Friday, May 27, 2022

Religious Tolerance.

What is separation of Church and State?

The different colonies in Massachusetts and later also in Connecticut formed in reality a theocratic state. They restricted the right of voting to church members, so that nearly three-fourths of the people were excluded from the rights of free men. This naturally implied also that church members only were eligible to office. 

Taxes were levied for the support of the Gospel, and attendance on public worship was enforced by law. The laws of Moses were provisionally adopted as their civil code. Though the government was democratic, there was as yet no separation of church and state, nor religious toleration. 

While the colonies of the New England Puritans formed a theocracy, Roger Williams declared that a church merged with a state was impossible and demanded a complete separation of the two. He maintained that the civil magistrate has no right to interfere in church affairs, not even to stop a church from apostasy and heresy, and that his power extends only to the bodies, the goods and the outward estate of men. 

He claimed equal rights for believers and unbelievers in the state and opposed the citizen's oath that was required by the magistrate. All these things were subversive of the theocracy. Roger Williams was in advance of his own time. His theory of the separation of Church and State was in the main correct and is justified by history. 

The colonists denied him the right which they claimed for themselves, namely, the right to serve God according to the dictates of his own conscience. Williams stood for the fullest religious toleration.

[Louis Berkof]


Thursday, May 26, 2022

He is Your Answer!

If your circumstances make you feel like you are drowning, don't worry. Your lifeguard walks on water. 

 Go to Him!!

Luke 8:25 ... And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

1 Peter 5:6-7 ...  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Matthew 11:28 ... Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Puddle of Their Own Merit!

Many have passed the rocks of gross sins, who have suffered shipwreck upon the sands of self-righteousness. It was the saying of one, that he "would swim through a sea of brimstone, if he might but arrive safely at Heaven.  Ah, how would natural men soar to Heaven, upon the pinions of their own merit!  The sunbeams of Divine justice will soon melt such weak and wax wings! 

He who has no better righteousness than what is of his own providing, shall meet with no higher happiness than what is of his own deserving. "They disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness." (Romans 10:3) They are determined to sail in their own ship, though they sink in the ocean! 

We are so far from paying the utmost farthing, that at our utmost, we have not even a farthing to pay! That man will be a miserable spectacle of vanity, who stands upon the lame feet of his own ability! Duties are but dry pits, though ever so meticulously wrought, until Christ fills them. 

Reader, I would neither have you be idle in duties, nor make an idol of duties. What are duties without Christ, but like a fine cabinet without a jewel, or a golden cup without a cordial? The most diligent saint, has been the most self-distrusting saint: "that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." (Philippians 3:9)

If you are found in your own righteousness, you will be lost by your own righteousness. That garment, which was worn to shreds on Adam's back, will never make a complete covering for you. Duties may be good crutches to go upon, but they are bad Christs to lean upon. It is the greatest disparagement that professors can offer to Christ, to put their services in the scale with His sufferings. The beggarly rags of the first Adam must never be put on with the princely robe of the second Adam! 

Man is a creature too much inclined to warm himself by the sparks of his own fire, though he lies down in eternal flames for kindling them! Though Noah's dove made use of her wings, yet she found no rest but in the ark. Duties can never have too much of our diligence, or too little of our confidence. A believer does not perform good works to live, but he lives to perform good works. He shall have Hell as his debt, who will not take Heaven as a gift. "We boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh." (Philippians 3:3)

A true Christian stand at as great distance from trusting in the best of his services, as in the worst of his sins! He knows that the greatest part of his holiness, will not make the least part of his justifying righteousness. He has unreservedly subscribed to that sentiment, "that when we have done all, we are only unprofitable servants." (Luke 17:10) When we have kept all the commandments, there is one commandment above all to be kept; that is, "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags!" (Isaiah 64:6)

In most of our works, we are abominable sinners; and in the best of our works, we are unprofitable servants. "O Sovereign Lord, I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone!" You see, beloved, the righteousness of Christ is to be magnified, when the righteousness of a Christian is not to be mentioned. It is hard for us to be "nothing in ourselves" amidst all our works; and to be "all things in Christ," amidst all our weakness. To undertake every duty, and yet to overlook every duty, is a lesson which none can learn, but Christ's scholars. 

Our obedience, at best, is like good wine, which relishes of a bad cask. The 'Law of God' will not accept ninety-nine for a hundred. It will not accept the coin of our obedience, either short in quantity, or base in quality. The duty it exacts, is as impossible to be performed in this our fallen state; as the penalty it inflicts, is intolerable to be endured in our eternal state! We do not sail to glory in the salt sea of our own tears, but in the red sea of the Redeemer's blood! 

