Wednesday, September 17, 2014

God’s Design for Instruction

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

It seems as if we are living in a day where conferences, seminars, forums, sessions, etcetera are given more weight than the simple New Testament pattern of worship. It is not my intention to delve into the potential shortcomings of such. I simply want to highlight the truth that God provided a far more superior means for us to navigate the manifold challenges of everyday life. Let us not be ashamed of what our Lord has provided.

The word ‘salvation’ in the context of Romans 1:16 is defined as a deliverance or preservation. We can think of the gospel as a life preserver for the born again child of God when the winds and waves of the world would overwhelm him. We need this daily deliverance at work, in our homes, as we strive to be responsible citizens, and in our personal devotion to God!

God in his mercy established the local church as the assembly in which this is to occur.  To be effective, the ministry and congregants must both apply themselves to the study of the word. There should also be prayers that God would bless the messages to be scriptural and applicable to the needs of the local flock. When these things occur, no better instruction can be found! 

Are you zealously supporting and cultivating these qualities in your local congregation? 

This design has been effective for over two thousand years. Lord help us to recognize, appreciate, and encourage the preaching of the gospel in accordance with God’s simple pattern!


Michael D. Green, Jr.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Power of the Tongue

James 3:5 - Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

I had an unfortunate reminder of this truth not too long ago. It would not be prudent to go into detail about this particular situation, but needless to say a few individuals that were not in control of their tongue dampened an otherwise uplifting and encouraging experience!

In chapter 3 James explains the power of the tongue. The physical size of the tongue is miniscule compared to the rest of the body, but it has great sway. The power can be used in an edifying or denigrating manner. Consider some of the ways that we can use our tongue:

·      Offering words of encouragement to someone who someone who is going through a rough patch
·      Sharing a portion of God’s word to a struggling friend
·      Praying for a loved one who is enduring physical trials

Less edifying uses might include:

·      Gossiping about a fellow church member that has been repeatedly absent from the fellowship
·      Participating in and sharing inappropriate jokes about different races or backgrounds
·      Harshly criticizing a child or spouse

Many other examples can be added to both lists. Obviously, one group builds up and another tears down. As disciples of Christ we should strive for the former. Every word that we speak has the potential to make a huge difference in the life of others, both positive and negative. We must strive not to kindle a great fire with our tongue!

Paul writes, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).” Our ‘conversation’ entails more than the words that we speak, but they are indeed included in this admonition. Lord help us to take care with every word that we speak. Your next words have the potential to sway another person one way or the other in their discipleship.


Michael D. Green, Jr.

Monday, September 01, 2014


1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

The reality of life is that there are inevitable ups and downs. This is true personally, in your family, and in your church. This is the result of living in a sin-cursed earth. We will disappoint one another. We will disagree. We will say things that we should not. In spite of this the biblical mandate is to press on in spite of failures.

The Apostle Paul uses the term, stedfast to illustrate this attitude. just a cursory reading of this word elicits a feeling of moving forward. Be steady but moving along. The term literally means to be firm and fixed on a purpose. We all have short and long-term goals. The ultimate goal of a disciple of Christ is to become more like Him and shine a spotlight on Him in the process. This will happen when we dust off after a failure and return to the part of discipleship. The most meaningful move that we can make when in a valley of life is towards our Savior in steadfast persistence.

What failures are you allowing to hold you back. Are you allowing disappointments of the past to move you from the path of Christlikeness? Today is a great opportunity to cast those burdens at His feet and return to the work of the Lord.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Our Rock in Times of Trouble

Psalms 61:2-3 - From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

Periods of sorrow and hopelessness are timeless. Throughout history even the best of men have experienced these emotions. David, a man after God’s own heart and the author of numerous Psalms was not exempt. Even the Apostle Paul at one point despaired of his own life as persecution waxed hot. It is not ‘if’ such trouble will present itself in our lives, but ‘when’ it will appear.

