Monthly Archives: May 2021

The Pursuit of Righteousness

Psalms 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

God loves righteousness, and He desires that those who call themselves Christians would become increasingly more righteous in their lifestyle every day. But the key question is why should we if we are headed for eternity in heaven by grace apart from works. Thinking about the “why” is very important so that we are motivated to pursue righteousness. There are a number of motivating factors for me, and a major one is in the above Bible verse. “God blesses the righteous man and surrounds him with favor.”

Leadership Class

I teach leadership classes that lasts 8 months. I have Leadership I , II, and III. They start the first weekend of October and end the last weekend of May. In the classes I teach that God uses certain kinds of people to do His work. He isn’t looking for education, or intelligence, or charisma, He is looking for character. The goal of the class is to discover from the Bible what God is looking for and then become that kind of person. When God opens up a door of opportunity to us He supplies everything we need to be successful at what He is calling us to do, it is a no fail opportunity.

This weekend at JBC in the worship services many of those who finished the class are sharing how their life has changed as a result of what they have learned this past eight months. The testimonies are very inspirational and moving, and a testimony of what happens when a person follows the principles of successful living as given in the Bible.

The first requirement is to want to do something with our life that matters and be willing to pay the price of doing something significant with our life. Many people are just to unmotivated to do much that matters, it takes to much work. They choose not to enroll in my class because they will have to read, and memorize, and speak in front of people, and that price is simply to high.

Jesus was constantly talking about the price of following Him, and many chose not to follow because of the price that He outlined to them. In Luke 9 He says, “If you want to serve with Me you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow me.” Many turned away when they heard that. That is still happening today.

The Pursuit of Righrousness

The first step to becoming a genuine holy person, not a title but a reality of everyday life, is to have a burning desire to be a better person everyday of your life. The desire to be righteous before God can’t be casual, it has to be all consuming.

The problem is that we all sin everyday, and even if we are sinning less, we are still sinning. The great gift of God, the essence of Christianity, is that God forgives and He cleanses, that is He takes away the guilt that we have when we sin.

Years ago John Fischer wrote a song called, “I Want To Be a More Righteous Man”. I sang that song constantly. I am not very musical and I don’t remember songs very well, but that song burned a hole in my heart.

I want to be a more righteous man, I want to be a godly man, teach me to do what I can to follow closer to You, I want to follow a different drum even if I’me the only one, I want to hear when I’me done, “You did well my son.”

The key words in the song that so captivated my heart were the words, “I want.” “I want,” “I want,” “I want,” “I want.” There is something supernaturally powerful in declaring that you want what God wants. When you say that over and over, God makes it happen. I dare you to read the words of that song 20 times a day, and see what happens.

The first requirement to be holy and righteous is to “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” You can’t simply will that desire into your heart, so the question is how do I get that super strong drive for righteousness in me? The repetition of the desire in the form of a little song was amazingly powerful in my heart, and I bet it will work in yours as well.

The Pursuit of Holiness

1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Corinthians 15:34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning;

There are many other Bible verses and passages that say the same thing, that is we are to grow in character and our behavior is to become more and more righteous.

We are saved by Grace through faith with no good works, holiness, or righteousness required. But now that we are saved, in the family of God, headed for heaven forever, born again, part of the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ, God expects, yes, even commands that we become like Him.

Because of our modern day emphasis on Grace most Christians are pretty casual in their pursuit of holiness, no big deal, nobodies perfect.

There are some questions that need to be answered, some problems that need to be solved, and some commitments that need to be made if we are going to be successful in our pursuit of being a righteous person. Let’s do this in a step by step, strategic way that helps us understand how we are going to accomplish this, and that will give us some hope and confidence that we can actually pull this off.

1. If a person is going to grow and change every day of their life to be more and more like Jesus they must want to. The want to, the desire must be strong inside of us, a passion, a raging fire.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

The problem is that we all struggle with guilt when we sin, and it seems natural that if we increase our desire to be good that the guilt that we feel when we fail will increase. Because we naturally do things to reduce guilt instead of increasing it, because guilt is terribly unpleasant, most will work at being content with their level of godliness so as not to aggravate the guilt machine in us. Nobody will accomplish anything if the desire in us is lukewarm, and that is where most are.

