A Nation of Slackers

April 23, 2009

America is a nation of slackers. Too many young men refuse to grow up, get jobs, marry and be responsible fathers. Instead, they spend their hours watching movies and playing video games.

Proverbs has a lot to say about the slacker. (Read these). He is lazy, sleeps too much, refuses to work, makes excuses, can’t be trusted and will ultimately come to poverty and death. Yet, he thinks he is wise! (Proverbs 26:16)

Now you may be thinking, praise God – I’m not a slacker! But, we all need to pause and think. We may not lounge the day away, but many of us make excuses and avoid our God-given responsibilities. Sometimes, we may even excuse our responsibilities by pursuing other less important priorities.

Please take a moment to consider what roles and responsibilities God has given you.

  • Husbands, are you tending your family as carefully as your career – or are you slacking?
  • Wives, are you busy at home or are you eating the bread of idleness?
  • Young men and women, are you working hard to learn the skills and build the character that will make you a successful husband or wife?
  • Christian, are you spending time with God, or are you rolling over in bed?

The fate of the slacker is not pretty (Proverbs 21:25, 24:30-34). Don’t ignore your responsibilities. Remember that God blesses those who work hard (Proverbs 10:4, 12:24). Then, get out there and do what God has called you to do!

In Christ

Pastor Mike Walters

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Psalm 38

April 27, 2007

In Psalm 38 we find both the personal cost of sin and the solution.  We don’t know the specific sin, but we know that David is suffering greatly.  He feels the weight of God’s anger (38:2).  His health is affected (38:3).  He feels isolated even from friends and loved ones (38:11).  His enemies are rising up against him (38:12).  Make no mistake, there is a cost to sin.  It may offer pleasure for a time, but the pain that follows far overshadows any passing pleasure.

But, David also gives a wonderful example of how to hope in God after we have sinned. First, he appeals to God’s mercy.  He asks God not to rebuke and chasten Him in anger (38:1).  Next, he remembers that his hope is completely in God (38:15).  He doesn’t need to fight his opponents, listen to their attacks or defend himself.  Instead, he does what all of us must do.  He confesses his iniquity (38:18).  He doesn’t try to hide it.  He takes it to God and asks God to help him and save him (38:22). 

How do you handle your sin?  Do you simply try to hide it and go on with life?  Or, do you follow the example of David and seek God’s mercy and salvation through humble, trusting confession?

Bible Reading: Numbers 3, Psalm 38, Song of Solomon 2, Hebrews 2


The Good Leader

April 13, 2007

This morning, I was reading in Proverbs 31 and was struck by the advice given to King Lemuel in verses 1-9.  It was instruction on what a good king is to and not do.  It seems that the following principles can be applied to any in leadership or positions of power.

  1. Don’t be distracted by pleasure, particularly by the desires for illicit sex (31:3).  Just think of all the leaders who have been brought down by sexual immorality.  It is a sobering thought.
  2. Don’t do anything that will dull your abilities to understand, apply and enforce God’s Law (31:4)
  3. Give comfort to those who are dying and despairing (31:6-7)
  4. Defend the helpless (31:8-9).  Be extremely careful to speak up for those without a voice or resources.
  5. Actively speak out for righteousness (31:9)
  6. Make sure your judgments (and decisions) are righteous (31:9)

As I look through this list, it convicts me.  The American evangelical church fails in many of these areas.  May God convict us.  May we repent.  May He raise up leaders and congregations who will be devoted to righteous leadership, as He defines it.  And, may He bless our nation with governmental leaders who will lead in accordance with these principles, as well as the many others throughout His Word.

In Christ

Pastor Mike


A Testimony of God’s Grace

April 2, 2007

Tim Challies has encouraged Christian bloggers to post their testimonies this Tuesday.  I thought it was a good idea, so here is mine:

The Lord saved me by His grace on December 19, 1993. Here is how it happened.

I grew up in what I consider a typical American middle class home. My family attended church regularly, but that was about the extent of our Christianity. Apart from an hour on Sunday, there was very little discussion of who Jesus was or what place God should have in our lives.

As I headed off to college, I rapidly jettisoned any involvement with the Christian faith. I went to the University of Southern California. I was aware of groups like Campus Crusade and even had some friends who tried to get me involved. Unfortunately, I also had some friends who were involved with a cult, the Los Angeles Church of Christ. Because the cult claimed to be Christian I associated everything about Christianity with the cult that was destroying my friends and wanted nothing to do with Jesus. So, I spent my college years studying and having fun, but with no real spiritual input.

