Abounding in Scolastics

studyThe theme for our church this year is “Abounding”.  I recently preached this outline in our Christian school’s upper grades chapel. Since the school year is still new, I thought I would pass along this encouragement to all students.  Also, I think it a good lesson for all Christians regarding the need to be good students of the Word of God.

Abounding in Scholastics

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

The Method – study

It is what students do!

Learn to study – study effectively 

Learn to study effectively.  Do not waste time, but rather “redeem the time”. Too many undisciplined students can cram 1 hour of study into 4.

Labor in study – study

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whitextther thou goest. (Ecc 9:10)

The word “study” used in the text means “to make effort, be  diligent,  labor!

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. (Lam 3:27)

Live to study – now is the time of your life to study

It is your job for now. It is your employment.

For people in school or college, this is the  time of your
training and preparing for life.

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. (Pro 24:27)

The Motives

To glorify God “…approved unto God”

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Co 10:31)

That makes our study a spiritual concern. (Something to really consider next class session)

To be equipped – “…approved… a workman…”

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(Eph 4:11-12)

To possess understanding – Rightly dividing…

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (Pro 4:5)

To accomplish your desires – …not ashamed… 

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. (Pro 18:1-2)

You must prepare if you wish to be successful in life and reach the spiritual and material goals for you and your family.

Plese visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Abound in Soulwinning 1

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Pro 11:30)

tree-of-lifeThis is the first of some mini-posts about abounding in our soulwinning.  These will be short helps and challenges for every one of us to be better witnesses and soul conscious.

Abound in Soulwinning Friendliness

No one wants to talk to someone that is sour or just “doing the job”.  Be interested in them as an individual.  Be concerned about them personally as Jesus is.  Be their friend as they open the door.

Abound in Soulwinning Fire

We have all seen the people from the cults walking down the street with their cases.  They look like they just lost their job and dinner is not ready at home yet.  Put a spring in your step and have a passion about you.  We have great news and people need to hear it!

Abound in Soulwinning Faithfulness

Be faithful every week in the organized church outreach program.

Be faithful to give the Gospel clearly and passionately.

Be faithful to be a witness everywhere, not JUST on Soulwinning days.

Abound in Soulwinning Follow-Up

Did the Lord give you a good lead?  Follow-up

Did someone express a genuine interest in hearing the Gospel but just then did not have time?  Follow-up

Did you get to share the Gospel with someone but they were not sure or had questions? Follow-up

Did you get a commitment from someone to come to church  Sunday, but they did not come?  Follow-up

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Found Your Voice?

And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! (Pro 5:12-13)

many-voicesIn the passage above, the young man is lamenting that he had not heeded and obeyed the good instructions and reproofs from the voices of his teachers.

As parents, teachers, preachers, and mature Christians, we have a great responsibility to let our voices be heard by those God has placed under our care and influence.  These may be our children.  They may be our classroom students. They could even be those young people with whom we have influence in the workplace or social settings.

How much tragedy and sorrow could we have avoided If we had just listened to the teachers God gave us.    Let us consider the voices we hear today.  Some we are to listen to and some we should refuse to hear.voices

A voice to heed – The Saviour’s voice

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Gen 3:8)

God wants to speak to us.  God has spoken to us, through His Word.  Read it.  Hear it. Obey it.

What a joy it is when we are right with Him and what fear we experience when we have disobeyed Him.

A voice to heed – The Spirit’s voice

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Act 8:29)

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1Co 2:13)

A voice to heed – The Lord’s Servant’s voice

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17)

A voice to shun – Satan’s voice

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen 3:1)

A voice to shun – the sinner’s voice

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. (Pro 1:10)

What does our voice say?

If people took all our counsel, would it be good instruction or bad?  Would it tend to great holiness and righteousness, or just another worldly life?

Parents, the most heard, most holy, and most instructive voice your kids should hear is yours!  For their sake, take the time to instruct.  Take time to prepare instruction. Be willing to give reproofs. Let your voice be one they remember all their lives.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Pro 22:6)

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church

Tending Your Flock

Sheep on pasture

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1Pe 5:2-4)

This was one the morning devotionals I gave to our Christin School Teachers at the annual Teacher Training Week this year.  As I considered it, I thought it would be worth sharing for all teachers as they head into the new year.  It is very applicable to our Sunday School teachers.

Although this passage is specifically directed to the Pastor of the church, it applies to all those that find themselves charged as an under-shepherd.

This is simply a “bare bones” outline.  Let the Holy Spirit put the meat on the bones for you as you meditate upon it and the passage above.

“Tending Our Sheep”

I. Focus on your mission (vs2)

A. Feed your flock

1. Feed their mind

2.  Feed their spirit

3. Feed their heart

4.  Feed their soul


B. Oversee your flock – Oversight has its roots in words that mean: 

1. Be aware  

Know their heart, spirit, attitudes, etc.

2. Take aim

See the need – take aim!

