Pastoral Safe Zones

Episode #39

Pastoral Safe Zones

It’s all the rage these days, and all the talk. On college campuses, places where ideas have traditionally been freely given expressed, even those that are dangerous or detrimental to national health, safe zones are now the norm. Ideas deemed offensive to the administration are forbidden expression on the grounds those ideas might offend or injure the psyche of some of its students. Generally those ideas deemed offensive are either conservative, Christian or both. 

There has been much talk about this, mostly from the conservatives, and how silly it is that ideas can’t be expressed for fear it will hurt someone’s feelings who disagrees. Recently I heard Mike Rowe address what he sees as the problem of being too safe. (https://youtu.be/Q490iOW_-Lg) 

Here is the problem. The corrupt nature of man, even of preachers, will always lead them away from, not toward, holiness. Without challenging their new directions, without at least attempting to pull them back. If we don’t risk offending them they will certainly drift into unsafe territory. All the safety zones ever do is leave a people unprepared for danger. 

Thirty five years ago I learned that, as the world gets more evil, the churches slide toward the same evil, maybe just fifty years behind the world. Anymore it seems like older preachers have become afraid to warn the younger preachers to try to reverse the trend instead of giving in to it.

 

To my listeners
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
For more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.
If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.
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Pastoral Safe Zones

Esther 5:11-13 Dangerous Business

Episode #38

Haman was a Gentile and had certainly never read to Proverbs and the warning of falling into our own snare. Nevertheless the truth is universal; vengeance belongs only to God. To attempt it for ourselves is to step into territory with terrible consequences. Haman’s hatred for Mordecai was so powerful he never thought about who may or may not be related to him. He never considered that he may have stronger ties to the king than he at first realized.

Offenses happen in this world. Let them go. If the Lord believes they ought t to be judged, He is more than capable of doing so.

 

 

To my listeners
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
For more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.
If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.
For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.
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The Way To Plant a Church

Episode #37

Anyone with a human heart would counsel the discouraged church planter to throw in the towel and come home. 

Here’s the thing; the way to plant a church is to keep on doing it. It won’t get done unless someone keeps at it. Church planting is not just hard, it is impossible. If God doesn’t step in the whole work is hopeless. But God does step in. God honors faithfulness.

I can’t tell you how many times I would have quit if only I had had someone to give me permission. Fact was, I didn’t. I didn’t come from a larger, established church. I came out of a church plant that had come out of a church plant. If I had called my sending pastor to bellyache about how difficult it was … well, I just would not have done that. He was in the very same difficult spot I was. We could commiserate together, but there was no use going back home. It wasn’t any easier there.

 

To my listeners
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
For more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.
If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.
For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.
My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
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Acts 18:2 Divine Appointments

Acts 18:2 (KJV)
And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

I heard someone say recently that had, Jesus entered this world 100 years earlier or 100 years later, He would not have been able to impact the world so broadly as He did. Of course we understand this to mean humanly speaking. He is God and could have determined His own circumstances for impact. Fact was the world in Israel was perfectly tuned for the spread of the Gospel as it did under Christ and His Apostles. There are no coincidences with God. Jesus came at the time appointed of His Father.

Such appointments are manifested repeatedly in the Word of God. Paul, after a discouraging visit in Athens, just happened to find in Corinth a certain Jew named Aquila.

  • Who happened to be of the same craft
  • Who happened to be sympathetic to the Gospel
  • Who happened to be of such character to become devoted
  • Who happened to be skilled in expounding what Paul taught and
  • Who happened to become an important part of Paul’s life’s work

I like to describe God as the orchestrator. He orchestrates characters. times and events for His glory and purpose.

What a wonder it is to be one of those instruments in His orchestra.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
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Acts 18:2 Divine Appointments

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Acts 17:4 Not A Few, But Not Enough

Acts 17:4 (KJV)
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

I am intrigued by these terms, “a great multitude” and “not a few.” Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica had been successful. Not a few had believed the message and trusted Christ.

  • Not a few but
  • Not enough

Not enough to sway the Jews toward Conversion. Not enough to prevent lewd fellows from assaulting Jason. Not enough to keep the city from an uproar and not enough to provide Paul a welcome to stay and continue preaching. Not a few but not enough.

No matter how successful a ministry is it is petty (speaking of numbers) in comparison to those who disagree with it. My father in law used to speak of big fish in a small pond. The largest and most influential ministries are only that in the eyes of others with smaller ministries. They may puff out their chests as if they have been blessed more greatly than some others but, in the eyes of the world, they are little and despised.

