Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Reflections on a busy day at the murder mill 

As I do every Tuesday for my lunch hour, I went to a local abortion clinic in Granite City, IL (Hope Clinic for Women). I’ve been going there for nearly 8 years preaching the Word of God, pleading with women to not murder their babies, offering to adopt their babies and walk with them every step of the way, and offering free ultrasounds (through a pregnancy center close by and a mobile medical unit right on site). 

Today was similar to other Tuesdays in that many women flooded in. In fact, I think there were at least 25 women that I saw go into Hope Clinic for Women. It is one of the largest hubs of murder mills in the central midwest area. Tuesday often brings women who are late term who have come for the kill. It’s terrifying and evil. It’s saddening and maddening all at the same time. 

It was busy. Very busy. I drove up and arrived about 5 minutes before they usually start their “business”. When I walked up to the front of the parking lot, the women flooded out of the cars and lined the sidewalk ready and eager to pay their money, all while putting on their mask, so as to pay their money first, and then enter the murderous building. 

License plates struck me today — as they have been more and more in recent days. Cars today came from Missouri and Illinois (mostly). But there were cars from Minnesota, Arizona, Oklahoma and two from Florida. They drove here, to Hope Clinic, for the purpose of murdering their baby. 

About ten minutes after I arrived, a young lady finally got out of her car, which was the closest parking spot to where I was standing. When she got out, she was about 5 feet from me. I told her that we cared for her, wanted to help her and give her other options, and that babies are murdered here. I was holding a sign that read: “BABIES ARE MURDERED HERE”. And on the back, a sign which read: “IF YOU WERE TO DIE TODAY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?  REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.”  

The many women that walked in gave different responses.  Some laughed and mocked.  Some yelled in anger. Some were cursing and commanding that we stop talking to them. Many others just ignored. One lady stopped, turned around, read the signs, and saw the mobile medical unit — but still decided to ignore the offer for a free ultrasound and go into the murder mill to kill her own baby. 

Why do I go to such an abominably wicked and divinely abhorred place?  For a number of reasons. 

  1. I go to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  — Yes, I preach.  I plead. I cry out. I entreat. I summon. I beg mothers, fathers, grandparents, abortion clinic workers, the security guard, the abortionists themselves and even passers-by to turn to Jesus Christ in full surrender and in faith to be saved.  There is no other faithful and full gospel proclamation there.  I go to preach the gospel loudly, faithfully, biblically, persistently, and passionately. 
  2. I go to honor and glorify God.  — I believe that God is glorified when His Word goes forth. God has given me His Word, I’ve eaten and tasted the Truth in the Word and thus I am sent to “go” and I preach His Word so that God may be glorified in how He chooses to use His Word.  I am undoubtedly an aroma of death to death to many — but I pray that God will be glorified in saving some by snatching them out of the fire. 
  3. I go to see babies saved.  — I love children. And I want children to be spared from the murders of abortion. There is no easy and kind way to say it. Abortion consists of the violent, gruesome and blasphemous ripping of children limb from limb in a mother’s womb. It’s vile and evil. And I love children, who are made in God’s image and fearfully and wonderfully made, and so I go to see the weak and the defenseless saved. 
  4. I go to evangelize any and all who will hear. —  Each week I go, I get to plead lovingly and urgently with the security guard. I tell her that I care for her and pray for her often. I give gospel tracts to people who are walking by on the sidewalks.  Often I get to stop cars after they drop a lady off and she goes into the murder mill and the driver will stop, roll down the window, and take a tract from me with some information about a pregnancy resources center in the immediate area. 
  5. I go because hell exists and murderers go there.  —  Evangelism is and must be urgent. Souls are of infinite worth and hell is drawing near. So many people walk into the building whose god is their ‘belly’ and they live for the flesh, they do not glorify Christ, they hate me and the gospel I preach, and they know what abortion is and they cheer the fact that they are murdering their babies. Oh the fires of hell await them, unless God mercifully and effectually intervenes. And how will God do this? Through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  These people will not come to my church, so I must go out to them and plead with them to come in so that the Father’s house may be full! 
  6. I go because I want to set an example for my church in pursuing the lost in fervent evangelism. — The Word calls me to 'do the work of an evangelist.' I love to go out to the lost and hand out tracts, open air preach, approach students on a college campus and have conversations, go door to door, do chalk evangelism on a busy sidewalk, and more. But I love taking men and women from the church with me to the streets so that we can labor together, in fellowship and with joy, for the sake of the souls of men and women. It is the duty of churches to pursue the lost with the aim to win souls to Jesus Christ. May the Lord magnify His name and spread His gospel through us -- all for His glory.

Today a young man walked with his 3 or 4-year old daughter together with a young mother. She clearly was hobbling along — probably had an abortion yesterday or in previous days but perhaps may have had an infection, and she was very vocal about me shutting up. She yelled and told me to stop talking to her and to leave her alone.  I offered tracts and gospel literature to the man and he kindly took it.  Then, after she went in, he turned back around to head to the car and I was able to give the full gospel with him and plead with him to turn to Christ and find salvation in Jesus Christ alone. 

A tragic day. Death happened inside that building where I was. But I triumph in Jesus Christ who alone reigns sovereignly and supremely over life and over death. 

Continue to pray for those who go to abortion clinics and preach the gospel.  Perhaps you can and should make it a priority in your schedule to go to your local abortion clinic to call out, to cry out for life, to glorify the God of life, and beg dads and moms to not murder their babies.  May God have mercy on our nation!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Here is a note of encouragement to our church family that I emailed out earlier this morning.

As I was meditating and praying through 2 Corinthians this morning, I wanted to pass along some thoughts that gripped me.  Here is my heart — and the shepherds’ hearts — as we seek to care for you and labor among you, with you, and for you — and ultimately, for the praise of our God.

2 Corinthians 1:24 — “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

In thinking about and applying this verse to our ministry context, I want to give you 4 brief motivations that we have as your elders.  By God’s Grace, we as shepherd elders seek to: 

Paul said that he is NOT lording it over the faith of the Corinthians.  As he teaches and preaches and labors for them and among them, He reminds them that GOD is the one who establishes the believers in Christ. And God has sealed His people and given them the Spirit of God as a pledge.  Paul said that he came to Corinth again to serve them, not to lord his apostolic authority over them. He did not come to roll his authoritarian credentials over them but he came to serve them, to help them, to minister to them, and to aid them in their growth.  Paul had his leadership position and his apostolic authority from God — not self determined by his own whims. Similarly, it is our desire to serve you, not to lord any sort of authority over you.  As your shepherds, we must lead and we must oversee and God has appointed us to make decisions to protect the flock, to uphold biblical truth, and to maintain purity in the Church. But our desire is to serve you, never to lord authority over God’s saints. 

