Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Some Ideas: Practical Ways to Evangelize. 

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Christ Fellowship Bible Church 

God commands every Christian to “proclaim the excellencies of Christ.” And this command from the King is a delight to blood-washed slaves! We love to speak of our Lord! We don’t need to be coerced or manipulated or guilted into proclaiming Jesus. True Christians love to speak of their heavenly Lord and Savior. To evangelize, by definition, means to communicate the message of the gospel. So you can't evangelize by just showing Jesus with your good lifestyle. You need to communicate the biblical message of the gospel and call the sinner to respond. 

Here are some practical ideas for you to consider in sharing the gospel. 

  1. Hand a gift bag with an enclosed tract to someone who is on the side of the road begging (often, at a stop light at a busy intersection). As you roll down the window to give them the bag, give them a verbal expression of care and compassion with a 30-second gospel explanation with a clear call for them to turn to Jesus in full surrender. 
  2. When a new neighbor moves into the area, go visit them with a plate of cookies together with a gospel tract. Introduce yourself, let them know that you’re here for them if they need anything. Consider sharing where you go to church and that you gave them a welcome note as well that you’d urge them to read and consider. 
  3. As you parent your children, and when they disobey, use that as a God-given opportunity to proclaim the Law and the gospel to your children. Show them their sin with an open Bible by pointing out the text to them, showing their guiltiness before God, and calling them to trust Christ the substitute who died in the stead of ruined sinners. Your children will give you plenty of opportunities to proclaim this gospel as they sin and need parental and loving reproof. 
  4. Write a letter to a relative or family member. Maybe a parent or a child or a sibling or an extended family member is lost and your heart yearns for their salvation. And perhaps a rift exists in your relationship. Prayerfully write a letter expressing your love for them, love for God, love for truth, and love for their soul. Then proceed to convey the gospel by explaining it with Scripture references and a clear call to respond in repentance, submission and faith to Jesus Christ. 
  5. As you go to a store and purchase something (grocery store, Starbucks, hardware store) and someone serves you at the register or at the check-out counter, have a gospel tract on hand and cheerfully and warmly offer them a “Thank You” gospel tract and say: I want to thank you for serving me today. Here is a message that is for you and I give it to you with great compassion because it has changed my life forever! 
  6. We enjoy eating out at restaurants. When your server comes to take your order, then consider saying: “We pray before our meals; how can we pray specifically for you today?”  This open-ended question can lead to a great softening of the heart and a window into his (hurting) life.  Then, when you’re finished, leave a generous tip (!) together with a gospel tract. 
  7. Everyone has to get gas. When you are filling up your vehicle with gas, consider putting a gospel tract in the credit-card slot in each of the pumps. Then, when you leave the next person will come and pull out the gospel tract and read it. 
  8. Invite someone from your church to go with you to a local high school when classes get out in the afternoon.  When the final bell rings, stand on the public sidewalk as the kids are walking home and, with a smile and a warm greeting, offer the kids to know the Truth of the good news of God their maker.  See how many will take and receive a gospel tract from you! 
  9. Get some chalk and do “Chalk Evangelism.”  Simply on a public sidewalk, chalk out simple phrases of the gospel, Scripture references, Bible verses, and warnings of eternity on the sidewalk. Be sure to compel people to trust Christ and flee to Him for salvation without delay! Many people who walk dogs, run, and walk for exercise will see and read these messages on the sidewalk! 
  10. Have family worship regularly, daily and diligently. As you gather the family to worship God together, as a family unit, you will have many opportunities to speak of God, Christ, sin, man, salvation, the Church, and end-times. Undoubtedly, there may be unbelievers in your midst in family worship: perhaps a young child, or an unconverted teenager, or a friend or a neighbor. Family Worship can be a beautiful and obedient act of worship to Christ as well as a sweet evangelism opportunity as you read and instruct from the Word of God to all who have gathered. 

You can find podcasts and articles on evangelism at Geoff's website.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

My pastoral prayer 

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, Missouri)

