Friday, September 27, 2013

"Times A' Wastin"

Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter-Cash sing a song entitled “Times A’ Wastin” that speaks about a couple noticing that “times a’ wastin” in their relationship and that they need to get a move on with their lives and focus on what’s important to them. Granted it uses little euphemisms popular in the type of songs that Cash and Carter-Cash sang together that detailed their rather interesting marriage, but their song speaks truth in the sense that time is slipping by quickly and we do not make time for the things that are important to us anymore. The question I have for you today is this: Since time is “a’ wastin” how can we better regulate our time that is reflective of both our spiritual walk with Christ and our daily lives in the real world?
In  Gordon MacDonald’s book Ordering Your Private World, MacDonald devotes a section of his book to the use of time in a Christian’s life. One of the chapters is entitled “Has Anyone Seen My Time? I’ve misplaced it!” While a catchy title, it was convicting to me because we all struggle with time management and have forsaken other tasks for the “more important” ones. In the book MacDonald opens the chapter on time with a story of a young pastor who approached him after a lecture where he had just concluded with a list of books he had just read. The young pastor ever eager to learn some tricks of the trade asked him this “Where do you find the time to read all those books?” This seemingly harmless question opened the door to the pastor’s private world where MacDonald was able to discover that this young pastor was disorganized in his outer world because he was neglecting his private world. This is not an uncommon issue for men in the ministry or even the most devoted believer because we tend to fill up our schedules with meetings, assignments, extracurriculars, events, etc.  Because of our busy schedules we often find it difficult to devote any time to our own personal walk with Christ. When we neglect or fail to devote time to our personal walk with Christ, we suffer in our ministries, our families, and even our own lives. This often leads to us to feelings of inadequacy and fatigue. We slowly begin to see our outer lives become more and more disorganized due to our neglect of personal time with God.
As followers of Christ we must develop a time to spend with God because everything else in our lives depends on it Believers both in the secular world and the ministry world understand that time management is crucial for their jobs and if they do not manage their time now, their time will manage them in the future. Spending time with God is the most important time that a believer can manage in their personal life. Christ was the expert on budgeting time during his 3 years in ministry. He was able to accommodate the smallest of children to the sickest of people he came across all because he knew how much time he had on this earth, and he knew that to be most effective he had to follow God in all work and deed. Christ budgeted his time when it came to discipleship and preaching. Even in the busyness of these demands, he still spent time with the Father. We must follow Christ’s example and budget our time effectively so that we do not let one of two things happen: Either we face burnout and pure disappointment in life due to a hectic and overfilled schedule, or we completely neglect our walk with God thinking that we can always make it up some other time or double up at the next quiet time or pray an extra 10 minutes longer. Both of these outcomes are easily avoided if we learn how to place importance on our personal time with God, and learn how to budget the rest of our time most effectively in a way that glorifies Him. No matter what we do in life, whether it’s a simple “Honey Do” list your wife may leave you on a Saturday or when preparing to preach on Sunday, budgeting your time effectively will improve your personal walk with Christ and leave you feeling accomplished with your day.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Cross Church School of Ministry

The Cross Church School of Ministry

A series on who we are, what we do, and why we do it

Part 2- Who is the Cross Church School of Ministry?

When I first heard about the Cross Church School of Ministry I was sifting through my Twitter feed and stumbled upon something that my friend Nick Floyd, pastor of Cross Church Fayetteville, had tweeted about a new ministry being put together by his father, Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor of Cross Church, and Jeff Crawford, former pastor of Grand Avenue Baptist Church of Fort Smith. What I came across intrigued me and almost instantaneously I replied to Nick and he directed me to contact Jeff Crawford about what was all going on. Two days after I had initially seen any information about the Cross Church School of Ministry I was meeting with the president of the school, who turned out to be Jeff, and I was listening to a vision that spoke to my very heart and soul. I came to see who the Cross Church School of Ministry is, and it's with that thought I'd like to share with you who we are and how we can totally and completely excel your ministry trajectory and equip you with the tools and skills that most seminaries are lacking in teaching the called men and women of God.

The Cross Church School of Ministry is a one-year residential ministry opportunity that will prepare you for life in ministry, life in your home, and living a life committed to the Gospel advancement worldwide. This is not something that replaces seminary education or undercuts it in any way shape or form, but it supplements it and expedites your ministry opportunities and launches your ministry trajectory to new heights. The Cross Church School of Ministry couples you with well trained, experienced, and tenured ministry leaders across all facets of ministry in a church where a mentorship can occur and thus hands on ministry experience. The vision Pastor Floyd had for the school began almost a decade ago when he began to ask the question "If God has used Cross Church to impact and send out so many when this was not necessarily our focus, what if we made it our focus? In short- what if we became intentional about raising up, training, and sending out leaders?" The summer of 2012 was the time for this vision to begin to take shape. Pastor Floyd recruited Dr. Jeff Crawford to head up the school as president, he began to formulate partnerships with several seminaries and Bible colleges, and missionary sending agencies, and by late spring of 2013 the Cross Church School of Ministry was being talked about in thousands of Southern Baptist churches not only nation wide, but world wide.

Upon learning of some of these details in late February I was instantly hooked so to speak. I had originally planned on attending The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary this fall, but God had something far better planned for my life. It took me less than two days of prayer and asking guidance from mentors that this is what God intended for me to do, and after those two days I called Dr. Crawford and told him I was sold out for the Cross Church School of Ministry. I was all in. Some people might question why I put all my chips into this one hand, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was doing and would continue to do amazing things with Cross Church under the leadership of Pastor Floyd. I knew God had a place for me there.

All this being said I know several people are asking how can I become involved? How can I send students there? How can I be in the school myself? Am I over-qualified if I have a college degree or even an M.Div from a seminary already? The answers to all those questions is a simple one best answered in this way: "The School of ministry will provide a unique opportunity for any young man or woman called to ministry and Kingdom service to gain practical ministry experience in the Cross Church setting. Students will come to the School of Ministry pre-college, during college, post college, pre-seminary, mid or post-seminary, or whenever in ministry to have classroom, mentorship and hands-on experiences preparing them as leaders for life, ministry, and Gospel advancement globally"(Taken from the School of Ministry website at ) In short it doesn't matter whether you are 18 or 24 or 50 you still can learn, and you still can be a part of what God is doing here at Cross Church.

