Posts Tagged ‘ preacher ’

Hey, Mister “Preacher,” I Can Tell You Where God Is (Gospel Light Minute X #282)


Meet Jesse Custer. A man who cuts all ties to his life of crime and returns to dusty Annville, Texas, to take over his father’s church. His goal is to “save this town.”

Played by Dominic Cooper, he is the main character of AMC’s “Preacher”, the comic book-based show, also starring Ruth Negga and Joseph Gilgun, that just began its second season.

As a young pastor, Jesse Custer, commonly called “Preacher”, struggles with the demands the church people place on him. He struggles to keep attracting visitors as a megachurch starts up nearby. But, most of all, he struggles with knowing whether or not God is really present, whether he is hearing from God, and whether he is telling people what God wants them to hear.

However, he isn’t the only one in Annville who wants to know where God is. Continue reading

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Praying for the Preachers, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #118)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:10-20:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

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

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

—-

Bill Hybels said, “Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, overrun, beaten down, pushed around, defeated. Surprising numbers of people are willing to settle for lives like that.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “How do you learn to pray? Well, how do you learn to swim? Do you sit in a chair with your feet up drinking coke learning to swim? No, you get down and you struggle. That’s how you learn to pray. Prayer is our strength. Prayer generates strength; it generates vision; it generates power. And the devil will drive you away from the prayer closet more than anything.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “While the revival had limited effect in South America, both Brazil and Chile were exceptions to the rule. The growth of the evangelical church in those nations began during the revival and continued uninterrupted throughout the century. Approximately one hundred years later, both nations boasted more evangelicals than Roman Catholics attending church in what had once been predominantly Catholic nations.”

—-

Today, as we once again consider the reasons why we should pray for the preachers of the Gospel, we focus on Paul’s words — repeated here, twice in two verses — “that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” “Therein” means ‘while I am in such a situation’, ‘while I am in my chains, I ought to preach the Gospel boldly.’

It is one thing to preach boldly when you are not opposed by the world and the devil. But it is another to preach when you are in chains. Yet, Paul said this is what he “ought” to do. In other words, this is what is expected or required of him. In a way, it was Paul’s destiny or purpose to declare the Gospel before the highest echelon of organized government in that day. Paul was following the example of his Master. Just as Jesus had not backed down before the Jewish religious establishment, Paul would not back down before the Roman court. It was the least he could do for his Savior.

Adam Clarke wrote the following about Paul’s condition in prison. He said, “Of course, the ancient Greek word for chains meant a prisoner’s shackles. But it could also be used for the gold adornment worn around the neck and wrists of the wealthy and powerful. On special occasions, ambassadors wore such chains to show the riches, power, and dignity of the government they represented. Paul considers his prisoner’s chains to actually be the glorious adornment of an ambassador of Jesus Christ.”

It would be wonderful if we had more preachers who valued the temporary gold and silver ‘chains’ of the world less and valued the ‘chains’ of Christ more. Christ’s chains may come in the form of persecution and suffering now, but they will be turned into chains of glory for eternity.

Praying for the Preachers, Part 3 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #117)

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:18-20:

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

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

—-

John Piper said, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “If the saints are the salt of the earth, then praying people are the salt of the church.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Revival swept through the island nations of the Pacific as well. In Indonesia, 100,000 evangelicals in 1903 became 300,000 strong within the decade. On the island of Nias, two-thirds of the population was converted to Christ. In Malagasia, Protestant church membership increased by 66 percent.”

—-

Today, we are going to consider another reason why we ought to pray for the ministers whom God has appointed as pastors, preachers, evangelists, teachers, and missionaries. We ought to pray that they are willing, enabled, and inspired to preach. We also ought to pray for them that they will continue to preach even when they are in circumstances and surrounded by people that are opposed to the Gospel.

We remember that Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Ephesians. He had been jailed for preaching the Gospel, but Luke informs us in the book of Acts that, even as he was under house arrest, he continued preaching to all who would listen — Jews and Gentiles, Romans and barbarians. Paul never stopped doing what he had been called to do, and part of the reason why is because he had faithful believers praying for him in the local churches that he had helped start.