The good news is that scripture provides guidance on how to navigate the inevitable pitfalls of life. David offers three nuggets of wisdom:

1.     Cry unto Him.
2.     He is our rock.
3.     He is our shelter and high tower.

In a nutshell, when trouble comes we should run to the Lord instead of away. Human nature wants to avoid anything remotely connected to God (His people, word, and church). The world says that we can stand on our own two feet. The flesh strives to solve heart problems with alcohol, drugs, fleshly lusts, etc. All of these simply mask the true issue and serve to drive us deeper into despair. The current statistics that indicate approximately 10 percent of adults and a shocking 20 percent of teens suffer some type of prolonged depressive symptoms supports the fact that what we are generally doing is not working. I understand that mental illness is a multifaceted, complex issue, but a neglect of spiritual matters cannot be ignored.

The remedy is to recognize the rock that towers above all else, Jesus Christ. Cast your cares upon Him. Look to the one that is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast! The one who delivered the elect family of God eternally when he laid down his life on the cross is more than equipped to bless us to navigate us through periods of sorrow and helplessness in the day-to-day affairs of life.

Oh! sometimes the shadows are deep,
And rough seems the path to the goal,
And sorrows, sometimes how they sweep
Like tempests down over the soul.
Oh! sometimes how long seems the day,
And sometimes how weary my feet!
But toiling in life’s dusty way,
The Rock’s blessed shadow, how sweet!
Then near to the Rock let me keep
If blessings or sorrows prevail,
Or climbing the mountain way steep,
Or walking the shadowy vale.
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

Michael D. Green, Jr.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"If Only"

I recently read an article denoting some keys to effective growth. One of the author’s suggestions was to avoid using “if-only” statements at all cost. This involves blaming another person or group for your failings. If only someone else were doing a better job, then things would change for the better. In education this might represent inattentive parents or involvement from an out of touch government. In your community this might be blaming politicians or the economy for the current state of affairs. If only we had good leaders… If only there were more jobs…

This thinking can also affect our discipleship! Think about think about the “if-only” statements that we often times revert to regarding the public assembly. “If only so and so were here. They needed that sermon!” “If only Sister _______ would assist more with cleanup, things would be better.” “If only other people would give more, we could better minster to others!”

We are also prone to play the blame game in other areas of our walk. My friends, this is most unproductive. The Bible teaches that discipleship begins with us. In Philippians 2:12, the apostle Paul instructs us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. He then outlines how we are responsible for shining as lights in a crooked and perverse world. The onus is not on those that are evil, but we who have been quickened by the Spirit.

While most problems are generally complex with multiple areas of blame, God expects behavior change and growth to begin with us. Who are you blaming for your surrounding woes? The economy? The government? A different race? Evil people in your community? Slack church members? Scripture requires change to begin with you! What areas of life are you stuck in a rut because you are playing the “if only” game?


Michael D. Green, Jr.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Ah rest, sweet rest! We have finally reached the stage in life that our youngest is sleeping through the night. What a joyful day indeed! I am thankful for the grace that God gives parents (especially my wife) to keep everyone alive and function throughout the day with minimal, sporadic sleep. But repose from this stage of life is most welcome.

Thus it is with discipleship as well. We should be thankful for the spiritual rest that comes from Above. The Psalmist wrote, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass (37:7).”  It is a blessing to know that we can enjoy peace in spite of the ever-growing wickedness around us. Even when things are not going as we think they ought, we can still rest in Him.

Naturally speaking, a lack of rest can create two situations. One involves impaired judgment. When you are tired small problems can seem monumental. We become anxious, short with others, and easily agitated when sleep deprived. The other condition is resignation to your restless state. What is likely a temporary situation seems to be your lot in life. Neither is pleasant. But what joy and contrast when rest is finally found!

Spiritual rest is a welcome blessing to the child of God. When Israel hardened their hearts towards God in the wilderness, they missed out on rest for 40 years (Hebrews 3). But oh what joy it was when finally given to them. Such it is with us today.  There is peace and clarity when we patiently rest in the Lord. There is a relief in His rest that nothing in the world can offer.