Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Now That's Faith

Hebrews 11:1 (The Message)
Hebrews 11
Faith in What We Don't See 1-2The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
We go to a Doctor whose name we can not pronounce and get a prescription we can not read, to take to a Pharmacist we do not know, to put pills in a bottle we have never heard of, with side affects such as stroke and heart failure, and then we take it as directed....Now that is Faith my friends. The Bible tells us to place our trust, our faith in God. The same God who gave his life on a cross for our sins, and who is returning one day to take us to heaven. In all the Bible I find no mistakes no variation. I have trusted the words on those pages for 30 years and never been mislead or disappointed. God deserves our trust and He requires Faith if we are ever going to accomplish anything in this life. If you trust that Dr. and Pharmacist and drug manufacturer surely you can trust God. Open the Bible read it and take as directed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pay Attention

Proverbs 4:1
Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding,
Here is a guy who is not paying attention and because of that he fell.
Of course being able to read might help. We can read and God wants us to pay attention to His Word and Instruction. If we do we would probably suffer fewer falls and missteps in life. It has always been our problem ever since the garden of Eden. If we don't pay attention, then we suffer the consequences. But for those who fail and fall God is there to pick us up forgive us and set us back on the right path.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Search and Rescue

Luke 19:10
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
When someone is lost or missing we send out SAR or Search and Rescue teams to find them. When we read the passage today we know that Jesus knew we were lost and so He set out to find us and rescue us. He was willing to give his life in the rescue attempt, and that is exactly what He did. If you are Lost Christ is looking for you. If you are saved you are now part of that Search and Rescue operation. Look for people who are lost and need Christ, then look around your Church fellowship and identify those who are missing. Once you know who they are set out to find them and bring them back safely. We must never stop looking for the Lost. Click on the link below for a song about reaching people for Christ.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How is Your Faith?

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Many times our Christian life is a mixture of faith and doubt. When people doubt God they feel ashamed and unworthy of God's love. So, they say they will try harder to have more faith. This is foolishness. You can not try harder to have more faith anymore than you can try harder to jump to the moon. As a matter of fact both efforts are foolish and exhausting and in the end disappointing. What can we do then. Don't try just trust. Do you believe when you get in your car each day it will start. Experience either tells you yes or no. It is the same way with God. As you spend time with God and experience His love and faithfulness your faith will grow. Spend time in His Word, in prayer, in worship and as you do you will find in every instance He will never fail you and that is how you will develop more faith. Not by trying but by trusting. I trust you will try this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beware the False Prophets in Wilmington

Today's devotion is far different from anything I have written here before. I received an e-mail from a good friend of mine , which I am including in the devotion, asking me about some teaching going on at his church. I am asked about this subject at least two to three times a week now so I thought I would address it here. First my friends e-mail and then my response. I will color code them so you can tell them apart.

Good morning Jeff I need your opinion. Just finished a bible study on the Attributes of God. Part of this was the predistination and election by God. Having a real problem with this. Always taught and believe Jesus died on the cross for the sins of ALL mankind and John 3:16 plus alot more. I can't believe God elected certain ones to take to Heaven and other to spend eternity in hell. What is your take and if you ever give a sermon on this I would like to be invited. This is as bad as God helps he who helps himself. I need to know the truth. Other than my eternity being at stake how is everything with you?

My response:

First, I am really glad to hear from you. I think about you often. How is married life treating you? Where did you go for this Bible Study? This is a very popular movement and has taken root in Wilmington in a very big way. It centers around the idea of predestination verses mans free will. It also goes under the name of doctrine of Election or the Elect. Basically it states that God predetermines the eternal future of each person before they are born. The debate is around Gods predestination or the sovereignty of God. In other words... Does God determine your eternal future or simply know what it is. There is a huge difference between these two positions. This is a growing movement in Wilmington. The people teaching this are for the most part not well versed or educated in Theology they are simply repeating things they have been told and taking a few scriptures out of context. They remind me of the people Paul refers to in Romans 10:2...They have a real zeal for God, but not based on knowledge. They are usually quite loud and emotional and people mistake this for truth. I have recently preached several messages on this subject I am sorry you missed them but I will share a couple of scriptures with you for your consideration. Deuteronomy 30:15-20 please note in verse 19 Moses tells the people to "choose" if that were not a real option would God have inspired him to say that. The other passage is Joshua 24:15. Please note in the passage that Joshua is encouraging the people to "choose" then he claims that he and his family choose to serve God. There are many more scriptures but for now this will give you something to consider. One more thing, and this is important, does it make sense to you that if God had already predetermined where everyone was going before they were born what is the need for Christ's death on the cross? Why would Jesus and the prophets and Paul try to Convince people to Choose God if it were not a possibility . It makes no sense at all. If you buy into this position then you must say when a child is born that God has already sentenced that child to an eternal Hell regardless of their future decisions. This does not square up at all with the God I serve, the God of the Bible. You are welcome to call me anytime to discuss this heresy further. If I were in a church that taught this I would leave today and shake the dust from my feet.

