“I Am Resolved!”

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In Daniel 1:8 we read that Daniel “purposed in his heart” that he would not defile himself. This was Daniel’s resolution. He determined that he would not, under any circumstances allow himself to be compromised or corrupted. Though he was wise and tactful about it, his heart was resolved to do right.
Without elaborating, let me suggest 12 areas to determine to do right…
1. Daily Bible Reading. (Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”)
2. Daily Prayer Time. (Psalm 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”)
3. Faithful Church Attendance. (Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”)
4. Daily Prayer For Our Missionaries.  (2 Thessalonians 3:1, “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”)
5. Consistent Soul Winning. (Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise.”)
6. Active Involvement In Church Ministries. (Psalm 2:11, “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 100:2, “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”)
7. Keep My Heart, Mind, & Home Pure. (Psalm 24:3-4,”Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”)
8. Loving My Family Members And Expressing That Love In Specific And Consistent Ways. (1 John 4:11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”)
9. Distributing A Specific Number Of Gospel Tracts A Day. (Acts 5:42, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”)
10. Establishing Clear & Biblical Standards Of Separation From The World & To The Lord. (1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”)
11. Building Up The Faith Of My Brothers & Sisters In Christ With Gracious Words & Deeds. (Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day;”)
12. Use My Time & Finances Wisely For The Glory Of God.(Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:” Colossians 3:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”)
The victorious Christian life is a constant challenge that requires constant attention and determination.  Let’s look to the Lord and determine that the rest of 2013 will be a year of spiritual growth and dedication to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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The following are 12 reasons I love Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church.

  1. Our Founder Is Right – The Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the founder of the church, no man or organization.
  2. Our Foundation Is Right – The Word of God. The Word of God is our sole authority for faith and practice.  Every lesson and sermon
  3. Our Focus Is Right – The Lord Jesus Christ. We are continuing to learn that we must look to our Lord Jesus for direction in ministry and to supply our needs.  We have taken Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” to be our motto.
  4. Our Fervency Is Right – Getting The Gospel Into All The World. (Mark 16:15)  World missions has been the heart beat of MLIBC since it’s inception back in 1962 and we continue to have a passion to get the Gospel to those who have never heard.
  5. Our Fellowship Is Right – Those Of “Like-Faith.” There is a lot that goes on in the name of “Christianity” that is not Bible based nor soul conscious.  Without being Pharisaic or self-righteous, we seek to keep our distance from unscriptural fellowships and to be loyal to those of “like-faith” and true to our understanding of God’s Word.
  6. Our Feelings Are Right – Submissive To Biblical Facts. There is a tendency to place our feelings before the facts of Scripture and then to place our faith in our feelings.  It is often expressed like this, “I know what I feel/felt,” or “I know what I experienced!”  Our faith must be placed squarely upon the facts of God’s Word and then the feelings will follow.  Our experiences and feelings must be interpreted in light of God’s Word, not vise-versa.
  7. Our Friendship Is Right – Sinners And The Needy. MLIBC has proven herself (at least in my mind) to be a friend to the unsaved and spiritually needy.  Each year, thousands in Oakland and surrounding areas are provided with opportunities for find answers and direction from God’s Word through the ministries of MLIBC.
  8. Our Follow Up Is Right – Discipleship. Although I would be the first to admit that we have room for improvement here, MLIBC works hard at discipling those who make professions of faith, helping them follow the Lord in baptism, getting them involved in Sunday School and discipleship classes and then seeking to get them involved in the church family and our ministries.
  9. Our Framework Is Right – Biblical Standards. MLIBC seeks to operate within the framework of Biblical principles.  Our conduct, appearance, associations, entertainment, and every area of life are all to be subject to God’s instructions given in His Word.
  10. Our Friendliness Is Right – Kind. With very few exceptions, we hear from visitors all year long, “MLIBC is a friendly church.”  This is something we must continually work at.  I say often that God’s people should be the friendliest in town.
  11. Our Formula Is Right – A Program For The Entire Family. From the Sunday School to the “Super Seniors” program, we endeavor to be a blessing and have a ministry to all people of all ages from all walks of life.
  12. Our “Forecast” Is Right – Anticipating God’s Blessing & Christ’s Return. MLIBC sincerely believes that God’s Word will not return void, but will have a powerful effect on individuals in particular and society as a whole.  We are listening for the “trump of God” and eagerly awaiting the rapture of the church.  Until that day, we want to be found faithful to our Lord and His people.

Of course, we have not arrived, nor are we all that we can be for the Lord, but I believe we are on the right track and that our church members have a genuine love for the Lord and earnestly desire to please Him with our lives and ministries.

10 Ways To Pray For Missionaries

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The starting point and the sustaining point in World Missions is prayer.  The following is a list of ten ways we can pray for our missionaries on deputation & around the world.
  1. Pray that they will have boldness.  This was the prayer of the N.T. church (Acts 4:29-31).  The world is increasingly more hostile to Biblical Christianity and boldness is a must in all of our ministries.
  2. Pray for their marriages & families.  Satan attacks the missionary’s home and marriage.  If the marriage fails, the ministry fails.  Many missionaries have had to come off the field because of the breakdown of their marriage.  Pray that they stay close to each other in their financial and ministry struggles.
  3. Pray for their health.  On the foreign field there are many health hazards.  On deputation, the strain of travel, long days, and exposure the differing parts of the country can breakdown their health.
  4. Pray for their safety.  Again, the highways here in the USA & around the world can be dangerous places.  Some mission fields have their own unique dangers, such as excessively high crime, wars, poor law enforcement, etc.
  5. Pray for open doors of ministry. Christian service is a spiritual warfare, and no where is this evident more than on the mission field.  All the money, organization, and boldness in the world cannot breakdown spiritual strongholds in the nations of the world. We need God to open the doors to closed countries and new ministries.
  6. Pray for co-laborers for our missionaries.  Our Lord stated very clearly, “the harvest is great, but the laborers are few.”  He immediate solution to the need of labors was, “pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into the harvest.” Our missionaries need helpers. Helpers from here in the States to join them and national helpers to be raised up and trained on the field. Along these lines, pray for a kindred spirit to be developed within the team on the field, that they can work together with united hearts and minds.
  7. Pray for the spiritual well being of our missionaries. Pray they maintain intimate daily devotions with the Lord, that their prayer life remains vibrant, that the world will lose it attraction to their flesh, that they stay strongly in love with their Lord.  Note:  this is vital for ourselves also!
  8. Pray for the financial needs of our missionaries.  While on deputation, this is obvious, but what is not so obvious is once they are on the field.  Fluctuating exchange rates and churches changing leadership or philosophy & dropping missionaries can have devastating effects upon their finances.  Not to mention additional children being born into the family, & the continual cost of living increases.
  9. Pray for souls to be saved, self-sustaining churches to be established, Scriptures to be translated into native tongues, and nationals to be trained.  To see these results requires earnest, diligent prayer of righteous men, here at home and on the field.
  10. Pray for the missionaries faithfulness.  The ministry can be very difficult, especially on certain mission fields. The temptation to quit can be very real.  Sometimes, with few other Christians near and a lack of accountability, it may be tempting to just “coast” in the work. But it is required of stewards that they be faithful. Though often their reasons are legitimate, there are too many missionaries that surrender, then quit before they ever get to the field, or get to the field and then return home shortly thereafter.  They need our earnest and sincere prayers.
As stated above, the Christian ministry is a very real spiritual warfare, and earnest prayer on the part of all Christians is an absolute necessity for the Gospel to go forth in power.