Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weekly Adventures

It has been an interesting week around the Green household to say the least. Approximately three weeks ago we were blessed with a new addition. Rebekah Eloise entered the world kicking and screaming Thursday January 3rd around 12:30PM. She is a wonderful, beautiful blessing and needless to say much of our day (especially momma's) is centered around meeting her needs. And so it should be! Though I am praying that she soon adapts to a semi-normal sleep schedule :-)
Hello World!
Ya talkin' to me?!?
I can also scratch a couple of things off of my bucket list. Earlier this week I made the front page of one of our community newspapers. No, it was not for any criminal charges. Although some think it a crime when I run :-)

I have been working on improved exercise and dietary habits since the beginning of the new year. Believe it or not, I have been somewhat physically fit in my lifetime. It was a good place to be and I wish to return to that happy place. Most of my reasoning for recommitting to a healthy lifestyle if for a better health and well-being. But I also confess that I do not like the Shrek-like shape that my body takes when I make one too many trips to the dessert line at church.
Anyways, I have been utilizing the (free) facilities at my place of employment and was recently photographed pounding it out on the ole treadmill. Here's to my moment in the spotlight ;-)

Then, Friday was another first. I won a radio call-in contest. I generally only half pay attention to the radio on my way to work. But yesterday I was listening when the daily trivia question was asked. The question was what happens six-thousand (approximately) times per year in American hospitals? I quickly guessed triplets, being in new baby-daddy mode. Anyways, I called and successfully got through. The question was correct and I won a prize pack that includes free lunch. I was probably more excited than I should have been, but it was fun nonetheless.

We've kinda slacked on our Bible reading this week and will be playing catch up today. We were blessed with approximately sixteen visitors in our home this week and are expecting more today. It is always a blessing to share our home with dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Come up and see us sometime!

Exciting times indeed. Enough about my week. How has yours been?

Stay Classy :-)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Matthew 5 -- Some Thoughts About Preconceived Notions

Matthew 5 -- Some Thoughts About Preconceived Notions

Matthew 5:21; 27; 33; 38; 43 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time.....

One of the most prominent characteristics of Jesus’ public ministry was a challenge of the status quo and traditions of His time. This is most apparent in His opening discourse in Matthew chapter 5, which is commonly referred to as The Sermon on the Mount. Without mixing words, Jesus effectively dismantles the legalistic dogma and its focus on the externals that had oppressed many of the Jews of His day. For approximately 150 years the Pharisees and had perverted and distorted God’s commandments to the point that it no longer reflected divine fiat. In what was likely a gradual process, God’s law was changed into a legalistic set of man-made rules that effectively oppressed all except the elite few Pharisees, scribes, and rabbis who occupied seats of authority in Judaism. 

As Jesus challenged each of these rules that the Jewish elite espoused, He carefully set the record straight on each issue.  

Matthew 6:22 But I say unto you......

In each instance Jesus took the Pharisee's corrupted commandments that placed an emphasis on the external appearance and expanded/established the true meaning of the passages. In verse 21 He addressed the sixth commandment. Certainly, God did not want people murdering one another. But the external act was merely a manifestation of an inward problem. Jesus went much deeper in his explanation. Inappropriate anger was just as much a sin issue as the physical act of murder in the eyes of God!
The seventh commandment was discussed in verses 27-30. Again, the rabbis merely focused on the external act, but Jesus taught that the lusting after any woman (married or single) is an affront to God. Thinking such immoral thoughts and fantasizing about any woman other than your wife is just as sinful in the eyes of God as the physical act of adultery. 

The subject of oaths was addressed in verses 33-37. The rabbis of Jesus’ time had established a complicated system of binding and non-binding oaths. If they swore by the name of God, then their promise was binding, but swearing by other things was not. Jesus stated that any oath or vow that an individual makes is connected to God and that we should all be honest in our speech and dealings towards others. 