In Christ,


I welcome all of your comments and questions. You can write to me at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hang In There

Jeremiah 12:5
"If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
How would you like to find yourself in a position like this? What would you do? Obviously this requires a lot of training and preparation. Life is like this. Oh we might not be hanging off the side of a mountain, but it sure feels like it sometimes. The passage today says...if we do not do well in ordinary day to day activities how do we think we will do when things really heat up. Many times people do not do well at all. They fall apart, crash and burn, give up. Why? Because they had no training or proper preparation. The Bible gives us exactly that.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
Do you see it there? Four things the Word of God does for us. I do not want to find myself on the side of a cliff with no training. We should not try to handle the difficult paths of life without some direction. But, most of all...we do not want to step out into eternity without a relationship with Christ. The results would be far worse than this mans rope snapping suddenly. Far worse.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Are You Keeping Score?

James 2:10
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
Have you ever been to a law library? It is overwhelming how many books there are that contain, and attempt to explain our laws. If you look at the tax code alone it is staggering. The U.S. Tax Code and related literature contain 5.6 million words...7 times as many words as the Bible. The Law of God, however is made up of ten simple rules., called commandments. The first four deal with our relationship to God and the other six deal with our relationships with our fellow man. How many of the commandments have you broken? Some people keep score. The scripture today says " If you break one part of it you are guilty of it all. " I believe God gave us 10 simple rules to show us that no one is perfect. No one can keep these ten laws, just ten. That's bad news for us. But the Good News is that Christ died for us to pay the price for us breaking those laws. By the law no flesh will be justified. It is only by His Grace that we are saved not of ourselves lest we should brag. (Nichols paraphrase of Ephesians 2:8,9)

Monday, September 21, 2009

We Are All Ears

Mark 4:24
And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to."
So many voices calling for our attention. Every 7 minutes on TV we have commercials. Each Spokesperson is trying to sell you their product. Use this shampoo and you will look like this covergirl. Please. If we work out for two minutes a day we will look like the steroid laden model they have doing the commercial who works our 4 hours a day. Take this pill and lose weight overnight. We must be careful to what we listen to. So much negative news, and gloom and doom reporting. Try this. Turn on Christian radio when you are riding along and listen to good music with great lyrics. Talk with God in prayer and then Listen to what He says to you in return. Surround yourself with good Christian friends that care about you. When you need counsel talk, and listen, to them. Listen to that still small voice as God communicates with you each day. Last but not least, try this... turn off the news for 30 days. You will be surprised how much your attitude will improve, blood pressure and stress level will go down and you will have more time for talking and listening to those you love. Are you listening?

Friday, September 18, 2009

What Are You Building On?

Matthew 7:26-27
"Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
27"The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."
I live in Wilmington North Carolina. Over the last 20 years I have seen many houses just like this one, and worse, after the storms we have here along the coast. These houses are built on the sand and the foundation is not strong enough to withstand the storms. The amazing thing is before the storm this house was beautiful and worth a great deal of money however, at this point it's not worth much at all. Jesus warns us against building our lives on shaky foundations. People build their lives on possessions, popularity, and power but when the storms of life come they often strip away those things and peoples lives fall apart just like this house. We must build our lives on Christ and when all the material things are taken away we find ourselves still standing strong in the power of His strength. You will never know Christ is all you need until Christ is all you have. Build your life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ because in Wilmington we know it's not IF another storm is coming it is just a matter of WHEN.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Time to Get Away

Mark 6:31-32
And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)
32They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves

Honestly, does this passage need a lot of commentary? It is good advice given by one you can trust. The question is not...Do I understand the passage but rather am I going to do it? I know you are busy so this devotion is short, leaving you time to think about what it says and to spend a little time looking at this picture. Can you see yourself in it? Look harder.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes,wait for the LORD.
Wait. That is a word most of us do not like. Many of us are impatient and can not stand to wait. Here is a test to see if you are that person. When you approach an elevator do you push the button more that once thinking that will make it come faster? There are times that it is good to wait. For example, read the sign to the left. If we do not wait for the right time to cross we may be seriously injured by stepping out too soon. In our spiritual lives we pray and if we do not get answer in a reasonable length of time (say 5 minutes or so) we just press ahead. The Bible says we should Wait for the Lord. Do not try to get ahead of God's plans for you. That is usually where we get ourselves in trouble. Please note that this is not a license to do nothing. Once we have heard from God we need to move ahead with all the passion and strength we have to follow God's Will.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Check the Expiration Date

Ecclesiastes 12:6-8
Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;
7then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
8"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "all is vanity!"
My wife is a stickler for checking expiration dates. If it is in our house and that date arrives out it goes. Being a man I always feel like there is a grace period with expiration dates. I think it's probably still good for another couple of weeks. Now I don't mean to be morbid but we all have an expiration date. I wonder what it would be like if we had it stamped on us somewhere. Would it change the way we live? The versus that I used today from Ecclesiastes are very poetic but the bare bones translation is... You are going to die. Guaranteed. There are not many 100% guarantees but you can bank on this one. One out of one die. Not maybe, not possibly, but absolutely. Knowing this should we not make preparations for that day? I don't mean funeral arrangements or getting the will in order. I mean making a decision about Christ. That one decision determines where we spend all eternity and yet people put it off until it's too late. I noticed this morning in the headlines Patrick Swayze's expiration date arrived. I hope he was ready for that. He certainly knew it was coming. What if the expiration date angel is checking dates today and finds mine is up, I am ready. I hope you are ready too. But, if you are not I would get in touch with someone today that could help you. If you don't know anyone contact me. I will drop what I am doing and make sure you are ready also. Who knows we might be living in that Grace period I referred to.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Who Was That Masked Man?

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Many times people hide behind a fake exterior. The person we see on the outside is not the person they are on the inside. In this passage today God warns Samuel, and us, not to judge from the visible exterior. Now for humans that is hard because we don't have the ability, most times, to see past the exterior and look into the persons heart. Many times a person who appears carefree is often struggling with many problems on the inside. Sometimes people act harsh or arrogant when they are really trying to hide feelings of inadequacy. You never know what a person is dealing with on the inside . So, today ask God to help you see beyond the exterior and into the persons heart. We might all be very surprised to see what we find there. A good place to start would be with yourself.

Friday, September 11, 2009

God Was There

Matthew 5:4
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Across our country today will be a day of mourning and remembrance. Memorial services will abound. But, for those who lost loved ones on September 11,2001 everyday is a memorial day and everyday there is the reality that the person they are missing will never come home. God will be there to comfort them if they allow Him to but there will always be that sense of loss and what might have been if it had not happened. Many ask where was God on that day. We don't always ask that when good things happen but if something bad happens God is immediately called into question. Over the last 20-30 years our country has tried to push God out of sight. He is not allowed in the schools, or public arena, prayer is forbidden and text books are void of references to our Christian heritage. But let something bad happen and the American people run to God like a crying child runs to their parents for comfort. Where was God... right where He has always been. It is not God who has moved but our post modern society.
Click on the link below, share this video with a friend it might change their life.

A word to people living in the Wilmington area who read this Blog. Anchor Baptist Church will be having a special service this coming Sunday September 13th Entitled "Remember" It will honor the memory of those who died in the 9/11 tragedy but it will also honor the One who died that we can have Eternal Life. We must always REMEMBER that. Anchor Baptist is located at 300 Futch Creek Road in the Porters Neck area off of Highway 17. Our Service begins at 10:30 am.You are Invited. Below is a Link to our Web-Site where you can find directions.
Kevin Groves is our new Worship Leader, we invite you to come and Worship with us this Sunday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obstacles May Appear Larger Than They Are

