Friday, April 29, 2016

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

I love family worship. I readily and humbly admit that I have much learning still to do. But by God’s grace, I heard a sermon while sitting in a dorm room in Pennsylvania for my doctoral studies that the Lord used to expose my sin of neglecting my family in the regular shepherding of their souls in the Word of God. So I’m no professional. But I am a man who has seen, experienced, and savored the happy joys and spiritual benefits of family worship in my own home. In this brief write-up, I hope to provide some practical tips and helpful reminders for family worship.

1) Leadership.
This simply serves as the clarion call for men to lead. God has declared in Ephesians 5 that the husbands are the heads over their wives. God doesn’t ask men to lead. He says you are a leader. So, then, by God’s grace and with God’s Word, and with Christ’s joy, lead your family and shepherd them diligently! The way Christ loves you, and ministers to you, and prays for you, and resides with you, so you should do similarly to your family under your care. Nothing is more important than your leading your family, dear men of God. If you neglect anything, don’t let it be the spiritual leading and faithful nurturing of your family [wife & children] toward Christ, His gospel, and His excellencies.

2) Frequency.
Enjoy family worship frequently. This does not mean a family must gather for hours at a time but rather it supports the notion of meeting together more frequently to build and cultivate this spiritual discipline. Quality is better than quantity. Keep it regular. Keep it frequent. Keep it engaging. Keep it brief. Better to lead your family to the throne of grace for 10 minutes a day every day a week than to do it two times a month for an hour each! Do it regularly!

3) Intentionality.
Intentionally pastor your family. Every man of God, by God’s directive and by His grace, serves his family as the pastor-in-residence. So, intercede for them in fervent and regular prayer. Minister to their souls as you instruct them in the Word and answer questions they may have (age appropriate). Engage their minds and teach on worship as you sing with your family the rich, theological, and awesome hymns that have been penned through the centuries. Switch up the order. Vary it at times with adding a catechism question, read a biography and keep it fresh and exciting. But you, O men, can lead intentionally and engage even the youngest of children and even to your teens by God’s grace.

4) Variety.
I do think a compelling case can be made for families to pray, sing, and read the Word together. But don’t always and ever do the same thing, the same way. That will surely bore your family and teach them that family worship is dull and lifeless. Ask the children -- even the young ones, if possible -- to read the Scripture. Have everyone pray. Pray for the family, for the lost, for missionaries, for the persecuted, for the neighbors, for the church members and shepherds. Thank God, confess sin to God, petition God, confess sin to one another. Sing hymns. Grab a good hymn and make it a hymn of the month (or a hymn of the week). And when you have other guests over for a meal, let them join you for family worship (even if they are unsaved!). Keep it exciting, fresh, Christ-centered and gospel-focused!

5) Instruction.
Family worship never becomes a merit by which we become more acceptable to God, or keep ourselves saved, or by which we can look down on others who may not engage in family worship. Rather, family worship is a God-appointed way for fathers to instruct their children in the ways of God, the Word of God, and the wisdom of God. God’s Word must be passed on to the next generation. O the tragedy of children that rise up without parents that say: “come, you children, listen to me and I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Ps 34:11). This requires, then, that fathers need to be students of the Word so that we can shepherd well and instruct accurately in the truths of Scripture. So it may require a bit more time to study (especially if the children or your wife asks a question that you don’t know the answer to) and a bit more time of desperate prayer. But how glorious for God to conform you to Christ as you lead humbly and lead obediently and lead joyfully in this way! Instruct the souls in their sin, in God’s holiness, and in Christ’s sufficient atonement. Instruct them of the need to repent of their sin and to trust in Christ alone!

6) Patience.
And one more very important element. Fathers, be patient. Children are like trees. An acorn does not grow into a mighty oak tree overnight. That occurs over many years. Don’t expect children to become spiritual giants by tomorrow. Remember the long-term focus. We earnestly desire to obey Christ and to shepherd the family well in the Word. But don’t become so near-sighted that you grow discouraged when you don’t see fruit right away. Indeed, even when family worship appears to be a disaster (yes, I’ve had many of those nights) for sin reasons, rowdy children, crying babies, illness, interruptions, etc., keep enduring. Don’t grow weary and give up! Don’t throw in the towel. Like the physical growth of your children, spiritual growth does happen: slowly, over time, and often it’s not even that noticeable to the eye. So be patient, be persistent, be prayerful, be a model, and pastor them toward Christ!

