Tuesday, 10/12/21 – Pressing on… The Complaints Dept.

The Complaints Dept.

Big Box stores have a special department for them – the Complaints Department! What s horrible job that must be! Can you imagine waking up every morning to go off to work to listen to angry, dissatisfied, often unreasonable people hour after hour after hour… day after day after day! Well that pretty much describes the job experience of Moses! ”What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?” he complains to God, “…the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11, 14-15). Wow!

Last Sunday our guest speaker James Harrison drew our attention to three ways a complaining spirit is destructive. 1. A complaining spirit denies God’s sovereignty. 2. A complaining spirit disrupts Christian unity. 3. A complaining spirit discredits Christian testimony.


“The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things,” wrote Oswald Chambers. And in relation to point #1 we must believe “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). We must believe that God loves us and is working for our best interest. He can do this because He is sovereign, i.e. He possesses supreme and ultimate power. When we grumble and complain about what God has allowed into our lives we deny all of the above. Even God’s discipline is an indicator of His great Love (Heb. 12:5-11), and the natural consequences of our own willful disobedience for they teach us not to sin again.

Points #2 and #3 are a little more obvious. Within the church a complaining spirit disrupts brotherly and sisterly unity, and without, in our interactions with the unsaved, a complaining spirit discredits our testimony. Why should an unbeliever believe our testimony of transformation when our behaviour demonstrates otherwise?

These days are indeed the last days, and in these days Jesus warned us that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Jesus also said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35).”Paul pled to the Romans: “as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18). To the believers in Ephesus he wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3).

Yes sirree, – the Complaints Department: listening to angry, dissatisfied, often unreasonable people hour after hour after hour… day after day after day! Come to think of it, that also pretty much describes the experience of God!

Let’s not add to it. Let’s make every effort not to be among those in that line-up. Better yet, let’s start a new line-up, a “Compliments” line-up… a line-up of joy-filled, thankful recipients of the undeserved mercies and blessings of our Lord!

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Monday, 10/11/21 – Pressing on… Good Medicine

Good Medicine

Today in Canada is “Thanksgiving Day!” Typically, it is a day for reflecting and feasting on the good things of the earth, of others, and of God. “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” begins Psalm 92, and science has further demonstrated it.

Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.

Psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough asked a group of study participants to write a few sentences each day about things for which they were grateful that day. They asked another group to record their daily irritations and negative experiences.  After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives, they had begin to exercise more and had fewer visits to a doctor than the group who tracked negative things.

Gratitude improves relationships with spouses, co-workers, shopkeepers, anyone with whom social interactions occur – including God!

A thankful heart “does good, like medicine,” wrote Solomon (Prov. 17:22); it is “good medicine,” “good for your health” as some translations put it. But a broken, saddened, thankless heart “dries the bones,” it “saps a person’s strength,” it will “leave you bone-tired.”

A thankful heart’s first “go to” response is gratitude. It’s default world view is that It is blessed! It is a contented heart, a happy heart. It teaches one to appreciate what one has instead of always reaching for the next new thing.

From a dank and dreary prison cell Paul writes the Philippians,

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:11b-13).

Paul says he had to “learn” contentment… thankfulness. He did! And so can you! Learning is worth the course. As Paul wrote to Timothy, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6).

Thankfulness makes one rich! How? A thankful heart has learned that true wealth is not found in having many things, but in having few wants.

The Christian ought demonstrate thankfulness above all. A Christian has Christ and has found that Christ alone satisfies all wants. A Christian has found peace with God. He has surrendered self and is unafraid to die. A Christian knows he is eternal and that his eternity is very good indeed.

Today, be Thankful….”be content… because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Gen. 13:5).

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

THANKSGIVING BONUS: Click here to link to a special Thanksgiving Worship Special with Christian recording artist Becka deHaan!

Wednesday, 10/6/21 – Pressing on… A bellyfull of one another?

A bellyfull of one another?

An expert in the law, once tested Jesus by asking Him: “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus made no hesitation but citing from the Pentateuch answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt. 22:34-40, NIV)

Paul, in writing the Romans, restates this,

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Rom. 13:8-10)

John, the disciple whom the Lord most loved, extends this plea:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:7-12)

We do well to remember that to love one another is not merely a suggestion, it is not dependent upon emotion, and it is not at all an option. To love one another, despite our differences, is a command of our God. In fact, as the above scriptures emphasize, it is the CHIEF command.