Please visit our website and listen to the countless videos and read through the blog post of our students to get a first hand account of what we are about. I pray that God does a great work in your life no matter what season of life or ministry you are in, I hope to hear from you soon and tell you more about what God is doing in my life, and in the life of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

God bless,


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Cross Church School of Ministry

The Cross Church School of Ministry

A series on who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

Part 1-Why I chose The Cross Church School of Ministry

People in all areas of my life keep asking me this one question. Why? Why spend a year with Cross Church and not go straight into seminary or the mission field? I responded of course with “Why not?”. Why not give my life over to a multiplying, disciple making, Holy Spirit driven, Great Commission bound, Gospel preaching church? The Cross Church School of Ministry serves not to replace seminary, but to compliment the academic training a person receives with real life ministry instruction from a staff that has extensive ministerial experience led by a man who has the vision to change the world through the preaching and proclamation of the Gospel through equipping and sending men and women out to plant churches. I chose this route because I was called quite literally to become a part of it. I was introduced to it and fell in love with it on the very front end because I saw the vision God had lain upon Pastor Ronnie Floyd’s heart and knew that this was something that was essential for the success of my ministry and future church plant. My calling to this school was confirmed almost instantaneously by several mentors and men in my life. Men like Dr. Lynn Loyd, former Director of the University of Arkansas’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Dr. Nick Floyd, Campus Pastor of Cross Church Fayetteville, Steve Moore, Connections Pastor of Grand Ave. Baptist Church in Fort Smith Arkansas, and Brad Carr, current Director of the Baptist Student Union at Central Missouri University; all of whom have mentored me and played a huge role in my life in some capacity since coming to Arkansas 6 years ago as a college freshman. All of whom which told me that this was meant for me, that this is why God had called me to Fayetteville in the first place, and that this experience of a lifetime would forever transform my ministry trajectory. Needless to say I was sold on the spot and have known from the get go that God would do an amazing work through CCSM in my life this year. I have complete confidence and faith that God is already calling men and women to be a part of the next cohort of students for next years class, and I urge you to pray about and consider two things: “Am I called?” and “What am I called to do?”. If you can discern those two things and know without a shadow of a doubt that your life is meant to glorify God through Kingdom work then join us at The Cross Church School of Ministry. Your very life and the lives of the people you minister to may depend on it.
God bless,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to the grind!

Hey y'all! I am back at it! I had to take off from writing for a while due to different things going on in my life, but now that my year at Cross Church Springdale is officially kicking off this Sunday I thought it would be good to ease back into writing again and get ready for the weekly updates that I'll be posting every Friday as this year goes on. This summer has been super busy and enlightening and God has definitely revealed himself to me in so many ways. I want to thank you for praying for me if you have and ask you to continue to pray as I start work on Sunday and officially start seminary this coming Monday. It will be an awesome and Holy Spirit filled year, and I am excited to see how God changes me, molds me, and directs me. I will fill you all in on something that has been heavily weighing upon my heart this whole summer. Next year after my year with Cross Church I feel God is leading me to pack up and move to Boston, MA and begin preparations to plant a church there in the city or in its surrounding area. I've been in love with the city of Boston eversince I went there as a freshman in college during spring break and have felt God calling me to that city since then. I am excited and scared, grateful and in awe, but more so than all those feelings I am so amazed that God has chosen me and called me to do this great work for His Kingdom. I don't know all the specifics and I'm not sure at all how I will go about this, but I do know that my year at Cross Church will prepare me and my time with them spent as a North American Mission Board church planting apprentice will equip me with the tools and skills I need to plant in an unreached area in our country. Pray for me, pray for Cross Church, and pray that God does a great work not only in my life, but that He is magnified and glorified in all that is accomplished.

God bless,


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Preach the Word!

This past week and last weekend I was able to spend my time hearing and learning from some of the worlds greatest Evangelical Christian pastors that God has blessed us with in this era. Myself and a friend of mine attended The Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando, Florida from the 6th-10th, and during that time we experienced what I've come to call "theological overload". We heard from men such as Tim Keller the Presbyterian pastor and author from New York City and David Platt the Southern Baptist pastor from Birmingham, Alabama, and several other phenomenal pastors from all denominations in between.

The central theme and goal of the conference is uniting under the banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and putting aside all denominational ties and discrepancies and just focusing on the Word of God. I can honestly say that the goal of the conference was accomplished and that the message from the narrative Gospel according to Luke was successfully exposited and the Scriptures were preached with authoritative exegesis by all men who led us in worship. One thing did stick out to me throughout the entirety of the conference and it was through a book that was handed to me by the publishing company The Banner Of Truth Trust. The book entitled Preaching The Centrality Of Scripture by Dr. R. Albert Mohler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and it was by this book how I've judged the preaching that I heard throughout the course of the conference.

Dr. Mohlers book is outstanding and one that I highly recommend for your personal pastoral library, your churches library, or just as a personal use to further understand what preaching is all about. He first charges the reader to "think seriously and soberly about the task of preaching. As we do so, I would direct us to the text of Scripture, to 2 Timothy 4:1-5." As ministers, elders, and pastors preaching is essential to the teaching of the Word of God and essential to the growth of the local church and the global Church. Preaching is the food that congregations desire and need to further their spiritual growth, it is equivalent to the milk a newborn baby needs from its mother, and it is the teaching we receive from preaching that builds our understanding of intense and hard to follow passages in Scripture. Preaching is necessary and required in my opinion to understand who God truly is and understand His purpose for our lives as followers of Christ.

