Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jesus Is The Door

I found great comfort in my morning meditation. Sometimes our perspective on the things we experience need adjustment and this is just what the doctor ordered. I pray you will find it helpful as I have.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.”—John 10:9

As Christians, we talk about God “opening doors” to us as a means of His revealing His will. What we are asking God to do is engineer our circumstances to match what we think would be best. The problem is that we misunderstand what the door is. Jesus said He is the door. Circumstances are irrelevant, for no one can shut the door that Jesus opens (Rev.3:8). If you have substituted activity for your relationship with Christ, then circumstances can disrupt your activity. When the activity is hindered, you may assume the door has been closed. Yet, if Christ is the door in your life, He will guide you into every experience of Him that He wants, and there will be nothing that people can do to stop Him.

When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison at Philippi, it appeared that the door to their ministry in Greece had been violently and firmly closed (Acts 16:22-24). The reality of their situation, however, was that their Lord had opened a door of ministry to a previously unreached group of men in prison. The Philippian jailer and his household would become a significant nucleus of the new church in Philippi. From a human perspective, a door had been closed; from God's perspective, Paul and Silas continued to minister exactly where God wanted them to.

When people oppose us, we can become discouraged or worry about what others are doing to us. We may even try to take matters into our own hands to accomplish what we think God wants. This reveals that we do not really believe Jesus is the door for our lives. If we did, we would be assured that through Christ we have access to everything He wants to do in and through us.

Experiencing God Day by Day: A Devotional and Journal.
By Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Blogger

Hello blog family! I just wanted to inform you that we have a new addition to the family. Thats right, my wife, Jennifer McGhee, the first lady of Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church is now one of us. Please feel free to give her a word of encouragement as she hones her own gift of expression. The title of her blog is “Oh My Joy" (jennifermcghee.blogspot.com). Enjoy!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gary Simultaneous Revival

Sunday evening, I had the blessed privilege of attending the kickoff for the 49th Annual Simultaneous Revival Services, sponsored by the Baptist Ministers Conference of Gary and Vicinity, Inc., Pastor Isaac Culver, Jr., President. This service was held at New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church where Dr. W.N. Reed is pastor. The late Dr. Floyd E. Dumas, a native of Oklahoma City, who served the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Gary for a number of years, is responsible for bringing this idea to my hometown 49 years ago. Since its inception, this revival like the one held in Oklahoma City, has been a coveted venue for pastors and preachers across this nation. Pastors and churches coming together for the express purpose and specific intent of prayer, praise and preaching is a sight to behold. Even those who were not scheduled would attend just for the fellowship. Many would take vacations from their job just to pack out every church, morning, noon and night to hear the preached word.

Ever since I was a boy, growing up in Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Charles L. Emery, I have attended these services. Like a kid in the candy store, I have made it a priority to be a part of this great gathering and to this day I have cherished every moment. To fellowship with pastors across this nation has truly been my honor. As fellow bloggers Pastor Owens and Pastor Witherspoon have already expressed, our love for preaching took shape during experiences such as what these settings bring.

On last night the following preachers set our souls ablaze as they preached with power, persuasion and purpose:

· Pastor Harold Cadwell, Jr., Mt Olive Baptist Church, Detroit, MI.
· Pastor Alphonso Jackson, Sr., Second Baptist Church, Miami, Fl.
· Pastor Keith G. Tyler, Antioch Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky.
· Pastor Edward L. McCree, Israel Baptist Church, Detroit, MI.

Needless to say, I had a blast and am looking forward to attending as many services as my schedule will allow. Special thanks to Pastor Keith D. Witherspoon, my beloved brother, for allowing his son in the ministry, Rev. Derrick Buggs, to drive us to Gary last evening. Much obliged “Mr. Mayor.” God Bless!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Preaching @ Mount Olive - Indy

Last evening, I was in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing with Dr. Carl Z. Liggins, Sr., and the wonderful people of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church during their 2009 Dunamis Conference.

Dr. Carl Z. Liggins, Sr., and I have known each other ever since his days as an associate minister of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, East Chicago, Indiana, under the leadership of Dr. J.C. Wade, Jr. Since then, he has been privileged to pastor in Mississippi and Georgia and now he is in Indianapolis, and has been there since September of 2008. He is doing a magnanimous job leading the people of Mount Olive Church and I could not be more proud of how the Lord has blessed.

Upon arriving at this great church, my wife and I were overwhelmed by the unmistakable hospitality and warm reception of both pastor and people. I was also pleasantly surprised to see members of GSJ in attendance as well as those from my hometown of Gary, Indiana, who currently reside in Indianapolis.

During the preaching moment, I preached a message from Romans 9:1-3, entitled “The Heart of a Soul Winner.” The objective of the message was to challenge God’s people to have the honesty, heaviness and hunger to see souls saved as Paul did. It was well received beyond my expectation judging by the testimonies I received at the conclusion of worship.

After worship, we continued to fellowship over a meal as we tried to bring each other up to speed concerning God’s work in our ministries. I was truly blessed as a result of this fellowship and am the better for it. Please continue to pray for the ministry of Dr. Liggins to the Mount Olive Church family.

Special thanks to Deacon King for your attendance and the complimentary photo. God Bless!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passion of Christ "R" Rating

Earlier today, I received this piece from one of GSJ's faithful members and thought I would share it with you. The author is unknown. Enjoy!

He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

The "R" of course is because of the violence — the gore of the scourging and the cruelty of the Cross.

In movie terms "R" usually stands for RESTRICTED. In The Passion, "R" stands for RELEVANT, for REALISTIC, for it REALLY happened for a REASON because we were REBELLIOUS we needed a REDEEMER. Yes, we needed to be RECONCILED and we needed to be RECOVERED. We needed to be REGENERATED. Jesus needed to be REJECTED so that we could have a RELATIONSHIP with God, not just a RELIGION about God.

The "R" is to REMIND us to REMEMBER what Jesus did to REMOVE our sin and to RENDER Satan powerless to our RESCUE from eternity in hell.

The "R" rating is to show that Jesus was RESPONSIBLE for giving you REST. As a RESULT of his death, Jesus RETIRED your debt and RETURNED you to God.

The "R" rating means that some will be REPULSED, some will REFUSE to believe, some will be RELUCTANT, and some will think you are RIDICULOUS in believing that a death was REQUIRED.

The "R" rating means that the RESULT of sin has been REVERSED and that now through faith in Christ, you can be REBORN and your REWARD is eternity because you are now RIGHTEOUS before God. You have RECEIVED him as the RULER of your soul and you have been RESTORED in your walk with God. What a REVOLUTIONARY and RADICAL solution to REDEEM humankind! He is RISEN!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Preaching at Gospel Expo

Tonight, I had the privilege of preaching for Jan Kimbrough & Blessed Gospel Magazine during their annual Gospel Expo.

Jan Kimbrough, a member of GSJ, works untiringly every year to put on this program which has proven to be an invaluable means of fostering unity among churches regardless of denominational affiliation. This event was hosted by Pastor James E. Atterberry and the Brotherhood of All Nations Church of God in Christ, located in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Our theme for the occasion was taken from Psalm 133. I preach a message that was preached late last year at GSJ. The title of the message was “The Church That Advances God’s Kingdom” using Matthew 28:16-20 as a foundational passage. The church that advances God’s Kingdom is one that (1)Functions Under the Authority of Christ,(2)is Faithful to the Assignments of Christ, and(3) is Fortified by the Assurance of Christ. The message was well received and I was able to renew old friendships and build new ones. Please pray for the continued fellowship of churches as we win the region for Christ.