Archive for the ‘Wednesday Evening Sermons’ Category

Light Logic

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Light Logic

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

I remember reading a sermon illustration given by the powerful proclaimer, Rev. Dr. A. W. Mays of Austin, Texas.

He told us of an incident that took place in his hometown of Austin concerning a streetlight. In Austin there was a high crime area, and the residents of the community petitioned the city of Austin to put up streetlights in this crime area. Dr. Mays stated that once the lights were up crime subsided for a while. But someone took a rock or something and knocked out the streetlights and crime in that area resumed. This took place over and over again… The lesson is that the only thing that will penetrate darkness is the presence of light.


We have finally turned the corner in our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge and are in the New Testament. This evening’s text is part of the famous Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching us that believers are to be salt and light, making a difference in this wicked and dark world.

The message contained in our verses this evening is not only that we should be light contrasting our actions from those of the unregenerate masses, but also it is a message of how we can best use the light we have as Born Again believers. Tonight let us closely examine our Savior’s teaching and discover some powerful Light Logic.

You Are The Light

 Matthew 5:14 (KJV)

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

As salt makes a difference in people’s food, so light makes a difference in their surroundings.

Jesus is the Light

John 1:4–6 KJV

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 

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

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

John 1:9 KJV

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

You Were Full of Darkness

Proverbs 4:19 KJV

The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble.

Ephesians 5:8 KJV

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

You Have Christ in You

Romans 8:9 KJV

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

You Now 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.

You say, “Now, wait a minute, pastor. You may be the light, but I’m not the light. I’m excused.” Oh, no. My dear friend, you are the light of the world. And, what happens, so many times, is that our members don’t understand that.

• It’s like a general who calls his army together, and he lectures to them on the principles of war and tells them all about warfare. And then, he sends them off to eat a chicken dinner while he puts his rifle on his shoulder and goes off to war.•

1 Adrian Rogers, “Bright Lights in a Dark World,” in Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust, 2017), Mt 5:14–16.

A Gathering Of Lights Cannot Be Hidden!

 Matthew 5:14 (KJV)

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

The More Folks That Get Saved, The More Light that Shines

Daniel 12:3 KJV

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Church is the Gathering of Individual Lights to Make a Bright Display.

Do Not Cover, But Display Your 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.

A light is ?rst and foremost something which is meant to be seen. The houses in Palestine were very dark, with only one little circular window perhaps not more than eighteen inches across. The lamp was like a sauce-boat ?lled with oil with the wick ?oating in it. It was not so easy to rekindle a lamp in the days before matches existed. Normally the lamp stood on the lamp stand, which would be no more than a roughly shaped branch of wood; but when people went out, for safety’s sake, they took the lamp from its stand and put it under an earthen bushel measure, so that it might burn without risk until they came back. The primary duty of the light of the lamp was to be seen.

So, Christianity is something which is meant to be seen. As someone has well said, ‘There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either the secrecy destroys the discipleship, or the discipleship destroys the secrecy.’ Our Christianity should be perfectly visible to everyone.

Further, this Christianity should be visible not only within the Church. A Christianity whose effects stop at the church door is not much use to anyone. It should be even more visible in the ordinary activities of the world. Our Christianity should be visible in the way we treat a shop assistant across the counter, in the way we order a meal in a restaurant, in the way we treat our employees or serve our employer, in the way we play a game or drive or park a car, in the daily language we use, in the daily literature we read. As Christians, we should be just as much a Christian in the factory, the workshop, the shipyard, the mine, the schoolroom, the surgery, the kitchen, the golf course and the playing ?eld as we are in church. Jesus did not say: ‘You are the light of the Church’; he said: ‘You are the light of the world’—and in our lives in the world our Christianity should be evident to all.1

1 William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 2001), 142–143.


“Why would anyone try to hide a light?” Jesus asked. Unfortunately many Christians do just that. We hide our light by

• being quiet when we should speak

• going along with the crowd

• denying the truth

• letting sin dim our witness for Christ

• not explaining the truth to others

• ignoring the needs of others

Be a beacon of truth—don’t shut off your light from the rest of the world.

1 Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 85.

God has called us to shine.… Let no man or woman say that they cannot shine because they have not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have.… Remember, a small light will do a good deal when it is in a very dark place. Put one little tallow candle in the middle of a large hall, and it will give a good deal of light.

Dwight L. Moody*1

1 Elliot Ritzema and Elizabeth Vince, eds., 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Modern Church, Pastorum Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013).

Shine Your Light

 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- not for men’s approval

Matthew 6:2 KJV

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Through Your Good Works

1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Get Glory For The Father

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

At the end of the 2012 baseball season, many people expected the San Francisco Giants to put outfielder Melky Cabrera, who had been suspended for using a banned substance, on their postseason roster to help them make a run at a world championship. The team decided character was as important as production, and left Cabrera off the roster; they won the World Series anyway. In 2014 the Giants won another championship, and Bobby Evans, one of the men who makes key decisions for the club, says his goal is the same as it was in 2012: to honor Christ in all he does.

Evans has been with the Giants since 2006, and though his title has changed, his job includes negotiating player contracts, helping to acquire free agents, and signing minor league talent. Evans says there can be pressure to be dishonest in some situations, but he wants to be known for being truthful. He said, “You want your life to point people to Christ. It starts for me with my own relationship with Christ. That’s going to direct and dictate what influence I have for Christ in my family, in my marriage, and in the workplace.”

—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:34 PM October 6, 2021.

You Be You!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

You Be You

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

“You Be You” This phrase is often quoted by Facebook prophets, preachers, and self proclaimed experts of self help virtue. This phrase is often used to embolden people to reject anyone else’s judgment and boldly and publically embrace their own choice, expression and even sexual identity. But wait??!!? What does the Bible say about our personal identity?

This is actually the subject of Jonah 1:1-9. Jonah was a prophet. He didn’t want to be a prophet. God called him to a people he hated. He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to be a prophet. He ran away from who he was. Just because Jonah was upset with who he was did not change who he was. So while God called him north, he ran south and sailed *souther*… So God followed him and sent a storm. The pegan sailors knew that some god was mad and they cast lots to figure out whose god was mad and the lot fell on Jonah. Immediately they wanted to know who he was… what was his identity.

Jonah 1:7–8 KJV

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

Hmm. What was Jonah going to do? It was at that point Jonah began to come face to face with his identity. He was not his own. He had to embrace the fact that as a believer he was not his own. His identity belonged to the One he served.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Luke 9:23 KJV

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

We must first embrace our own old identity, as Jesus said, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself . . . “ We must embrace it and deny it, then by faith accept our spiritual identity in Jesus Christ. The analogy is given, for purposes of illustrating, of a fifteen year old, unmarried and pregnant girl. Abortion is not an option and the girl has made the decision to give the baby up for adoption. Should she see the baby prior to giving it up or not. One might suggest it would be easier to have the baby and leave the hospital without have seen him and avoid the trauma of separation. That would seem easier, but would she have faced the reality of the situation?

