Why You’re Bored in Church and How to Overcome It

The Epistle of Galatians

In last week’s blog, we looked at one of the first signs to look for when people are disconnecting from their first love. The scriptures warn us about taking this path. They warn us about abandoning our first love (Revelation 2:4). The Greek word ‘abandon’ means ‘to give up’ or ‘to let go’. Jesus knows where your heart is. He knows if you’re giving up or letting go. Which way are you trending, up or down? In today’s post, we are going to look at the second sign people transmit when they are considering defecting from the from the ranks: boredom. If you’re seeing this sign in yourself, beware.

#S3-039: Why the Awesome Hand of God Brings Growth [Podcast]

God's Mighty Power and Anointing

William J. Wolfe has called Abraham Lincoln “one of the greatest theologians of America.” He added that Lincoln’s theology was profound, “not in the technical meaning of producing a system of doctrine, certainly not as the defender of someone denomination, but in the sense of seeing the hand of God intimately in the affairs of nations.” 1 The hand of God is seen among the nations and is seen in the well-known verse in Proverbs 21:1. In today’s Light on Life, we will look at the phrase the ‘hand of the Lord’ and how it applies to the rulers of the nations.

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The Truth about the Enormous Problem of Itching Ears

The Epistle of Galatians

In the past couple of posts, we addressed the idea of how believers in Paul’s day were abandoning Jesus for another gospel. We defined some of the words Paul used in describing the defection of the Galatians. We looked at the words, ‘I marvel’, ‘turning away’, and ‘so soon’. In today’s post, we are going to look at some of the signs the Word of God warns us about when people consider turning from their first love. When the Bible says people have itching ears, just what exactly does that mean? Let’s take a look at Paul’s admonition to Timothy.

#S3-038: Why Diversity Empowers Us Actually to Overcome Racism [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

I heard this story this week from a good friend who has been following this series on ‘How to Overcome Racism’ in the church. And his story illustrates the reason why we need to teach and are teaching on the subject of racism. As it turns out, he was attending a church in Phoenix Arizona and volunteered to work with the Pastor in building up the work of God there. The Pastor was African-American as was most of the congregation. The volunteer was Caucasian. As it turns out, he was passing out fliers in the neighborhood with a young lady from the church who was all working for God. So both of them are going house to house. After a while, they decide to take a break from their labors. They hadn’t eaten anything, so they decide to go to a restaurant. Now mind you, he was not romantically interested in this lady. They were just hungry and wanted to replenish themselves. While they are in the restaurant, he notices someone staring at them to the point where it got to be uncomfortable. He didn’t think about it. He didn’t really put the pieces together. A few months after this, the pastor calls him into his office and tells him he has to leave the church.’Leave the church, why?’, he asks. The pastor tells him, ‘Because, you are demon possessed.’ So this man begins to quote the Word of God all the while confessing the Lordship of Jesus. So he says to the pastor, ‘Does this sound like I’m demon possessed?’ ‘No’, says the pastor but you’re still going to have to leave the church. The church, apparently, didn’t approve of anything interracial. Months later when judgment fell on that church this pastor reconnected with this man and apologized. He had gotten pressure from his deacons and constituents in the church and had caved into their demands. Racism in the church. It exists. There’s no need to hide from it. There’s no need to act like it’s not there. It shouldn’t be there but is there and that’s why we’re doing this series on ‘How to Overcome Racism in the Church’. We’re continuing on with it in this week’s Light on Life.

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Beware of Abandoning Jesus and Know How to Spot the Signs – Part 2

The Epistle to the Galatians

In the Virginia Medical Monthly one doctor tells the story of a woman who grew backward. This woman had grown normally, married, and had three children. Life was grand until the husband and father died when the children were in high school. The mother doubled her devotion to the children. She changed her clothes to those of a girl of twenty, joined in her children’s parties and fun. In a few years, the children noticed that as they grew older their mother was growing younger. Psychiatrists call it “personality regression,” which means “a person walking backward.” Usually, such people stop going backward at a certain age. But not this woman. She slipped backward at the rate of one year for every three or four months of time that went forward. Although she was 61 years old she acted and talked like a 6-year-old. She was sent to a sanitarium, where she insisted on wearing short dresses, playing with toys, and babbling like a child. Then she became like a three-year-old; she spilled her food, crawled on the floor, and cried “Mama.” Backward still farther to the age of one, she drank milk curled up like a tiny baby. Finally, she went back over the line and died. 1 Successful Christian life is a pressing march forward. We can’t stay stationary nor be as Lot’s wife who looked back. If you look back, you slide back. This is what the Galatians did. They looked backward at the law. Instead of looking forward to Jesus.

#S3-037: Yet More of How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

Once the Devil was walking along with one of his cohorts. They saw a man ahead of them pick up something shiny. What did he find? asked the cohort. A piece of the truth, the Devil replied. Doesn’t it bother you that he found a piece of the truth? asked the cohort. No, said the Devil, I will see to it that he makes a religion out of it. 1 There has always been religion on the world. A shiny piece of the truth, not the whole truth just a piece of it. A piece of a truth can lead to a whole lie. Israel had descended from the truth of God’s Word into a miry pit of ‘piece religion.’ They had pieces of the truth but not the whole truth.