Paul told the saints that he is a worker with them for their joy.  Paul expresses his heartfelt desire to be a diligent and driven worker in gospel advancement for their good.  That is the heart of a shepherd.  Our hearts are to work hard together with you for your good and for your welfare. First Timothy 3.1 says that if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work that he desires to do! Yes, it is work. It is hard. But nothing brings more joy and more thrill and more excitement than to serve the Lord and serve His people by working hard for God’s glory and for the good and well-being of the saints. And that well-being is for the people of God to grow in Christlikeness so as to walk in holiness, bask in the fear of God, and live with peace and joy on this pilgrimage toward our heavenly home. 

Paul said that he is a worker for their joy. In an amazing clarification, Paul affirms that he is not in leadership for power, or for honors, or for recognition. Rather, he does what he does for the enhancement and increase of their joy in the Lord. As the believers suffer, God called Paul to help them in their perseverance through difficulties for their joy.  As God brought blessings and favorable circumstances into their lives, Paul endeavored to help them process and think through such occasions in a way that would glorify God and maintain a God-Centered joyfulness.  So also with us as your shepherds, we are committed to working hard, together with you, for your joy in the Lord.  As Paul said to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the LORD.” Don’t rejoice in the things that you can tangibly see here and in the passing pleasures of this realm. But we resolve to honor God and aid you in rejoicing in the unshakeable truth and rock-solid beauty of God’s character, Christ’s salvation, and the Spirit’s power. 

Paul poured out his heart by telling the believers that he found great joy and comfort in knowing that they are standing firm in their faith.  In the body of Truth, in systematic theology, that he had taught them, they are now standing firm and resting upon it.  This brings great joy to a shepherd to know that saints are standing upon, grounded in, and unmoved in their confidence in “the faith”.  Our commitment, as shepherds of CFBC, is to teach the “full counsel of God” so that you will grow deeper in precise systematic theology, so that your worship of the Triune God will be transcendent, captivating, and biblical. And we want you to stand firm on the Lord and on the Truth (=“the Faith”) in the ever-so-changing days in which we live. We want you to stand strong, to stand firm, to stand courageous, to stand boldly, to stand vocally, and to stand worshipfully on the Lord.  The LORD is my rock and my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid?  Stand firm knowing that it is on Christ the solid Rock that you stand. All other ground is sinking sand!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Here is a game plan for holiness from the psalmist's example (from Psalm 119).


1. RUN AWAY FROM SIN!  (Psalm 119:37).  Fighting sin demands a holy resolve to flee and forsake its temptations. The psalmist begs with God to pass his eyes over, to turn his eyes away from sin. The heart of the psalmist reveals a desire to follow God and this shows itself in a fear of indulging sin.  Every child of God must strive to emulate the psalmist’s example. We must seek the Lord and His power to turn away from sin. And therein rests the hope.  You can’t do this on your own. You cannot fight sin nor turn away from sin in your own human strength. See how the psalmist pleads with God to literally ‘cause his eyes to turn away/pass by’ sin. He recognizes that sin is ‘vanity.’  The Hebrew word is emptiness, vanity, worthlessness.  How amazing that a child of God understands that sin promises a lot but delivers nothing. Sin promises pleasure but provides pain. Let our hearts burn with a prayerful determination to run away from sin and its temptations even from the very first instance. 


2) RUN HARD TO SCRIPTURE! (Psalm 119:38).  How important for every believer to run hard to God and to His Truth. Amazingly, sheer willpower to flee sin is a noble desire but it’s still insufficient to produce real, lasting change. One must replace that temptation to sin with a greater pursuit of godliness. And here, the psalmist recognizes that he must be established, yes he must stand firm, in the Word of God.  How about you?  When you are tempted (with your eyes, your mouth, your lips, your heart, your mind, your body), do you actively seek Christ’s Truth as your great shield, protection and joy?  If you are to follow and glorify God in a life-pursuit of holy living, yes you must run from sin but you must run to Truth. And bless God, He has provided all that is needed in His promises, in His Word, in His Scriptures. The particular word that the psalmist uses here refers to the ‘utterances from the mouth of God.’  What a great concept. Run away from sin and hard hard to the sweet utterances of Almighty God as revealed in His Word.


3)  RUN DEEP IN CHRIST!  (Psalm 119:39-40).   The psalmist prays that he longs for God’s precepts and he recognizes the need for God to revive him in the Word.  He needs revival. He needs God to come, to invade, to revive, to quicken, to satisfy him again — in the perfect righteousness of God.  Oh Christian, can you relate?  Do you need heart-reviving?  Do you need God to revive you and give you fresh life?  Do you need fresh reminders of Christ’s righteousness to sweep over your soul again so that you remember your position, rest in His grace, and rejoice in His security?  Run deep in Christ’s righteousness.  Run deep in prayer seeking true revival.  May the Lord help us with this game-plan for holiness.  We must RUN AWAY from sin.  And with that we must HARD HARD to Scripture.  And that must propel us to RUN DEEP in Christ and in His heart-reviving work! 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

 Below is a 5-part podcast series on Family Worship

Part 1:  The purpose/reasons for family worship  |  LISTEN

Part 2: Singing hymns  |  LISTEN

Part 3: Reading Scripture  |  LISTEN

Part 4: Praying together  |  LISTEN

Part 5: Keeping the long-term perspective in mind  |  LISTEN

More resources can be found here on family worship. Here's a brief video that may be helpful also.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Why I Do Abortion Mill Evangelism

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

I subtitle this article: “Urgent Gospel Preaching & Warnings To Those Going to Murder Their Children.” Why do I engage in this kind of urgent evangelism at the very doorstep of Satan’s foothold? Because souls are on the brink of eternity. Babies are about to be ripped apart. And murders are committing abominable and unjust atrocities inside the doors. At least, near me, few others stand and speak the biblical gospel at these Satanic places, so I go. And I go and preach. And I pray. And I weep. And I plead. Why?  For at least 6 reasons.

1. Because God utterly abhors this and I hate what God hates.   (ABOMINATION) — The Bible reveals that He hates the killing of innocent and defenseless children to pagan gods (Lev 20; Jer 7; Prov 24 & 30). God even says that such atrocities “never even entered His mind.” When God declares that he utterly abhors the killing of children, this affects me as a man saved by God. This affects me because I am called to love what He loves and to hate what He hates. As I grow in Christlikeness and as my mind is renewed by the Word of God into conformity to Christ, I increasingly hate what God hates — and this includes abortion. So I go because abortion is abominable.