It leads me to think this; we will never be so successful as to appear successful in the eyes of the world. We will never have seen enough saved as to turn the course of humanity in our own power. These are things only God can do and we must therefore remain in humble trust upon Him.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Acts 17:4 Not A Few, But Not Enough

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Job 30:31 Music Into Mourning

Job 30:31 (KJV)
My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.

I am reminded of,
Psalms 137:1-4
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?

The Jews in Babylon believed it to be inappropriate to sing their songs of victory, rejoicing and worship while being captive in that strange land.

Music is intended to:

  • Record an event or experience,
  • Worship our God and to
  • Stir our soul

Some music creates in us a spirit of rejoicing and celebration. Job said his music had turned into mourning.

While music can reflect such a spirit, I doubt it is ever an appropriate use of it. Israel hung their harps on the willow in Babylon and forgot the God of their heritage. How much better it would have been to sing those songs and thereby keep alive their faith? How much better, in times of distress, it would be to sing songs that lift the spirits rather than to use music to sustain or reflect our sorrowful state?

Music may turn to mourning. Or else we may use it to help turn our mourning into rejoicing.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Job 30:31 Music Into Mourning

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

John 9:8-10 It Is A Big Deal

Episode #36

What a big deal was made of what Jesus did.

Nothing much has changed these two thousand years. Some people still find great benefit in Christ. Some find hope in the work of Christ in others. However some are threatened by Christ’s work, some see it as superstition and some believe it to be of the devil.

Those of us who have been helped by faith in Christ simply enjoy what God has accomplished in us.

 

 

 

To my listeners
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
For more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.
If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.
For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.
My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Job 28:12 The Most Precious of All Commodities

Job 28:12 (KJV)
But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

A number of years ago my family took our vacation to a wonderful area in Washington State known as the Methow Valley. The area is now rich in apple orchards and cattle ranches but those searching for gold originally settled it. We took some time to learn a little bit about prospecting (not much, but a little).

Prospecting, searching for the hidden treasure of precious metals, is a difficult task and has a bit of science to it. Prospectors look for certain evidences of gold and then begin panning streams and creeks near the evidence. If they find gold in their panning, they move upstream. They know that gold down stream likely means a vein of gold upstream. They are happy to collect the flakes and the nuggets in the water but they are looking for the place to start digging in the mountain for the real treasure. As difficult as it is, it is possible to find that vein and claim it for oneself.

Job uses that example, and that of other precious substances, to then draw us to how precious wisdom is. While it is possible for men to discover precious substances, no such possibility exists with wisdom and understanding. There is no “tell” to give evidence of its presence nearby. It is not obtained through science, discovery or hard work. Wisdom, Job reveals is only found in the fear of the Lord and in departing from evil (Job 28:28)

The most precious of all commodities a man may obtain (Job 28:18) comes from God. A man must go to Him His way in order to receive it.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Job 28:12 The Most Precious of All Commodities

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Acts 14:27 This Is God’s Will

Acts 14:27 (KJV)
And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

God had “opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” It is such a simple statement but one that stirred up controversy to this day.

We will see in the very next chapter the initial stirrings of that controversy. We will also see the answer to that controversy. Almost the whole of the rest of the Bible, however, will bear the undercurrent of those unhappy with that answer.

  • Doesn’t matter who settles it
  • Doesn’t matter how reasonable the settlement
  • Doesn’t matter how well it is represented

There will always be those who cannot be happy with those answers. They will rebel, they will sow discord where they may and they will seek to turn others in their direction.

Paul would be imprisoned and ultimately executed for this answer. God’s plan, His election, His predetermined counsel was that men of all races be saved by grace through faith, and that they unite as one body in a local church.

People argue and fuss and contend with it.  This is nevertheless God’s will.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Acts 14:27 This Is God’s Will

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Acts 13:34 Sure Mercy

Acts 13:34 (KJV)
And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.

It seems to me that David had a hand on mercy unlike any other man. David, the writer of the majority of the book of Psalms, speaks of mercy one hundred times and mercies another seventeen times. Psalm 118 is one of the most profound on the subject,

Psalms 118:1-29
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.
They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

God’s mercies are sure. They are renewed every morning and they endure forever.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie

My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Acts 13:34 Sure Mercy

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.