Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and as one who has been sought by God, selected by God, saved by God, secured by God, and satisfied in God, you have the heart-thrilling duty to speak of Jesus Christ to the lost. This is every Christian’s responsibility. In fact, if one could boil down the mission of every single Christian who is still alive in this world, that mission could be simply stated as follows: you are alive to proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. You are to be the mouthpiece for the Lord by speaking His gospel to the lost so that He can draw His own to salvation through the hearing of the gospel.

Maybe you have an unconverted wife. Maybe, O husband, as you read this, your heart sinks in discouragement because you are married to a woman who has no love for the things of God and no yearning for this glorious Christ! Maybe you love her and serve her and nurture her and pursue her and yet you find constant brick walls and opposition. Dear husband, if this is your story, keep clinging to Christ the Solid Rock and run to the mighty Refuge every day to find grace, strength, encouragement, and the example to love even those that seem unlovable at times. But keep proclaiming your Savior. Be like the early Apostles who said: we can’t stop speaking about the things that we have seen and heard. With love, with patience, with gentleness, with clarity, with urgency, and with constant prayer, keep speaking of Christ’s gospel and of eternity’s nearness to the unsaved in your home.

Perhaps you have children that are, right now, unconverted. Maybe you have little children in the home that have not yet come to Christ. Or, you could have teenagers who find their love more in the things of this world than they do in the things of Christ. Indeed, you may have adult children who have long been out of the home who don’t pursue Christ, the family is not being led well in the ways of Scripture, and (if they do attend a church) they find themselves at a place where Christ’s gospel is frequently exchanged for entertainment, drama, and seeker friendly ploys. Keep prayerful. Keep pleading before the heavenly Throne of grace for the souls of your children. If they’re in the home, keep showing them Christ daily. What they need is not parents to back off and refuse to speak of Jesus. They need you to love Christ more, model holiness for them, reflect your gladness in His gospel, and speak of His forgiveness as much as you can. Never underestimate the power of fervent, undying, importunate praying -- even if the children have long been out of the home and live far away. God’s providential ways far surpass our imaginations. If you can’t talk to them every day, then pray for them every day and bring their case before the Lord of the universe every day.

Lead your wife in evangelizing the lost outside the context of the home. Capitalize on opportunities with neighbors. As you engage in conversations about the weekend, share how heart-gripping the sermon was at the church you attend. Speak how much you’ve learned in your time with God in His Word. Speak of how you’re encouraged by the Church you go to as they serve and love one another so lavishly and tangibly. Beautify the gospel by sharing Christ incessantly with others. And, of course, you would do well to keep some gospel tracts with you for those frequent occasions when you can’t give a full gospel to someone, but you can leave them with a gospel presentation. These have appropriately been called: “paper missionaries.” They can go where you often can’t go. Always remember, dear husband, the power is not in you or in the method of your gospel-delivery. The power is in the message, that is, the gospel. So never be afraid of speaking the gospel verbally, giving the gospel through a tract, or writing the gospel in a letter and sending it to a loved one (or, relative, or coworker, or neighbor, or city mayor, etc.).

It should be noted here, in conclusion, that evangelism is more than just an emotional and shameful guilt-trip telling you to “do more!” Someone could be stirred into obedience, perhaps, for a short time. But if it does not stem from the heart, then the sharing of the gospel will fizzle. But if you are a man of God who thinks much and ponders deeply the things of God, the nearness of eternity, the infiniteness of God’s wrath, the agony of the Lake of Fire, and the consciousness of the eternally damned, and the blessed hope available through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, you will be compelled in your heart -- out of sheer love for God and for your neighbor -- to speak gospel truth to the lost. So, O man of God, rather than heap more imperatives that you should go share the gospel, it may be more beneficial to encourage you to ponder the exclusivity of Christ, the peril of the unconverted, and the imminency of death. Let these truths catapult you into prayerful and worshipful obedience to evangelizing the lost with the truth of there being one God and one Savior between God and man, namely, the man Christ Jesus.

More articles can be found at Geoff's articles page.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I have the marvelous privilege of being called by God to devote myself to prayer and to the ministry of the Word as I serve Christ's blood bought sheep at Christ Fellowship Bible Church of St Louis.

There is no higher calling in all the world that God could have given to me. To meet with God every day in prayer and to go deep in God's Word in study fill my heart, mind and affections with God-enthralling joy every day. What a privilege to serve Him and the flock at CFBC.

I wrote this 10-part series well over 3 years ago but I find it to be just as true now as it was then when I penned the blogs. I truly do love my church. CFBC is not a perfect church. There isn't a perfect church. But it is a place of God-glorifying worship.

And also, it's not my church; it's God's church. Christ is the Head over His church. I know that. But it is the local assembly to which I'm committed with all my heart and with all my devotion. For that, I joyfully call CFBC my church.

This is an encouragement to the flock of God that I shepherd and a brief expression of love and of encouragement. Here are 10 reasons why I love Christ Fellowship Bible Church.

I love Christ Fellowship Bible Church (CFBC) because...

