Sunday, November 16, 2014

20 Questions

What is the Bible about? Jesus

What do all scriptures point to? Jesus

What is the purpose of life? Jesus

Who died to set men free? Jesus

Who can save you from your sin? Jesus

Who is the only Savior? Jesus

Who was nailed to the cross? Jesus

Who is God? Jesus

Who is talked about in the New and the Old Testament? Jesus

Who is your Master? Jesus

To Whom will all knees bow? Jesus

Who's name do you need to call upon? Jesus

Who requires your repentance and faith? Jesus

Who can give you the gift of salvation? Jesus

Who do the Ten Commandments point to? Jesus

Who is the Creator of everything? Jesus

Who will return one day? Jesus

Who walked the Earth? Jesus

Who is the only object of Faith that matters? Jesus

What is the point of this post? Jesus

Do you know the Real Jesus Christ of the Bible?

Surgeon of the Day

It is not "The Lord is partly my portion," nor "The Lord is in my portion"; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul's inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for His portion, and we have chosen Him for ours. It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we shall never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing--

"Loved of my God for Him again With love intense I burn; Chosen of Him ere time began, I choose Him in return."

The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills Himself; and if God is all-sufficient in Himself, He must be all-sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man's desires. When he dreams that he is satisfied, anon he wakes to the perception that there is somewhat yet beyond, and straightway the horse-leech in his heart cries, "Give, give." But all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee." Well may we "delight ourselves in the Lord" who makes us to drink of the river of His pleasures. Our faith stretches her wings and mounts like an eagle into the heaven of divine love as to her proper dwelling-place. "The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage." Let us rejoice in the Lord always; let us show to the world that we are a happy and a blessed people, and thus induce them to exclaim, "We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sweet Psalm

"The sweet psalmist of Israel."


Among all the saints whose lives are recorded in Holy Writ, David possesses an experience of the most striking, varied, and instructive character. In his history we meet with trials and temptations not to be discovered, as a whole, in other saints of ancient times, and hence he is all the more suggestive a type of our Lord. David knew the trials of all ranks and conditions of men. Kings have their troubles, and David wore a crown: the peasant has his cares, and David handled a shepherd's crook: the wanderer has many hardships, and David abode in the caves of Engedi: the captain has his difficulties, and David found the sons of Zeruiah too hard for him. The psalmist was also tried in his friends, his counsellor Ahithophel forsook him, "He that eateth bread with me, hath lifted up his heel against me." His worst foes were they of his own household: his children were his greatest affliction. The temptations of poverty and wealth, of honour and reproach, of health and weakness, all tried their power upon him. He had temptations from without to disturb his peace, and from within to mar his joy. David no sooner escaped from one trial than he fell into another; no sooner emerged from one season of despondency and alarm, than he was again brought into the lowest depths, and all God's waves and billows rolled over him. It is probably from this cause that David's psalms are so universally the delight of experienced Christians. Whatever our frame of mind, whether ecstasy or depression, David has exactly described our emotions. He was an able master of the human heart, because he had been tutored in the best of all schools--the school of heart-felt, personal experience. As we are instructed in the same school, as we grow matured in grace and in years, we increasingly appreciate David's psalms, and find them to be "green pastures." My soul, let David's experience cheer and counsel thee this day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spurgeon of the Day: The Lord is Gracious

If:--then, this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race. "If:"--then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious. "If:"--then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is needful to enquire whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favour which may not be a matter for heart-searching.

But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content whilst there is any such thing as an "if" about his having tasted that the Lord is gracious. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to the question even in the believer's heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Saviour in the arms of faith, and say, "I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him." Do not rest, O believer, till thou hast a full assurance of thine interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy thee till, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with thy spirit, thou art certified that thou art a child of God. Oh, trifle not here; let no "perhaps" and "peradventure" and "if" and "maybe" satisfy thy soul. Build on eternal verities, and verily build upon them. Get the sure mercies of David, and surely get them. Let thine anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that thy soul be linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Advance beyond these dreary "ifs;" abide no more in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the Canaan of peace, where the Canaanite still lingers, but where the land ceaseth not to flow with milk and honey.

Do you know in whom you have believed? There are many misrepresentations of Jesus Christ in today's world. Read the Bible for yourself and pray that the Lord truly open your eyes. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How Do You View the Gospel?