O Mighty God, Make me a man of of holiness.  Make me a man of... 
1. Proclamation 
O Truthful God, make me a man who proclaims the Word — your Word — with greater power, passion, force, authority, and fidelity. I long to be used of the Lord as a faithful spokesman for His Word. I want to be a man full of the Word, endowed with the Spirit, and enflamed with holy love as I herald forth the Word of God, the whole counsel of God.  
2. Power
O God of might and power, make me a man of indomitable power. Enable me to do what I cannot do on my own. Take me to places and put me in situations where I am weak and impotent in myself and yet I find your all-enabling grace and divine power more than sufficient for my needs. Make me a man of power as I study, pray, preach, counsel, shepherd, visit, evangelize, and disciple. Make the ministry a powerful, unstoppable, effective, faithful ministry. 
3. Prayer
O Holy Lord who is seated above the Cherubim, You who incline your ear toward me, such a weak creature of yours, and you invite me to come boldly to Your throne of grace! Show me the necessity of prayer, early prayer, urgent prayer, prioritized prayer. Make me to see and feel the urgency of prayer. Allow me to see even more demonstrations of answered prayer, your providential workings through prayer, and increased fruitfulness through prayer. Wake me earlier in the morning to commune with you in prayer. Show me the uncompromising importance of meeting with you before I meet with men. O God, make me more of a man of desperate, persistent, shameless, importunate, believing, powerful prayer. 
4. Piety
O God of unrivaled holiness and supremacy, you are unique and glorious. You are infinitely holy and impeccably perfect. I long to live more fully and more wholly in the Christian practice of my heavenly call! Sanctify me more. Use whatever is needed to make me more into a man of Christlikeness. Let me be holier each day. Make me as holy as a justified sinner can be this side of heaven! Chisel away the dross that still remains. Smooth out the rough, ungodly, self-impassioned lusts and desires. May I emulate Christ and His holy love. 
5. Patience 
O God of perfect patience and unspeakable long-suffering, You call me to imitate you and to walk in love. I so often walk in impatience and in selfishness. How often I want what I want and I desire my comforts and my agenda and my passions and my schedule. And when it doesn’t happen my way, I so often get angry and impatient. O Lord, grant patience in my life and in my ministry. Help me to shepherd with patience, to counsel with patience, to pray with patience, to disciple with patience, and to evangelize the lost with Christlike patience. As Paul tells pastors: Be patient with all men. Help me in this.
6. Purity
O God of faithful purity and love, grant that I would be pure in doctrine, pure in morality, pure in sexual love toward my wife, pure as an example for my children and the church that I’m called to shepherd. May I be above-reproach and always walking with a clean conscience. Let me not give into sin even a little bit. Make my conscience so sensitive so that I would see my sin, acknowledge it, confess it, hate it, forsake it, and replace it quickly! Let me not tolerate sin, or laugh at it, or minimize it, or re-label it, or compare myself with others when I see my sin. O Lord, make me a pure man who walks in your Word. Keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Four Reminders of My Pastoral Ministry. 

Geoffrey R. Kirkland,  Christ Fellowship Bible Church 

1. The motive - know Christ & preach Him
The motive of my heart consists in knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul said: I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This passion consumed Paul. His heart throbbed with the glory of God and the knowledge of Christ. He pursued the Lord intimately and lived for God fully. The driving force and the compelling purpose of the life of a shepherd must be to know Christ and make Him known to others. Nothing less will keep a man going strong. The ultimate motive must continually consist in a relentless, unshakeable, and deepening knowledge and love for Jesus Christ. 

2. The mission  - to preach the WORD (full counsel)
My mission, given by God and clarified by Scripture, demands that I preach the Word of God. I am called to herald forth God’s Truth. To herald means that I cry out passionately, clearly, urgently and precisely what the King has ordered me to declare. What I preach must be nothing other than the written Word of God, the Scriptures. I must preach the Bible. Paul declared the whole counsel of God to believers and the Bible calls all shepherds to preach the Word — all the Scriptures that make us wise unto salvation. All the doctrines must be preached. All the texts must be expounded. All the truths must be affirmed. The exegetical nuances and theological points must be known and proclaimed faithfully. My duty compels me to study intensely, to pray desperately, to craft the message carefully, to ascend the pulpit soberly, to exposit passionately, and then to trust God for results. 

3. The mechanics  to my ministry - to hold on to these 4 non-negotiables

  1. preach - my foremost duty is to preach and expound the Word of God to feed the people of God with divine Truth. 
  2. pray - that which makes my ministry, my preaching, my shepherding, my counseling effective is the almighty power of the Holy Spirit. So I must pray for power, intercede for the flock, care for the sick and weak and plead for lost souls to be converted. 
  3. pastor - I love the calling to ’shepherd the flock of God’. I must love God’s people as a faithful under shepherd pointing them to Christ and emulating Christ before the people of God. 
  4. stay - When ministry becomes so difficult and hardships arise and the temptation is to leave and move to another place of ministry, I must, by God’s grace and with biblical wisdom, seek to be faithful to serve and care for God’s people in this local assembly for the long haul. I do this because I love the people with genuine affection to see them know Christ, persevere with Christ, run the course, and finish well. 

4. The majesty - the high calling: ambassador, herald.
Awesome is the privilege to serve as a herald of Heaven’s Sovereign. Nothing can compare. The King of heaven has summoned me to partake of ministry together with Him to serve Him so that He makes his appeal to sinners through my lips. As Paul said: we are working together with God — and so we urge sinners to not receive the grace of God in vain. No greater calling ever existed than to serve the Lord as a spokesman, a prophet, a declarer, a herald, a messenger for the Lord. The calling is quite simple, really. I must take His message and deliver it the way He intended it to be communicated with the same force, sobriety, emphasis, balance, and authority to the hearers. When the word has been spoken, the work of the preacher is done. He leaves the results to God. So my high calling has seized my soul and has captured me with sovereign arms of love and driven me to prayer, to desperation, to humiliation, and to praise for such a calling to be the mouthpiece of the Lord. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022



Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

When the church welcomes in new members, we have another opportunity to express biblical love toward the saints. How can we practically and actively show loving care toward our fellow members in the local church?  What are some practical pieces of advice by way of implementation?  I’ll present five pieces of counsel.

Print it & pray thru it. — When you receive the email with the updated membership directory listing all the names of the current members, you have a wonderful opportunity.  I would encourage you to print off multiple copies of the names of the members. When you print the list, you can put one copy in your Bible or by your desk for your morning Bible reading & prayer time. Perhaps you could put the other copy by your desk at work or in your car as you commute. God calls us to pray for the saints, all the saints. We are to show genuine love toward each other by thanking God for one another and interceding for all the saints. Perhaps you take 3-5 names each day and bring each before the Throne of Grace. Maybe you devote a particular day or two each week in your morning prayer time and pray through a larger number of members. But the point remains the same: intentionally pray for the fellow members in the church body. Consider having deliberate times of prayer in your family worship time where each member in your family prays through people in the Church. This is a great way to teach the children to pray for the church family.

