We have been looking at the parables of Jesus. The word parable comes from a compound Greek word. “Para” which means alongside and “bole” means to throw. When Yeshua speaks a parable He takes that which is unfamiliar and throws it down alongside that which is familiar. Look at verses 10 and 11 in this chapter. Jesus offers us these parables so that we can use them as spiritual handles to reach down and pick up spiritual truth. Continue reading
Listen | Watch | Luke 10:25-37
We begin a new series of messages today in order that we might discover together some of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. We are going to look at seven different parables of Jesus. The Bible says, “And the disciples came and said to Him (meaning Jesus), ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘because it has been given to you (meaning the disciple) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 13:10-11a). The Greek word is musterion and it means something that was hidden in the past, but now has been made known. In the New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson describes a parable as, “a short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth.” We begin our series with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Dr. J. Vernon McGee calls this parable, “The best known of the parables.” Dr. Herschel Hobbs says of this parable, “It has built hospitals…inspired men to meet needs.” So, let’s begin looking at this parable which has been said to have the potential to “revolutionize the world.” Continue reading
What a joy to preach on the Sunday prior to Memorial Day! Growing up we referred to Memorial Day as Decoration Day. We always made a trip up the Big Sandy and would have our family reunion at Dewy Lake. Remembering loved ones that have gone on, decorating graves, having family reunions, or taking an out-of-town trip are all great things to do. However, this is not what Memorial Day is all about. Memorial Day is all about remembering fallen soldiers. I wonder how many have lost immediate family members due to their service in the Armed Forces? Regina, Angie, and I have just returned from decorating graves in Ashland, Grayson, and Flatwoods on Saturday. The Ashland Cemetery contains the remains of my great aunt, Mary. Aunt Mary was special for many reasons: she lived near us when I grew up, she was very good to my mother, she allowed our family to have a garden spot on her property, etc. Aunt Mary was special for another important reason…she gave one of her sons, Charles Vaughn, for the cause of freedom during World War II. Charles was in the U.S. Navy and was lost at sea during the war. We wanted to remember this sacrifice on Memorial Day. Continue reading
A newspaper editor decided to print one of the 10 Commandments everyday for 10 successive days in his newspaper. At the completion of his listing a reader wrote, “Cancel my subscription.” When asked why, he said, “Your paper is getting too personal for me.” Today’s message is going to get personal. It’s going to get personal because the message deals with a commandment that we are all guilty of breaking. It is the 5th Commandment, “Honor your father and mother.”
You cannot teach right from wrong apart from the standards revealed in the Word of God. Jerry Vines
I have been listening and reading reports from the media as it relates to the values and morals of this current generation. There’s a real concern, even among those that are secular. And they are asking the schools to teach our children how to have better values and how to have better morals. But my question is, how are you going to do that without the Word of God? We are not allowed to distribute Bibles at school. How can you expect teachers to teach morals and values without the Word of God? Continue reading
Billy Graham was once asked in an interview, “what is one of the great mysteries that God has revealed to you in your long years of ministry?” Billy responded without hesitation, “The brevity of it.” At my stage of life, I completely understand this statement by Billy Graham. Regina and I will have been married 41 years this fall. It has all gone by so fast! In thinking about our lives together, my daughter Angie often laughs. Angie says, “You guys are so different…polar opposites.” She jokingly says, “If it were not for Jesus, I would have two houses to visit at Christmas.” Angie was joking, but in reality it is true. Our Christian commitment has held us together over the years. The thing we share most in common is the indwelling presence of Jesus. The same is true with the rest of you who have been married for a number of years. It has either been your Christian commitment, or your Christian ethic that has held your marriages together. You see Jesus is who scientists refer to as the “Colossian Force.” Scientists tell us that there is an unseen force that holds the Universe together. They reference the Bible verse in Colossians that says, “And he (meaning Jesus) is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) Jesus is the glue! Continue reading
Some of the walkers in our church have said, “There are too many sermons on running, and not enough sermons on walking.” So, today’s sermon is on walking–the Christian’s walk.
I love the KJV word “circumspectly.” I love it because of a message that Regina and I heard some years ago given on a Wednesday night by Pat Elliott. Pat is now pastor of the Spring Meadows Baptist church in Huntington, WV; however, at the time of his message, he was on staff at the Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Ashland, KY. In his message, Pat was very dramatic in illustrating the meaning of the word “circumspectly.” The word has to do with paying careful attention to the way we as believers walk. As a figurative word, “walk” has to do with our spiritual journey and with our daily relationship with The Lord. Continue reading
As a way of reminding you, these lessons have been inspired by my reading of Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, “Slaying the Giants in Your Life.” Dr. Jeremiah says, “You can win the battle and live victoriously!” God will allow you, through Christ, to slay the giants in your life and live victoriously before Him. On p. 174 of his book, he reminded me of something I experienced every spring. I used to be a huge Cincinnati Reds fan. Jeremiah said, “At the beginning of every season, your favorite pitcher has a 0.000 ERA. At the beginning of every season, your favorite hitter has a 1.000 batting average. At the beginning of every season, your favorite team is tied for first place. World Series hopes are still alive. But then, after the opening game, some of your favorite hitters go 0 for 5. Some of your favorite pitchers take an early shower. What we discover is, even our favorite major league player can fail. Babe Ruth, for example, held the home run record for a long time in the major leagues, but he also held the record for the most strikeouts! Continue reading
Kermit says, “Green is what I want to be.” That’s cool…if you are a frog. It is not as cool when you are a Christian. Paul references, in our text, a lot of baby Christians that were green in Corinth, green with envy. Green is not what a Christian needs to be. I want to help us deal with the Green-eyed Giant of envy.
The literal meaning (of the word envy in the Greek) is to boil within.
Listen | Watch | Psalm 32, 51
Dr. David Jeremiah is the inspiration for this series of messages. I have been reading his book, “Slaying the Giants in Your Life,” published by Thomas Nelson. I have also been inspired by the movie, “Jack the Giant Slayer.” After reading Dr. Jeremiah’s book, I concluded, “Jack is not really a giant slayer, but Jesus is!” Thus the title for my series, Jesus the Giant Slayer! And, I have learned that there is an invisible giant among us this morning, it is the giant of guilt. Continue reading
Listen | Watch | John 20:24-31
A dear lady in our community stopped me as I was walking toward the Methodist Church for Holy Week services and said, “Preacher, I have been suffering from vertigo.” Vertigo is that spinning sensation. It can be nauseating and unsettling. A feeling that you are not sure you can move in a forward direction. Sometimes our spiritual lives can be that way. Especially when we are plagued with doubt. Sometimes our doubts can keep us from moving forward spiritually. Now let me remind you, doubt is not the opposite of faith. The opposite of faith is unbelief. Doubt is not the same as unbelief. Continue reading