true follower (disciple) of Christ. Let’s begin this year renewing that passion of that “first love” for the King . . . and let’s pursue His glory with a passion!

The Forgotten Treasure

September 11th, 2013

The recovery of long-lost truth is as exciting and rewarding as the discovery of a buried treasure. It even precipitates a “gold rush” of sorts, with many rushing to launch a caravan to the field of discovery. Others take off helter-skelter, hoping, with a minimum of equipment, to scrounge a nugget or two before the riches are gone.

As in all the gold rushes of history, only a fortunate few ever strike it rich. Usually they are the early-comers or those who ignore the surface riches and seek diligently for the “mother lode” until they unearth it.

The whole subject of spiritual gifts is the forgotten treasure of the church. The church has been impoverished by the prevailing ignorance and undiscovered truth about these spiritual riches.

Twenty-five to thirty years ago there was an awakening concerning spiritual gifts. But since then, spiritual gifts for many churches have become the forgotten treasure. Where there is a focus on such, seemingly, much of it is out of balance or unenlightened. Consequently, few believers today know or understand the treasure God has planted in their being.

This Sunday I begin a new series entitled, “Gifted For His Glory.” I am excited about doing this series. About two months ago I felt God impressing upon me that this was the series that is most needed at this time in our church. As Debbie and I got away to The Cove in North Carolina I spent some time asking God to affirm that impression. When we arrived home, I sensed God had indeed affirmed that.

I believe it is vitally important to know how God has gifted you and how that giftedness makes you a candidate for noble purposes. Equally, I believe that if we take this to heart and pray, God will infuse our church with renewed power. I am looking forward to see what God is going to do through this series.