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PREACHER TALK

The Lord allowed me  to grow up in a family with preachers!  I had two uncles who were evangelists.  One of them preached a series of sermons on Jesus' words when our Lord was eating with others! He called this series of messages the "Table Sermons" of Jesus! I'll never forget that material!

In fact, it was put into printed form.  While I have lost my copy and will never be able to get another, the thoughts of those sermons are branded into my heart!  Just think!  When the Son of God sat at table, He taught His disciples precious truths! 

 

 

Dr. Mike Bagwell

If Jesus had "Table Talk" like that (and He did), then surely I can (following the Lord) have a little "Preacher Talk" with you men of God!  At least, that's my goal.  And I strongly believe the Lord laid it on my heart!

  THERE IS A "PREACHER TALK ARCHIVES" FOR THOSE OF YOU WHOSE COMPUTERS ARE FAST ENOUGH TO DOWNLOAD IT.  YOU CAN ONLY GET TO IT FROM HERE.

 

 

JUNE 15, 2005 (WEDNESDAY) ... FROM FORT PAYNE, ALABAMA:

The Revival Service last night was thrilling!

I'm not even going to name the Church or the good Pastor. 

Because it could have happened anywhere or under any godly man's leadership!

The Lord blessed mightily!

I had such sweet liberty preaching God's Word!

Everywhere folks were smiling and saying "amen" and nodding their heads in agreement.

And during the invitation perhaps a hundred folks responded!

God was working!

Then it "hit" me!

I noticed something that I am sure had an impact on that great service!

Preachers were everywhere in that building!

As I now close my eyes and rethink that whole meeting I see them!

On the front rows ... right and left.

In the center section of pews about half way back too.

On the right towards the rear were some more!

Men of God had driven for many miles (some for hours) to be there!

AND THEY ADDED TO THAT SERVICE!

Their prayers, their help, their encouragement, their "amens" and "keep on preachings" and "hallelujahs" sure were used of God!

The atmosphere was charged with excitement (not the fleshly kind either) and power.

Preachers, listen to me today!

I know how busy you are.

I realize that nearly every night something tries to claim your attention.

And I also understand that you simply must have some time for your family.

BUT ... hear me!

You will never know what it means to some preacher friend of yours (or a not so close friend for that matter, but nonetheless a Brother of like mind) ... when YOU take the time to go attend and help support one of his Revival Meetings!

Preachers, you are powerful men of God!

Your very presence helps a service, helps an Evangelist and helps a Pastor and well may help a whole Church family to experience a little deeper degree of Revival!

This is important!

Let me encourage you to go to those Revival Meeting and back up your Brethren in Christ!

(By the way, as you do that ... the dear Preacher you just helped will be far more likely to attend your next Meeting back at your Church too!)

Yes, going to a service and hearing God's preached Word already has its own built-in benefits!

BUT an added one is this ... being used of God to uplift others in the Family, the Family of God!

Paul said something in Romans 1:11 that I have never fully understood.  He was talking to the Christians in the Church at Rome.  "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established."  See that?

Paul just implied that his very presence among the Christians would impart to them some spiritual gift, some blessing, some benefit!  I'd call it a benefit to be around Paul a while, wouldn't you?

Preacher, your presence does too!  You're God's man also!

Think about it ... and find a Revival to attend soon!

You will never know what your being there may mean to those good folks!

And if the Evangelist doesn't thank you for coming ... he should have!

(And to you men of God who came last night ... Thank you indeed!)

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

MAY 21, 2005, ON A SATURDAY MORNING FROM CUMMING, GEORGIA ...

This being the weekend, I thought it might be good to say another word to you dear Preachers who read our Pages. 

I've not written to you for quite a while, giving all my time and attention to the verse-by-verse Bible studies instead.

Earlier this week while in Mississippi preaching the Revival, a Preacher friend gave me some material that had in it a sermon book by Guy King (an old British expositor).

While I knew the author, I had never seen this specific book.  I do not even recall the title either but it dealt with the "yourselves" of Scripture.

I did not look closely enough to determine how many chapters he included ... but my thoughts have been on that subject ever since!

I think Dr. king called his work "What to do with yourselves."  Neat, isn't it?

I earlier today just used my computer program and searched the Scriptures for the pronoun "yourselves."  It is used 191 times in the King James Bible.

Here are some of the occasions I found that stood out in my mind.

