Saturday, June 16, 2012



It is right that we should revere Christian Fatherhood.
               It is fatherlessness that is at the root of our nation’s greatest social problems.  Scientific research, Sociological analysis, and Practical experience confirm that children without fathers are more likely to end up in prison, on drugs, dropping out of school, and having children outside wedlock.  That’s even true for those who have stretched the limits of credulity and thought that two “married” women were as good as a husband and wife.  The children of same sex parents are profoundly troubled.  Dr. Keith Ablow a certified psychiatrist released findings this week that prove the point.
               When fathers are refused their place of provider and protector, the entire family suffers. This week the Brookings Institution reported to Congress “Young people can virtually assure that they and their families will avoid poverty if they follow three elementary rules for success—complete at least a high school education, work full time, and wait until 21 and get married before having a baby.”  They found out that people who follow these rules have only a 2% chance of being in poverty and a 72% chance of joining the middle class defined as incomes above $55,000 .  For people who violated all three rules, their chances of being poor are 77% and their chance of making the middle class is 4%.
               I am absolutely convinced that Christian Father’s are a key part of the success of their children.  Mother’s of children should praise, and appreciate Christian fatherhood!  Children should honor, respect, and obey their Christian fathers.
               Men who come to Christ later are a tremendous example.  They can literally change history for themselves and their families. We are seeing that at FCC!  Praise God!

It is great that we admire Christian Fathers.
               I get weary of wives and mothers and children who do not appreciate their Christian fathers.  With all the pressures on men to “redefine masculinity” or to live life at the animal level, it is so great to see men who will stand up for Jesus!  I am so grateful for a wonderful Christian heritage—I’m a fourth Generation preacher of the Gospel.  If you are a fourth or a first generation Christian father we are thrilled!  You are to be highly commended.
               If you have a father who is a Christian, you should thank God and then thank HIM!  Make Him know how much you value and appreciate His help and concern.  If your Dad is human, your Dad is not perfect.  Yet He is worthy of your admiration. 
               It’s not enough to think about Him.  Tell Him you love him and appreciate His godly counsel, his loyalty, and his help.  And show your gratitude by your attitude and your actions!

And, it is good that we inspire (and insist) on Christian Fathers.
               For young ladies looking for suitable men to marry, you should not ever consider a non-Christian. 
For mothers who are married to men who are not yet Christians, you should encourage and inspire Him to follow the Lord Jesus.  For wives and mothers of men who are Christians, don’t tear them down—build them up!  Harangue is not holy.  An attitude of gratitude will accomplish far more than nattering nabobs of negativity.  My father in law says, “Brag on an idiot and watch him work.”  LOL
               Marry a winner not a sinner. 

Friday, June 1, 2012



TEXT:  ACTS 19:1-20
1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
And all the men were about twelve.
And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

KEY TEXT:  Acts 19:2 “…Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? …”

Like sparks shooting from a red-hot blaze the Spirit of Pentecost flashed and ignited tender hearts across the ancient world.  From the great capital cities—Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome—to the lesser known towns and villages, the Spirit-driven disciples displayed Christ and prayed that the Spirit of Christ would fill the hearts of those “hungering and thirsting after righteousness.” (Matthew 5: ).  Time after time their prayers were answered. 

They prayed in Jerusalem, and the Spirit was poured out upon them.
They prayed in Samaria, and the Spirit filled their hearts.
They prayed in Caesarea, and the Spirit fell upon them.

When Paul arrived in Ephesus he found nearly a dozen disciples who had heard of, believed in, and been baptized into John’s baptism—the baptism of repentance.  They repented, literally “changed their minds” about sin.  Transformed by the knowledge of God’s will1 John’s disciples were notable.  They…

+Prepared the way of the Lord, making their paths straight. (Matthew 3:3, Luke 3:4)
+Confessed their sins (Matthew 3:6)
+Brought forth fruit that evidenced repentance (Matthew 3:10)
+Did not consider themselves accepted by God on account of their ancestry. (Luke 3:8)
+Gave one of their two coats away to those with no coats. (Luke 3:11)
+Shared their food with those who had none. (Luke 3:11)
+Stopped over-taxing the citizens as tax collectors. (Luke 3:12)
+Shunned unnecessary violence, false accusation, and agreed to their wages as soldiers. (Luke 3:14)
+Followed John’s example, “he was a just man and holy” (Mark 6:20), And
+Endorsed John’s indictment of Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” (Mark 6:18).

Yet these sincere men did not have the “Spirit of Christ.” (Romans 8:9). Paul asked them, “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 19:2)  Writing from the perspective of a 21st century Christian their answer seems almost unbelievable, “we have not heard that there is any Holy Spirit.”

The Apostle Paul preached Christ to these sincere inquirers.  He urged them to believe in the Savior that John the Baptist himself taught was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  Right then they were baptized in the name of Jesus—literally “according to the will of Jesus”—and as Paul laid his hands upon them and prayed for them they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Like the disciples at Jerusalem on the first Christian Pentecost, they too spoke in languages and magnified God.

True disciples of Jesus Christ have the Spirit of Christ—the Holy Spirit.  It is this Spirit who convicts, convinces, and converts. It is this Spirit, the Spirit of Holiness, who sanctifies and satisfies. It is this Spirit who gifts and imparts fruit.  And it is this Spirit who finishes what He begins—sanctifying wholly the hearts of all who are walking in the light. 

It was not long until all of Ephesus was filled with the doctrine of Christ.  As sinners were awakened, the forces of evil were stirred. Converts broke with sin and burned their evil books. The same demons who provoked the possessed to oppose the Church, tormented the possessed to oppose themselves—“they ran out naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:16)

When the Spirit filled the faithful in Ephesus, the Word of God “mightily grew,” and “prevailed!” (Acts 19:20).  It is that Spirit we must have today.

1Repentance was defined as “knowledge that transforms by ancient writers

PRAYER: Our Father in Heaven, You made us to be your dwelling place!  For Thy great plan of redemption—to repair what sin has broken, to restore what Satan has robbed, to recover thy Spirit within, and to renew our love for Thee—we are eternally grateful.  We pray that the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead, would raise us up to walk in righteousness and true holiness.  May the Spirit of Pentecost fill our hearts, empower our churches, and transform our times.  Thou art able.  We are willing.  “Come Holy Ghost, We need Thee!”  In Jesus name we pray, Amen. “Our Father, &c.”