1. CFBC has a great love for Scripture  |  blog

2. CFBC has great love for her pastor-shepherds  |  blog

3. CFBC consists of a diverse body of believers  |  blog

4. CFBC pursues holiness & Christlikeness  |  blog

5. CFBC is a disciple-making church  |  blog

6. CFBC has a love for gospel-proclamation  |  blog

7. CFBC takes hold of God in prayer  |  blog

8. CFBC sacrificially serves one another  |  blog

9. CFBC endeavors to glorify God  |  blog

10. CFBC upholds the Headship of Jesus Christ  |  blog

Again, CFBC is not a perfect church. There isn't one out there -- till we reach heaven! However, I find great joy and comfort in the love of CFBC because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through one another (Philemon 1:7).

May God enable CFBC to excel still more (1 Thess 4:1).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Join Christ Fellowship Bible Church for the next 3 Wednesday nights, 7:00PM, as we engage in a series: THE WONDERS OF OUR INCARNATE KING

PART #1 - Jesus Christ, our HOLINESS
Wednesday, December 14
We'll sing the Word
We'll study the Word
We'll pray the Word

PART #2 - Jesus Christ, our HELPER
Wednesday, December 21
We'll sing the Word
We'll study the Word
We'll pray the Word

PART #3 - Jesus Christ, our HOPE
Wednesday, December 28
We'll sing the Word
We'll study the Word
We'll pray the Word

Join us at 7:00PM on Wednesday nights.

All sermons & PDF handouts will be here


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

There just might be some news that would toweringly soar far above any other news you could receive today. That news is that you have, at this present instant, a Great High Priest who intercedes for you before God’s heavenly throne. At this moment, wherever you are, whatever you’ve done, and however you may feel, if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a Surety in heaven who pleads His own merits before God the Father on your behalf. Jesus, right now, prays for you. In fact, He does not stop praying for you. He loves you and brings you incessantly before the Father’s throne in prayer. Dear Christian, this is what your bridegroom does for you!

So husband, strive to emulate this by praying for your wife. Just as your Savior brings you before the Father, so you should bring your wife before the Father frequently.  Just as your Savior intercedes for you out of fervent love, so you can intercede on behalf of your bride before the Father with a heart overflowing in love.

Husband, do you pray for your wife? Not just a few words here or there. But do you really pour out your soul to God in desperate pleadings, fervent cries, and intercessory petitions on behalf of your most treasured possession on earth, your bride? If God were to affirmatively answer all of your prayers right now, at this instant, how much would really change in your marriage, or in your wife’s life?

Pray with frequency for your wife. Seek the Lord early for your bride. Prayerfully lead her to the throne before she even brings herself to the throne of grace. Beg God for strength to equip her to stand strong in almighty grace and to ward off the devil’s wily schemes. Seek the Lord that she may grow in grace, in wisdom, in love, in patience, in holy zeal, and in evangelistic opportunities.

If you have small children in the home, do you pray specifically that your wife will be empowered by the Spirit to speak gospel-truth to the hearts, minds, and lives of your little ones -- however young or old they may be? Perhaps your wife is nursing a newborn. Pray that, like Eunice, she may impart the sacred Scriptures even to those infant-minds so that they would hear divine truth even from the youngest of days.

Your wife may also be at home with young children during the day -- maybe toddlers, or early elementary school age. Intercede on her behalf for God’s strength to enable her to respond with grace when they sin. Pray that she would have overwhelming love and selfless resolve to discipline them when they sin, bring them to the cross in speaking the gospel, and to instruct them in the wondrous ways of God, work of God, character of God, and awe of God. Pray for her to be reliant upon God in her heart-attitude, in her words, and in her responses to various situations.

Maybe you have teenagers of any and all sorts. Maybe they are believers. Maybe they’re not. Maybe they are in relationships. Perhaps they’re not. Maybe you have one. Maybe you have four teenagers. Plead with Christ to give wisdom to your wife as she cultivates their hearts with divine truth and seeks to bring God’s wisdom to bear from the word of God in conversations that they have together.

Pray, O husband! Nothing in all the world can compare with the power of prayer. Bring all the military regimes, artillery, and nuclear arsenals from the entire globe and the weakest saint, praying to God, is mightier than them all! The devil trembles when the weakest believer comes before the almighty Throne in prayer. The fervent prayers of a righteous man are powerful and accomplish much! Pray, O husband!

Not sure where to pray or how to start? Not sure how to specifically bring her before God’s throne? Begin with Psalm 1 and begin praying through the Bible (i.e., the Psalms) and use God’s language (in the psalms) to frame and provide variety to your prayers for your wife. Then, you may choose to spend time praying through Psalm 119 for your wife. Read a verse. Then pray it back to God on behalf of your wife. Or you may choose Paul’s prayers (Colossians 1, Philippians 1, Ephesians 1 & 3, Philemon 1, 1 Corinthians 1) and take the Spirit-given language and allow it to fuel your petitions to God for your wife.