So, how do we solve this problem, this major road block to spiritual growth and holiness? We confess all known sin to God and He forgives and cleanses our hearts from guilt. It is a great deal, free, no strings attached, simply acknowledge to God that you are a sinner, that you sinned. Be specific and detailed.Don’t make excuses, blame others, or justify, own it, lock, stock and barrel, you did it.

Psalms 32:3-5 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; and You forgave the guilt of my sin.


Sad things happen all the time. Someone I am close to dies. Someone I am close to has a loved one die. A good friend gets divorced. A family I am close to has a huge fight over COVID vaccines, and vows never to speak to each other again, and on the list goes.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of sadness reflect- God has made the one as well as the other.

When a sad event happens to me or to someone close to me, I remind myself to consciously choose to do seven things;

1. I acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all circumstances in my life, I acknowledge His great love for me, and I acknowledge His infinite wisdom to do exactly what is best for all involved.

2. I ask God for His strength to endure and persevere well. To walk responsibly through this time and not wimp out. To help and encourage others who may be struggling.

3. I ask God for His wisdom so that I will know exactly what to say and do in order to minister to others.

4. I remind myself that time heals hurts, sadness, and wounds, and to be patient and steadfast until that healing happens.

5. I set my mind on heaven, eternity, and receiving my eternal glorified body.

6. I work really hard to be nice to everyone in spite of how I might feel.

7. I pray for all involved that God will give them His strength, His wisdom, His joy, and His peace. And I pray for any unsaved that I know that the sadness will prompt them to seek for answers from God.

No Blog

Wow, I haven’t written a blog for awhile. I am sorry for that, and I’ll try to make-up. Patty drove me to the airport Thursday to go to Chicago where I was going to be speaking and preaching at two churches combined Men’s retreat. When I got out of the car I left my IPad on the dash so I didn’t have it for almost a week. Unlike many people, I can’t type for diddley on my phone so I just didn’t write one.

I don’t except many speaking engagements where I have to fly any more, flying aggravates my Parkinson’s, also I depend on my one hour each evening of riding my stationary bike to stay on top of my Parkinson’s and rarely do I have access to a bike when I travel and speak. Being around a lot of people that I don’t know wears me out emotionally, being the extreme introvert that I am, sleeping in a strange bed wears me out because I don’t sleep well, and I simply just don’t do well when I get out of my normal routine. All of that to say I usually say “no” to invitations to travel and speak any more.

But this was an invitation to speak to men which is my favorite audience. The pastor who called said that there seemed to be a revival, of sorts, happening in their church with the men, twice as many as normal signed up for the retreat. It was impossible for me to turn this opportunity down.

I spoke seven times in three days with each being an hour in length, and the Lord totally energized me, I felt great the whole time. The men were very responsive and spiritually hungry, and I felt very blessed by God to have Him give me this opportunity to influence this great group of men.

I pray every night thanking the Lord for the events of the day and the opportunities that He gave me that days to do something with my life that matters. Then I ask Him if He would give me some more opportunities the next day, and He keeps coming through. so far.

The main thing is you have to want to do something that matters, and look for the open doors that God supplies. God brings opportunities into everyone’s life, but most miss them because they are not looking for them. Most don’t look for them because they are so entangled in the affairs of everyday life that they have no time or energy left to do something that makes a huge difference in the lives of people.

Favor with God

The Bible clearly teaches that there are ways of behaving that finds favor with God, that is He is impressed, pleased, and rewards or blesses that behavior.

There are many who teach that God because of His mercy and Grace treats us all the same, and doesn’t have favorites. That is about the most unmotivating teaching that I can think of.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Luke 1:30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

Acts 7:46 David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.

1 Peter 2:19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

Psalms 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

Psalms 69:30-31 I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the Lord better than an ox or a young bull with horns and hoofs.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Ephesians 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.

So what are the rewards from God when we please Him with our life and find favor with Him? I believe it is an inner sense of joy, fulfillment, and significance that comes from God. When Jesus came up out of the water when He was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven and said, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” We won’t hear an audible voice from God when He is pleased with us, but I do believe we will sense His pleasure in our heart.

Effective Leadership

I teach leadership classes, and part of that is teaching leadership principles that work, they work because they are in the Bible and God made these principles. One principle is don’t boss people around. As soon as you start bossing you are no longer leading, you are bossing, and bossing only works if you have a stick. A boss can fire his employees, he can reduce their pay, he can give them nasty jobs, and he can do a number of other things that are negative in their job setting, he has a stick. Bosses who have learned how to lead instead of boss have happy employees and motivated employees and as a result make much more money in their business than those who have to threaten with a stick to get people to do what they want. So the principle is, don’t boss people around, don’t tell them what to do as in lording it over them. Good leaders learn how to appeal to people’s conscience, not try to conquer their will. There is a big difference in results and their is a big difference in people’s moral. Bosses make rules that people have to follow, leaders cast and create a vision of a better tomorrow, leaders create freedom and bosses create oppression.

President Biden recently said, “the rule is, get vaccinated or wear a mask!” I wonder how many people were motivated by that edict. There is something in people that stirs them up to be the “macho man or woman,” telling people what to do. Just because a person has a position of authority doesn’t make them a leader, more often than not it makes them a tyrant. I do a fair amount of counseling with parents on how to raise and train champions for Jesus. One of the problems that many parents have is that they try and control their kids with rules. As soon as rules are made there follows the enforcement of those rules, and bossing starts, which always produces rebellion. Leaders motivate people to make right and good decisions, bosses demotivate. People enjoy following a positive, encouraging leader, who gives freedom, and casts a powerful vision that they can be part of.

Almost everyone has the potential in their life to influence people around them, friends, family, work associates, and complete strangers. One of the key principles of leadership Jesus gave in Matthew 7:12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”


Some things I believe about the nation of Israel.

1. The nation of Israel is still the people of God, He has not broken His covenant with them. The two word phrase “my people,” referencing Israel is used over 100 times in the Bible.

2. The nation of Israel was scattered all over the world in 70 AD and ceased to exist as a nation, but God promised to gather them back to the land.

Ezekiel 34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land;

In 1948, the year I was born, the nation of Israel was reborn and God has been bringing the Jewish people back to the land since then.

3. The nation of Israel will be hated by the world as the devil works through the nations as he tries continually to destroy the Jewish people.

4. God will be the protector of Israel and there will be many miracles like “the six day war” in 1967 when Israel was surrounded by most of the Arab nations but prevailed.

5. Any nation that supports Israel will be blessed by God. The United States used to be a staunch supporter of Israel.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

6. At some point there will be a great revival in Israel as many Jewish people turn to Jesus as their promised Messiah.

Romans 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”

7. The more Israel is in the news, the closer we are getting to the coming of Jesus.

Leadership Class

I have taught four different leadership classes this year as a ministry at Jefferson Baptist Church. They started in October and ended today. I taught my first leadership Class in the church in 1980 and revised and improved the classes every year since. Teaching the class is the most enjoyable thing I do as the Pastor at JBC and, I believe, the most impactful ministry in our church over the years. The goals for the class are that every person would set their own goals each year and read them at least once each week as they pursue them. That each person would read the Bible every day for at least 15 minutes. That they would also spend 15 minutes every day with God in personal prayer. That husbands and wives would pray together at least three times each week. That each person would be a lifelong learner and seeker of wisdom, and would read good books and listen to podcasts faithfully. That each person would love our church as the Bride of Christ and be diligent to preserve the unity and love that we have in our church by their actions and words. That each person would be involved in some kind of ministry in our church that would cause the church to be healthy and grow. Almost everyone who goes through the class will give a 10 to 15-minute sermonette on some aspect of the class that blessed them and most impacted their life. Those will happen the last weekend of May and the first weekend in June. These are incredibly rewarding for me as I am aware of the significant growth many have experienced in the class for the year. Next year’s classes start the first week in October and I am already anticipating how rewarding they will be for me as I am involved in helping people become fully devoted followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.