Month: October 2017

The Dangers of Dabbling in Christianity

The Dangers of Dabbling in Christianity

Matthew 7:13-23

 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


One of the things I have a strong disdain for are the cute little so-called “Christian” bumper stickers that I have seen. One that comes to mind is the one that says; “Try Jesus.” Now I know that those who promote this sticker mean well, but the consequences of this flippant suggestion can be fatal!


Jesus is not a fad to be tried, He is not a passing idea, He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings; a better sticker might say . . . Have you considered Jesus? Let me explain . . .


Over the course of my life I have heard folks say things like; “Yes, I used to “dabble” in the stock market; or I “dabbled in the occult” or “I used to dabble in Buddhism” or some other religion.


Today I want to address a problem that exists in our culture that may be far more dangerous than anything we ever imagined. It is a mindset that can be fatal, if allowed to run its course.


I fear that many people, maybe even some reading this today, are “dabbling” in Christianity. Here is the definition of dabbling . . .


Dabbling – to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest


Christianity is a very attractive way of living for those who have no real understanding of what being Christian entails. The hallmarks of a Christian from an earthly perspective might be things like:

  • Godly
  • Wholesome
  • Moral
  • Respected


What tends to happen, is that a person feels attracted to the “Christian lifestyle” and may even end up attending a church; checking things out to see if they can “fit in.”


After a season at the church, those folks who want this lifestyle learn all the Christian speak, they have the words down pat, and begin to look and act like a real Christian.


These folks have heard about Jesus, about the new birth, the need for baptism, and membership, they have taken communion and have done all the right things and are a bona fide member of the church community . . . yet there is a certain something lacking.


Could it be that this group is just “dabbling” in Christianity?


Could it be that the need to belong has superseded the need to be converted to Christ?


There are certain aspects of the Christian lifestyle that tend to be overlooked by the dabblers. Primarily those aspects are things that involve serving, money, and commitment.


It is hard to get a “dabbler” to consider the Biblical mandate to tithe on income they receive, or to give financially to any major project or missionary effort.


The giving is only done to the point where it is manageable and is rarely if ever, a true sacrifice. Money is far too important to the “dabbler” to squander it on Jesus and His efforts to reach the lost.


The “dabbler” often looks for ways around this mandate. Some will consider their acts of “service” to equate to a tithe. For instance, a “dabbler” may have some talent and will use that talent in the church, then consider that talent as a tithe, or benefit to the church and they placate themselves thinking that they gave something to God. The fact is, God gave them the talent in the first place and they are stealing from God.


The problem with that sort of thinking; trading service for tithe that is, is that the service given to God is then purchased, it is not service at all, there was no sacrifice, no true worship of God, but rather a deception and an ungodly attempt to steal from the Most High God! What a dangerous activity . . .


Along those lines, getting a “dabbler” to serve God is really hard. Just like those who try and trade tithe for service, the “dabbler” seldom serves unless there is a direct benefit to them.


If service means a few accolades from the church body; a pat on the shoulder, then they will go ahead and do it, after all, they need to stay in the lifestyle and service appears to be a part of that.


Yet, for the “dabbler” there are always excuses for not being able to serve, there are family issues, time constraints, and a host of other things that are far too important to allow service to Jesus to interfere . . . He will understand.


Even more difficult, is getting a “dabbler” to make a strong and abiding commitment to the church; it is almost impossible! The “dabbler” will find many reasons to avoid commitment to any lasting agreement.


Often a “dabbler” will make a commitment, then realize later on that the commitment was a mistake and will begin to find ways to get out of the commitment, often getting upset at the leadership for prodding or end up having problems with someone inside the church, which usually leads to that “dabbler” leaving the church and heading to another one.


The unfortunate end of those who “dabble” in Christianity, is that they end up lost and without Christ!


Most of these “dabblers” have convinced themselves that they are actually Christians and that they are saved, rescued from sin and Satan, but the sad reality is that they are not, and in the end, the stunning Words of Jesus will ring painfully in their ears . . .


Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


How terrible to hear these words of Christ after a lifetime of “dabbling.”


Self-deception is a powerful tool the enemy uses to keep people deluded right up to the end!


So what constitutes a real Christian anyway . . . let’s see . . .


