Is YOUR church DIVORCED from it's PURPOSE?



Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 10-11, Acts 4:1-22

Today’s Reflection: Nehemiah 11:16 And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.

Who has the oversight of the outward business of the house of God at YOUR church? 

For the New Testament believer, we often refer to the “House of God” as the local church, or the local assembly of the believers who meet collectively for worship to our God, for the exhortation (to strongly encourage or urge someone to do something) of the saints, and for the furtherance of the Gospel through the efforts of evangelism and missions (starting other churches). 

I do understand that to be 100% technically accurate, the Temple of the Lord now is US! That’s right…if we are born again, WE are God’s TEMPLE! However, we are not, as individuals, self-contained “churches”, as the word “church” literally means “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly” (according to Strong’s greek dictionary when defining “church” out of Matthew 16:18). 

This means that although we are indwelt by The Holy Spirit, this does not negate our responsibility to gather together as found in Hebrews 10:25. Why? As mentioned above, for exhortation. 

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=TheWayOfTheCrossBaptistChurch&loc=en_USExhortation should be used not just to encourage the assembling together, but to go out and oversee the “outward business” of the house of God. When we meet, we should not only praise, but we should plan! We should be able to rally the troops. 

To what end, you ask? That we may “do the work of an evangelist” (see 2 Timothy 4:5). Paul instructed young pastor Timothy to do such! This implies that a pastor’s job is not only to feed the flock, but to lead the flock! His job is not just to comfort the church, but also to charge the church! His job is not just to maintain the saints, but to campaign for sinners! 

Too often, we separate the work of the church (the collective, assembled body of believers) from the work of the evangelist (an individual called to take the Gospel to the lost). However, never in the scriptures are these two ministries to be divorced from one another. 

In fact, they should work together for the common goal of reaching the lost at all costs. That is why a church that is not actively overseeing “the outward business of the house of God” is a dying church. GO TELL!


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Just as gravity cannot be ignored, neither can the Bible be ignored!



Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 8-9, Acts 3

Today’s Reflection: Nehemiah 9:23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.

“…concerning which thou hadst promised…” God’s word is ALWAYS good! Whatever He speaks comes to pass. He cannot lie! And THIS is why we simply cannot ignore His word, because His word is law! That is, His word goes. 

When God speaks, whatever needs to line up to fulfill His commands and demands, does. Let there be light…and there was light. Sound familiar? For God to be able to speak to nothingness and command something as sophisticated and brilliant as light to come forth from it, and then for that nothingness to turn into something from which light is produced, is absolutely awesome! 

Now that we have established just how powerful God’s word is, we must make application for our own lives. What does this truth mean for us? Some would dare, believe it or not, to attempt to ignore God’s word, as if they can live, breathe, and die without consequence. 

However, just as one who denies or is ignorant of the laws of physics cannot live without being effected by gravity, neither can one who either denies or is ignorant of God’s word live without being affected by it. 

A law is a law is a law. Think of how dreaded the consequences would be if NASA designed and built the next rocket without any consideration for the laws of physics. It would be disastrous! Even the slightest miscalculation of weighing in the laws of physics would reveal the flaws of the design, for the laws themselves would remind the designers of the rocket that they miscalculated, and must pay the dreaded price for doing so. 

When I was a child, I thought it would be a great idea to jump off of my Dad’s small tool shed. I had it all planned out. I had an old couch cushion on the ground beneath. Looked soft to me! Except there was one slight problem; gravity quickly informed me that I slightly miscalculated the impact it would demand upon landing. 

Needless to say, I barely noticed any cushioning underneath at all when I hit the ground. In fact, to make matters worse, when I landed, I bit my tongue! The lesson I learned? Any law God sets in place needs to be calculated for; best to do so BEFORE the landing!


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Family and Church



Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 4-7, Acts 2:22-47

Today’s Reflection: Nehemiah 4:14b …remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

In our selected verse, we are coming in right after Nehemiah “set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bow.” In short, each family joined in the reconstruction of the wall of Jerusalem, as well as the protection of the project against threats that were coming in from the enemy. 

Today, I would like to borrow from Nehemiah’s strategy and say that in much the same way, the church also ought to organize, equip, and motivate its families to join in to the effort of not only rebuilding the church, but defending the work. 

We understand that Christ is the one who builds the church, but we also understand that we are Christ’s body; hence, His hands and His feet. That means that He builds the church through us! And the truth is, a healthy church is made up of families surrendered to God’s will for their lives. 

In today’s world, the breakdown of the family is a large contributor to the breakdown of the church. Statistically, strong families have been proven to be the backbone of a stable society. 

Often, the family that was in church together was the family that stayed together, and produced children that later made long and lasting contributions to church, then ultimately society. 

The devil knows that if the family unit can be destroyed, then all of society will be conquered. Why? Because if there’s no stable parent as an authority to teach right from wrong, and to discipline consistently in love and firmness, then children are often left to grow up being instructed by many confusing voices who all work hard to win that child’s mind and allegiance. 