And don’t forget to thank God for the undeserved gift He gave you in your wife. Even with all her flaws -- however many they may be, you don’t deserve her. Even if she is a nonbeliever, still thank God for the companion He gave you in her. If she doesn’t fulfill you sexually as you’d like, praise and worship and bless God for her and for her unspeakable beauties and ask God for His grace in that particular area of your marriage. If she is a big sinner, remember that you’re a bigger one still. And yet -- neither of you are beyond the saving grace of God and the restoring mercies of the Savior! Refuse to complain! Storm the mercy seat and come boldly! Come with confidence! Come for your bride! Come with your bride in prayer. Pray for her and pray with her. And may God transform your marriage as you emulate Christ, your Bridegroom, who right now, at this moment, is still praying for you before the Father’s throne.

More articles & essays can be found at Pastor Geoff's articles page.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

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

Love costs a lot. It’s easy to get and to receive and to take, but that’s not love! True love is a sacrificial giving of oneself to another for their good. It’s easy and natural to get things from others. But it’s unnatural to sacrifice self for the blessing of another. But that’s precisely what Christ has done for ungodly sinners. And as Christ, the Bridegroom, as loved His Bride with this kind of sacrificing love, so husbands are commanded to emulate this love by sacrificially loving their wives.

“Got it!” men say. But what does it mean to sacrifice? How does it look in the marriage relationship? The more that husbands understand the kind of sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated for His people, the more will they will see how to love their wives.

A sacrificing love is a time-consuming love. Think of how Jesus spent time with people. He maximized moments with people. He spent time with sinners. He sat and talked. He walked and preached. He stood and heralded. He loved and pleaded with souls. Jesus’ life was a life of time-consuming sacrifice for sinners. But it’s just that where this becomes so difficult for the 21st century man. This takes T-I-M-E. And that’s just one thing we don’t have; or rather, one thing men often aren’t willing to make. True sacrificial love occurs when time is spent together. Jesus modeled it for sinners. Husbands must emulate this toward their wives.

A sacrificing love is an unhurried and genuine love. Superficial love is easy and fake. But it’s hypocritical and easy to see through its facade. With only enough time, the truth of this mask will be uncovered and the real selfishness of love will tragically ooze forth. How amazing is it to observe the unhurried life of Jesus. He set his face toward Jerusalem and for the cross. And yet He found Himself interrupted constantly by sinners, providential appointments, sick persons, and the like. And he loved them genuinely. When God graces our days with interruptions let us not fight with the heart-filled lust for control of our schedule but let us remain unhurried and genuine in our thankfulness to God and our genuineness of love for others -- especially our precious brides.

A sacrificing love is an exclusive love. Jesus gave up His life for His sheep. He didn’t die for everyone. Nor does He swallow up all people of all religions of all beliefs in his salvation. He sacrificed Himself exclusively for His people whom the Father fore-loved, predestined, and gave to Him countless ages ago. Husband, sacrifice for your wife. And sacrifice for her exclusively and preeminently. Let nothing in your heart or life be remotely comparable to the exclusivity of your life for your mate. Give up anything and everything for her. Tell her this. Show her this. Prove it to her. Encourage her with this. Sacrifice self for her! Die to self for her! Only for her!

A sacrificing love is a pursuing love. A simple reading of Song of Solomon, the God-given and Spirit-inspired love-poem given to believers, will show that godly husbands will pursue their wives. Of course, this only follows the preeminent example of Christ who pursues His own. Remember the mission statement of Jesus: the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus is the seeker. He is the initiator. He is the pursuer. He is the instigator. He is the relentless and tireless one who chases after his wife. As Jesus pursued you, O husband, so you also should pursue your wife. And this is costly. It’s Christlike. And yet, this is sacrificing love.

A sacrificing love is an others-serving love. The Song of Solomon provides a marvelous definition of marital love: “There I will give you my love” (Song 7:12b). Sacrifice, O husbands, for your wives as you follow the example in God’s Word. Give! Love gives! God so loved the world that He gave (John 3:16). Christ loved me and He gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20). Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for you (Eph 5:25). Make it your driving ambition to serve your mate first and foremost. Have the same attitude in yourselves which also was in Christ Jesus. Serve others as Christ served you, even if your bride is unworthy of it! For remember, you were far more unworthy of Christ’s sacrificial love toward you as you scorned his grace and scoffed His love for so long. Serve your spouse!

A sacrificing love is a self-dying love. Quite simply: as much as possible, do what she wishes to do. This is not relinquishing your leadership role. Not at all. But rather than always choosing where to go, where to eat, what to do, how to spend the evening, what to do on Saturday, deliberately die to self and find joy in doing what she wants to do. Make intentional efforts. Surprise her. Love her. Cherish her. Make intentional efforts to do things that she would love and appreciate. Again, when you said: “I DO” you said (in essence), “I DIE TO SELF.” So do it!

A sacrificing love is a gospel-picturing love. All of this must be the case in marriage because the covenantal bond between a husband and wife is a breathing and visible illustration of the spiritual union between Christ and His Bride. So the more that you sacrifice for your precious bride, out of heartfelt love and stemming from joyful worship to Christ, you evidence the happy and pleasing satisfactions of the gospel as the work of Christ continues to change you and conform you more into His likeness. After all, He gave all for you. So sacrificially love your bride in giving all for her. Hold nothing back.

More at Pastor Geoff's articles page.
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