Hospitality with intentionality.  — Another idea might include hospitality toward God’s people. Perhaps you could prayerfully consider opening your home periodically to a family, or perhaps even a couple of families prayerfully joined together for this time. When you invite them over, share a meal, have family worship, a time of prayer, and seek to get to know each other in a deeper way. When the folks leave, make it your aim to know them better and have one specific way you can pray for them (and then follow up!).

Write letters to edify.  — Something nearly lost in our media-driven age is the art and blessing of hand-written letters. There is something so encouraging and comforting to receive a hand-written letter in the mail and know that your fellow members are praying for you. You hear what’s on their heart. You are exhorted to greater love for Christ and driven to greater holiness through their stimulating reminders. Consider writing two letters a week to folks. See how this will encourage you and encourage them in the pursuit of Christlikeness. Be thoughtful in what you say, in Scriptures you include, in affirmations and reminders of Christ’s great love, and in carefully-crafted exhortations toward greater holiness.  See how this will encourage the people of God! Young children can do this as well as the oldest and most seasoned saints. The sick and home-bound can do this. Try it and see how the Lord adds His blessing to this endeavor.

Pray for kids’ salvation.  — You may also want to print out the listing of the childrens’ names so that you can commit to praying for them — regularly, specifically, individually and proactively. We know that our children are under the Word of God corporately when we meet and also domestically when the fathers and mothers teach the kids divine Truth, but we also understand that unless God supernaturally regenerates their hearts, they cannot hear nor understand nor apply these things. We need to beg God to save the children of our church. Let’s be like the Prophet Samuel when he said: Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. Pray earnestly! Pray specifically! Pray believingly! Pray that God would save our kids and use them powerfully for the advance of the gospel locally and globally.

Seek to greet all the saints.  — When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he said: greet all the brethren. Likewise, the author of Hebrews said: Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. To greet the saints includes a genuine, heartfelt welcome of Christian love when we see each other for the meetings of the Church.  Obviously, you cannot get to every single person every Sunday to greet them. So make it your aim to greet a few people specifically, genuinely and intentionally each Sunday. And then the next time you gather with the church, seek to find a few new folks. The following meeting, you can reach out to a handful of different folks. But the goal is to speak a word of edification, of encouragement, a warm handshake, a genuine expression of Christian care and stimulation to love and good deeds!

As you seek to consider these practical pieces of advice, may the Lord encourage you as you creatively and intentionally love one another in the Church family.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


Geoffrey R. Kirkland 

Christ Fellowship Bible Church,  St Louis, MO


Maybe you're a parent begging God to save your children. Perhaps you have children in the home that you've been teaching, training, exhorting, disciplining, and pointing to Christ regularly for years. And your earnest heart-cry is for them to be drawn to Christ savingly so as to know Him, love Him, enjoy Him, and glorify Him with their lives!  You also recognize that you cannot save them and achieve this work for them. God must save their souls. But, what if a child does come to you and profess faith in Jesus Christ? Then what? What do you do? How do you respond? You respond with immediate excitement and joy but you also recognize the importance of true submission and surrender to Christ. Yes, a devotion to following Him is essential! What are some pastoral "helps" that could guide you when a kid professes faith in Christ?   Here are some suggestions:

  1. Rejoice and encourage them! — If your child speaks to you and says they have put their faith in Jesus Christ, your immediate response should be one of encouragement and joy measured with sobriety and compassion. You want to be sure to keep two crucial realities in balance with one another. First, you want to respond with joy and excitement because the best thing your children can do is profess faith in Christ and walk in the fear of the Lord! At the same time, secondly, you want to respond with sober-mindedness and a compassionate caution so that you don’t immediately give a full-blown affirmation of their salvation at the instant of their profession. Why? Salvation is not a decision but a devotion of one’s life to Christ. Salvation is not just profession of Christ but possession of Him. So, rejoice! Encourage your child! Hug them! But be thoughtful and caring and compassionate and wise with your choice of words. 
  2. Rehearse the gospel with them! — Take the time and make the priority to be with your child and ask them questions about what led up to their decision to follow Jesus. After you probe the heart and dig out their heart-desires and motives, then be sure to rehearse (again!) the saving gospel with them. Remember to carefully show them, from the text, the good news of the simple gospel of Christ. At the same time, emphasize the response to this gospel message. One must repent (turn from sin) and believe (trust fully in Christ alone). This will inevitably result in an abiding in Christ, a walking in holiness, a love for God’s Word and God’s people, and a joy in obeying in Him. Ensure that your child understands not just the facts of the message but the demand of a disciple!
  3. Affirm your care to journey with them! — I believe at this point the parent should again affirm that he will walk the entire journey together with his child. Let them know that you are here with them, to help them, to guide them, to minister to them, to shepherd them, and to point them to Jesus.  The goal of this step is to assure your child that you commit to walking with them not just to a decision about Jesus but a daily, ongoing journey with Jesus Christ in His Word, in prayer, with God’s people, in holy living. 
  4. Explain good works & Spirit-given fruit bearing! — Your child has heard you speak of these truths many times. But at this point, it behooves the parent to explain again the reality that no good tree can produce bad fruit and no bad tree can produce good fruit. The point of this? It emphasizes that a tree is known by its fruit — and yet its fruit doesn’t automatically grow and appear overnight. But it takes time for the tree to grow, mature, bear fruit. But yet it inevitably and certainly will do so. Encourage this with your children. Tell them what Christ expects of His own whom He saves. Let them know that if they are truly Christ’s, the Spirit of God will most certainly bear the fruit of the Spirit in their hearts and lives.
  5. Encourage that if God has saved, he’ll keep them & bear fruit in them! — One important element in the shepherding of young hearts is that they don’t believe your affirmation to give them their soul’s salvation, but you want them to trust Christ and rest in His promises. That means that you want to continually point to the Spirit of God who will bear witness (testify) with their heart if they are truly children of God. And, at the same time, you want to assure them to cling to the promises of God for those who believe. Again, you can encourage your child that if God has truly saved their soul, He will manifest fruit in them and so prove to be His disciples and He will keep them and protect them until glory. 