Dr. Mohler goes on to say in his book that there is a crisis within the church that is endangering the ministry of the pastor and endangering the ministry of the local church body through inconsistent, incoherent, and weak preaching "Might the true evidence of a crisis in preaching be instead immature and even ignorant Christians falling prey to false doctrine? Or a worldly church proclaiming an increasingly worldly message? Or confusion and secularity? Or a lack of discipline in our churches? Or the development of factions and factionalism? Perhaps such a crisis in preaching cannot be quantified statistically at all. What if such a crisis were more fundamentally evidenced by the substance of what we preach or fail to preach?" Obviously there is a problem with the way some pastors are preaching and the Gospel is not being communicated effectively and the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy are concerning just that. To preach only the Word and preach it effectively and clearly.

" I Charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teaching to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Here Paul charges Timothy his own son in the faith to remain diligent in his preaching of the true Gospel and always contend for the faith even amongst false doctrine and in times of rough ministry. Ultimately what Dr. Mohler and what Paul is saying is PREACH THE WORD! Dr. Mohler goes on to say that "The link between the preaching of the gospel and the preaching of the Word is indissoluble and unbreakable." this means that we must never distance ourselves from our preaching of the written Word of God and that we must always, always be accurate in our preaching. What we are preaching is not a new message, nor is it something that was fashioned by men "We are heralds, not originators. We are charged to preach a message we have received-not to invent a message that will be well received. We are to preach that which has been sent, delivered, and addressed to us, not a message that has been developed or altered." We are charged to always hold fast to the Truth with which we were brought up in and contend its claim as the Word of our Sovereign and Holy Maker.

This post is not meant to come across as an indictment against anyone, but it is meant to encourage and urge pastors and elders to PREACH THE WORD! After the week I had in Orlando amongst several Godly preachers I was encouraged and adamant about sharing the over arching message relayed to me! If you are offended by this than maybe you should examine your own preaching and teaching, maybe your aren't preaching the Word that God commanded you to preach. Maybe you are, and maybe you just needed to be reminded as to why we do so!

Therefore I urge you brothers to always PREACH THE WORD and always contend for the faith in which Christ our God has given us.

God bless,

All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway
Mohler, R. Albert. Preaching: The Centrality of Scripture. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002. Print.

20 Schemes

20 Schemes

Gospel Churches for Scotland's Poorest

What is 20 Schemes?

20 Schemes is a sending network that seeks out missionaries and church planters willing to do the Lord's work in the ghettos or schemes as they are called in Scotland through Bible clubs, planting churches, and urban-lower income housing districts.

Why Scotland?

What do you think of when you hear the phrase "unreached people group-primitive tribes of people living in remote depths of the jungle, or perhaps some nomads in the far reaches of the world? 20 Schemes was founded with the sole purpose of preaching the Gospel to the unreached people who number in the millions, who live in modern housing, and who speak English living in Scotland. These people live in or near urban areas and are plagued by demoralizing poverty, unemployment, crime, explicit use of drugs and alcohol, and prostitution. Scotland which is historically known for its abundance of evangelical Gospel centered preachers has now fallen into ruin and depravity from Gods Holy Word. 20 Schemes believes that they must lead out with the saving message of forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ as the answer to the staggering need among those living in the schemes. People do not change people, only the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change people.

20 Schemes was launched in the fall of 2012 with the purpose of planting and revitalizing Bible based, Jesus preaching, evangelical churches within twenty housing schemes over the next ten years. Their 5 points to doing so are as follows:

1. Identify 20 Schemes as priority areas
- They currently have seven planting opportunities within the first few months of existence, and five of them already have buildings/facilities for holding services.

2. Identify, where possible, church revitalization partners in those schemes
-They recognize that the work is hard, often discouraging, and sometimes even dangerous.

3. Recruit church planters, female outreach workers, interns, and ministry apprentices
-They realize the need for help and that it is urgent when fighting against Satan and the powers of the dark principalities he controls.

4. Develop church partners to support and resource our work in the shcemes
-They are called to faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they need support to achieve that purpose.

5. Raise up and invest in indigenous leaders
-Train up leaders amongst the schemes so that they may better relate to their impoverished kin.

I personally invite you to partner with and pray for my friends the Jackson family, specifically Jeff who is the father and husband, and the missionary being sent out by his church in Bardstown, Kentucky. Jeff has passion and zeal that I have only encountered in a few men to proclaim the Gospel akin to what Jim Elliot had when he gave his life up for the Gospel. I firmly believe in Jeff's calling and ministry and I urge you to pray for him and his family as they transition from living in the United States to moving to a scheme in Scotland and planting a church amongst the lost. If you would like to know more about Jeff and the entire Jackson family you can reach him here at or or at their blog at For more information about 20 Schemes you can go to their website here or click on the link on the left hand side of my blog.

God bless,


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Death, and why it matters

This week millions of Christians around the globe are preparing their hearts, minds, and souls for Easter Sunday and the worshipful experience to be had celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This week is also a time for reflection, sacrifice, and understanding of what Christ death and our own deaths truly mean.

These past two weeks have been rather hard for my family and I because we had to say goodbye to the patriarch of my mothers family. My Grandpa, Norman Wisely, passed away last Saturday at 2:30 in the morning and he met Christ for the first time in that exact moment. My Grandpa, albeit dead on Earth, was alive in Christ and experiencing glory and a glorified body for the first time! His death brought forth his new life with Christ in Heaven! Of course I was sad to know he would no longer be on Earth with us, but I was joyfully jealous of him because he was where any Christian would rather be right now in the presence of the Maker and Perfecter of our faith.

His passing spurned me to think on death and well this post is dedicated to my Grandpa and to the thousands of Christians who have gone on before him.

As the great Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said often "When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die", and we who claim Christ have already died in some ways. We have died to our old selves and died to the sinful passions that fueled us and have been reborn and awakened to the sweet grace that Christ gives us in salvation and new life. In his book The Cost of Discipleship in the foreword the late Bishop of Chichester G.K.A Bell goes on to expound upon Bonhoeffers quote and says this "There are different kinds of dying, it is true; but the essence of discipleship is contained in those words." Bells words speak on dying in a whole new sense that many Christians overlook in their own lives and I want to speak plainly to you now and break this down logically and biblically so you can truly grasp the nature of death, and why it matters.