Did you ever try to give away something you never had? Without seeing the baby, there’s a sense of unreality about the situation. Of course, she’s carried the baby in her womb, but there’s a difference between that and holding the baby and owning him. Once the young mother has held the baby and owned and loved him for a day or so, and then given him to the adoptive parents, the reality hits with full force. Then it’s possible to go through the grief process, the separation anxiety or whatever sense of loss the mother experiences.

My point is, when it comes to our humanly achieved identity, each of us needs to ask the question, “Have I owned my ‘baby,’ or is there still a sense of unreality about the identity out of which I live?” For us to accept our new identity in Jesus Christ, each of us must define our humanly achieved or fleshly, worldly identity and look it squarely to understand what we must lose if we are to live out of our true identity in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must “lose our baby,” which has been in the formation stage for a lifetime, if we’re to know the joy and blessing of our new identity as accepted and dearly loved children of God in Christ.

I’ve “owned my baby,” the identity I’ve held of positive performance-based acceptance, of being a good pastor, of performing well as the preacher and receiving the acceptance I get from “a job well done” or “a great sermon,” that handshake of affirmation at the back door, of pleasing other people which is all a part of my past identity. I own it and I’ve given it up and I receive the identity of Jesus Christ.


So as Jonah came face to face with his sin, he had to embrace his identity as a believer. Tonight as we dig into this powerful story. Let us realize that as believers we are not our own. We have a new identity. Only then can we live out the Facebook admonition, You Be You.

Jonah 1:9 KJV

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Jonah’s flight is stopped by the questions from the heathen crewmen. He hears them, and in so doing shows the first indication of overcoming the human impulse to hide. He is no longer simply one of the crowd. Jonah’s hopes for anonymity were dashed by the hopes of the sailors to identify the cause of the storm.

Now his claim is open to being challenged by the pagans. They were in no doubt that the gods were capable of rescuing them if only they could find the right key, that is, the right god, and the cause of the storm. In putting Jonah on the spot, the pagan sailors were putting his God on the spot. It is they who force the issue. Jonah appears to have been happy to let the storm do its worst, but the pagans will not accept this and Jonah, in extremis, is forced to declare himself as one who ‘fears’ the Lord. His claim will now be put to the test.1

1 Rosemary A. Nixon, The Message of Jonah: Presence in the Storm, ed. Alec Motyer, Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 102.

I Am One Of The Chosen

A Hebrew

Genesis 24:7 KJV

The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

“I am an Hebrew”—that meant a lot. The Hebrews were known to be monotheistic; that is, they worshiped one God, never an idol. They had no other gods before them but worshiped the God who is the Creator.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Prophets (Jonah/Micah), electronic ed., vol. 29 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 29.

I am a New Creature 

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I Belong to the Savior

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

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

I Fear The Lord

Fear – Worship

In one sense the prophet ignores the question concerning his occupation. He does not say that God has given him the task of going to Nineveh; he is escaping still from his vocation. Yet in another sense he has stated it by saying that he ‘fears the Lord’. In one sense he does fear the Lord, for he is an Israelite, one of God’s covenant people. Yet again he does not fear the Lord, for he is running away from him. He also overlooks the question about where he is from; only the reader listening in at this point knows that he comes from the presence of the Lord.1

1 Rosemary A. Nixon, The Message of Jonah: Presence in the Storm, ed. Alec Motyer, Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 101.

The LORD – Jehovah

Jonah had not been asked about his religion, but he volunteers the information that he is a worshiper of (or “one who fears” rsv) Yahweh, the maker of sea and land. Smith-Goodspeed has “I stand in awe of the LORD.” The combination of the two parts of his answer may be taken in either of two ways: (1) since he is a Hebrew, he must therefore be a worshiper of Yahweh, or (2) he is a Hebrew, and in the restrictive sense, one of those who worships Yahweh. The first of these two is more likely. Yahweh is the personal name of the God of Israel, and is generally represented in English translations by “the LORD.” (jb is an exception in this respect). “The LORD” is a title, whereas Yahweh is a name, which might seem to favor using a name approximating in sound to Yahweh in a modern translation

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 61–62.

If, however, one is to employ the expression “Lord,” it is important to combine features of importance and control, that is to say, a term should suggest that the person involved is a very important individual and that in some senses he governs or controls individuals who address him as “Lord.” An equivalent in some languages is simply “ruler”; in other cases, “master”; and there are some situations in which the closest equivalent indigenous term is “leader.” More frequently, however, the equivalent expression is “chief.”1

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 62.

 • Not man

 • Not another god

 • Not the devil

Exodus 3:13–14 KJV

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I Fear The God of Heaven

In apposition to the name Yahweh, which is placed in an emphatic position, is the descriptive title God of heaven. This title occurs mainly in late books of the Old Testament, but also in Genesis 24:3, 7. Heaven is the dwelling-place of God, but this expression God of heaven also suggests the supremacy of Israel’s God over all rivals. As God of heaven, he is also concerned with the earth, since he made the sea and the dry land (the Hebrew order here, as against tev), which makes up its surface (Gen 1:9, 10), and hence controls the storms. The writer leaves us to infer the lack of logic in Jonah’s position; how could he hope to escape such a God by traveling westwards?1

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 62.

The Creator

Psalm 115:15 KJV

Ye are blessed of the LORD Which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 146:6 KJV

Which made heaven, and earth, The sea, and all that therein is: Which keepeth truth for ever:

Nowhere To Hide

Psalm 139:7–10 KJV

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 

Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.

He Is All Powerful

2 Chronicles 36:23 KJV

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

He Is Merciful

Psalm 136:23 KJV

Who remembered us in our low estate: For his mercy endureth for ever:

If you are born again, you are not who you once were!

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Rather than hiding from or fighting who God is transforming you to be, embrace who you have become and YOU BE YOU!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:52 PM September 28, 2021.

Pass It On

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Pass It On

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

A little boy was leading his sister up a mountain path and the way was not too easy. “Why this isn’t a path at all,” the little girl complained. “Its all rocky and bumpy.” Her little brother kept on up the mountain, pausing just long enough to call out “Sure, but the bumps are what you climb on.”

Christian leaders often get discouraged because they misunderstand their calling. Some fail to understand that they have a responsibility to proclaim the Bible truths that they discover, and others assume that the response of the hearers is somehow a barometer of their own obedience to God. Tonight we will look at God’s calling in the life of the Prophet Ezekiel. We will see that God wanted to make sure that there was one thing that the people had to know. It was not a certain doctrine or a certain warning. The people had to know for sure that there had been a prophet of God among them.

Pass It On In Spite of Potential Rejection

Entrusted with God’s Holy Truth

Ezekiel 2:1–2 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. 

And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Psalm 138:2 KJV

I will worship toward thy holy temple, And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Called to reach your own people.

Ezekiel 2:3–4 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. 

For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.