When you hear the word gospel, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s a conversation with someone you meet on the streets or you think of a tract. Maybe even different forms of evangelism come to mind, like Lifestyle, Friendship, or Open Air Preaching. But what actually does the word gospel mean?

The word gospel means good news but good news of what?

According to the word carries these meanings; the teachings of Jesus and the apostles; the Christian revelation. The story of Christ's life and teachings, especially as contained in the first four books of the new testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Something regarded as true and implicitly believed: to take his report for gospel. A doctrine regarded as of prime importance: political gospel. Further defined as; the story of Christ's life and teachings as narrated in the Gospels

Let’s dig a little deeper now. If you had to surmise the entire Bible how would you do it? This is how I would describe it. The Bible is the progressive revelation of Jesus Christ and God’s promise of salvation.

Beginning in the New Testament this promise comes to life. Jesus Christ, God Himself in the flesh comes to Earth to bring the hope and good news of salvation to all mankind no matter a person’s race or nationality. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
So Jesus Christ while on Earth was the Gospel. He was the message of salvation. He provided the only way to Heaven, then and now. There may be many paths to Christ, but once at the foot of the cross, He is the only way to Heaven. The Gospels refer to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Why? It’s their accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only means of salvation for fallen mankind. It’s not the stories of each of these Apostles, but the story of redemption of man and God’s fulfillment of His promise.

In Romans 1:16 we read, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Then in Hebrews 4:12 we learn, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The gospel is the only means God has gifted to us fallen wretched sinners to bring the good news of salvation to all. The gospel is not only the Word of God, the gospel was God in the flesh. The gospel was Jesus Christ as He was the Living Word of God. This is not negated now that He rose Himself from the grave and now sits at the right hand of God.

In the Third Commandment we are told, ““You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” If to belittle the name of God, use His name as a filthy cuss word, or use His name to express excitement or surprise is a violation of this commandment, then what does it mean when we do this with His Word. Consider this, applying the previous to any part of the Bible, which is the written Word of God given to man, then that would be taking His name in vain as well. To twist scripture or use any part of the Bible or the gospel in a way that demeans the Creator’s Word, is blasphemy.

The Word of God is to be looked upon with reverence, holiness and awe. It is to be lifted up and treated with more honor and respect than anything or anyone else on Earth. We are told to love God with all of our hearts, souls, mind and strength. There is no exception clause in this. This applies to all aspects of God and His Word. The gospel is not only God’s way of salvation, but is the very Word of God, the fulfillment of His promises, the essence and very reason God came to Earth in the form of a man.

It was Spurgeon, who uttered these words. “Heart-work, carried out afterwards into life-work, —this is what the Lord wants. You may perish as well with true doctrines as with false, if you pervert the true doctrine into licentiousness. You may go to hell by the cross as surely as you may by the theatre, or by the vilest of sin. You may perish with the name of Jesus on your lips, and with a sound creed sealed on your very bosom, for "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall lie also reap." Now, if any of you belong to either of these four classes, I think you cannot help knowing it, and, being destitute of gospel holiness, you have good cause to bewail your character, and tremble for your destiny. But, to help you still further, brethren, that man is destitute of true holiness who can look back upon his own past sin without sorrow. Oh, to think of our past lives! There were some of us who knew the Lord at fifteen years of age, but those fifteen years of unregeneracy, —we can never forget them! Others may say, "We did not know him till we were fifty or sixty." Ah, my dear brethren! You have much to weep over, but so have those of us who knew the Lord in early life. I can look back upon God's mercy with delight, but I hope I shall never be able to look back upon my sins with complacency.” describes the gospel this way: The gospel is the singularly most important communication of God to man. In Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God’s love and sacrifice that saves us from God's righteous judgment upon sinners.

How Others Have Defined the Gospel

This is why the New Testament often defines the gospel as, simply, Christ. The gospel is the "gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 9:13; 10:14; Galatians 1:7; Philippians 1:27; etc.). Or, more specifically, the gospel is "the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4). And even more wonderfully, perhaps, Paul says that the preaching of the gospel is the preaching of "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the message from God to man delivered by the very Creator Himself come to Earth in the form of a lowly man. If we can take shortcuts with the word gospel when applied to the Word of God, we then are undermining and blaspheming the very God we claim to be proclaiming.

“There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel.