First, back to the bumper sticker . . . “Try Jesus.” When we try and compel a lifestyle on someone, we could actually be leading them into a lifetime of self-deception that could be fatal to their soul!


You see, Jesus says in John 6:44

John 6:44

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them . . .


Unless you have been drawn by the Holy Spirit to come to Christ, you cannot be saved!

Too often we end up introducing people to a lifestyle rather than a Savior!


When this happens, the person begins “dabbling” in Christianity and they will suffer a terrible fate!


True Christians introduce people to Jesus, and He and them come to a decision about salvation! If the Holy Spirit has been drawing them to Himself, then there is a strong possibility that they will be redeemed and the new life of Christ will explode in them!


The person who has been drawn by the Holy Spirit to Christ, who then receives the Savior, who openly and honestly embraces the salvation granted through Jesus, will experience a new birth; Jesus called it “being born again.”


It is a spiritual birth, a new and amazing spiritual awakening that transforms everything.


The newly born Christian falls madly in love with the deliverer; they no longer live for themselves, but for Him!


The new spiritual babe is exceedingly hungry for God’s Word, and the first thing they ask for is a Bible; they will fly into it, devouring all they can!


You will find it hard to pull them away from God’s Word; often they will even give up meals so they can read it!


Unlike the “dabbler” when a person who has been born of the Spirit, comes across passages that speak about giving tithes and offerings, they rejoice, often giving way beyond the minimum of 10%. I have known those who have given everything they have and they did it with tremendous joy!


The true Christian will see the financial need within the Body of Christ and will sacrifice much to see those needs met, often going without so that others may not have to!


The true Christian does not think their needs outweigh the needs of others, but actually, see others as being infinitely more valuable than they are!


When it comes to service, to offering their talents to God, the true Christian will give it all. Like the prophet Isaiah who heard these words from God . . .


Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”


The true Christian is not self-centered, but rather God-centered. When an opportunity arises to serve the living Christ, they will not miss it!


When the Body of believers finds an occasion to serve Jesus, they will do all they can to be there, supporting anyway they can . . . and they will do it with a cheerful and happy heart, not grudgingly and sad!


The truly converted person will not only step up and serve when the occasion arises, they will also find new and creative ways to serve God!


For the true Christian, commitment is part and parcel of their life now. They are more than willing to step up and serve Christ in the church, making lasting commitments to the Body of Christ through the church.


Membership in the church is not taken lightly and they step up, making a difference to the organization that God is using to advance His Kingdom.


May I continue to draw a contrast . . .


Dabblers tend to complain a great deal; always seeing the negative side of things. The reason being is that they have very little experience of God.


They know that God is strong, or at least part of the Christian lifestyle is to say that God is strong and able; but the sad reality is that God is not very strong to them personally, so they tend to live in an attitude of defeat.


The true Christian knows God is strong; He has been delivered from death, hell and the grave and he knows it!


Whether life on earth is hard or easy really does not matter to him, because he knows the Master in an intimate way and the true believer will exude an air of joy, even in the midst of pain.


Finally . . .


After a great deal of consideration, I believe that “dabblers” are of the utmost importance to the enemy of God and that would be satan. Now hear me out . . .


I think it is a strategic decision on the part of satan to foist upon as many as he can the desire to “do” Christianity.


To be sure, this is risky business on his part, to send to the church interested people who are attracted to a Christian lifestyle, but historically, this seems to have worked for him.


Let’s say we have a church that is growing and people are truly coming to Christ. The word will get out, and those who are interested in the Christian lifestyle, are very much attracted to those moves of God. The real deal is amazing to watch and participate in.


The devil is very interested in any move of God, so he will do all he can to attempt to shut that down, and one of the best ways is to send “dabblers.”


The work of God begins to grow and those who “dabble” gently infiltrate the Body of Christ. The “dabblers” have preferences you know.


After time goes by they will want the worship styles to look and sound a certain way, the focus is no longer on God, but on their favorite way of singing or worshiping, squabbles over Bible translations may arise, along with a host of other things to nit-pick over; things that draw attention away from Jesus and on to man. Some will be very vocal about this and divisions begin.


The “dabblers” will step into positions of leadership and try and move the church in directions other than where the Spirit had intended.


