FWB Convention Sermon: God Is Faithful To the Persecuted

ImageOn Tuesday, 17 July I received the greatest honor and privilege in my ministry – preaching in our evening worship service at our NAFWB 2012 Convention.  Let me begin by saying, “Thank you!”  I was so very honored and humbled to be able to speak.  There are many people I would like to thank.

  • First of all, thanks to my wife Debbie, and my children Tyler and Kristen.  You guys have supported me 100% throughout my/our entire ministry and a simple ‘thank you’ will never be enough. I love you guys.
  • I would also like to thank our NAFWB Executive Secretary, Dr. Keith Burden and the Executive Committee for inviting me to preach.
  • I must also thank my Victory Church family for their prayer and support.  Many of them gathered at the church on Tuesday evening to pray for me and to watch the service, which was streaming live on the internet.  (Thanks also to the FWB Media Commission!)

It’s been said that we do not stand alone, that we stand on the shoulders of others.  I believe that is true and there were several shoulders I stand on. Here are just a few on the great men who have invested in my life and ministry over the years, in which I’m grateful:

  • Rev. Leonard Lindsey, pastor of Calvary FWB Church in Rutherford College, NC. Pastor Lindsey has been my pastor for many years.  He shared his pulpit and gave me my first opportunity to preach! He also has encouraged and counseled me throughout my pastoral ministry. As Dr. David Crowe would say, “Pastor Lindsey is one of my balcony people!”
  • Rev. Milton Hollifield, retired FWB pastor. Pastor Hollifield took my under his arm and introduced me to the North Carolina FWB Association. The very first person I met, at the very first NC State Convention I attended, was Brother Hollifield.  From that day forward He “shepherded” me through our NC State Denomination. Thank you Brother Hollifield.
  • Rev. Wendall Walley, President of California Christian College.  Before Brother Wendall became the president of California Christian College he was the pastor of Zepher Hills FWB Church in Asheville, NC. Just as Brother Hollifield introduced me to the NCFWB, it was Brother Walley who introduced me to our denomination of the national level. Thank you Brother Wendall.

My assigned text was 1 Peter 4:12-19, and my topic was “God Is Faithful to the Persecuted.” Many of you have requested a copy of my outline, therefore, I’ve placed a PDF doc of my notes on my podcast page. Simply visit my podcast, then click on the PDF or Adobe icons to download a copy of the sermon.

Click here to be directed to my podcast.

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Emotion or Will?

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Good Sunday morning! I was up early this morning studying and having my quiet time with the Lord, when I ran across this devotion from W.G. Evans in his book titled, “Daily With the King.” I immediately thought of my Victory Church family and wanted to share it with you.  I trust this will be a blessing to your day!

As a Christian, I invite a great deal of trouble when I choose to live in my emotions. God wants all His children to live in the will. The emotions are to my spirit what desserts are to my body-tasty but not substantive. The will is the “steak and potatoes” of the Christian life. Many times I will be confronted by a spiritual dilemma that can be solved only by an act of will. The Bible does not say, “Do you feel you should do this?” It says, “Stop sinning!” (see 1 John 2:1). If I consult my emotions I will never beat a path to righteousness, for, frankly, sin is very pleasing to the emotions.

One of the psalmists was delivered from a serious illness. In gratitude to God, he resolved to surrender his life to the Lord as long as he lived (Psalm 116:2). How did he implement this surrender? By an act of the will. The psalm describes five “I wills” that I would like to call (homiletically speaking) the “I wills” of dedication (vv. 2, 9, 13, 17, 18). No doubt this man had come through a soul-shaking emotional experience; yet he grounded his new direction on the right foundation-his will.

Many of the emotional problems that confront us today can be cured, not by counseling or preaching, but by the sheer act of decision. Because we do not decide morally, we stand under the reprimand of the Word of God for living selfishly. We have become emotional babies and cripples because we do not stiffen our spines and simply do what God has clearly commanded us to do! Of course, emotional illness must be recognized for what it is, and it must receive tender, loving care; but spiritual malaise due to spinelessness has only one prescription: I will do His will! “If you become willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19, Berkeley).

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).