Don’t Waste It

Good Sunday morning friends.  It is SUNDAY!!  Don’t waste it.  In fact, let’s talk about that.

The Apostle Paul had a litany of learning experiences in the years of his Christian walk.  His summation of life is laid out in II Timothy 4:7-18.  He said in verse 7 he had fought a good Fight.  In verse 10 he knew what it was like to be Forsaken by friends in the ministry.  Verse 14 he named a Foe who had done him much evil.  But, in verse 16 he expressed Forgiveness to any who had left him in his time of need.  Paul fully knew who his ultimate Foe was, Satan, the lion that is seeking whom he may devour, and that the Lord was his deliverer in verse 17-18.  As he often did, Paul closed his letter to Timothy by listing his precious Friends.  Paul did not waste any of it.

Your admonishment this morning, is this;  Do Not Waste Anything.

Don’t waste the Trials.  Give God Praise in them, for them, and after them.  Paul began all but three of his letters with praise.  Don’t waste the opportunity of Prayer.  Colossians 1:3 “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Praying always for you.”  Don’t waste the Practical life application of your trial.  Do something for someone, listen, visit, cook a meal, do someone’s laundry, clean their garden, encourage.  I think of Jeff Easter, who has never wasted one bus breakdown.  He has taken every opportunity to get greasy under a bus to help everyone else with their own to get them down the road.  Ms. Angel has  been able to help so many walk through breast cancer because of her trial just like Sheri Easter and Kathy Jeter helped her from the start.

Don’t waste the Time.  If you are young, don’t waste it.  This is as young as you are ever going to be (I Tim 4:12).  Middle agers, your babies will only be small once.  “I wish I had worked more overtime” said NO ONE on their headstone.  Elders, you still have time to impart wisdom and love like no one else can.  Nobody loves like grandparents.

Don’t waste the Teaching.  I know people who have been to Sunday school for decades but they cannot give you one scripture reference for the cardinal doctrines of the faith.  Sunday sermon after sermon goes by when the man of God studies and seeks the Spirit of God for the needs of the flock but it is gone from consciousness once we get to our lunch destination.  I remember hearing Maze Jackson preach out of Genesis, “Somebody Touched Heaven For Me” in 1988.  We subscribe to every podcast, devotional blog, facebook blah blah dribble, and yet I believe I can say that much of it is wasted in preference to opinion, social acceptance or selfish activity.  Don’t waste it.  We learn sound scriptural teachings to benefit someone else.  Don’t waste it by keeping it to yourself.




Let us look at the parables of Jesus in Matthew chapter 13.  Scofield labels verses 24 through 30 as the “Second mystery, the tares among the wheat.”  In verse 36 Jesus’ disciples ask Him to explain the meaning of that particular parable.  Anyone who has ever heard Dr. Bailey Smith preach more than once has most likely heard his message on this passage. Let me expound from a personal, agrarian point of view.  In my boyhood days, daddy and I would plant fields of corn or grain sorghum to feed my FFA show stock and quarter horses in the winter.  There would be no wicked sower to come and sow wild seed in our dressed corn patch but still the bane of grain growers, Johnson grass, would grow up right along with our precious feed corn.  That wicked sprout looked so much like those grain sprouts that the untrained eye could not easily spot the difference.  In the corn patch it was easier to pull or hoe out the weed because of the width of the rows as long as you got it early.  But, in a wheat field it is almost impossible without pulling up the wheat along with it.  Johnson grass is a fake, a fraud, a poser. It looks the part early on but it bears no fruit and entangles its roots with the good grain until it causes unavoidable damage.

I wonder how many in our churches today are tares.  They can dress it up, sing up a storm and play the part a church member but the reality is they are one of the Johnson Grass gang.  Fake, fraud, living a lie and perhaps, sown by the enemy to bring destruction to the true and faithful through the entanglement of improper relationships or sinful strongholds.  Some may just be lost, unsaved church members.  I recall a night many years ago with Gold City in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The afore mentioned Dr. Bailey Smith brought his famous wheat and tares message.  At the end he asked each person to turn to the person on their left and right and give a truthful statement of whether they knew for sure if they were saved.  I turned to my right and looked one of my best friends in the eye and declared with assurance that I was saved.  With a sobered expression Channing Eleton looked back at me and said, “I am not sure.  I am really not sure I am saved.”  I told him there was one way to know for sure.  I bowed beside him in the altar and Channing asked the Lord to save his soul.  No one looked the part, acted the part, or prepared more professionally than Channing but he came to a point that could not go no further without a confrontation with the truth.  We have heard stories like this that have happened to pastors, deacons, evangelists, aged church members, preachers kids and preachers wives who have played the part just pretending.  Just ask my wife, a preachers daughter and a preachers wife who was saved just back on November 11, 2012.

Time to examine the field.  Wheat or Tare.  Harvest time is coming.


Charity… I Corinthians 13

We all know that there are times when that core thread of love is the only thing that keeps us out there when our question is, “Why am I doing this?”  Let us look at love.

Paul was writing to a carnal, sensual, flesh led people in the Greek region of Corinth right outside of Athens.  Their identity of love was of self fulfillment.  Their particular brand was ‘Eros’ love.  Paul was giving direction on how charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, should be the guiding force of the ministry of their church and how differently it was displayed and recognized.  Charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, is a love that causes us to love when our flesh normally would not love.  Our flesh loves attention, an audience, possessions… basically, it wants what it wants what it wants, when it wants it and how it wants it and will do whatever it takes to get it.  But, charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, as described in I Corinthians 13 is not interested in acclaim nor high education on display (v1).  Charity is greater than biblical knowledge and even faith (v2).  Charity is not about giving things away or wearing ourselves out for a cause (v3).  Charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, is patient and kind, not envious nor proud (v4), not unseemly but unselfish, thick-skinned and holy-minded (v5).  Charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, does not seek to see what it can get away with but enjoys whatsoever things that please the Lord (v6).  Charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, believes that what the Bible says is truth, hopes in its promises, and will stand for it in spite of ridicule or embarrassment (v7).  The greatest attribute of charity, Holy Ghost prompted love, is that it never, ever, ever, never fails (v8).

Years ago, two men imparted wise words about the love this passage is  speaking of, charity, that have stuck with me.  “Stay away from performance based relationships.  They will never last.”  Gerald Wolfe, June 2000, Ketchikan, Alaska.  “No one cares how much you know till they know how much you care.”  Pastor Rick Proffitt, August 2010, preaching at Middle Tennessee Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

My Daddy, Lloyd, gave me the greatest lessons on charity that I have ever learned as he has lived as a husband, father, deacon, teacher, salesman, and most of all a friend.  My Mama, Debra, has been the object of my daddy’s love for almost 50 years.  I watched her love her elementary students that did not receive love at home, give as the Lord directed her, and dutifully care for her mother as Alzheimer’s stole her away.  She also loved me when she would utter these words, “THIS HURTS ME MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU!”  My daddy had to show that kind of love a lot more often as I recall.  My Chikadee, Angel, my Snuggle Buggle, Abby, and my Sugar Booger, Addy, bring out love in me that I would never know without them in my life.

As we celebrate love this week I pray the Lord will bring to the forefront of our minds the love that He wants us to live, charity, Holy Ghost prompted love.

Long Live Old Time Religion,


Like I Wish… I Timothy 1:12-13

Good Sunday morning friends.  Praise the Lord who has given us life, and health, and strength and another day to live for Him.

We had the distinct pleasure of enjoying a singing with Greater Vision this past Friday night at Calvary Baptist in Statham, Georgia.  Matt Dibler, who is music minister there, and I agreed at the end of the evening that we did not realize how much we both needed such a wonderful service. Gerald, Rodney and Chris did their usual outstanding job as they sang through their library of favorite songs.  Rodney sang my very favorite song of his, “He’ll Carry Me” and Chris did my favorite song he has written, “For All He’s Done”. Then Chris sang a great song Rodney wrote years ago, “Like I Wish I’d Lived”.  This particular night they guys sang that song with just Gerald at the piano.  The lyrics took me back to a life changing memory I want to share with you.

In the fall of 1990 I was a freshman at Snead State Community College in Boaz, sweet home Alabama.  I was taking a night class on computer coding.  Picture 3 foot tall computer towers with a 10 inch black screen, green letters on the screen, a real floppy disk and not a cell phone in the room.   Sitting on my right was a young man whom I had graduated High School with named Chad Wilmore.  In fact, we had gone to school together since 7th grade.  After about 3 weeks of that night class Chad began to talk to me very curiously.  He said, “Adam, have you ever heard that Jesus Christ died for your sins?”  Of course.  “Do you know that Jesus loves you and if you believe on him…” Whoa, What?  That is when I interrupted Chad and said, “Chad, I know what you are talking about.  I’m a Christian.  I got saved when I was 6 years old.”  He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and said, “Really?  Hmm.”  He turned back to his computer and I sat there the rest of the class bewildered and convicted.  As I tried to hide the tears that ran down my cheeks I thought about how Chad had watched my life since we were 13 years old and not one thing he saw indicated that I knew Christ or considered myself a Christian.  That night Chad Wilmore changed my life.  I knew that I could not go back and fix all my mistakes but I could begin to live like I wish I had lived through those school years.  I will answer before the Almighty for the works I did not do back then and I do not look forward to it.

I did what Abram did in Genesis 12 when he told Sarai his wife to hide their relationship in order to blend in and save his neck.  I just wanted to fit in and that decision cost me dear, precious time I cannot regain.

My mind went back 26 years and I wept bitter tears as Chris sang his song but they turned to tears of hope and dedication as I prayed the lyrics to the Lord.  My question is this; does anyone in your everyday life recognize that you believe in Jesus Christ.  It is a simple but sobering question.  Lord let us live today like we wish we had in the past.

Thank you Lord for Chad Willmore,