2. Because souls must be reconciled to God & murderers, fornicators and liars don’t go to heaven.   (HELL) — I also go to the murder mill because I firmly believe that there is one way souls can escape eternal hell and that is by the gospel of Jesus Christ alone. All must be reconciled to God by faith alone in Christ or they will perish under God’s eternal and infinite wrath. Scripture unambiguously affirms that murderers, fornicators and liars do not go to heaven, but their part will be in the Lake of Fire. So I go urgently because sinners are approaching eternity and walking the tightrope over the flames of hell underneath them. And they must come to Christ or they’ll perish.

3. Because it is the gospel of Jesus Christ ALONE that saves dead souls.    (RECONCILIATION)  — Firmly do I believe that there is one remedy for desperately wicked sinners like me and you. And that is the gospel of Jesus Christ alone. Nothing else can save a guilty soul. Nothing else can pardon a ruined rebel. Jesus Christ who lived a righteous life, died a substitutionary death, appeased God’s furious and just wrath, and rose from the dead victoriously is the only way to salvation. No other way to go to heaven exists. No merit, no work, no deed, no self-confidence in human achievements can ever bring a man to God. Thus, it is the preaching of the gospel that sinners at the abortion mill need. They need Christ. They need the summons to repent and turn away from their sins and murderous desires and to trust, submit, surrender, and follow Christ alone — right now! So I go because I believe confidently and supremely in this gospel.

4. Because very few others are there.    (NEED) —  I praise God for faithful evangelists who frequent murder mills and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And I am thankful for many others who do stand on sidewalks. But at the abortion clinics in the general vicinity near where I live, there are very few men who are boldly standing and proclaiming the gospel. So there’s a need. Souls need to hear of Christ and they need to be warned of their sin, and they need to be summoned to a gracious Savior.

5. Because I love children.   (CHILDREN)  — I have children. I get the heart of a Father that tenderly is full of affection for my own kids. Jesus welcomed all the little children to come to Him. He said that the kingdom of God belongs to such as them! The heart of Christ loving and yearning for children is also a heart that I can relate to because I have children that God has graciously given me. So I go because I don’t want innocent babies murdered in the wombs of their mothers. I don't want skulls crushed or body parts ripped limb from limb. I want the womb of a mother to be the safest place for a baby. So, still yet another reason, I go and preach because I love children.  

6. Because time is short, eternity is long and Jesus said: “GO”.  (OBEDIENCE)
— Each week I make it a priority in my pastoral work week duties to preach the gospel at a murder mill because time is short. Eternity is coming. And Jesus commanded all of His followers to go (not sit) and make disciples. That includes evangelism and proclamation. Young mothers walking into those places don’t realize how short their lives are and how long eternity is. They don’t know that God’s sword of raging anger is about to fall upon them. So I go to urgently warn and lovingly summon them to the Savior. Jesus said “GO” so I go. He said: “Compel them to come in” so I go obediently to my Savior and proclaim the gospel for His glory and for the good of souls.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What To Repent Of.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

This brief article seeks to help in knowing what to repent of.  On a recent prayer walk as I was pouring out my heart to God for more holiness and for our church congregation, I was praying through these four points. May they be a blessing to you as well.

1. I repent of the littleness of my love
May our hearts burn with greater love for Jesus Christ.  Think of how the Bridegroom loves the Shulammite in the Song. And think of how great Christ’s great love is for His Bride, the Church. Let it be your prayer that you confess the littleness of your love for Christ and plead for greater affections and more zealous desires for Him.  Those who love Him abide in Him and keep His commandments. Let this prayer be true of you and may you grow in your passion in loving Him who is altogether lovely and full of beams of excellencies. 

2. I repent of the coldness of my heart
Think of the many times that you have been cold in your heart toward Scripture, toward God, toward Truth, toward perishing sinners, and toward godly living.  Confess your sins to the Lord. Ask for His mercy that He would re-kindle the flame of love that your heart would be warmed by His love and that you would love Him as He ought to be loved, that you would study Scripture as your chiefest joy, that you would pray for and evangelize sinners with God-magnifying confidence, and that you would walk in holiness so as to be pleasing to Him in all things. Confess your sin and seek to walk in truth and pray for Him to meet with you as you commune with Him.

3. I repent of the pridefulness of my heart
We all have the roots of pride still residing in our hearts. Our many sins that we commit come from the same root of self-magnifying, God-debasing pride. O let us repent and confess this sin. Let us come to God in earnest prayer and in desperate prayer clinging to His grace and His power to enable us to walk in humility just like Jesus Christ did. Implore God to remove jealousy, covetousness, lust, grumbling and complaining, and arguing with others. These sins arise out of the pridefulness in our own hearts.  Seek to walk in humility as you go to Calvary and remember what Christ did for you — for your sins — and seek to have the mindset of Jesus Christ as your own each day, by God’s grace.

4. I repent of the self-confidence in my ministry
God has allotted a particular charge and calling to every single Christian. Every child of God has a mission that He has given to us. We are to fulfill that and live obediently to God. One sin that we all have is to dwell in self-confidence and to rely on self. This manifests itself practically in prayerlessness and thanklessness.  If we pray little, then we are depending much on self.  If we are thankless, then we are in that moment not recognizing all that we are and have comes from God but rather we think that we are entitled to blessings in life. Come again to the Lord humbly and ask for His forgiveness. Receive His powerful and sufficient grace. Seek to be confident in God and seek to slay all confidence in self. Let us be desperate for Him and lean on His power.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

 Jesus is Glorious.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

This brief write-up provides a handful of ways that Jesus Christ manifests His supreme worth and intrinsic beauty.

1. in his glory
Jesus manifests His worth in His intrinsic glory. The glory of God engulfs the fullness of who God is and the radiant majesty of His being. The glory of Christ is not derived from anyone else but it is fully intrinsic to who He is. The fullness of God, the beauty of God, and all of the glories of God’s character, delights, and satisfactions converge together in His excellencies. Jesus manifests His worth and His beauty in his transcendent, triumphant, and enjoyable glory.

2. in his mercy
Jesus manifests His glorious worth in His mercy. His mercy consists of His pity toward those who find themselves in utter despair. The mercy of God is not only His kindness and favor toward others but it is His undeserved favor toward those who are in a pitiable, a lamentable, a hopeless state doomed to perish apart from His intervention. What a glorious God of mercy!