What an exciting time as a parent with children who grow up hearing of Christ, studying His Word, sitting in family worship, learning the catechisms, and understanding biblical truth. We pray for and earnestly implore God to save our children by His sovereign grace. They must be born again! We know that. And we recognize we are entirely powerless to accomplish such a soul-work. Only God can change the heart! But when your child makes a profession of faith. Walk cautiously but compassionately.  Walk with love and with grace. Pastor them diligently, carefully, biblically, and patiently — just like a pastor walks with someone who professes faith in the congregation. 

May the Lord give grace, wisdom, and discernment as we seek to honor Christ and shepherd the souls of children faithfully.

Saturday, July 30, 2022


Deny Yourself and Attend Your Prayer Meeting

Prayer meetings often require a measure of self-denial.  Attending prayer meetings is not particularly difficult in most cases.  Yet prayer meetings are the worst attended meeting in most local churches.  However, they are by no means an optional ministry of the church.  Through her prayer meetings, the Church procures the blessings of God’s Spirit on the preaching of the Word as she does in no other setting (John 14.12-14; Acts 4:23-31).  In prayer meetings, believers actively pursue the glory of Christ and fervently plead with the Father to bring people from the nations into His family. Many people do not attend prayer meetings even though they are willing to come to hear teaching. 

However, in the Bible prayer almost always precedes the blessings of God upon the church (e.g. Acts 4).  Are you willing to take the trouble to attend the prayer meeting?  Are you willing to forego other conveniences or to make an extra trip to church in order to do so?  Are you willing to allow your children to go to bed later one night per week so that you can approach the throne of grace with the congregation and with Christ in her midst?  The most common reason for neglecting the prayer meeting is that it is “inconvenient.”  But inconvenience is an opportunity for a Christian!  It provides an opportunity to honor the Lord when it is inconvenient.  Another told me that prayer meetings are boring.  Yet what is boring about meeting with the triune God and His church?  Should we not find fullness of joy in His presence?    We can do this only by faith in Christ and hope that the Spirit will enflame our hearts with zeal for the Father’s glory.  

Treat the prayer meeting as an opportunity to deny yourself, to take up your cross, and to follow Christ. 

— From Ryan McGraw, Why Should You Deny Yourself?  p.23-24

Monday, July 18, 2022

 Training your children in the home to sit still in the pew
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

There are many churches that encourage families to worship together on Sundays in corporate worship. There are those with the perspective that it behooves children to learn to sit still, sit quietly, hear the preaching, and observe God’s people worshiping the Living Savior. For those who go to church with children (even small children!) with the hope and desire of seeing them sit still in the pew, the question might be asked: how do I do this? What’s the magic trick? Honestly, there’s not one. But there are some practical tips that I can offer that may help those who choose to bring their small children into corporate worship so that they can train their children in the home to sit still in the pew.

In this essay, I’ll provide some practical tips and helps for parents in this regard.

1. Treat family worship in the home as preparation for corporate worship with the church. — Make a regular practice of gathering the ‘little church’ together in the home each day for the worship of God and view that as a way of practicing for ‘corporate worship’ on Sundays. Begin in the home and train on the couch & trust that in due time the children will sit still and pay attention in the pew.

2. Don't allow in that worship time at home what you wouldn't allow in the pew. — If you don’t allow your children to kick and scream in church then don’t allow that in family worship either. Be intentional to allow in the brief time of family devotions what you would permit in church. Be careful to set the barometer high so that the children will learn well each day in the home so that when they sit in the pew it’ll be an overflow of what they’ve learned in the home.

3. Work on sitting still for small periods of time and gradually increase that time for the children to sit still. — Maybe, like all parents, you think: my kids have a hard time sitting still! Of course! So be diligent to train the children to sit still. It takes time and it takes patience and effort. Work on having the child, or children, sit still for a small period of time with a book on his lap and increase that time as days and weeks go by and you’ll be training your child to sit still.

4. Constantly explain the ultimate goal and purpose of this preparation: because God is worthy & Christ deserves our worship, reverence & honor. — The goal is not just getting kids to sit still. The goal is not even getting children to behave well at church. The goal is the heart: heart-transformation! So frequently speak of the goal of family worship, the reason for sitting still, and the goal of private, family, and corporate worship: our God deserves our praise!