In Galatians Paul warns,

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Gal. 5:13-15)

The fruit of the Spirit is love…” writes Paul (5:24). But if we instead “bite and devour each other,” if we are with a bellyfull of one another, we find ourselves too full for the Spirit, for Living Water and Bread of Life.

Love one another, and

Press on…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Thursday, 9/16/21 – The Bible: The “Frozen” Sword that Brings Victory!

The Bible: The “Frozen” Sword that Brings Victory!

The Apostle Peter encourages the scattered faithful, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3, NASB). He has provided for us a Hope, “a living hope” as Peter put it, same chapter and verse in his previous letter (I Pet. 1:3). He has given us promises, “great and precious promises” he calls them (2 Pet. 1:4). He has given us the deposit of the Holy Spirit within to teach us, guide us, and when necessary convict us. He has given us one another, “the fellowship of the saints,” the Church and Bride of Christ to encourage us, confirm God’s will in us, hold us in account, and uphold us by prayers. And He has given us prayer itself, an open line to the Father, access His throne and the right to do so with boldness (Heb. 4:16).

He has also given us His Word, created through agency but nonetheless His own — “God-breathed,” as we are soon to see…

The Amplified Bible expands nuances of the Greek within brackets. Though this may make the translation difficult to read it can often be a helpful study resource. It states 2 Timothy 3:16-17 like this…

All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the [a] man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, AMP).

In Ephesians we are urged to “put on the full armor of God” (Eph. 6:13) and a part of this outfit includes its only item of assault, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v.17).

A steeping of oneself in the Word of God is essential to victorious Christian living. The psalmist David confesses to God, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” The incarnate Christ demonstrated its power in the 40 day prequel to his ministry, alone in that wilderness and harassed by the devil. “It is written..,” He cited, three times, effective against three temptations: temptations of flesh, of glory, and of kingdom (Matt. 4:4,6,10).

The Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, which is “alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,” the sword which “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow” and “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).

Believer, seize hold of it well! Like Eleazar “who stood his ground and struck down the Philistines,” let your hand, though it grows tired, be “froze to the sword” till the Lord brings about each “great victory” (2 Sam. 23:10).

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Wednesday, 7/14/21 – Pressing on… You hold the Answer everyone seeks!

You hold the Answer everyone seeks!

As I discussed yesterday God has brought Truth to us. It is clear all around us, has been lived out among us, and is written down for us. More than this, when a soul surrenders to Saviour the Truth of God is deposited within him! The Holy Spirit of God takes residence in him, speaks to him, and leads him into more and more Truth. (Eph. 1:13b-14; John 8:32; 16:13).

In awe of this Paul wrote,

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:6-7, kjv).

Yesterday we read in Timothy that the Word of God, the Truth of God, is all we need for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” It is sufficient to equip the believer “for every good work.” – every one of them! Whatever you could imagine!  

Now, those without the Word, without the Truth of God, without the context of Truth by which to understand the madness of this world, the vague yearning of their soul, their inability to master self, the meaning of their existence or the possibility of life beyond the physical, those souls wander in worrying and ache for answers.

But the believer knows all these answers. The believer knows Truth. He knows Truth environmentally, historically, textually and personally. Though some curiosities continue no unknowns haunt him. The Saviour he knows, knows, and His answers are good.

Believer, you hold this treasure in your frail flesh. It is the answer the world seeks, whether they know it yet or not, and it is being brought to this world through you. You are one of the vessels by which He has chosen to bring it. Every believer, a little Christ. We are scattered everywhere… salt… light…

Why does He do it this way? “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Be not intimidated by the arrogance of some. You hold within you the only and true answer, “it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).

What will you do with this treasure today?

Press on…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Friday, 7/9/21 – Tough Question: Could Jesus have sinned?

Could Jesus have sinned?

I think this is such a difficult question for us because it is finite and fallen minds that are trying to grasp it. But I’ll give it a try…

At the outset, there are a few things that scripture identifies as certain.

  1. Jesus was genuinely tempted: “ …for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:2). “[Christ] …was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15).

  2. Jesus never actually sinned: “[Christ] committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22). “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf…” (2 Cor. 5:21a). “…tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15). “…in Him there is no sin.” (1 John 3:5b).

But the question is, Could Jesus have sinned? Was Jesus impeccable (unable to sin), or was He peccable (able to sin)?