More articles on the topic of "family worship" can be found at Vassal of the King.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Young Men — Is This You?
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Need” is a strong word. But I use it intentionally and I use it passionately. Yes, I use it urgently. Our culture desperately needs men. Not boys! We have plenty of boys. The church needs men, real men, godly men, holy men, biblical men. As a minister of the gospel, as a student of Scripture, as a biblical counselor, and as a man after God’s own heart, I will list 8 traits that should characterize men. So — young men: is this you?

Young men -- you need…

1) Truth — Jesus described Himself as being “the Truth.” God is the God of truth and truthfulness. You are made by Him and designed to emulate Him. Speak truth in your heart and have no fear of what you’ll say. Fill your mind and heart with truthful things and flee from deceptive, hidden, devious, manipulative ways. Young men, at all costs, be men of truth!

2) Integrity — The biblical concept of integrity speaks of wholeness, blamelessness. That is, to live a life of integrity demands a person who refuses double-mindedness and double-living. What you say you’ll do, do it at all costs. Be faithful, true to your word, and honest in all things.

3) Gentleness — The boldest and manliest person to ever walk this world was God in human flesh. And this Lord Jesus Christ was full of gentleness. Be strong! Be courageous! Be self-controlled and be sober-minded. Control your heart, mind, words, and actions. Be gentle!

4) Convictions — Be willing to die for things! These are your convictions. Men hold opinions but convictions hold the man. Believe God, His Word, the gospel and in the eternality of the soul, and live and die for Him. Shape your convictions by Scripture and stand up for them.

5) Perseverance — When life thrashes you against the rocks remember one thing: when suffering comes it comes because God wants you there. God grows His people as they endure hardships. Don’t despise the clouds that God brings. The Sun of Righteousness grows you in it.

6) Punctuality — Young men have this tragic reputation of being late (and lazy). And shamefully, it’s often true. Manhood demands responsibility. Rise early. Prepare your body and heart. Warm your soul with Christ each day. Leave early. Arrive early. Pray, prepare, be punctual. To arrive 5 minutes early is to arrive on time. Remember that.

7) Submission — Never be to prideful to submit. Godly men submit. Christ Himself — God come in the flesh — submitted Himself constantly and perfectly to the will of His Father. Submit to your parents. Submit to your authorities. Submit to the police. Submit to your church shepherd-elders. Find joy in obeying Christ in worshipful submission.

8) Discipline — Own your body. Don’t be mastered by it. You need to discipline yourself. No one wins a gold metal by coasting. No one wins the race with laziness. Discipline your soul, your mind, your body. Engage daily with Christ. Pray humbly before Him. Speak much of Him. Ponder His beauties. Discipline yourself, O man.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

College students: what do you plan to do this summer?
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

For you as Christian students, the summer brings many opportunities to rest, serve the Lord, and prepare for what’s to come. For many, endless opportunities exist for you to engage in trivial, worldly, unimportant, and time-consuming activities that do not progress your journey toward heaven. As a pastor, I have a heart for young men and women to maximize their time for the glory of Christ and for the good of their souls. Time passes too quickly to waste even a moment. So in this brief write-up, I as a shepherd-pastor with a great love and concern for college students encourage you to serve Christ and live for eternity during these summer months.

I will provide you with 6 helpful and practical tips.

1. Read.
I know. You’ve read too much already this school year. But let me encourage you to continue to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Pet 3.18) and you do this by plunging yourself deeply and satisfyingly in the living Word of God. Read Scripture -- a lot of Scripture. Make a goal to read books in their entirety in one sitting (such as Romans, Ephesians, Hebrews, Revelation, etc.) to get the big picture. Get a few good books and encourage your heart in biographies such as The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield by Steven Lawson. You’ll want to bless your soul by reading a work by some Puritans such as The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson or The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson. Read a chapter a day. Ponder. Meditate. Chew on it. Read. Read well. And let God’s Word soak in your soul as He conforms you to Christ.