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Beware of Abandoning Jesus and Know How to Spot the Signs

The Epistle to the Galatians

As a teenager, J. Stephen Conn sensed God calling him to be a preacher. But he felt a certain disadvantage. Because he had been saved when he was 7 years old, he would never be able to hold an audience spellbound with stories of a wicked past. So he asked God for permission to backslide just long enough to get some experience in a life of sin to enhance his preaching later on. Deep within he knew that God would not answer such a request, so he decided just to preach the Bible without a dramatic testimony. Some time later Conn wrote, For the past 11 years I’ve been pastoring a church. I realize now what a great testimony I really have. God not only has the power to deliver from sin, He has the even greater power to keep from sin. God not only saved my soul He saved my entire life!  1 J. Stephen Conn asked for permission to backslide. Some are backsliding without permission. We need to beware of the signs so that we can help encourage and warn others at the same time.

#S3-036: Even More of How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

Vivian Malone, a young black woman, enrolled as a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1963. Federal troops helped ensure her entrance into the school, but Governor George Wallace tried to block her way. When he failed, Malone became the first African-American student ever to graduate from the University of Alabama. Years later, Governor Wallace was taken in his wheelchair to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, where he asked black people to forgive him for his racism, bigotry, and specifically his ill-treatment of Vivian Malone. He asked Malone for forgiveness. Malone said she had forgiven the governor years before. When asked why she had done that, Malone said, “I’m a Christian, and I grew up in the church. I was taught that we are all equal in the eyes of God. I was also taught that you forgive people, no matter what. And that was why I had to do it. I didn’t feel as if I had a choice.” 1 Vivian Malone had it right. All are equal in the eyes of the Lord. We don’t have a choice about walking in love and forgiveness. Obeying the Bible; believing the Word of God just like it says; rising up against the spirit of division with the love of God, is the only real cure to racism.

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Why Jesus Substitutionary Death is the Greatest Exchange Ever

The Epistle to the Galatians

What An Exchange! According to “It Happened in Canada,” during the early days of Northern Ontario’s gold rush (1909), Sandy Mclntyre found what is now the famous mine bearing his name. He sold out for $25 in order to buy some liquor. Years later he still passed his time crying in beverage rooms, while the mine he discovered produced gold worth 230 million dollars. 1 As good as an exchange as this was for the man who bought the mine for $25.00, this is nothing compared to the greatest exchange ever, Jesus exchanging His life for yours. Today, we are picking up from last week’s post with these thoughts on what Jesus exchange meant for our deliverance.

#S3-035: More of How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

A visitor to a mental hospital was astonished to note that there were only three guards watching over a hundred dangerous inmates. He asked his guide, “Don’t you fear that these people will overpower the guards and escape?” “No,” was the reply. “Lunatics never unite.” 1 Lunatics never unite, did you hear that? Racism is strife. Racism is lunacy. Lunatics never unite. In last week’s podcast, we drilled down into the word strife and we looked at some of the companions of strife. One of these companions is the word ‘disorder’ in 2 Corinthians 12:20. We are going to take a look at that and more as we continue looking at overcoming racism in the church in this week’s Light on Life.

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Why Jesus Substitutionary Death Delivers Us from This Evil World

The Epistle to the Galatians

In Palmyra on October 17, 1862, during the war, an informer in the town disappeared and the commander-in-charge ordered ten men to be shot in reprisal. Several men were being detained in Palmyra jail as prisoners-of-war at that time, and ten men were selected from among them. Of this number, one was Wm. T. Humphrey, that father of several children, whose wife pleaded for his release. Because of her physical condition and because Humphrey was the father of several children, the commanding officer struck his name off and substituted the name of Hiram Smith, a young man without a family. Smith gave his consent and stated that perhaps it were better for a single man to die rather than a man with a family. At Mt. Pleasant Church cemetery in Mt. Salem Association is a stone erected with an inscription which reads: “This monument is dedicated to the memory of Hiram Smith. The hero that sleeps beneath the sod here who was shot at Palmyra, Oct. 17, 1862, as a substitute for Wm. T. Humphrey, my father. —G. W. Humphrey” 1. Right out of the gate, Paul addresses the idea of Jesus substitutionary work in his opening remarks to the Galatians. In today’s post, we are going to take a look at three simple letters which spell out the principle of substitution.

#S3:034: How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

In the 1960’s the church deacon board mobilized lookout squads, and on Sundays, these took turns patrolling the entrances lest any black “troublemakers” try to integrate us. I still have one of the cards the deacons printed up to give to any civil rights demonstrators who might appear: Believing the motives of your group to be ulterior and foreign to the teaching of God’s word, we cannot extend a welcome to you and respectfully request you to leave the premises quietly. Scripture does NOT teach “the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.” He is the Creator of all, but only the Father of those who have been regenerated. If any one of you is here with a sincere desire to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, we shall be glad to deal individually with you from the Word of God. (Unanimous Statement of Pastor and Deacons, August 1960) When Congress passed the Civil Rights Acts, our church founded a private school as a haven for whites, expressly barring all black students. A few “liberal” members left the church in protest when the kindergarten turned down the daughter of a black Bible professor, but most of us approved of the decision. A year later the church board rejected a Carver Bible Institute student for membership (his name was Tony Evans).1. What is racism and how can we overcome it? We’ll be taking a look at this in this new series.

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