The temptations Christ experienced were indeed very real, although of necessity a bit unique. For example, have you ever been tempted to turn rocks into bread? To leap off a tall building forcing angels to your rescue? To kneel before Satan to close a deal for all the kingdom’s of the world?

Similarly it is pretty safe to assume Jesus was never tempted to cheat on His Income Tax, envy or steal another person’s possessions (He owned all things anyway), or lust after a woman. In Christ God indeed became a very real man, but not a fallen man. Having no fallen nature which the devil might entice “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13b).

Yet still, He was tempted.

But could He have sinned? Could He have opted to turn a few stones to bread? Perhaps we find a clue in part of last Sunday’s message. If you recall, I mentioned how Christ acknowledged “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does…. By myself I can do nothing” (John 5:19, 30a).

And don’t we all feel that way when we are facing temptations? The flesh wants to say ‘yes’ and by itself it can do nothing to stop itself from yielding; but the spirit says ‘no’ and when we choose it we find victory!

John notes something interesting regarding this. He says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1 John 3:9). And “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” (1 John 5:18).

When God is in full control of us, we cannot sin either! And in Christ incarnate, God was in control at all times! What an example for us to strive to emulate!

Press on…

Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.

Thursday, 7/8/21 – Discipleship: Priorities


The proper priorities in a Christian’s life are:  God, Family, Work, Church, Ministry, Community

God comes first, above even family, forsaking father and mother if need be we are to follow Jesus (Luke 14:25-27; Matt. 10: 34-37).

Family comes before Work. Many a work-a-holic will tell you how they wish now they had realized this before it was too late and career robbed them of what was truly the more precious elements in their lives.

Work comes before Church for a man’s work is his means to support the higher priority of family. (1 Tim. 5:8).

Church is before Ministry, because the one who ministers must have a base of personal spiritual nourishment and accountability, a recourse when persecuted, discouraged, in need, or bewildered. (Luke 4:16; Acts 15).

Ministry is above Community because it is by one’s ministry one serves best both church and community. Church-sent missionaries may serve in communities far from home.

At times urgencies of a lesser priority may cause it to supersede a higher priority but only temporarily, till the urgency has passed. In general though, these are the priorities that sound study of the whole counsel of scripture sets forth.

A word to the over-zealous is also necessary here. Do not think it virtuous of yourself to run your body ragged in the service of these priorities. It is often one of the more difficult lessons for a Christian to learn that praiseworthy stewardship includes stewardship of oneself as well as all these. You have given your life to the Lord just as He has given His life to you. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Cor. 6:20)

It is not for you to push your body to exhaustion, ignore necessary exercise, healthful diet, adequate sleep. Jesus too saw the need for a slow pace, seasons of solitude, wholesome meals, healthful rest, and social interactions.

We see Jesus taking His time to be in the present moment with each need that came to Him. We see Him “rising up a great while before day,” and going to “a solitary place,” to pray, We see Him walking daily, eating such things as fish, bread, honey, figs and other fruits. We see Him catching a nap as the disciples rowed, and from the onset of His ministry interacting daily with the twelve.

All this while Jesus ordered His life in keeping with the priorities listed above. As always, He is our great example.

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Monday, 5/31/21 – Pressing on… Gracious You!

Gracious You!

Merriam Webster gives no less than 17 definitions and sub-definitions for the noun “Grace,” but for the Christian one simple 2-word definition will suffice: “unmerited favour.” God’s grace toward us is demonstrated in this, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8). And because of this grace to us, we ought extend grace to others.

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Heb. 12:15, KJV)

As Christ is gracious in bringing salvation to we who do not deserve it through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, so we ought to be gracious in kindnesses toward others who by their behaviour and attitudes do not merit it. We must be diligent in this, not allowing a fleshly bitterness toward them to creep up and take root in us, but remembering that they too are lost souls for whom Christ died – and that now we are the only arms of His grace upon this earth through whom He can yet reach out to them.

Not only for their sake do we guard ourselves, but also for our own, for bitterness can defile our own hearts too. As Solomon warned by the superior wisdom God gave him, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23, NKJV).

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Prov. 4:23, NIV

God has every right to be bitter against us. He created us, gave us paradise, and forbad us only one thing. But we spat in His face, defied Him and did that one thing. He ousted us, for He had no choice. God is light and cannot mix with darkness. Light is what it is, and by its nature must disperse all darkness; God’s very Presence expelled us.