The Cross of Christ is the only key of paradise! We owe the life of our souls, to the death of our Savior. It was His going into the fiery furnace, which keeps us from going into the devouring flames! Man lives, by death: his natural life is preserved by the death of the creature; and his spiritual life is gained by the death of the Redeemer. Those who carry their vessel of hope to the puddle of their own merit, will never draw the water of comfort, from the fountain of God's mercy! 

 [William Secker]


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Made New.

I grew up without a father and had a warped view of men from bad examples of men I've seen in my life. I carried rejection and pain with me from that. In school I was bullied and called gay all the time because I was more feminine than other boys. I didn't even know what gay was. Then I became angry and hung with the wrong crowd drinking, smoking weed, etc. At a party a male friend of mine sexually took advantage of me and this opened a door of confusion in my life. I began to experiment with makeup, cross dressing/drag as a way to cover myself and hide behind an alter ego.

Then, I started getting involved in new age witchcraft. Doing spells, crystal work, kundalini yoga, spirit guides, etc. I was living these ways for years. A little over a year ago I started feeling empty and these things didn't fill the void in me. I cried out to God and said if this isn't what you want for my life give me a sign. The next day I got a dream from God of the Bible verse Ezekiel 6:4 telling me to stop doing witchcraft. But I still had one foot out and the other in trying to figure out the truth.

Some time passed and I came across a video of a testimony called From New Age to Jesus. This video convicted me, and I put all of my new age/witchcraft stuff in a trash bag and threw it in the dumpster. I began to experience demonic attacks after this. These beings I thought my spirit guides were actually demons. I was experiencing sleep paralysis, demonic dreams, attacks, etc. I looked into why these things were happening to me and found out that this is a very real thing. Demons are real.

Around this time, I also received a dream of Jesus telling me to be set apart and follow him. Time goes on and I came across an online map where I connected with a believer in my area. She gave me the gospel and talked to me about being born again. I knew this is what God was calling me to. I set up a day on January 3rd to meet up with people in my town I had never met before to get baptized, set free of demons, and filled with the Holy Spirit.

I received freedom and a new life. It took some time for me to find good people to fellowship with and grow with. But I finally did find some good brothers and sisters, but I still felt like God was calling me for more. I was having dreams of traveling with a couple that were missionaries, but they were out of country and weren't planning on coming back. Little did I know when I was having these dreams that God was telling them to come back to America. When they came back, they visited Chariton and I told them about these dreams, and they shared with me God was putting on their heart for me to travel with them. God began to confirm again and again this was what he wanted. So, I put in a 2 weeks' notice at my job and left Chariton and am traveling wherever God's calls, learning and growing each day, and trusting him in everything.

Jesus can change your life if you let him. I'm a completely different person than I used to be. I tried just believing in God or saying a prayer to be "saved", but there wasn't true freedom in my life until I obeyed the gospel and stepped into the watery grave where I left my old life behind.

You can't enter the Kingdom of God without being made a new creation. There has to be a death and rebirth spiritually. And this is through water baptism and being filled with the Holy spirit. Repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) There will be signs that follow. Mark 16:17-18 "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." This is for everyone.

God wants us all to walk in the full inheritance he gives us when we become children of God. Yes, Jesus paid it all when he died, but we still have to make a choice and obey the gospel to become a part of God's Kingdom and walk it out every day.

[Skylar Stroud]

Acts 26:18 ... To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

 ✞ 🕊 ✞ 🕊 ✞ 🕊 ✞ 🕊 ✞ 🕊 ✞ 🕊 ✞ 🕊 ✞

Monday, May 23, 2022

Pastor Statistics.

Barna reports:

38% of pastors are thinking of quitting the ministry, 51% from mainline denominations. (2021)

84% of pastors feel they are on call 24/7.

65% of pastors feel their family lives in a "glass house" and fear they are not good enough to meet expectations. (2020)
24% of pastor's families resent the church and its effect on their families. (2018)
50% of pastors state they spend 1 hour in prayer each day. (2020)
57% of pastors believe they do not receive a livable wage. (2021)
57% of pastors are unable to pay their bills. (2021)
35% of pastors battle depression. (2019) These numbers have risen sharply since Covid-19 (2022).
70% of pastors report they have a lower self-image now than when they first started. (2020)
70% of pastors do not have someone they consider to be a close friend. (2020)
80% of pastors currently will not be in ministry ten years from 2021 due to outside pressures, and only a fraction make it to retirement. (2022)
77% feel they do not have a good marriage. (2021)
38% are divorced or divorcing (2021).
50% admit to using pornography and 37% report inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church. (2021)
13% of pastors have committed suicide. (2021)

Pray for your pastor!

Jude 20 ... But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,


Sunday, May 22, 2022

God Will Not Throw Away His Jewels!

Lord, I see but enlighten my darkness! Lord, I hear but cure my deafness! Lord, I move but quicken my dullness! Lord, I desire but help my unwillingness! 

Wherever sin proves hateful, it shall not prove hurtful. What an apology does a sorrowful Savior make for His sleeping saints: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!" (Matthew 26:41) Take a carnal man, and what he can do that he will not do. Take a Christian man, and what he would do that he cannot do. 

God will pity impotency, but He will punish obstinacy. It would be folly, indeed, to think that: our fields have no grain in them, because there is some chaff around the wheat; or that the ore had no gold in it, because there is some dross mixed among it. 

In Heaven, there is service alone, without any sin. In Hell, there is sin alone, without service. But on earth, there is sin and service in the same man, as there is light and shade in the same picture. Above us, there is light without any darkness. Below us, there is darkness without any light. But in this world, it is neither all day nor all night. Though the lowest believer is above the power of sin, yet the highest believer is not above the presence of sin! It is in a living Christian that sin is to be mortified, but it is only in a dying Christian that sin is to be destroyed. When the body and the soul, are separated by mortality; sin and the soul, will then be separated to eternity! 

Sin never ruins, but where it reigns. Sin is not damning, where it is disturbing! The more trouble sin receives from us, the less trouble sin does to us. Sin is only a murderer, where it is a governor! Our graces are our best jewels, but they do not yield their brightest luster in this world. The moon, when she shines brightest, has its spots; and the fire, when it burns the hottest, has its smoke. Sin is an enemy at the Christian's back, but not a friend in his bosom. Although believers should be mournful, because they have infirmities; yet they should be thankful, because they are but infirmities. It is true, they have sin in them, and that should make them sorrowful. 

But it is just as true, that they have a Savior for them, and that should make them joyful. The conduct of a Christian may sometimes be spotted with infirmity, when the heart is sound in the love of sanctity. Jacob halted, and yet was blessed. As his blessing did not take away his halting, so his halting did not keep away his blessing. The heavenly Bridegroom will not put out a believer's candle, because of the dimness of its burning; nor will He overshadow a believer's sun, because of the weakness of its shining. Though that vice may be found in us, for which God might justly damn us; yet that grace is to be found in Him, by which He will justly save us. He does not come with water to extinguish the fire, but with wind to disperse the smoke! As death leaves the body soulless, so death leaves the soul sinless. "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31)

Poor Peter had faith enough to keep him from drowning, but not enough faith to keep him from doubting. As Alexander's painter could find a finger to conceal the scar on his master's face, so when Jesus Christ draws the picture of the saint's excellency, He can find a covering for all the scars of his infirmities! God will not throw away His jewels, for every speck of dirt which may be on them! 

[William Secker] 

Mark 9:24 ... And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Never To Be Blamed.

Why do we blame God when times get difficult, or accuse the Almighty when life takes us down a path that we lose meaning, or worse, experience things that hurt us? The loss of a child, a failed marriage, betrayal, a life ending diagnosis, or plans for the future that never panned out. All of these things someone has faced or will face at some point in their life. But God will never be the reason for those events. 

Even when Job faced his worst experiences in his life, not once did he lift his fist to heaven and blame God for his troubles, but he rightfully questioned where God was in all of his suffering. But yet he held God blameless. 

I believe that when people blame God is because they can’t grasp the idea that God would allow them to suffer the hurt, or the betrayal, or the loss that occurred in their life. We fail to grasp the concept of individual freewill, and that sometimes people choose a path that is not God’s will or desire. In the case of divorce. People tend to demand that no harm will come to their life or surroundings, and then, when bad things happen, they blame God for not having control over the situation. This is why I learned a very important lesson years ago about life and God, that God is not always in control. That’s not to say that God is not omnipresent, he is, but we make decisions that bring reactions in this life, good or bad. We must deal with them when they come. But never accuse God for when they come. 

God is love, he is our father, he wants the best for us. However, we live in a fallen world, a corrupted world because of sin. But God has promised that even in the most trying of situations that might or will come, he promises that if we trust him even when it hurts, he promises something new that will come, and he restores. 

But God is never to be blamed. 

