Archive for the ‘Sunday Evening Sermons’ Category

What is Worldliness?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

What is Worldliness and Why is it Bad?

Pastor Don Carpenter

1 John 2:15–17

There was tremendous public resistance to the introduction of the Susan B. Anthony dollar. This small coin was designed primarily to be a durable and lightweight alternative to the paper dollar. But its size created problems, for it could easily be confused with a quarter. Legally it was worth a dollar, but practically speaking, many people considered it a nuisance because of its indistinguishable size.

The same thing happens when the unbelieving world hears the words of a Christian who cannot be distinguished from the lost society in which he lives. This discounts his claims concerning Christ. It is not a matter of real worth—that is decided by faith—but rather of perceived worth.1 

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 406.

The Bible is very clear that worldliness is bad and must be avoided. Unfortunately there is a lot of misunderstanding as to what that means exactly. Tonight in this simple study we will discover what worldliness is and why it is bad.

Worldliness is Idolatry

Because It Competes With God For Priority.

1 John 2:15 KJV
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Matthew 6:24 KJV
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Worldliness is not so much a matter of activity as of attitude. It is possible for a Christian to stay away from questionable amusements and doubtful places and still love the world, for worldliness is a matter of the heart. To the extent that a Christian loves the world system and the things in it, he does not love the Father.

Worldliness not only affects your response to the love of God; it also affects your response to the will of God. “The world passeth away … but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:17).1 

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 492.

Because Inanimate Objects Do Not Hold Moral Value of Themselves.

Joshua 7:21 KJV
When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Romans 14:14 KJV
I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Worldliness Is a “Me First” Attitude.

1 John 2:16 KJV
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Lust of the Flesh

James 1:13–15 KJV
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Lust of the Eyes

Genesis 3:6 KJV
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Psalm 119:37 KJV
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; And quicken thou me in thy way.

Proverbs 6:24–25 KJV
To keep thee from the evil woman, From the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; Neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

Pride of Life

John 12:43 KJV
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Proverbs 6:16–17 KJV
These six things doth the LORD hate: Yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

A proud look, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,

Psalm 10:4 KJV
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Galatians 1:10 KJV
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Galatians 5:26 KJV
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Worldliness Is Temporary Gratification

1 John 2:17 KJV
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

James 4:14 KJV
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Definition of Worldliness: Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done). Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry– large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life.

Worldliness is reading magazines about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguises. It’s being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievance, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the ways in which we are most like the world.

Dave Roper, The Strength of a Man, quoted in Family Survival in the American Jungle, Steve Farrar, 1991, Multnomah Press, p. 68.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:15 PM January 23, 2021.

Fruits of the Chew

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Fruits of the Chew

Pastor Don Carpenter

Chew Your Cud / Psalm 119:11; Psalm 119:97–98; Psalm 48:9–10; Psalm 63:5–6; Psalm 104:33–35; Psalm 119:97

Results of meditation

Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer writes in his classic Knowing God: “How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding, but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.”

He adds, “Meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God. Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let His truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace. Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory, and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us—‘comfort’ us in the old, strong Bible sense of the word—as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

As we finish our series on meditation “Chew Your Cud”, we are going to take a Biblical journey and reflect on some powerful benefits we reap when we practice Biblical Meditation. We are going to discover the “Fruits of the Chew”.

Meditation Gives The Believer Power Against Temptation and Deception.

Psalm 119:11 KJV

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 KJV

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Meditation Gives The Believer More Wisdom Than His Enemies.

Psalm 119:97–98 KJV

MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. 

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: For they are ever with me.

Ephesians 4:14 KJV

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Psalm 119:105 KJV

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.

James 1:25 KJV

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Meditation Enhances Praise and Worship

Psalm 48:9–10 KJV

We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of thy temple. 

According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of righteousness.

Psalm 104:33–34 KJV

I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 

My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

Psalm 119:15–16 KJV

I will meditate in thy precepts, And have respect unto thy ways. 

I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

Meditation Brings The Believer Satisfaction and Contentment.

Psalm 63:5–6 KJV

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; And my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 

When I remember thee upon my bed, And meditate on thee in the night watches.

1 Timothy 6:6 KJV

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Romans 8:31–39 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes Someone Once Said …

Meditation is the skeleton key that unlocks the greatest storeroom in the house of God’s provisions for the Christian.—from “A Primer on Meditation”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:54 PM January 16, 2021.

Chew On The Works of God

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

Chew On The Works of God

Pastor Don Carpenter

Chew Your Cud / Creation; God’s Sovereignty; Grace Abounding; God’s Love / Psalm 77:12; Psalm 111:2; Psalm 143:5; Psalm 145:5; Psalm 8:1–9

Thomas Andrew Dorsey was a black jazz musician from Atlanta. In the twenties he gained a certain amount of notoriety as the composer of jazz tunes with suggestive lyrics, but he gave all that up in 1926 to concentrate exclusively on spiritual music. “Peace in the Valley” is one of his best known songs, but there is a story behind his most famous song that deserves to be told.

In 1932 the times were hard for Dorsey. Just trying to survive the depression years as a working musician meant tough sledding. On top of that, his music was not accepted by many people. Some said it was much too worldly-the devil’s music, they called it. Many years later Dorsey could laugh about it. He said, “I got kicked out of some of the best churches in the land.” But the real kick in the teeth came one night in St. Louis when he received a telegram informing him that his pregnant wife had died suddenly.

Dorsey was so filled with grief that his faith was shaken to the roots, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, he turned to the discipline he knew best-music. In the midst of agony he wrote the following lyrics:

Precious Lord, take my hand,

Lead me on, let me stand.

I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.