But God is also Gracious. Though banishing us He must, still He makes a way for us. He sends Christ among us, within those who will give Him entry, and He illuminates us. He makes us light again, that immediately we may rejoin our Maker… He gives us also promise of a new Paradise… an eternal communion.

In the prologue of his gospel John writes, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (John 1:16, NIV), ”grace for grace” as the KJV has it. To the humble of heart* God gushes grace, fills us…. overflows us. From that overflow we are to extend His grace to others. To refuse, carries a fearful consequence. The author of Hebrews continues…

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:28-29).

More tomorrow…

 * see James 4:6.

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Friday, 2/21/20 – Question: “Age of Accountability”?

Is an “age of accountability” in the Bible?

baby in white onesie

Where in the Bible do we find evidence of an “age of accountability” and what happens to babies and very young children who die before they can understand salvation?

First of all, it is important to understand that the time a child becomes personally responsible before God varies from child to child. There is no uniform “age” when this happens, and only God knows the heart and mind of an individual. But God is just, and when that point is reached the child is responsible.

photo of toddler running on grass

As John MacArthur put it, “God knows when each soul is accountable. God knows when real rejection has taken place; when the love of sin exists in the heart. When enmity with God is conscious and willful. God alone knows when that occurs.”

The Jews believed this time was reached somewhere around age twelve, possibly because we see Jesus at age twelve “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). But I believe it happens long before this.

Perhaps the clearest indication that this moment exists is found in Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the coming Messiah, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isa. 7:14) The following two verses are seldom read but both indicate a point at which a child becomes accountable knowing right from wrong.

“He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.” (vs.15,16).

Do babies who die go to heaven? I believe they do. When David’s infant son died David said,

“While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Sam. 12:22-23).

David knew the infant’s soul was safe in the arms of God.

girls on desk looking at notebook

There is also evidence in scripture that with greater understanding comes greater accountability. In Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus denounces the cities in which He had done many mighty works. The suggestion is that because they had witnessed greater evidences of His divinity they were all the more accountable for their rejection of Him.

Similarly Paul writes in Romans 1:18–20 about the accountability the unrighteous have before God because of their knowledge of God in creation,

“…For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Finally, James warns “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1).

close up of paper against black background

From these and other scriptures it is clear that the greater one’s understanding of the gospel, the greater one’s accountability before God to respond to it. Conversely then, the less one’s understanding, the less one’s accountability.

In the case of the infant, the mentally challenged, the unborn or the ignorant God is gracious. Their souls are secure in Him.

Press on…

Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.


Tuesday, 2/18/20 – Pressing on…

Me, Myself & I agree… I am my own divinity!

autumn season under a sunny day

Adam and Eve tried to avoid God by hiding in the woods (Gen. 3:8). The wandering Hebrews tried to replace God by making an idol (Exod. 32:2-4). The Corinthians began to deviate from God by following personages (1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4). Some even opted to make sacrifices to demons (1 Cor. 10:20-22). And, as we have been warned, in these last days many will seek to avoid God by becoming a lover of “self,” a lover of personal pleasures, more than a lover of God. (2 Tim. 3:1-4)

photo of woman doing meditation

New Age thinking says that beyond the “self” there is a “higher self,” a godlike extension of the worldly self. They say that by a relationship with the higher self, you will become able to make your desires become reality… your own little reality.

Love of self will ultimately lead to this. Once we turn our gaze inward we will begin to assess reality only from within that very small, personal world. Scripture is very clear about those who choose this path: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12b). When a person becomes “self”-focussed they begin to set their own rules (see Judg. 21:25). They begin to make their own ‘truth.’

woman wearing brown summer hat

“Personal truth”… “Higher self”… all of this leads only to one thing: A belief that one is one’s own “god.” Me, myself, and I – one’s own little trinity… divinity.

Now a person caught in the trap of such selfism may not see this at all. When the only pictures you take are “selfies” you will never discover among them an image of God. When you fill your library only with books you have written you will never encounter the true Word of God.

Many religions and philosophies touch on the idea of inward journey. But God will not be found within us. We can try to avoid Him by looking away, looking to demons, looking at others, or looking within but it is not until we look up and acknowledge Him as Lord, not ourselves, that we will find Truth.

And, as Jesus taught, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor John’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 16 message.