We will not take the time in this writing to look at the other preconceived notions that Jesus dispels in this discourse. The lesson for us is to exercise great care when discerning truth. There are positions that many people embrace in the name of Christianity that simply does not square with scripture. Is your belief system and worldview in accordance with God’s word or is it merely tradition passed down from your parents and grandparents (that which was said by them of old time)? Have you compared the beliefs of your church and its teachers with Scripture? No matter how well intentioned they might be, all of their doctrines and practice must be measured according to God’s standard. Notice the following admonitions from scripture:

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Acts 17:10-11 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

We have the commandment to diligently study God’s word and RIGHTLY divide God’s word. When we put tradition, opinions, preconceived notions, etc. before the word of truth, then we open ourselves to error and stumbling-blocks in life. This is exactly what happened to the Jewish teachers of Jesus’ time. They had distorted the word of God to the point where they did not even recognize the Messiah when he made His earthly appearance! Lord save us from such! It is our blessed privilege to challenge the ‘Ye have heard that it was said by them of old times’ with what the Lord tell us in His word. 

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne PBC

Friday, January 18, 2013

Psalms 6 -- Always Available

Psalms 6 -- Always Available

Psalms 6:1-4 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?
Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.

One of the requirements of my secular career is conducting regular meetings with the families of which I am case manager. These conferences usually involve a number of staff from several different service providers. Needless to say it can be a monumental challenge getting in touch with all of the necessary individuals to make these meetings happen. Thus, I spend a large amount of time talking to secretaries and answering machines because of people’s unavailability during the day. Anyone acquainted with such work understand the frustration that this can cause. I am thankful that this is never the case with our Heavenly Father. He is available 24/7 and we are never required to leave a message!

In our opening verses we discern a tone of urgency in the Psalmist’s words. He is going through a personal crisis as he feels the weight of his sin. Some commentators have labeled this one of David’s penitential psalms. He has repented of some unspecified sin in which he was suffering the chastisement of God. His prayer is one asking for swift action as he grieves over his current state. Later we read of his weariness from groaning, grief, weeping an tears. Yet in the midst of this desperate state, his confidence in the Lord is noted:

Psalm 6:8-9 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.

This truth is one that should bring much consolation to us. One of the harsh realities of life is that at times we all find ourselves in a condition similar to David. We commit a transgression in our life that brings subsequent judgement. The Father’s chastisement is an unpleasant but necessary result of sinful behavior. However, such actions will never separate us from our God. David cries out unto the Lord in penitential prayer and the Lord hears him. This is also the case with us when we confess our sins. Notice the words of John:

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Lord is both faithful and just to forgive our sins. Some believe that either a public confession of guilt or private acknowledgement to a supposed divine intermediary is necessary for God to hear our petitions. This simply is not so in our communications with our Lord. HE hears our cries and receives our prayers!

In Psalm 66:19-20, David would later write, “But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.” My friends, He is always available and will not turn away from our prayers. There are times when we seek counsel or fellowship from our friends in the world, and they might not be available. Others simply do not want to be bothered with our problems. God will always attend to our needs. This is a continual theme throughout the Psalms. 

The Apostle Paul understood the power of prayer. He taught the Philippian brethren to give their worries over to God in prayer. 

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

What a timely truth in our days of worry and stress. Sometimes it is self-imposed because of our behavior. At other times it result from the actions of others. Regardless, the Lord hears our prayers and earnest requests (supplications). Notice the response to turning over our worries to God in prayer. This results in peace that passes all understanding. Thanks be to God that we have this enormous blessing and resource available at all times. Are you taking advantage of this access to God?


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne Primitive Baptist Church

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Look at God's Dealings with Noah

A Look at God's Dealings with Noah

Genesis 6:5-8 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The question that arises from our passage above is how was Noah saved. Was there something about his personality or behavior that made him stand out from the rest of humanity? Was he more righteous than others around him? Did his righteousness curry favor with God? Let us examine what scripture has to say about God's dealing with Noah. 

