Old-time Pentecostal Preacher

boldly contending for the faith

New Home

Written By: oldtimepreacher - Jun• 26•14

Recently, I moved to a different city, actually back to the city of my birth, and into a new home. There is nothing easy about moving, nor is it a simple task finding a place to live. However, everything fell into place according to the Lord’s plan. Some might ask how I know it is the Lord’s plan that I am where I am? Simply put, I take God at His Word. It is written, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:27 NASB) Sometimes, the Lord speaks to us with an audible voice; however, I have discovered that many times the Lord tends to speak to us in ways other than with and audible voice. Many times we must pray, make the best decision possible, and trust that the Lord is indeed leading us in the paths that we must trod. If something is not within Lord’s will for us, the Holy Spirit will check our spirit.

So, I found myself moving into a new home. There is something exciting about a new home. What I don’t like is packing and unpacking. I am not sure if I will ever get unpacked. To be honest, I have a whole lot of “stuff” that I probably don’t need but still want. With time, I will probably get even more “stuff” that will have to be packed if I ever move again. Regardless of the headache that comes with moving, I like the new place, and I think my family likes it too. If only they will get all of their “stuff” unpacked as well, I would be a happy man.

There is one more move that I plan on making and that is to glory. In fact, it is the one move that I will not mind making at all. Our beloved Jesus promised, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 NASB) Concerning our blessed hope, the apostle Paul wrote:

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Corinthian 15:12-23 KJV)

I’d like to stay here longer than man’s allotted days
And watch the fleeting changes of life’s uneven ways,
But if my Savior calls me to that sweet home on high,
I’ll live with Him forever in glory by and by.

CHORUS:
O yes, I’ll live in glory by and by,
I’ll tell and sing love’s story there on high,
There with my dear Redeemer no more to die,
O yes, I’ll live in glory by and by.

I want to be of service along this pilgrim way
And lead the lost to Jesus as fervently I pray;
As day by day I travel I’ll keep Him ever nigh,
And live with Him forever in glory by and by.

The end I know is nearing, by faith I look away
To yonder home supernal, the land of endless day,
I’ll cling to Him forever, and look beyond the sky,
And spend the endless ages in glory by and by. (I’ll Live In Glory; J. M. Henson)


Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

My Tribute to the Fallen

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 27•14

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)

Yesterday was Memmorial Day. It is the one day of the year that we, as Americans, remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Sadly, Memorial Day has become less about the sacrifice of our fallen and more about the unofficial start of the summer. We tend to hear, “Hark the herald a three day weekend Memorial Day brings!” However, this three day weekend was only possible because someone died so we could enjoy it. We must not forget those who gave us our liberty; their sacrifice was to great for us to ignore.

Our beloved Jesus also paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Whereas those fallen soldiers paid the price for our American freedoms, Christ died for our freedom from the wages of sin and death. Therefore, in honor of Christ’s sacrifice for us, we ought to walk in the freedom He has offered us with His precious blood. His sacrifice was too great for us to ignore and live sinful lives.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

Walk On

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 22•14

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. (Colossians 2:6 KJV)

As I sit here writting today’s post, there are a million other things I would like to be doing. To be honest, I just don’t feel like writing today; however, here at the computer I sit. This do nothing feeling that I have towards writing a post today is due to the mundane of doing something every day. Regardless of what one does, there is a weariness that over takes them when they do the same thing day in and day out. This is how I feel with writing today’s article.

Spiritually speaking, we fall into the same lackadaisical mode with our walk with Christ. We tend to become road weary Christians. Whereas there are many words used to describe our relationship with the Lord, the term “walk” is probably the best used. We must also remember that it is not just a walk but a daily walk with the Lord. Too many people succumb to moral failure simply because they become weary in well doing. This lackadaisical attitude blinds us to the fact that it is a daily walk that we must undertake. There are no days off for our enemy doesn’t fight only Monday through Friday. Daily we must be on our guard.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

A Quick Stop God?

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 21•14

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.> (Psalm 46:10 KJV)

One of the things that I hate, along with everybody else in America, is waiting on a call from the doctor. First off, I hate waiting for anything! I hate it when someone tells me, “We need to speak, ” and then makes an appointment to me with me at a later date. My impatience is especially heightened when I am waiting on a call from someone like the doctor. I have often said that patience is a virtue that I don’t have, and I know that I am not the only one like that.