We as Preachers could either some day preach these in a sermon ... or in a whole series of sermons ... or just apply them to our personal lives day by day! 

Of course I have omitted many more than I have included.

1.  Invest for yourselves!  Matthew 6:20 --- But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

2.  Rest yourselves!   Mark 6:31 --- And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

3.  Salt yourselves!  Mark 9:50 --- Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

4.  Take heed to yourselves!  Luke 21:34 --- And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  And Acts 20:28 --- Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

5.  Share among yourselves!  Luke 21:34 --- And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

6.  Murmur not among yourselves!  John 6:43 --- Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

7.  Reckon yourselves dead!  Romans 6:11 --- Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

8.  Yield yourselves to God!  Romans 6:13 --- Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

9.  Avenge not yourselves!  Romans 12:19 --- Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

10.  Separate yourselves!  1 Corinthians 5:13 --- But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

11.  Approve yourselves (by means of repentance)!  2 Corinthians 7:11 --- For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

12.  Examine yourselves!  2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

13.  Sing to yourselves!  Ephesians 5:19 --- Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

14.  Submit yourselves one to another!  Ephesians 5:21 --- Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 

15. Submit yourselves to your Pastor!   Hebrews 13:17 --- Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

16.  Submit yourselves to God!   James 4:7 --- Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

17.  Comfort yourselves together!    1 Thessalonians 5:11 --- Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

18.  Be at peace among yoursleves!  1st Thessalonians 5:13 --- And be at peace among yourselves.

19.  Withdraw yourselves!   2 Thessalonians 3:6 --- Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

20.  Humble yourselves!  James 4:10 --- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

21.  Arm yourselves!  1 Peter 4:1 --- Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.

22.  Have charity among yourselves!    1 Peter 4:8 --- And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

23.  Keep yourselves from idols!   1 John 5:21 --- Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

24.  Build up yourselves!  Jude, verse 20 --- But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.

25.  Keep yourselves in the love of God!   Jude, verse 21 --- Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Wow!

It looks like we're going to be quite busy taking care of ourselves!

And, dear men of God, do remember ... we are to be examples to the flock!

What a list!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FEBRUARY 26, 2005 (SATURDAY):

Men of God, occasionally when asked what "one thing" is most important to a young preacher, I try to prayerfully give the advice God lays on my heart for that young preacher at that very moment.

My answers vary.

However, if I were asked that today I'd say this:  PRAYER!

If a man is going to labour in the Word of God, preaching it faithfully, he needs people praying for him!  Lots of people!

Paul believed that.

Everywhere he went he sought to enlist prayer helpers for his ministry!

Watch:

All these flow from the pen of that great Apostle.

In Romans 15:30 Paul asked for the prayers of his friends in the Capital city!  "Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me."

And he knew the Philippians were praying for him.  He had asked them to do so again and again no doubt!  In Philippians 1:19 he says:  "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ."

And here's how he asked the Ephesians to help in prayer.  "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel." Ephesians 6:18-19

Even in Colossee too!  "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."  Colossians 4:3

And maybe the best example is found here.  "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:  and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith."   2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

Even the little Epistle of Philemon contains an example! "But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you." Philemon 1:22

Paul literally built an "army" of prayer warriors and intercessors on his behalf!

Preachers, if we are wise, we will do so too!

Start today.

And tomorrow at church, if I were you, I'd begin asking others to join that little "army!"

One of the most thrilling comments I hear as we travel is this:  "Preacher I pray for you every day!"

Thank you!

Oh, the power of prayer!

Better said:  Oh!  The Power of the God of Heaven Who answers prayer!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JANUARY 30, 2005 (SUNDAY):

The verse is found in Proverbs 25:18.   "A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow."

Most Preachers have been victims of some "false witness" in their years of service for the Lord.

A liar who frames his (or her) deadly talk as gossip or slander or "a prayer request" or just a "have-you-heard-the-latest" format ... is still just a false witness!

Our verse here reveals God's view of a sneaky lying tongue!  (The term "False Witness," in Hebrew, implies both thoughts ... deceit and untruthfulness.)

Such a person is like a "maul."  This is the first and the only time this word is used in all the Bible!  A "maul" in English is a hammer or a heavy weapon!  In Hebrew (the language of the Old Testament) the word is developed from a verb root that primarily means "to scatter."  False witnesses scatter the people who should be near us!  It also can mean "to shatter or break!"  Many a person has suffered a broken reputation via the lying lips of a false accuser!  And in some forms the verb also means "to overflow!"  Once a lying gossip begins ... it's hard stopping them!  Their deadly words seem to overflow needlessly.