First, we notice that scripture exposes the heart of all mankind. It was wickedness continually. The Bible states that Noah was was a just and perfect (complete) man. But this was in comparison with those of his generation. This is an attribute worthy to imitate. However, the best of men fall woefully short of God's standard. Paul stated this fact in Romans:

Romans 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Though Noah stood in contrast to many of his peers, he was ultimately lumped into the general judgement that God declared on mankind in Genesis 6. At his best, Noah was still a sinner. This truth is can be observed through Noah's drunken actions when he departed from the ark. 

Second, we note that Noah and his family were spared because of the movement of God in their lives.  Genesis 6:8 states that Noah found grace in the eyes of The Lord. What does grace entail? Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines it as the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him. In light of this we see that Noah was chosen to be delivered solely by God's sovereign pleasure. He was the recipient of God's unmerited favor!

It is inspiring to read of this incredible deliverance. God instructed Noah to build the ark, gather the animals, etc. But this in no way negates the fact that the Lord's grace is the source of deliverance. Noah faithfully went about the work he was called to do because of God's grace.

This is a wonderful picture of God's grace in the life of the child of God. Eternally speaking, all were condemned to eternal damnation. Even the elect, apart from God's grace, had not the ability to save themselves. Paul notes that the child of God is rendered not guilty because of the grace of the Lord:
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

The eternal mercies of God are free! What better news for the sin sick soul than the truth that Jesus paid it all. We are called to walk worthy of the Lord in our everyday lives, but this is only possible because of the work of the Spirit in our lives. The story of Noah is incredible simply from a natural perspective, but the lesson of God's sovereign grace is the most awesome news of all! To God be all glory! 


Michael D. Green, Jr. 
Fort Wayne Primitive Baptist Church 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Job 3-4 – The Reality of Suffering and Our Reaction to It

Job 3-4 – The Reality of Suffering and Our Reaction to It

In Job chapters three and four we are confronted with two realities. First we notice that even the righteous can suffer unimaginable pain. Have you ever been brought down to a low point in life that forced you to ask the same question as Job? Why were you even born? We observe the rawness of Job’s emotions as he questions his very existence throughout chapter three.

As we struggle with the ups and downs of life, we must constantly realize that our existence is not like the sitcoms of television. Problems there are minimal at best and can be neatly resolved within a thirty minute or one hour timeframe. Real life is messy. Similarly to Job (but probably not on the same scale) we constantly suffer pain and loss. I am at the stage in life where many of the people that helped raise and mentor me are now departing this life. That is very difficult. Ultimately, we all are touched by death at every stage in life. Perhaps you are at the age where your peers are starting to pass away. This can be very disconcerting and difficult to understand. Yet it is inevitable.

Other struggles include the loss of health, material possessions, income, employment, or relationships with significant others. All of which produce a unique hurt in our lives. Sometimes the pain reaches a point where we question our very existence. It is during these times when we might even begin to question God. Is He angry with me? Has he completely forsaken me? Am I all alone? Rest assured that these are all natural concerns during times of great pain.

The answer to this question is that God has not abandoned us. In Job’s case you will recall that he was intimately involved in the situation. This was a trial of Job’s faith. Job was being tested. Perhaps you are too. Regardless of the reasons why you are suffering, Scripture teaches us that our God is omnipresent. That means that he is everywhere present and nowhere absent. He knows your situation. Job understood this truth. Later he would exclaim in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job knew that God was there with him! Although his pain was immense, God was still present. That is the case with us as well. Paul would later write:

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

He will never leave us. Yes, there is a time for sorrow, but let us not sorrow as those without hope. Our Lord will lead, guide, and direct us in the midst of the most unimaginable trials of life! Yea we can even be content regardless of the difficulties we face.