The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well-being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the Gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How the benefits of Jesus are subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.” R.C. Sproul

From John MacArthur: First of all, the first key word in the divine vocabulary of the gospel of Christ is that it is the power of God. The good news about Jesus Christ has power. The word is dunamis, we get our word dynamite from it. And Paul has in mind the fact that the gospel of Christ carries with it the omnipotence of God- The all-powerful God is behind it, operative in regenerating a person.

Now through the years, most commentators have said what this means is that you have a symbolic call to evangelism here. And they borrow it from that idea, from Romans 10:15. “Blessed are the feet of those who preach the good news.” Which is a quote from Isaiah 52:7. But Romans 10:15, “And the feet of those who preach the good news,” is not a verse to explain this. In the first place, that has nothing to do with warfare. That has nothing to do with shoes. That’s just saying to the people who hear the gospel will bless the people who brought it to them. Paul is not talking about going anywhere. He’s not talking about traversing any place. He’s not talking about taking the gospel to anyone. He’s talking about standing, not going. The issue is not evangelism. The issue is taking a firm stand in a battle against the devil as he assaults our lives. It’s like 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Stand fast in the faith.” The idea here is that our feet need to be equipped to stand firmly when the attacking blows come.

What is it that can allow the believer to stand unflinching, take his stand, never slip, never slide, never fall under attack, what is it that gives us a firm footing? It is having your feet prepared with the gospel of peace...The gospel of peace. What does that mean? Well the gospel of peace is the gospel, sometimes called the gospel of Christ, it’s sometimes called the gospel of God like in Romans 1. And here it’s called the gospel of peace.

What is the gospel of peace? It is the good news that you have made peace with God. That’s essentially the theme of the opening verses of Romans 5. Look at this Romans 5 verse 1, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be at peace with God? Simply it means that God is not our enemy, but God is our strength. And it takes you right back to Ephesians 6:10, “Be ye strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” It means He’s on our side. We stand firm because we know that we are in reality invincible.

John MacArthur goes on to explain, “He (Paul) refers to the gospel as the gospel of God. He calls it the Gospel of the Blessed God. He calls it the gospel of His Son, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He calls it the gospel of grace. He calls it the gospel of peace. He calls it the gospel of our salvation. But most wonderfully he calls it “My Gospel.” And then he extends that, and calls it “Our Gospel.”

What was his gospel? What is our gospel? What is the gospel of grace? The gospel of peace? The gospel of salvation? The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? The Gospel of the blessed God? What is it? We need to know what it is because it is that gospel which we proclaim. In familiar words to all of us, Romans chapter 1, Paul says, “I am eager to preach the gospel. I’m not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes, the Jew first, and then the Greek,” that’s chronological.

So what is it that he preached? What is it that he was eager to preach? What is it that he was obligated to preach? What is this gospel?

Looking at it negatively for a moment, you might open your Bible to Galatians chapter 1, and this is just by way of a brief introduction here. Galatians chapter 1 and verse 6 gives us a warning of the deadly danger of distorting the gospel. Galatians 1 verse 6, “I’m amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel… a different gospel.”

He says, “I am amazed.” The Greek verb there is thaumazo, it is used very often in the gospels of people marveling over the inexplicable miracles of Jesus. Paul literally finds it incredible that someone would abandon the gospel, or be drawn to a different gospel. Paul uses that word thaumazo for two realities. One of them is here, and the other one is in 2 Thessalonians 1:7 to 10, where he describes the return of Jesus Christ and what a marvel and a wonder that’s going to be when He comes in flaming fire and reeks vengeance on those who obey not the gospel.

So he holds this word pretty close to the vest, just letting it out twice. I’m amazed that you’re so quickly deserting, defecting from Him who called you. Here we’re talking about an effectual call, an internal call, a real call, and a call to salvation.

So what we’re talking about here is people who are called effectually, that is converted people who are being pulled away and seduced by another gospel. They’re being enamored. They’re being sort of mentally titillated by another gospel. And then he says in verse 7, which is really not another because there is no other gospel, only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. And then this warning, “Even if we… that plural pronoun that he likes to use when he refers to himself because it’s a more humble way to refer to yourself… we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be anathema.” Damned, devoted to destruction. Used also in 1 Corinthians 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be damned.” So the most important truth of all truth and all truth is important, all truth matters, but the most important truth is the gospel… the gospel matters most. So we’re looking at Paul’s gospel, which is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of the blessed God, it is the gospel of peace, it is the gospel of grace, it is the gospel of salvation.