Death is all around us, it is in nature, in movies and literature, it is in schools, hospitals, churches, businesses, and even within our own bodies. As I type this thousands of cells are dying inside my body and new ones are taking there place. Death is natural, emotional, physical, and spiritual and necessary. Death is not something new, but it wasn't originally Gods intention for mankind. Death is a product of sin and thus a separation between God and mankind. Death is not beautiful as some poets and lyricist may have you think, but it is not as gruesome as the authors of horror novels and screenplay will have you think either. Death is mysteriously dangerous and yet satisfying in more ways than none. Death as I said before is necessary, it is a payment for the live we have lived on Earth, and it has been fulfilled by the death of Christ on the cross.

The reason death matters is the Gospel. The reason death is important to Christians is because of how we as followers of Christ are no longer separated from God by the chasm of Hell. Death had to occur for us to obtain access to God. Death had to occur to atone for our sins. Blood had to be shed in a sacrificial way in order for sins to be forgiven and in order for death to be conquered. Death matters because Christ died for you and I so that we may no longer wander this Earth bound for Hell. Death matters because God sent His own Son to die for us so that we may be saved through Him. The call to Christ is to die because to truly call oneself a Christian you must have put your old ways to death and been reborn a new creation by Christ blood. As Paul the Apostle says in Philippians 1:21 " For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" To die is to gain eternal life with God and to live is to live out Christ through our lives here on Earth. We are called to do such so that when the time comes for our physical death we will have already been through one death and this time this death brings about eternity in Heaven. That is why death matters and that is why this week is most important for Christians because we are constantly reminded of the sacrificial death of Christ and the life that He brings.

God bless,


All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Apologies and intro into death, and why it matters.

Forgive me for being absent for a few weeks. There have been several things happening in my life and the life of my family that required me to be free at a moments notice and it kept me from thinking about what I should write next. I do apologize for the absence and I would like to let you know that I am currently working on a series over Death, and why it matters. It should be very exciting seeing as how it is Easter week, and how death is very important to our Christian faith and doctrine. Well look forward to a post soon. Pray that God grants me the correct words to use and that the message of the Gospel is not clouded by my ramblings.

God bless,


Friday, March 8, 2013

Purposeful life with Christ

Recently I re-read David Platts Radical and I was instantly challenged like I hadn't been before about how many times I've focused on attaining materialistic pleasure and the desires of the flesh. I was shocked at how deep my sin went and it didn't take much introspective searching to see that I'd offended God just as the vilest offender and murderer could.

Now as a student of the Word I understand that God does not judge sins differently, but that He judges all sins impartially and equally because He sees all sin as rebellion against Him and His will for our lives. I though as a human judge sin differently and in my mind I am right, but no I am never right when judging sin because I have no authority to judge the sins of man. You may be thinking I'm chasing a rabbit right now, but as every good Baptist preacher does I have a point to this. The focus of David Platts book was to challenge the Christian in the church and force him/her to search within their hearts and discover how to follow Gods will and live a life worthy of the calling God ordained them with. The point I'm making is that I have begun to judge my sins and I am no more worthy of salvation than anyone including the murder, thief, and adulterer, but God has granted me grace and salvation through Christ Jesus. Now after searching my own life and looking at my own walk with Christ Jesus I have realized I'm severely lacking in my prayer life, in my giving of tithes and time, and in making disciples.

To amend this and to live my life as Christ has commanded me to and to honor the sacrifice that He willingly gave Himself up to be for me I am taking the "Radical Experiment"that Platt speaks of in his book:

The Radical Experiment
  1. Read through the entire Word
  2. Commitment your life to a multiplying community
  3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
  4. Spend your time in another context
Now I will do all these things and challenge each and every one of you to do so as well.
Reading through the Word in a year is easy, now reading it in a year twice is going to be harder, but I feel like God demands my time and His Word deserves to be read thoroughly and discerningly. My life is committed to a multiplying community right now through FBC Fayetteville, but in the summer I will be starting a new season of life with pursuing my passion to plant churches and share the Gospel by working with Cross Church and the staff that Dr. Floyd has brought together. This will be challenging for me, leaving my home church that has poured into me and loved on me since my freshman year of college, but God has other plans for my life and I must follow His call. Sacrificing my money for a specific purpose is hard as a post-college bachelor, but one thing I do love doing is mentoring and discipling younger men and youth through meeting with them and sharing life with them. I do this a lot by grabbing dinner with guys, getting coffee, cooking out, and just doing life. Now all of that requires money and I give it generously for their betterment and for the betterment of my own spirit. Spending time in another context is very easy for me because I do love serving in the mission field and I do enjoy giving up weeks upon weeks to share the Gospel with an unreached people group or just pouring into college students in China. I have a huge passion for missions that cannot be quenched by just one week out of the year. It has to be continually fed by constant missional living and constant reliance on God.

That's the challenge and in a year you and I both will be more blessed than we possibly could have imagined beforehand.

God bless,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Malachi: First comes The Smack Down, then comes Jesus

Malachi: Jesus

Part 4 of a 4 part message on Gods Justice and Redeeming Grace

Well to start things off I apologize for the break in writing. I came across some writers block and just decided to take the weekend off and finish on Monday, and well today is Monday so lets get started. As I write this I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop in Fayetteville that is run in part as a ministry through New Heights Church here in Fayetteville. Their coffee is amazing and it comes from an orphanage/coffee plantation in Guatemala run by an old lady named Mama Carmen. She has such a love for the children who are fatherless and motherless and opens her home to them and teaches them about the Father and about the Son and how they are truly never along. Today's message is dedicated to Mama Carmen and the ministry God has provided for her to pursue during her time on this earth. God bless you Mama Carmen, praise God you are a faithful follower and sister in Christ.

Well last week I wrote about the Smack Down and how God justly judged Israel and her priest for the intolerable acts that they committed against God. Today on the other hand is the promise of redemption, the promise of grace, the promise of the Messiah to come, the promise of Jesus Christ himself. Although not mentioned by name Christ is the main focus of the fourth and final chapter of Malachi. Lets take a look at it, shall we?