Through the storm, through the night,

Lead me on to the light;

Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

-If you live long enough, you will experience heartache, disappointment, and sheer helplessness. The Lord is our most precious resource in those hours of trauma. “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9). Tom Dorsey understood that. His song was originally written as a way of coping with his personal pain, but even today it continues to bless thousands of others when they pass through times of hardship.


Last week we learned that thought control is vital for the believer. We learned that we are to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. We saw that meditation is like the cow chewing her cud. We are to go back to the same truth and mull it over and over in our minds, pulling new spiritual nutrients out of those thoughts.

Tonight we are going to start to study some of the different things we are to meditate about. Our verse tonight gives us a great starting point.  

Psalm 77:12 KJV

I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Meditate On ALL The Works of God.

Psalm 111:2–3 KJV

The works of the LORD are great, Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 

His work is honourable and glorious: And his righteousness endureth for ever.

 • Develop a pleasure in His handiwork

Psalm 37:4 KJV

Delight thyself also in the LORD; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

 • Seek out the works of God… look for His work in everything.

Psalms, Volume 3 Psalm 111

A man who loves God will have real pleasure in studying his works as well as his word; and it is as proper to find pleasure in the one as in the other,—as proper to wish to find the knowledge which the one imparts as that which the other bestows. One great error among the friends of God is the neglect to study his works. In doing this, men need not neglect or undervalue the Bible and the knowledge which it gives, for such studies would be among the best means of illustrating the Bible.

Meditate on the Splendor of Creation.

Psalm 143:5 KJV

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

Psalm 19:1–2 KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork. 

Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Outer Space Helps Us See The Immensity of God’s Handiwork.

Psalm 8:1 KJV

O LORD our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Psalm 8:3 KJV

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

Creation Reminds Us of God’s Eternal Power and Godhead.

Romans 1:19–20 KJV

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Meditate Upon God’s Sovereign Control

Psalm 145:5–7 KJV

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, And of thy wondrous works. 

And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: And I will declare thy greatness. 

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, And shall sing of thy righteousness.

God Turns Evil Intentions And Used Them For Good.

Genesis 50:20 KJV

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

God Has A Perfect Design For Believers.

Romans 8:28–29 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

We Do Not Need To Understand What He Is Doing In Order To Trust Him.

Isaiah 55:7–11 KJV

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts: And let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as the rain cometh down, And the snow from heaven, And returneth not thither, But watereth the earth, And maketh it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, But it shall accomplish that which I please, And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Meditate On God’s Condescending Love

Psalm 8:3–4 KJV

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Psalm 103:13–18 KJV

Like as a father pitieth his children, So the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 

For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. 

As for man, his days are as grass: As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; And the place thereof shall know it no more. 

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, And his righteousness unto children’s children; 

To such as keep his covenant, And to those that remember his commandments to do them.


The German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, used to love to take long walks of a summer evening, meditating and thinking. On one occasion he was seated in a park when a suspicious policeman noticed that he had been there for several hours. The policeman came up to him and said, “What are you doing?”

The philosopher replied, “I’m thinking.”

The policeman said, “Who are you?”

Kant said, “That’s precisely the problem I’ve been thinking about. ‘Who am I?'”

It was this same philosopher who proposed that life could be reduced to four basic questions: What can I know? What ought I do? What may I hope? What is man, or who am I? We must wonder, in view of the vastness and majesty of His creation, why God would be mindful of and care for man. “What is man” in God’s eyes?

The answer is this:

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God has done marvelous things!

 • His Hand can be seen everywhere… look for it.

 • His Hand can be seen in the skies… look for it.

 • His Hand Can be seen in all of creation that the natural rules that govern it… look for it.

 • His Hand can be seen in His sovereign workings throughout history… look for it.

 • His Hand Can be seen when we consider His immensity and realize that He still loved man enough to send His Son to die for us while we were yet in our sins…

Chew on these wonderful works of God!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:30 PM January 2, 2021.

Meditation is Vital

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Meditation is Vital

Pastor Don Carpenter

Chew Your Cud! / 2 Corinthians 10:4–5

The Hebrew word translated “meditate” speaks of what a cow does after grazing all day. As she chews the cud over and over again, she extracts every nutrient. In other words, to meditate means to ponder a section of the Word day and night, extracting more from its inexhaustible supply each time (Jon Cursor).

We are to memorize God’s word for the transformation of our minds. These verses are telling us to read it, teach it, speak it, and live it. We are to do this in the morning, night, through our day. The way to do this is have the Word stored in your heart. When you are presented with certain situations through your day, the Holy Spirit will pull these words out of your memory bank for you to help you asses the options.

MEDITATION — the practice of reflection or contemplation. The word “meditation” or its verb form, “to meditate,” is found mainly in the Old Testament. The Hebrew words behind this concept mean “to murmur,” “a murmuring,” “sighing,” or “moaning.” This concept is reflected in Psalm 1:2, where the “blessed man” meditates on God’s law day and night. The psalmist also prayed that the meditation of his heart would be acceptable in God’s sight (Ps. 19:14). Joshua was instructed to meditate on the Book of the Law for the purpose of obeying all that was written in it (Josh. 1:8).

The Greek word translated as “meditate” occurs only twice in the New Testament. In Luke 21:14 Jesus instructed His disciples not “to meditate beforehand” in answering their adversaries when the end of the age comes. The word may be understood in this passage as the idea of preparing a defense for a court appearance. Paul, in 1 Timothy 4:15, urged Timothy to meditate, or take pains with, the instructions he gives. The idea of meditation is also found in Philippians 4:8 and Colossians 3:2.

Meditation is a lost art for many Christians, but the practice needs to be cultivated again.

Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison, Thomas Nelson Publishers, eds., Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995).

Tonight as we begin our Series “Chew Your Cud: Learning Biblical Meditation” we will discover, not how to empty our minds like the eastern practice of transcendental meditation, but how to focus our thoughts and bring them into captivity. Thought control is vital to be able to live a successful Christian life. Too often we focus on the do, do, do, rather than the mindset behind the actions. If we force ourselves to STOP!…       WAIT…… THINK…..  THINK AGAIN…. THINK ANOTHER TIME… let that thought sink deep into our very being, we will be able to spiritually get the nutrition out of the spiritual meals we are eating. I found a great definition of Biblical Meditation:

“Meditation is the activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.”

Tonight we will take a Biblical Survey and discover together why Meditation is Vital.

Meditation Draws Us Into an Intimacy With God

Psalm 19:14 KJV

Let the words of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

 • Filter every thought to be acceptable like a living sacrifice to God.

 • Focus on God as your strength

 • Focus on God as your redeemer

Psalm 63:5–6 KJV

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; And my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 

When I remember thee upon my bed, And meditate on thee in the night watches.

 • Take emotional satisfaction in your relationship with God.

 • Praise should flow from a constant meditation on the sweet person of God.

 • Meditation should be the go to discipline if you cannot sleep.

Psalm 104:33–34 KJV

I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 

My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

Meditating on God’s Character Helps Us Serve Him Wholeheartedly.

1 Samuel 12:23–24 KJV

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 

Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words To See, Perceive

ra?ah (?????, 7200), “to see, observe, perceive, get acquainted with, gain understanding, examine, look after (see to), choose, discover.”

 • This is more than considering God’s immensity or power, but also His personal dealings with you!

 • What has God done with you today? How has His hand been manifest in the last few hours?  

 • He is working out our good all the time. We must stop and consider that on purpose.

2 Timothy 2:7 KJV

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Meditating on God’s Word Brings Stability.

Psalm 1:1–3 KJV

Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; And in his law doth he meditate day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That bringeth forth his fruit in his season; His leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

 • Meditation in God’s Word will train your palate to desire the good stuff.

 • Meditation in God’s Word will train the believer to delight in it.

 • Meditating in God’s Word should become an obsession.

 • Meditating in God’s Word will bring stability.

Psalm 119:48 KJV

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; And I will meditate in thy statutes.

Psalm 119:97–99 KJV

MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. 

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: For they are ever with me. 

I have more understanding than all my teachers: For thy testimonies are my meditation.

The concept of meditation, or thinking on purpose, is all through out the Bible. In our externally focused society, we often skip right over this concept. In 2020, God has providentially given the world some time to stop and reflect on purpose. Tonight we have learned that meditation will foster a deeper intimacy with God, a stronger passion for God and a greater understanding of God.

Consider the difference between a strong and a weak cup of tea. The same ingredients water and tea are used for both. The difference is that the strong cup of tea results from the tea leaves’ immersion in the water longer, allowing the water more time to get into the tea and the tea into the water. The longer the steeping process, the stronger the cup of tea. In the same way, the length of time we spend in God’s Word determines how deeply we get into it and it gets into us. Just like the tea, the longer we are in the Word, the “stronger” we become. That is why Meditation is Vital!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:14 PM December 26, 2020.

A New Song

Friday, November 20th, 2020

A New Song

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Psalm 96:1–4

Researchers Discover The Benefits of Music and Singing

But there’s another reason why we should sing.

Music changes us. It transforms us.

Singing isn’t just a declaration of our joy… it has the power to MAKE us joyful.

ILLUS: Back in 1998, researchers found that music stimulates the auditory nerves and creates brain messages that ripple through the body, influencing muscle tone equilibrium and joint flexibility.

The human heartbeat is especially attuned to sound. As music changes in tempo and volume, it acts as a natural pacemaker. Our breathing slows down or speeds up along with the music.

A study at Michigan State University found that just 15 minutes of listening to music increases levels of immune chemicals that are vital to protect us against disease.

The release of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) dropped by up to 25%.

(Don Campbell, founder of Institute for Music, Health and Education “Bottom Line –Tomorrow” Sept 1998 p. 9)

ILLUS: Then in 2001, scientists were amazed to find that music is able to help heal the body.

• Burn victims, encouraged to sing while having their dressing changed, experienced less pain.

• Cancer patients who listened to – and practiced with – musical instruments, saw their levels of stress hormones drop and their immune systems get stronger.

Professor Richard Fratianne observed: “By helping patients relax, music eases pain and may even speed recovery,” (Peter Jaret Reader’s Digest 9/01)

From a sermon by Jeff Strite, B Joyful, 11/15/2009

For a while now the Lord has been leading me to study and preach on music and worship and its role in the New Testament Church. I have been discovering a mountain of stuff that God wants believers to know and practice. It would be reasonable to expect that 2021 will come with several different studies and sermon series’ on that subject.

I was just poking around, barely scratching the surface on this subject, and the phrase “New Song” jumped out at me. God the Holy Spirit used this phrase 9 different times in scriptures. God not only wants us to sing, but He also wants that song to be fresh and new, passionate and real. He does not want old dusty repetition with no connection. He wants genuine passionate worship. The kind of love that flows from a New Song.

A Song of Salvation

Psalm 96:1–4 KJV

O sing unto the LORD a new song: Sing unto the LORD, all the earth. 

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; Shew forth his salvation from day to day. 

Declare his glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. 

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods.

Psalm 40:1–3 KJV

I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

 • Publicly declare His Salvation

 • Reach the lost with Song

 • Give your testimony with Song

 • See people get saved as a result of the Song

Ira F. Stanphill was born in Belview, New Mexico, in 1914. He has written more than 550 songs, the most popular of which are “Mansion over the Hilltop,” “Room at the Cross,” and, of course, “Happiness Is the Lord.”

On any number of occasions the Lord has given a song to a songwriter when he or she least expected it. Such was the case of Ira Stanphill one afternoon in 1974 after he left the church office where he was pastor in Fort Worth, Texas.

The car radio was on, and as he rode along he listened to some commercial programs. Some were sponsored by establishments that advertised their “happy hour” and their alcoholic beverages. He also heard cigarettes being advertised in terms of how they bring happiness.

The word happiness was used several times in the ads. Ira related to me that he thought at the time that “happiness does not come with these things, but with knowing Christ.” He continued, “As this thought really took over my mind I began to sing. I sang a new song, composing words and melody as I drove along. I sang it almost as it is published today.”

Happiness is to know the Savior,

Living a life within His favor,

Having a change in my behavior

Happiness is the Lord.

— Lindsay Terry — (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)

A Song of Redemption

Revelation 5:8–9 KJV

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 14:2–3 KJV

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

A Song of Victory

Psalm 98:1 KJV

O sing unto the LORD a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

 • Victory over death

 • Victory over sin

 • Victory over the flesh

 • Victory over addictions

 • Victory over anxiety

 • Victory over depression

 • Victory in Jesus!

A Song of Deliverance

Psalm 144:7–9 KJV

Send thine hand from above; Rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, From the hand of strange children; 

Whose mouth speaketh vanity, And their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: Upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

A Song of Praise

Psalm 33:1–3 KJV

Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: For praise is comely for the upright. 

Praise the LORD with harp: Sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 

Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise.


It reminds me of an older lady, who had no affinity for contemporary worship, who was complaining about a particular song used in the worship service at her church. A fellow worshipper responded, “Why, that is not a new song — it is a very old song! David sang that song to Saul.” The older lady replied, “Well now, for the first time, I understand why Saul threw the javelin at him when he sang.”

Psalm 149:1–3 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, And his praise in the congregation of saints. 

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 

Let them praise his name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Isaiah 42:10 KJV

Sing unto the LORD a new song, And his praise from the end of the earth, Ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; The isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

Boom! Boom! The two-fold pounding of the avalanche cannon awoke me from my slumber. No, we didn’t get snow last night, I mused. But sure enough, God dumped nine inches of fresh snow onto the mountains above. Now, I love winter; it’s great skiing on fresh powder. However, I must confess my lament: I’m ready for spring.

As my morning routine ended, I stepped from the comfort of our home to walk to work. The cold damp cut through my jacket strait into my bones. I strolled to my office, looking at the blanket of new snow upon the mountain cap. Just then, I heard my first echo of spring.

A chorus of birds was singing a new song to the morning dawn. Their song resonated with a distant memory of springs gone by. The grey of my heart and the lament formerly on my lips faded; for on that day I heard creation “sing a new song to the Lord” (Psalm 96:1).

This is a day to celebrate and to be filled with God’s joy. My grieving quickly turned to joy; and there in my joy I found a newfound strength to champion the day. I again realized one of life’s simplicity: my grief was merely an attitude of the heart. There’s a lesson there for us all. Like the birds, I made a choice to sing a new song to God. I allowed the joy of the Lord to transform my thoughts, and usher in a mini revival of the heart. My friends, that’s what I hope and pray for us all this morning as spring unfolds.

Music is not just an afterthought in the Bible. It is an integral part of our worship to God, just like praying. Bible study, witnessing and preaching is. We have been created to sing to Him. God has left us a witness that we are not to be mundane or careless with our worship in song. We need to offer to Him a New Song, fresh and passionate, dripping with genuine feelings of love and adoration toward Him. So sing songs of Salvation, songs of Redemption, Songs of Victory, Songs of Deliverance, and Songs of Praise with all your might! Sing a New Song!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:48 PM November 20, 2020.

The Light of the World

Friday, November 6th, 2020

The Light of the World

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

A Witness; Testimony; Mission / Matthew 5:14–16

In his book Has Christianity Failed You? Ravi Zacharias points to one of the greatest proofs for the truth of Christ and the reality of his resurrection: the changed lives of Christians. He writes:

“During the course of nearly 40 years, I have traveled to virtually every continent and seen or heard some of the most amazing testimonies of God’s intervention in the most extreme circumstances. I have seen hardened criminals touched by the message of Jesus Christ and their hearts turned toward good in a way that no amount or rehabilitation could have accomplished. I have seen ardent followers of radical belief systems turned from being violent, brutal terrorists to becoming mild, tenderhearted followers of Jesus Christ. I have seen nations where the gospel, banned and silenced by governments, has nevertheless conquered the ethos and mind-set of an entire culture.”

Then in his own words, Zacharias lists examples of Christ’s power to transform lives:

“In the middle of the twentieth century, after destroying all of the Christian seminary libraries in the country, Chairman Mao declared that…Christianity had been permanently removed from China, never to make a return. On Easter Sunday in 2009, [however] the leading English language newspaper in Hong Kong published a picture of Tiananmen Square on page 1, with Jesus replacing Chairman Mao’s picture on the gigantic banner, and the words “Christ is Risen” below it.

“I have also been in the Middle East and marveled at the commitment of young people who have risked their lives to attend a Bible study…I have talked to CEOs of large companies in Islamic nations who testify to seeing Jesus in visions and dreams and wonder what it all means. The British author A. N. Wilson, who only a few years ago was known for his scathing attacks on Christianity…celebrated Easter [in 2009] at a church with a group of other church members, proclaiming that that the story of the Jesus of the Gospels is the only story that makes sense out of life and its challenges. [Wilson said], ‘My own return to faith has surprised none more than myself…My belief has come about in large measure because of the lives and examples of people I have known—not the famous, not saints, but friends and relations who have lived, and faced death, in light of the resurrection story, or in the quiet acceptance that they have a future after they die.’

“Matthew Parris [a British atheist who visited Malawi in 2008] wrote an article titled “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God.” [Parris wrote], ‘I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa…I used to avoid this truth…but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it.”

[Ravi Zacharias, Has Christianity Failed You? (Zondervan, 2010), pp. 105-107. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, Experience the Spirit in the Resurrection, 5/11/2011]

As America plunges deeper and deeper into the darkness of her own making, one truth stands as a constant beacon of truth… Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. If you have trusted in Him, He lives inside you and so does that light. In our passage tonight we have the reminder. You are the Light of the World… LET IT SHINE.

You Are The Light of the World.

Matthew 5:14 KJV

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Ephesians 5:8 KJV

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

It Is Impossible to Hide That Light

Matthew 5:14 KJV

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

John 1:5 KJV

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Don’t Even Try to Hide The Light

Matthew 5:15 KJV

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Mark 4:21 KJV

And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

Luke 11:33 KJV

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Let Your Light Shine!

Matthew 5:16 KJV

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 • Before Men

 • So they can see your good works

 • So the Father can get the Glory for what He did in you.

The Christian conquest of the Roman Empire came not by the sword, but by the preaching of the gospel joined with acts of compassion.

In the middle of the 3rd century AD there was a terrible plague and many died. The pagans and doctors left the cities to avoid this disease. However, the Christians stayed behind and helped those who were ill and dying. Eusebius, a church historian, states that because of the Christians compassion in the midst of the plague, the Christians’ “deeds were on everyone’s lips, and they glorified the God of the Christians. Such actions convinced them that they alone were pious and truly reverent to God.”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:52 PM November 6, 2020.

Day of Reckoning

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Day of Reckoning

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Stewardship; Accountability; Reckon / Matthew 25:14–30

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, is recorded as having said the following:

“Never say about anything, ‘I have lost it,’ but only ‘I have given it back.’ Is your child dead? It has been given back. Is your wife dead? She has been given back. ‘I have had my farm taken away., Very well, this too has been given back. Yet it was a rascal who took it away. But what concern is it of yours by whose instrumentality the Giver called for its return? So long as He gives it to you, take care of it as of a thing that is not your own, as travelers treat their inn” (The Encheiridion, 11).

If this non-Christian could see all of life as a stewardship, how much more should we believers?1322

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 358.

Today we are going to study the parable of the stewards. We are going to learn about trust, stewardship, responsibility, faithfulness and accountability. This message is so full of truth, we will be taking both this morning and this evening to explore it.

The main truth we will discover is that we own nothing we have been given by God. We are only servants, intrusted with our Master’s possessions. One day we will have to answer for what we did with these things. Sometime, whether soon, or in the future, there will come an ultimate day of Reckoning.

The Master Gives

Matthew 25:14 KJV

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

 • He is going away for a while – he will not be watching their every move.

 • These are his servants

 • These are his goods

Matthew 25:15 KJV

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

 • Not everyone is intrusted with the same stuff

 • Not everyone is intrusted with the same amount of stuff.

 • The master knew his servants.

 • The master gave according to raw abilities.

 • There is no requirement of equal distribution in order to expect equal faithfulness.

 • Everything you have, you do not possess.  

 • God has intrusted with with:

  • Your job

  • Your car

  • Your house

  • Your Parents

  • Your spouse

  • Your children

  • Your relationships

  • Your possessions

  • Your Position

  • Your influence

  • Your Facebook friends

  • Your ministries

  • Your church

  • Your talents

  • Your passions and abilities

  • Your intellect

  • Your opportunities

The Servants Act.

Matthew 25:16–17 KJV

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

 • Faithful servants invested

 • Faithful servants took the risk (knowing they will owe the principle one way or another)

 • Faithful servants sought to multiply the talents given.

 • Faithful servants knew that the gain was the master’s not theirs.

 • Faithful servants knew their Lord’s return was imminent, even though it was not immediate.

 • What have you done with what you have been given to multiply it for the sake of the kingdom? 

 • Have you demonstrated that you understand that what you have been given is not yours to possess, but to use for the Master’s gain?

Matthew 25:18 KJV

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

 • The wicked servant hid the money.

 • He did not simply put it in the bank… then it would be on record that it was his Lord’s money… he hid it in the ground with the hope that if his Lord did not return, he could take full possession of it.

 • Though the servant did not outright steal the money, his sin was not using it wisely for his master’s prophet.

At 12:55 pm the mayday call crackled through the speakers at the Flight Service Station on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The desperate pilot of a Piper A22, a small single-engine plane, was reporting that he had run out of fuel and was preparing to ditch the aircraft in the waters of Cook Inlet.

On board were four people, two adults and two young girls, ages 11 and 12. They had departed two hours earlier from Port Alsworth, a small community on the south shore of Lake Clark, bound for Soldotna, a distance of about 150 miles. Under normal conditions it would been a routine flight; however, the combination of fierce headwinds and a failure to top off the fuel tank had created a lethal situation.

Upon hearing the plane’s tail number, the air traffic controller realized that his own daughter was one of the young passengers aboard the plane. In desperation himself, he did everything possible to assist the pilot; but suddenly the transmission was cut off. The plane had crashed into the icy waters. Four helicopters operating nearby began searching the area within minutes of the emergency call, but they found no evidence of the plane and no survivors. The aircraft had been traveling without water survival gear, leaving its four passengers with even less of a chance to make it through the ordeal. Fiercely cold Cook Inlet, with its unpredictable glacial currents, is considered among the most dangerous waters in the world. It can claim a life in minutes, and that day it claimed four.

Kirk adds these thoughts to the story: For reasons we will never know, the pilot of that doomed aircraft chose not to use the resources that were at his disposal. He did not have enough fuel. He did not have the proper survival equipment. Perhaps he had not taken the time to get the day’s weather report. Whatever the case, he did not use the resources that were available; and in this instance the consequences were fatal.

I wonder how many other people have died needlessly like these four people did? Why, because someone did not manage and or use the resources they had at their disposal. – I also wonder how many have died without Jesus — spiritually speaking from others being poor stewards of the resources God has placed them in charge of.

Nowery states, “The stewardship of resources is a serious business; and God’s will is that we give it serious attention. This demands that we have the right perspective on our resources, and that is possible only if we have the right focus on our source.”

(Story from Kirk Nowery: “The Stewardship of Life,” Page 118. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, 12 dollars a changed life, 6/20/2012)

The Master Returns

When Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, there were many people buried in the ruins. Some were found in cellars, as if they had gone there for security. Some were found in the upper rooms of buildings. But where was the Roman sentinel found? Standing at the city gate where he had been placed by the captain, with his hands still grasping his weapon. There, while the earth shook beneath him—there, while the floods of ashes and cinders covered him—he had stood at his post. And there, after a thousand years, was this faithful man still to be found.4821

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 143.

Matthew 25:19 KJV

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

 • After a long time

 • Day of reckoning

 • Someday you will have to account for all you have been intrusted with.

1 Corinthians 4:1 KJV

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

The Faithful Servants to the Master

Matthew 25:20 KJV

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

Matthew 25:22 KJV

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

 • Lord you gave me ___________

 • Realized that this was his master’s 

 • Knew exactly what he was trusted with.

 • I have gained ___________

 • But still knew that the gain was his master’s

 • If today was the day of reckoning, what could you tell the master he gave you and you used to get gain for the kingdom?

  • You gave me my children – I raised them for you.

  • You gave me a spouse – I made that spouse better for you.

  • You gave me a church – I made that church better for you.

  • You gave me a job – I shined the light using that job for you.

  • You gave me a home, car, money, food, possessions, I used them to do more for you.

The Master to His Faithful Servants

Matthew 25:21 KJV

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:23 KJV

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 • Well done – The righteous judge approves

 • Good and Faithful Servant – you proved you could be trusted.

 A little boy walked down the beach, and as he did, he spied a matronly woman sitting under a beach umbrella on the sand. He walked up to her and asked, “Are you a Christian?”


“Do you read your Bible every day?”

She nodded her head, “Yes.”

“Do you pray often?” the boy asked next, and again she answered, “Yes.”

With that he asked his final question, “Will you hold my quarter while I go swimming?1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 389.

 • You were faithful over a few

 • I will now make you ruler (not steward) over many.

The Wicked Servant to the Master

Matthew 25:24–25 KJV

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

 • I know you are a hard man (implying that the master is basically unfair)

 • You take what you did not work for ( implying that any gain should have been the steward’s gain)

 • I was afraid – no personal relationship with the Master.

 • His thy talent in the earth ( not completely upfront with his motives)

 • Take what is yours – not even willing to dig it up for him.

 • Often people do religious things out of fear of punishment rather than love for the redeemer.  

 • This wicked servant is the picture of someone who has never had a saving relationship with the master.


This leads us to a simple but important principle: Our faithfulness in the little things will determine how faithful we will be with bigger things.

There is a story about a huge bank where one of the employees was up for a significant promotion. He lost that promotion one day in the bank’s cafeteria when the President of the bank saw the man hide two pats of butter under his bread so he wouldn’t have to pay for them. The President of the bank concluded that any man who was dishonest about butter could not be trusted with bigger things.

Little things are important. It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;

for want of a shoe the horse was lost;

and for want of a horse the rider was lost;

being overtaken and slain by the enemy,

all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.

(From a sermon by Bruce Goettsche, “Little Things” 1/12/2009)

The Master to the Wicked Servant

Matthew 25:26–30 KJV

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 • Wicked – still in sin.. deceptive trying to take his Lord’s money

 • Slothful

 • You knew what was expected and did nothing

 • Take what he has and give it to the most faithful

 • Cast out the unprofitable servant.

When a flock of crows invades a field of corn, the birds customarily station two sentries in a nearby tree to keep watch and warn the rest of any danger. In Character Sketches, Bill Gothard relates the story of two people who succeeded in sneaking up on the flock and scaring them before the sentries had given warning. The birds burst into flight, immediately attacked and killed the two sentries, and only then flew off.1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:05 PM October 24, 2020.

Stewards of Grace

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

Stewards of Grace

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Stewardship; Spiritual Gifts / 1 Peter 4:9–11

Dave Stone says that “service is the language of grace.”

One day a couple of church members were out distributing loaves of bread in a low-income housing complex. They came to an apartment where they heard arguing through the door, but they decided to knock anyway. A man opened the door and asked what they wanted. One of the visitors said, “We don’t want anything. We just wondered if you know anyone who could use some loaves of bread?”

“Why are you doing that?” the man asked.

“Just to let people know that God loves them.”

“What did you just say?” the man asked, rather anxiously.

“We’re just handing out loaves of bread to let people know that God loves them.”

The man stared and said, “I can’t believe this. We just buried our three-week-old son yesterday, and now here you are at our door.”

The visitors offered to pray with them, and the couple accepted their offer. As they were leaving, and the door was being closed, they heard the husband say to his wife, “See, honey? I told you God cares. We thought he wasn’t paying attention to us, but he sent those people here to make sure we knew.”

Too many people make excuses as to why they can’t serve. Can you bake a cake? Can you cook some food item? Can you cut someone’s grass? Can you call people and give them an encouraging word? Can you do housework? Can you do handy work? Can you donate anything of value? Can you stop along your way and give a smile? Can you take an interest in someone else’s life?

The big thing is that you have to be ready to serve. You have to open your eyes and your ears to the needs of others.

As we continue to study 1 Peter, we see that even though we are not from around here, we are to use what God gives us, to help those who are around here. Perhaps they will also become pilgrims and join us in our journey to a better country. God has given us so many things, let us together be stewards of God’s grace.

Use Every Gift God Has Given You.

1 Peter 4:10 KJV

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

A “steward” was one who served as a house manager; he had no wealth of V 2, p 854 his own, but distributed his master’s wealth according to his master’s will and direction. The “gift” (charisma) stems from God’s grace (charitos). His grace is manifested to His church as believers exercise their spiritual gifts in service to each other. His grace is evident in its various forms, that is, it is “manifold” (nasb), variegated, rich in variety (poikil?s; cf. 1:6, where Peter said trials are poikilois, or varied).1

1 Roger M. Raymer, “1 Peter,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 853–854.

“As” is in the Greek text “in whatever quality or quantity.” The word “gift” here is not the usual Greek word, but one that refers to the special spiritual enablements given graciously to certain Christians as an aid in the discharge of the special duties to which God has called them, as in I Corinthians 12 and 13. The word “stewards” is literally “one who governs a household.” It speaks of the responsibility of the proper use and disposition of something entrusted to one’s care.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 116.

Use The Gift of Hospitality

1 Peter 4:9 KJV

Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

The word “hospitality” is the translation of a Greek word meaning literally “friendly to strangers.” Thus the thought in the mind of the apostle is not that of hospitality shown to one’s friends who do not need it, but to Christians who in their travels for the Lord Jesus, or for whatever other reason, may be in need of food and shelter. The persecutions which some of these Christians were enduring deprived them often of the necessities of life, and such an exhortation as this was needed.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 115–116.

  • without grudging

But even with all its value, the practice was often a costly act of love for Christians who themselves often lived on a hand-to-mouth basis. Thus Peter does not simply call for hospitality (a virtue that they knew about and that would be even more in demand as persecution forced believers to flee their native villages), but for it to be offered “ungrudgingly.” This term, which means “grumbling” or “complaining”

Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 159.

On June 28 (2005), four Navy SEAL commandos were on a mission in Afghanistan, searching for a notorious al-Qaeda terrorist leader hiding in a Taliban stronghold.

As the battle ensued, three of the SEALs were killed, and the fourth, Marcus Luttrell was blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade and blown over a cliff. Severely injured, he spent the next four days fighting off six al Qaeda assassins who were sent to finish him, and then crawled for seven miles through the mountains before he was taken in by a Pashtun tribe, who risked everything to protect him from the encircling Taliban killers.

They took Luttrell back to their village, where the law of hospitality, considered “strictly non-negotiable,” took hold. “They were committed to defend me against the Taliban,” Luttrell wrote, “until there was no one left alive.” (Lone Survivor – by Marcus Luttrell)

Use the Gift of Speech

1 Peter 4:11 KJV

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Peter gives two general examples of how God’s gifts should be used. First, “if someone speaks” covers the whole range of speaking gifts, that is, glossolalia (the second half of which comes from the verb Peter is using), prophecy, teaching, and evangelism (or preaching). It is not referring to casual talk among Christians, nor is it referring only to the actions of elders or other church officials (to whom it will be restricted in the Apostolic Fathers), but to each Christian who may exercise one of these verbal gifts. Such speech is not to be simply his or her own good ideas, nor even good exegesis, but “as … the very words of God.” 

2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Use The Gift of Service

1 Peter 4:11 KJV

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Ability that God Giveth:

…appears only here and in 2 Cor. 9:10 in the NT. It originally meant “to pay the expense for training a chorus” for a Greek theater or “to defray the expenses for something.” In 2 Corinthians it indicates a God who “will supply and multiply your resources” (RSV). Here the Christian sees a service that God wants done. One can try to do it out of one’s own zeal and strength (which might appear effective in some ministries, but not in others, e.g., healing), a recipe for ultimate ineffectiveness and burnout, or one can depend on that strength which God provides; God has ordered the job done; God will pay the expenses, be they material, physical, or emotional. He “backs up the act” of the Christian who is being a good steward of his gifts in dependence on him.1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 161–162.

The Ultimate Aim is the Glory of God.

1 Peter 4:11 KJV

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Some of us remember the bitter conflict between Russia and Finland in 1939. At last, Finnish officials ordered evacuation of their beloved homeland, including that of an old lady living alone. She had only a few hours to gather together her belongings. She was also told that to prevent the house from falling into Russian hands, it would be burned when she left. When the soldiers returned to pick up the dear soul, she was on her knees scrubbing the floor. Being astonished, they asked: “Mother, did you not understand we must burn your home?”

“Yes,” she said, “but if I must give it to my country, I want it to be the best I have to give.”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:36 AM October 8, 2020.

When The War Is Over

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

When The War Is Over

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Heaven; Kingdom; Eternity / Revelation 21:1–5; Revelation 22:1–7

A man who has a layover at an airport does not go into the bathroom, frown at its decor, and start redecorating! Why? Because he doesn’t live there. He has a home in another place. While he is away he will get by with only what he absolutely needs, to have more money with which to furnish his permanent home.

Why do we Christians work hard at trying to make our life in this world more comfortable? This is just the airport and we are in transit. We should spend our energy on enhancing our eternal reward, and not worry so much about the bare walls in the airport restrooms.638

The struggle to get through this sin cursed world is real and it is exhausting. However, we do not face these troubled times of folks with no hope. I have read the final chapter in God’s Book. I know how the story ends. I know what happens when the war is over!

There will be no more separation from God.

Revelation 21:3 KJV

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 • God and man were close in the Garden of Eden.

 • Sin separated God and man.

 • God will be with man face to face again.

Revelation 22:4 KJV

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

There will be no more tears of regret.

Revelation 21:4 KJV

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Heaven

Dr. W. A. Criswell, the beloved pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, was once asked, “Will we know each other when we get to heaven?” His answer: “We won’t really know each other until we get to heaven.