Consider This

“Worship of the living God is serious business. It is not something to be trifled with or taken lightly.” ~ R.C. Sproul

While it’s true the Christian has liberty in Christ, it doesn’t mean the Christian has the liberty to take the Word of God or God’s gospel and abuse it, belittle it, make it relevant, or use it in a play on words. The only God honoring thing a Christian can do with the gospel is share it and look at it for what it is, The Holy Word of the Living God.

When I hear the word gospel, I think of God, His promise, salvation, hope, holiness, and His Son Jesus Christ born in the flesh to bring the only means by which mankind could be saved from their sin and Hell. I hear Heaven and the eternal blessing of worshipping God our Creator in holiness set free from any sin or distractions, to spend eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Christians look around and wonder what is wrong in Christendom, it starts with how we look at the very Word of God. God’s Word has never failed, it is those of us who profess Christ that have failed the very Word we claim to hold dear. We have failed in that we have not given the Word of God and His promises what it truly needs, unwavering devotion and set above anything or anyone else. In short, we have failed to keep his Word reverent instead of relevant. We have failed to keep His Word in Awe and looked upon with the utmost reverence.

There is something a Christian will never be guilty of, holding God’s Word in too much awe, reverence or looked upon with too much holiness.  Belittle the Word of God or the gospel in a way that does not honor and uplift His Word, and you have profaned His name, His Word and the Gospel of God Almighty.

Friday, May 9, 2014

You Can Learn A Lot From a Tornado

Growing up in the South tornadoes and bad weather is a way of life. While this testimony is not unique as many go through the same things, it’s my family’s story of the tornado outbreak on April 28, 2014. My hope is it will inform some that are not familiar with living in tornado prone areas and be a source of encouragement to others.

People living in our area are still a bit jumpy. It was exactly three years ago, plus a day that a tornado tore through about a mile from our home and small town. Our high school was destoyed during the mega-outbreak of 2011. If the tornado had wobbled just a small amount it would have come straight through our house. This was the same line of storms that brought about the tornadoes that destroyed Smithville, MS and towns in North AL that Ten-Four Ministries provided relief aid to local First Responders. Sunday night we got out our emergency weather bag, checked the supplies in it; (i.e. first aid kit, weather radio, gloves, flashlight, hatchet and short pry bar). We added a few bottles of water and emergency blankets. Thanks to our own KT during Sunday’s Cross Encounters Radio, she prompted me about using bike helmets. The kids rounded up what they had and put them in the closet. My wife and son placed an old mattress and pillows in the small room where we planned to take cover. During Sunday night we watched the radar and listened for updates off and on, then started that over on Monday morning. As Monday rolled along we started getting reports of what was coming. At one point, to the west of us reports of hail up to the size of softballs were coming in. Suzanne moved our vehicle under the carport. At this point it was pretty much wait and see over the next few hours. They declared a state of emergency in the area, let schools out, and the local news and emergency agencies were saying, “It's not a matter of if tornadoes were to hit but when and where they were going to hit.”
Later that Monday afternoon it started. The Tornado Siren went off three or four different times. We maintained a watchful eye on the radar. The first pair of warnings were in the extreme western portion of the county, the last warning and siren weren't. The line was headed straight for us. This time when the sirens went off Suzanne and the kids got in their spots, I grabbed some tracts and my Bible, turned the volume up as loud as it would go on the TV and got in the doorway. This small room is in the center of the home. Suzanne sat in there and the kids were in the closet, she was at the opening of the closet in the room and the pillows and mattress was piled around them. I was in the doorway to the hallway as my wheelchair would not go. The television reception kept coming in and out and I was getting tornado tracking information over Twitter. We had several friends and family that could not be reached to be warned, so we kept sending the warning information out over social media. You never know who you know, that may have someone in need of warnings. So when extreme weather strikes, do what you can to warn others. Even though the local news had been publishing warnings about the coming storms, those traveling through the area may have no clue. Twitter was big for this.
With the sirens still going off, the sky grew dark. The wind was howling and branches and small items from neighbors' yards began flying across our property. This was the line which ended up hitting Tupelo. After a few minutes, we could smell burning in the air and the sky became a strange red-orange color. We later learned a tornado touched down about 12 miles west of our house as it made its track north. Over the following few hours, a flood of warnings and damage reports came in from neighboring counties. A tornado hit the modest town of Louisville, MS which sent debris raining about 30 miles away. Starkville, MS reported insulation falling from the sky like snow. Debris of all types (i.e. boards, pieces of roofing, etc.) was also reported falling from the sky. Some cars were damaged by debris in areas not directly hit by a tornado. The outside edge of this line briefly brushed the county I live in, and another tornado touched downed about 8 miles to the east of us. After the damage assessment was done, we discovered roughly 11 tornadoes touched down within 30 miles of our home in every direction, ranging from EF0 to EF4.