3. in His deity
The glorious worth of Jesus is seen in His deity. Jesus is God. He truly is God revealed. All the fullness of God and the worth of immense deity is bound in Jesus Christ. All that makes God God is fully and really found in our glorious Christ. The invisible God becomes visible in Jesus Christ. All the radiance of God’s beauty and fullness is found in Jesus Christ. He is the image of God because He is God.

4. in his accessibility
Jesus is infinitely glorious also in His accessibility. Amazingly, this high and holy King is accessible. Access is made available through His own person and work. Not only does He sit on heaven’s Throne in holy majesty, but He also invites His subjects to approach Him. He is the Great High Priest. He is the mediator. He is the access to God. Any and all are invited to humble themselves and come to Christ and find rest for their souls! What access we have to Jesus Christ the King!

5. in his justice
Jesus shows His glorious worth in His justice. The justice of Jesus means that He inflexibly upholds all righteousness. He upholds His Law and its holy demands and the fact that He judges rightly and fairly is the perfect expression of His most awesome justice. No sinner will ever be unpunished for His evils. No sin will ever be forgotten. He will and must judge all sin righteously and fairly. Amazingly: He will punish all rebellious sinners for their sin eternally in hell or He offers pardon to all rebels now who humble themselves and turn to Him by faith alone for salvation.

6. in his patience
Jesus manifests His glory through His patience. What a God of long suffering. The creatures whom He has made have rebelled against Him and His holy Law. And yet Jesus Christ withholds his wrath. Each day, He has not poured out infinite wrath upon creatures who have blasphemed and disregarded Him. To think of the patience of God toward His enemies should draw us to humble worship and gratitude for that grace shown toward us. The fact that rebels are not at this moment writhing in eternal hell proves the patience of Jesus Christ. O come to Him at once!

7. in his forgiveness
Jesus shows His glory in His forgiveness. What a God of immense beauty and sweetness in providing a full pardon. To forgive means that He promises to pardon. He does not forget sin because the all-knowing God cannot forget anything. But he does actively choose to pardon us for our sins. How can Jesus do this? Because He died for the sins of His people. He took their sin and their punishment. He drank the cup of the Father’s hot wrath at the cross. His glory is such that He pardons all the sins of all those who believe in Him. There is no partial forgiveness. It is complete, full, glorious, sweet, and done. He said: IT IS FINISHED. What a forgiving Savior!


Corporate Worship
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

The heart of the believer years for fellowship with Christ and with His people. Each week we gather to worship God. We gather to exalt God, to edify one another, to refocus our hearts, and to praise and thank our glorious God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We worship the one, True God — God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — with joy-filled hearts. We as protestant Christians affirm that the high point of the Christian’s week is the corporate worship of the saints where we gather for fellowship, praise, prayer, the ordinances, and the hearing of the preached Word.

The gathering of the redeemed constitutes the pinnacle of the week. The crowning jewel of our week is the coming together to hear from God through His preached Word. All the activities, work functions, personal responsibilities and entertainments take a pause and we joyously and eagerly reconnect with the saints to sit under God’s Word as it is read, heralded, applied and savored. To this end, we gather to sing, we gather to praise, we gather to fellowship, we gather to encourage, we gather to re-focus. Corporate worship is the best event of your entire week.

The reason corporate worship is the high point is because we gather in the presence of the awesome majesty of our Holy God.  He is the Holy One of Israel. He is thrice-Holy and infinitely exalted. He is high and exalted, sovereign and transcendent, and yet awesomely near and immanent to us. We love reading the Bible on our own and we do this each day to know God more, enjoy Christ deeper, and walk with Him more closely. But in the corporate gathering, God manifests Himself to us in awesome majesty through the authoritative and bold proclamation of the Word of God.

Corporate worship amazingly reminds us of the honor it is to approach God in worship. The fact that God allows His creatures to enter into His most magnificent presence is wonderfully humbling. This access only comes through Jesus Christ. No other way exists for a person to approach the Throne of God. Christ is the Bridge and the Way and our introduction to the Father’s presence.  So when we gather, we set aside our preferences and our opinions and we focus on God and on His Truth as it is sufficiently and clearly revealed in the Word. We submit to Him and gather together with humble hearts. What an honor to have access to this King!

Corporate worship weekly reminds believers that we are people of hope. Every true Bible preacher proclaims the Word of God and he thus makes it his ambition to explain the meaning of the text clearly, to magnify God’s glory preeminently, and to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only hope and mediator for sinners. This hope is proclaimed through the singing of hymns. We proclaim this hope in prayer. We unite together around this hope in the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and baptism.  And we proclaim this hope (and are reminded of this hope) through the faithful reading and the bold preaching of the Word of God.

Corporate worship is a grace-gift from God to wean us off of this world and reorient our hearts and refocus our minds on heaven. The joys and bliss of glory hastens and will soon welcome us into this sinless world of perfect love and joy. When we gather with the saints, we get a bit of a foretaste of this togetherness among the redeemed that will characterize the saints in glory as we focus on Christ, savor His salvation, and enjoy His glory.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

 Thank God For These Glorious Doctrines!

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Scripture calls us to “give thanks” (1 Thess 5:18). We are to praise and worship the Lord with thankful hearts (Ps 92.1). This Thanksgiving season, let us thank our God for some glorious theological doctrines. Of course there are so many majestic truths in Scripture that we can speak of, but I will limit this to only 6 glorious doctrines.

1. Predestination
Thank your God for predestining you. Consider that long before you were born and before He founded the world, God had predestined you for salvation (Rom 8.29). Amazingly, this selection of God, or this choosing of God, for particular people to be saved with a particular calling was all borne out of passionate love. We know this because God predestined His people in love to adoption as sons to Himself (Eph 1.5). Thank God that He knew you, predestined you, particularly chose you with a calling to be conformed to the image of the Son (Rom 8.29). In amazement and humility, give thanks to God for His most gracious act in predestining you to glory.

2. Justification
Thank your God for justifying you. All who are justified will “glory” in God (Isa 45.25). Consider that this exclusive and sovereign work of God alone was done “as a gift” for you (Rom 3.25). You did not deserve it, nor do you now deserve it because of your actions. You are simply justified by faith apart from any works of the Law (Rom 3.28). Give thanks that God is the sole accomplisher of your justification and that this divine and forensic act of God in heaven’s courtroom can never be overturned or abolished! You are justified all of grace and thus God has made you an heir of eternal life (Titus 3.7). Rejoice in this God-accomplished reality for you!