2. Meditate.
You say, meditate? Yes! But you must understand it properly. This does not mean some sort-of eastern philosophy of emptying your mind. The biblical concept of meditation includes the filling of your mind with biblical truth, chewing on that topic, pondering it, speaking it over and over to yourself, and then living accordingly as it has permeated your entire being. Pick a topic, say, each week and study it, read on it, ask your pastor for helps/resources on it, and take an hour walk a few times a week and ponder a particular topic (such as regeneration, repentance, heaven, hell, holiness, loving one another). Pray on it from different angles. Apply it to your life specifically. Find a text and a truth and meditate on it repeatedly till God has worked it deep into your soul.

3. Serve.
It’s easy to attend church casually. It’s easy to sleep in, show up late, leave right when the closing prayer is through, and not talk to anyone. Resist this temptation! Serve Christ and serve Christ’s people! Young people: the church needs you and you have tons of blessings, energies, and assets to contribute to your local church. So serve! Consider taking other singles out for coffee and getting to know them. Yes, find a widow, and a single parent, and perhaps other students and take them out and have intentional questions prepared (e.g., what has God been showing you from Scripture lately? What have you learned about God and His faithfulness in your life? What trials has God seen you through?). Even offer to take your pastor or some of the elders out for a meal on Sunday (you don’t have to pay, don’t worry) and get to know them. Thank them for serving. Ask specifically how you can help during the summer months. Find a need at the church and jump in. Offer to serve. Be proactive, intentional, deliberate, sacrificial. Young people, fight the easy narcissistic mentality of our culture to just take and receive and get everything that satisfies “ME”. Refuse this and fight it with vehemence. Serve! Give! Sacrifice! And do it for Christ and for others at church!

4. Initiate.
People attend church for a while and then leave quibbling that no one ‘loved them’ or ‘reached out to them.’ Young people, please don’t do this. You initiate a conversation with that young lady or that elderly man sitting all alone before or after church. That young person who seems disinterested or unengaged or texting on his cell phone, you initiate a conversation with him and ask him how you can pray for him or her. That brand new couple that has come to visit the church and appears to be lost, you approach them and offer to help them, serve them, hold a child’s hand while  you walk with them, and even offer them to sit with you in church. Show them the restrooms, nursery, etc. But, of course, you need to show up early to church to do this. The point of this? Initiate. Pursue people. Christ invested in people. Let us do the same. He initiated men to disciple. Let us do the same. So, young man or young woman, at home for college, don’t lazily sleep the day away or play video games till you drop, find someone (young or old) and you initiate a Bible-reading, discipling relationship with them during the summer. Pray for each other. Indeed, you might even wish to make it a goal to approach one person each week and ask how you can pray for them. Be specific. Pray much for them. Intercede for them. Follow up. And this will encourage both them and you! Initiate!

5. Pray.
It’s hard. Quietness is hard. We feel weird at just being still. Nothing in our world trains us to sit still, wait, and be quiet. Except God. God demands that His people cry out to Him and pour out their souls to Him! He longs to meet with you and to commune with you. So young people: prayer is hard but it’s always and ever worth it. Remember: prayer moves the Hand that moves the world! Engage with God in regular, fervent, biblically-driven, and undying prayers. Don’t lose heart. If it’s hard for you to pray. Start today with praying 5 minutes uninterrupted. Then make it 10 minutes in a few days. Then after that make it 20. Soon you’ll be praying 30 minutes. Maybe in a month you make it a goal to pray for 1 hour straight without interruption (yes, no texts, no checking social media). Down to your knees! What to pray for? Start by praying through a psalm a day so you affix your heart to God’s character and glory at the outset (Ps 1, 2, 3, 19, 23, 33, 34, 67, 89, 93, 99, 100, 103, 145, 147-150). Then confess your sin. Surely your reading of Scripture will uncover sin in your heart, mind, words, and life. So repent of it (1 John 1.9). Pray for your church specifically. Pray for leaders, by name. Pray for families (and children!). Pray for missionaries (don’t know where to start? Start with TMAI’s missionaries and pastoral training centers around the world & pray for each one [] or HeartCry Missionary Society []). Pray for your friends that are without Christ. Pray for revival. Pray for God’s grace in the preaching and His power in evangelism. Pray for a friend to repent —every day—and see how God provides you with opportunities to speak of His gospel and grace to that person.

6. Encourage.
We all need it. You need it. The Word of God tells believers to encourage one another with these words (1 Thess 5.11). And the words that Paul speaks of is the reality that Christ will surely soon-come to take His people home to glory. So, young people, be creative and thoughtful about some ways you can encourage believers that God has put into your life. Start with your pastor. Then move to every shepherd-elder and deacon in your local church. Of course, don’t neglect your own family at home -- father, mother, siblings. Even your close friends need comforts also. Write letters. Make phone calls. Can I even say: drop by for a brief visit (of course, men with men, women with women only to be above reproach and not put yourself in a tempting situation or, perhaps, one that does not appear to be above-reproach). Text a verse to a friend regularly. Call that person you’re discipling and let them know you’re praying for them today specifically. Pray for families in need and call them to encourage them. Minister the gospel to the bruised, broken, and downcast. Walk with the suffering through their valleys. Christ will encourage your soul as you strive to encourage others. Hard? Yes! Worth it? Definitely! Get to work. Plan now! Diligently serve your Christ.

More of Geoff's articles can be found at Vassal of the King.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why Be Urgent with the Gospel?
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Job declared that my life is but breath (Job 7.7). David affirmed that God has made our days as handbreadths (Ps 39.5). James reminded us that we are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4.14). Our lives are brief. We are here but for a few years and then we step into everlasting eternity without end. One might ask: why must we be so urgent with the gospel?

We must be urgent with the gospel for the following 5 reasons: because of…

1. the nearness of death.
Men fail to realize how final and certain death is. This life is not the end. Death is not the end. Five seconds after death is not the end. When God takes a person’s life and he steps into the everlasting abode of eternity he will then realize just how brief of a time he was on earth. But it will be too late then. Life is short. Heart attacks happen. Strokes can seize people and usher them immediately into eternity. Accidents occur. Mistakes happen. God’s sovereign providence is mysterious and unknown to us. Because death is so near, so inevitable, so final, and so irresistible, we must be urgent with the gospel before it is too late and the door of mercy shuts.

2. the finality of judgment.
God has fixed a day whereby He will call every man before His judgment bar to stand before Him. On this occasion, God will look into His perfect books and repay every man according to what he has done. This judgment is final and fixed. It is unchanging and fair. It is unbending and eternal. This judgment that God will render upon every sinner is inflexibly fair and divinely good. God will finally judge and fairly condemn all sinners who have sinned against God’s perfect holiness into an eternity under the crushing and constant and conquering fury of His righteous wrath. Because of the finality of this certain judgment to come, we must be urgent with the gospel so that sinners would see the weight of their sin, the guilt of their iniquity, the punishment that is due them, and, in faith, fly to the One who bore the divine curse for His people at Calvary.

3. the compassion for people.
True Christians have burdens for souls. God instructs us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The height of all pride is to receive salvation and refuse to proclaim that saving message to others seeking to persuade them to believe the truth. Someone who lives unconcerned about the lost, unwilling to evangelize, and unengaged in speaking of his Savior has every reason to doubt his true conversion. Because we know the greatness of God, the sweetness of salvation, and the delightfulness of Christ, we love others and long for their eternal welfare. So, out of our love for others and from a compassion for their eternal joy, we must be urgent with the gospel. Someone who is unwilling to speak of his Christ and of Christ’s gospel to someone is not really a true friend, nor is he someone who loves. True love proclaims the ultimate lover of souls and the giver of salvation. Thus, we speak urgently and with love.

4. the imitation of Christ.
No one ever walked the soil of this earth with a greater and more perfect love for people than the Lord Jesus Christ. As God, He loved perfectly. As God, He loved supremely. As God, He loved tirelessly. And, because He loved so much, He warned of coming judgment and urged His hearers to decide to follow Him immediately. The Lord Jesus constantly performed miracles to show that He was who He claimed to be: God come in the flesh. And His discourses center on His wisdom, His salvation, following Him, forsaking the false religious system of works-righteousness and trusting in Him and counting the cost in surrendering to Him. Jesus approached people and evangelized them immediately and lovingly. He spoke the truth in love. Because He loved souls, He urged them to repent and believe. This was His mission and why He came. Jesus did not just come to hang out with people and ‘love them’ in some emotional, hang-out sort of way. Rather, he loved them by exposing their sin, warning of judgment, and inviting them to come to Him for eternal life. Because our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was urgent with the gospel in pressing it home upon people’s souls, we must learn to do the same. After all, the most loving thing we could ever do (as we love as He loved) is to call sinners to flee from the wrath to come by freely and humbly embracing Jesus Christ by faith alone who bore God’s curse in their stead.

