Monthly Archives: June 2010

Signs of Living to Please God

Signs of Living to Please God

by Richard Baxter


See therefore that you live upon God’s approval as that which you chiefly seek, and will suffice you: which you may discover by these signs.

1. You will be most careful to understand the Scripture, to know what doth please and displease God.
2. You will be more careful in the doing of every duty, to fit it to the pleasing of God than men.
3. You will look to your hearts, and not only to your actions; to your ends, and thoughts, and the inward manner and degree.
4. You will look to secret duties as well as public and to that which men see not, as well as unto that which they see.
5. You will reverence your consciences, and have much to do with them, and will not slight them: when they tell you of God’s displeasure, it will disquiet you; when they tell you of his approval, it will comfort you.
6. Your pleasing men will be charitable for their good, and pious in order to the pleasing of God, and not proud and ambitious for your honour with them, nor impious against the pleasing of God.
7. Whether men be pleased or displeased, or how they judge of you, or what they call you, will seem a small matter to you, as their own interest, in comparison to God’s judgment. You live not on them. You can bear their displeasure, censures, and reproaches, if God be but pleased. These will be your evidences.


My Meeting with Sam and Nick

 “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”- 2Cor.5:18-19

 I am on vacation with my family at Panama City Beach FL. We are staying on the beach, and what a great view we have of the water. I would like to say it is easy to be a beach bum. So here I am sitting under our tent. I look off to my left and what do I see; two young men sharing the Gospel to a man and woman. I, being not too far off, could hear their conversation. I was moved by what I heard. I began to pray! So when they were done, I moved towards them. I was greeted with smiles, and as one believer to another, I sensed their hearts; and we were on the same page. We had something in common, that was Jesus, the Cross, and the desire to share the gospel to all. I told them I was praying for them and had been while they were sharing to that man and woman. They shared with me what they were doing on the beach. My thought was that these two young men could be doing so many other things, but they chose to spend their day in the hot sun telling others of the Good News! No matter the response of their hearers! They kept pushing up the beach! They were faithful! We need to be faithful! We all have the ministry of reconciliation, that is to tell others about Jesus! Like Sam and Nick, let us tell others about Jesus; no matter where we are at or what it will cost us!


Read Good Books

 I would say, as a pastor, reading is vital in the Christians life. The Bible should be first, but there are many solid books about the bible out there that will stimulate thought and are great for small groups and discussion. These are just some I would suggest for the summer.

“Knowing God” By J.I. Packer

“Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God” By J.I. Packer

“The Art of Manfishing” By Thomas Boston

“The Reformed Pastor” By Richer Baxter

“Hard To Believe” By John MacArthur

“Twelve Ordinary Men” By John MacArthur

“Basic Christianity” By John Stott

“Sermons of George Whitefield” By George Whitefield

“A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards” By  George Marsden

“Finally Alive” By John Piper


The unconverted Preacher

 The unconverted preacher is out there. I believe there is a need for all of us to examine ourselves, but the preacher, he is held at a higher standard of judgment (Jam.3:1). Oh let him look at the way he leads  his life (2Cor.13:5). So what are we to watch out for in the unconverted preacher?

1. They have an outward appearance of godliness. Every thing looks good from the outside “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”-Matt.23:25

2. They preach to please man and not God. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”-2Tim.4:3

3. They are evil in all that they do and say. “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.”-Jude.16

4. They come in the side door of the church, trying to sneak in, twisting the truth. “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”-Jude.4

5. They have a cold knowledge, but no life change. “If  anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has  an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain”- 1Tim.6:3-5

 It is urgent that the preacher look closely at his own life, to see where he stands. The work he does, needs to come from a converted life, those who are born again, who have the Holy Spirit, with the desire to please God in all they do. I will close this blog with a word from Spurgeon “How horrible to be a preacher of the gospel and yet to be unconverted! Let each man here whisper to his own inmost soul, “What a dreadful thing it will be for me if I should be ignorant of the power of the truth which I am preparing to proclaim!”