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.  “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Wow! All I can say to that is God is good all the time! "But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.....And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet" I mean God is promising you and I that whose who believe in Him will see Christ, will see the Day of the LORD, will see redemption from sin. That's incredible, and along the way the wicked will be trampled by our feet because we are sharing the good news of Gods redeeming grace. I mean how awesome is that!! It's not that we deserve it either, God is blessing us with this gift, this merciful God whom we trust in is giving us a way out from sins persecution and hold on our lives. It's just incredible to think about. God is promising the destruction of those whom go against Him and the redemption of those who love Him. It's the perfect example of Gods duality as Judge and Savior. How He is able to discern those who follow Him and those who ignore Him. Malachi also states that we(those who follow God) will be healed, we will be like "calves from the stall" leaping and rejoicing for our salvation is at hand. We will stand amazed at the wondrous doings of God and how He is redeeming the nations through His Son. "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction." God is saying here, Look out for my messenger, look out for my prophet, my reckoning upon this world. He is giving us a warning to be ready, to draw near to Him, to make sure we are being faithful and following His statutes. It's not hard to discern that this is speaking of the day of John the Baptist coming and bringing forth the message of Christ. It's easy to see how the Gospel is just overflowing here in the end of Malachi, how God is offering redemption and grace through faith in Him. That's the message of Jesus, that's the Gospel of Christ!! Malachi says that "Elijah" will turn us back to Him, will turn us back to our Father in Heaven! God wants us, He loves us, He wants us to be with Him!!! That's just a powerful statement from our Creator. I mean knowing that God loves me and wants me to be in fellowship with Him just makes me break down and weep at times, because I am worthless compared to God. I am nothing compared to my Savior, yet God still wants me, He still finds worth in me, and loves me out of His compassion and desire for me to know Him. That's an amazing thing to know and meditate on. My King wants me. Think on that and watch this video.

This is the message of Malachi, the Bible, and the Gospel. This is the Redeeming Grace, the Salvation, the Fellowship that God brings us into when we deny ourselves and follow Christ, His one and only Son. It's indescribable, incomprehensible, yet so easy to understand at the same time. God loves us and desires to be in fellowship with His creation because it's why we were created. Adam and Eve may have messed things up for us for a while, but God sent Christ to redeem us and He has come and He will reign no matter what we may do to try and reject Him. When the Holy Spirit and God call you cannot do anything but respond to Him by giving your life to Him. Jesus is the recovery, redemption, salvation from the Smack Down, and I so desire for you to know Him the way that I do. My prayer is this, that you may search your heart and soul and seek forgiveness for rebelling against God and deny yourself and follow Christ, you will be blessed my friends for doing so. I know I have been and continue to be blessed each and every day.

God bless,


All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway

Friday, February 22, 2013

Malachi: FIrst comes The Smack Down, then comes Jesus

Malachi: The Smack Down

Part 3 of a 4 part message on Gods Justice and Redeeming Grace

Yesterday we looked at Malachi chapter two and how God dealt out judgment upon judgment on Israel and her priest. We looked at the injustices that we covered on Wednesday and sought the reasons as to why God did what He did to Israel. The priest if you recall decided it was better to barely scrape by and give God the second, third and fourth best as an offering rather than give the first fruits, the choice lamb upon the altar of God. As you recall God did not take too kindly to this offering and He threw it back into their faces as it tells us in chapter one ““I have no pleasure in you”, says the LORD of host, “and I will not accept an offering from your hand””. God does not accept an offering from the Israelites because of their disobedience, and today we will look into the further injustices Israel has and is committing against God. Let us begin.

Malachi chapter three opens up with this dialogue from God concerning the messenger from God ““Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” Two things I can immediately point out to you here are A. The messenger of the covenant is referring to John the Baptist, B. The message is that of the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. Compare this text to words spoken by Jesus in Matthew chapter ten verse eleven “This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’” We find that Jesus is in fact saying that John the Baptist fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy about the coming of the messenger and his message you ask? The message is that of Christ making himself known, coming into the world. The message is that of the new covenant replacing the old covenant, because obviously it wasn’t working for the Jews of Israel. The man who “will sit as a refiner and purifier” is Jesus, He is the only person qualified to cleanse men and women of their sins. Christ will purify “the sons of Levi….and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord”. Malachi is telling us that God is sending Jesus to heal the affliction of sin and disobedience and that He is coming soon. The messenger has been chosen and the message is at hand. John the Baptist is coming soon to bring about the good news of redemption in Christ and Jesus is coming soon to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah, the new covenant. God then goes on to tell us through Malachi that the offerings will again be pleasing to Him once Christ comes to redeem Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. God is promising the redemption to Israel even though they continue to disobey His commands. How amazing is our God? He is loving and just in His will and ways. He is constantly giving man the chance to pursue Him, seek Him out, and draw ever close to His side. The term God is love gets tossed around too often these days I think, but here it is explicitly applicable because God in His infinite wisdom, grace, mercy,  and love defies all kings, emperors, conquers probably responses to disobedience and disloyalty by offering His children a way of redemption. That is just incredible to ponder and talk about with anyone. So for today only I will cave and say God is love.

Later on in the chapter we see God communicate through Malachi this discourse on how He is being “robbed” by the Israelites and how they can once again receive blessings from Heaven. Verse six goes as follows “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.” Okay now this passage is actually pretty easy to understand once you break down one key indictment against Israel that God imposing Israel with. God is telling Israel that I am being robbed by you, and Israel has no idea what God is talking about(as usual). God is referring to the fact that Israel is not giving Him their best, and this is in fact robbery. I look at it this way, if I were to say to God “Father you’ve commanded me to bring tithes and offerings to you, well I’ve earned $100,000 this year and I know you demand 10% but I’m going to give you 1% and use the rest for me”, now God would have every right to say that I am robbing Him of what is owed to Him. In fact everything I earn belongs to God because it is His to begin with, and this is the point He is making with Israel and their lack of adhering to the Law. They owe everything to God and all He asks in return is obedience, faith, loyalty, and a pure offering(honestly not a whole lot considering God is the Maker of the Universe) God then tells the Israelites that if you do bring me what I deserve than you will be blessed, I will remove the curse, I will keep the “devourer” at bay and I will not “destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear”. God clearly wants to provide for Israel and all they have to do is trust and obey in His command. You think that it would seem clear to Israel by now that if they only just obeyed the covenant set forth by God to Abraham than they would be blessed and overflowing with bountiful gifts from God. What can you take away from this passage? Well do what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew chapter twenty-two verse twenty-one “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” We must give to God which is already His and for ourselves rely solely on His provision. Israel just couldn’t quite grasp that and even in the New Testament where Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees in the context of the scripture above they still didn’t have it figured out. Hopefully we can learn from their mistakes.