5. Remain faithful and consistent in your training and in your discipline when the children disobey you. — When a child sins, he must be disciplined. When you are teaching and training, the hard but necessary element for parents is consistency. Parents must remain faithful in the training and discipline when the kids disobey -- especially in the home.

6. Speak much of the beauty of Christ, His atoning blood, and His sweet satisfactions for He alone is preeminently supreme. — Parents have the inestimable privilege of showing the children a big God. That is, parents must paint before the children a most beautiful Christ, a supreme Delight, and a Friend of Sinners. This constant message will convey to the children that the parents absolutely adore their God and earnestly want the kids to know and worship Him also!

7. Enjoy the journey and remember the blessed privilege that God has given you to teach those little (and growing) eternal souls about the Word of God, the ways of God, and the gospel of Christ.  — It’s easy to bend a little branch but when a tree has been planted and growing for years it’s nearly impossible to bend the massive tree, so let parents remember to mold and shape the hearts of the children while they are young. As a small acorn grows over time into a large tree, so the children that we have grow little by little over the course of time. God has given a marvelous privilege and duty to all parents to teach the souls of the children and bring them up in the gospel of God’s grace.

8. Patiently endure even the hard and discouraging moments as you remember that growth happens slowly, steadily, and progressively (not instantaneously or overnight). — Remember the big picture. Even when family worship is a disaster (and there will be those nights, plenty of them) and even when you don’t get much of the sermon in corporate worship, don’t lose heart or grow discouraged. Pray. Regain your composure and reaffirm your trust in God’s promises. Be patient and remember that your labor for Christ’s glory and for the kids’ souls is never in vain.

9. Focus (and refocus) your heart constantly on the big picture: you love your Christ and then show your children your glorious Christ and beseech them to be reconciled to this merciful, saving, and sufficient Friend of sinners. — Behavioral change is good and desired. But remember to focus on the heart. Realign your own mind and refocus your perspective on a most worthy Savior who deserves worship and a gracious God who saves sinners! If you are captured by your God, you speak with love, with affection, with power, and with passion, and your children will see the genuineness of your ministry. Labor on and labor hard to know and love your Christ and then pass that on to them! You can’t give what you don’t have yourself. So work to remember Christ as your Savior and Lord and then out of joyful delight and out of privileged duty, pass on the gospel truth to your children.

10. Remember to bath all these endeavors in much prayer, persistent prayer, and confident prayers that God will bless your labors to teach and train your children. — You cannot save your children. Only God can save. Since you cannot save them, pray them into heaven. Bathe them in prayer. Pray with them and for them. Pray incessantly and persistently for their souls. Ask! Seek! Knock! Believe that God will answer your prayers and save your children through your earnest prayers and gospel-pleadings!

11. Seek out another person in the church to sit with you and help you in corporate worship if a need arises to hold a baby or calm down an energetic child. — The body of Christ is a family. After all, families are made up of the older and more mature as well as the new-borns and infants. When young parents have nursing babies or young children, it may be the case that you can request the help of another person in the church to help you, lend you a hand, hold a baby, or assist you in any way. Don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be too prideful to request the help of others. Many are more than eager to serve in this way!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022


How to practically cultivate humility

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

How do you put on humility? What steps can you practically take to walk in humility each day? In this brief write-up, I’ll provide 3 helps to “cultivate humility.”

1. Contemplate Christ’s humility.
The first practical help to cultivate humility begins with looking to Christ. No one but Jesus ever held such a high and holy office in heaven and then condescended to earth to be born in a world that He created! Ponder how He said to those who followed Him that He is gentle and lowly of heart. He was despised, rejected, not esteemed and rejected by men. Indeed, Christ in His divine glory received such scoffing by men whom He made. And He remained humble, fully submissive to God’s plan and design for Him. He always did what was pleasing in God’s sight. Let the humility of Christ capture your heart and seize your affections so that you would emulate Him carefully.

2. Contemplate God’s majesty.
The majesty of God is higher than men can fathom and it is lower than the ocean floor. The glory of God consists of His dazzling splendor of all the fullness of His character and attributes. The majesty of God speaks of His kingship and power and unparalleled glory. Indeed, God is clothed with splendor and majesty. To lift your eyes on high to see the high and lofty One seated on heaven’s throne ruling and governing and accomplishing all things for the outworking of His sovereign decrees should instill humility and lowliness in our hearts. Think of the many stars that God made and knows by name and then consider His creating all things in six 24-hour days. Then consider how puny and weak and forgetful you are! Stand and marvel at this God. Be humble and tremble for His awesome and unshakeable majesty.

3. Contemplate Your depravity.
O the hellish nature of man! What a worm sin has made us. Men’s iniquity in his nature and in his behavior has made him worse than a monster because all men willfully rebel against God who is all good and all wise and all perfect. When Adam sinned in the garden, all humankind plunged into sin in him. All men rightly deserve hell. Anything else ever, at any time, is sheer and undeserved grace to those who deserve the exact opposite. When you contemplate your sinfulness in heart, in motive, in words, and in lifestyle, be humble before the Holy God who sees everything. Nothing is hidden from him. Bless the Lord that He had mercy on your soul. In response, walk in true humility.