 


The desire of a Pastor

 “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”- 1Pet.5:2-3

 I preached my first sermon at New Covenant Baptist Church this Sunday morning. I was humbled and excited to proclaim the Gospel that God has called me to do. As I looked out at the people that I shepherd, I have a desire for their souls! How I want to be part of there lives! How I want to see them grow in the Lord! How I want to see salvation! It takes time to get to know people, but my desire is to pour my life into these people. How will I do this? I have to look back at the Scriptures to get my answers. And 1Pet.5:2-3 reminds me how. I see these four things from the text.

1.I am to Shepherd: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you.” This means I am to tend the flock, guarding them, guiding them through the teaching and preaching of the Bible (Jn.21:15-17). Watching out for there souls (Acts.20:28-30).

2. I am not to be lazy: “Exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you.” I need to see the importance of the call in my life so I never become dull and never hold back from doing God’s work (1Cor.9:16).

3. I am not to do it for the wrong reasons: “Not for shameful gain, but eagerly.” As I pastor, I am not to do it for the money, or try to take other people’s money, being dishonest. And I am to serve cheerfuly (1Tim.6:9-11).

4. I am not to be one who leads by manipulation or intimidation: “Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” I am to lead the flock in a way of meekness standing on the Word of God, leading the way by the way I live my life (1Tim.4:12).


How we ought to Think about God’s Providence by Thomas Boston

How We Ought to Think about God’s Providence

by Thomas Boston


1. Beware of drawing an excuse for your sin from the providence of God; for it is most holy, and is in no way any cause of any sin you commit. Every sin is an act of rebellion against God; a breach of his holy law, and deserves his wrath and curse; and therefore cannot be authorised by an infinitely-holy God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity without detestation and abhorrence. Though he has by a permissive decree allowed moral evil to be in the world, yet that has no influence on the sinner to commit it. For it is not the fulfilling of God’s decree, which is an absolute secret to every mortal, but the gratification of their own lusts and perverse inclinations, that men intend and mind in the commission of sin.

2. Beware of murmuring and fretting under any dispensations of providence that you meet with; remembering that nothing falls out without a wise and holy providence, which knows best what is fit and proper for you. And in all cases, even in the middle of the most afflicting incidents that happen to you, learn submission to the will of God, as Job did, when he said upon the end of a series of the heaviest calamities that happened to him, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” Job, i. 21. In the most distressing case, say with the disciples, “The will of the Lord be done,” Acts, 21:14.

3. Beware of anxious cares and fearfulness about your material well-being in the world. This our Lord has cautioned his followers against, Matt. 6:31. “Take no thought, (that is, anxious and perplexing thought,) saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” Never let the fear of man stop you from duty, Matt. 10:28, 29; but let your souls learn to trust in God, who guides and superintends all the events and administrations of providence, by whatever hands they are performed.

4. Do not think little of means, seeing God works by them; and he that has appointed the end, orders the means necessary for gaining the end. Do not rely upon means, for they can do nothing without God, Matt. 4:4. Do not despair if there be no means, for God can work without them, as well as with them; Hosea 1:7. “I will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” If the means be unlikely, he can work above them, Rom. 4:19. “He considered not his own body now dead, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” If the means be contrary, he can work by contrary means, as he saved Jonah by the whale that devoured him. That fish swallowed up the prophet, but by the direction of providence, it vomited him out upon dry land.

Lastly, Happy is the people whose God is the Lord: for all things shall work together for their good. They may sit secure in exercising faith upon God, come what will. They have good reason for prayer; for God is a prayer-hearing God, and will be enquired of by his people as to all their concerns in the world. And they have ground for the greatest encouragement and comfort in the middle of all the events of providence, seeing they are managed by their covenant God and gracious friend, who will never neglect or overlook his dear people, and whatever concerns them. For he has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” Heb. 13:5.