I am a product of today’s fast pace and instant gratitude society. The problem with this mentality is that it transcends to the spiritual as well. Impatient people tend to be impatient with God as well. As a minister of the gospel, I have witnessed man’s impatience with God first hand. Tarrying in prayer, is a foreign concept to them. The altar is not a place for them to labor in prayer before the Lord, rather it has become a quick stop, and yet they wonder why God hasn’t answered their prayers. The Lord is not a quick stop God, nor does He honor quick stop praying. If we are to meet with and hear from God, then we must be willing to tarry in laborious prayer.


But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

Prayer: A Lost Discipline

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 19•14

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16 KJV)

I love studying about the Civil War. It is one of my favorite favorite military history subjects. During the Civil War as well as preceding wars, it was considered a great priviledge to carry either the national or regemental colors into battle. There were two striking features for every standard bearer. First, standard bearers didn’t carry a weapon into battle, and second is that a standard bearer had a short life expectancy. The standard bearer was an easy target for someone with a rifle and thus the short life expectancy. However, every time a standard bearer would fall, someone would throw down their rifle and pick up and carry the fallen colors.

As a child of God, we are standard bearers for the Lord. However, I wonder if in our zeal for the Lord whether we have inavertantly taken on the characteristics of those standard bearers of old. It seems that in the process of time we tend to throw down our weapons in order to carry on for Christ. In our zeal to go forth carrying the banner of Christ, have we forgotten how to fight? Scripture tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV)

The way we fight and win spiritual battles is through fervent praying. I had a pastor that would say, “I must pray; whatever else I do, I must pray.” Sadly, prayer is one of the lost disiplines of the church. One can tell the difference between a praying church and one that doesn’t emphasize prayer. We loose spiritual battles when we fail to pray. Yet, prayer doesn’t seem to priority the vast majority of Christian lives. I, however, am in it to win it, and therefore, I must pray; whatever else I do, I must pray.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

Diet and Exercise

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 15•14

My foot hath held his steps,
his way have I kept, and not declined.
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips;
I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
(Jobe 23:11-12 KJV)

Recently, I went to the doctor for an annual checkup. Therefore, down to the lab I went so the lab tech could draw blood. TThe other day, the doctor called me with the results from the blood work. Things turned out somewhat like I expected. One of the areas of concern was my cholesterol. It seems that it was slightly elevated above where the doctor would like it. She told me that for now we would regulated with diet and exercise. Those are the two most dreaded words she could have mentioned to me because I love to eat and hate to exercise. However, I must do what needs to be done in order to stay healthy.

Spiritually speaking, diet and exercise are important too. First, our spiritual diet is of utmost importance. What are we putting into our lives? Some spiritually feast on junk food. They glutton themselves upon the things that bring pleasure to the flesh. However, the flesh is deceptive. It seems it always wants to feed upon sinful things. Sin might please the flesh for a season, but we must not forget that sin always results in death. Rather than feasting upon sinful pleasures, we ought to feast upon God’s Word. It is food for the hungry soul, and it will not lead us astray but rather down paths of righteousness.

We also need to exercise our faith. Sadly, we have fat lazy Christians sitting in the pews of our churches. We exercise our faith by living it and proclaiming it to others. The Word of God will lead us in paths of righteousness; however, it is our responsiblity to walk down that path. The Holy Spirit is not going to push us along in a spiritual wheelchair. The Lord expects us to get up and follow His leading. Scripture tells us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.” (James 1:22-23 KJV) In order to spiritually healthy, we must exercise our faith daily.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

Holiness

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 14•14

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14 KJV)

Recently, I spoke to some individuals who were in the midst of a Bible study. One of the individuals spoke of a desire to understand the principles the apostle Paul wrote to the churches about. His desire was not only to learn them but to live them. The question one must answer when looking to apply the principles setforth in God’s Word is how to, and yet to understand how to one must understand exactly what those principles are communicating to both us and the world in which we live. Fact is it is not as simply as just reading the Word of God.

At the heart of all Scripture is God’s standard of holiness for us. When the apstle Paul wrote of putting off certain characteristics and putting on others, he was communicating to the churches exactly what God’s standand of holiness is. Society in Paul’s day was much like ours today; in fact, since the days of Adam society has not changed at all. Scripture declares, “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21 KJV) Man has been running from God’s standard for holiness ever since Adam fled from it in the Garden of Eden. Man prefers to do his own thing and applying the principles of holiness in God’s Word is not on his bucket list.

Holy living is not something we stumble into, but rather it is something we choose to live. Holiness is a choice we make and that the Holy Spirit empowers us to live. If we are to apply those principles of holiness in our lives, them we must constantly rely upon the Holy Spirit’s leading. It is the Lord who leads us in paths of righteousness and delivers us from evil. Holiness is a life long endeavor that we must undertake. It is a day by day walk.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

What Did You Hear During Service?