This is a brief writeup providing a brief meditation on communion. In considering this blessed feast, I'll put the thoughts together in 3 points:

  1. Reflect!  God calls His people to carefully consider and remember Him in this Feast of communion with our risen Lord. The Lord’s Supper is an earthly encounter with the heavenly Lord. We do well to thoughtfully engage in God’s Truth and eagerly fellowship with our Savior and with our fellow believers in this meal with our Savior.
    1. reflect in preparation - During the week leading up to communion Sunday, prepare your heart in some of the following ways. Confess your sin and come clean before the Lord. Adore the power and greatness and love of your great King. Recognize and bathe in the sufficient work of Jesus Christ on the cross as He took your place by expiating your sin and propitiating God’s wrath! 
    2. reflect in elements — Eating bread and drinking the cup are tangible elements to remind us of the importance of imbibing Christ and taking all of Him. We must feast upon Him and find nourishment for our souls from these elements and what they represent.
    3. reflect in soul-examination — Examine your heart and ensure you are God’s child. Reflect deeply to see if there are any patterns of sin in your life. Consider where you need to be humbled, how you can serve, where you can grow in your love for Christ and for others. And seek to come to the Supper with a clean heart, with clean hands, with a humbled spirit, and with faith in the compassionate mercies of Jesus Christ.
  2. Receive!  God wants you to receive the feast He prepares for you. The Savior is the host who causes the cup to overflow bountifully. He provided bread for those on the mountain for the multitudes. He wants you to take and eat and drink! This is not an offer or a request or a mere invitation. It is a command from the host Himself. Christ wants you to take and feast and find sustenance in Him!
    1. receive the bread with happy delight. — Remember the sufficient body of this Lamb. Consider His spotlessness, purity, righteousness, and perfection which is wholly reckoned to you by faith in Him.
    2. receive the cup with happy delight. — Ponder the glory of the Master’s blood which He poured out lavishly to wash away all of your foul sins. All of your offenses and iniquities have been blotted out, thrown away, and drowned in the bottomless depths of the sea. Delight in the blood of Christ which justifies, washes, cleanses, and propitiates the Father’s wrath.
    3. Receive with Faith // with humility // with thoughtfulness // with obedience // with seriousness. This feast with the heavenly Savior must be received with great sobriety and serious-mindedness. Seek to put away all distractions and wandering thoughts. Try to engage fully with Christ. Seek to meditate on a verse and let your mind and thoughts soak in the beauties of His work for you!
  3. Rejoice! This feast should spark flames of ardent joy for your Lord. Rejoice in Him. Shout for joy in Him. When you take the feast, it is as if Jesus Himself, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, serves you with His own loving hands and He calls you to derive strength and benefit and mercy from Him! 
    1. In the marriage! — The feast with Christ calls you to remember your loving Bridegroom who promises to return to receive you and take you to be with Himself forevermore! Oh for that day!
    2. in the strength! — Rejoice in the strength that the Savior supplies. This communion feast should be a priority in the Christian’s life for as often as we eat and drink this supper we are coming needy and humble to the Savior affirming our trust in Him and asking for strength to live for Him.
    3. in the security! — This feast promises security because the Savior says in the elements: I have done this for you. Never cease to lose your wonder at the words: “given for you!.” 
    4. in the anticipation! — We eat and drink of this feast in anticipation of the coming Marriage with the Lamb! Oh to be with our Bridegroom and to be in sinless perfection, in ceaseless delights, in undistracted harmony, and in the happy company of all the redeemed to gaze on our Bridegroom forever.  Rejoice in the sure and unwavering certainty of the Savior’s return! 
More resources at Pastor Geoff's site for podcasts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

 How to encourage your elders.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Christ Fellowship Bible Church


I serve alongside some great men. God has graciously put me in a church body with godly people who love Christ and a solid leadership team firmly committed to His Word.

In some recent reflections in my own mornings of Bible reading, I have tried to think of some practical ways that Christians can encourage all of their shepherd-elders. With some intentionality, creativity and proactiveness, you can bless those men that God has put over you to care for your souls.  Here are just a few ideas to help get you started.

OBEY them — Perhaps the clearest and most heartfelt way you can serve your shepherds is to simply obey them. By submitting yourself willingly and cheerfully under their authority, you honor the Lord who sovereignly put them over you to have charge over you in the Lord and to give account for your soul one day in glory. Submit to them. Obey them. Honor them. Make their leadership duties a joy and not a burden.

THANK them  — Another way you can practically thank each of your shepherd elders is to carefully and thoughtfully thank them. By this, I do not speak of flattery. Nor do I refer to some generic post on social media. The heart of your shepherds will overflow with joy when you thank them and explain to them how God is using them to help you learn more about God and His Word. It’s not puffing up the man. It is exalting God and giving glory to God for His mercy in using your elder, a human instrument at that, to establish and grow you in the faith. Be thoughtful, specific and fairly consistent in sharing these good reports with your elders. You’ll be encouraged. And they will be immensely blessed!

SERVE them — Prayerfully think of ways you can serve him and his family. Perhaps he and his wife could use a date night out and so you offer to watch the children. Maybe you can help shovel their driveway in the winter or help weed the garden. Or, you may choose to drop off some groceries or a home-cooked meal (or dessert) to your elders. Perhaps you take out one of two of his children to encourage them in the faith and express your gratitude for the whole family and how God is using them in your life. With some prayer and some thoughtfulness, you can find many ways to serve your elders in ways that will richly encourage them, humble them, and minister to their souls.