The second reality of life occurs in the fourth chapter of Job. That is the fact that there will always be somebody around willing to offer (ofttimes unsolicited) advice to you regarding your situation. In this instance we meet Eliphaz the Temanite. At a casual glance Eliphaz seemingly makes some good general points. The only problem with them was that they in no way applied to Job. His comments are summed up in verses 7 and 8:

Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

Eliphaz wrongly assumed that Job must have committed some sort of iniquity and as a result God was punishing him for his misdeeds. How many times do we jump to such conclusions? We see an individual going through trials and our first thought is, “I wonder what they did to deserve that?” My friends this ought not be so!

Some of the most hurtful words that are exchanged between brothers and sisters in Christ are often veiled in the form of unsolicited or incorrect advice. Many feelings have been needlessly hurt because of the careless words of others. Job later likened the words of Eliphaz to digging a pit for his friend. They were hurtful and not at all beneficial.

The Bible teaches us that we are to exercise care in what we say to others. There are times when what we might perceive as helpful or encouraging actually has the opposite effect on the hearer. We might think that we are ‘straightening out’ the one in which our words are directed, but is what we are saying pleasing to God? James offers the following warning:

James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Paul exhorts us to be charitable in our dealings with others. I believe that this applies in how we advise those in which we have influence.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Lord help us not to be miserable comforters! May we exercise care with what we speak to our friends. May we be longsuffering towards those that are going through troubled times. May we assume the best and not jump to conclusions. May we exercise compassion towards all that are hurting in whom we have contact. It is likely that we will find ourselves on the receiving end sooner rather than later.


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne PBC

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lessons Learned in Battle

Lessons Learned in Battle

In Joshua 6-10 we have a sequence of battles that the Children of Israel must fight against the inhabitants of the promised land. It is significant to note that this was the inheritance that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet there was plenty of hard work to be accomplished before rest. Such it is in the daily battles that we continually face in this world of sin and sorrow. Paul elaborated on our spiritual battle in Ephesians 6:12:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

Yes, discipleship will be an ongoing warfare as long as we are in this world. Israel fought many battles to possess the land of promise. Even after they settled into Canaan’s land the Old Testament chronicles many struggles to come. However, we can glean some wonderful and timeless truths from Israel of old that can be applied to our daily warfare. 

First, we can rest assured that where the Lord leads, He will provide. As Israel faced their enemies at Jericho, Ai, and Gibeon, we notice the constant presence and intervention of the Lord. In each case, He is the one who gave victory in the midst of generally overwhelming odds. In John 16:33, as Jesus warns his disciples of the pending trouble he reminds them of this truth.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

As we face the varied and seemingly insurmountable troubles of life we must remember that His grace is sufficient. Impossible circumstances are not reason to give up if God is leading. It is simply an opportunity for Him to manifest His omnipotent power. This was indeed the case as he blessed the walls of Jericho to fall, smote the city of Ai, and delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel. 

Second, we notice that all of these instances of victory required effort on the part of the Children of Israel. Obedience is hard work and at times will not make sense to us. Consider Jericho. God could have destroyed the walls in an instant. Since His ways are not ours, he required them to exercise faith and obedience before the victory. In this case they were commanded to compass the city six days and then blow the trumpet and shout at the appointed time on the seventh. To us, this makes no logical sense. Yet, God commanded it. Israel obeyed and were blessed with an incredible victory. 

This can be likened to our daily walk in this world. Praise the Lord, we know the ultimate victory has been won! When Christ died on the cross our sin debt was paid. Heaven is now our home. Yet until we enter into that promise, we are commanded to work. 

Philippians 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Working cannot earn that which has been already secured (eternal salvation). But the expectation is for us to courageously face the battles of life because of what God has done for and in us. He has empowered us to do such!

Finally, We notice that disobeying the commandments of the Lord results in consequences. Losses in battles and casualties can occur when we are not faithful to heed the one who is in command. This is precisely what happened during the initial battle of Ai. As Israel was preparing to conquer Jericho the Lord commanded them to keep themselves from the accursed things of that land. One man disobeyed this commandment and what should have been an easy victory became an embarrassing defeat. Once inquiry was made and this sin revealed it was discovered that a man named Achan had taken a Babylonish garment and some gold and silver. One man’s transgression effected the entire army of Israel. Once the sin was discovered and dealt with, the Lord would later handily give Ai into the hands of Israel. 

