Ten Things to Do in a Hospital Visit

Ten Things to Do in a Hospital Visit


Often as ministers, deacons, or church members, we may make a visit to a church member who is in the hospital. Lately, I have given this some thought. Such visits can be a remarkable time for blessing, bringing comfort, and strengthening a person’s faith.  Here are ten observations to help us all with those goals.

  1. Be sensitive to the situation. Get a feel for the patient’s condition, stresses, willingness to have visitors. While in the hospital myself, I had a well-meaning pastor friend come to visit. However, I was in great pain and being tended to by nurses. We actually had to ask him to leave. If a doctor comes in, you should excuse yourself from the room.
  2. Listen to the patient. This visit is about them.  By listening you will be able to pick up on ways to bring about hope.
  3. Give them Scripture. Use the promises of God to weave hope throughout your conversation.  This will help them in those moments that they will have in which to think about life. Scripture is the foundation of their greatest need, the spiritual side of life.
  4. Don’t stay too long. Be aware of the patient getting tired or uncomfortable. Some may be in a state to stay for a longer visit, but as a general rule, leave well before your welcome is worn out.
  5. Have compassion. Ask God to give you a sensitive heart to truly love the patient and empathize with them. Think through what they must be suffering, the fears, waiting, disruption of life, the chronic setbacks, and inabilities that they are going through will help you to better pray and minister.
  6. Bring materials from church for them to read. Often a bulletin from Sunday will make their day. Furnish a prayer sheet or a church magazine to help them with boredom and to give a spiritual compass to their thoughts.
  7. Keep things private. Ask permission to share their condition or requests.  I have often had church members who do not want anyone to know that they are even in the hospital.  Some conditions may be personal or embarrassing.
  8. Don’t barge in. Knock on the door. If there is no response, ask a nurse to go in before you do.  Some ladies have wanted to fix their hair, adjust their sheets, and put on lipstick before guests come in.  If you cannot see the patient for whatever reason, leave a card so they know you came by and are praying.
  9. Care for others in the room. Reach out to family members. Great fear may exist in the lives of those staying with the patient. Include everyone in conversations. If the room is shared, pray for the person in the other bed.
  10. Prayer ought to be the one thing that you do in a visit. Even if the patient is in ICU and unresponsive, stand in the room and do spiritual warfare for them. Pray and pray boldly.

A Cornucopia of Websites that You Should Know About

Lately, I have been asked about the websites that I use.  Week after week, I find that the list below is a good base to research when I have a need for news, doctrinal explanations, or even swag.




























Apparel and Home Décor and other Swag




Sermon Notes of the series: 10 Things for the church; What is Distinctive about Christian Love 1 Corinthians 13



Again,  in order to help the listener at Poplar Springs North Baptist Church, I submit these rough draft notes from the sermon. Often, the sermon with deviate from this text.  You can find us online at psnbc.org 


Jim was passionate about God.  His whole life was reconciled to the fact that God had saved him and a world needed to be saved.  He did EVERYTHING to the glory of God.  School, speaking, sports all mattered to make him useful for the Kingdom.  He almost did not marry because he thought he could serve God better as a single man.

Hungering for more than a mediocre existence, and believing the United States were well fed with the gospel, Jim moved to Ecuador on February 1, 1952.  But on Oct 8, 1953 he would marry his equal, Elisabeth. There, in the jungle, along with friends Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint along with their wives and families, they sought to take the gospel to the Auca people, a savage tribe.

On January 8, 1956. Jim Elliot was the first of the five missionaries killed when he and Peter Fleming were greeting two of those attackers that showed themselves pretending they were interested in taking plane rides with them. Elliot’s body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully which was found even farther downstream.

He gave his life, in love for the Father that others would know Him as well.




Wikipedia (Just for reference)

Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Asian cultures have also distinguished Ren, Kama, Bhakti, Mettā, Ishq, Chesed, and other variants or symbioses of these states.[8][9] Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.