5. the delightfulness of Christ.
No object captivates the heart more than the Lord Jesus Christ. His promises are the rays that come from Him, the Sun of righteousness. He is full of love, overflowing with grace, abundant with promises, delightful in His presence, and comforting as He is near to us. None is so worthy of worship as Christ. No person is sweeter. No love is fuller than the love that He showers upon His chosen Bride. His delightfulnesses rapture the heart, captivate the mind, woo the heart, and enlarge our affections. True believers know the beauty of Christ and the blessednesses of His eternal and infinite Person! Therefore, true Christians want unbelievers to know this Christ and to experience the fullness of divine joy in their hearts. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ understand that sinners without Christ attempt to fill their lusts with the cravings of this world and always are left empty and guilty. But Christ, Christ is delightfully sweet and immediately available! He is the Savior of love, the God of grace, the minister of comfort, the friend ever-near, and the greatest of all sweetnesses. Because of this truth, we are to be urgent with the gospel because, preeminently, Christ deserves this worship and adoration and, secondarily, we want sinners to know the satisfactions that come from a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are urgent and we press home the gospel frequently, fearlessly and faithfully upon sinners’ souls.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Greatest Is a Servant (Matthew 23:11)
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

In these words our Lord speaks concerning leadership. In this context He scathingly denounces the arrogant hypocrisy of the religious leaders of the day and He calls His own to be those who serve one another. Since, as Jesus said, the greatest is a servant, we must understand what spheres of life and ministry this can occur. In this brief essay, I want to speak of 10 spheres in which serving God can happen for the glory of God and for the joy of His people.

1. Praying.
Believers must remember that one great way that they can care for one another comes through interceding on behalf of other believers. Strength of soul comes in praying for others. God hears and answers specific prayers!

2. Studying.
One way to serve God also occurs when children of God quiet themselves with the Word with the specific intent of knowing God, loving Christ, understanding the gospel’s grandeur, and how it applies to life. Diligently study the Word!

3. Preaching.
God has ordained that men take His Word and herald it powerfully when it’s wanted and when it’s not wanted. To speak God’s truth with clarity, conviction, & power is a great privilege. Serve Christ supremely by preaching Him!

4. Counseling.
All Christians have the Spirit of God residing within them and have the Word of God and thus have God’s wisdom and truth in the Scriptures. Believers can (and must!) serve one another by shepherding and counseling one another toward Christ. Using the Word to speak into others’ lives & comforting them with God’s promises is a way to serve.

5. Discipling.
Our Lord commanded His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. This grand mission of discipleship involves evangelism and training them in all that Christ taught. Believers have the Word and must meet with other believers in studying the Apostolic doctrine as it is found in the Word of God so as to grow together in God’s grace.

6. Equipping.
Nothing is more needed in the church today than the equipping of God’s people to know the one, true God and to know Christ and His magnificent character and gospel. Serving Christ includes equipping one another for ministry.

7. Reminding.
The Apostle Peter reminded the believers of what they already knew repeatedly. Christians can greatly serve one another by reminding each other of divine promises, God’s comforts, Christ’s gospel, the Spirit’s sanctifying power.

8. Giving.
Christ served His Bride when He gave Himself up for her and died for her. To serve is to sacrificially give. Giving to others is one way of serving them. Give to them financially, or of your time, or resources, or knowledge, or wisdom.

9. Worshiping.
Worship is a way of life for a child of God. Worship prepares a reborn child for heaven. A preeminent way of serving the Lord is to respond to all that God is with a life of praise, adoration, and thanksgiving. Worship God heartfully.

10. Caring.
Bearing each others' burdens serves the people of God tremendously. Care for one another by shepherding each others' souls toward Christ. Speak truth into each others' lives and reprove, rebuke, comfort, encourage, & instruct.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Preaching With Fire
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Preaching denotes that God-ordained means of pressing divine truth upon the hearts of people by which a man of God heralds forth the Master’s message with faithful clarity, with biblical fidelity, with theological precision, and with earnest application. Preaching instructs the mind, directs the will, and woos the heart. Biblical preaching presents the depravity of man, the inability of self-deliverance, the sufficiency of Christ, the propitiation of the Lamb, and the necessity to repent and believe. Preaching is not dialoguing. Preaching heralds. Preaching thunders. Preaching declares. Preaching commands. Preaching summons. Preaching presents divine truth to human hearts with fiery urgency through a man white-hot with love for Christ.