Too often when “dabblers” do not get their way, they try and create little groups convincing these little clusters that the church is going in the wrong direction and we need to change it.


The powerful move of God is now beginning to wane; the attention is being shifted from a powerful God who is converting the lost, to the needs of the “dabblers” who never knew God in the first place.


The church slows even more; the newly converted are disillusioned and begin to drop away; by now even the “dabblers” see the church falling away too and the “lifestyle” they wanted to keep appears to be diminishing.


Since many of the “dabblers” remain, and they are not free to give of their time and resources, the church suffers and slows even further.


A new work in the area shows promise and word of a revival begins to spread, the “dabblers” quickly run to see and join into the work, only to be used by the enemy again.


In the end, dabblers will hear the stinging words of the Mighty Savior as He declares . . . ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’                  Jesus also said . . .


John 17:3

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.


I think when we see Jesus; we will all utter those words . . . Lord. Lord! Let me ask you; do you know what His response will be when you say those words to Him?


Will He welcome you in, or send you away? If you are not sure of the answer, then please . . . settle it once and for all!


Have you been dabbling?


Are you being used by the enemy to put down a revival?


Is the Spirit calling you, drawing you?


Would you like to meet Jesus?  


Why not now?

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Holiness, 1 comment
The Lord Disciplines Those He Loves

The Lord Disciplines Those He Loves

I had met Jesus during the summer of 1990; what an amazing year! Through the efforts of a local church; my family was drawn to an encounter with God; an encounter that would change the course of our lives forever!


I was employed at the time by a local manufacturing facility. I was a project maintenance technician. My job was primarily to install new equipment, which also required fabricating the necessary support apparatus required; things like steel decking, catwalks, chutes, ladders and much more.


Now, prior to me becoming friends with Jesus, I was quite versed in the ways of the world. What I mean to say is that, among many other things, I had a serious cursing problem . . . I knew all the curse words and was quite proficient in that particular dialect.


However, when I met Jesus, everything began to change; especially my language. After about 6 months of walking with my new found Friend Jesus, I really thought I was making great progress.


One evening at work, a coworker who had a special knack for getting under my skin, was pushing the limits of my new found patience. He was really getting to me and I couldn’t take it anymore, so I spun around and gave him a real verbal tongue lashing, using some of the more disgusting vocabulary I had accumulated over the years.


Now, to be sure, this was not the first time I had delivered such a tirade to this man; but it was the first time I had done it since I’d became friends with Jesus! My coworker was equally versed in this crude American dialect, and as always, gave it right back to me. After he uttered his comeback, he stormed away in a huff!


I stood there feeling awful and quite disgusted with myself for having stooped so low. Since it was the night shift, I headed out back of the building and went outside.


I got on my knees, and looking to the dark sky, I cried out to the Lord; “Oh Lord, I can’t believe I said that to him.” In the quiet darkness, I thought I heard the Lord say back to me; “I do!”


I apologized to the Lord for the unkind and ugly words I had spoken to my coworker; and I asked God to forgive me. The Lord, as always in His kind voice, assured me that I was forgiven. I felt relieved, and as I stood up to go back inside, the Lord said to me; “Now I want you to go in there and apologize him.”




“Wait a minute Lord; you don’t know him like I know him. If tell him I’m sorry, I’ll never hear the end of it! He will only get even angrier with me.” I could tell that the Lord was serious about this and that He was not going let me get out of it.


So . . . I went and tracked down this guy whom I had excoriated a half hour ago. I pulled him aside and told him how very sorry I was that I had said such unkind words to him.


He looked intently at me; then he proceeded to tell what a blankety blank blank jerk I was and then he told me to go and blankety, blank . . . you get the idea!


He did just what I knew he would do . . . and I had it coming. The thing is; after God pressed me to do the right thing with that guy; the whole cursing thing was over and done with! I don’t think I have ever used a curse word since and it has been nearly 30 years!


God will discipline those He loves . . .


When was the last time God showed you some love?

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, 0 comments
A Form of Godliness

A Form of Godliness

One of the things I love to do is preach! It seems to be the one thing that is always in my heart and has been burned into my spirit! I long to see the “church” come alive and experience all it should and could be! Indeed, anytime people of faith come together to hear the Word of God proclaimed; amazing things can happen.


There is however, an element of great danger for some who to meet like that . . . so much is at stake! Every time we come together and share the Word of God; which by the way the Bible says is sharper than ANY two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), hardened as it may be; we have choices to make; some of those choices will determine the fate of our eternal soul!


I have a background in metal working and there is a process by which you can make iron very hard. First, you need to get it extremely hot; and when the conditions are right, you quickly quench the iron bar, either in water or oil, depending on the hardness desired.


There is a rather short window of time whereby the heated metal must be thrust into the cooling medium; once done, the metal becomes quite hard. Similarly, over hardened metal can be softened again by heating and allowing the metal to cool slowly; this process is called annealing.


The danger lies wherein the power of God, through His Word, is touching your heart. Often the heart is strangely warmed, heated by the Holy Spirit if you will, to the point of becoming altogether new; the composition is about to change.


Often it is at this critical point, the flesh rebels and quenches that fire; causing the heart to become excessively hard, brittle and even bitter.


1 Thessalonians 5:19-23

Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.


As with previous generations before us, the world once again is generating conditions that seem to indicate that the coming of our Lord is drawing near. No doubt when the First World War began, many within the Christian Community felt that Christ would soon come. The same was true with World War II and other worldwide conflicts; yet today it seems like the increase is feeling like; as Jesus said, “Birth Pangs.”


The Bible gives us a list of things to be alert to concerning the time right before Jesus` predicted return:


  • Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” We are fascinated with the culture of death and evil.


  • “Jesus… said many false prophets and false teachings will abound


  • “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”


  • “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”


  • Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God


All of these things are happening right now, and will continue with ever increasing intensity; like birth pains, until the arrival of Christ.


In the midst of all of these forewarnings, there is one particular warning that continues to grow today, and it is the reason for the broken state of Christianity in our country; indeed our community. This warning is found in 2 Timothy 3 and will be the focus of this blog today.


2 Timothy 3:1-5

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.


When we first read this passage we often think that Paul is referring to the world in which we live; yet this kind of behavior is typical of fallen mankind and is not new. The warning given here is that these types of persons have infiltrated the church!


It talks about a form of godliness which lacks power; could this be the problem the church is facing today? Have we succumbed to forms of godliness, yet have none of the Power of God?


We live in a broken world that is dying and swirling in an ever increasing state of despair. Hopelessness abounds and our own nation is getting angry, frustrated and on the brink of destruction! People in our country are calling for revolution; should we not cry out to God for a revolution in the Church!


We must ask . . .  Where is the POWER of the Church!


Concerning the current state of the supposed Christian church in America, the Barna group, a statistical Christian research organization, did a study a few years ago examining the divorce rates in America. The divorce rate in America hovers at about 50%.


According to Barna, the divorce rate between alleged Christians was almost equal to that of the general population, and even more startling; the rate among fundamental Christians was slightly higher than the national average!


We must ask . . .  Where is the POWER of the Church!


A study on the financial support of the local churches in America revealed startling results as well. The average Christian in America gives 2.3% of their income to the local church.


It is estimated if those pretending to love Christ actually did the bare minimum of 10%, an additional $165,000,000,000 (billion) would be made available to Jesus to use. It is estimated that . . .


  • $25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation, and deaths from preventable diseases in five years
  • $12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in five years.
  • $15 billion could solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places in the world where 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day.
  • $1 billion could fully fund all overseas mission work.
  • $100 – $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion.


We must ask . . .  Where is the POWER of the Church!


In the American church, there has been a relaxation of the need to “count” conversions. While many denominations still require it, mine included, we do not place too much emphasis on those numbers anymore.


We often brush off the low conversion rates citing growth groups, relationships, church memberships, and baptisms instead. This is done, I fear, to placate the gnawing sensation that something is very, very wrong in our Americanized church!


When was the last time one of the town drunks, a drug dealer, or person of high or low esteem found Christ in your community! It would have been the talk of the town!


 A broken, impetuous, unskilled speaker; a fisherman by the name of Peter preached in the power of the Holy Spirit one day and 3000 came to faith; they counted them! The Book of acts declared that daily people were added to their number.


We must ask . . .  Where is the POWER of the Church!


It is evident that the warning Paul gave Timothy is at the heart of the problem we are facing today; a form of godliness, with no power!