Today, we are looking at the love that Christ wants of the church.

Yesterday, much love.  I am overwhelmed at the love that you all have shown my family.

Now today, I do not offer criticism, but I offer a target, a goal that Christ has set before us as Saints to reach.

Yesterday, your love for us impacted several people.  They were overly impressed that so many FRIENDs would aid us. 



Paul writes about the spirit of Christian love in 1 Corinthians 13.

1Co 13:1-13  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (2)  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (3)  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  (4)  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  (6)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (7)  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8)  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  (9)  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  (10)  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  (12)  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  (13)  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Explain Passage

  • Ability without love is annoying
  • Power without a heart of love is not honorable
  • Sacrifice without love is selfishness
  • Love is not about self.
  • Love is thinking about the other person for their joy more so than your own.
  • Love loves growth in truth and sees falsehood as harm.
  • Love deals with problems, setbacks, and the various stages of life with perseverance, bringing hope.
  • Love looks to the future, expecting greater treasures ahead.


You have already demonstrated a love for the Saints, a love for the church body locally, and a love for Christ.


Love expecting nothing in reward.

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luk 6:32-36)

  • Love is its own return. We love others and benefit them because it brings us joy ourselves.  Not a selfish love, but a love of unity, relationship.
  • If sinners can love each other, our goal is to out-love them. Demonstrating, that the love of God is worthy, compelling, and transformative


Love your enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Mat 5:43-47)

  • Christian love requires action. We must initiate love especially to those who have wronged us, because the hope of our Master is greater that self-serving vengeance or insult.
  • This love does not ignore the wrong, rather it acknowledges it and chooses to act in a way that shows the superiority of Christ.


Love the unloveable

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mat 9:35-38)

  • He was moved with compassion
  • The church is to do the same, there is a harvest of sinners to love.

“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Luk 7:31-35)

  • Jesus was moved of heart for sinners. That is good news for me, for you, and all who call upon His name.



Christ like love benefits others.  It is sacrificial, messy, and costly. Think of the good Samaritan.

Love is a heart issue.  The love you give reveals the condition of your heart.

Loving in Christian love is all about becoming like Jesus.  It is what we hold onto rather than the old man, we put on the new. We identify with His sufferings in our suffering in order to let His spirit work in us to recognize pain, abandonment, ridicule, misunderstanding, gossip, slander, and all the ills that came upon our Lord.



Jim Elliot once said “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Christian love is sacrificial because, ”while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The love He has, has transformed our hearts, that we are now being made like Him.  And that transformation comes only through loving as He has.  Loving without expectation of return, loving enemies, and loving the unlovable.

To be on mission with God is to love without expectation of return, to love our enemies, and love the unlovable.

Ten things Christ asks of His Church; Part One,To Joyfully Be Holy for He is Holy

Sermon Notes

Below are my rough draft sermon notes from this past Sunday.  There will be typos and errors, as well as deviations from the actual sermon preached.  I share these with you as a means to help you go back over your own notes and study God’s Word.


Ten things Christ asks of His Church; Part One, To Joyfully Be Holy for He is Holy

  1Pe 1:3-16 

Sunday April 28, 2019



God’s command to be holy for He is holy is the key to our joy and delight.  It is the doorway to happiness.

Reading the Old Testament can be hard. There are many genealogies. But also, there are many commands for the Jewish people in regards to holy living.  Much of this was to make them a peculiar people.  They were not to be like those around them.  They were called to live differently.

We too are called as Christians to live differently.  Nothing can be so clear as to live a life separate from the world and devoted unto God. He calls us to be holy.

The sins that formerly caused us to fear and dread God, as well as His judgments are now gone, and replacing them is a joy in that same God, knowing that He has redeemed us, bought us back. The true mark of redemption is a love for our Redeemer that drives us to change.  The essence of repentance is a change of heart that desires emphatically that we love and serve Him.  Without this, you may be dry, but a greater peril still is that you may be unsaved.

But fear not, for in what God requires, He also provides.

