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Every one of us Preachers does this.  We read a Bible text and the Holy Spirit of God prompts us clearly.  He says to us:  Get ready!  You will be preaching these verses soon!  And He is right!  The Lord so burns the verses into your heart ... that you must preach them to the people of God.  It is here that I share with you some of the "future sermons" God has laid upon my heart.  In fact, you just might hear me preach one of them some day.


 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15



I saw this view of the Lord's Prayer a couple of weeks ago.  It has thrilled my heart.

It "sets" the model prayer Jesus taught us in the light of Bible history.

It makes it the most "logical" thing one could ever pray!

Let me show you what I mean.

The "text" I'm following is that of Matthew 6:9-13.

"Our Father Which art in Heaven"  God as a personal "Father" is NOT generally an Old Testament doctrine. It fits more into the gracious New Testament pattern. ("Abba" Father!) However, we do find the term used a few times in the Jewish Scriptures.  Notice Exodus 4:22-23.  "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn."  Or again you can see it in Hosea 11:1 where God says:  "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."  Observe that in both texts the subject is Israel being brought out of Egyptian bondage!  That's history!  (Redemptive history!)

"Hallowed be Thy Name"  At the burning bush experience God emphasized the meaning and the holiness of His Name!  "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God."  Then God's Name is introduced into the conversation.  "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations."  And Psalm 111:9 adds this about God's Name:  "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name."

"Thy Kingdom come"  This was God's very goal for historical Israel.  He would be their King!  Their Lord!    Jehovah was grieved when they wanted a man as King, a Saul son of Kish!  In Exodus 19:6 here's what God said to Israel:  "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."  Wow!  As we all now know, Israel rejected God's offer ... but Jesus will still some day sit and rule as "King of the Jews!" (This is a millennial text!)

"Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven"  This petition reminds me of the Old Testament Tabernacle with all its beautiful pictures of Christ Jesus!  God had come down to earth.  The Brass Altar is Jesus on the Cross!  The Candlestick is Jesus the Light of the Word!  The Mercy Seat is Jesus the propitiation of sin!  (In fact, when John tells us of the Incarnation ... He said:  "And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt (the verb = "tabernacled") among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  I'd surely call That God's Will!

"Give us this day our daily bread"  Here we historically see the Manna in the wilderness!  (Which manna was simply a Type of our Lord Jesus Christ, the True Bread of Life!  Remember Jesus' statement:  "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35)  God still feeds us day by day ... both physically and spiritually!

"And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"  I wonder if this may indirectly refer to their "borrowing" from the Egyptians as they did.  See Exodus 3:22 or 11:2. "Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold."  Now I am not implying that they did anything wrong here. They were just following God's orders.  But there is also no doubt a further historical inference here.  The people of God sinned again and again in the wilderness.  They needed and at times sought God's forgiveness.  Moses illustrates this fact with his great prayer in Exodus 32:32 where he intercedes: "Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written."  Wow!  This also might have in view every 7th "Sabbatical" Year or even the 50th Year of "Jubilee!"  God can certainly set us free!

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"  This is a prayer for God to defer or remove certain "testings" from their pathway.  Israel has always faced trials and persecutions.  This very request acknowledges that God is their supreme Controller!  BUT ... here Israel may have been asking God to remove (not His testings and trials toward them, but ...) their selfish and carnal testings toward God Himself! Often Israel rebelled against God and vexed or grieved Him on their journey!  (In Numbers 14:22 God directly states that Israel had "tempted" Him again and again!  "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice."  Wow!  Ten times!  That may mean "repeatedly.")  Paul in 1st Corinthians 10:9 says that Israel "tempted" the Lord too. "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents."  Lord, don't let us do that!

"For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, for ever."  And some day ... some glorious day ... Israel will be humbled (the Tribulation) and convicted and saved (at Armageddon) by the Grace of God!  She then will bow before Her Messiah Jesus, King of all, and ascribe to Him the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever!  "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."  (Zechariah 12:10) Paul adds in Romans 11:26-27 ... "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."  Glory to God!

Then, lastly, "Amen"  Even this little word has historical significance for the Jews! It was used early in their national life when they agreed to the blessings and curses of obeying or not obeying God's Word!  (Twelve times you'll find "amen" in Deuteronomy 27!)  They used it in the days of David as worship was lifted to God! See 1st Chronicles 16:36 --- "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD."  It was used in the days of the great Revival in Nehemiah 8.  See verse 6.  It was used repeatedly throughout the Psalms.  It was used in the New Testament era.  Fifty (50) times I find it in the New Testament!  Paul used it habitually!  And ... according to the Book of Revelation they are using it in heaven right now!  "Amen" means TRUE, FAITHFUL, RIGHT!  In fact, it is Jesus' very Name:  "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God."  That's Jesus talking!

There you have it!

Certainly this is not the only way to view the Lord's Prayer.

It may not even be the best way.