1. Urgency.
Everyone will die. The crackling flames of hell must be heard by every faithful minister so that he understands the weightiness and importance of every opportunity to herald. He must preach and urge. He must declare and summon. He does this with derived authority from the sovereign One who sent him. The preacher is an ambassador who must be heard! He preaches and declares that all must hear and heed the Master’s mandate. Preach urgently!

2. Eternity.
Only one thing separates all people from unending eternities that will inevitably come, namely, one breath. When God takes a person’s life, they step immediately into a real, unchangeable, conscious eternity. Let all ministers of the gospel herald with eternity plastered upon his heart and with eternal destinies stamped on his eyeballs. God has given one message by which sinful souls may be eternally welcomed into heaven: the preaching of the righteousness of Christ! Preach Him! Preach that all must repent and believe! Preach that what sinners do now with Christ has eternal ramifications. Preach for eternity!

3. Glory.
Heaven is heaven because God is there. God is all-glorious and all-magnificent. What makes heaven heaven is that God in His everlasting infiniteness dwells there in the presence of His people forevermore. Ministers who faithfully know their text, who know God, who love Christ, who are full of the Spirit, who have prayed for Spirit-endowed unction preach to save souls. They have an indomitable burden: that sinners would be delivered out of the kingdom of darkness and gathered into the kingdom of Light. Preach Christ so the Spirit may give life and seal souls for glory.

4. Hell.
Preachers herald with fire so that the hearers don’t end up in eternal fire. Ministers who know the gospel and know the God of the gospel preach with such utmost urgency that every sermon counts, indeed, every moment counts. No one preaches better than the man with eternity on his heart. He longs to snatch souls from hell. He wants Christ to save His own through the faithfully preached Word. He wants the Spirit to regenerate those who hear the gospel of grace. So yes, preachers preach hell. Yes, preachers speak often on hell. Because love compels preachers to warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come and to find a safe refuge in the Christ who bore divine wrath in their stead.

5. Unction.
Fiery preaching demands and is desperate for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. No preaching accomplishes divine purposes unless it flies with the wind of the Spirit. Powerless preaching does not change souls nor does it change lives. Preachers who understand God and know His almighty power pray in secret before they preach in public that God would anoint them with the Spirit of power and that they would preach God’s Word, with God’s power, to God’s people, to produce God’s results. This happens as the man of God earnestly prays for unction and desperately cries to the One who gives the Spirit without measure! O God, let the ministers of Christ preach with unction!

6. Compassion.
Bold preaching carries with it a genuine love for sinners. Nothing is more unloving than to not preach Christ and His gospel faithfully. But those who warn the wayward and comfort the broken with the gospel of Christ are truly ministers who love. True love speaks the divine message faithfully. Preaching with fire always includes a genuine compassion for every hearer. As ministers of the gospel stand before the congregation, he knows that unbelievers may sit before him, precious young ones who must repent and trust in Christ also sit in front of him. Indeed, he also believes that genuine believers who know and love Christ sit with their open bibles feeding upon the spoken Word of God. Yet he also knows that there are many professing believers who sit under the preached Word who may think they’re saved when in fact they travel on the broad path that leads to destruction. Ministers preach with broken hearts for broken souls because the minister himself remembers that his God had immense compassion on him!

7. Heralding.
Preachers preach. To preach means that one heralds. To herald demands that one stand with a message from another and the herald, or the messenger, imparts that message faithfully without alteration the full message with the derived authority that comes from the sender himself. As an Emperor of old would send his ambassador, or messenger, to herald the King’s message in the city-square so that all would hear the King’s report and take appropriate action, the herald could not change the message, alter the message, eliminate hard parts of the message, or even be responsible for the response to the message. His job was to come with the sender’s authority, with the sender’s message, to stand and proclaim the full and unchanged message from the King himself. So it is with every preacher of the gospel. He must exhort! He must plead! He must deliver God’s message, in full, with power, with God’s authority, from the Word, to all the hearers. He pleads! He cries! He exhorts! He proclaims! He announces! He demands! This is preaching with fire. And all heralds of the gospel are those who study the Word to get the Master’s message, from the Master’s Word, and then they stand with the Master’s authority, before the Master’s people, empowered by the Master’s enablement, to preach the gospel of the Master’s free grace in Christ, and they preach faithfully, fully, and fearlessly and trust that the great Master will use His spoken Word to save the lost and grow the saved. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Kind of Men God Uses
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Every man longs for God to use him. But what kind of men does God use? What kind of man most manifests the power of God? How should men live in this world to make the most impact for the next? How must a minister live? How must a husband serve? How must a Christian occupy himself? To be used by God in a mighty way, let the reader understand that God uses particular kinds of men.