The call to follow Christ is a call to holiness.

1Pe 1:3-16  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  (4)  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  (5)  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (6)  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  (7)  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  (8)  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  (9)  obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  (10)  Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,  (11)  inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  (12)  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.  (13)  Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  (14)  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,  (15)  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  (16)  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”



Think about the holiness of God for a moment.

Isaiah chapter 6 and the confrontation

  • Picture this scene in Heaven Isa 6:1-7 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
  • God’s holiness is the missing part of our understanding. Because of our sinful birth, we cannot see that which is spiritually discerned, unless God reveals it.
  • It was God’s holiness that forbade Moses to approach the burning bush with shoes on.
  • It was God’s holiness that gave Moses a glimpse of God’s shoulder only.
  • It was God’s holiness that caused wrath to be poured out upon Christ on the cross.

Seeing God always brings death or purification


THE TEXT TELLS US… (Exegeting the scripture)

V1-4 An inheritance, reward, settling of scores against our sufferings, crown of life.


V6 Rejoice in the future


V7 Tests of this life are making us Holy, refining us.

Truly evidenced by being saved to display His holiness


Glory=give credit


Which are all part of being worshippers.


V8 Rejoice with eyes on Jesus results of the heart change we have

Salvation is a soul fixed upon Christ.


V10-12 Revelation reserved and reported, but now we know.



Prepared + Minds = Action

Sober minded (Correct doctrine)

For the future


V14 Do not go back to sinful ways as heirs are holy, be holy (Standard of living)

(List how plays out in the application)

V16 it is written, not new, but eternal


Holiness is what makes God so very different from man. (Holiness= justice & wrath, Love and atonement)  God is to be served, He is not a servant.

God’s holiness affects all of His other attributes.  It is what makes Him God.

Holiness affects His splendor. He is the only to be worshipped. So much so, that to worship anything else is a sin.

Thus, there needs to be justice for sinful acts, resulting in Hell.  Hell is the continual wrath of God against the unholy.  God must be just.

But, because He is holy, he is also a loving God, not a hater.  His love then provides an opportunity for redemption. He is not obligated to redeem, but He chooses to.  Thus, He is even more worthy of worship.  In redemption, He displays His character of mercy and grace, to the underserved.

So in response, to those of us who have been redeemed, we seek a proper life.  We seek to be holy as He is holy, thus displaying His glory and learning and growing in His delightful service.  We delight in God.



  • Set Apart
  • Morally Pure
  • Active Worshipper


We often think of holiness as purity, but that purity follows a first priority of dedication of exclusiveness unto God.  To be holy is to have a purpose.  That purpose is wrought in the design of God that every knee bow and tongue confess Christ as Lord.

You were created for the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.

Ps 86, Isaiah 60:21, Romans 11:36, ! Corinthians 10:30, Rev 4:11

Ps 16:5-11, Ps 44:15, IS 12:2, Luke 2:10, Philippians 4:4, Rev 21:3-4

God’s command to be holy for He is holy is the key to our joy and delight.  It is the doorway to happiness.


We are to be holy, and that involves righteousness.  The morality of our lives follows the repentant change of our redemption. Sanctification and justification call for change. Without change, we are not saved.

To be without change is to be without salvation.  But we do not desire little change, but complete change.  Spiritual growth is a sure sign of being alive.



Again, Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  This is best performed by consecration (Set apart) and having a devotion that affects our heart and thinking, thus resulting in fulfilling our active worship.  To be a Christian is to be a verb.  We worship God.  We live abiding in Him.  We express the welling up of emotions through the doctrine of His truth redeeming us.



A holy God, who is so holy, that by the mere eating of a piece of fruit would have to condemn all of his creation to hell is not to be taken lightly. We must understand the holiness of God to be a holy people of God. It is non-negotiable.

  • God is so holy that to abate his wrath his only begotten son had to suffer the cross, otherwise for all of eternity all of creation and the people within would burn in the fires of hell crying out holy holy holy is God Almighty. That those suffering in hell would pay for their offense against who he is by having to suffer without end.
  • To be holy is to be set apart, not just for special occasions, but for a continual example in action of devotion and purity to the worthiness of God.
  • And are holiness shines greatly in the midst of a dark and dying world. It is our obligation, as believers, as new creations, to be ambassadors of that holiness that God would be glorified and that the Spirit would work through us that more might believe, through hearing the gospel and giving glory unto him who all glory is due.
  • To take the holiness of God lightly is to reject him. God’s command to be holy for He is holy is the key to our joy and delight. It is the doorway to happiness.



Verses for Seeking Holiness

1Pe 1:14-16  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,  (15)  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  (16)  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Rom 12:1-3  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  (2)  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (3)  For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

1Co 10:12-13  Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  (13)  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Eph 4:17-24  Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  (18)  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  (19)  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.  (20)  But that is not the way you learned Christ!—  (21)  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,  (22)  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  (23)  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  (24)  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Gal 5:16-25  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  (17)  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  (18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  (19)  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  (21)  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  (22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.  (24)  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (25)  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.


Steps in the Process of Biblical Counseling for the Person Who Struggles with Sin

Three things must be constant in order to help people with problems.

  1. Remember that this is the work of the Holy Spirit. You are an instrument for change in His hands.
  2. Scripture is therefore central to helping a person experience justification and sanctification. God receives glory and lasting change occurs when we disciple a person in love and humility with the power of the word of God.  We must use Scripture, rather than opinions, methodologies, or fads in helping a person break free from sinful bondage.
  3. Always, always, always, bring the person hope through the gospel, through the work of the cross.

Much of this will overlap, need to be repeated often to the counselee, and should be the basis of each sequential step. We do not move onto the next step until the counselee is firmly grounded in the current step. Progress is to build upon the previous weeks journey.


Phase 1. Initial Assessment and meeting

  • Goals; build hope, listen to the person before assessing the problem and formulating an opinion or advice. Build trust with them. The initial meeting may need to be an hour and a half to two hours.  Longer for couples.
  • Build hope. Share 1 Corinthians 10:13 as well as Romans 8:28
  • Be quick to listen slow to speak, slow to prescribe a solution. Proverbs 18:13 &17,.Explain the counseling process
  • Secure a commitment; to Honor God, do what God says, to do homework, and to attend a Bible teaching church every week.
  • Investigate their salvation and spiritual maturity. John 14, Romans 8, 2 Cor 5:17
  • For unsaved people, counseling becomes evangelistic rather than sanctification.
  • Radical Amputation (For work with addictions and extreme issues) Matthew 5:29-30


Phase 2 Building Hope and researching root causes

  • Goals: build hope and trust. Further understand the problem.
  • Probe with questions as to their salvation. Discuss justification.
  • Assess prayer life, Bible involvement, church participation.
  • Assign Personal Data Inventory.
  • Motivation is to honor God.
  • Scripture memory.
  • Christ and Your Problems by Jay Adams, an exposition of 1 Corinthians 10:13.
  • Utilize the tool of homework.
  • Work from truth rather than emotion.


Phase 3 Setting a course for the days ahead

  • Evaluate Personal Data Inventory
  • Pursue and understanding of the root cause of the symptoms.
  • Ask Questions
  • Look for compounding problems and the problem behind the problem (Presentation Problem)


Phase 4 Begin to teach on how sin affects us.

  • Discuss habits and sanctification. (Put ons and Put offs) Romans 12:1-2
  • Display and create an understanding of compounding problems.
  • Discuss emotions, attitudes, values, behavior.
  • Use Scripture to illustrate the power of the cross for change.
  • Use questions to draw out of the counselee what you need to discuss.


Phase 5 Confront Sin

  • Address sin issues.
  • Confront the person in their sin.
  • Use Scripture to discuss sin and its effects (Emotions, attitudes, values, behavior)
  • Look for conviction of sin.
  • Discuss repentance and the cross.
  • Until the person is convicted of sin, they cannot move forward.


Phase 6 Repentance and change

  • Repentance
  • Discuss redemption.
  • Discuss restoration and seeking forgiveness.
  • Discuss Habits and how to change. Ephesian 4:28
  • Radical amputation checkup
  • Put off/Put On
  • Provide support for change and hope.
  • Discuss the means of sanctification
  • Discuss the role of the Holy Spirit
  • Behavior modification vs. heart change.
  • Why people fail to change.
  • Discuss the disciples role of prayer and Bible reading with memorization and application.
  • Discuss the value of church attendance.
  • Focus on the change of heart, not just actions.
  • The goal is to honor God. Building an abiding relationship in Him.
  • Emphasize abiding in Christ.


Phase 7 Letting Go When to Discontinue Counseling

  • Give hope
  • Review progress
  • Is the tool box filled?
  • Are there streaks of success?
  • IS the thief no longer stealing but working to aid others?
  • Are the biblical principals embraced?
  • Is change and repentance embraced?
  • Schedule followups.




https://biblicalcounseling.com/  The home of the Association of Certified Biblical Counseling

https://www.rpmministries.org/blog/  RPM is a great blog to encourage you and keep you up to date.

https://christiancounseling.com/  The Association of Biblical Counselors

http://www.faithlafayette.org/ministry4.aspx  Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

https://www.paultripp.com/  Paul Tripp

http://store.faithlafayette.org/  Associated with Faith Lafayette, IN this store has great resources at some of he lowest prices available

I’m Enjoying this Book

David Powlison’s Good and Angry, Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, is a must read this week. So much good can come from reading this.


I am thoroughly benefiting from this book. Powlison’s writing has already taught me root causes of my issues with anger and has given, as promised, redemptive ways to work with mercy for justice.  I wish I had read this when I was in my 20’s.

Here is a quick list of gold within.

Just for an insight, the author lists six common wavelengths in the spectrum of bad anger

  • Irritability, anger on a hair trigger.
  • Arguing is the disagreeable he said she said friction.
  • Bitterness, how anger can last a long time. Recycling hurts, nursing grievances and grudges.
  • Violence, sheer destructiveness.
  • Passive anger, hides behind the surface.
  • Self-righteous anger, Feels good to let it out.

You can find it at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1942572972/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

Books I read in 2018 for Growth, Learning, and Entertainment.

ancient antique architectural design architecture
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Every year I attempt to read a book a week. Reading keeps us sharp, engaged, and relevant. As it has been said, “A person who will not read has no advantage over the person who cannot read.”  To stop learning to to begin dying. Let me encourage you, read, Read what interests you, challenges you, and what encourages you.

What are you reading?
Here is my list.
  • The Gospel and Mental Illness. Heath Lambert
  • Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong.  John MacArthur editor
  • The Lion,  the Witch, And the Wardrobe. C S Lewis
  • Communication and Conflict Resolution.  Stuart Scott
  • Leadership Pain. Samuel Chand
  • Between the World and Me. Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Heart of Addiction. Mark Shaw
  • The prayer that turns the world upside down. Al Mohler
  • Gospel Fluency. Jeff Vanderstelt
  • Right Color Wrong Culture. Bryan Loritts
  • A Vision for Preaching. Abraham Kuruvilla
  • Collateral Damage. James Carroll
  • On Guard.  Deepak Reju
  • John A Broadus. Ed David dockery. Roger duke
  • Evangelism how to Share the Gospel Faithfully. John Macarthur ed.
  • The Fish Can Sing. Halldor Laxness
  • On Pastoring. H B Charles Jr.
  • John MacArthur Servant of the Word and Flock. Ian Murray
  • Getting The Blues. Stephen J Nichols.
  • God in the Dock.  C S Lewis
  • The Holiness of God.  R C Sproul
  • A little book on the Christian life. John Calvin
  • Mobilize to evangelize. Matt Queen
  • Gospel Conversations. Robert Kellemen
  • The Pastor’s Soul. Croft & Savastio
  • Autobiography of John G Patton
  • Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations. Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright
  • Porn and the Pastor. Jeffery Robinson, Garrett Kell eds.
  • Did I say the right thing. Mitch Schultz
  • Lessons from a Hospital Bed. John Piper
  • On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. John A Broadus.
  • Aesop’s Fables
  • Widower to Widower. Fred Colby
  • Syd Barret biography
  • Toxic Soul. Jason & Jeremy Isaacs.
  • A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens

Radical Christians in a Chaotic World; Responding Faithfully to the Temptation of Lust

Today’s sermon has several lists within.  To aid you in following along and making application, I have listed them below.

Mat 5:27-30  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  (28)  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  (29)  If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.  (30)  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Three things necessary for sin,

  • Opportunity- a chance to do so,
  • Availability- items needed
  • Desire- a heart for sin


Serious Repenters

  • Confess sin without obscurity
  • Are willing to be under authority and accountability
  • Take ALL steps to remove stimulants
  • Desire fellowship with God, freeing separation and Hell
  • Change from pride of self-indulgence to a humility of glorifying God.
  • Their concern is to change, be free of sin, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
  • Will be radically deliberate in deliverance


Jesus died for that we not be enslaved to any sin.

Come to Christ with your sin to be set free.

Live purposefully in His strength.

  • Confess sin
  • Remove all temptations ( use Covenanteyes.com, Everaccountable.com as a means of guarding your internet use.)
  • Build an arsenal of scriptures to help combat temptation in the strength of God.
  • Devour the Word of God
  • Have accountability
  • Seek counseling
  • Prepare to be tested
  • Pray in the Spirit, knowing and trusting God.
  • Get to the heart of the problem rather than treating symptoms.
  • Essentially, fight against the gates of Hell.

A Vision for Ekron Baptist Church(Part 1)


A Vision for our Church


Mat 5:2-12  And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:  (3)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (4)  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  (5)  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  (6)  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  (7)  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  (8)  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  (9)  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  (10)  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (11)  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  (12)  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

We come to a point today in our church where I want to share a vision for the church. Jesus in this sermon, is preparing the groundwork for the church incarnate.  Based on what He did in His earthly ministry, I want us to continue to do as He did.

To begin with, I see it this way, we need a foundation, (the spirit of who we are), we need an application (What we do), Then a goal of where we are going

Three simple things to keep as our targets

  1. The word of God
  2. The Mercy we can bestow
  3. Sharing the gospel


In this, is my prayer for the church

Col 1:9-12  And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  (10)  so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  (11)  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,  (12)  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.


The word of God is the very foundation for all we do.

Jesus preached as part of the sermon on the mount ……

Mat 5:17-20  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  (18)  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  (19)  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  (20)  For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


Mercy is our application. (Love)

So many people do not find mercy because they do not expect mercy.. The lost see the church as harsh, legalistic.

Church members bear unnecessary burdens because they fear chastisement, ridicule, shame.  But let me introduce you to the God of mercy.

We are entrusted as a church to change the world.  Let us begin in our community to love people unconditionally.  To show mercy (Pay it forward)  To purposefully do our works of love for the Kingdom of God.

Mat 5:13-16  “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.  (14)  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  (15)  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  (16)  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

God is a merciful God,

  • Exo 25:17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth.  The earthly throne of God was known s the Mercy Seat.  This was the focal point of the Holy of Holies. He was more about mercy than judgement.  (The Hebrew word is kappuret, related to the word for atonement, which is kippur.

Forgiveness if a gift of mercy to those who repent.  Share how God is willing to for give because of Christ.

  • Noah’s ark- God had every right to kill all, but saved a remnant
  • Sodom and Gomorrah- God had every right to kill all, but saved a remnant
  • Father forgive them for they do not know what they do. Jesus words on the cross as those around blasphemed, tortured, and executed Him over 9 hours or so.
  • Rom 5:8-10 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (9)  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  (10)  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Let us be a merciful people.

  • Do not ignore sin, but proclaim against it. Do not participate in it. (Be different)
  • Show grace and mercy to people by being kind. Go the extra mile at work, in school, and social life.
  • Give the world, the community around us, a right understanding of God.


The greatest form of showing mercy is found in being evangelistic, Only Christ can save.

Sharing mercy by sharing the gospel message (to have a future, to have a lasting impact and a heritage to God’s glory, we must be a people who share the gospel)

Form follows function. 

People have asked about buildings here at Ekron.  Once we have a functional need and support for a building, we by all means will construct one.  Before we get to that point, we need to be fulfilling the Great Commission.

65 % of churches plateaued or declining.

Few are growing.  But there is one distinctive between the two. 0809180943d_HDRPlateaued and declining are not sharing the gospel.  Growing churches do share the gospel

We MUST work on fulfilling the Great Commission.

What this Vision looks like.

Not my dreams, but rather, our working together as a body of believers to fulfill what God has already asked us to do.

  • It begins with the talents God has given you. This vision incorporates your ideas, your passions, your heartfelt ambition.  As a church we fail and succeed together.  I am looking for your involvement.  (Sherwood Pictures example)
  • Missions, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, ends of the earth. We need to ask and answer questions about how and what we are doing.  (Maine was great) Next week Mike Whittemore and the Belleville, IL opportunity
  • Adapting to opportunities. I am forming an evangelism team for such needs.
  • Looking at benevolence and soul care9% poverty. For the glory of God I want to change that. Connect with people and empower them with dignity to grow. Hurting people, PTSD, drugs, broken homes.
  • Become a Soul port. Educate, Empower, Equip people with the gospel (As we do these things, we may very well need to engage in the building of more church space. Building possibilities)


So here is the vision

1              We are to grow in a knowledge of the word.

2              We are to be a different kind of church.  Unexpected love with mercy.

3              To glorify God, to obey God, we must share the gospel.

Our vision and horizon is to be a Biblical New testament church, fulfilling the Great commission, making disciples, baptizing (showing the mercy of the cross) and sharing the gospel

Love God, Love people, Show mercy by sharing the gospel.


If God is for Us, Sermon Draft for Romans 8:18-31 Sunday April 22, 2018

Below are the sermon preparation notes for Sunday April 22, 2018.  These are in rough form, but expedited to aid you in following along and for personal study throughout the week.

In my opening of the sermon, which can be found at EkronBaptistChurch.com, I mentioned two musicians.  You may find examples of the music of Blind Willie Johnson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe as follows.

Blind Willie Johnson


Sister Rosetta Tharpe


As time did not permit, the sermon is being broken into two parts; April 22 and 29.


The Sermon.

If there is any iconic music that defines America, it would be the blues.  Sorrow, pain, distance from God are all reflected in the twelve bars of a minor key. The blues has much to do with the sorrow of the heart and the desperate call of a man seeking redemption.  The Bible knows these struggles; especially in the Psalms.  They both beg the question, “Is God for us?”

First a recap so that we know the context

Romans 8:16-31 (Writing to believers)

  • Suffering now, is temporary for those who believe.
  • We have the hope of redemption.
  • We are marked by the Holy Spirit.
  • All things work together for good for those who love Christ Jesus.
  • God is working, those whom He foreknew, He predestined, called, justified, and glorified.

Therefore, if God is for us , who can be against us?

Who is God for and why?

V28 Those who Love God. Saving relationship, love in both directions, God loves us and we love God.

But, we must love the True God, not a god of our making. The heresy of the ages if for man to be put on equal with God. This is done by denying His word and as well, making God to be in man’s image.

First, the negative.

It is a falsehood to believe that God loves everyone.

The danger is that we have this strange un-biblical expectation that God will just overlook sin, and become all inclusive.  This is a blasphemous lie of Satan.