Wrapping up chapter three we come across a small passage where God talks about remembering those who serve him in reverent fear and love. Starting in verse sixteen “Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” God knows who honors Him, God knows who loves Him, and God knows who fears Him. Is it that hard to understand that God will only admit those into Heaven who believe in Him and faithfully follow Him? Here God is reminding Israel that those who are “wicked” will not receive His blessing. They will only inherit death and destruction. They will never venture into Paradise in fellowship with their Father. That’s a scary indictment and something we all as Christ followers need to keep in mind. Several people who call themselves Christians because of the church they go to or the Christian things they say and do will never enter Heaven because they truly never admitted their sin and truly never followed Christ commands. We as followers of Christ must constantly witness to our own because we never know what words of Truth we speak will affect someone’s eternal soul. God is calling on us all to step up to the plate and change our lives to pattern them more like Christ (ergo His own life). I leave you with this question for the day, and it’s one I’ve asked before. What are you doing to follow and serve God, and do you know where you stand with your Father in Heaven?


God Bless,


All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV)
published by Crossway


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Malachi: First comes The Smack Down, then comes Jesus

Malachi: The Smack Down

Part 2 of a 4 part message on Gods Justice and Redeeming Grace

Yesterday I discussed how God was angry with Israel for offering the worst they could offer. The very bare minimum of what they had to the God who created them. They were barely scrapping by adhering to the covenant forged between them and Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. God had a right to be angry because we all know that God deserves our best due to the fact that He created us, molded us from dirt and dust, and forged us in the likeness of His image. I am not surprised at all for a minute that God is judging Israel for what they did because to this day we as Christians continue to offer him "lame sheep" upon the altar, we as Christians do not give God our full attention and obedience that our Father deserves. Well today I'm going to talk to you about the further injustices done by the Israelites and mainly the men who are in the priesthood, and how God in response rebuked them and cursed them. So sit back, open up the Word, and lets get to it.

Right off the bat in Malachi chapter two verse one we see God is definitely not finished with Israel "And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. " Okay so God is really stressing the "give honor to my name" point because A. He is due all the honor and glory, and B. He's LORD of all, Jehovah, Yahweh. He is our Father, our Creator, our God. He deserves it. I cannot stress that point enough, and it may seem that I'm repeating myself(which I am), but I need to hammer this point home to you. God demands respect, loyalty, fealty, however you wish to say it. God deserves nothing but the utmost allegiance because He is God.

Moving on in the verses above we see God cursing Israel and her blessings, He will "spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offering" that's some very vivid language and it gives you the idea that God is not fooling around. He is fed up with the way Israel is acting. God is going to and has already cursed the blessings of Israel, that means even the blessings they have received from Him before all this are now cursed, and all the blessings afterwards will be cursed. It's kind of like what God did to King David and the child he first conceived with Bathsheba. If you do not know the story or are rusty with your Old Testament history allow me to direct you to the scriptures I'm referring too. Second Samuel chapter eleven "In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” and now comes the good part, the part where God sends a man to rebuke King David in the next chapter "And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped." You see God blessed David with a child, but He also cursed the child to death because of the sin David had committed with Bathsheba against Uriah the Hittite. God gave him a son then took him away because God is just in all that He does, He is righteous in all that He does, because He is God. Israel knowingly or even unknowingly was defying God by offering impure sacrifices to God so what does He do, He curses their blessings and justly smears them(figuratively or literally I've no idea) with the dung of their impure offerings. God is pretty much saying I think this highly of the offerings you've given me and I rebuke you and say you are worth this much if you believe me to be a fool enough to accept it. I AM GOD! That's what God is telling Israel. He's throwing the offering that they thought they could get away with right back at them, and curses them to boot. This is all in the first three verses!!

Malachi goes on to report in verses four through nine "So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” God is reminding the priest of Israel the covenant that He made with Levi and how Levi stood in reverent fear and awe before God and honored Him without question. The priest have gotten away from this, they've turned aside from God and sought new teachings, they've led others astray from the path of God and corrupted the agreement, the covenant with Levi originally made hundreds of years beforehand. The priest have been teaching a new doctrine, a new way of offering to God that is foolhardy and deadly to the people of Israel. So God does what He knows He must do, He despises them, He deals out judgement upon judgement and belittles the priest in front of the people of Israel because in reality by corrupting the covenant with God the priest have done the same. They've made God out to be some kind of puppet on a string, bending to the will of man. God had every right to do what He did. As Christians we must always be on the look out for men and women both who are corrupting the Word of God with their own teachings, with unbiblical practices, with words that may sound pleasing to the ear, but are entirely a death trap of sin. We must not be like the priest of Israel, we must make much the name of God and promote Him and His True Gospel, His True Word. We must not rely on our own intellect to get us by, but rely solely on the knowledge of God and the wisdom He has given us through the sixty-six books we call the Bible.

Malachi goes on to tell the people of Judah in verses ten through sixteen to remain faithful because abominations have been committed by Israel and Jerusalem, turn aside from you sinful nature and do not conform to the worldly views and norms(all a paraphrase mind you). God is demanding Judah to not be faithless but to seek the light, seek the Truth that they already know in their hearts. He is commanding Judah to distance themselves from the "foreign gods" of the women that they have married themselves into and to cast out the sin in their lives and return back to Him. God wants us to worship Him and love Him and honor Him, but how can we do so when we hold things above Him? How can we approach the throne of Grace, Mercy, and Truth when we envelop ourselves in deceit, sin, and anarchy from the One True King. God says "guard yourselves in spirit, and do not be faithless" we must have faith in God and just like Israel was lacking faith, just like Judah was lacking faith so are so many Christians in today's world are lacking faith in God to provide, comfort, heal, protect, and guide us in His perfect will. Gods judgement is at hand for Israel and for us, there will come a day when we are all before the throne of God and He will turn people away because they did not know Him although they may have called out to Him "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ " The Gospel of Matthew is quite clear on this in chapter seven verses twenty-one through twenty-three. Judgement is coming and you must truly know the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit to be in Heaven with Him. You must rely solely on God to be admitted into Heaven.

I leave you with this question. Where do you stand with God, do you know Him, do you know His Son, do you faithfully follow Him and His commands?  Tomorrow we will move onto chapter three of Malachi and discuss who the Messenger of God is, how Israel(and we as Christians) have robbed God, and the people whom God will remember.

God Bless,


All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Malachi: First comes The Smack Down, then comes Jesus

Malachi: The Smack Down

Part 1 of a 4 part messgae on Gods Justice and Redeeming Grace

"The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi", well one would think that only good things could come from an oracle of God. I mean Abraham and Sarah were approached by an angel of the LORD bearing news that Sarah was to conceive a child in her old age, something they wanted for such a long time. God sent Gabriel to Mary to tell her the good news that she had been found righteous and worthy to give birth to the Son of Man, and before that even occurred her cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah received news from Gabriel that they too would soon give birth to a son named John. That's all good news. Even the shepherds on the hill overlooking Bethlehem received good news from a whole host of angels proclaiming "Good tidings of great joy to be for all people" about the birth of the Messiah. So from this evidence one would think an oracle from the LORD is a really good thing, something that announces good news. I'm about to rock your idea of an oracle of the LORD, well God is doing the rocking, I'm just a vessel being used by Him.

In Malachi we read the message of an oracle that appeared to the prophet Malachi who was sent to the Israelites to pretty much tear them down and tell them that God was pretty angry with them and that He demanded respect, because well He's God and in being God we owe Him our unyielding allegiance and obedience. Well on with the smack down.

Malachi starts off by the oracle reporting to Malachi to tell Israel that He still loves them, but that He is becoming displeased with them. God says "I have loved you, but you say how have you loved us? Was not Jacob Esau's brother"declares the Lord, "Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated, I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert". Honestly that sounds like God loves Israel(Remember that Jacob and Israel are used interchangeably by God), and it sounds like God isn't too angry just yet. It sounds like He's angry at the other side of Jacobs family, at Esau's descendants, but He's just laying the groundwork for some serious accusations that Israel needs to answer to, and soon. Malachi chapter one verse six starts off as such "A son honors his father and a servant his master. If then I am a father where is my honor? And if I am a master where is my fear? says the LORD of host to you, O priest, who despise my name. But you say 'How have we despised your name?' By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say 'How have we polluted you?' By saying that the LORDS table may be despised..." Whoa...what happened you ask, well Israel done messed up is what happened. They thought that they could get away with offering dirty, poor looking, sickly animals to the LORD of Heaven and Earth and get away with it. I mean who do they think they are? Does God not deserve our best? Don't you think they would remember what happened to Cain when he offered measly old vegetables to God as an offering. Doesn't God require blood to atone for sins? Doesn't God give them the Law through Moses? You think that they would remember these things, well they kind of backslid on this and figured just any old lamb, goat, either lame or sick would do. Well it just doesn't.  Lets continue on in verse ten "Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire upon my altar in vain!(Gods angry)I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of host.  But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations." Yeah I think God's really angry here, and He has a right to be for one huge reason. Israel was disobedient. Israel tried to get by, by just offering the leftovers, the scraps, and God of Heaven deserves the freshest cut, the purest offering imaginable.

Tomorrow I'll continue on The Smack Down and why God was angry at Israel. Be praying and searching your own heart. Ask yourself "Is there something I'm not offering to God that isn't pure and worthy of Him?"

God Bless,


P.S. Be sure to check out the links on the side of my blog, the information is priceless and can only help you further your understanding of God and how He is always relevant no matter the circumstances. Also I've posted links to mission opportunities and how you can become involved whether you are single, married, retired, in high school, or college. Whatever season of life you're in God can use you.

All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway

What are we called to do?

As a Christian I'm often asked what it is I do, and why is it I do it. Well when people ask that question they have no idea how simplistic the answer really is going to be. They think they're going to get some long drawn out theologically challenging answer, when really it's quite simple. I make disciples because Jesus told me to.

Now some of you may ask "Now really Jesus called down from Heaven and told you to make disciples?", and to you I say yes! Yes He called down to me and told me to go!! It wasn't a question like "Hey James, I was wondering if you could possibly spend your life making disciples and sharing my story, can you?" it was a command to go! It was a command to never stop going and never stop multiplying the Kingdom of Heaven. It was a command to die to myself and live for Christ.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us in the twenty-eighth chapter starting in verse sixteen and continuing on through the end of the chapter " Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”. Do you see that? It's not a request, it's not an invoice, it's not a meek man asking for the minimalistic things in life. It's the LORD of Heaven and Earth demanding and commanding us to GO and make DISCIPLES of ALL NATIONS. It doesn't just say make disciples in America where you are comfy or in your hometown or in your secluded little church groups. He tells us to GO to the nations and teach them all that He taught us. Now this doesn't mean drop everything and move overseas(although I know some people who've done just that and they are doing amazing things for Christ), but what it means is don't live a sedentary semi-Christ following life. It means do something with your life and disciple someone, anyone who will listen to the Word of God and teach them how to disciple others and multiply the Church body. Some of you who read this may feel like God is calling you to be pastors, youth pastors, music ministers, women's ministry leaders, or just laypeople, but my question to you remains the same. What are you doing? What are we all called to do? We are called to make disciples plain and simple.