There will be no more death.

Revelation 21:4 KJV

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

1 Corinthians 15:26 KJV

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 KJV

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:10 KJV

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

There will be no more sorrow = mourning that comes as a result of sickness and death.

Revelation 21:4 KJV

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Isaiah 35:10 KJV

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with songs And everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 25:8 KJV

He will swallow up death in victory; And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; And the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: For the LORD hath spoken it.

There will be no more crying 

 • a Greek word imitating the raven’s cry that denotes a great outcry or clamor.

Psalm 30:11 KJV

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

There will be no more pain.

Isaiah 33:24 KJV

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

There will be no more curse.

Revelation 22:3 KJV

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

Romans 8:21–23 KJV

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

There will be no more night.

Revelation 22:4–5 KJV

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Isaiah 60:19–20 KJV

The sun shall be no more thy light by day; Neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: But the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, And thy God thy glory. 

Thy sun shall no more go down; Neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: For the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, And the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

Jesus is coming soon!

Revelation 22:7 KJV

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:12 KJV

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation 22:17 KJV

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Our Labor Is Not In Vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Heaven

“There are a lot of questions the Bible doesn’t answer about the Hereafter. But I think one reason is illustrated by the story of a boy sitting down to a bowl of spinach when there’s a chocolate cake at the end of the table. He’s going to have a rough time eating that spinach when his eyes are on the cake. And if the Lord had explained everything to us about what’s ours to come, I think we’d have a rough time with our spinach down here” (Vance Havner).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:51 AM October 1, 2020.

One Lawgiver

Friday, September 25th, 2020

One Lawgiver

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Slander / James 4:11–12

The Critic

A little seed lay on the ground,

And soon began to sprout.

“Now, which of all the flowers around,”

It mused, “shall I come out?

The lily’s face is fair and proud,

But just a trifle cold;

The rose, I think, is rather loud,

And then, its fashion’s old.

The violet is all very well,

But not a flower I’d choose;

Nor yet the Canterbury bell—

I never cared for blues,”

And so it criticized each flower,

This supercilious seed,

Until it woke one summer morn,

And found itself—a weed.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 87.

It is so easy to evaluate (judge) critique and slander each other these days. The sin is not unique to our time, but the ability to get on the internet and spew our judgmental ignorance and hatred to the entire world is. This evening as we meditate on our text passage, we will discover that the reason we dare not judge and slander other brothers and sisters in Christ is that there is A Lawgiver, it is not you or me, and there can be only one!

Do Not Slander Your Brother.

James 4:11 KJV

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Do Not Lie About Him

1 Peter 3:16 KJV

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

2 Timothy 3:3 KJV

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Proverbs 6:19 KJV

A false witness that speaketh lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.

Do Not Broadcast Truth With Evil Intent.

Ephesians 4:31 KJV

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

1 Timothy 3:11 KJV

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

Proverbs 11:13 KJV

A talebearer revealeth secrets: But he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 18:8 KJV

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Proverbs 20:19 KJV

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

Proverbs 26:20 KJV

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

If You Slander Your Brother, You Are Judging Your Brother.

James 4:11 KJV

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Romans 14:14 KJV

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Matthew 7:1–2 KJV

Judge not, that ye be not judged. 

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Romans 2:1 KJV

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Romans 14:10–12 KJV

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

If You Judge Your Brother, then You Are Judging and Slandering the Law.

James 4:11 KJV

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Leviticus 19:16 KJV

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

 It is thus the slandering damner who runs afoul of James’s words. Such a person is actually slandering and judging the Torah because he has usurped the role of God in the act of condemnation and has chosen to defy what God has said not to do. In this way, the slandering damner defies God and transfers authority from God’s Torah to himself.381 So, 4:11b’s words make sense only by assuming what is about to be said in 4:11c and 4:12a: that judgment belongs to God alone.1

1 Scot McKnight, The Letter of James, The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011), 363.

There Is Only One Lawgiver.

James 4:12 KJV

There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

4:12. Only One is above the Law. He alone has the right to modify or overrule it. God is the one Lawgiver and Judge. “Lawgiver” is a compound noun used only here in the New Testament (nomothet?s, from nomos, “law,” and tith?mi, “to set, place, constitute, or lay down”). God not only authored the Law; He also administrates the Law. He serves as both the executive and judicial branches of the divine government. God is King; He institutes and declares His Law. God is Judge; He upholds and enforces His Law.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 831.

Only God Can Save Or Condemn

Matthew 10:28 KJV

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Deuteronomy 32:39 KJV

See now that I, even I, am he, And there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: Neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

How Dare You Presume God’s Role? Who Do You Think You Are?

But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? is another of James’ typical penetrating rhetorical questions. A humble attitude and just actions are essential for spiritual growth. James then went on to show how these qualities of life militate against empty boasting.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 831.

The point is clinched with a devastating question. The disjunctive pronoun is sarcastic, emphasizing the sheer folly of the world to judge, while the vigorous proleptic you serves to widen the gulf between God’s judgment and man’s. “And who are you that pass judgment on another?” To which John Wesley replies: “A poor, weak, dying worm.” For James, as for us, however, the best answer is scornful silence.1

1 James B. Adamson, The Epistle of James, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), 178.

 A man was applying for the job of private secretary to Winston Churchill. Before introducing him, an aunt of Churchill’s told the man, “Remember, you will see all of Winston’s faults in the first five hours. It will take you a lifetime to discover his virtues.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 87.

Do not slander your brother or sister in Christ. 

There is only one Lawgiver! Do not presume authority over your Brother of Sister. There is only one Lawgiver. Do not presume authority over the Law. There is only one law giver. It is not you. It is God, now let Him work!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:22 AM September 25, 2020.