 1. Rebellious actions against God

 2. Rebellious history with God

 3. Impudent = obstinate

 4. Stiff hearted

 5. Resisting the truth on purpose.

Romans 1:18–24 KJV

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

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: 

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

God leaves their free will intact.

Ezekiel 2:5 KJV

And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

They must know that they had God’s anointed prophet among them.

 1. They may not listen to his message.

 2. They may not respond to his message.

 3. They must know that God’s message was given.

Pass it On Boldly

Ezekiel 2:6–8 KJV

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. 

And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. 

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

1 Corinthians 4:1–4 KJV

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

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Be not afraid of the godless people.

 1. They are like scorpions – full of poison

 2. Do not fear their words – inflammatory response to your message, personal attacks.

 3. Do not fear their looks.

Ezekiel 3:8 KJV

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

Speak the Word’s of God, not your opinion.

Your silence would be rebellion.

Pass It On Clearly

Speak God’s words.

Ezekiel 3:4 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Many will not listen.

Ezekiel 3:7–9 KJV

But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. 

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 

As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

This is done to give them another chance.

Ezekiel 3:10–11 KJV

Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. 

And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

Pass On The Warning

Ezekiel 3:17–21 KJV

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 

Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

 A. Trusted with the truth.

 B. Responsible to proclaim that truth.

 C. Not responsible for negative response to that truth.

I heard a story about a guy who applied for a job as an usher at a theater in the mall. As a part of the interview process, the manager asked him, “What would you do in case a fire breaks out?”

The young guy answered, “Don’t worry about me. I can get out fine.”

That’s exactly how many in today’s world respond to a lost and dying world around them. If you asked them “What would you do if Jesus came back tomorrow?” they would probably respond, “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’d be fine.”

But what is all to easy to forget is that you’re an usher! It isn’t enough just to get out yourself. You are responsible for helping others know the way.

SOURCE: From Charles Cockroft’s Sermon: Am I My Brother’s Keeper

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:26 PM September 8, 2021.

Psst… Wanna Know A Secret?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

Psst… Wanna Know A Secret?

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

Have you heard the story about the pastor who had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc., but the kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke, the tree went “bong!” and the kitten instantly sailed through the air out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,” and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”

She replied, “You won’t believe this,” and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, “Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.” She continued, “I watched my child go out into the back yard, get down on her knees to pray, and, really, Pastor, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, a kitten suddenly came flying out of the clear blue sky and landed right in front of her!”

The Prophet Jeremiah was under lock down. He knew the fall of Judah was imminent, yet God promised a restoration. In fact God had him buy land and record the transaction in faith that one day the land would be restored. It was in this dark and confusing time that God came with these wonderful words to Jeremiah: Psst… Wanna Know A Secret?

Call Unto Me

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

 As elsewhere in this book, Call to me does not mean simply to call out or shout the Lord’s name; rather, the meaning is to call upon him for help (see 29:12). If this is not clear, translators can express it directly; for example, “Call my name asking for help” or “Call to me to help you.”

Newman, B. M., Jr., & Stine, P. C. (2003). A handbook on Jeremiah (p. 684). New York: United Bible Societies.

 Chapter 33 followed closely the message of chapter 32 as Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard (cf. 32:1–2). God again identified Himself to Jeremiah by stressing both His power and His character. He is the God who made the earth (cf. 32:17). By revealing to Jeremiah that the Lord (Yahweh) is His name, God emphasized His covenant-keeping faithfulness on behalf of His people (cf. 32:18; Ex. 3:13–15). Jeremiah did not understand how God could V 1, p 1175 restore a nation that was destined for doom (cf. Jer. 32:24–25), so God challenged the prophet to call to Him for understanding. God promised to answer by revealing great and unsearchable things.1

1 Charles H. Dyer, “Jeremiah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1174–1175

Jeremiah 32:18 KJV

Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

I Will Answer!

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

In the Day of Trouble

Psalm 50:15 KJV

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psalm 91:15 KJV

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

For Increased Intimacy with God

Psalm 145:18 KJV

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, To all that call upon him in truth.

Isaiah 55:6 KJV

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, Call ye upon him while he is near:

God Already Heard You

Isaiah 65:24 KJV

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; And while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

I Will Reveal Secrets You Need to Know

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

 God promised to answer by revealing great and unsearchable things. The word for “unsearchable” (be??rô?) means something that is made inaccessible by fortifying it or enclosing it. It is used to describe heavily fortified cities (cf. Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5; 28:52; Ezek. 21:20). God’s plans for the future are inaccessible to ordinary people. Only God can unlock the secrets of the future, and He offered this knowledge to Jeremiah. God would share with Jeremiah “things” the prophet did not know or understand about Israel’s future.1

1 Charles H. Dyer, “Jeremiah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1175.

 Presumably the people of Judah are invited to call upon Yahweh in this critical hour. He will answer and tell them of great things which are inaccessible to men. The context indicates that the inaccessible things concern the future, which was beyond their understanding at that time, but when the day came they would understand (cf. 30:24, etc.).1

1 J. A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980), 598.

 These “great things” are also described, uniquely, as “fortified.” While the fortifications of Jerusalem are about to fall at the hand of the Babylonian army, the “wall” around the unknown divine plan is opened for the benefit of Jeremiah and his audience.

Keown, G. L. (1998). Jeremiah 26–52 (Vol. 27, p. 170). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

If you, like Jeremiah, are reeling from disappointments and bad news, if you wonder what in the world God is up to, remember Our Covenant Keeping God has left us an invitation to enter boldly into the throne of Grace. Call upon God! He will answer! He will show you mighty, unsearchable things that you do not yet know.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:34 PM August 24, 2021.

Simple Answers to a Complex Problem

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Simple Answers to a Complex Problem

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / God’s Sovereignty; Eternity / Ecclesiastes 3:1–15

Why does it seem so stinking hard to understand what in the world God is trying to do? We know God has promised to work all things together for good… but that good seems to be illusive.

Romans 8:28 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.

We have learned from our study of Daniel that God indeed is in charge. The great preacher and author R.C. SPROUL said “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

So there is the promise, but how does that work when we see the heartbreak of living in this sin cursed world? We know that in God’s eternal mind it all has a perfect purpose, but how can we make sense of it?

The wisest man besides Jesus to ever live grapples with this problem in our passage tonight. We will find that much of the lack of understanding is because of the concept of time. We are temporal, and God is eternal. So let us dig into the truth of this passage and find some simple answers to a very complex question… what is God doing and how can it be good?

God’s Plan and Timing Is Beautiful

Even though man struggles to understand how.

Ecclesiastes 3:10 KJV

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

Everything is By Design and Purpose

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

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.

God’s Timing Is Perfect

 Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)

 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…

Galatians 6:9 KJV

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Psalm 145:15 KJV

The eyes of all wait upon thee; And thou givest them their meat in due season.