A common theme throughout the Word of God is that there are consequences for our actions. Isaiah rightly captured this truth from God when speaking to Israel at a later date. 

Isaiah 1:19-20 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

This promise rings true in modern times. As we observe the multitude of struggles that we current face as individuals, churches, and as a nation, we should pause and consider this truth! The Lord is holy and expects righteous behavior from His people. When they fail to obey, judgement occurs. 

How quick we are to forget these principles. It is interesting to note that after the occurrences of Ai, Joshua pauses to build an altar and write the law of Moses upon the stones. When completed, he would read all the words of the law before all of the people of Israel. Perhaps it is time for us to take time and review His word!


Michael D. Green, Jr. 
Fort Wayne PBC

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Job 1-2 --Do Good People Suffer Trials?

Job 1-2 --Do Good People Suffer Trials?

Job 1:21-22 Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

In the Book of Job we are introduced to a good man. Obviously, there has never existed a sinless man on the earth save Jesus Christ. But Job was a man that strived to please God. The Bible records that his life was completely devoted to his creator. He was a moral man and exhibited a reverential fear of God. Certainly, Job is one the be emulated in this respect. Oh that such would be our legacy! 

There are some today that claim that such righteous living ensures health, wealth and prosperity. This popular teaching states that godly living will eliminate any suffering or trials in this world. If an individual does suffer physically, relationally or materially, then they must be lacking somewhere in their spiritual lives. This Word of Faith Movement, also known as the ‘prosperity gospel’ puts emphasis on the power of the individual to ‘name it and claim it’ and you can have your hearts desire. 

A casual reading of the first two chapters of Book of Job soundly dismiss this erroneous teaching. Here we have a good man (as much as men are good), living a reverential, upright life. Yet, he suffers unimaginable loss. He lost all ten of his children and his livelihood in a matter of hours. Later he will be plagued with unimaginable physical suffering. Did he conduct himself in a manner to incur the wrath of God? Did he neglect his prayer life or forget to name it and claim it? The answer is clearly NO! Job was not in any manner privy to what was unfolding in the presence of the Lord. He had no say in the events that were unfolding in his life. 

Granted, we often suffer the consequences of our actions. The Bible teaches the concept of reaping what we’ve sown. However, there are times when we suffer trials and troubles that are not of our making. Sometimes we can do everything according to God’s standard any yet still be called on to endure tribulations. This should not come as a surprise. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” The good news follows when he says, “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Our Savior certainly did not endorse the prosperity gospel. He was bluntly realistic about the suffering that occurs in His service. 

The Book of Job is about an upright man being tested. God indeed is not the author of sin, yet he sometimes allows trials to come into our lives. Peter acknowledged such:

1 Peter 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

Job would also later acknowledge this fact in his own circumstance:

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

The bottom line is that we have numerous biblical occurrences of the righteous suffering  while serving God. Experience teaches us this lesson also.The reasons are varied. Perhaps it is a test of faith. It could also be the result of a satanic attack or injury may come at the hands of another. We should expect such as long as we live in this sin cursed world. There will likely be instances of trials in which are absolutely unaware of the source. I believe that to be the case with Job. Our responsibility when such trouble enters into our life is to maintain a God honoring response in spite of the circumstances.  In the midst of his trials Job quickly acknowledged such in our opening passage.

The Word of Faith Movement/prosperity gospel falls flat when compared with the timeless truth of scripture. Perhaps we may never receive an explanation as to why we are going through a particular trial. If we suffer in spite of faithfully serving God, Lord help us to maintain our integrity and put our trust in the Sovereign God of Heaven and not charge Him foolishly!