3. Expiation
Thank your God for the blessed doctrine of expiation. In this grand and soul-comforting truth of expiation, God blotted out and cancels out the certificate of debt that is charged against you (Col 2.14). In fact, this expiation is the truth that God took it out of the way, nailed it to the cross, and cleared away all the debt and consequences from you. Consider the blessed truth that you are cleansed from sin itself and the guilt and consequences of sin. The blood of Jesus Christ “cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1.7). Ponder this. Meditate on this. Rejoice in this supernatural act of God, through Christ, by the Spirit that you are clear, freed, and that God has removed your transgressions far from you (Ps 103.12).

4. Propitiation
Thank your God for propitiation. In this majestically divine and mysteriously biblical doctrine, God’s wrath is completely removed because of the work of Jesus Christ. It is not that God ignored your sin. The reality of Scripture teaches that God justly punished your sin and poured out His wrath on your Substitute, Jesus Christ. This is the turning away of God’s wrath and the joyful state of God’s favor. God loved you and sent His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, to “be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4.10). This all happened through Christ’s blood when He died on the cross, drank the bitter cup of infinite wrath for your sin (Rom 3.25). And He is your merciful and faithful High Priest (Heb 2.17). Take a moment and thank God for this wonder!

5. Preservation
Thank God for the wondrous hope of preservation. All whom God saves will persevere till glory. But all God’s elect persevere because God preserves them. Let your heart take rich comfort in the tight grip that He has on you. Nothing can snatch you out of His hand (John 10.28, 30). He will perfect the good work that He began in you (Phil 1.6). He will make you stand blameless before Him on that Day (Jude 24-25). The Lord will keep your soul (Ps 121.7). Consider this objective hope, outside of you, not determined by your level of obedience or your performance in religion. God preserves all His elect. Rest in His grace. Thank Him for His tight hold of your soul.

6. Glorification
Thank God for glorification. It is true: all those whom God has foreknown, and predestined, and called, and justified have been glorified! Oh the wonder and security! God has chosen His people to obtain salvation and with it eternal glory (2 Tim 2.10). And even though your particular season may be one of suffering, remember that after you suffer for a little while, your God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will most certainly “perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Pet 5.10). Think of that future day when you live in that eternal city that “has the glory of God” (Rev 21.11). Your God is bringing many sons to glory (Heb 2.10). Give thanks for the sure hope, the unchanging glory that awaits you! Give thanks!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Picking Songs To Sing In Corporate Worship
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Pastor, Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, MO)

Not all that long ago, a church member approached me and asked how we go about selecting the songs that we sing on Sundays for the worship service. After giving thanks for such a wonderful question, I went on to recount about 6 or 8 things that we try to bear in mind when selecting the songs and hymns to sing.  I decided to jot them down and I will elaborate briefly on each point.

First and foremost, the theology is always most Important  — Whatever song we sing in corporate worship, the ultimate question is: ‘what does the song teach in these lyricsI’?  It must be biblical, accurate, true. We refuse to sing shallow, inaccurate, or even songs that are unclear about the message it conveys. We understand that music teaches in the worship service far more than we may realize. It must be, then, that the song lyrics teach a thoroughly biblical message.

Choose a song as a “call to worship” — Often one of our first songs (or two songs) may come under the theme of “Call to worship.” This means that the song is sung either first in the service or near the beginning of the service (for instance, after the announcements or a Scripture reading & prayer). A song that leads us in a “call to worship” is a song that we sing to God and others. In singing the words, we are calling or summoning or inviting or reminding one another in the assembly to praise & worship God! For example: “Come Christians join to sing” is a class call to worship! These are wonderful ways that we can teach the congregation about coming into God’s presence and even together, corporately, and vocally invite one another to worship the King!

Sing about God (describing God, Jesus) — Many hymns describe God in his character, in His nature, in his gospel. These hymns are usually marked by singing about God in the third person — “Holy, Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty” and countless others. These are wonderful songs to insert early on in the song set. These songs teach truth, they remind us of God, they bring Scriptures to mind as we sing songs that allude to and echo Scripture texts.

Sing to God (obedience to Him, personal reflections)  — Then there are songs and hymns that speak to God. These come in the second person descriptions: “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee” or “Jesus I my cross have taken all to leave and follow Thee.”  Songs such as this do not so much speak about God (though they certainly can!) but they are much more personal and individual as we speak from our own hearts to God as our God, our Savior, My King, My Lord.

We often start with quicker tempo and work toward slower and more contemplative   — Of course there are songs with all kinds of tempos and variation of rhythms. We try to be mindful, generally speaking, in picking a song or two that begins with a thunderous call to worship, and then a song that brings us to the biblical description of God, Christ, His gospel or His Word. Then we may transition into a slower song that is more thoughtful, meditative, prayerful, and even slower in pace and tempo so that the singers can pause, consider, think, and worship with the mind while singing with the heart.

Select a song that prays/prepares for the sermon (or responds to the sermon just heard)  — There can be a wonderful blessing in picking a song that deliberately prepares the congregation for the preached Word. This can also take place when the Word has just been preached. A song can be selected to respond to the preached Word and call the people to action. Show us Christ, Speak O Lord, Brethren we have met to worship and lots of others can fit this category of deliberately preparing the assembled people to hear from God’s Word.

The focus must always be on the Truth conveyed not the popularity or style.  — I give no thought to how popular a song is or how often it comes up on popular “Christian” radio. I could care less. What we do give our attention to is the truth conveyed by the lyrics.  What is the progression of the verses?  What is the doctrine being stated? How deep is it?  How accurate is it?  Does it fit well with the theme of the worship service and with the theme of the sermon to be preached?  So we pick songs not because they’re popular or cool or trendy or relevant or well-liked. We pick songs that are packed with glorious truth that will aid the mind in focusing on the biblical truth to be preached.

Select songs that are singable corporately, tempo, rhythm.  — Some songs, and many contemporary songs, can be difficult to sing in a corporate setting. Maybe the rhythm or tempo or timing of a song just may not lend itself to corporate worship. That’s why the song meter of hymns is so helpful. It keeps the singer going in a simple, clear, understandable, and repeatable manner.  For us in our particular local church, we do not encourage nor practical “special music” where someone sings a solo. We want the church to sing together with and lift our voices and hearts together with each other in songs and praises to God.