But it is one way ... and it's lovely!

This sure teaches us to pray to our Lord our of our daily experiences, doesn't it?


                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




I came across the old Book in a Bibliography (That's a book that lists other books!) My Bibliography lists over 5,000 titles about our precious Lord!  Many are long out of print now, but some of them our local "inter-library loan" librarian has been able to find! 

One such Title is "The Face of Our Lord."  It is written by a preacher named Paul Rees.  It was first published in 1951 by Eerdmans Publishers.

This Pastor simply went through the New Testament and looked for verses that mentioned the Face of Jesus!

I thought I would at least share his main points with you today!

THE DREADFUL FACE!   For this thought the preacher used 1st Peter 3:12 which says:  "The face of the Lord is against them that do evil." 

THE DAUNTLESS FACE!  Here he referred to Luke statement about Jesus:  "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem."  Luke 9:51

THE DAZZLING FACE!  Matthew 17:2 --- "And (Jesus) was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light."

THE DUTIFUL FACE!  Here Jesus is in Gethsemane.  "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

THE DESPISED FACE!  This is near the time of His crucifixion.  "Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands." Matthew 26:67

AND ... THE DIVINE FACE!  Paul mentions this in 2 Corinthians 4:6.  "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

They say you can tell a lot by looking into a face!  It is indeed true in this case!

I think those thoughts might make a good skeleton on which one could hang a lot of spiritual "meat" to feed God's people!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The text is 1st Peter 2:21-25.  I recently read a sermon which a good Brother preached about the Blood of Jesus, using Peter's great paragraph here.

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

Notice these simple facts about this text.  I am not using the other man's outline. The Lord gave me this as I sat at the computer this Wednesday morning.

Jesus' Death was a "sadistic death!" (The word "sadist" comes form French ... and means love of cruelty!)  He "suffered" on that Cross!  He suffered a the hands of those who wanted to make him agonize!  (However this is the aorist form of "pascho," meaning that the suffering is over now!)  Never again will our dear Lord be crucified!

Jesus' Death was a "SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH!"  Notice Peter says He was crucified "for us!"  That little preposition "for" (in Greek = huper) means in the place of!  On behalf of!

Jesus' Death was a "SINLESS DEATH!"  He "did no sin!"  (Nor guile!)  Guile means deceit or craftiness! 

Jesus' Death was a "silent death!"  Of course He spoke from the Cross ... but NEVER in a bitter way!  He responded not to their insults and accusations!  "When he was reviled, (He) reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not!"

Jesus' Death was a "SUBMISSIVE DEATH!"  He "committed Himself to Him That judgeth righteously!"  That's His Father in Heaven!  Here are His very last words: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."  Luke 23:46

Jesus' Death was a "SAVING DEATH!"  Read these words in our text:  "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness."  Friend, that's salvation!

And Jesus' Death is a "SOOTHING DEATH" for all who believe!  Like an antibiotic salve on an infected wound ... Jesus' Death heals us of all sin and corruption!  "By whose stripes ye were healed."

Jesus' Death is a "SHEPHERD'S DEATH!"  Read verse 25:  "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." Wow!  He has found us lost sheep and returned us to the fold via His Blood and Death on Calvary!  He "restored" our souls!

Lastly Jesus' Death is a "SUGGESTIVE DEATH."  It teaches us how to conduct our lives as Christians here on earth!  Verse 21 of our paragraph says:  "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."  Follow our Lord ... even in His sufferings!

To be truthful with you ... I don't know of anything the death of Jesus omitted! He covered it ALL on Calvary!

Thank you Peter, for this text!

And thank You Jesus, for dying that we might be saved!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




I was making some tapes yesterday.  As the duplicator worked, I reviewed 1st Timothy. Sister Norma and I are studying the "Pastoral Epistles" this month.

It was then that the verses just seemed to "jump" out at me!

I thought about them and saw something.

There's a paragraph in 1st Timothy chapter 1 that perfectly gives Paul's testimony!  In fact, from beginning to end it teaches us all HOW to give a testimony.

Let me show you what I mean.  It's 1st Timothy 1:12-17.

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.   Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.  Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Let's notice a few things about these good words.

Notice that Paul begins his "testimony" with a word of praise and thanks to the dear Lord.  That's ALWAYS the way to start.  (Jesus even began His prayers that way!)

I believe he next mentions both his salvation and his call to preach! Salvation is included in the name He uses for our Lord:  Jesus Christ!  The call to preach is included in the expression "enabled me" (empowered me), putting me into the ministry.

Next he reflects (without giving any detail) on his past life of sin!  "Injurious" can mean brutal or mean ... but also means lifted up with pride!

Following that Paul again exalts the Grace of God!  It looks to me like Paul is saying that God's Grace came to him ... and gave him faith and love!  "Exceeding abundant" is a lovely term.  It combines "hyper" and "pleion" meaning "above and beyond and more and more!"