I heard Mike Reynolds, then the Director of Utah Missions, at a meeting in South Carolina telling about leading a Mormon to Christ the first time he witnessed to him. It was such an unusual experience for Mike that he began asking questions about others who had witnessed to the man. He then said, “Something like nineteen other people had witnessed to him before I did.”

“Something like nineteen other people” who had witnessed to him may not know he has professed faith in the Jesus of the Bible. “Something like nineteen other people” may be frustrated because they have not seen the results of their efforts. The truth is, only God knows all the results of all our efforts.

Mankind Is Not Capable of Comprehending God’s Entire Plan.

God has given man a glimpse at the concept of eternity.

 Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)

 … also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Man was created in the image of God, and was given dominion over creation (Gen. 1:26–28); therefore, he is different from the rest of creation. He has “eternity [“the world,” KJV] in his heart” and is linked to heaven. This explains why nobody (including Solomon) can be satisfied with his or her endeavors and achievements, or is able to explain the enigmas of life (1:12–2:11). God accomplishes His purposes in His time, but it will not be until we enter eternity that we will begin to comprehend His total plan.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 47.

Man is still finite and his comprehension limited

 Ecclesiastes 3:12 (KJV)

 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

Isaiah 55:8–11 KJV

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.

There may indeed be appropriate times for everything, and God does know these times, but, speaking of humans, no one can discover what God is doing. This expression does not arise from a flippant “leave it to God” attitude, but from an agony of desire to know what is going on. But such knowledge is inscrutable. There is nothing (from beginning to end) that human beings can truly fathom.1

1 Tremper Longman, The Book of Ecclesiastes, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 121.

MATT CHANDLER: “Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.”

God’s Plans Are Anchored In Eternity

Ecclesiastes 3:14 KJV

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

God Himself is not even bound by time.

Ecclesiastes 3:15 KJV

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

The Solution: Be A Good Steward of God’s Gift of NOW.

Ecclesiastes 3:12–13 KJV

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Enjoy life

Again Solomon indicated that this ability to enjoy life comes as a gift of God (cf. 2:25). Christian D. Ginsburg properly renders 3:13 as a conditional sentence: “If any man eats and drinks and finds V 1, p 985 satisfaction in all his toil, it is a gift of God” (The Song of Songs and Coheleth, pp. 311–2).1

1 Donald R. Glenn, “Ecclesiastes,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 984–985.

 • Enjoy the fruit of your labor

 • Rest in the truth that God works and lives in the eternal realm

 • Respect the fact that God’s plan is right even though you cannot comprehend it.

 • Realize that we are finite and temporal, God is not and He is in charge.

1 Peter 3:10–12 KJV

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Third, man’s life can be enjoyable now (vv. 12–14). The Preacher hinted at this in 2:24 and was careful to say that this enjoyment of life is the gift of God (see 3:13, 6:2, and 1 Tim. 6:17). “The enjoyment of life” is an important theme in Ecclesiastes and is mentioned in each of the four sections of chapters 3–10. (Review the outline.) Solomon is encouraging not pagan hedonism, but rather the practice of enjoying God’s gifts as the fruit of one’s labor, no matter how difficult life may be. Life appears to be transitory, but whatever God does is forever, so when we live for Him and let Him have His way, life is meaningful and manageable. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, let’s enjoy what we do have and thank God for it.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 48.

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 KJV

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Proverbs 3:1–2 KJV

My son, forget not my law; But let thine heart keep my commandments: 

For length of days, and long life, And peace, shall they add to thee.

“This is God’s universe, and God does things his way. You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.”


Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:22 PM July 27, 2021.

Caution: Toxic Humans!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Caution: Toxic Humans!

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

That great preacher J.Vernon McGee writes,

“I had an uncle who never came to know the Lord. My aunt used to weep and say, “Oh, he won’t listen” Do you know why? With her lived a sister, another aunt, and I used to go there sometimes on Sundays for dinner. Do you know what we had for dinner? Roast preacher One of my aunts went to the Methodist church, the other went to the Presbyterian church, and oh, boy, did they try to outdo each other, talking about the preacher and the fights that were going on. I used to watch my uncle. He would just sit there and eat. Then he’d get up to leave and go down to his club for the afternoon. When he would come home in the evening, he wasn’t drunk, but he sure had had several drinks. They never won him to Christ. There are a lot of people not being won today, my friend, because of the strife that is inside the church. This is an interesting thing: “the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.” And they still dwell in the land. They are right near your church, by the way. ”

Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived and he was inspired to write some scriptures. It is wise for us to learn from his wisdom. Proverbs is full of truth about interpersonal relationships. We can do a lot to improve our relationships just by adopting some principles taught in the Wisdom passages. Tonight’s passage identifies six types of bad actors with toxic behavior. Let us take a few minutes to heed the warning: Caution! Toxic Humans!

Beware of the Meddler

Proverbs 26:17 KJV

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, Is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

 However, most English translations have meddles, which means “involve yourself” or “interfere.” A quarrel not his own is literally “argument not to him,” meaning “an argument that is none of his business,” as in tev.1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 565. 

One who grabs a dog by its ears may expect to be bitten. So is a passer-by, someone not directly involved, who meddles in (lit., “excites himself over”) another’s quarrel. He causes trouble for himself by interfering in a situation he knows little about.1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 962.

Proverbs 14:16 KJV

A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: But the fool rageth, and is confident.

Beware of the Deceitful Deceiver

Proverbs 26:18–19 KJV

As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 

So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, And saith, Am not I in sport?

The second is the person who does dangerous things (v. 18) like deceiving others (v. 19) and then says, “I didn’t mean any harm; I was only joking.” He too will show up in your counseling room. For the sake of testing your own knowledge and ability, why not write out the biblical alternatives to each of these lifestyles? Can you?1

1 Jay E. Adams, Proverbs, The Christian Counselor’s Commentary (Cordova, TN: Institute for Nouthetic Studies, 2020), 200.

The cruel buffoon cannot discern the difference between a joke and cruelty. The comparison of the treacherous clown with an armed and berserk warrior is double. Both cannot distinguish right from wrong and both inflict horrible tragedy upon the community. However, the madman is out of his mind and cannot plot evil, whereas the mischief-maker is cunning, showing he is intellectually capable of carrying out a crime. His problem is not intellectual but spiritual; he lacks kind affections. The madman is not culpable for his crime; the mischief-maker is.1

1 Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 15–31, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005), 359.

Beware of the Talebearer / Gossip

Proverbs 26:20–22 KJV

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

As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; So is a contentious man to kindle strife. 

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

 • Is the fuel to keep strife burning.

 • Is contentious

 • Wounds the hearers to their very core

Already we have had our attention frequently directed to the evil of talebearing. But because we are so slow to learn, we have added instruction in regard to what has become in many places a blighting curse among the people of God. Happy is the assembly of saints that does not number a backbiter or talebearer among its members! As fire goes out for want of fuel, when there is no wood to add to it, so, many difficulties disappear when there is no whisperer to go about perpetuating strife. But, as when coals are added to burning coals, so is a contentious man to cause ill-feelings to be inflamed, and malice and hatred to burn more strongly than ever. It is a wretched business, going about from one to another, stirring up unholy passions, and making unhappy matters all the more difficult to adjust. For the words of a talebearer are by many devoured as though they were choice titbits, which go down into the depths of the being, and are often ineradicable. See chaps. 12:15, and 18:8.1

1 H. A. Ironside, Notes on the Book of Proverbs (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Bros, 1908), 373–374.

Proverbs 11:13 KJV

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

Proverbs 16:27 KJV

An ungodly man diggeth up evil: And in his lips there is as a burning fire.

Proverbs 16:28 KJV

A froward man soweth strife: And a whisperer separateth chief friends.

My name is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobodies friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments, wreck marriages, and ruin careers — cause sleepless nights, heartaches, and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses… I make headlines and headaches. Before you repeat a story, ask yourself, Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not – shut up!

Laura Schlessinger, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life, p. 203

Beware of the Hater

His lips burn with the wickedness pouring out from his heart… passionately hateful

Proverbs 26:23 KJV

Burning lips and a wicked heart Are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

One who makes fervent protestations of love and affection, while all the time his heart is bent on evil, is like a cheap earthen vessel that has been veneered with a coating of drossy silver. Such an article appears to be of value, but is really worthless. So with the hypocritical professions of the flatterer. His burning words are only uttered to cover the corruption of his purposes. Hating the object of his attentions, he will endeavor to deceive by fair speech; but his heart is full of abominations, and he is not to be trusted. He endeavors to cover his malice by falsehood, and for a time may succeed; but eventually his true character shall be manifested openly.1

1 H. A. Ironside, Notes on the Book of Proverbs (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Bros, 1908), 374–375.

26:23. A coating of glaze refers to an attractive coating over a piece of pottery. This is likened to fervent (d?laq, “to burn or kindle”) lips and an evil heart. A person who tries to disguise his evil motives and character by zealous speech is like an attractive glazed-over jar. (Note Jesus’ reference in Luke 11:39 to the clean outside of the cup and dish; also note Matt. 23:27.)1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 963.

Tries to disguise his hatred with flowery speech.

Proverbs 26:24–25 KJV

He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, And layeth up deceit within him; 

When he speaketh fair, believe him not: For there are seven abominations in his heart.

He who hates, dissembles with his lips: He who hates refers to “an enemy.” Dissembles renders a verb meaning “to speak something that is different than what the person thinks,” that is, “to be a hypocrite.”

And harbors deceit in his heart: Harbors is literally “puts” or “stores up.” Deceit is “treachery” (njb) or a plan to cause harm (cev “evil plans”). His heart is literally “inside of him.” Scott translates “A man filled with hate disguises it in his words, while inwardly he plots to betray you.” spcl has “He who hates hides it when he speaks, but in his insides he makes evil plans.”1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 568.

Although he tries to cover it, the hatred will be exposed for everyone to see.

Proverbs 26:26 KJV

Whose hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

Though a scoundrel can hide his feelings temporarily through deceit, they will eventually be known. The assembly refers to any group called together for some purpose. Perhaps this group is assembled to administer justice.1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 963.

Proverbs 10:12 KJV

Hatred stirreth up strifes: But love covereth all sins.

He will reap the fruit of his hatred.

Proverbs 26:27 KJV

Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: And he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

He who digs a pit will fall in to it: A pit refers to a hole, a ditch, or a similar opening in the ground. It may be necessary in translation to make clear that the pit is dug to trap someone other than the digger; for example, “If you dig a pit to catch somebody, you will fall into it yourself.”

And a stone will come back upon him who starts it rolling: This line parallels the first by referring to a person who causes a stone to start rolling downhill (to crush somebody below). It is important that the reader understand that this refers to a round, heavy stone. Will come back upon him who … means “will roll backward upon the person pushing the stone.” Note that tev has shifted to “set traps” in line 1 and “start landslides” in line 2. spcl says “He who digs a grave falls into it; and the one who makes a rock roll is crushed by the rock.”1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 569.

Beware of the Liar

Proverbs 26:28 KJV

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; And a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

People who lie are actually hateful (see comments on malice in v. 26); they desire to harm others by slandering their reputations. And people who flatter to help achieve their selfishly deceptive ends (cf. vv. 23–26) bring ruin either to themselves, their victims, or both.1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 963.

King Solomon has penned some very powerful warnings about negative people with destructive energy. Be on the lookout for the meddler who is just in other people’s business. Beware of the deceiver who pretends not to be. Beware of the talebearer who will use Christian speak to pretty up his ugly sin. Beware of the hater with flowery words to cover up the stench of his malice. Beware of the liar who says what he thinks you want to hear. If we do that, we will go along way to avoiding Toxic Humans.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:06 PM July 21, 2021.

Divine Acts of Kindness

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Divine Acts of Kindness

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 103:1–5

I read a news story once of a woman who was getting ready to jump off a 44 story building in New York City.

Witnesses said that she did not look like the type of person who would do such a thing. She was very distinguished and well dressed.

All the attempts made by the police to get the woman off the ledge had failed.

One of the officers asked if he could call his pastor in to see if he could help. When the pastor arrived, he asked permission to go to the ledge and talk to the woman.

As the pastor neared the edge the woman screamed, “Don’t come any closer or I’ll jump!”

The pastor took a step back and then said, “I am sorry that you believe no one loves you.”

This got the woman’s attention and it got the attention of the police. That was something that you don’t usually say to a person who is threatening suicide.

The woman took a step towards the pastor and said, “My grandchildren love me and so does my children. My whole family loves me! I have 8 wonderful grandchildren and they love me.”

The pastor took a step towards the woman and said, “Well then, you must be very poor, maybe that is why you want to take your own life.”

The woman who was a little overweight said, “Do I look like I go without any meals? We live in a very nice apartment. I’m not poor.”

The pastor took another step closer to her and was now 3 feet from her when he asked, “Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don’t understand.”

The woman thought for a moment and then said, “You know, I don’t really remember.”

The story ends with the pastor and the woman walking towards the elevator as she shows him pictures of her grandchildren. Eventually this woman becomes a volunteer on the city’s suicide hotline, helping others choose life.

What did the pastor do to help this woman?

He helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her.

She learned a valuable lesson that day. She learned that thankful people are happy people.

If you don’t learn anything else today, I hope you learn this valuable lesson. Thankful people are happy people.

(From a sermon by Greg Carr, Thankful People are _______ People, 12/23/2010)


It is easy to allow our thoughts and immediate circumstances to overwhelm us and plunge us into a deep hole of despair.  Tonight’s passage is written by a man who struggled with dark thoughts and depression every once and a while. Tonight we will see that one way to navigate the tragedy of this world is to make sure we do not forget the Divine Acts of Kindness that we have experienced and will experience in the future. 

Don’t Forget, Remember on Purpose.

Psalm 103:1–2 KJV

Bless the LORD, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless his holy name. 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits:

1ben•e•fit \?be-n?-?fit\ noun

[Middle English, from Anglo-French benfet, from Latin bene factum, from neuter of bene factus, past participle of bene facere] 14th century

1 archaic: an act of kindness:1

1 Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The words forget not all his benefits echo Deuteronomy (6:12; 8:11), and are the first hint that this psalm also will be pointing back to the days of Moses.1

1 Michael Wilcock, The Message of Psalms: Songs for the People of God, ed. J. A. Motyer, vol. 2, The Bible Speaks Today (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2001), 117–118.

In verse 2b tev “how kind he is” translates a word which means “(good) deed.” In the Masoretic text the word is in the plural (so most English translations, his benefits; njb has “his acts of kindness”); one Hebrew manuscript has the singular. It may be better to be specific, “and do not forget all the good things he has done.” The negative “do not forget” can be expressed by the positive “always remember.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 871.

(Note: All the personal pronouns in verses 3–5: “thy, thee, thine” all refer to the soul!) By the way, forgetting is far more than just failing to remember something, this word carries the idea of turning from God to follow other gods. A lapse of spiritual memory will cause the saints to wander! David wants his soul to contemplate all the “benefits” which the Lord has given. The word “benefits” means “dealing”. It refers to how the Lord treats the soul.1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1615.

Remember God Forgives

Psalm 103:3 KJV

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;

Ephesians 1:7 KJV

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 KJV

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Colossians 2:13 KJV

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Man’s greatest need makes the top of David’s list! David uses the word “iniquities”. This word means “bent or crookedness”. It refers to that evil bent in our nature that pulls us toward sin. It brings to mind the fact that I am a sinner and I have sinned, but it also points out the fact that I am guilty of sin now and ever will be, as long as I am in this body!1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1615.

Remember God Heals

Psalm 103:3 KJV

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;

Matthew 9:35 KJV

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

The believer’s body will not be completely delivered from weakness and disease until it is redeemed and glorified at the return of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:18–23). In Scripture, sickness is sometimes used as a picture of sin and healing as a picture of salvation (41:4; 147:3; Isa. 53:10; Luke 5:18–32; 1 Peter 2:23–24)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49.

Our souls are subject to many terrible maladies. Among them are lust, hate, greed, jealousy, discouragement, depression, anger, fear, guilt, and doubt, just to name a few. Just as surely as diseases of the body can take away physical life, the diseases of the souls can deaden us toward the things of God and leave us lifeless and weak.1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1616.

Remember God Redeems – Pays The Slave’s Ransom

Psalm 103:4 KJV

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Galatians 3:22 KJV

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

103:4 who redeems The Hebrew word used here, go’el, refers to a person who rescues another from a form of bondage through outside help. The term is applied to situations ranging from physical harm, to slavery, to debt. See note on Job 19:25.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 103:4.

The word “redeem” (v. 4) would remind the Jewish people of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt at the Exodus (Ex. 12–15). The statement describes God rescuing someone about to fall into a pit, and “the pit” is a symbol of sheol (6:5; 16:10; 28:1), the world of the dead. David himself was often very near to death, so perhaps he had premature death in mind.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49.

Every soul that enters this world is a slave to sin, Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22. Every soul is headed to horrible conclusion as well, Rom. 6:23. Thank God He saw the plight of lost souls and provided redemption for them. He saw our enslavement and He saw the ultimate destiny in Hell that awaited every single member of the human race. But, He wasn’t merely content to see it, He did something about it! He came into this world and paid the price for our redemption on the cross, Rev. 5:9; Gal. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:18–19. Now, those who were slaves to sin and headed for an eternity in Hell have been delivered from their slavery and have a heavenly hope today!1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1616.

Remember God Crowns You With Loving Kindness.

Psalm 103:4 KJV

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

David also knew something about crowns, but no crown he ever wore compared with God’s lovingkindness and compassion (tender mercies). These attributes also appear in verses 8, 11, 13, and 17. Believers should “reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17, nkjv; and see Rev. 1:1–6). We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:1–7), and He helps us to “reign in life.”1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49.

Remember God Satisfies and Renews

Psalm 103:5 KJV

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

There is no satisfaction in this world, but we have satisfaction in Christ who is the Bread of Life (John 6:33–40) and the Good Shepherd who leads us into green pastures (23:2). (See 107:9 and 145:16.) The word translated “mouth” is a bit of a puzzle since it is usually translated “ornaments” or “jewelry,” words that hardly fit this context. Some students interpret the word to mean “duration” or “years” (see nasb). No matter how old we become, God can satisfy the needs of our lives and the spiritual desires of our hearts.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49–50.

103:5 eagle’s Symbolic of strength and speed, perhaps because of its ability to attack quickly from above.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 103:5.

The legend about the physical renewal of the eagle is not what David had in mind in verse 5. Like most birds, eagles do molt and have what seems to be a new lease on life. But the picture here is that of the believer being strengthened by the Lord even in old age and able to “soar” like the eagle (Isa. 40:31). (See 71:17–18; 92:14; 2 Cor. 4:16–18.)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 50.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:55 PM July 6, 2021.

I Know Who Holds My Hand

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

I Know Who Holds My Hand

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 37:23–27

Eddie Snipes tells this story:

When my oldest daughter was about 5 years old, we went to spend an afternoon at a river. Some of the adults decided to walk out to an island in the middle of the river. My daughter wanted to come out with me. I returned to shore and took her hand. She stepped into the water but held on tightly to a branch on the shore. She was afraid of the river but wanted to go where I was going. I told her, “You must let go of the branch if you want to come”. She said that she was afraid that she would sink. “I have your hand. You won’t sink and if you start to, I will lift you up”. Fearfully she let go of the branch. I knew the water was just over waist deep and I guided her feet to each rock. When we began, she had no confidence, but she stepped on the rocks I guided her to. With each step she gained more confidence until she was eagerly reaching for each stone and soon we reached the middle. I looked back and realized that this is exactly how God deals with me.

Every once and a while we need to be reminded of truths we already know as believers. Tonight we will read the words of an older saint who is telling us first hand about how God treats His own. As we meditate on these unchanging truths we too can say, I know who holds my hand!

The Lord Leads

Psalm 37:23 KJV

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: And he delighteth in his way.

 • A good man is one who has a relationship with God deep enough to sense and follow His leadership.

John 10:27 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

In this strophe the security of the righteous is emphasized. Verse 23a means that it is the Lord who leads a person in the right way. The psalmist is not saying that, in fact, God guides all people in the way they should go, since it is quite evident that many do not accept God’s guidance. To avoid this possible misunderstanding, frcl translates “When a man’s conduct pleases him, the Lord enables him to go through life with confidence,” and niv has “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm.

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 357.

 • Steps are ordered

Psalm 85:13 KJV

Righteousness shall go before him; And shall set us in the way of his steps.

Psalm 40:2 KJV

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.

The word rendered ordered means to stand erect; to set up; to found; to adjust, fit, direct. The idea here is, that all which pertains to the journey of a good man through life is directed, ordered, fitted, or arranged by the Lord. That is, his course of life is under the Divine guidance and control. The word good has been supplied here by our translators, and there is nothing corresponding to it in the original. It is simply there, “the steps of man are ordered,” etc. Yet there can be no doubt that a good or pious man is particularly referred to, for the connexion demands this interpretation. The word steps here means his course of life; the way in which he goes.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 326.

 • God delights in the fact that the good man follows His leading.

Psalm 37:4–5 KJV

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

Commit thy way unto the LORD; Trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

The Lord Holds

Psalm 37:24 KJV

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: For the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Micah 7:8 KJV

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: When I fall, I shall arise; When I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Psalm 34:19 KJV

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: But the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Though he fall. That is, though he is sometimes disappointed; though he is not always successful; though he may be unfortunate,—yet this will not be final ruin. The word here does not refer to his falling into sin, but into misfortune, disappointment, reverses, calamities. The image is that of a man who is walking along on a journey, but who stumbles, or falls to the earth—a representation of one who is not always successful, but who finds disappointment spring up in his path.

He shall not be utterly cast down. The word here used—?????, tul—means to throw down at full length, to prostrate; then, to cast out, to throw away. Comp. Isa. 22:17; Jer. 16:13; 22:26; Jonah 1:5, 15. Here it means that he would not be utterly and finally prostrated; he would not fall so that he could not rise again. The calamity would be temporary, and there would be ultimate prosperity.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 327.

For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. It is by no power of his own that he is recovered, but it is because, even when he falls, he is held up by an invisible hand. God will not suffer him to sink to utter ruin.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 327.

I looked to God with great earnestness day after day, to be directed; asking him to show me the path of duty, and give me grace to ride out the storm.


Proverbs 24:16 KJV

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: But the wicked shall fall into mischief.

The Lord Provides

Psalm 37:25–26 KJV

I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread. 

He is ever merciful, and lendeth; And his seed is blessed.

While experience confirms God’s radical faithfulness to the righteous as well as the insubstantial nature of the wealth and power of the wicked, the psalmist speaks in these verses in a traditional form of testimony; these words should not be interpreted to mean a naive assumption that the righteous never hurt or suffer want. To the contrary, the whole psalm and much of canonical wisdom literature respond to the reality of the righteous suffering and the inexplicable prosperity of the wicked. In a sense, what the psalmist reports is not naive unreality but an inner vision of the true reality that accords with Yahweh’s character and purpose—the reality that must ultimately arrive.1

1 Gerald H. Wilson, Psalms, vol. 1, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 607.

Hebrews 13:5 KJV

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The Lord Preserves – therefore do right

Psalm 37:27–28 KJV

Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell for evermore. 

For the LORD loveth judgment, And forsaketh not his saints; They are preserved for ever: But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalm 92:13–15 KJV

Those that be planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; They shall be fat and flourishing; 

To shew that the LORD is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Often we become discouraged because we cannot see God’s long range plan of guidance for our lives. We need to remember that God has promised to guide our steps, not the miles ahead.

  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: And he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23, KJV)  

This beloved hymn came from the grateful heart of Fanny Crosby after she had received a direct answer to her prayer. One day when she desperately needed five dollars and had no idea where she could obtain it, Fanny followed her usual custom and began to pray about the matter. A few minutes later a stranger appeared at her door with the exact amount. “I have no way of accounting for this,” she said, “except to believe that God put it into the heart of this good man to bring the money. My first thought was that it is so wonderful the way the Lord leads me, I immediately wrote the poem and Dr. Lowry set it to music.” The hymn was first published in 1875.

No one knows the importance of guided steps as much as a blind person like Fanny Crosby, who lost her sight at six weeks of age through improper medical treatment. A sightless person is keenly aware that there will be stumbling and uncertainty as he continues on his way. As Fanny wrote, “Cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial,” she has reminded us that God has never promised to keep us from hard places or obstacles in life. He has assured us, however, that He will go with us, guide each step, and give the necessary grace.

All the way my Savior leads me; what have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide? Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for ev’ry trial, feeds me with the living bread. Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the Rock before me, lo! a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love! Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above. When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day, this my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.1

1 Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 259.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 8:12 PM June 29, 2021.

The Good Shepherd In Action

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

The Good Shepherd In Action

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 23:1–6

A farmer repeatedly invited his neighbor to come over to his orchard and pick some apples and make fresh, sweet apple cider. The neighbor kept turning down the offer. Finally, the farmer asked why the neighbor didn’t want to come to his orchard. He said, “I think you are prejudiced against my apples.” The neighbor answered by saying, “Well, to tell the truth, I have tasted a few of them and they are very sour.” The farmer asked, “Which apples have you eaten?” The neighbor answered, “Those apples alongside the fence by the road.” The farmer said, “Ah, yes—those are sour. I planted them to fool the boys who live around here. But if you will come into the middle of my orchard, you will find a different taste.”

In much the same way, people who only nibble on the outside of Christianity only get a taste of conviction of sin, purity, and denial of self. All they see are fuddy-duddies and goody-two-shoes who don’t have any fun. Those apples were planted to keep out the hypocrites and curiosity seekers. Christ is interested in people making a commitment—a whole hearted, jump-in-with- both-feet commitment to follow Him. But once you come to Christ, the fruit is sweet. The nearer to God; the sweeter the joy.

John 10:14 KJV

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Sometimes it is heard to love a Savior we have never seen. Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd. David wrote a song about the Good Shepherd. In this famous Psalm we will get to know our Savior more. I am sure you have heard many messages from this passage. This evening we are going to look at the verbs David uses to describe his relationship to the Shepherd. Tonight we will discover the Good Shepherd in Action.

The Lord Shepherds

Psalm 23:1 KJV

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 The verb is a participle and means “is shepherding me.” Eastern shepherds guarded their sheep, led them, provided food and water for them, took care of them when they were weary, bruised, cut or sick, rescued them when they strayed, knew their names, assisted in delivering the lambs, and in every way simply loved them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

My Shepherd – An Intimate Personal Relationship.

John 10:27–28 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:11 KJV

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Therefore I shall not want

 Genesis 22:14 (KJV)

 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

“I shall not want”—notice that David does not say, I have not wanted, but “I shall not want.” What is it that I need? Well, I need safety. I’m a sheep, a stupid little animal. Therefore, my Shepherd sees to it that I won’t want for protection. He protects me. When a little sheep says, “I shall not want” and “I shall never perish,” it is because it has a wonderful Shepherd.

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Poetry (Psalms 1-41), electronic ed., vol. 17 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 135.