1 Corinthians 2:3 — “I was with you in weakness…”

1. Weak men
The Apostle Paul boasted in few things but one such characteristic that he often boasted in was his weakness. He was a weak man in the eyes of the world. Indeed, the way of the Lord so often flips human things upside-down. God does not use the strongest of men to accomplish the greatest of tasks. He uses weak men, frail in the eyes of the world, empowered by God to do great things for His glory.

2. Broken men
Godly men sorrow over sin. Men of God who accomplish much in the kingdom of God repent over sin and mourn over their own specific sins. God does not use men who will not and refuse to repent over their transgressions. But the broken, the penitent, the contrite, the lowly, and the repentant men are those who, by God’s grace and by His power, shake the world for Christ.

3. Godly men
The men who have done the most in the world are those who were devoted most to God. The men whom God uses most are the most pious of men. They happily content themselves to remain unknown in the eyes of men. They seek not the applause and acceptance of men. They fear God and Him alone. The men used of God seek God and love Christ. They joyfully commune with the Triune God in incessant fellowship and in unbroken prayer. Godly men do much for Christ.

4. Pure men
Holy men must live wholly devoted to the Master for His service. Unholy men profane Christ’s kingdom. An impure minister is a disgrace to the gospel of grace. God saves wretched sinners and then He begins the process of purification, of transformation, of sanctification. All those whom God saves, He sanctifies. All those whom God converts, He changes and conforms them to the character of Christ. Men of God who wage war with the kingdom of darkness are those who prioritize personal piety and radically resolve to live righteously. Godly men are pure and holy.

5. Desperate men
A godly man lives with a holy discontentment. He has a sanctified desperation in that He longs ever-increasingly for greater holiness and for greater power. He can’t get enough of God’s power upon Him in his proclamation, in his praying, and in his communion with Christ. He desperately longs for God to use him more. He longs for revival. He pleads for holiness. In his soul, deep in his inner man, he desperately wants to be as holy as a justified man can possibly be.

6. Courageous men
Men of God courageously stand against the Devil himself. Men of God fear no one except God. Soldiers of Christ stand firm against the fiery darts and luring schemes of the Tempter. Courage comes from God who is the Fountain of strength and delights. He is the mighty Rock and strong Refuge. Men of God live courageously because true love casts out all fear. A man that God uses stands unafraid to proclaim Christ’s gospel to the most repulsive of sinners. A man of God stands before the armies of Satan unflinchingly because the arm of the Lord is always with Him.

7. Gentle men
True men are gentle. Godly gentleness refers to that character quality of strength -- strong strength -- under control. It is a mighty man who serves a mighty God with a mighty Gospel in a mightily dark world who walks and talks and lives with self-control over his spirit.  Christ Himself exemplified a perfect man who was meek, gentle, strong, humble, and unflinchingly bold. God uses men who are controlled in their strength as Christ Himself lived in a controlled way even in the severest and most unjust of circumstances. Men that God uses do likewise.

8. Heavenly men
Christ lived for one predominant purpose which overshadowed everything that He did. He lived singularly and solely for the glory of the Father. He passionately wanted to glorify His heavenly Father. He longed to be with the Father and be with His redeemed. Men whom God uses have an eyeball gazing upon the Lamb of God seated on heaven’s throne. True men are so consumed with the next world that they do the most in this world. They live for eternity. They preach for eternity. They shepherd souls toward eternity. They plead with sinners to consider eternity. They know that a mere breath separates them from stepping into eternity. Men empowered by God and who accomplish much for His glory long for heaven, are assured of coming heaven, earnestly long to be with Christ in heaven and they live storing up treasures for heaven. They are in the truest sense other-worldly men.

More articles can be found at the articles page at Vassal of the King.
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