STUCK! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #1- Salvation, continued)

Sometimes Christians get STUCK on the issue of SALVATION.  Really.  Getting saved in the Bible seems pretty straightforward.  Living out one’s salvation (“continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling“, Phil. 2:12) is another matter.

In this series of messages for Crossroads Fellowship Church I am focusing on ten areas which bog down the believer.  Let’s look at our text on salvation one more time:

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (Titus 3)

As a result of His saving work in our lives, we have become HEIRS and ought to DEVOTE OURSELVES to doing what is good (v. 8).  So often the Christian’s life is a bunch of words!  In the Broadway play “My Fair Lady,” the main character sings the following:  “Words, words, words!
  I’m so sick of words.  
I get words all day through
.  First from him, now from you
!  Is that all you blighters can do?”  Then she sings, “Sing me no song, read me no rhyme
, Don’t waste my time, show me!
  Don’t talk of June, don’t talk of fall
, Don’t talk at all!
 Show me!”  [There is one more stanza which reads:  “Haven’t your arms, hungered for mine?  Please don’t ‘explain,’ show me, show me!  Don’t wait until wrinkles and lines, Pop our all over my brow, show me now!”]!  We must SHOW our salvation by the DEEDS that we do!

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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in christian life


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Great Deal on My Book DOCWALK!

Friends: Have I got a deal for you! My book, DocWalk: Putting into Practice What you SAY You Believe, will be sent to you IF you sent $10 to my PayPal account:

Screenshot 2016-01-17 08.37.59 Go to, click on “Pay or Send Money,” and that’s it! I’ll be notified via email that you have paid for the book and I’ll send it to you. You are also welcome to send me your shipping address (email me at

This book — DocWALK — is the logical follow-up to my book DocTALK.  Some of the chapter titles are:  “The Believer’s Acceptance,” “The Believer’s Authority,” “The Believer’s Anatomy” (five parts), “The Believer’s Associations,” etc.  The book is fondly dedicated to Brother Tom Taylor who is now with the Lord.

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Posted by on February 25, 2016 in DocWALK


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Living for Jesus in an Un-Christian World (Part 1)

Please remember me in prayer for my conference in Detroit, Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 9.03.37 AMNov. 6-8. The theme we have chosen is “Living for Jesus in an Un-Christian World.” We’ll be working our way through the little epistle of Jude.

In this series of posts I would like to touch on several of the issues we will be discussing during our weekend together.  I’m working on a booklet with the title of the conference that I hope can be done by the November weekend.


Before we look at the little letter from Jude to a group of Jesus-followers, let’s think about the issue of life in this world.  How is the Christian to conduct himself or herself in this God-forsaking, Bible-rejecting, Jesus-ignoring culture?

Although we could multiply such negative descriptors of our world, we must first acknowledge that there is much good in the universe that God has made, and we are commanded to enjoy His physical blessings with thanksgiving (I Tim. 6).  However, we find ourselves in a progressively unchristian or post-christian or even anti-Christian environment.   The Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2015, legitimated same-sex marriages, forbidding all states from banning such unions.

The 1973 Roe v. Wade SCOTUS decision, one which has cost the lives of an estimated fifty-five million children made in the image of God, rocked the Christian world — and we have been unable to do anything to have that ruling overturned.  The third most populous country in the world with 321 million people, the United States, one might argue, has systematically executed almost 1/6 of its citizens.

What are the believer’s options in living for Jesus in such an un-Christian world?  There appear to be only four possible choices that a Christian can make.  The first option is:

CONFORMITY:  The believer in Jesus can choose to not rock the boat, to Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 9.09.04 AMbecome exactly like the world around him, holding the same ethical values as his culture, and live a relatively conflict-free life in comfort.  The world will then see no discernible differences between believers and unbelievers, but will also have no reason to persecute those who claim to be Jesus-followers.  They will be seen as people who have nothing better to do on Sundays than attend half-empty churches, sing ancient songs to each other, and occasionally enjoy a pot-luck meal together.  The Christian can choose to conform.  (to be continued)

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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in CHRISTIAN LIVING


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Psalms of My Life! (Psalm 15)

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 5.25.48 AM

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 5.27.19 AMthings
    will never be shaken.

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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in the Psalms


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How to Get Spiritually Healthy! (a study of Titus – Part 15)

In these posts, we’ve been focusing on two things:  (1) The first area:  My efforts at “returning Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.24.40 AMto the gym,” “doing some reps,” and getting in better shape.  So, I’ve been talking about some of the exercise machines that I’ve been using at our university’s facility.  (2) The second area we been thinking about is our study in the little letter of Paul to Titus, on the issue of SPIRITUAL HEALTH.