The Lord Leads

Psalm 23:2 KJV

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

The word translated “lead” in verse 2 means “to lead gently.” You cannot drive sheep. The sheep hear the shepherd’s voice and follow him, just as we listen to Christ in His Word and obey Him (John 10:3–5, 16, 27). If a sheep goes astray, the shepherd leaves the flock in charge of his helpers and goes to find the lost animal.

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 96.

To Green Pastures

He makes me lie down: the causative form of the verb “to lie down” does not have the sense of “he forces me to lie down,” as rsv he makes me lie down seems to say (also neb, njv, niv). The idea is that the shepherd finds a place (green pastures) where the sheep can lie down and rest. So njb “he lets me lie.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 232.

Beside Still Waters

“still waters”- Jehovah-Shalom, “the Lord our peace” (Judg. 6:24)

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 9

 Judges 6:24 (KJV)

 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.

Still waters translates “waters of quietness.” njv has “water in places of repose”; spcl “brooks of quiet waters.” Also possible is “refreshing streams.” This is not a stagnant pool, but a place where the fresh water flows gently, making it easy for the sheep to drink it. In some languages this is “streams of fresh water” or “rivers with good water.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 232.

To Paths of Righteousness

King James Version Psalm 23

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

“paths of righteousness”—Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” (Jer. 33:16)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Jeremiah 33:16 (KJV)

 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Through Dark Valleys

King James Version Psalm 23

      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

   I will fear no evil: for thou art with me

The Lord Restores

King James Version Psalm 23

   He restoreth my soul:

shub (??????, 7725), “to return or go back, bring back.” This verb occurs in several Semitic languages (not in Phoenician-Punic and Ethiopic) including Ugaritic (1550–1200 B.C.) and in all periods of Hebrew. It occurs about 1,060 times in biblical Hebrew and about 8 times in biblical Aramaic (in the form tub).

The basic meaning of the verb is movement back to the point of departure (unless there is evidence to the contrary). In the first occurrence of this verb God told Adam that he and Eve would “eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19)1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 203.

The Lord Comforts

King James Version Psalm 23

   I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

   Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Nacham may also mean “to comfort.” The refugees in Babylon would be “comforted” when survivors arrived from Jerusalem (Ezek. 14:23); 

Ezekiel 14:23 KJV

And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.

the connection between “comfort” and “repent” here resulted from the calamity God brought upon Jerusalem as a testimony to the truth of His Word. David “comforted” Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin (2 Sam. 12:24); this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion.

2 Samuel 12:24 KJV

And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 202.

With His Presence

“you are with me”—Jehovah-Shammah, “the Lord is there” (Ezek. 48:35)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Ezekiel 48:35 (KJV)

 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

With His Weapons

The use of rod and staff…The rod was a club worn at the belt, while the staff was a walking implement that doubled as a weapon in time of need (1 Sam 17:35) and guided and controlled the sheep. These were traditional tools of the shepherd, as is shown already in a cylinder seal inscription of the third millennium.

Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Ps 23:4.

The Lord Provides

King James Version Psalm 23

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

While My Enemies Watch

“presence of my enemies”—“Jehovah-Nissi, “the Lord our banner” (Ex. 17:15)

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Exodus 17:15 (KJV)

 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:

Goodness and Mercy

King James Version Psalm 23

   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Eternal Security

King James Version Psalm 23

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever

John 14:6 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Lord Anoints

King James Version Psalm 23

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

With Oil – The Holy Spirit

“anoint my head”—Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, “the Lord who sanctifies” (Lev. 20:81

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Leviticus 20:8 (KJV)

 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

My Cup Runs Over – Joy!

John 10:10 KJV

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending Services regularly, stopped going.

After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his preacher’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited…

The preacher made himself at home, but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.

And after some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.

Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.

Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday…”


Our Savior is in action keeping His beloved sheep safe, fed, watered, rested and guided. Let us endeavor to follow close to the Good Shepherd.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:50 PM June 23, 2021.

The Heart of a Godly Leader

Monday, April 19th, 2021

The Heart of a Godly Leader

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / 1 Kings 3:5–15

One morning the young new president of a bank made an appointment with his predecessor to seek some advice. He began, “Sir, as you well know, I lack a great deal of the qualifications you already have for this job. You have been very successful as president of this bank, and I wondered if you would be kind enough to share with me some of the insights you have gained from your years here that have been the keys to your success.”

The older man looked at him with a stare and replied: “Young man, two words: good decisions.”

The young man responded, “Thank you very much, sir, but how does one come to know which is the good decision?”

“One word, young man: experience.”

“But how does one get experience?”

“Two words, young man: bad decisions.

Often it takes the pain of trial and error in order to gain wisdom. What if you could get the wisdom without having to endure the errors? Would you desire wisdom like that if it were offered to you?

If a miracle was to happen, and you could have what your heart desires the most, what would it be? If the miracle happened while you were sleeping this evening, how would you know that it did when you woke up? Ponder these answers in your heart. Everyone will have a different answer. These answers will help us discover what we view to be the most important things in our lives.

God asked David’s son, Solomon, the new King of Israel, this kind of question. God gave Solomon a blank check of blessing and let him fill it in. The young king could have asked for anything. His answer revealed much about his heart. Tonight we will study this answer and see what lies in the heart of a Godly leader.


1 Kings 3:6–7 KJV

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 

And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

 A. Acknowledge God’s mercy – you did not get what you deserved.

 B. Acknowledge God’s kindness

  1. That protects you from evil

  2. That provides you with blessings

 C. Acknowledge your own weakness.

  1. Do not count on your own strength.

1 Corinthians 1:26–29 KJV

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 

That no flesh should glory in his presence.

  2. Be aware of your own frailty.

James 4:7–10 KJV

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Matthew 18:4 KJV

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

A man approached a speaker and said, “You Christians are all brainwashed.” The speaker replied, “I think we are all brainwashed to a degree. The important thing is that we Christians choose what we want to wash our brains with.”


1 Kings 3:8 KJV

And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

 A. These are God’s chosen people.

 B. You are accountable to God for these people.

Acts 20:26–27 KJV

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

1 Corinthians 4:1–4 KJV

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

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

An ancient Persian proverb offers the following excellent advice on developing leaders.

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool—shun him.

He who knows not, and knows that he knows not is a child—teach him.

He who knows, and knows not that he knows is asleep—wake him.

He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise—follow him.750

Total Dependence

1 Kings 3:9 KJV

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

 A. Cry out to God for what you need.

  1. Wisdom

 James 1:5 KJV

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

  2. Boldness

  Acts 4:29 KJV

  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

  Ephesians 6:18 KJV

  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 B. God blesses the selfless servant.

 1 Kings 3:10–14 KJV

 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 

And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

  1. Gives you what you ask for in order to serve Him better.

  2. Adds extra blessing when your heart is in the right place.

  Philippians 2:1–4 KJV

  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

 An important rule of leadership “Don’t allow the patient to prescribe the medicine.”

 C. Always remember the price that was paid for your sins – don’t get too proud.

 1 Kings 3:15 KJV

 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:51 PM April 19, 2021.