The church body has become diluted with men and women who are simply not redeemed! There is no Spirit of Christ in them. They are religious impostors! How, you may ask, does this happen?


It did not happen overnight; but rather by many years of complacency and disregard for the demands of the Gospel. The church once held a position of high esteem; those who joined the ranks of the church were seen as upright and noble people, and getting your name on the rolls was important.


Church membership became the end goal, rather than a means to promote Jesus to the community. This has continued to this day!


It is easy to join a church; go down to the river and be baptized; tell everyone you love God and believe in Jesus, take communion when its offered; give 2.3% of your income and smile a lot; imagining that is well with your soul, do this and in most churches you will be viewed as a spiritual person.


You now have now successfully acquired a form of godliness; you have respect in the church and with your peers. The growing numbers of people, whom you see, are just like you. A sense of self-satisfaction grows, and you truly believe that you are quite safe and secure in Christ . . .


We must ask . . .  Where is the POWER of the Church!


Listen to what noted Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon; often referred to as the Prince of Preachers had to say about this subject:


I do not doubt that a form of godliness has come to many because it brings them ease of conscience and they are able, like the Pharisee, to thank God that they are not as other men are. Have they not been to Church? Have they not paid for their pew? They can now go about their daily business without those stings of conscience which would come of neglecting the requirements of religion.


These people profess to have been converted and they are numbered with Believers. But, alas, they are not of them.  Of all people these are the hardest to reach and the least likely to be saved. They hide behind the earthworks of a nominal religion. They are out of reach of the shot and shell of Gospel rebukes. They fly among the sinners and they have taken up their quarters among the saints. Sad is that man’s plight who wears the name of life but has never been quickened by the Holy Spirit.


What then is the power of God which is lacking?


True godliness happens on the inside and works its way to the outside. The true power of God comes when a sinful wicked heart, infected with the curse of Adam, is “re-created” and made new, restored to its intended condition; now that’s the power of God!


Remember the promises of God to Ezekiel. . .


Ezekiel 11:19  

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.


Ezekiel 36:25-27  

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.


At the conclusion of Peter’s message in Acts 2, Peter gives the key to the Spirit-filled life, the way to be baptized in the Holy Spirit; it comes by repentance and baptism, and by baptism, I mean being immersed, covered with Jesus.


The key is repentance! Without it, there will be NO SALVATION and NO SPIRIT-FILLED life. None!


We all want “Godliness with Power” we all want to live victorious Christian lives, but we cannot unless we have repented. What produces repentance?


2 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.


“Godly sorrow” produces repentance. I have to ask you if you have ever felt godly sorrow. Have you ever felt the need to repent, and then actually do it! Because if you have not ever repented, you are NOT redeemed, and you are still in your sins, and are as lost as ever; even more lost, because you have deceived yourself into thinking you are redeemed, when in fact you are not.


Jesus said these stunning words . . .


Matthew 7:21-23

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’


The most revealing and frightening aspect of this passage is that the people we so convinced that they know Jesus; when in fact, they did not!


What can be said of you? Are you holding to a form of godliness, are you the real deal? Deep in your heart, you know the answer.


Will you resist still? Will you quench the Holy Spirit one more time?


This is your chance; for some . . . this is your last chance!


Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones puts it this way . . .


“You do not decide for Christ, the sinner FLIES to Christ in utter helplessness and despair.”


His arms are open wide . . . run to Him!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Holiness, 0 comments
A Plea for Fishing

A Plea for Fishing

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.


Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing.


Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.


Continually, they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. Further, they said, “The fishing industry exists by fishing as fire exists by burning.


They loved slogans such as “Fishing is the task of every fisherman.” They sponsored special meetings called “Fishermen’s Campaigns” and “The Month for Fishermen to Fish.” They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing such as the new fishing equipment, and whether any new bait had been discovered.


These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn’t do, however: They didn’t fish.


In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. The board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about.


But the staff and committee members did not fish.


Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years courses were offered on the needs of fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, the psychological reactions of fish, and how to approach and feed fish.


Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. Year after year, after tedious training, many were graduated and were given fishing licenses. They were sent to do full-time fishing, some to distant waters which were filled with fish.


Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish. But like the fishermen back home, they never fished. Like the fishermen back home, they engaged in all kinds of other occupations. They built power plants to pump water for fish and tractors to plow new waterways. They made all kinds of equipment to travel here and there to look at fish hatcheries.


Some also said that they wanted to be part of the fishing party, but they felt called to furnish fishing equipment. Others felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen. Others felt that simply letting the fish know they were nice, land-loving neighbors and how loving and kind they were was enough.


After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity for Fishing,” one young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported that he had caught two outstanding fish.


He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible, to tell how he did it. So he quit his fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fishermen’s General Board as a person having considerable experience.


Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished. They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”


Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct.


Is a person a fisherman if, year after year, he never catches a fish” Is one following if he isn’t fishing?

Posted by onthesolidrock in Ministries, 0 comments
I am an Alien

I am an Alien

It took a few years to come to this conclusion; but I am convinced that; “I am an alien.”  I know, you are probably rolling your eyes right now thinking; “Rock has finally gone off his ROCK-er.”


Perhaps I have, but allow me to explain . . .


It is no big secret that I am an unashamed follower of Jesus. I am not perfect on my journey with Him, however, I do spend quality time with Him and truly call Him my best Friend. The friendship I am speaking of took a while to develop and was entirely His own idea.


Many years ago, through an amazing set of circumstances, I came to the realization that I was a spiritual mess. After chasing drugs, money and other worthless “things,” I found myself faced with a decision to either believe in God, or walk away, rejecting Him, along with His offer of redemption.


I recall kneeling at an altar in an old barn type building one hot July night, where they were holding “religious services.” I risked everything and went to Him; afraid He would reject me, afraid of what people would say, afraid of my own fallibilities.


As I knelt there, tears flowing, I said to God; “I have nothing to give you, nothing at all.” At that moment, I heard the kindest voice say; “I’ll take it.”


It was there, in that hot building, with dozens of hopeful people looking on, that my friendship with Jesus began. Amazingly, on the other side of that altar, was my wife, Sherri, having a similar experience and she also became a friend of Jesus that night!


It took no time at all for this relationship with Jesus to really get moving. He introduced me to His Father, and to the Holy Spirit, who would come and live constantly with me, helping me, teaching me and directing my steps!


As I alluded to in the beginning of this writing, I did not, and still do not, always get it right. There have been some tumultuous times in our friendship. We have had serious disagreements, we have laughed together, wept together, and there have been times when I thought the relationship might be irrevocably damaged; not on His part, but mine!


The thing is; this friendship with Jesus is so much more. When He introduced me to His Father, there was a celebration and according to God’s own Word; I became adopted into His family . . . WHAT?


Colossians 1:13-14

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”                        


I was rescued from the darkness and brought into His Kingdom! This is not a fantasy show; this is a spiritual reality, but it gets even better!


According to God’s Word, not only have I been rescued, I have been adopted as a son! Seriously? The Bible says . . .


Romans 8:15

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”


Check this out about what adoption rights are . . .


Adoption –   “To take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child”

The adopted child is treated by law as the natural child of the adopting parents, upon the entry of the final adoption decree. The adopted child, therefore, gains the right to inherit from the adoptive parents and adoptive parents’ relatives. . .     (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse)


So . . . there you have it! I am now a permanent citizen of the Kingdom of God! How amazing is that! As an adopted son, now living in “The Kingdom of God” it behooves me to learn all I can about my new home and to live in such a manner as to reflect my gratitude for this amazing gift!


As I have studied the ways of His “Kingdom” I have come to the realization that it truly is my spiritual home; I reside there NOW! I don’t have to die to get there!


One thing we learn quickly as an adopted son or daughter is that, God our Father, along with the Son (Jesus) and The Holy Spirit, is on a mission. Furthermore, those who are adopted into this family of God, are invited to join in this mission and are expected to wholeheartedly engage in it!


For this reason, we are “sent” to the world, to express Kingdom ideas such as; love, peace, joy, salvation, forgiveness, kindness. We are here as missionaries; we are not of this world . . . still not convinced?


Listen to the words of Jesus Himself as He prays to His Father and ours in the Gospel of John . . .


John 17:13-18

But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.


So there it is . . . I am an alien; I come from another place, I am not of this world!       SWEET!


Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, 0 comments