(My emphasis is underlined)

Lev 20:23  And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.

Deu 25:16  For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.

Psa 5:5-6  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.  (6)  You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Psa 11:5  The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Hos 9:15  Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.

Isa 59:2  but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Mal 1:2-3  “I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob  (3)  but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Rom 1:24-25  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,  (25)  because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Rom 9:13-15  As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”  (14)  What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!  (15)  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

1Co 6:9-10  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5  For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Jas 4:4  You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1Jn 1:6  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

God is against those who continue to do evil and do not repent.  We can see death and destruction for unholy people, those who delight in wretchedness.


Why does God love a wretch?


Rom 5:6-8  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  (7)  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—  (8)  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 9:14-18  What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!  (15)  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  (16)  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.  (17)  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  (18)  So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

We do not know why or how God works to save some and yet others are lost.

God loves and saves not based upon who we are, but upon His will. God turns darkness into a tool, suffering into refinement, loneliness as a crucible to remove pride and love for the world, and in His time, brings a drama of glory that no eye has seen, ear has heard, or mind has imagined.

No testing is pleasant in the moment, but God is working.  Trials and testing are not a sign of God being against you.  In most cases, they may very well be a sign that God is working in your life for good.  So much of Scripture is written to give the believer hope and strength in times of testing, that God would be glorified in your sacrifice and perseverance. Thus, there is a true application here, and hope for the weary, God is revealing His glory to us.

Psalmists often fretted that God was distant. But here is the answer, If God is for us, who can be against us?

The Positive

So who is God for?

He is for those who cry out to be saved, repenting of their sins.

Those who love, not a mental affection but those who have found God as a Pearl of Great Price.

They abide in Christ, living according to His will that they may glorify Him.

It is important to know that those who are saved are known by God

Gal 4:8-9  Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.  (9)  But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Mat 7:21-23  “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.  (22)  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?’  (23)  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Additional Scriptures to know about the heart of believers are as follows;

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Joh 3:33-36  Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.  (34)  For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.  (35)  The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.  (36)  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Joh 10:7-10  So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  (8)  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  (9)  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  (10)  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Rom 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  (17)  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Rom 10:10-13  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  (11)  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”  (12)  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  (13)  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Rom 15:6  that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 15:8-11  For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,  (9)  and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”  (10)  And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”  (11)  And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”

1Co 6:20  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

2Co 5:17-19  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  (18)  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  (19)  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

2Ti 1:8-9  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,  (9)  who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

1Pe 2:9-10  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (10)  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1Pe 2:11-12  Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.  (12)  Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

1Pe 4:16  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

1Jn 1:5-10  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (6)  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  (7)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  (8)  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (9)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (10)  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1Jn 2:3-6  And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.  (4)  Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,  (5)  but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:  (6)  whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Rev 15:4  Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Thus, if God is for you, you will know by a transformed life in which God is actively working in Justification and sanctification. Transforming you from what you once were to the image of His son.

So, if God has loved you, count it all joy, exalt in Him.  If God has saved you, rather than abandoned you, worship Him.

Therefore, in Christ we have

  • Confidence in prayer.
  • Boldness in the proclamation of the gospel.
  • Faith in His word
  • Assurance of hope.
  • Resolve to persevere.
  • A love for His church.
  • Desire for holiness.
  • A willingness to suffer and sacrifice to gain Christ.

In closing, I need to answer a question that we may have gotten wrong because our understanding of God has been wrong.  Yes, God is a god of love,  But He does not dole out salvation like candy.  Salvation is costly as it cost the life of His Son.  It is to be cherished, respected, and held as holy.

How is a person saved?

  • Repentance and faith. Repent of sin and believe, not a head belief, but a transformed heart belief.

What happens when someone dies in their sins?

  • Eternity in Hell.

We must have a right Gospel and it must be proclaimed.  (Starting a systematic Theology class   May 27th)

Rom 10:14-18  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  (15)  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  (16)  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”  (17)  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.  (18)  But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”