Ultimately, many then become a product of mass confusion as they try to figure things out without a guiding light to help them make the right decisions in life. And I’m here to tell you, there’s a better way! 

This may sound a bit old-fashioned and outdated, but as much as is humanly possible, if we would go back to a Biblically defined family, where mom and dad are married and committed for better and for worse, and where their children are raised together under the same roof, and raised together in church, then the church could grow exponentially, and as a result, society could be saved!


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Never put God in YOUR box!



Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 1-3, Acts 2:1-21

Today’s Reflection: Nehemiah 1:11c …For I was the king’s cupbearer. 12:1a …in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king…wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king… 12:2a …the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick?...

Earlier in this volume, we wrote about unlikely prophets in unlikely places. This one is certainly no exception. To be honest, the very fact that Nehemiah even has a job serving wine to anyone at all, much less a king, would get him kicked off of some people’s list of qualifications for a proper prophet. 


Some might even dare say that “God would never use someone in such an ungodly place!” And yet, God has Nehemiah positioned to gain audience with the king through none other position than, you guessed it, serving up wine to him! 

You see, God sees the BIG picture. So, while Nehemiah was working a job that might have got him kicked out of the local preacher’s fellowship, he was in fact following God’s voice and lead all along. 

For you see, God needed to use this king to support and finance the effort of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, and so He used whatever means He saw fit in order to give Nehemiah the opportunity to represent His cause to the king. 

As it turns out, Nehemiah didn’t even approach the king concerning the matter; contrarily, the king just so happened to notice that Nehemiah looked particularly sad that day, and he was simply curious as to why.  That began the whole entire providential conversation, which led to Nehemiah leading God’s people into rebuilding the walls! 

Imagine that! Just being in the right place at the right time for The Lord yields His providential hand to work out details you could not have planned any better yourself! 

Even right now, someone may be reading this who may be wondering what possible good could come out of the place you find yourself either working, living, or serving The Lord. You thought He led you there, but now that you’re there, you can’t seem to make any sense of it. 

But no worries, for if God put you there, rest assured that when the time is right, you’ll have another providential moment that will begin unfolding the next step in your journey of accomplishing God’s will for your life. The key is to always be obedient to God, and NEVER doubt His power in any place!


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Yes, we CAN have REAL Revival in these last days!!!



Today’s Reading: Ezra 9-10, Acts 1

Today’s Reflection: Ezra 9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

Just as Israel, who was found in bondage for their sins, was given a space of grace by our precious Lord for reviving, even so we the church in this Laodicean church age are also given a space of grace for the same. 

In the Hebrew dictionary, the word “reviving” in our verse today simply means “the preservation of life”. Webster’s 1828 dictionary goes on to define it as “bringing to life again; reanimating; renewing; recalling to the memory; recovering from neglect or depression; refreshing with joy or hope…” 

So we learn then that it is both an act of God to not only keep us from dying altogether, but to bring us back to full spiritual health, vitality, and functionality! And so here we are, in a world where the church is getting worldlier, and the world is getting churchier, and where it seems near impossible that there might be a reviving of His true church.  Yet, there is ALWAYS a remnant! 

Dear reader, should most of the entire body of professed believers in Christ go the way of the world, and forsake the God they claim they love, be sure that our Lord has yet many (though they may be few in comparison) who have yet to bow the knee to Baal. 

YOU can be a part of that remnant! Just because other Christians and other churches are dead, does not mean you or your church must go the same way. God forbid that we settle for less than a reviving in the midst of these years! 

See our text; God provides all that is needed for a reviving of the remnant. He provides the time (“a little space”), the “grace”, the location (“in his holy place”), the means (“that our God may lighten our eyes”), and the purpose (“give us a little reviving”)! 

Even so, for us, the time is now, His grace is sufficient, His church is still the place, His Word is still the means, and His purpose is still to revive us again! 

May we find our “nail” in His holy place! More so, may we BE that nail, fastened in His place, never to be removed, but always abounding in the work of The Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in The Lord! 

Be encouraged, child of God; there is yet a reviving available in these last days for all who will drink of its waters. Drink up!


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Is your ministry going the right speed?



Today’s Reading: Ezra 6-8, John 21

Today’s Reflection: Ezra 6:12b ...I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.

Does the work of The Lord and the word “speed” even go together? Look at this! King Darius was moved by God’s hand to aid (and even help finance) the construction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and his instructions were for it to be done with speed! 

Now, I will have to be honest; somehow I do not see many of today’s churches (at least where I live in the southland of America) moving with speed in the work of God. If anything, we have more of a tendency to drag our feet than we do to move our feet with speed! 

And why is that? Well, I’m sure that there are many different reasons, depending upon who you ask, but I wish to explore at least a couple of things that I have observed over the years since I’ve been in ministry. 

