Category Archives: Country preacher

The Certainty of the Cross – Part 2

Wisdom from a country preacher series

– Matt. 16:21-28

Easter

The cross is an eternal symbol of an unadjusted personality in an evil world.

Daniel wouldn’t adjust to an evil world. John the Baptist wouldn’t, Paul wouldn’t and Jesus wouldn’t.

An Indian Chief sent four young Braves up a mountain to test their strength, bring back something to prove how high they got. The first brought back a spruce branch, the second brought a twig from a pine, the third brought an alpine shrub. And the fourth came back exhausted, feet bruised and cut, carrying nothing. He said, “I saw the sea!”

Oh, how we need people to see the sea! To see that holy, uncompromising life full of grace and truth. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free, free from the evils we deplore, set free to be all God intends you to be.

But it involves the certainty of a cross, believing the Jesus is the Crist and has the words to eternal life.

What is the sea? What is it Jesus went to the cross for us to see? By getting acquainted with Jesus we get a new concept of God. John says, “God is love.”

Love gives itself for others. Jesus is saying in verses 24-26, “I love you, I must go to Jerusalem and die for you.”

Jesus was certain of the cross. But he knew by his death on the cross, not for his sins but ours, we could have the Holy Spirit to melt our hard hearts so that we could love one another as God loves us.

How long has it been since you said or heard, “I am sorry.” “I am wrong.”  “You are right.” “I love you.” ” I forgive you.”

The certainty of the cross. There is a cross for everyone.

The Certainty of the Cross – Part 1

Wisdom from a country preacher series 

– Matt. 16:21-28

I feel privilegd to be able to share one of Dad’s Lenten sermons this Easter. Part 1 today, watch for part 2 tomorrow.

Good Friday

Think about the cross this Good Friday

Just as soon as Peter and the disciples  acknowledged who Jesus was he started telling them about his and their cross. The cross was a certainty.

In verse 22, Peter says, “Never, Lord!”

There was a great preacher who said, “I can bear much but there are four things I hate like poison: 1) tobacco smoke, 2) lice, 3) garlic, 4) the cross. Like Peter.

So many believe Christians should have things better, easier.

This scene probably occurred about six months before his crucifixion. Why did Jesus set his face to go to the cross? For the joy set before him he endured the cross, despised the shame, sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)

He could have compromised a little. Kept quiet, not been so outspoken, not stirred up the Jews. He could have gone to Syria. Did he believe in a divine rescue like Abraham and Isaac?

See verse 21, he knew his fate. Legend has it he picked up a beam in the carpenter shop one day and a shadow was cast of him on a cross. He seemed to know his fate. Right after the transfiguration, the Father began talking to him about his death. He told his disciples, “I, if I be lifted up will draw all men unto me.”

He wouldn’t let his friends talk him out of doing what he knew to be the will of God (vs. 22-23). he had to be about the Father’s business. He had a mission in life and so do we.

He never made personal comfort his ambition.

He never made security his ambition.

He never left relationships deter him.

A cross is certain when we follow Christ. Sometimes we fail to take up our cross. We fall in step with the world, alter our course to avoid being different. We may fail to change habits that ruin our witness.

You may say, “I don’t have a cross to carry.” Well, maybe everyone around you has a cross to carry because you always have to have your way.

The unbelieving world tries to squeeze us into its mold.

The cross is an eternal symbol of an unadjusted personality in an evil world.

Part 2 continued Saturday. Please share thoughts above, just under the title.

Solution For the Troubled Heart

Wisdom from a Country Preacher series                                                                 

(Because of the high interest in my dad’s sermon notes, I decided the first Faith Friday post should be from his messages.)

Today we are talking about a troubled heart. I’m not talking about our heart that beats 70 times per minute, not the one you can have a leaking valve in or weak muscle. We’ve got surgeries and pills for that, in fact, we have medicines today for most everything — headache, pain, colds. There’s no pill for the troubled heart. The heart that is troubled is really our mind and emotions, our thoughts.

Notice John 14:1. Jesus tells his disciples, Let not your heart be troubled. Hmmm, Let not. So there is something we can do when troubles come and our minds run off with us. Verse 2, Believe in God.

The news, magazines, and talk shows try to tell us nowadays that our trouble comes from where we are raised, our parents, our affluence. Blame someone else. Jesus says we are responsible for our troubled heart. He says, don’t be troubled, believe in God.

What God? The God that created this universe, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Him we see God.

Jesus says in verse 2 to also believe Him. Believe in God, believe also in me. Follow him. Jesus taught us to believe in God as He did as He let them nail Him to the cross. Verses23-27 says,                                                                                                        23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When we believe in Him, He gives peace — even in troubles, even when we have a troubled heart. There’s no feeling as that of loneliness, being alone, unloved, forsaken. It’s the heart of an unbeliever. Jesus lives in us as Christians. We are never alone. He is our best friend. He says, I will come to you and be with you always.

We don’t have to endure troubles alone. Jesus is closer than a friend. He is there to assure us, comfort us, give us guidance, strength and hope.

Let not your heart be troubled — Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.