TELL them — Of course, you can verbally encourage your elders by simply telling them how thankful you are. It doesn’t have to be big or flashy. Nor does it have to be formal and public. But a simple word of encouragement with decisions they’ve made, the example they set by their lifestyle, the way he cares for you and the flock, or the way he serves can encourage his heart more than you know. Elders often hear the stories of negativity and things that people may not appreciate, but how encouraging it is when men of God hear specific words of encouragement.

PRAY for them — Never let prayer be underestimated. A simple text or note of encouragement saying that you are praying for your elders will add fuel to the fire of their love for and diligence in interceding for the flock. Every faithful shepherd prays for the flock of God. But in knowing that you are praying for him will enrich his prayer time, fill him with awe in God and humble his soul before the God of grace. Let him know what you’re praying for. Pray for his preparation to teach the Word. Pray for his wife and children. Pray for his home life. Pray for his humility and love for Christ to increase. Pray for God to bring opportunities to speak of Christ with the lost. Pray for visible fruit to encourage his heart and God-graced trials to keep him humble and dependent on divine grace. Let him know you’re praying for him. This will bless him more than you could imagine.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


Marital Sex 
This blog seeks to provide helpful counsel to believers regarding the joy of sexual intimacy in a marriage between one man and one woman. May the practical helps be profitable as you seek to honor the Lord and grow in your selfless service to your spouse -- all for God's great glory.
Sex must be:
  1. Covenantal  (only after a man/woman are married) — Before sin ever entered the world, God beautifully designed the covenant of marriage as an exclusive union only between one man and one woman. And in that covenantal union of marriage, God blesses and gives the happy union of sexual intimacy. In His gracious and good and wise design, God gives sexual pleasure and all sexual activity to be enjoyed, frequented, and overwhelmingly pleasurable only within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. 
  2. Selfless   (not self-absorbed/ self-pleasure) — The wonderful act of sexual intercourse and all sexual acts should only take place in marriage in a selfless, humble, others-oriented way for the pleasure of one’s spouse. God’s design includes the principle that it is ‘better to give than to receive.’  God calls His people to consider others as more important than yourselves and not look out for your own interests but also for the interests of others. Sexual intimacy is not to be about self and self-pleasure in any form. God’s plan is for you to meet your spouse’s sexual desires and for your spouse to meet your sexual desires. It is a mutual, selfless and beautiful picture of self-sacrificing love that emulates Christ’s selfless sacrifice for His people.
  3. Frequent   (regular) — Sexual activity must be frequent in the marriage relationship. The Bible commands that sex be regular and enjoyable. And the Bible assumes that it will be frequent and exhilarating. The book of Song of Solomon models the joys of regular, frequent, enjoyable sex. Withholding sex or choosing to not have sex with your spouse is sinful (except for a very brief time by mutual agreement for the purpose of fervent prayer, cf. 1 Corinthians 7). Sexual intimacy and sexual pleasure should be enjoyed regularly. Perhaps a good word of advice might be to seek to be intimate 3-4 times per week. Perhaps it may be more frequent if your spouse so desires.
  4. Worshipful  (an act of worship to God — he is watching & there) — Sex within marriage can be and ought to be a worshipful activity to the living God! How appropriate for a godly couple to pray together before intimacy and to give thanks for the joys of pleasure after intimacy. The intoxicating delights of sexual pleasure is meant to lead us to a greater union that is sure to come. That is, our beloved Bridegroom will bring His Bride to glory to receive worship forever by those whom He has redeemed. Your intimacy is never to be the ultimate, it is a means to the ultimate, namely, the worship of Jesus Christ! So enjoy your spouse. Do all that you do in manner of worship and thanks to God for the gift of intimacy and pleasure with your spouse.
  5. Exhilarating   (intoxicating joy and pleasure) — Reading the book of Song of Solomon will quickly reveal how exhilarating lovemaking was between Solomon and the Shulammite. He loved his wife and she loved him and they feasted in lovemaking and enjoyed one another tenderly, honestly, exclusively, communicatively and frequently. They spoke openly to one another and they spoke passionately to one another. They were overwhelmed by the delights and pleasures of one another! Godly men are called to be exhilarated always with their wives! It is God’s design and blessing. Be ravished and overwhelmed in lovemaking with your spouse.
  6. Communicative  (communicate, speak honestly to each other) — Just like anything in the Christian life, we must communicate well and honestly. This also includes the realm of sex and intimacy. You need to speak with your spouse. Find out what your spouse likes and doesn’t like. Find out what your spouse loves and really enjoys. Speak to each other. Hide nothing from each other. Remember: the Adam and Eve were both naked and were not ashamed (Gen 2.25). So you, in the same way, should be unashamed in your communication, in your honesty, in your tenderness, in how you speak to your spouse, and how you treat each other in the time leading up to intimacy, in the foreplay, in intercourse, and afterwards. Communicate like Solomon and his wife modeled in the Song of Solomon.
  7. Patient  (eradicate all hollywood lies/images/scenes; be patient with each other; have fun; enjoy; there is “no standard to meet”) — Clear out all the garbage that Hollywood and social media has put into your mind. Never assume there is an expectation or a standard that you need to meet in sexual intimacy. The only standard you must meet is the God-honoring, self-sacrificing pleasure of delighting your spouse sexually. Forget all the movies and images and things that you may have seen. Never compare yourself, your intimacy, or your spouse with the godless immorality publicly paraded. Be patient as you seek to learn your spouse and please your spouse. You must communicate honestly and openly about what you like don’t like and expectations with your spouse. And do so in a timely, humble, gracious, and prayerful way. Strive to be patient with each other (as God is patient toward you!).
  8. Exclusive — only a man and a woman (none else) — Of course, remember that Christ only has one Bride and He is ever and always faithful to her. Your marriage in all of its spheres is to reflect the gospel and be a portrait of the beauty of Christ’s love for His Church. So remain exclusive with one another. Enjoy each other. Ravish each other. Delight each other. Be frequent in lovemaking with each other. But ensure that your sexual intimacy is exclusive to your marriage alone. Allow no pornography, no outside intruders, no watchers and no other lovers to ever come near the beauty of the marriage bed. Keep the marriage bed undefiled and holy. 