In 1993 I graduated from USC. Since I was an Air Force ROTC student, I had a four year commitment to the Air Force. However, they could not take me immediately, so I went to graduate school in Ohio for a year. My goal was to eventually become a History professor at the Air Force Academy or the Air War College.

It was while I was in Ohio that God began to move in my life. I started going to church because I thought that was what Air Force Officers did. I began to read the Bible a little, just to know what it said. Little did I know that God was preparing me for a Christmas visit with my family. My Uncle Jack is an accomplished officer and committed Christian. All of my extended family members who follow the Lord trace their conversion back to his witness. In the providence of God, I headed to his house a week before the rest of the family to do research in the National Archives.

On December 19, 1993 the first Sunday I was there, Jack took me to church with his family. In the discussion afterward, he recognized that I did not understand the gospel or have a relationship with Jesus; although I would have claimed to be a Christian. Jack took the time to share the truth of the gospel with me. God in His mercy decided to open my eyes to the truth and save me. That afternoon I could not deny the simple truth of the gospel. God gave me faith and I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As I headed back to Ohio, my Uncle encouraged me to go to a Bible-teaching church and look for an organization like Campus Crusade. I did. They took me under their wing, taught me the basics of my new faith and even gave me opportunities to serve. This pattern has continued throughout my life. Ultimately, God by His grace led me to get out of the Air Force, go to Seminary and serve the church as a pastor. My greatest joy in life is to see others find their satisfaction in Jesus and commit their lives to living for His glory.

As I consider what God has done in my life so far, I am amazed, humbled and grateful. I am truly an example of God’s grace. I was not looking for Him. I did not even realize I needed Him. I was successful and happy. But, I thank God that He put someone in my life that showed me the true nature of sin and grace. I give Him all the glory.

In Christ

Pastor Mike


True Faith

March 26, 2007

Mark 9:24 has one of the most genuine confessions I have ever read: “I believe, help my unbelief.”  This cry for faith comes from a father whose son is assaulted and tormented by demon.  The disciples can’t help.  He is beginning to fear that no one can.  Yet, he hopes.  He hopes that Jesus can.  So, in the face of his fears, he shouts out, “I believe, help my unbelief.”

Here is what James Edwards has to say about this in his commentary on Mark (p.280).

True faith is always aware how small and inadequate it is.  The father becomes a believer not when he amasses a sufficient quantum of faith but when he risks everything on what little faith he has, when he yields his insufficiency to the true sufficiency of Jesus. . .True faith takes no confidence in itself, nor does it judge Jesus by the weakness of his followers.  it looks to the More Powerful one (1:7) who stands in the place of God, whose authoritative word restores life from chaos.  True faith is unconditional openness to God, a decision in the face of all to the contrary that Jesus is able.

Brothers and sisters, Jesus is more than able. He is compassionate.  He will respond when we cry out to Him with even the weakest faith, I believe, help my unbelief.


True Godliness

February 8, 2007

As you read through Genesis 39-41 you can’t help but notice Joseph’s godly character. Here are a few of the qualities that particularly impress me:

He remained faithful in difficult circumstances.

He refused to sin against God, even in the face of repeated temptations (39:7-10)

He was helpful to people in trouble (40:6-8)

He always pointed people back to God (40:8;41:16)

My hope is God in His grace will give you and I the same godly character.

In Christ

Pastor Mike


Success

February 6, 2007

Most (if not all) of us long to be successful and significant.  In Genesis 39 you will find the story of Joseph, who is called a successful man.  He prospers in all that he does.  He is consistently elevated to “management.” (39:2-6, 8, 22-23).  God blesses those who are associated with him.

The key to Joseph’s success is simple.  It is mentioned at both the beginning and end of the chapter — “the Lord was with Joseph.” (39:2,21).

What is interesting about Joseph’s success is his situation.  If you are unfamiliar with the story, Joseph has been sold into slavery by his brothers.  This successful man is a slave in Potiphar’s house.  He will eventually be thrown in prison on false charges of attempted rape (because he refused Potiphar’s wife’s advances).  Most of us would not think of this as a situation of success.  Nor would we naturally conclude that the Lord was with us.  Yet, that is what the Bible says.

What lessons can we learn from this?  First, our definition of success is frequently wrong.  Second, success is not dependent on our cirucmstances, but our faithfulness.  Most importantly, success is a result of God’s presence in our lives.

In Christ

Pastor Mike