Be aware of your physical location and surrounding areas. When warnings and bad weather approach, you need to know your proximity to other counties and basic information such as your proximity to the bad weather, North, South, East, and West. You would be surprised at the number of people that don’t know such.
Not to diminish in any way whatsoever the deaths from this outbreak, considering the damage and the number of homes hit, it was only by God’s mercy more were not killed. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed the death of a child that had been missing in Winston County, which raised the last total to 14 in the state as a result of tornadoes and severe weather on Monday. Damage was reported in 23 counties with at least 1,201 houses destroyed or that sustained major damage with, a total of more than 2,459 families affected. In addition, preliminary assessments have shown 87 businesses were destroyed or had major damage.

Some of the news reports from the area: In Arkansas and Mississippi, the hardest hit of six states struck by the storm, there have been 27 confirmed storm-related deaths and more than 200 people injured as tornadoes reduced homes to splinters, snapped trees like twigs and sent trucks flying through the air like toys.

"People were running around screaming, trying to find their kids. There was nothing left," Melba Reed said as she described the aftermath of a tornado in Louisville, Mississippi (a town of about 7,000 in the central part of the state).
The tornado that ripped through Mississippi's Winston County on Monday packed winds of up to 200 mph (322 kph), according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
LOUISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Ruth Bennett died clutching the last child left at her day care center as a tornado wiped the building off its foundation. A firefighter who came upon the body gently pulled the toddler from her arms.
"It makes you just take a breath now," said next-door neighbor Kenneth Billingsley, who witnessed the scene at what was left of Ruth's Child Care Center in this logging town of 6,600. "It makes you pay attention to life."
Bennett, 53, was among at least 35 people killed in a two-day outbreak of twisters and other violent weather that pulverized homes from the Midwest to the Deep South. The child, whose name was not released, was alive when she was pulled from Bennett's arms and was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not known.  
Louisville was also one of the hardest-hit areas, with officials reporting at least nine dead in and around town because of a powerful tornado with a preliminary rating of EF4, just shy of the top of the scale.

When WCBI asked Winston County Coroner, Scott Gregory if he could determine the cause of deaths, he couldn’t say. He stated he’d never seen anything like this.
“Some were found in the rubble. Under 2X4′s, under roofs, under walls. Some were blown out into open areas or what used to be an open area. Just a different location.”
WCBI also learned two of the victims were found approximately 1/2 mile away from their residence.
On Eiland Avenue, a day care center is destroyed but not before an infant and a toddler are snatched from the rubble to safety. “They were in the bathroom in the tub and when the house shifted, the tub went up and the caregiver lost the baby out of their arms. And when everything stopped, he found the baby and he just figured out that the others were okay. And he left walking with the baby after he found it to try to get to the doctor. Two babies still alive caregiver still alive. God is good,” said daycare provider Deborah Holmes
Winston County’s recovery efforts are being complicated by the loss of the County’s hospital. Temporary facilities have been set up at one of the hospital’s clinics on Main Street in Louisville. Medical personnel are still seeing all types of injuries. They are also helping storm victims who are having to replace prescription medication.

To read further news stories in regards to the tornado outbreak you can visit

I would like to offer a special thank you for WCBI News and their weather team. During the warning that was issued for the area where the WCBI studio is located, the weather team in their dedication, continued sending out tornado updates via phone and social media from the studio’s basement.

Growing up in the South and around tornadoes and hurricanes, I've seen many things. Pine needles stuck in trees like darts, scrap pieces of homes wedged in trees, a school bus placed atop a school, vehicles mangled as if they had been in a crusher. During Hurricane Katrina I saw the depravity of man and from the 2011 Outbreak and this tornado, God’s grace, mercy, love and the kindness and compassion of others. The town I was in post Katrina, I witnessed a man pull a gun on someone else for breaking into a gas line, National Guardsmen armed with M-16’s guarding bags of ice and doing crowd control at the distribution trucks. They were there because several people were robbed or stabbed over ice and gasoline. During the 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak, I saw a community put others first. People would go house to house asking their neighbors if they needed anything, if trees were down in yards, they were cleaned up by strangers donating their time and resources to helping others. In 40 plus years of living in the South and hearing stories about tornadoes and hurricanes, there is one thing I’ve never seen or heard. Someone climbing out from under rubble saying, Thank you evolution, thank you atheists or thank you science for saving me. They say thank you God, or it was a miracle we were saved or we were blessed to be spared. Times like that, no matter how hardened or depraved, a man knows he is nothing and that their survival is entirely by God’s mercy. God’s truth written on their hearts comes to reality for most. He is the Creator and as such is in control of everything that transpires on Earth.

How one Christian Family prepared
We prayed the night before for protection for our family and friends, for God’s mercy and for salvation to be granted to those around us. My co-labors in ministry, Michael Coughlin,
Chris Hohnholz and Tony Miano prayed for us as well. My family is grateful to all those that kept us in their prayers.  During that Monday with every touchdown reported, it left us with mixed emotions and with mixed prayers. While being thankful and grateful to the Lord for sparing us, we couldn't help but wonder and pray for those that were struck by the tornado. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of being so glad it didn't happen to us yet feelings of such remorse and worry for those it did directly impact. Throughout the day we continued to beg for mercy, blessing, redemption and protection for everyone in the affected areas and that God would be lauded in the tornadoes. That night after the all clear was sounded by the local news, we read and gave thanks to the Lord for His grace to our family and friends. We asked a special prayer to the Lord for those that were hurting and suffering due to the touchdowns and gave a word of thanks for the weather crew at WCBI. We ended by gathering together as a family and read out loud Psalm 100:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

And Psalm 46: 
God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, 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;

When most people think of tornado prone areas Mississippi is one of the least thought of states, but in fact, historically it’s one of the most active in Tornado Alley. Please continue to keep the relief efforts in your prayers. There is one thing that you need to take away from reading this. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. You may not live where tornadoes are a common occurrence, but you would be hard pressed to find any location on Earth that does not experience some type of dangerous weather. You know God lives because He has written His truths on your heart. If you were to be taken to Eternity 11 minutes after reading this, where would you live? Heaven is real, Hell is real. It doesn't matter whether you believe this or not, the only thing that matters is whether or not what you believe is true. God's word is absolute truth.

Jesus Christ is Lord!
He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. He was with the Father in and at Creation. All things—all things—were created by Him, and through Him, and for Him. Nothing has ever been made that was not made by Jesus Christ. He is the sinless Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. He is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who will judge both the living and the dead. He is King of kings and Lord of Lords. He alone is sovereign over all things.

He owns every person, just as He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and it matters not if, at present, the person is in wanton rebellion against Jesus Christ or one of His born-again, beloved children. Jesus owns it all. Jesus owns us and all we have. God is. God is one. God is Three in One—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—One God in Three Persons—the Triune One—the Trinity—God. And this God, for there is only one God, is the God before whom every person will one day stand to give an account for their lives. Because God alone is truly and perfectly good, He will judge each person according to the perfect moral standard He has written on every human heart.

Every person reading this knows that it is a sin to lie because they know God is Truth. You know it is wrong to harbor bitterness, resentment, and hatred in their heart toward another person because they know God is love. You know it is wrong to fornicate (to engage sexually with a man or a woman outside the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman). You know it is wrong to look and think with lust. You know it is wrong to commit adultery. You know it is wrong to engage in homosexuality, lesbianism, or whatever other kind of sexual depravity because you recognize God is Faithful. You know it is wrong to take the name of the Lord your God in vain, to bring his name down low and use it as an adjectival term of excitement, anger, sorrow, or fear, because you know God is Holy.