The noun "sword" is just as bad too!  The word in Hebrew is spelled "chebub" and in the King James Bible is translated in the following ways:  sword (401 times), knife (3 times), dagger (3 times), axes (1 time), mattocks (1 time) and tool (1 time)!  These are bad things to have "after" you!  But they fit God's estimation of a false witness! 

Then comes the sharp arrow!  ("Sharp" means whetted or pricked!)  And the noun "arrow" (in Hebrew = "chetzs") means a dart or shaft for the archer to use!  Once in our Bible it is rendered "wound!"
 

Another Bible name for the "false witness" is the "talebearer!"

"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD."  Leviticus 19:16

"A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter."  Proberbs 11:13

"The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."  Proverbs 18:8 and 26:22  (The very same words ... twice!)

"He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."  Proverbs 19:20

"Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth."  Proverbs 26:20

Preachers, here's a "nugget!"

How does one deal with such false witnesses and talebearers?

Again, Proverbs tells us:  "The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue." (Proverbs 25:23)  Do not stand around smiling and nodding while you listen to that garbage!  Stop it!  Let's all go home and practice developing "an angry countenance" just for such occasions as this!

Preachers, next that wicked junk starts ... look 'em down!  Tell them with your countenance alone that you know they're lying!  Don't encourage them in any way at all!  That's Bible advice!

I just thought this might be helpful some day.

(Although, I hope not soon!)

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JANUARY 13, 2005 (THURSDAY):

Well, it's nearing Sunday again.

I always loved to have a brief thought of some kind to share with folks in quick conversation ... if the occasion ever arose.

I mean something spiritual and edifying.

This may not qualify ... due to the nature of its content ... but it sure had a spiritual impact on me!

I have been studying the Boldness of Jesus.  His Manliness as well as His Deity are clearly described in Scripture.

What courage He had!

Preachers also MUST have backbone, a synonym for stamina and fortitude.

In focusing on Jesus' determination, I came across a study of little creatures called "invertebrates," animals with no backbones!

One such specimen is the leech.

He is a little blood-sucking fellow with many unusual traits.

There are about 650 species of his kind in the world today.

They are annelids and are closely related to earthworms.

Their blood-sucking abilities are known world-wide.

The leech does not merely consume five to ten times its weight of blood in a half-hour (!!!) ... the wound it creates continues bleeding for quite some time.

In the early to mid 1800's leeches were used for medical purposes ... almost bordering on paranoia!

During that time, when leeches were in such high demand by doctors and hospitals, men earned their living by being "leech-gatherers!"  They would simply walk around in infested waters, allowing the animals to attach themselves to their bare legs, harvesting as many as 2500 per day from a good pond!

Leech farming!

Some Amazonian leeches grow to be 18 inches long!

So there's a little bit of information about leeches!

Animals who do little else than suck blood from other "victims!"

Often their "bites" also cause resulting infections!

A bunch of blood suckers who are also invertebrates ... having no backbones!

Excuse me Preachers, but I thought of that bunch of liberals and compromisers and false teachers who have "hounded" us for years.  In fact, they have ruined many a young college or seminary bound study of the Bible.

They do spiritually what leeches do literally!

I mean:  Attach themselves to a young (or old) but gullible preacher boy ... and begin "sucking."

They suck away his belief in the Virgin Birth or the Inspiration of Scripture or the Deity of Christ or the Second Coming or the literal Resurrection of Christ!

And their specialty:  BLOOD sucking.  They love to deny and deplete faith in the Blood of Jesus, the saving Blood of Jesus!

Preachers, if they can't get to YOU personally ... they will try to reach you through the printed page.  Through a liberal commentary or through a devious magazine article (even a religious one)! 

Beware!

Blood-suckers yet abound in the spiritual world!

There is a lab now in Europe that grows leeches commercially for professional use!

Some seminaries and universities do the same thing on a spiritual plane!

Men of God, stay away from Blood-suckers!

Maintain a strong faith in the Blood of Jesus and the fundamental Doctrines of the Bible!

And, by the way, as you do that ... also keep your BACKBONE is good strong shape!

You're not an invertebrate!

Here is an example of Paul dealing with a couple of early New Testament leeches:  "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."  1 Timothy 1:18-20

Or 2 Timothy 2:16-18.  "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."