Michael D. Green, Jr. 
Fort Wayne PBC

Friday, January 04, 2013

Psalms 1-2 - Good and Evil

Psalms 1-2 - Good and Evil

This morning we are confronted with a society at-large that has abandoned moral absolutes. There is no decided right or wrong any more. Good and evil have been forsaken by the so-called elite of our culture. Proper behavior is now defined by the individual and who are we to judge another person’s actions? Anything less than acceptance and support towards others is generally attacked as intolerant and hateful by critics. Sadly, this philosophy has crept into modern Christianity. 

As we read the first two Psalms of the the Bible, we quickly notice a couple of truths that refute such thinking. First, we observe that Scripture teaches the reality of good and evil. Psalms 1:1 begins by proclaiming, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”  If an individual is not engaging in ungodly behavior or congregating with those that are ungodly, then he is striving to live a moral, righteous (aka good) life. In contrast, the Psalmist later writes in verse 4 that, “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” So, we have a clear distinction between godly and ungodly behavior. In Psalms 2, this differentiation continues as David writes about the heathen’s futile efforts to oppose the Lord.

We also observe that actions, whether good or evil, have consequences. When an individual flees evil, he is blessed of the Lord. When he delights in the law of the Lord, there is stability, fruitfulness and prosperity. In contrast, the ungodly man does not enjoy such. He is buffeted about by the winds of life. He misses out on Lord’s favor. The Psalmist clearly states that the way of the ungodly shall perish! This is the biblical concept of sowing and reaping (Job 4:8; Psalms 127:5-8).

This is very applicable in our daily walk. The constant bombardment of Post-Modern philosophy that meets us via media and political/educational propaganda is extremely pervasive. Think of some of the behaviors that were once commonly understood to be sinful and immoral that are now considered ‘alternative lifestyle’ choices. In fact, immorality is now paraded openly as something to be desired. It seems that every week there is another Hollywood star being paraded on multiple media outlets because of their sinful choices. They are not rebuked for such behavior. In fact, they are ofttimes the most desirable and emulated members of our society. Lord help us! 

God’s message to Israel through the prophet Isaiah should serve as a sobering reminder to us today:

Isaiah 5:20-24 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

All men are accountable to God regardless of whether or not they choose to acknowledge such. Our moral compass is to be the word of God. It is the absolute truth that a little child of God can trust. It is our only hope for navigating this perilous world. We must also be aware of the fact that actions have consequences. Positively, there are blessings in obedience. In contrast, there are consequence when we choose ungodly behavior. What will you choose today?


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne PBC

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God...

 Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God...

Perhaps the first four words of the Bible are the most straightforward and easy to grasp. Yet, they are also the most misunderstood and maligned words contained in the Holy Writ. This is to be expected in the carnal world that generally rejects any worldview that places a divine creator at the forefront. However, there is even confusion amongst those that profess a belief in God as the creator and sustainer of the universe. The flesh that we all carry around is a pesky thing at times. 

The truth is that God indeed spoke the world into being. Everything around us, both seen and unseen exists because He said so. Every passing days reveals an increasing complexity of all things both living and non-living. This is because of the sovereign One who spoke it so. 

You are sitting down and reading this little devotion because God created man. Genesis, the book of beginnings, reveals how we came into existance. It was not definitely not by accident as some would theorize. The adage, “From goo, to zoo, to you” has no place in the mind of a believer. In Psalm 139:14, David wrote, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Amen and amen. You were not an accident. All life is a wonderful gift from the Almighty. This truth should guide you in all other areas of life!

Do you also realize that God is the author of salvation? If we confess his sovereignty in creation, then we must also acknowledge that he is the sole giver of eternal life. Notice this in Paul’s letter to the Romans (emphasis mine): 

Romans 8:28-31 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose. For whom HE did foreknow, HE also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that HE might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom HE did predestinate, them HE also called: and whom HE called, them HE also justified: and whom HE justified, them HE also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If GOD be for us, who can be against us?

This chain of salvation is unbreakable because God is its author and sustainer. It is not contingent upon our good works, belief, faith, hearing the gospel, perseverance, etc. It is GOD plus nothing. My friends this is indeed encouragement in our world of uncertainty. 