[Christopher Gregory]

Proverbs 19:3 ... The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.

Romans 9:20 ...  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Galatians 6:5 ... For every man shall bear his own burden. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Day Planner

Morning time with Him, He is your day planner, and He knows the way through the pain to your healed purpose. He, "I AM" is your living hope and He will never leave your side. 

Remember, Supernatural power walks with you. Pray with confident awareness of this fact and you will see His Kingdom manifest in your heart and the world around you. 

Look to Him for what’s next. Submit your thoughts and your schedule up to Him and He will purify your targets. He alone holds the compass of your destiny. He alone reveals the pathway that leads to your ultimate purpose. Be strong and courageous, but never forget to come to Him daily for your orders and your love. 

[Troi Nelson Cockayne]

John 14:23 ... Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Matthew 11:29 ... Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Blood.

I had this question posed to me recently that I thought I would share, as well as my answer. "Why is there so much sickness, disease, and violence today?" 

The reason is simple, it is a direct result of two things, the result of Satan being allowed to rule over the earth, its kingdoms, and the nations. The second is a direct result of original sin. Man was born into sin due to the actions (sin/rebellion) of Adam, we have inherited this same spiritual sickness. This is why we battle sickness and disease, poverty, violence, hatred against another, perversion, and abuse. It is a result of our fallen nature as human beings. 

The solution? The cross. Christ resolved this debt so that we can live without condemnation. His atonement paid the debt of sin and suffering. What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 

[Christopher Gregory]

1 John 1:7 ... But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

John 16:33 ... These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Are We Willing?

Who is it that will come one day, and whom every eye shall see? The Lord Jesus, the Savior of sinners; the Judge of all men! Every eye shall see Him. My eye shall see Him too! Will it be with fear and terror that I shall behold the King of kings coming to judgment? Or will my gaze be that of admiration and love for my adorable Redeemer? 

All Christians rejoice in the expectation of His second coming, when faith shall be turned to sight. How can we fear the realization of our fondest hopes, the accomplishment of our best desires? The more we look to Jesus now, by faith, the less shall we fear death and judgment. For how, indeed, can we fear to meet our best and dearest Friend? 

Paul assures us that there is a crown which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give at His coming to all who love His appearing. Let us not shrink, then, from meditation on the glorious coming of Christ, but rather look for and expect it as the end of all our sins, sufferings and trials and the beginning of perfect and eternal happiness! Let us ask ourselves, "Are we willing this very night to leave all on earth, and go to Jesus?" 

If we could really see Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and saying to us this very night, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world!" I am quite sure that nothing on earth could detain us! 

 [Maria Sandberg] 

 ✞  ✞  ✞ 

Revelation 1:7 ... Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 22:20 ...  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

John 17:24 ...  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022


We have an intimacy problem. I’m convinced one of the most severe consequences of sin is the ability to experience open intimacy. It’s why many marriages suffer creeping separateness. It’s the same reason many go to church their entire lives yet don’t know God or His intimate voice. Closed hearted marriages, closed hearted church attendees, closed hearted relationships to both people and to God. 

I still marvel that I spent 20 years attending Church and had virtually no intimacy with God. No one had ever really taught me how to connect or recognize His voice and His loving presence. My preoccupied compromised desires and sins left me fragmented and closed off from the beautiful gift of true intimacy with my wife at the time, God and other relationships. God is after the quality of our love, which comes from a pure heart, from a clear conscience and from a sincere faith. This comes in a greater degree when we repent of defiling sin and the lies that separate us from experiencing intimacy with True Love(God). 

Sin taints the quality of our connection to God, our spouse and others by distorting our motives and desires. Often, many of us get stuck in a closed off ‘protection mode’ because of past wounds. We need the healing hug of intimacy. True intimacy. The greatest part about the gospel, and in my opinion, the deeper meaning of it is that Jesus came, died and rose, not so much that we would attend church every week, but to restore each one of us back into intimacy with True Love.  Daily, moment by moment. To be closed is to be in a posture of resisting that True Love. 

Repentance is an exchange program where we give up anything that blocks, breaks or defiles true intimacy with God. Repentance is the main requirement for this heavenly miracle. Jesus is the safest place to open up and give our full heart because His love is pure with no shadow of turning. He will never hurt you, leave you or forsake you. But we must open to His hug to experience this miracle of true intimacy and restoration to healthy function. From this point, He is able to heal us from the inside out and make us true lovers of people. Leading others to the same heavenly experience. 

That’s the true gospel. 

 [Troi Nelson Cockayne]