Pick songs that draw us into Church history —  Countless hymns have been sung through the history of the Church.  We could sing the Doxology and go back to the 17th century. We could sing A Mighty Fortress and almost hear Martin Luther thundering this forth with the German saints in the 16th century. We can sing Now thank we all our God with Martin Rinkart in the dark days of suffering and death in 17th century Germany.  We could join our voices with Charles Wesley in the 18th century when he wrote And can it be that I should gain? So many hymns were sung in joyful times, in times of plague and death, in times of fear and uncertainty and times of corruption. Yet, God remains the same. Hymns have held the people of God high in lofty praise through some of the darkest seasons of the church.  Singing hymns brings us into this wonderful history of hymnology and psalmsinging in the church.

Select Songs that enhance the preaching text/theme (or, the gospel, or an attribute of God)   — Of course, one of the great reasons we pick the songs we sing is to serve and aid the theme or text that will be preached.  If there are songs that go well with the text or attributes of God that will be heralded from the Word, we want to sing about them as well. So this takes deliberate prayer, thoughtful planning, purposeful intentionality but we trust that it blesses the people of God when they come to gather with the saints to worship Christ the living and risen King!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Doctrine of Sin Observations from Romans 5.12: Briefing on Hamartiology

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

God unequivocally announces that all humankind has plunged into a hopeless state of sin and depravity. So bad is this condition that no mere man, in his own strength or by his own cooperation, can ever bring himself to God. The sinful condition of man is such that man is a vile rebel, a corrupt blasphemer, and a hellbound Lawbreaker.  

In this brief writeup, I must give some declarations from a key text on the doctrine of sin: Romans 5:12.

1. Sin came through one man, Adam. — God declares, through the pen of the Apostle Paul as he wrote under the guidance and careful direction of the Holy Spirit, that through one man sin entered into the world. Where did death, dying, decay, evil, pain, suffering and all the results of the curse come from? Simple answer: Adam’s sin.  All sin in human history had its beginning point with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 recounts this story in great (and, very clear) detail. Sin entered the world because Adam sinned before God. He disobeyed God and thus sin entered the world when it was not previously known at all. God had declared: in the day that Adam eats of the fruit, he would surely die (Genesis 2.17). This happened, and so sin entered through Adam.

2. Sin brought death. — When sin broke into human history, sin brought forth death. The Bible says in Romans 5:12 that death came through sin. Literally: through the sin death came. What did Adam’s sin produce? What was the result? Death. Yes physical death would one day come to Adam but at the very instant that Adam disobeyed God and ate, spiritual death invaded and pervaded the world. Death came through one man’s sin. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6.23). The soul that sins will die (Ezek 18.4). Sin produces death.

3. Death spread to all men. — Adam’s sin was very personal but it did not remain individualistic. His sin spread to all men. Literally the texts says that death passed through to all men. From Adam, our leader and head, all his posterity and children for endless generations to come would thus be contaminated with the depraved nature, the corrupt nature and the sinful nature of evil. In Adam, sin spread to all mankind. No one, naturally born of a woman, has ever nor could ever escape this sinful nature.

4. In Adam, all mankind sinned. — The text concludes in Romans 5:12 by affirming that all mankind sinned in Adam. In an amazingly mystical yet undeniably real way, all humankind has sinned in Adam’s sin. Adam thus is our corporate representative. He is our federal head. When he sinned, we actively sinned in Him. Later in Romans 5:19 we see a parallel with the glorious ray of hope: Through the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners (in Adam), even so through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous (in Christ).  Just as in Adam, our federal head, we all were imputed with the sin and guilt of Adam, so also in Christ, our federal head for all the elect, we all are imputed with the righteousness of Christ. In Adam all sinned, in Christ all are made alive.  

Thursday, October 1, 2020


Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Pastor, Christ Fellowship Bible Church

God has called me to pastor a precious group of saints whom He has saved for His glory. I love the blessed & God-given duty of ministry. I understand the priorities that Scripture presents for all who are to serve as leaders in the church: they must devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word, as the Apostles demonstrated (Acts 6.4). At the same time, I also understand one of the clear directives that God gives to me from Paul’s pen in 2 Timothy 4.5 to “do the work of an evangelist.”  This can and should happen from the pulpit. I also see it as an important mark of my ministry to set an example for the church family in zealously pursuing lost souls with the clear communicating of the gospel message. Our hopes rest fully and confidently in the sovereign decrees of God to save all whom He wills. And we know that all of God’s elect shall come!

While on the streets this week, I found myself reflecting on this little statement:  Street proclamation produces gospel conversations resulting in God’s glorification!

Street Proclamation
    produces Gospel Conversations
        resulting in God’s Glorification

1. Street Proclamation.
It is my prayer that God would raise up thousands of faithful and fervent open air preachers across our land. We need men of God, walking in holiness, who understand the glorious gospel of God in its blazing glory and God-saturated fullness to stand and speak, to herald, to announce, to lift up the voice like a trumpet! Street proclamation is a method of evangelism that simply takes the gospel to the streets to the unsaved who may never enter into a faithful bible-teaching church. One way that God has ordained His Word to go forth for the saving of lost souls is through the preaching of the Word — in the open air. Faithful street preachers preach so that Jesus will be glorified and so that His gospel would be thundered forth! Gospel heralds go with confidence to simply declare God’s message from His Word and confidently believe that the Spirit of God will draw God’s elect to the Son so that the sinner will respond in true repentance, faith, and surrender. May God raise up many armies of such heralds in our cities!

2)  Gospel Conversations.
One blessing to street preaching is having other faithful laborers out on the streets to engage passers by in gospel conversations. Often, a Christian can ask someone who is walking by: “What do you think about what that man is preaching?” Or, “I saw you stop and listen for a few minutes, what did you think about what you heard?”  And then while the man is preaching the Word, there can be other Christians engaging in one-to-one conversations.  It is a beautiful picture of how God’s Word goes forth to reach many and how prayerful and observant fishers-of-men can approach people and seek to engage them in private conversations!  Street preaching often produces wonderful gospel opportunities on the streets with unbelievers.

3)  God’s Glorification.
In the faithful preaching of the gospel and in the calling of sinners to turn from sin and flee to Jesus Christ, God receives glory! We preach the Word to glorify God!  We engage in gospel conversations to glorify God! He alone must receive all praise and honor! We present and proclaim the gospel and plead with sinners to hear, heed and obey the gospel summons. Those who engage in conversations also do the same through one-to-one interactions. Why? The goal and end result is so that God may be glorified to use His Word, by His Spirit’s sovereign power, to save sinners.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Love of God the Spirit

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Pastor, Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, MO)

The Apostle Paul speaks in Romans 15:30 about the Love of the Spirit. Consider this amazing reality. The Spirit of the living God has great love for His people. Paul’s language is in the context of him urging the Roman Christians to strive together in prayer to God on his behalf. But he begs them by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit. It could be rendered: “the love that comes from the Spirit [διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ πνεύματος—through the love of/from/comes out of the Spirit]. As I read this and pondered it in the early morning hours, I wondered: what kind of love is this from God the Spirit?  After some reflection, here are a few thoughts.