Some scholars believe that the special cause for this particular request for prayer was because Paul anticipated being put on trial before Caesar — not just any Caesar, but the infamous Nero. Can you imagine that scene? Paul, perhaps with one or two of his faithful associates, standing amidst the glory of Rome to defend his faith and his preaching before a bloodthirsty Nero and the twenty Roman assessors who acted as jury. Surely, the prayers of the saints strengthened the Apostle Paul at such a time. Surely the prayers of the saints will strengthen the men of God who face such foreboding circumstances around the world in our day and time.

Praying for the Preachers, Part 2 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #116)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:18-20:

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

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

—-

Albert Richardson said, “A man’s influence in the world can be gauged not by his eloquence, or his zeal, or his orthodoxy, or his energy, but by his prayers.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Are we sorry for grieving the heart of God, for denying God the right to own our personality, to own our mind, to own our thoughts, to own our emotions? If not, we’re robbing God.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Korea experienced three waves of revival in the first decade of the new century, the best known being the 1907 “Korean Pentecost.” Church membership quadrupled during the decade. One of those touched by the Korean revival was a Canadian missionary serving in China, Jonathan Goforth. He returned to Manchuria as a carrier of revival. The national awakening that followed doubled the Protestant population of that nation to a quarter of a million, despite the persecution surrounding both the Boxer Uprising and the 1911 Revolution.”

—-

The reason why Paul requested prayer that he might preach and preach boldly is because he desired “to make known the mystery of the gospel.” Preachers today are being tempted to preach nearly everything but the Gospel. From our pulpits, we hear more and more self-help content, more feel-good sermons, more sermons about finances, marriage, parenting, doing well in the workplace, etc. Some of these things need to be preached from the pulpit, but that preaching should not take place at the expense of the Gospel.

We need to pray that our preachers get back to preaching the Gospel and the whole council of God. We need to pray that God would give them the ability to speak boldly and clearly. That is what our country and the world needs.

Not only do we need for the Gospel to be preached boldly, but we need for the Gospel to be preached plainly. That is why Paul asks for the power of God to make known the mystery of the Gospel. The Gospel can only be revealed through the power of God and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. It takes a Holy Spirit-filled preacher to make the Gospel plain to the masses who are already confused by the devil and the darkness in the world.

Let us pray that God would give His preachers boldness and the power of the Holy Spirit to make plain the mystery of the Gospel.

Praying for the Preachers, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #115)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:18-20:

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

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

—-

J.B. Johnston said, “If prayer meetings fail in a congregation, so will the ministry of the pastor become unfruitful and the preaching of the word fail to convert sinners and promote holiness in the professors of religion.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Someone asked me, ‘Do you pray for the dead?” I said, “No, I preach to them!” I think every pew in every church is death row. Think about that! They’re dead! They sing about God; they talk about God, but they’re dead! They have no living relationship (with God).”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Missionaries in Burma reported an “ingathering quite surpassing anything known in the history of the mission.” Among the Burmese ethnic group known as the Karens, two thousand were baptized in 1905, ten times the usual number. In a single church, 1,340 of the Shans, another ethnic group, were baptized in December of that year.”

—-

As he continues with the theme of the importance of prayer in having victory in spiritual battles, Paul asks the Ephesian believers to pray for him. Pastors, when was the last time you asked your congregation to pray for you. No matter how talented or gifted you are, you can always use the power of the Holy Spirit which comes in answer to the prayers of others for you. We as Christians speak often of praying for our governmental leaders, but God wants us to pray for our leaders in the body of Christ as well.

What should we pray for? First, we should pray “that utterance may be given unto” them. The word “utterance” simply means the ability to speak words. The Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” For one reason or another, in His divine wisdom, God has chosen that the message of salvation be passed down verbally through words. People must hear the Gospel in order to believe it. Scripture asks, “How can they hear without a preacher?” We ought to be praying that God would give His preachers the ability to preach the Gospel and that those preachers would submit to His will and actually preach.