Such warnings demand that we Bible-believing Preachers STAND ... and, as you well know, in order to really STAND, one must have a great strong BACKBONE!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

DECEMBER 12, 2004 (THE LORD'S DAY):

Preachers, I know most of you love books!

It's just part of our work.

Paul even told Timothy to "give attendance to reading!"   (1 Timothy 4:13)

Sometime earlier this year I came across this quote from the godly old Christian and Missionary Alliance Preacher named A. W. Tozer.

He is discussing the giving of a book to a friend or co-worker!

These are his words:

"Books are like oysters:  all may have a certain value if we know what to do with them, but once in a rare while one will be found that contains a pearl!

Such a book when received is twice blessed, being excellent in itself and made more dear by its association with someone we love.  And always, of course, there is a fine and subtle compliment the giver pays us in assuming that we are intellectually and spiritually capable of appreciating such a treasure.

The right book placed in the hands of the right person may easily transform a life. My own life has benefited beyond measure from the books my Heavenly Father in His kind providence sent my way when I needed them.

That is why I make it a practice to give good books to my friends and why I hope I may continue to receive them.  I know nothing else of comparable value."

So said that great Preacher!

I know another great Preacher who loved books, too!  In his last few months alive he asked for them (his books) to be brought to his side!  He instructed young Timothy "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments."  (2 Timothy 4:13)

Need I say more?

Study, men, study the precious Word of God!

Respectfully ...

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

NOVEMBER 13, 2004 (SATURDAY):

Preachers, since your primary responsibility to the Believers you pastor is "feeding" them as members of God's Flock, I thought you might enjoy this meditation:

Peter said it.

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."  2 Peter 3:18

And the verb "grow" is in the "imperative" mood.  That means it's a command from the Lord!

The Psalmist adds this comment too:  "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon."  Psalm 92:12

An old preacher once worded it this way:  "Where there is no growth of grace ... there is no truth of grace!"

He means:  In the soul where there is no real growth ... then there is no real grace either!

In fact, a Christian is one who (once enlivened, once born-again) grows in many areas!

Peter (2 Peter 3:18 again) tells us to be growing in "knowledge" too!  ("But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.")

And Jesus grew in Wisdom!  Luke 2:40 says of Him:  "And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him."

And the Thessalonians grew in faith!  Paul said to them:  "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith GROWETH exceedingly ...."  2nd Thessalonians 1:3

And of course the Bible recognizes real faith and false faith!  It also distinguishes between real wisdom and fake wisdom!

And of course there's genuine grace and counterfeit grace as well!

And one main DIFFERENCE between the real and the false qualities of the Christian life is this:  The Real traits GROW while the false ones wither!

Let me show you something.  Here's a PICTURE of a baby ... and there's a real little baby?  One way you can tell them apart is this:  The real baby will GROW ... the baby in the photo will not!

Real flowers in their natural environment grow ... artificial ones don't even need water!

I have a question for each of you this Friday in November.

Are you growing?

Are you increasing in faith and knowledge and grace?

Is what you have the real thing?

It does not hurt each of us to occasionally do what Paul taught the Corinthians (in 2 Corinthians 13:5) ... "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

And if Jesus Christ is in us ... there will be growth!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 4, 2004 (THURSDAY):

I read an old preacher's essay on "snake handling" the other day!

He was answering a question about Mark 16:18.  "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

He immediately replied:  "Jesus said none of this!"

He went on to explain how the last paragraph of Mark's Gospel did not really belong in the Bible!  He told us that the "best" manuscripts omitted it!  (Everything after Mark 16:8 he would "cut out!")

WELL, HE IS WRONG!

The Greek Text behind our King James Bible (called the Textus Receptus) DOES have all those verses in Mark 16!

And I am not going to allow anyone to steal those precious words form me!

Give me the WHOLE BIBLE please!

Next the "preacher," as he deplored the precious old King James Bible, called the Revised Standard Version the "authorized version" of today!

Let me show you something about his "authorized version." 

We will just look at one verse:  "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."  Isaiah 7:14

Now here it is in the REAL Authorized Version ... "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."  Isaiah 7:14

Do you see any difference?

The RSV calls Mary a "young woman" at the time of Jesus' Birth ... while the real Bible says she is a VIRGIN!

Each of you can easily discern the possible difference between the two terms!

A "young woman" is not necessarily a "virgin!"

Our dear Lord Jesus was Virgin Born!