If He is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and the originator and sustainer of our eternal salvation, then why do we not trust Him to meet our daily needs? Why is our faith ofttimes weak in there here and now? Again, human nature is a pesky thing. The truth is that we need not be overcome with worry as we face the inevitable trials of life. God knows what stand in need of as we labor along. Jesus beautifully acknowledged this with the illustration of the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field. God provides for them and much more for us!

Matthew 6:30-32 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

My friends, it is our job to patiently and steadfastly serve God the creator in light of these truths. As the old hymn exclaims, He is the first great cause and last great end. Never lose touch with the fact that all things are created by Him. Take strength and courage from the truth that He is also the sustainer of all, and gives grace sufficient for our unique trials. Comforting words indeed!


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne PBC

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Your Faith

Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

How many people in your sphere of influence truly know what you believe? Five? Ten? Hundreds? What about people in your community? Can they tell you the basic tenets of the Primitive Baptist faith? Do they have any idea that your church even exists? These questions can be sobering if we spend much time pondering how many people actually understand anything about what we believe. 

In his opening remarks to the church in Rome, Paul commends them for their large sphere of influence. Their faith was spoken of by others throughout the whole world! At the time of this writing, Rome was the center of the world. Merchants, rulers and foreigners were continually passing through this great city. Much like the metropolitan centers in our own country there would be plenty of distractions, both savory and unsavory, to compete for the attention of citizens and travelers alike. In spite of this, the church was making an impact. This is an incredible feat when you ponder the small size of this body of believers in comparison to other groups and so-called religions that existed during this time. To call those that believed in Christ a minority at the time of Paul’s writing would be a gross understatement! Yet, they major influence. Perhaps all who were influenced by the Roman church did not embrace the teachings of Christ. But they were aware of them and talking to others about it. 

The Bible is indeed worth sharing with others. It is the best news in the world and outweighs any other philosophy or entertainments that the world can offer. It is the good news that Jesus died to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). It is the proclamation that in due time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). It offers hope and stability when everything and everyone else fails us (Hebrews 6:19) The word ‘gospel’ literally means good tidings. Why would we not want to share this with everyone that would listen?

In my experience there are a couple of major stumbling blocks to sharing our faith with others. Perhaps we are afraid of what other will think of us. We all want to be liked and the unvarnished gospel message can indeed elicit a negative response from others. If you do not believe this, read Matthew 10:34-35! The gospel forces the hearer to confront their true nature, which can be difficult. Another hinderance is a lack of understanding about what we actually believe. If you are not able to articulate the basic tenets of the Bible to another individual, then you are not adequately grounded in biblical truth! Scripture repeatedly call on the believer to study and meditate on the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 119:11,15). If we neglect this, then we will be unable to give an answer for reason of the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). 

Whatever the reason for others not knowing what we believe, now is an excellent time to remedy this problem. When we ponder the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf, any possible persecution that we endure for His name’s sake is acceptable. He suffered the wrath of God in our stead! Peter even wrote that this is a desirable thing (1 Peter 2:19). Other passages teach that we should be willing to endure persecutions in the name of Christ. Lord help us to be bold in sharing our faith!

As we enter a new year may we also re-commit ourselves to diligently studying God’s word. It is time well spent! It is hard work, but very worthwhile. Effective study occurs through a systematic reading of the Bible and also taking time to meditate on specific passages of scripture. We are also blessed with understanding when we sit under the preached word in public assembly. It is high time to dig into God’s love letter to His people!

All of us have opportunities to share our faith. It should start in our homes. One of God’s commandments to the Jews as they entered into the promised land was to diligently teach His commandment to their children (Deuteronomy 11). Many of us have a built in audience at home. They should know what we believe. We can also share our faith with neighbors, friends and family as the Lord opens doors of opportunity. Much more can be written about this subject. But for now, my prayer is that we will commit to doing a better job of sharing what we believe to such a degree that our faith would would be more spoken of by others.


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne PBC