For the above reasons, and others, everyone who stands before God to give an account will do so without excuse. No one will be able to claim innocence or ignorance of breaking God’s law—whether in thought, word, or deed. Because God is good, because He is holy, righteous and just, He must punish sin. The punishment God has ascribed for sin, all sin, is eternity in Hell. It matters not whether you, the reader, believe this. What matters is that it is true. Truth is not determined by what one believes. God is truth, though every soul is found to be a liar. Truth is that which comports to reality, and any attempt to live life apart from the reality of God is to live a life of chaos, absurdity, arrogant denial, and sin. This same God—again, for there is only one God—who is angry with the wicked every day, whose wrath abides upon the ungodly, who will judge the world in righteousness, is the same God who is loving, merciful, gracious, and kind. And He showed His great love for mankind when He sent His Son to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ—fully God and fully Man, yet without sin.

Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin just as the prophet Isaiah declared more than 700 years before Jesus’s literal, physical birth, lived the perfect, sinless life you cannot live. For approximately 33 years, Jesus lived a life in complete obedience to the law of God—in sentiment, word, and deed—a life you and I could not hope to hold out for a mere 33 minutes. And then He voluntarily went to the cross. Yes, it was the Jewish people who hatefully and viciously demanded Jesus’s execution.

Yes, it was the Roman government that carried out the despicable act. But they were all merely instruments in the hands of another. For it pleased God the Father to crush God the Son under the full weight and fury of His wrath against sin. God the Father made God the Son, who knew no sin, to become sin on behalf of those who repent and believe the gospel so that through the sacrifice of His Son many would be made righteous in the eyes of Almighty God. In other words, on that great and terrible day God the Father looked upon God the Son as if He had lived the depraved life of a sinner and in exchange—a great exchange—God the Father looks upon those whom He has caused to be born again, to repent and believe the gospel, as if they had lived His Son’s perfect, precious, and priceless life.

Jesus shed His innocent blood on the cross. He died a literal, physical death on the cross. And He was buried in a tomb not His own. Three days later, Jesus forever defeated sin and death when He physically, bodily rose from the grave. And unlike every false god created in the imaginations of men—whether the false gods of Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oprah-ism, or Atheism (a religion like every other spiritual “ism.”)—Jesus

Christ is alive today and He will return at a time of the Father’s choosing.

What God commands of you, the reader, is the same thing He commands of me and all people everywhere, and that’s that you repent—turn from your sin and turn toward God—and by faith alone receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

You must come to God on His terms. God does not negotiate with sinners. God will not be bribed by your religious practices or what you may perceive as “sound works” acceptable to God. God will not weigh your “good” against your “bad,” for God does not see you or anyone else as good—good in keeping with His standard of moral perfection. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

If you do not read the gospel of Jesus Christ and see it for what it is, good news, it is because you love your sin more than you love God. It is because you love yourself more than you love God. It is because the love of God and the Truth of His Word is not in you. But if God causes you to be born again and extends to you the gifts of repentance and faith, which only He can give, then He will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. You will begin to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. You will stop presuming upon God’s forgiveness as if it is something you have earned or deserved. Instead, you will have the confidence, assurance He has forgiven you—not on the basis of any deeds you have done in righteousness, but based entirely upon God’s mercy, grace, and love. And why would God allow His one and only Son to die a sinner’s death He did not deserve in order to take upon Himself the punishment sinners rightly deserve for their sins against God, so that sinners could be forgiven and saved? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)

May all who read this who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior repent and believe the gospel while God has given them time.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spurgeon of the Day: Spring of Hope

Sweet is the season of spring: the long and dreary winter helps us to appreciate its genial warmth, and its promise of summer enhances its present delights. After periods of depression of spirit, it is delightful to behold again the light of the Sun of Righteousness; then our slumbering graces rise from their lethargy, like the crocus and the daffodil from their beds of earth; then is our heart made merry with delicious notes of gratitude, far more melodious than the warbling of birds--and the comforting assurance of peace, infinitely more delightful than the turtle's note, is heard within the soul. Now is the time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is favourable, we shall be blameworthy: times of refreshing ought not to pass over us unimproved. When Jesus Himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse His request? He has Himself risen that He may draw us after Him: He now by His Holy Spirit has revived us, that we may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold communion with Himself. Let our wintry state suffice us for coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring within, let our sap flow with vigour, and our branch blossom with high resolve. O Lord, if it be not spring time in my chilly heart, I pray Thee make it so, for I am heartily weary of living at a distance from Thee. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when wilt Thou bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! quicken Thou me! restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon His servant, and send me a happy revival of spiritual life! ~ Spurgeon