It is a SOVEREIGN Love.  — This love from the Spirit of God has come to us first. This love of God is a royal love. It is a Kingly love. It is a supreme love. There is no love like it. This love that the Spirit bestows upon His people is a supernatural love because the Spirit of God, who is Himself fully and truly God, is love. Consider the astonishing initiative that God the Spirit took in setting His glorious and splendid love upon you. What sovereign love we have from the Father, from the Son, and indeed from God the Holy Spirit!

It is a SAVING Love.   — God the Spirit has a saving love for His people. Those whom He loves are His chosen ones. Those whom He loves He regenerates, He calls, He seals, He preserves, and He glorifies! This love of God the Spirit is not a general love trickled to all but a particular love that permeates the elect. Let your heart find joy in this saving love of the Spirit as you realize there was nothing in you that prompted or invited or deserved this love. Rather, by His saving grace and perfect choice, He lavishes love, saving love upon His chosen ones.

It is a SPECIFIC Love.   — The love of God chose His own from before the foundation of the world. It was the love of Jesus Christ that He poured out and demonstrated when he loved them to the max — to the uttermost. It is the love of God the Spirit who savingly and specifically loves those whom the Father has given to the Son. All the elect are specially loved. Let this ravish your heart afresh as you consider the astonishing fact that your name is written in heaven, unable to be erased, penned with precious blood, and loved by God the holy Spirit. He loves you specifically. He knows you individually. He stands with you and dwells in you particularly. Rejoice and be glad in the Spirit’s affection for you, His chosen one.

It is a SECURE Love.   —  Nothing in the universe is stronger than the secure love of God. The Spirit of God is the One who dwells in you, sealing you and preserving you until your final redemption! Oh to think of the strong security, the mighty power, the supernatural preservation, the unalterable hope you have in this great love of the Spirit. Consider how the happy and holy Spirit of God has chosen to take up residence within you and He has promised you that He will be with you forever! He is your pledge. He is your guarantee. He is your deposit. He will be in you and with you forever!

It is a SUPERABOUNDING Love.   —  Many people assert that they love others. Husbands and wives affirm this to one another. Parents say this to their children. Consider, however, the superabounding love of God the Spirit for you! Think of the endless oceans of love that the Spirit pours out and has stored up for each of His beloved ones. Think of the bottomless wells of satisfying joys that we now have and we shall forever enjoy. The Spirit’s love is closer than any other kind of love. It is more faithful than any other kind of love. It includes endless promises and rewards toward you! What tremendous love the Spirit bestows upon us!

It is a STRENGTHENING Love.    — In his epistle, James writes that believers are not to pursue friendship with the world (4.4). Indeed, the next statement shows that it is the Spirit Himself who dwells within us who jealously desires us to walk in holiness (4.5). And, yes, even James continues that He gives a greater grace (4.6). This Spirit so loves His people that He strengthens them by endowing them with grace to live for Him, with power to walk in Him, with joy while hoping in Him. This love that the Spirit presently, at this very moment, has toward each of us is a strong love that equip us, empowers us, and enables us to walk in obedience to the commands of Scripture. This reaches our heart so that our obedience flows out of our affection for Him.  May the love of the Spirit so captivate our hearts afresh that He strengthens us with His power, in His Truth, by His Word, and for His glory!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

 Non-Negotiable Features of Faithful Preaching.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Pastor, Christ Fellowship Bible Church

1. Faithful
Faithful preaching must be faithful. By this, I simply mean that true preaching must derive from the text of Scripture. The man of God must rightly divide the Word through proper hermeneutics so that the message he speaks is the message out of the text. When this happens, the man of God preaching then Word can say: “Thus says the Lord!” The barometer for all true preaching must be how faithful it is to the text of Scripture that He expounds. True preaching is faithful preaching to God’s Word.

2. Theological
When faithful preaching occurs, and when biblical preaching goes forth, it will necessarily be theological preaching. It will touch upon and expound theology as it arises in the Word of God. Every text will teach something about God (theology proper) or man (anthropology) or sin (hamartiology) or salvation (soteriology) or Christ (Christology) or future things (eschatology). Of course, there are other categories and many sub-categories of theology that Scripture teaches. But all true preaching must present clear, crisp, and cohesive doctrine. That’s why Paul exhorts Pastor Timothy to give himself to the reading of Scripture, to exhortation and to doctrine.

3. Central  
Biblical preaching of the Word of God must take central place in the life of the local church. Every local church can have many ministries and areas of service and parts of the corporate worship service, but the central, non-negotiable, preeminent distinctive of every faithful church is the preaching of the Word of God. It should, thus, take up the majority of the time when the church is gathered to worship God. The preaching of the Word is the occasion when God speaks to His people. Thus, it should take up a majority of the time when the church assembles. It should be a momentous event, a lofty and majestic event when there is utmost reverence for God and for His revealed Word. Thus, faithful preaching must be central in the biblical church.

4. Joyful
Biblical preaching must flow out of a heart that bubbles forth with true, Spirit-given joy as the minister opens His mouth to speak God’s Word to the people. This is far from a show, it is a man on fire with affectionate love for Christ who joyfully preaches God’s Word. This is the heart of a man who does not need to be forced into a pulpit. He does not need to be pressed and obliged and remunerated in order to preach. Rather, his heart is so full of God, so full of Truth, so full of Christ, and so hungry to pour this out to serve God and His blood-bought people, that He preaches with a steadfast confidence in God and in His Word. This kind of preaching becomes obvious to the hearers that the man preaches out of love for God and His people rather than out of obligation of simply fulfilling of “job”. Biblical preaching oozes out of a joy-filled heart!

5. Emotional
Biblical preaching must be emotional. By this, I do not refer to a man who seeks to manipulate people by tugging at their emotions only. No! Rather, this kind of biblical preaching must come forth from the man’s inner being. That is to say, true preaching comes from the heart of the man rather than just out of the mind of a lecturer. Anyone can stand and speak behind a lectern. A preacher of the gospel preaches with his whole heart, from his whole being, with all his emotions because he has been overwhelmed at the glory of God, the grace of the gospel, and the goodness of Christ. He has compassion for lost sinners, just like Christ does. He invites lost sinners, unconverted children, wayward church members, and unknown visitors to come and behold Christ. He trembles and shudders when he preaches on the realities of everlasting punishment that will come upon all rebels. He preaches to woo, to win, to persuade, to invite, to summon people to behold Christ, bow the knee to Christ, and bless Him for all His many benefits. True preaching involves the whole man pouring himself out as he heralds forth God’s Word.