The Paul calls himself a sinner!  (A "chief" sinner!  The adjective here is "protos," the first sinner, the prototype sinner!)

His testimony gets the "Gospel" into its very fabric.  Jesus came to save sinners! Testifying can be witnessing!

Then Paul instructs us concerning why he believes God has been so good to him. He calls himself a "pattern."  (A "type" for you Bible students!)  The word is "hupotuposis," the imprint or mark left after a hammer strikes something! 

Then lastly (and for the third time in this short exhortation) Paul praises God ... more fully than ever before!  "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

I really believe we could learn some things here today about testifying.  And about witnessing!

And, if not that, we could at least re-read these precious words ... and worship a while!

Is anyone reading today who is thankful that God still saves old sinners?

                                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Are you familiar with Psalm 29?

I thought that today (especially with the hurricane approaching) you might enjoy studying it.

Several preachers have called Psalm 29 "the thunderstorm Psalm!"

It clearly does describe some fierce weather!

In fact it could even be a tornado! 

Here's our text:

Psalm 29 ... A Psalm of David

1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. 7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. 8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. 10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. 11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

The LORD is named 18 times in this short Passage!

And if you add GOD and KING the total rises to 25 times!

Need anyone doubt ... God is in the storm?

You can hear the "thunder" in verse 3.  The thunder is called "the voice of the Lord!"

You can see the results of the wind in verse 5.  It breaks the trees and drops them to the ground.

You can see the lightning in verse 7.  It is termed "the flames of fire."

Then notice the vast amount of rain that has fallen in verse 10.  It's a flood!

Also notice that the "storm" moves!

In verse 3 the weather is over the sea (likely the Mediterranean toward the west).

It slowly moves to the northwest and is over the mountains and cedars of Lebanon (verse 5).

Then amazingly by verse 8 it drifts southward toward the desert!

By then surprisingly it circles back toward Jerusalem and the Temple where the people of God are in assembly!

Also notice that by verse 11 our great God (as Jesus would do again in His earthly ministry) has brought PEACE in the storm!

It is so ironic that when David saw the storm clouds gathering ... he thought of God's glory!  (See verses 1 and 2.)

Something about the weather and nature made him want to worship the Creator God!

Look at something in verses 5 and 8 and 9 too.  The Lord's voice breaketh ... and shaketh ... and maketh!  (Some preacher can do something great with that!)

Also pay attention to the three "gives" in the first two verses of our Psalm!  Man today is not willing to give God any glory or praise or worship when it comes to the weather!  That's for sure!

"The voice of the Lord" is a common Hebrew idiom for the thunder.  Recognizing that fact, there are 7 "thunders" in the whole Psalm!  (The Psalm of seven thunders!)

Martin Luther was saved after falling under conviction during a thunderstorm!

The Psalm's last word --- PEACE!

One preacher said God gives 3 kinds of peace --- external, internal and eternal!

There used to be a rather popular song entitled "Singing in the Rain."  Well, this Psalm teaches us about worshipping in the rain!

Perhaps David, while watching the flocks (if he was a young man) or fleeing from Saul (if a bit older) observed this particular storm and was inspired to write!

But let's take one more minute and apply the Psalm spiritually.

The implication here is that the voice of the Lord controls the weather!

He speaks through the thunder!

He also spoke through the "sons of thunder" in the New Testament!  Mark 3:17 tells us more:  "And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder."  Jesus named these men sons of thunder!  Every preacher should be such!  Men of God, thunder forth God's Truth every time you preach!

This God also works through lightning!

If you don't think God can cause bright light, ask Peter James and John who saw Jesus transfigured!  Matthew 17:2 describes Him for us.  "And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light."  Or ask Paul.  His day of salvation is described in Acts 26:13.  "At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me." 

And think of the proud lofty cedars of Lebanon ... which are broken by the voice of the Lord!  He yet today humbles many a proud man or woman, bringing them humbly to the foot of an Old Rugged Cross where they trust Christ Jesus for salvation!

And He Who can divide the flames of fire can also use His dear Word to divide even between soul and spirit!  Hebrews 4:12 --- "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

And this storm even reached the wilderness (desert) south of Jerusalem!  I'm so glad God yet today can rain His darling Holy Spirit upon dry and thirsty souls!

And the God Whose voice discovers (meaning strips, uncovers) the forests ... still strips away the fake hypocrisy of mean's hearts to show them their real sinfulness!

Plus the noun for the "flood" mentioned here (in Hebrew = "mabbul" ... only 13 times in the whole Bible) is always used of Noah's Flood!  I'm telling you today God can "flood" His people with love and grace and kindness day after day.  Paul says our Lord does "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."  Ephesians 3:20

The closing verse of the Psalm is like the "rainbow" after the storm, isn't it?  Peace to the people of God!

One preacher said, "This is a Psalm for storm tossed souls!"

It is also a storm for people who have a hurricane approaching!

May it drive us to the Saviour!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




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