Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love One Another

In John 13 the Lord Jesus said, “A new commandment give I unto thee, that ye love one another.” Now the disciples had been told before to love. However, this time Jesus taught them how to love. He said, “As I have loved you, also love one another, by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.” You don’t need a lapel pin. You don’t need a bumper sticker. The lost will know you by your love. I am not against lapel pins, or bumper stickers, but the greatest way to witness for Christ is to show His love.

About 200 years ago an encyclopedia wrote an article on love. It took five pages. Many years later that same encyclopedia attempted to describe the atom and it took 4 lines. Recently, a new edition to that encyclopedia left love out altogether and took 5 pages to explain the atom. Jesus said, ”Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold.” We live in a day of dwindling love and abounding iniquity. Love is hard to explain. It is hard to express. However, you know when it is there.

One place where love is expressed is in the church of the Lord Jesus. What a thrill to attend a church where you are warmly greeted and accepted as a fellow-believer. I tell you there is no lodge, club, or organization that will love you like the folks at a good Bible believing, New Testament church! I am thrilled to be part of this fellowship. Thanks for loving me and accepting my family and myself. I love and appreciate each one of you!
Looking forward to this Sunday!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perfume in church?

Most of us would agree that the church at Philippi was one of the most pleasant churches described in the entire New Testament. All through the letter to the Philippians it is almost as if you could smell the pleasant atmosphere generated by the love the dear believers had for Christ and for each other. It was truly a church filled with love and joy. The Apostle Paul even exclaimed in his salutation in the first chapter, "I thank God for every remembrance of you!" He was essentially telling them that they were a sweet fragrance to him. Such was the spiritual character of this church.

In John 12 we are told about Mary anointing the feet of the Lord Jesus with expensive perfume. The Bible provides this description within the passage, “and the house was filled with the fragrance." It was obviously a palpable and pleasing fragrance, one that so impressed John that he was compelled to describe the sweet aroma that permeated the scene.

Oh! How wonderful it would be to be in a church like that! There needs to be a fragrance of perfume in a church. The ministry and the fellowship of the church family should emanate such a pleasant fragrance it should be easily discerned by any visitor.

I believe that is the atmosphere we have here at Chestertown Baptist Church. The unity and harmony and the ministry send forth just such a pleasant fragrance. Our members are among the sweetest on earth. Our services are Christ inspired and spiritually uplifting. Personally, I would rather be here than in any other church on earth! I remember Dr. Tom Wallace preaching a sermon here years ago entitled, “There’s no place like this place so this must be the place!" That's how I feel!

Of course, we are not a perfect church; we are, after all, made up of imperfect people! Once in a while you will run across “problem” people. That is going to happen! But the majority of us are “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), which produces just such a sweet fragrance.
Thank you for being the way you are. You are a delight to Pastor and fellowship with.

May all we do be a sweet smelling savor to our precious Lord!
God bless you and Lord willing I'll see you Sunday!


Thanks for being patient with me the last couple of weeks. My gout has flared up. I have only eaten what I'm supposed to and only drink water. I went yesterday and received cortisone shot in my right foot. I am much better! Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


One of the preeminent goals of the Christian life is to exhibit the fruit of the spirit. One such fruit which seems awfully short in supply these days is kindness. Kindness…..think of it just for a moment. Titus 3:4 informs us kindness is one of the attributes displayed by our heavenly Father: “The kindness and the love of God our Savior appeared”. But even among believers there does seem to be a shortfall of this virtue in our churches.

It reminds me of the little girl who once prayed, "Dear God make all the bad people good and make the good people nice”. I say "amen" to that!

Have you ever asked yourself “Am I a kind person?” Someone recently commented to me of one of our members "No one is that nice all the time." I replied, "Yes, she is!" Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that testimony were true of all of us?

The story is told of a travelling businessman who was out of town and had stopped at a restaurant. The waitress came to take his order. "I'll have the chicken casserole and a kind word." Minutes later she returned and set his meal at the table before him, but without speaking a word. The man asked, “Where is the kind word?" She sighed and whispered, “Don't eat the chicken casserole."

My pastor in Indiana, where I was studying for the ministry, closed his radio program with the words, “Be nice to everybody ‘cause everybody is having a rough time." How true! I don't care who you are, we all need to hear a kind word once in a while!

Jackie Robinson, the Hall of Famer who broke the color barrier in Major League baseball, said he would never have made it in the majors if it hadn't been for Pee Wee Reese, who told him, “I’m behind you all the way!" Certainly kind words that were an encouragement to Robinson.

The Apostle Paul, in his famous listing of the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13, includes this: Love is kind! The Lord is kind to us; we in turn are to be kind to others! I want to be a kind and gentle person! I want to be a blessing to others, not a burden. That's my goal, and I truly believe it should be the goal of all Christians.

I am blessed as a pastor in that, collectively, this is one of the kindest congregations I have ever met. Thank you for being so kind to me. I'm going to do my best to reciprocate!

See you Sunday