Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Just a Thought!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The 40/40 Prayer Vigil is a call to pray for personal spiritual revival and national renewal. The 40/40 Prayer Vigil consists of 40 days of prayer from September 24 to November 2, 2008, culminating in 40 hours of around the clock intercession during the last 3 days of the Vigil. The Vigil focuses first on personal spiritual revival. It then covers an expanding circle of prayer concerns, from the church to the nation.
The 40/40 Prayer Vigil is co-sponsored by the North American Mission Board and the Ethics and Religous Liberty Commission. Both are entities of the Southern Baptist Convention.
I hear many people ask, "I am just one person, how can I make a difference in our nation?" Here is the simple answer, pray. "But how should I pray?" you ask. The Bible tells us how to pray for personal revival and national renewal.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
So how should we pray? We should humble ourselves before a holy God, earnestly seek His face, and pray for forgiveness. Repentance is not just asking for God's forgiveness. It is God's people turning back to God. Repentance is the condition on which God will hear our prayers and heal our land. And our land is in need of healing.
Would you join with me, my church, and thousands of others in this 40 day prayer vigil for spiritual revival and national renewal. An excellent prayer guide has been produced and can be downloaded in pdf format here. In order to open the files, you will need to Get Adobe Reader.
Monday, September 15, 2008
How are we to respond? We must pray for him. He has chosen to live a life that is outside the will of God. It is a life of disobedience. We should pray that Ray Boltz will repent of his sin and return to a life of obedience to the Lord He claims he follows.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
According to Maranathalife.com eighty percent of pastors' wives feel their spouse is overworked. Eighty percent of pastors' wives wish their husband would choose another profession. Eighty percent of pastors' wives feel pressured to do things and be something in the church that they are really not. The majority of pastors' wives said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.
These statistics and stories should be cause for great concern among evangelicals today. The number of men answering the call to ministry has significantly decreased in recent years. 1500 pastors leave the ministry each month. The number of churches in need of a pastor far outnumber that of available pastors. The problem is epidemic in proportion.
Could the reason be that the stress of being a pastor today is more than what most men are willing to accept for themselves and for their families? Church leaders should take this issue seriously. Church leaders need to seriously evaluate how they treat their church staff. If churches do not, I predict that in the not so distant future, many churches will be burdened with having to go for years without a pastor because there simply will not be enough for every church that is looking.
The blame is not to be placed entirely on the church however. Studies today show that seventy percent of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor. Ninety-five percent of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses. Eighty percent of pastors spend less than fifteen minutes a day in prayer. Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons. Could this be the reason that a significant number of the fifteen hundred pastors who leave the ministry each month leave due to moral failure and spiritual burnout?
The reason these numbers break my heart so much is because I love the church. The church is the greatest organization in the world. I think the greatest privilege any man can have is that of being called into the pastoral ministry. I for one am honored to serve as pastor to some of the greatest people in the world, known as First Baptist Church.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Simply put, Sarah Palin hit a home run on Wednesday night. She energized the convention in a way that few expected the convention could be energized.
Just a Thought.