Isaiah 57:14
And it will be said,"Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people."
This verse was in reference to God preparing the way for the children of Israel to return from captivity. Sometimes we encounter obstacles that seem insurmountable, larger than life, impossible to overcome. If that should happen to you ask yourself this question," what problem is too big for God?" Can you think of one? We need to allow God to build us up ,in Christ, through Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, and Witnessing. Then, when the obstacles appear we will see them for what they are...large to us, small to God. For we serve a great and mighty God who can remove all obstacles from our path.
A word to people living in the Wilmington area who read this Blog. Anchor Baptist Church will be having a special service this coming Sunday September 13th Entitled "Remember" It will honor the memory of those who died in the 9/11 tragedy but it will also honor the One who died that we can have Eternal Life. We must always REMEMBER that. Anchor Baptist is located at 300 Futch Creek Road in the Porters Neck area off of Highway 17. Our Service begins at 10:30 am.
You are Invited. Below is a Link to our Web-Site where you can find directions.
Kevin Groves is our new Worship Leader, we invite you to come and Worship with us this Sunday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Voice of Truth

Psalm 4:1
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
So many voices calling for your time and attention. each one with their own agenda, request, need, question, demand. As a Christian we must learn to discern the voice of truth from all the other voices calling to us.
Sometimes God simply wants to hear you speak to Him but there are those times He is trying to communicate an answer to you. Listen can you hear His voice above the maddening self absorbed crowd? Be still, you will hear it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Always Remember

2 Peter 1:12 (New American Standard Bible)
12Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.
What do you do to remind yourself of things you need to do? Some tie a string around their finger, and then forget why it is there. I knew a man who put his wrist watch on the wrong arm to remind him of something he needed to do. 9/11 is coming up and there will be memorial services so that those who lost their lives on that terrible day will not be forgotten. We have certain things in our lives that we need to do to remember and strengthen our relationship with God. Attending Church reminds us, Praying reminds us, reading our Bibles reminds us, taking the Lord's Supper reminds us lest we forget what Jesus has done for us. Maybe you need to call someone today and tell them you have been missing them at Church. It may remind them that someone cares.

Friday, September 4, 2009

We Are The Body

I Corinthians 12:12
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
We are the Church and the Church is the body of Christ. The Church should be a place of truth, life, hope, help, friendship, fellowship, and peace. But in this ego centric society many people simply want to know..."What can the Church do for me?" Each of us must ask ....."what can we do for others?" In this song today by Casting Crowns it causes us to focus on others and not self. Reach out today to someone and invite them to go with you this weekend. We tend to gravitate to the same seat, the same people, and conversation...polite but shallow. Each of us must Reach Out as Christ did and make a difference in the World.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Called back to Life

First I want you to watch this video. Just click on the link. It is powerful and inspiring.
Now that you have wiped away your tears, read on. I love that video and I thank Janet for sharing it with me. It is powerful what the human mind can do. Now let me tell you something even more amazing. In John chapter 11 we read the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead for 4 days when Jesus said "Lazarus Come Forth." Jesus will do that for each person that has has Christ in their heart. It is amazing what the human mind and will can do. It is great to have Curahee somewhere in the back of your mind it is even greater to have Christ in your heart. The headlines read "General Petraeus Wakens Lieutenant Brian Brennan From Coma"
But two thousand years ago front page headlines in Bethany read ....
"Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead." He will do the same for you if Christ is in your heart.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The Bible says that God created all things. So I suppose there is a little of God's nature in everything. There are so many things that are hard to understand and really the great truths about God are probably much simpler than we try to make them. As the acrostic above, K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple Somehow. A great Theologian was once asked what is the greatest theological truth you know? He thought for a moment and then said," Jesus Loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Enjoy this video today it is simple and I hope it makes you smile and I hope it sends a simple message of God's Love for all of us. Thanks to Donna R. for sharing it with us all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Look at the Heart

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart."
I wonder what our first impression is as we look at this picture. How we would describe each person? Which one we would call successful or rich, or content? As humans we do judge from outward appearances many times but God gives us a warning that He does not see like we see, He looks at the heart. The truth is we do not know which one is happy, or content, or even healthy. The homeless person shinning the shoes may know Christ and be down on their luck but really have it together inside. The young lady could be stressed by her job a relationship or even be very ill and does not know it. I suppose the lesson here is not to be quick to judge on appearance alone. I am sure if we had seen Christ on the day He was being crucified we might wonder what kind of man He was. What had he done wrong? Just another criminal getting what was coming to Him and we would have been terribly wrong. So, today ask God to help you see people through His eyes. Help us to see beyond the exterior and see into their hearts.