First, please allow me to point out that I do understand that a church can only move as fast as the limitations are removed. For example, in verse eight of our text, the king secured financing for the work of building the temple, “that they be not hindered”. 

The truth is, limitations do hinder the speed of progress! In this case, it was finances. This may or may not be a hindrance to the work with which you are involved, but the key question we need to all ask ourselves is this; are WE the hindrance?  If it is not a lack of people, a lack of money, a lack of buildings, tools, equipment, etc., then many times it is just a lack of motivation. 

Furthermore, I think sometimes we like to over-stay our welcome in God’s waiting room. That is, we get stuck in “waiting” on The Lord, when in fact The Lord might now be waiting on us! This may sound a bit too radical for some of my readers, so please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. 

I do not intend to belittle the necessity nor the power of prayer whatsoever; but I will say that I think sometimes the biggest hindrance to God’s work is that we claim that we will just “pray about it”, but then too often we never really do, or worse, we pray about things that God has already instructed us to be doing. 

Prayer should always give us guidance for our future decisions, but it should also push us to make them! Prayer should never stagnate our growth; rather, it should spurt our growth! Prayer should never be an excuse, but rather it should be the engine that moves us to action! Let’s speed up!


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Up now, get busy for God!!



Today’s Reading: Ezra 3-5, John 20

Today’s Reflection: Ezra 5:16b …and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.

Ever since Christ spoke these words in Matthew 16:18b, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”, we can truly say as was said of the temple of Jerusalem in our text, “…and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.” 

What a privilege and an honor to be a member, by spiritual birth through faith in Christ, of His church, and to join Him in His labor! Dear laborer in the vineyard of The Lord, please do understand that though The Lord do the building, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works! 

That is, the Lord works with us, for us, and through us to build His church! How shall they hear without a preacher, right (Romans 10:14)? I emphasize this point so that we will be motivated to do our part in His grand master plan; and until the last soul is saved by the Grace of God, we must endeavor to continue in the work of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Earth. 

Unfortunately, however, many of God’s laborers in His vineyard have heeded the advice of the devil’s “hired counselors” (see Ezra 4:5) who have been paid a handsome fee to counsel against our labor in God’s work, in order to frustrate our purpose. 

For too long, we have given audience to the naysayers who say it’s too late, it’s too far gone, it’s almost over, etc. and thereby some of us have either slacked off, almost quick, or already quit altogether. 

But may we stop echoing the words of these lying devilish counselors who have not only advised against us by sending other discouragers, but who have come to us personally to sell us their garbage. 

The truth is, the harvest truly is yet more plenteous than there are laborers to bring in the harvest, and until we pray and God answers to our beckoning call for MORE labors (not less), we must say of the work, “yet it is not finished”. 

Now is NOT the time to slow down, take a break, give up, or quit. Now is the time to redeem the time, because the days are evil. There’s no time to waste, child of God. Get up! Preach! Sing! Testify! Go on that mission trip! Surrender to that call! Witness to that neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member! Do it, and do it NOW! The work is not yet finished!


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Jesus Christ TRULY IS all you need!



Today’s Reading: Ezra 1-2, John 19:23-42

Today’s Reflection: John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

From the same One who said “I thirst” flows forth blood and water. The blood for the cleansing of sin, and the water for the washing of water by The Word! There is the redemptive work that only the blood can bring (Heb. 9:22), and then there is the sanctifying work that only The Word can bring (John 17:17)! 

Both are essential for the initiating and perpetual work of The Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. And neither could be made available to depraved humanity without first a Savior who depraved Himself on our behalf. 

To think of Christ, who made the oceans, seas, rivers, creeks, springs, and wells, to deprive Himself of water so that you and I could take a drink of His living water and never thirst again, is a soul stirring truth from which we can draw from now on through eternity! 

I have come to Him time and time again for a drink, and never left empty-handed! Are you discouraged? Then He has a cup of encouragement for you! Are you sad? Then He has a cup of joy! Heartbroken? Then take a sip of His heart-healing waters! Lonely? Then try a taste of His very presence! 

O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Psalm 34:8). When you are weak, He is strong; when you are depressed, He offers happiness; when you are lost, He knows right where you are, finds you, and brings you into His fold! When you are weary, He makes you lie down in green pastures. When you are thirsty, He makes you walk by cool, refreshing, still waters. When your soul is cast down, He lifts your spirit to heights unknown. 

Jesus is your all in all! And He offers all of this through His sacrifice on Calvary. Everything you need, from redemption, to sustaining power, to sanctification, to separation, to service, to supply, till The Lord calls us home, is made possible because that from His side “came there out blood and water.” 

All this He did FOR THEE! Romans 8:32 goes on to say, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Did you catch that? ALL things! Whatever you need! Listen, dear reader, WHATEVER you NEED can be found in Jesus Christ! Trust Him with your life, and you will be in good hands for now and forever!


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