II. Filter Your Motives (vs2-3)

A. Filter out the negative motives

1. Filter out the motive of “constraint” – meaning ‘being  forced’

2. Filter out the motive of “covetousness” – for filthy lucre


B. Leave in the positive motives

1. Leave in the motive of “willingness”

2. Leave in the motive of “readiness” – meaning being “forward in spirit”


III. Frame Your Manner – Be an Example to the flock (vs3)

As a frame amplifies the picture or painting, so should our conduct provide a focus or example. As the teacher wants the student to behave, so should they model the same as an example.

A. Prepared before-hand

B. Proper attitude and behavior – in control

C. Punctual – in attendance and assignments  (Keeping your promises and schedule)

D. Persistent in effort

E. Pious in behaviour 


IV. Favor the Master – Chief Shepherd (vs4)

A. Represent Him

B. Rely upon Him

C. Receive reward from Him

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

No Greater Joy

 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3Jn 1:1-4)


John is now an old man.  With age and maturity comes changes in our estimation of what is important and valuable. Here John describes what he says brings him no greater joy. This is an amazing and important statement for us to glean from to plan for our future years.

His greatest joy was not growing his 401K plan.  Nor was it a garage of chariots.  It WAS that his spiritual children walked in truth. Let’s consider what this passage teaches us about preparing and parenting today so that we can experience that “no greater joy” later.

Recognize this is the Statement of a Committed Parent

As parents we must remember our charge

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psa 127:3)

We are stewards of our kids, not owners

As parents we are to receive the command 

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)

As parents we must respond to the challenge

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Pro 22:6)

Understand it is the Statement of a Man with a Correct Paradigmfinding real truth

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17)

Understand it is the Statement of a Parent with a Clear Prioritythat they walk in truth

Not to be sports star in Jr. high. Not get a chance to attend a prestigious, but heathen  college, but that they walk in truth.

Understand it is the Statement Regarding the Efforts for a Conscious Placementvs3 – in thee

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deu 6:7-9)

Understand it is the Statement Expressing a Continual Pleasurejoy

I have no greater joy

Understand it is the Statement of Children Experiencing a Crowning ProductProsperous soul (vs2)


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay







The Purpose and Profit of Afflictions


We all experience afflictions and problems. The factor that determines if the results are good or devastating to our life depends upon our view of God!

When trials and afflictions come we will get better or bitter.  So it is vital that our view of God in times of affliction be one of trust.

I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Psa 119:75)

Some of the purposes and benefits of afflictions are as follows.  Be prepared to profit from your present of next afflictions.

Affliction causes us to seek God

 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; (Exo 3:7)

How many afflictions could be avoided if we daily and always sought God with our whole heart.

Affliction teaches us obedience

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Psa 119:67)

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. (Psa 119:71)

Affliction prepares us for ministry (1Cor 1:1-6)

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (2Co 1:6)

Affliction provides us the opportunity to glorify God by growing and producing fruit in our afflictions

And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. (Gen 41:52)

But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. (Exo 1:12)


Affliction  proves us – validating and showing our maturity

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, (2Co 6:4)

Affliction purifies us

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isa 48:10)

Let afflictions be your friend to build you in your faith and service for he Lord.

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay


Will You Excel?

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.(Gen 49:3-4)unstable-as-water-1-728

In spite of Reuben’s great potential afforded by being his father’s first born, the prophesy for his future was not bright.  The words “thou shall not excel” hold a sense of disappointment and a foreshadow of a wasted life.

We all want to excel in our life and especially in our service to the Lord.  Let’s look at just a few of the reasons from the life of Reuben that we may not excel.

We Will Not Excel Because of Unstable Characterunstable as water (read Gen 37:18-34)

His instability of character was demonstrated by his acts of compromise

He only partially stood for right in his desire to save the life of his little brother, Joseph.  He gave in to their want for revenge, thinking he would return for Joseph later and rescue him for the pit.  Because of his unwillingness to make a clear stand his brothers sold Joseph while he was gone.

We usually get only one chance to stand and do right.  Here he blew his opportunity.

His instability of character was demonstrated by his acts of collusion 

Collusion is “the secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others“.

We might say he went along to get along!  When he found out it was too late to save Joseph, he went along with their wicked plan to deceive their father into believing Joseph was dead. He also let this deceit and collusion go on for years.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (Psa 1:1)

We Will Not Excel Because of Unscriptural Conduct (vs4, Gen 35:22)

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.(Heb 13:4)

Although the Bible says that Israel knew about Reuben’s sin in the relationship with Bilhah his father’s concubine, we have no indication that his father did anything about it or that Reuben ever confessed and made it right.   We can never excel (prosper) if we harbor and hide sin.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Pro 28:13)

 So in summary, we will not excel if we compromise in doing right, collude with evil people and plans, and fail to confess and forsake sinful conduct.

Let’s purpose to excel for God!

Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay