October 2014

The Best Defense is a Good Offense   Luke 6:27-36          (quick sermon notes) 

Last week we talked about the reality of evil in our world.

Today – how we should live in a world polluted with evil

In our world we tend to see a “default setting” of evil

We are quick to anger, but slow to forgive.

We would rather tear down than build up

We would rather talk about someone than to someone.

Our human nature is on full display right now in our election season.

Finger pointing, back biting, gossip, jealousy, anger, suspicion, greed, conspiracy, fighting and MORE are what we do.

As CHRISTIANS these should NOT BE who we are.

We are redeemed.

We are set apart.

We are THE CHILDREN OF GOD – and we should act like His kids.

What if our politicians, corporations, community leaders and/or US acted like God would have us to act?  Especially in times of trouble, competition or Holiday Family Get Togethers?

What if we attacked with an OFFENSE OF GOOD?

Maybe we wouldn’t have to play DEFENSE quite so much

Luke 6:27-36

“But                I say to you who hear,

Love your enemies,

do good to those who hate you, 

bless those who curse you,

pray for those who abuse you. 

To one who strikes you on the cheek,

                        offer the other also,

and                              from one who takes away your cloak

do not withhold your tunic either. 

Give to everyone who begs from you,

and                              from one who takes away your goods

do not demand them back. 

And                             as you wish that others would do to you,

do so to them.

“If you love those who love you,

what benefit is that to you?

For                  even sinners love those who love them. 

And                       if you do good to those who do good to you,

what benefit is that to you?

For                              even sinners do the same. 

And                             if you lend to those from whom you expect to


what credit is that to you?

Even sinners lend to sinners,

to get back the same amount. 

But                  love your enemies,

and                  do good,

and                  lend, expecting nothing in return,

and                  your reward will be great,

and                  you will be sons of the Most High,

for                                           he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” ESV

1 Peter 3:13-22 “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

Be Good.


Trust God

Live for Him – Holy – CLEARLY separated from the evil of the world


Stop playing so much DEFENSE

Mount a GREAT OFFENSE for the KINGDOM …knowing that VICTORY is Jesus is ASSURED.


ipsc-cbThe Shooter’s Sin

Open confession:  The last time I was at the shooting range this Southern Baptist Pastor SINNED…..and sinned a bunch!

At the last USPSA match I was at EVERYBODY SINNED – over and over again!

Most of us don’t like to think about sin; and we certainly DO NOT want to apply it to competitive shooting.    But, we must.

You see the Biblical word “sin” is actually a shooting term. Yep, that’s right, a shooting term.

The simple definition for sin is, “Missing the Mark”   It means our projectile did not hit where it was supposed to hit.

In the old days it may have referred to a spear, knife or arrow.  Today, it could also mean any non-alpha hit on our IPSC target.

So when you were at the most recent USPSA shoot or just at the range you sinned.  I sinned a bunch!

During a shoot we applaud the Alphas, accept the Bravo or Charleys, moan the Deltas and deny the Mikes. (Surely the RO can see that two rounds went through that Alpha hole!”)

When we slow down and concentrate more we usually get more Alphas and sin less often.  Transversely, when we try to go fast we sin more and get fewer Alphas.

Sin is a shooting term.  Next time you hear this preacher talking about sin on the range, just know it is my off target hits.  I am missing the mark and need to make corrections in my aim, my grip or my attitude.

This shooting term is applied to our of range life in the Bible.  Yes, we sin off range when we miss God’s mark.

God expects Alphas.  Every time.

Anything else except Alphas is sin.  You may get some credit for Charleys, Bravos or Deltas in USPSA, but not so much in the Kingdom.

We are all sinners.

God only has 2 categories:  Hit or miss.  Alpha or Mike….and His target is not as large as IPSC’s.

We tend to think like a competition: we applaud our alphas, think our “Charley sins” are ok (not to bad), we moan about our Delta sins (I need to work on those) and deny having any “Mike sins” (it’s not like I have killed anyone or something really bad)

God does not see them that way, and He has said that there can be no sinners allowed into His house.

The good news is that God is a GREAT RO!

God sent His one and only Son to take the bad scores/the punishment for our sins.  We are called to believe He can forgive our misses and score us with His son’s perfect score.

When we believe, God scores with mercy.  God does not give us the score we deserve.

When we believe, God scores with grace.  God gives us His Son Jesus’ perfect score.

When we believe there are no DQ’s, Mikes are forgiven and there are no Accidental Discharges.

It is better when God is on your side!  If He is for you, no one can beat you! Every Christian is a Grand Master.