Then, Paul asks the people to pray, “that I may open my mouth boldly.” It is one thing to preach the Gospel unopposed by the world and the devil. But it is another thing to preach the Gospel when you face arrest, ridicule, persecution, and death. Paul, as he wrote this letter, was in jail for preaching the Gospel. So, he asked God’s people to pray that God would give him boldness to continue preaching.

In this day and time, we need more preachers who will preach boldly and who will not be bent and blown by every wind and wave of opposition. That is why you need to pray for your pastor. You might not be aware of what kind of pressure he is facing to preach or not preach a certain way. There will be people in the church and outside the church who don’t want him to preach against their sin. There will be secular and government organizations who don’t want him to preach that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life — and that He is the ONLY Way, Truth, and Life. They need our prayers that they might preach.

How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 62 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #114)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:10-18:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

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

—-

Albert Barnes said, “No matter how complete the armour; no matter how skilled we may be in the science of war; no matter how courageous we are, we may be certain that without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone can give the victory; and when the Christian soldier goes forth armed completely for the spiritual conflict, if he looks to God by prayer, he may be sure of a triumph.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The trouble with our theology is that it’s all on the blackboard; our theology is all in textbooks. It has no life. It has no breath. It has no power. It has no authority. I’m sick to death of paper theology. I want to see it in flesh and blood!”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “News of the Welsh Revival also encouraged those praying for revival in India to increase their efforts. The resulting awakening touched every province in that nation. The Christian population increased by 70 percent during the Indian Revival, sixteen times as fast as did the Hindu population. In many places, meetings lasted five to ten hours.”

—-

Yesterday, we looked at the importance of being watchful with perseverance. But there is another thing we ought to be doing as we watch: the Bible says we ought to watch with “supplication for all saints.”

The word “supplication” means “a seeking, an asking, or an entreating of God.” It is prayer in its most basic form — making a request of God. In this case, we are to make requests on behalf of all saints. It is easy to pray for one’s self — there is an element of selfishness in that. But it goes against human nature to pray for others.

As watchmen, we are to not only watch without, but within. When we see where others in the church have needs, we ought to lift those needs up to God in our prayers. When we see where others are faltering spiritually, we ought to pray for God to strengthen them.

Prayer is warfare, and we ought not to shrink from fighting on behalf of others. The soldiers in our country’s military fight, not just for themselves, but for the safety and protection of others. Christ, who laid down His life for the world, expects us to do the same.

How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 61 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #113)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:10-18:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

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

—-

Charles Spurgeon said, “I wish that saints would cling to Christ half as earnestly as sinners cling to the devil. If we were as willing to suffer for God as some are willing to suffer for their lusts, what perseverance and zeal would be seen on all sides!”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ’s church. The devil’s aim today is to keep people away from the Bible.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Out of these revivals grew Bible institutes and Bible colleges, and an intense movement to offer training in the English Bible to laypeople and those called into Christian service. The purpose was to equip people for lay service in the church and to educate candidates for church and missionary service.”

—-

We have discussed at length what it means to be watchful throughout Scripture. We see in our main passage for this series that we are commanded to “watch thereunto with all perseverance.” The Greek word used here for “perseverance” only occurs once in Scripture. It means “persistence” — it is the watchword of someone who is going to keep on doing what he has been doing until he reaches his goal.

“Perseverance” carries several definitions. It means, “continuance in a state of grace to the end;” “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success;” “determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness;” “the effort required to do something and keep doing it till the end, even if it’s hard.” It also means, “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” God wants us to be persistent in our watching.

The admonition to be persistent and to practice perseverance in our work as watchmen is important because after any period of calm where there is no demonic attack, we are tempted to drop our guard and stop watching. So, God tells us to watch with “all perseverance” — to keep on watching, to not give up, to stay on guard.

Not only should we persist in being watchful because of the threat of Satanic attack, but we must also be on guard because opportunities for ministry will be presented to us at many different times. Have you ever been in a certain situation, and as soon as you were out of that situation you realized that it was a prime opportunity for ministry? Sometimes, we miss opportunities for evangelism, for prayer, or for service because we are not spiritually alert.

May God help us each be persistent in our watchfulness.

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