Here a contemporary Bible questions (really, it denies) that fact!

The "preacher" said that the RSV had "cleaned up" a corrupt passage in the KJV!

Well, I'll tell you what needs to be "cleaned up!"

And it's NOT the King James Version of the Bible!

It's that old "so-called" preacher's mind!

I believe in the Virgin Birth as taught in the King James Bible!

Men, today more than ever PREACH THE WORD and fight the enemy called liberalism that is attacking us from all angles!

These things are critically important!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

OCTOBER 27, 2004 (WEDNESDAY, FROM CONNERSVILLE, INDIANA):

(PREACHERS ... HERE'S AN NINE POINT OUTLINE ABOUT JESUS' DEATH ON CALVARY!)

The text is 1st Peter 2:21-25.  Every bit of this inspired Bible Passage is focused on the Cross of our dear Lord!

"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.  The Lord gave me this in a motel room as I sat at the computer.

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

 

 

 

October 16, 2004 (Saturday):

The old Puritan Preacher was born in 1630. Thatís just 19 years after the King James Bible was first published!

He, like many of the Puritans, loved the Preaching of the Word of God!

After being saved by Godís Grace and called to preach the Word ... he began his pastoral ministry with an emphasis upon ___________.

Guess what?

Youíre right if you thought: PREACHING!

Recently I was in a church for a series of meetings and across their back wall (the wall the Preacher sees while he is expounding the Bible) they had painted (in big bold letters) the single word: PREACH!

I personally think the great Apostle Paul loved preaching!

Remember something we are told in Acts 20:7.  "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."  Paul preached until midnight!

I counted from my computer database and Paul used the words preach or preaching or some cognate of them (or else Luke used them when describing Paul or Paulís company) 78 times! Do you see that? 78 times!

... Now let me briefly get back to the old Puritan I was describing earlier. Where he pastored in England it became rather common for long sermons to be delivered also. (In the style of Paul we might say!) In fact many of the Puritans preached a hour or an hour and a half regularly. Some even went up to two hours habitually!

But for years this man preached so long each Lordís Day that the congregation gave him a "break" in the middle of the message to get water and refreshment ... while they sang and worshipped ... only to have the Preacher return and complete the sermon after that!

Talk about Preaching!

(Now try THAT today!)

I have heard more than one preacher say that his sermons were getting shorter and shorter due to the inattention of the people of God.

We are nearing Sunday!

Let your Preacher know that you love his preaching!

Encourage him to keep faithful to that main aspect of his calling ... the proclamation of the Word!

Amos promised us that in the last days there would come a famine! Not a famine of food or water ... but of hearing the words of God! (Amos 8:11 --- "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.")

The glorified Lord in His messages to the 7 church of Asia (Revelation chapters 2 and 3) said 7 times: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches ...." Then He said it again in Revelation 13:9 ... making a total of 8 times! I do not know if He said anything else 8 times! This must be important!

Dear man of God reading these lines: PREACH!

Dear church-members: Hear him PREACH!

Dear skeptic: Donít criticize him ...let him PREACH!

Dear clock watcher: Quit timing everything and during the service occasionally yell PREACH!

Dear student of Scripture: Sit near the front so you can better hear your pastor PREACH!

Paul, give us a one word bit of advice for young pastors: Sure, "PREACH!" ( If you have trouble with that Paul "advice," see 2 Timothy 4:2.)

... Most of todayís so-called "movies" last at least 90 minutes with many going 120 minutes or more!

And a baseball game can easily reach two and a half hours!

I donít know about football but they are not quick either (4 quarters with a break for "half-time")!

Yet most Christians canít sit 50-55 minutes to hear an exposition or exhortation from the Bible!

Shame on us!

They call it a "dying" element in many churches ... PREACHING!

Well, we had BETTER resurrect it ... to the glory of God!

Thank God for PREACHING!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 1, 2004 (Wednesday ... from Cullman, Alabama ... before the Mid-week Service):

I know what Paul said.  It's found in 1 Corinthians 9:22 --- "I am made all things to all men."  But those words are often taken way out of context!

Paul here was in no way endorsing compromise or sinfulness in any fashion!

He was talking about bringing men to Christ Jesus as their personal Saviour!

I've heard some of us preachers talk about the verse as if it approves any kind of associations and affiliations we wish!

I was reading earlier today about a little insect.  (Now do not be offended preachers! I am not calling you an insect!  If so, I would be one too!  But I am obeying Job 12:7-8.  There we are told that the animal world can illustrate for us great truths of practical value!)