Song of Solomon 4.16 - may my Beloved Come into his Garden and eat its choicest fruits.
Song of Solomon 7.12 - “I am my beloveds and his desire is for me …  Let us rise early and go to the vineyards; ... There I will give you my love…  (v.10-12)

 The Sunday Gathering 

What sweet kindness we enjoy when we gather with the saints on Sunday. God’s people assembled together is a meeting unlike anything else in this world. The unity, the likemindedness, the focus on Christ, the heartfelt singing, and the study of the Word of God lifts the believer’s heart, informs the Christian’s mind, and increases the saint’s love for God. How unique and blessed are these assemblies! Specifically, the Sunday gathering is a time of:

  1. Refreshment  (unlike the world) — The Sunday gatherings are refreshing times because no other worldly gathering of people can compare with the corporate pursuit of Christ that Christians enjoy. We have meetings during the week. Work demands call for our attention. Lots of gatherings exist for sports, entertainment, arts, music, or academics. But none can compare with the glory and delightfulness and refreshment of God’s people meeting in the House of God. When we gather on Sundays, it is so unlike the world that it is refreshingly sweet, like drinking satisfying water on a hot day. We need these times of refreshment for our souls.
  2. Edification  (speaking words to edify) — The Sunday gatherings are edifying times because we have God-given opportunities to speak words of encouragement to other saints. When you gather for worship, before the service begins and after the service concludes, lots of opportunities arise to approach a believer and speak of Christ and His gospel. For instance, after the worship service finishes, consider how many ways you can ask a fellow believer about the sermon, reflect on it together, point out a verse that challenged you, or speak of a truth that you must hold on to this week for strength. We gather to edify and build up one another.
  3. Intentional, others-oriented Service — The Sunday gatherings provide opportunities for intentional, others-oriented service. Think of how you can intentionally and proactively reach out to another person to serve them. Maybe it’s helping a family with one of their small children. Maybe it’s holding a baby so a young mom can have a conversation. Maybe it’s helping a senior saint carry his Bible and a bag from the car to the pew. Maybe it’s offering help in setting up chairs, getting the sanctuary prepared, handing out bulletins, greeting folks at the door with a smile, and offering to serve in other creative ways. But the point being made here demands intentionality and a proactive zeal to earnestly care for one another in tangible expressions of love. Through love, serve one another!
  4. Instruction  (from Scripture) — The Sunday gatherings feed the people of God with the instruction from the Word. This is our weekly feeding time. This is when we gather together, as the Church, with the Church to sit under the authoritative Truth preached from Holy Scripture. We gather to hear and heed the Word. We gather to listen to the Word preached and then obey what the Word demands. We may be reminded of theological truths. We may receive exhortation to take action in a specific area of our lives. We may be challenged to think differently about a matter. We may need to change our behavior because the Spirit graciously exposes sin in our lives. We feast on Truth. We gaze upon Christ. We glory in grace. We delight in the gospel. We gather because we need to regularly, weekly, deliberately and happily fix our eyes upon Christ our righteousness, our spotless Lamb, our Life!
  5. Preparation  (for heaven) — The Sunday gatherings uniquely and wondrously prepare us for a greater assembly that surely will come. One day we will stand in heaven worshiping Christ with numberless multitudes standing before the Throne celebrating the Lamb, worshiping the Lord, communing with the Triune God. Nothing in all of the world so prepares us for heaven than a theologically robust, seriously glad, fervently Christ-enthralled, biblically saturated, corporately assembled meeting of the saints. O for that day when all those for whom Christ purchased will stand together, beholding the Lamb, in utter perfection, happily at rest, ever living as conquerers forevermore, and serving God with tireless zeal for eternities without end. May your upcoming Sunday gathering be a sweet foretaste of coming glory.  Christian, appreciate, prioritize and anticipate the Sunday gathering with your Church.

The words of JOHN NEWTON express these thoughts poetically:

How welcome to the saints, when pressed
With six days’ noise, and care, and toil,
Is the returning day of rest,
Which hides them from the world awhile!

Now, from the throng withdrawn away,
They seem to breathe a different air;
Composed and softened by the day,
All things another aspect wear.

How happy if their lot is cast
Where statedly the gospel sounds!
The word is honey to their taste,
Renews their strength and heals their wounds.

With joy they hasten to the place
Where they their Saviour oft have met;
And while they feast upon his grace,
Their burdens and their griefs forget.

This favoured lot, my friends, is ours;
May we the privilege highly prize,
And find these consecrated hours
Sweet earnests of immortal joys.

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