Now some of you out there may say well what about you James? What about all this nonsense of church planting? Well first off it's not nonsense and second of all discipleship and furthering the Gospel is the entire theme of the book of Acts and they did it by planting churches and multiplying the Church body through discipleship. Planting churches is key to furthering the Gospel message across the globe. Thousands of people each year give up their normal lives and jobs and pack up and move to a new city, state, country all for the sole purpose of planting a church where there wasn't one before and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ where it's barely been whispered of before. I am one of those people whom I believe God has called up from the local Church body to go and do as such. This fall I will be starting my one-year internship with the North American Mission Board in conjuncture with Cross Church Springdale on church planting and by the end of the year long internship I will be sent out to plant a church where Jesus Christ is much needed. Where will I go you ask? Well even I don't know that, what I do know is that God already is preparing the hearts and souls of those that I will witness too and the community in which I will plant one of His churches. Notice I didn't say I'm going to start a church, because there was one already started over two-thousand years ago by a carpenter from Galilee and his name is Jesus. I only make that point because so many times I hear stories of people saying "oh you've started a church" or "so what kind of church are you starting?", and frankly I'm at the point where I want to shout it out "JESUS STARTED IT I'M JUST PLANTING A BRANCH CAMPUS!!!". That's pretty much all I'm doing anyway, I'm planting a branch campus of the Church of Jesus Christ here on Earth. As Louie Giglio puts it "It's a Jesus church, nothing more and nothing less, I preach Jesus". 

So what are we called to do? We're called to GO! What are you doing about it?

God Bless,


All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



My name is not James Bond however awesome that would be, but I am a Bond in one unique and special way. I am a bond servant, a man called by God to serve Him faithfully, without ceasing, and never questioning His authority over my life. My name is James Forbis and I am a sinner saved by grace through faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, by the love of the Father, and the ever present conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The reason I started this blog is simple: I want people to know Christ the way I know Him. I want people to love the Father the way I love Him. I want people to rely on the Holy Spirit the way I rely on Him. I am a man called by God to serve Him as a minister of the true, unyielding, and undeniable Gospel of Jesus Christ. How I do this is by listening to what the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart and soul through everyday situations, conversations, and connections with other Godly men and women.

This fall I will be entering a new season of life as a church planting "apprentice" if you will on staff with Cross Church Springdale. I will also be going to the Cross Church School of Ministry pursuing a missiological track in church planting, collegiate ministry, and pastoral studies. I will be learning under the amazing leadership of Dr. Ronnie Floyd(check out his blog at ) and the biblical based teachings of Dr. Jeff Crawford(check out his blog at ). These men have been called by God to fill the gap that churches and seminaries tend to leave in a called man or woman's theological education. You can learn all about the Cross Church School of Ministry here at and all about Cross Church and our family of churches in Northwest Arkansas at

First off I'd like to share with you my testimony and how God called me into His ministry to teach, protect, shepherd, guide, and minister to His Church, His People, His Bride.

I was seven years old when I acknowledged my need for a savior. I knew I was missing something in my life, and I thought I had already believed in Christ, but growing up in a church and a Godly family doesn't save you. At least at that time I thought it did, but my Dad and my Sunday school teacher Dr. Norman corrected me and showed me in the Bible what truly saves you from your sins. His name is Jesus Christ and until you tell Him that you need Him and that you are sorry for your sins and that you cannot live without Him, you'll never be safe from temptation, Hell, or even the wrath of God. I'll tell you what I was scared out of my mind. I didn't want to face Gods wrath as a seven year old kid, and still do not want to face His wrath as a twenty-two year old man. As I sat there and listened to my Dads testimony and then to Dr. Normans testimony though I saw light, I saw truth, I saw joy, and as a child I wanted that so bad. I accepted Christ that night, on March 16, 1998, and was baptized that fall on November 16, 1998(the same day my baby sister was dedicated to the church, kind of cool), and I've never looked back since. I've never regretted giving my life to Christ and to following Him. I've also never made a more important decision in my life, although making the decision to become an Arkansas Razorback was pretty special, but nothing compares to making the decision to follow Christ committedly, faithfully, and unyielding. Fast forward a few years later and it's the fall of 2003 and I'm a thirteen year old, prepubescent, voice is a crackin', Mr. Know It All, squirt. I was at a Disciple Now youth weekend retreat with my youth group from First Baptist Church of Longview, Texas at Pine Cove Christian Camps in Tyler, Texas, and it was there that I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me for the first time in my life as audibly as someone calling out your name. It was clear, concise, and perfect. I had no idea the ramifications it would have on my life or what He wanted, but I listened the whole weekend and the night of the altar call I went forward and told my discipleship group leader, Mr. John Black, that God was calling me to something to do something. I had no idea what it was I was trying to convey to Mr. John, but I knew it must have been important because we prayed for a long time, a long long time. Finally we went to my youth pastor, David Adams, and I told him exactly what I told Mr. John and what I was feeling and what I thought God was saying to me. I told him that I felt led to go, to be sent out, to serve, and I was scared. I had no clue what David would say, but I was relieved when he looked at me and started weeping because I knew it must only be good news. David told me that I was being called into the ministry and that he was not surprised at all by God choosing me. I was floored instantly I began praying with David and Mr. John and we were hugging by the end of the night and praising God for His faithfulness, His awesome power, and just His ability to answer prayer. Now I'm twenty-two(twenty-three in July) and I'm writing this blog telling you that I still have the same fervor, passion, desire, and drive to serve God as I had when I was thirteen. I'm a college grad from the UofA(WOO PIG SOOIE!!), a Cross Church church planting "apprentice" and student of the Word, and I love every bit of it. God has limitless plans for my life and I'm so jacked to be able to serve Him till my last breath. My favorite quote from any movie is from Kingdom of Heaven and it's first uttered by Liam Neeson. His character if you are unfamiliar with the movie is that of a crusader, a baron of the Holy Land, a knight, and with his final breath he knights his long lost son using this oath "Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong; that is your oath.". I believe that this mandate if you will is applicable to all called men and women of God. We must be brave, we must speak the Truth, and we must be without fear in the face of temptation and the Devil, because we must set the example and follow the one Christ laid out for us over a millenia ago.

I leave you with this question to ask yourself. Am I serving God to my fullest potential, is God calling me, is God choosing me to lead His Church, His People, His Bride, and if He is what am I doing right now that's not that?

God Bless,


All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway