About PatchNix

Enjoying being a Child of God Almighty; Working at being a better husband to Joy; Trying to father Austin, Alanson, Asher, Anna, Aaron, & Azzie; Serving The Church at Grace Park

Youth… the Final Frontier

“ … for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; … ”  Gen. 8:21

I am thankful to have had the privilege to pastor a church that is committed to reaching, teaching and training young people.  Even the senior adults at Shawnee Baptist Church have a real heart for youth. Senior adults are a big part of the core of workers that make our Youth Conference work. They are a huge block of the contributors that liberally gave to make the new Shawnee Baptist College campus a reality, even though they will never personally use it themselves.  They know that they are investing in young people that will reach future generations for Christ.

Our youth programs are vital to the future of America. Our churches and the things they impart to our youth are vital to the future of Christianity in America. We have become what many describe as a post-Christian nation. Many believe that Biblical Christianity (not the new pop Christianity, as we have known it) has run its course – much like chicken pox or some other childhood disease – and that we are getting over it. The tragedy is that much of our population has been inoculated against it.

WE NEED: A new generation of youth that will rise up and demonstrate that they are the front runners of a new Christian nation or a now Christian nation that has its heart and mind fixed on turning America back to God and reaching the world with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

YOUTH, THE FINAL BATTLEGROUND – In my nearly 40 years of serving the Lord, I have never witnessed the onslaught of opposition against youth that I see today. I do not predict an easier task ahead. I instead see the need for stronger youth. We need youth with a stronger faith in God’s Word (KJV), a stronger prayer life and a stronger commitment to doing the will of God. That means we need to provide stronger homes, stronger churches and stronger Bible colleges. The battle is raging for the hearts and minds of today’s youth. Will you join me in giving our best to raise up another generation of soul-winning, church-building warriors for Christ?

YOUTH, THE FINAL OPPORTUNITY – Our youth are inundated with temptation and what the world calls peer pressure (I call it fear pressure). There is the wicked worldly music that includes rock, rap, and other secular pop formats. Then there is the so called Christian music that looks to the world for direction. Music like much of the contemporary southern Gospel that sounds like 50’s rock and roll that violate principles of God’s Word. I could write an article several chapters long if I began to deal with the internet and such sites as “MySpace.” Time would fail me to mention movies, corrupt TV, liberal media, the advertisers of filth, much of public education, the homosexual agenda, etc… These have all seen the potential of our youth and are bent on capturing them for material gain and the advancement of their perverted agendas.

When will the adult leaders of this generation wake up to the realization that pandering to adults who are looking for entertainment rather than commitment will not get the job done. While the mega- churches and television’s Christian entertainers claim millions are saved by their feel-good religious serum, suicide,
venereal disease, drug addiction, violent crime, divorce, pornography, alcoholism, and many other life and society-destroying social ills are at epidemic levels. The Youth of America are our last best hope to bring revival to America. Let’s make the necessary investment. Let’s challenge them to rise above the flowery beds of ease, put on the armor of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit of God reach a new generation for Christ until He returns.

Child Rearing

INTRODUCTION:

Curtis Hutson often said, “You don’t produce what you want; you produce what you are.”  You cannot continually fail and yet avoid failure. You cannot live a life practicing activities that lead to failure, and then reap success. There is not a parent in this room my age or older, who’ve reared some kids that finally turned out right because those parents believed God and said “Boy, I don’t understand this. It doesn’t look like it’s working, but God said it – therefore I’m going to do it.” There’s not a parent in that category who didn’t go through some times when he said, “Lord, I don’t think this is working, something’s wrong. I’m going to lose my kids. They’re not going to turn out the way I thought. The way I thought it was going to work this year, it’s not working, and therefore I’ve got to manipulate the will of God. I’ve got to decide.”  I can’t accept that, I cannot settle for that. Now you can get mad at me, but I’m just drawing a line in the sand again. I would do anything I could to salvage you parents and keep you as part of this church. I want you to say “Let’s do this thing together!”

I have outlined sixteen child-rearing principles in the Word of God. I didn’t write them all down at once, but rather over a period of years as I thought about it and determined what is working and what is not working, and how we can do it and how not to do it.

I’m trying to give you the truth of the Word of God that will change your life and help you salvage your kids. I do not believe nor am I convinced that your grownup kids have to go and live in the world for four and five years and run the risk of totally ruining their lives and their availability to God forever. I do not believe that has to happen. I just don’t believe it, and I think I could give you the names of the twenty kids that are in Bible college now, of the several who have already graduated and are serving God in various places, and several others who are here right tonight.  I believe I could give testimony after testimony after testimony and not preach anything but say “Here’s the product.” I didn’t say any of them were perfect, but I’ve seen folks leave the church, youth group, and Christian school, and I’ve seen the end result of it. It breaks my heart, and I don’t want to see you lose the battle. I want to see you win the battle.

I have often heard the example of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden used in a family series. They had two children. Those children were in the exactly the same atmosphere. Those children were in the exactly the same home. Their parents had the same values for both of them. They both had the same temptations or lack of temptations. They both had inherited the same sin nature. However, one of them was pleasing to God while the other one was the first murderer. “What a failure,” you might say. Well, they were in the perfect atmosphere. They were in the perfect environment. They had parents who knew God, knew the plan of salvation, and had everything they needed.

I do not think that you can just automatically say, “I am going to work this exact formula to have my kids turn out.” You see, for one thing, every child is different. In your own home, each one of your children is different from the others. They react differently to different circumstances. For one child, you can say, “Hey, straighten up,” and he will look up at you with that little defiant expression, to see how far he can push it. When you say to the other one, “Hey, straighten up,” he immediately begins crying. He is broken because you raised your voice. Children can be very different from each other. They are different in their temperaments. They are different in their personalities. They are different in their responses. How we need God’s help in raising our kids.

One of the keys to raising a good family is spending personal time with the Lord and claiming His blessings. The Bible says, It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late… God said that even working hard at it is vanity. You are wasting your time. But in another place God said, Children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of thy youth. Your children are like arrows. You are going to shoot them off in some direction or another, and they’re going where you point them. I tell you this, with God’s help and with everything you can muster; it is going to take everything you have to hit the target that you want them to hit. It is my prayer, and should be yours too, that that target is the will of God.

Let me also say very quickly that no one is a final authority on any child rearing. Even the Lord himself wondered what could have been done more for his vineyard (Israel). No parent is perfect. Even if I gave you a hundred things to do to help you raise your kids, you could do them everyone exactly as I told you to do them, but they might not work exactly right for you. You have to get God involved in this area in your life. The leading of the Holy Spirit in your life and the word of God have to work together as you apply these principles, but you must have a starting point. These sixteen categories I’m giving you are nothing more than starting points.

Using these starting points and trial and error, you can, I believe, rear some pretty good kids. I just don’t believe that you have to lose your kids to the Devil! Sometimes, however, despite the very best-laid plans and the greatest efforts made, that a young person gets to a certain point in his life and decides to make his own decisions. In that case, there is very little you can do, no matter what you have previously done. A young person is sometimes going to do his own thing. But I will say, for the most part, young people will do right because God will work in their lives. You will see the fulfillment of the biblical truths that I’m giving you. Much of what God gives us concerning the family and concerning children are guidelines. They are not things you can do perfectly. For example, the Bible says Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it. That is the example for husbands to follow, but not too many of us have gone out and been crucified for our wives. That’s a guideline, the type of commitment He wants, but He doesn’t really get into the specifics about how to do it. But I believe he wants us to depend on Him for the specifics in our individual lives. Please read with that in mind.

“I” Problems

Psalms 54 “Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seed after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.”

Sometimes when you get a lot of facts, details and ideas all at one time they will slip right by you. Like James said, you will look in the mirror of the Word of God and you will see yourself for what you are with some changes that ought to me made, corrections, and help from the Word of God. Then, after you have read this you will forget what manner of man you saw as you were reading this. It will all just sort of evaporate from your memory and you will not remember at all what you thought about. As you read this, it might be a good idea to jot down the things that come to your mind. Areas where you need to make some changes in your life. I want what you read today to make a difference in your life tomorrow. I want you to be a victorious Christian. My key word is mentioned twice in Psalm 54:6. The word is “I”. It is a one-letter word. I want to think with me about that little personal pronoun I. You see one of the problems in our society is we have been taught to be self-centered. The average person in America today lives for self. We examine everything in light of the fact of what effect does it have on me, how do I see this thing, how does it look to me. We have our share of “I” problems. Satan had “I” problems.

Isaiah 14:12-14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou had said in thine heart, I will ascent into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Why is it that Satan got kicked out of heaven? Why is it that the devil was chased from his place of prominence that God had intended for him to serve (perhaps as one of the ark angels)? Five times in this passage the devil said, “I”. His whole attitude and existence surrendered around what he said he was going to do. He was all enamored with, caught up in, and infatuated by that first person pronoun “I”. He was looking out for number one.

A lot of people have “I” problems. I found an old anniversary picture of my wife and I. In that picture I do not have glasses on. I was in the transition period. That time when I only wore glasses to read and the rest of the time they stayed in my pocket. People do not want to admit when they start having eye problems. During that period of time when I would carry my glasses in my shirt pocket, I was over helping clean the gym. We were getting ready for some event. We had these carpets to be laid on the floor. I put it down and said, “Man, these carpets need to be smoothed out.” I saw a lump in the middle of the carpet and so I went over and stomped on it trying to get it to go down. Then I said, “Where are my glasses?” They were under the carpet. It was a great day. Another example of this happened when my parents took my brother John, his wife Sophie, Nancy and myself out for their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary supper. My brother is in his existence now where I was about 6 years ago or so, that is he carries his glasses and doesn’t wear them. We got to the restaurant and he had left his glasses at home. You should have seen him trying to read the menu! He borrowed mine to try to use them as a magnifying glass. We all have eye problems of some kinds. The “I” problem I am talking about is a little play of words, but the truth of the matter is it has everything to do with how you look at things. It has everything to do with your perspective.

We all have “I” problems. We all have that tendency to see things from our own perspective and not from God’s perspective. That was the devil’s problem. He was looking at things the wrong way and it got him in a heap of trouble. He got kicked out of heaven. He has been an adversary of God and God’s work and program ever since. He is your enemy and my enemy. It all started with that one letter word “I”.

My Whole City?

In the Book of Acts (Acts 5:28) the apostles were accused of filling Jerusalem with their doctrine. That was quite a compliment because Christ’s last command to the church just prior to His ascension into heaven was to be witnesses unto Him throughout the whole world including Jerusalem (the place where they were at the time). In Luke 24:47, Jesus said, “… beginning at Jerusalem.”

I believe in world evangelism. We support 140 missionaries monthly. We sponsor a good number of world missionaries through Shawnee Baptist Missions. Shawnee Baptist College has a missions department and a number of our students are preparing for the mission field. However, a plane trip doesn’t make you a missionary.
A missionary will fail miserably if he doesn’t faithfully practice every creature soul-
winning. If a so-called missionary isn’t winning souls at home he will most likely waste away doing religious work on a foreign field but not reaching souls for Christ.

I said all that to say this. YOU and I who are saved have a responsibility to reach the world including our Jerusalem. Many churches have a strong missions program to reach distant parts of the world but are not reaching their Jerusalem. That is only partial obedience and that equals disobedience.

1. To Fill Your City, You Must Realize His Authority

What He tells us to do obviously carries with it His authority for the doing of it. Christ’s command is His authority. He said, “all power is given unto me,” (Matt. 28:18) and then commanded us to “Go.” When I tell a staff member to carry out some order, that is their authorization. Be careful how you “USE” authority. We have authority to do His will, not our will in His name.

2. To Fill Your City, You Must Recognize His Ability

When we look at the task at hand it might seem insurmountable. I am reminded of a quote I heard. “If what you are doing for God doesn’t require a miracle, you aren’t doing enough.” God is not depending on our ability… He wants our availability. We as God’s children, because of His great ability and because “nothing is too hard for God,” should have lofty and challenging goals of reaching the masses of people in our own areas.

When God allowed us to acquire the college campus across the river just six miles from our main church location, I knew immediately that we should begin having services there. I now have the privilege to preach on both sides of the river. This gives us a far greater advantage and opportunity to saturate or “fill” our Jerusalem. Just this week we had the opportunity to knock on several thousand doors spreading the Gospel through tracts and personal invitations. I have received reports of several precious souls saved already through this saturation effort.

If you will make yourself available to God, He will inspire the ideas and open the doors for you to fill your Jerusalem with His doctrine.

3. To Fill Your City, You Must Restore Our Anticipation

As we exercise faith in His authority and ability we must anticipate that He is going to use us in a great way. Get ready for the blessings. The Bible says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

Jim Elliott said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” There must be a spirit and attitude of expectancy. That is what faith and hope are all about. I am expecting God to do what He said He would do.

It doesn’t have to work just like I had thought it would. It doesn’t have to be easy. It probably won’t be easy. If you are allergic to work it will probably never happen to you. However, if you believe God and He hands you a lemon, MAKE SOME LEMONADE. We don’t have time to pout and doubt. Instead, let’s grin and win. Let’s go and grow. God did not leave you on planet earth to abuse you but to use you.

4. To Fill Your City, You Must Receive The Application

Knowing we have His authority and ability and being prepared with anticipation to do His will, we must now APPLY ourselves to the task. It is easy to say, “God can.” Faith says, “God will.” Commitment says, “God can and will through me.” “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13) “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecc. 9:10)

There is a price to pay of personal involvement. We must get beyond theory and into practice. Run those bus routes. Survey those subdivisions. Choose a city block and make it your mission field. Sharpen your soul-winning skills. Have an every house campaign. Freely distribute gospel tracts. Do everything humanly possible to fill your Jerusalem with His doctrine.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if the worse thing the liberal religionists, the dead orthodoxies, or government officials could say about you was, “YE HAVE FILLED YOUR JERUSALEM WITH HIS DOCTRINE…”

The Altar of God

Psalms 43:1-5 “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

In this article we will look at the altar of God and the altars that should be in the lives of God’s people. We need to read the Scripture carefully. I looked up over a hundred verses where the Bible referred to the altar, to an altar, the false altar, altars to the false gods, the altars of God, the altar of sacrifice in the tabernacle, the altar in the wilderness, the altar in the temple, the altars of Jacob and Isaac as they traveled and searched for the will of God in their life and the altars of Abraham.

There were a couple of things that I discovered that were very consistent with the altars in the Word of God. In particular, I want us to look at the altars of God and the altars of God’s people that seek to please God.

1. The Altar is a Place of Sacrifice

It is a place where you give what you have. You give of your resources. You give of your wealth. In the Bible the children of Israel gave of their material things or of the animals or of their crops. They would bring it to the altar and offer it as a sacrifice to God. They would bring either a burnt sacrifice, or a heave offering, or a waive offering, or an offering that they would cast it into the wind. They would offer a blood sacrifice where they would literally sacrifice the animals on the altar. You’ve heard about the altar of incense indicating our prayers; that was when they would slay the sacrifice in front of the altar and cut out the fat and burn the sacrifice on the altar.

2. The Altar is a Place of God’s Presence

The altar was the place where people would say to the Lord, “I submit, I surrender, I give my best to thee, I honor thee. You are God in my life. You are King in my life. I am subservient to you. I humble myself before you.” So it was a place of sacrifice and worship, but it was also a place where the Lord was.
Do you remember Jacob? Jacob had the dream where he saw the ladder and the angel of the Lord. He wrestled with the angel of the Lord. One of the first things he did after that was he built an altar. I think in his thinking he said, “This is where I met God and therefore I am going to commemorate this thing. I am putting an altar here. Every time I come near that place I am going to make a sacrifice and I am going to worship God because this is one of the places where God is. This is the place where I met the Lord. I might meet Him here again.” He had that altar experience.

We see the same thing with Isaac and the same thing with Abraham. These great patriarchs of our faith, these men of God, they had many altars that they built. These altars were personal altars that were built in their lives.

Like the Lord’s Supper, the altar at the church is also a place to make sure that you are right with your Christian brothers. In the biblical sense, for the Lord’s Supper, you are supposed to be right with God and with your fellow man. You see the two beams of the cross. That beam which is vertical points us to heaven and that beam which is horizontal encompasses the world of people for whom Christ died. We are to take the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him. We are to do it without malice, hatred, immolation, or jealousy in our hearts toward our brothers. The same thing applies at the church altar.

Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

As a matter of fact, the church altar is almost a little more direct that the Lord’s Supper. I believe the Bible indicates in the Lord’s Supper that it is okay to make things right in our hearts with God about a matter and go ahead and observe that supper. Then put commitment to your prayers and make things right. We need to have the genuine heart attitude that will be followed up by action. We need the true repentance of spirit and change of mind and in our heart that is going to result in a change in our life. The Lord’s Supper ought to have that affect in our lives. However, here at this altar of sacrifice God says you might as well get up from praying. There is no use making a sacrifice or doing anything until first you go to that brother that is offended and do what you can to make things right. You do your part, make things right, then come and offer your sacrifice.

The Bible is very clear about this. You cannot say you love God and not love the people that God loves. The Bible says that is hypocritical. It is hypocrisy. It is not true love.

Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

If that is true in the good sense, that if we are a blessing to someone we are blessing God, then I believe that under that same great Bible truth when we are a trouble, hurt, or curse to someone it is displeasing to God. If your blessing blesses God, then certainly your cursing is cursing God.

James 3:9-10 “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

The altar is not only a place of sacrifice, it is not only a place where there is the presence of the Lord, but it is also a place where we make sure we are right in our hearts with our fellow man. Too many of our decisions are based on our attitudes and our interpersonal relationships with other people and not really with the will of God.

There are some people in this world that cannot get along with anybody. They think nobody is as smart as they are. Nobody knows everything they know. Nobody is as accurate on every fine point of theological controversy as they are accurate. Anybody that doesn’t agree with them after a period of time, sooner or later, they either have to have a conflict or leave. There are people like that in this world that we live in. God will not even recognize your sacrifice if you do not learn how to surrender that thing to the Lord first and make things right with your fellow man.

An altar is a place where the presence of God is met. On that old rugged cross both of those things took place in a perfect form in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gave himself a sacrifice. He, being God in the flesh. The old rugged cross became God’s altar of sacrifice and His presence.

The altar of God and the altars in the life of God’s people are important. I am talking about the personal altars in your life: the places where you meet with God, your personal investment, your personal sacrifice, your personal everyday walk with God. You see, I think that too many of us play church and we have religion, but we do not have any altars in our lives. We do not have any place where we meet God. The ultimate altar is the old rugged cross.

Colossians 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

II Corinthians 5:18 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;