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 12•14

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. (Ecclesiastes 5:1 KJV)

One of the programs that I like to listen to on XM radio is The Busted Halo with Fr. Dave Dwyer. One of the segments on the Monday show is “What Did the Man Say?” The focus of the segment is the lesson you, the listener, took from Sunday’s Mass. Whereas most Pentecostals tend to shy away from any and everything Catholic, I am not like most Pentecostals. I believe the the point at the heart of that Monday segment is just as relevant for Protestants as it is for Catholics. Therefore, what did we take away from yesterday’s church services?

Everytime we go to the House of the Lord, we ought to be ready to listen and hear what the Spirit of the Lord has to say to us. Although this sinful world might mock and thing us strange for believing that Almighty God will speak to us, the reality is He will if we will but listen. God speaks to His people in numberous ways; however, the reason we don’t hear His is because we either fail to listen to His voice or we are like the vast majority of people who believe He doesn’t actually speak to us. Yet, He will speak to us if we will listen.

Therefore, when we go to the House of the Lord, we need to do so with a heart that is prepared to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to us and to the church as a whole. Only a foolish man will go to church not expecting to hear the voice of God. It is the wise man who comes anticipating the Lord to speak to him everytime he enters the House of the Lord. The question we need to answer is: “Do we fall into the wise or foolish category?”

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

Going Deep

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 09•14

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. (Psalm 42:7 KJV)

I have a couple of things on my bucket list. The first, which I hope to fulfill sometime next spring, is going to Israel. I desire to walk where my beloved Jesus walked and see the land that He both called home and loved. When I think of Israel, my heart leaps for joy. I want to see where the Lord was born, grew up, taught, died, and rose again. To say that I am somewhat excited about the prosect of going to Israel is somewhat of an understatement. I believe every believer ought to desire to undertake a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The second thing on my buck list I began about a year ago. I desire to read the Bible in the original Hebrew. Learning Hebrew is no small undertaking as a soon found out. It is a very hard language to learn, and therefore, I understand that it will be a lifelong endeavor. Yet I also know it will be one of the most fulfilling endeavors I have ever undertaken. Within the past year, I have already learned a lot. I have come to see Scripture in a different light. I have found that our English language is very vague when communicating God’s love and commandments to us.

Within the past few weeks, I began to restudy the lessons that I recently took. I was somewhat taken aback when my mother said she would like to learn. I was able to copy off the lessons I took and set her upon the lifelong path of learning Hebrew as well. Maybe learning Hebrew is not for everybody; however, each of us ought to endeavor to understand the Scriptures better. We need to read it, learn it, and live it. When we read it, learn it, and live it, then we will begin to draw closer to the Lord. He is the object of our desire, and Scripture points us to Him.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp

Scripture’s Precepts

Written By: oldtimepreacher - May• 08•14

Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness. (Psalm 119:159 KJV)

One of my favorite stores is Mardel. It has everything a child of God wants from Christian music, books, art and knicknacks. I tend to gravitate to the Bible section. I have a lot of Bibles but could use more. In fact, I probably even open my own Bible bookstore with all the Bibles I have. Even though I have many Bibles, I still desire more. Some might say my desire to obtain more Bibles is due to my being a preacher, however, I believe it is due to my love of the Word of God. My desire for the Scriptures is much like that of King David’s.

The Word of God is one of two essential elements in the life of a child of God with the other being prayer. The problem the church faces is that we have an epidemic of Biblical illiteracy running rampant amongst the pews. Too many times the American Christian only opens their Bible during church. There are way too many dusty Bibles setting on the bookselves in Christian homes. What we need is for Christians everywhere to take their Bibles off the shelves and simply read them. This is also the first step to spiritual maturity and intimacy with the Lord, and it is an easy step. Whether one reads Scripture in print fashion or on their phone, we just need to read the Word of God.

As we read the Word of God, we begin to learn its precepts. This next step in one’s journey to spiritual maturity. We need to ask, “What does Scripture say about this or that?” Scripture says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105 KJV) It will guide our everyday lives if we will let it. In fact, Scripture touches on every aspect of our lives. Our prayer ought to be, “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.” (Psalm 119:27 KJV)

Finally, we need to live our lives according to Scripture’s precepts. Scripture says, “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. (Psalm 119:4 KJV) We are accountable to the Word of God. When we stand before the Lord and give account for our lives, He will judge us according to His precepts that are set forth in His Word. The problem many Christians have is that they try to fit Scripture within their belief system rather than conforming their beliefs to the Word of God. Scripture is very clear when it says, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89 KJV) Therefore, it is imperative that we live according to Scripture’s precepts.

Boldly contending for the faith–otpp