The LAT PULL DOWN is a machine that has you stand on your tippy-toes (real body-builders don’t use the expression “tippy-toes,” but I know my place) and grab two handles and then you pull down, using your lat muscles.  This one I can set at 120 pounds, causing all the other exercisers around me to gasp, “He’s 64!  And he’s pulling down almost twice his age on the LAT machine!”  (usually I’m the only one in the gym at 6:30 AM, but I can imagine what some might say, if they, the slackers, were there).

I’m no expert on muscle “groups,” but I’ve found my lat muscles.  I don’t think my muscles like to group together or hang out together or be seen together.  But I can simply follow the pain in the back of my shoulders and I’ve located my lat muscle(s).

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 7.45.08 AMWhich raises the issue of our spiritual muscles and our study: the Epistle of Titus, whose theme seems to be how to be SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY.

Let’s look at our next section in chapter two and list a few questions to think about —

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

These are my all-time favorite verses in Titus, perhaps in the whole Bible.  I see a lot here, but a couple of questions for us to think about:

1.  How does God’s grace offer salvation to all people (v. 11)?

2.  What are some negatives that Christianity teaches those who Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PMfollow Jesus ought to practice (v. 12)?

3.  How do we positively live for the Lord, according to verses 12 and 13?

4.  How does verse 13 show the DEITY of the Lord Jesus?

5.  What kind of people is God seeking to produce (vv. 14-15)?

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in spiritual health


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What animals are thinking #19 (scroll down)


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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in posing


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In our course, “The Integration of Theology and Psychology,” KeynoteScreenSnapz019Dr. Allan McKechnie and I have been discussing the doctrine of salvation and its implications for counselors who are Christians.  One aspect of salvation is the continuing work of God the Holy Spirit in making us like Christ.  This doctrine is called SANCTIFICATION.  The word means “being set apart” or “being made holy.”

I believe I Timothy 4 presents us with ten very specific steps we may take to advance in our becoming like Christ.  Let’s look at that passage and continue investigating those ten steps.

I Timothy 4 says,

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

The FIRST STEP we saw in this text was simply:  PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU AVOID (v. 7)



The FOURTH STEP here in this text is:  REST ON WHAT IS WORTHY OF YOUR TRUST (v. 9)

The FIFTH STEP we see in this passage is simply: WORK HARD IN YOUR LIFE OF FAITH IN THE LORD (v. 10)


The SEVENTH STEP which helps us to become spiritual is DEVOTE YOURSELF TO THE WORD OF GOD AND THE USE OF YOUR GIFT (vv. 13-14)

The EIGHTH STEP in moving on in our spirituality comes out of verse 15  where we are told to BE DILIGENT IN WHOLLY COMMITTING YOURSELF TO YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

The NINTH STEP in advancing in our spiritual growth comes out of verse 16 and it is simply:  DON’T DIVORCE WHAT YOU BELIEVE FROM HOW YOU BEHAVE!

The TENTH STEP in pursuing spirituality also comes from verse 16 and it is this:  DON’T GIVE UP FOR YOUR SAKE OR THE SAKE OF OTHERS!  Verse 16 says, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

There are so many forces which challenge the perseverance of the believer.  The tragedies of life, the questions raised by unbelievers, the pain of having our gospel witness rejected, the disappointments when God doesn’t behave the way we would like Him to — all of these can combine their forces to scream one message to us:  “GIVE UP!”

On October 29, 1941, United Kingdom (Great Britain) Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, as well as to speak to the students. This became one of his most quoted speeches, due to distortions that evolved about what he actually said.

The myth is that Churchill stood before the students and said, “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give in. Never give in. Never give in. Never give in.” Then he sat down. In reality, he made a complete speech that included words similar to what are often quoted. Also, some believe he said, “Never give up.” That too is incorrect.  At any rate, the message of NEVER GIVE UP needs to be heard and heeded by followers of Jesus!


1.  Scripture says that “no man lives to himself and no man dies to himself.”  We affect each other by the way we live or don’t live.  List several people that your life impacts either positively or negatively.

2.  The Ten Steps that we have seen here in I Timothy 4 are not magic or instant.  They require commitment, steadfastness, determination, and a desire to not stay the same!  How is status quo spirituality overcome by the individual believer?

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in I Timothy 4


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