6. Purposeful
Biblical preaching always aims at a goal. It has an intention. Biblical preaching has a singular purpose: the ultimate glory of God. And faithful ministers long for the Word to comfort and edify the saved, convert and warn the lost, strengthen and fortify the weak, build and mature the church, and magnify and extol Jesus Christ. Every faithful preacher knows that he preaches with an end goal, and this purpose is to faithfully expound the Word so that the church is built up in Christlikeness by the Spirit sovereign enablement. The man preaches to save. He preaches to mature. He preaches to help. He preaches to counsel. He preaches to warn. He preaches so that God may be glorified through the primary means that He has appointed to save and sanctify men and women — the heralding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Pastoral Ministry: Some Reflections.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Pastor, Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, MO)

I have served as a pastor for about seventeen years total. I have learned much and I still have boatloads still to learn. But one thing I can say with great confidence is that I love pastoral ministry. Recently I was on vacation with my family and I found myself repeatedly considering pastoral ministry. As I reflected on pastoral ministry, my mind returned to a few important elements that I do well to rehearse in my own mind.

1.  Ministry is a CALLING.
To truly serve in pastoral ministry means that God has called that man into the ministry. Far from being a self-propagated call, the true call into ministry must consist of a supernatural call. God calls the man. God summons the man.  God makes the man. God humbles the man. God, by His own prerogative, raises the man and replaces the man according to His sovereign will. As I reflected on pastoral ministry, I found my heart repeatedly giving thanks to God that He has called me into ministry. He has summoned me. He has arrested my soul and drawn me to serve in His ministry. It is a calling from God. I did not choose this on my own. No man, no committee, no seminary, no self-generated intuition or feeling or vote or coercion directed me into ministry. By God’s grace, He has called me into His service. Thus, I’m owned and His for He called me into His ministry and service.

2.  Ministry is HUMBLING.
My mind reflected on the humbling nature of pastoral ministry. It is quite frequent that I go for prayer walks and find myself utterly begging God for wisdom and insight as I feel like I’m in way over my head. As a young man serving Christ and His people, I often find myself humbled and inadequate for the work that lies before me. And strangely enough, I am humbled but I am still being humbled. I feel like I live in a state of a progressive humbling humility. God is humbling me. Often this comes in the form of dependence upon God, the precious saints of God, expectations that go unmet, and a plurality of leaders and godly men that surround me and help me in my progressive growth in Christ. Christ has enrolled me and continues to test me in the school of humility.  And for that blessed pain, I rejoice. May He humble me deeply to use me greatly.

3.  Ministry is ALL-CONSUMING.
There is simply no way around this. True ministry, true pastoral ministry, the life of a shepherd, is all-consuming. It never ends. A shepherd may sleep but in a sense he can’t sleep. He must always be watching and stand on alert. By God’s grace, I serve and shepherd the most precious flock of God in the whole world as they are near and dear to my soul. I love them. I pray for them. I long for their maturation in Christ and I grieve when sin invades. My consumed heart often can say with Paul: Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? (2 Cor 11.29). Indeed, I joyfully praise God for the all-consuming nature of pastoral ministry. With this, I thank God for a special help-mate that He has given to me to support and encourage me in the ministry. The consuming ministry is not only for the man but also his family.  This reflection is not negative, but a positive affirmation that the life of an under-shepherd must emulate that of the Chief Shepherd — who knows His sheep, calls them by name, and cares for them.

4.  Ministry is a DELIGHT.
Most frequently, I thank God for the ministry of being a pastor. I absolutely love it. Amazingly and stunningly, I get paid to do this. But I would indeed work and pay money to do what I get to do. What an honor to serve the Lord by praying for the saints, by studying His Word, by preparing sermons, by counseling the flock with the all-sufficient Word, by discipling and mentoring men, by visiting and encouraging the saints on this journey to heaven. No greater joy in the world exists for me than to rest my soul in the hands of a Sovereign God and know that even amidst my weakness, God’s purposes will stand. And, in fact, God will use me for His glory in His ministry. What a delight to be caught up in God magnifying Himself in this little church where I serve. God passionately pursuing His own glory and I am swept in to point eternal souls to this glorious Christ, to this delightful God, to this precious Word, and to the joy of holiness. May this delight in God sustain me in the ministry of the Lord. Like John, I have no greater joy than to hear of my children walking in the Truth (3 John 4). May this delight in God propel me to even greater service, in greater faithfulness, for God’s greater glory!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Benefit of Open-Air Preaching
By Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

When the Word of God goes forth, the believers are built up, the saints are strengthened, the elect are edified. 

When I arrived on site today for a lunch-hour evangelism outing, a brother from our local church was already open air preaching.  I grabbed two gospel signs and faced them back-to-back and then held them up high so all who walked and drove by could quickly see that we were all about Jesus Christ!  Not that long after, my brother who was heralding mentioned the security and preserving power of Jesus Christ toward His people.  Ah! What food for my soul! What balm for my spirit! O how I needed in that moment to be reminded of the glorious theology of the preservation of the saints and the keeping power of our Sovereign!  Then, he went on to talk about coming to Jesus and being made righteous In Him. Oh to fill my heart with such truths every hour! God blessed my soul through the heralding of His Word in such timely, providential and public ways! The open air preaching of the gospel serves to glorify God, preach the gospel by sowing the seed, and save the lost. But one huge benefit of open air preaching consists in the edification that it brings to the believers who are there and who hear the Word preached! What a blessing to be under the Word! How riveting to hear the Bible preached and to hear Christ extolled. I thank the Lord that we gathered today to preach the gospel on the streets of our city. We prayed for God to save souls. We prayed for eternal destinies to be altered today as hellbound sinners would hear the gospel, respond, and trust Christ alone by submitting to Him. But also, I’m thankful that I was there next to the preacher, holding up gospel signs, and warmly edified through the open air preaching of the gospel of Christ.  Praise the LORD. 
Christian, when you walk by and hear a faithful open air preacher extolling Christ and summoning passers-by to trust Him alone for salvation, pause for a moment and thank the Lord for the public proclamation of the saving gospel.
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