The reality is, like on the range, if I will slow down and think about what I am doing I will sin less.  The more focus I put on God and His Word the more Alphas are in my life.

I have learned to accept the times I sin on the range, but pray I never get comfortable with my off range sins before God. I must make the proper corrections to hit the mark God has set for me.  You?

Saturday Night Pondering about Faith and Shooting

Competitive shooters spend a LOT of money on equipment, ammo, targets, range fees, repairs, modifications, eye and ear protection, entry fees and more with the plan of being prepared for an event that will probably never happen.

Competitive shooters spend a LOT of time practicing,loading, shooting and cleaning so we have the skills to defend ourselves in an event that will probably better happen.

This is why we call our events/group “practical shooting” and train with different scenarios and potential obstacles.

We do all of this gladly and (mostly) without complaint.  We are on range at 7 am on a Saturday and Sunday, pay our fees, learn and obey the rules and play by them.

We will gladly arrive even earlier to help set up the stages and don’t mind staying late to help with tear down.

We will spend hours training and hours competing,and be happy to finish in mid field.  We even accept those times we are DQ’d because we know we messed up.

What if we applied that to our faith life?

More often we complain when we are asked for money or the preacher talks about tithing.

We find it difficult to get to church by 11 am and are angry if the preacher keeps us a few minutes past 12.  OH, and did you hear that he wants us to come even earlier for Sunday School!?

As much time as shooters spend preparing for a big meet, how much time do we spend preparing for events that will actually occur?

Most agree that one day we will face God.  We know our time here is limited.  Most religions teach an after afterlife with God or separated from Him.

Are you ready for that scenario?

How willing are you to read God’s Guide Book?  Examine His rules to live by for your life?

How much of our time are we willing to invest in our eternity and the eternity of others?

How much of our funds are set aside for training and sharing the Gospel?  We throw a BUNCH of lead downrange; how about maybe buying a few Bibles and setting them off?

The same Lord who prepares your hands for battle has great plans for you.  There is a great battle being waged, but one not fought with guns but with Faith.

I believe in competitive shooting, training and preparation.  I think every man and women should be equipped and trained to defend their families, their communities and their lives.  Plus, it is a great sport!

I believe in the Word of God.  I believe in the Love God has for us and see how He desires a relationship that is real and powerful in our lives.

I believe that every man, woman and child should be trained and prepared in the way of Faith; ready for the coming day when we will stand before God.

I believe I will hear Him say, “Well Done, good and faithful servant.  Enter in.”   I think it would be great if He said “Great run!  Unload and show clear!”

Psalm 144:1 – 2 Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; He is my steadfast love and my fortress,my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge,who subdues peoples under me.”  ESV

John 3:16 – 17“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

October 5th      Evil truth        Genesis 3:1-7

Evil questions the Word of God

    1. “Did God ACTUALLY say?”
    2. Evil takes what God actually says and twists it to deceive you and bring Evils plan to bear
  1. Evil lies about the Word of God
    1. “You WILL NOT surely die”
  2. Evil promotes the flesh
    1. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil”
    2. Telling Flesh it can have everything it desires is a powerful tool in Evils armory
      1. Ear tickling preachers
      2. New Age fakes
  • “Chicken in the Pot” politicians AND MORE
  1. It is hard for flesh to push aside Santa Claus!
  1. Evil tempts flesh to rebel against God
    1. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,* she took of its fruit and ate,…” ESV
  2. Evil leads flesh to tempt flesh
    1. “and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
  3. Evil brings pain to flesh
    1. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked.”
    2. You might wonder why this was painful
      1. It opened their eyes to the knowledge of good and evil
      2. They were aware of sin
  • They brought sin, pain and disease into their lives
  1. They were now accountable
    1. Before they were protected by their obedience and innocence
      1. Now that was gone.
    2. Evil brings separation from AND fear of God
      1. “The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God…”
      2. God wants to be with us
      3. Sin separates us
        1. Jeremiah 5:24-25 “They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you.” ESV
      4. Evil is against you
        1. That Serpent of Old, satan – was NOT on Adam and Eves Side
        2. John 10:7-10a “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy……. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”    ESV
      5. Evil is NOT Eternal
        1. Evil and good do not coexist in some kind of symbiotic relationship where they need each other.
          1. No Ying and Yang
          2. One day God will utterly and completely Destroy evil – And what we call GOOD today
  • Only Faith, Hope and Love will remain
  1. God is FOR YOU
    1. Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” ESV
    2. John 10:10b “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
    3. Romans 8:31-33 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who