The little creature I studied is called a "stick" insect.  (Like the preying mantis, for example.)

It seems that they are masters of change, easily and quickly blending with their surroundings!

Maybe we should call one of them Pastor Preying Mantis!  (Or is is Praying Mantis?)  Either way, in some cases at least, they both can change in a hurry!

They climb up on a limb ... and soon look like the limb they inhabit.  (Even the same shades of color are adopted!)

One stick insect that lives on the bamboo trees in India even grows black stripes across its torso, mimicking the natural shape and appearance of its host!

Some of these little creatures have learned to even lay their eggs in such a shape and in such places as to make them look exactly like the seeds on the tree they inhabit.

Of course the biological reason given for all this is evolutionary in nature.  That's a claim I reject vehemently!  I believe in a Creator!  He is my Savior too!

Now the stick insects do these things for protection (camouflage) I understand.

(Some have "wings" they can unfurl to look exactly like the leaves of the tree or shrub they inhabit at the moment!  Others ... to fool birds and other predators ... just sit still, doing nothing for hours or even days!)

Again, the little creatures I understand.

But WHY do we preachers try so hard to blend in with our environment?  Why do we dress to look like our hosts?  Why do we change colors for convenience?  Why do we sit still and do nothing for days or weeks?

Why are we so good at camouflage?

While I see the Creator's skill in the insects' behavior ... I see compromise in the preachers' like behavior!

Preachers, let's make up our minds (based on Holy Ghost convictions) what we are ... and stick to it!

If a bunch of liberals invite some preachers to a meeting ... off they go ... being sure to pack their shorts for the trip!

Yet if the same preacher gets an invitation to attend a fundamentalist gathering ... again he's gone, this time with a pair of boxing gloves stowed away in his luggage! (We Fundamentalists fight a lot, you know!)

And if he's off with the family ... the preacher takes NOTHING and does NOTHING except lay around and bark orders!

Lord, help us!

Where did old fashioned conviction ever go?

(If something was wrong ten years ago ... it is still wrong today, friend!)

Paul said something else one day:  "I am what I am!"  1 Corinthians 15:10

Yes!

Here it is again:  "But by the grace of God I am what I am!"

Men, be what you are ... and don't change. 

You are not stick insects!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

August 25, 2004 (Wednesday ... before the Mid-week Service):

The question is asked in Zechariah 4:10 --- "For who hath despised the day of small things?"

The verb "despise" (in Hebrew = "butzs") means "to hold as insignificant!"  Or to "hold in contempt!"

And "small things" (in Hebrew =  "qatan") means little or least or even young! 

How many of God's dearest Preachers will be going to Church tonight ... to a very small crowd of God's dear (and faithful) folks?  I wonder how often the devil tries to plant this thought in our minds and hearts:  Why, it's such a small meeting! Is it even worth having?  Very few come any more! 

Thousand upon thousands of the Lord's churches now are "little" churches!

And I'll guarantee you that He has more "little" preachers than he has "big" ones!

(Of course in one way all God's men are BIG preachers!)

It is so easy to belittle small things!

BUT I was reading the other day and was amazed at what I learned.

The little hummingbird weighs less than a dime!  (Giant hummingbirds weigh less than a nickel!)  That's less than 1/10 of an ounce!

Their little hearts beat around 1200 times per minute when in flight!

Their wings make 2000 revolutions per minute as they hover and feed!

They are so small they need only 7-12 calories per day!  (Of course that's the equivalent of an 180 pound man needing 204,300 calories per day!  Or his eating 171 pounds of hamburger a day!)

A little hummer must drink twice his weight in nectar (or sugar water) every day and visit up to 1,000 flowers ... just to keep himself going!

Little ... but impressive!  (So with your church people tonight, preacher!)

Little ... but a big eater!  (So with God's little flock too!)

Little ... but keenly aware of his enemies (hawks, crows or large dragonflies plus other things too)!  That's the way it should be with our little church also!  The devil hates God'speople!

Little ... but able to fly twice a year to Central America!  (A long trip!)  Preacher, your born-again people are preparing for along one too!

Little ... but they love the color "red!"  God's little churches love that color too ... Blood Red!

Little ... but amazing!

Preacher, as you preach tonight to God's little people ... do your very BEST!

Jesus knows of your faithfulness and will reward you for service to His little church!

Why, even HE said in Luke 12:32 --- "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Little ... but saved!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

August 21, 2004 (Saturday from Cumming, Georgia)

The verse is found in Psalm 5:12 --- "For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield."

I was reading about a little animal God created.

It is called an African grass mouse.  It does not "hunt" at night as do most mice ... but in the heat of the day!  The heat of an African Equatorial sun!  In the heat of the Sahara desert!

Normally such sunlight would kill an animal.  (If not with sheer temperature ... with ultraviolet radiation!  Cancer!)

BUT scientists have discovered that this little creature has a covering of Melanin, a skin pigment that protects it from the dangerous rays of the sun!  Also under its skull there is an extra "layer" of this potent protection for its brain!  Only these little animals have such "helmets!"

And they were "wearing" this protective gear long before men even knew of the sun's dangers to humanity!

Where did they get it?

There's only one answer!

Their Creator gave it to them!

God did!

Therefore I say ... our dear Lord protects even His little animal creatures too! (The mice don't know about the "danger" yet!  But they are protected anyway!  Their Creator knows about it!)

And ... if He protects them ... you KNOW He protects your family!

Again, read our verse today:  "For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield."

Listen also to Psalm 47:9 --- "The shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted."  (Wow!)

I believe God has erected a great shield over YOU, dear believing friend!

Men of God, as you preach tomorrow, remind the folks of God's great Hand of protection!  (Both for men and for mice!)

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies."   Psalm 18:2-3

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

April 24, 2004 (Saturday afternoon at 4:24 PM from a motel room in Mars Hill, North Carolina, at the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains)

I read something one day this week that was a real blessing.  I would like to tell you men of God about it.

The whole thought is taken from John 13.   There we read of Jesus washing the Disciples' feet.

The old Preacher (whom I was reading) said this:

In the account of the Lord Jesus bathing the feet of His Disciples, three things are emphasized.

First, notice verse 10. 

John 13:10 --- "Jesus saith to him (Peter), He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."

Look at the first few words ... "He that is washed!"  This refers to a washing "all over!"  He has been fully cleansed ... only his feet got soiled!

The old preacher said that was a washing in the BLOOD!  That's how we got saved in the first place!  He called this the "Blood for the conscience!"  Sins are gone!

Then he pointed us to the feet!  John 13:5 --- "After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."

Here is a BASON.  It is filled with water ... like the water of the Word Paul mentions in Ephesians 5:26!  "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."

Our walk in this old dusty world can soil our feet.  So here's a "Bason for the feet!"  It speaks not of salvation (that's the Blood) ... but of sanctification (that's our walk)! Oh, how we need to be clean in our daily lives!

Then the old preacher mentioned one more outstanding thing (at least to him) out of this chapter. 

Later after the feet were all washed and the Disciples were gathered closely around the Lord, they needed some information!  Who was going to betray Jesus? 

Guess who could find that out from the Lord?

John 13:23 --- "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved."

Now get these next three verses! 

"Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon."   John 13:24-26

The one leaning on Jesus' breast got the answer to their question!

There you have a "Bosom for the head!"

If you want to be in the "know" as a Believer ... lean into His kind gracious bosom! Get closer and closer to Him!

There you have three "secrets" for life!

The Blood for the conscience!  (Salvation)

The Bason for the feet!  (Sanctification)

The Bosom for the head!  (Security)

Glory to God!

I thought you dear men of God might enjoy that little overview of John 13!

May God give you ALL a great day tomorrow!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

April 5, 2004 (Monday afternoon)

The verse is found in Ecclesiastes chapter 10.

"Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."     Ecclesiastes 10:20

Even we preachers had better be careful what we say!

Have you ever heard the expression "a little bird told me"? 

It comes from this verse of Scripture.

Solomon is warning us all about what we say.

Curse the King?

Don't even think it!

Curse the rich?

Not even at home (in your bedroom)!

WHY?

Someone is listening!

It WILL be repeated ... by some unexpected source!

If you don't know it by now, let me tell you.  Some folks just cannot keep information private!  They will tell it every time!

Proverbs 11:13 says:  "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter."

How embarrassing it can be when someone declares: "The preacher said ...."

Especially if it's some form of gossip or slander!

Men of God, if we're going to preach against sins of the tongue ... we had better practice being "tongue-tamers" ourselves!

Be careful!  Those "little birds" (unidentified sources) are everywhere!

                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

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