4 Steps to Greatness

4 Steps to Greatness

Mark 10:35-45 accounts the request of James and John to seat at Jesus left hand in glory. Jesus used this request to teach them a lesson about true greatness. Verses 42-45 contain 4 steps to greatness:

  1. To be great, don’t live like a superstar. v.42
  2. To be great, live like a servant. v.43
  3. To be the greatest, live like a servant for everyone. v.44
  4. To be great, live like Jesus. Spend your life focused on others. v.45


Identity – Powerful

Identity – Powerful

Ephesians 3:14-21

#1 POSTURE OF THE HEART Ephesians 3:14-15





Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

Miracle Defined

Miracle Defined

Miracles happen in the ordinary and the extraordinary. Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”

There are moments that God breaks through the ordinary for His glory.

A miracle is a wonderful event caused by God, that brings Him glory and demonstrates His purposes and plan.

Remembering the miracles of God in the ordinary moments of life and praising Him for the extraordinary events He preforms brings Him glory and praise.

Biblical Repentance

Biblical Repentance

Biblical repentance is godly sorrow for one’s sin together with a resolution to turn from it.*  Repentance is necessary for salvation and necessary for godly living. Daily repentance should be present in the daily life of every believer. There is a faulty idea about repentance that it is for salvation only. The process of conviction, confession and repentance is not only the path to God in salvation it is the path back to God as we deal with sin every day. Through Christ we can have peace with God and forgiveness of every sin.

Biblical Repentance

But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Luke 13:3 (NIV)


When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: John 16:8 (HCSB)


If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 (HCSB)


Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19 (NIV)

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4:8-10 (NLT)

* Definition of repentance from Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson

Sanctuary Prayer

Sanctuary Prayer


We are committed to prayer at First Baptist Dalhart. Part of that commitment is our invitation for people to come and pray in our Sanctuary during the week. Below is a Prayer Guide for you to use as you pray. Consider using it as you prayer in the Sanctuary of your church.

First, you will notice our beautiful stained glass that displays the Cross.

Begin your prayer time by thanking your Heavenly Father for your salvation that was made possible of the sacrificial death of Jesus and His resurrection. He is the reason we have peace, hope and eternal life.

And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! 2 Corinthians 9:14-15 (NLT)

You will notice the American Flag.

Let the flag remind you to pray for our country. The United States of America has strained far from the strong biblical foundation it was founded on. Pray that our country would return to God and that revival fires would once again sweep across our nation.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godlinessand holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)

You will notice the Christian Flag.

Let the Christian flag remind you to pray for the Bride of Christ, the Church. Pray for churches in our community, the state of Texas, the United States of America and the World. Pray that the Church would be about the Kingdom and Glory of God.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgivetheir sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

Pray for First Baptist Dalhart. As we strive to worship our great God, grow closer to Jesus Christ, serve God by serving others, and share the Good News about Jesus with others through the power of the Holy Spirit.

You will notice musical instruments.

Pray that First Baptist Church will be a place of authentic worship where God is honored and lifted high. Pray that the focus will be on God, not on individual desires or preferences. Pray for our Music Ministry to be led by the Holy Spirit as they lead us into the presence of God.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Colossians 3:16 (NLT)

You will notice that you are surrounded by pews.

Pray for the people who will sit in there pews for worship. Pray that they will be transformed by their time in God’s sanctuary. Pray that God would fill the empty seats with worshippers and that they would feel welcomed and become part of the family of God known at First Baptist Church Dalhart.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 (NIV)

You will notice the pulpit area.

Pray for your Pastor and church staff. Pray that they would be filled with the Spirit of God as they lead. Pray that God would protect them from temptation and discouragement. As the Word of God is preached, taught, sang, and applied that if would transform our church into a place where God is honored and lifted up.

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. Hebrews 13:17-18 (NIV)

And I, when I am lifted up[a] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32 (NIV)

Then finally, you will notice the altar.

This is the place of commitment. Pray that the altar will be filled with people committing their lives to Christ. Pray that it would be a place where people lay down their burdens and place their faith in Jesus to meet their needs according to His riches in Glory.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19 (NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30 (NIV)

Our Big News

Our Big News

December 15, 2013 was my first Sunday at First Baptist Church Dalhart, Texas as their new Pastor. This moment was the result of God’s leading and the culmination of years of prayer.

5 Things God taught Me during my Ministry Move

  1. There is no substitution for prayer.
  2. God want us to know His will and He will clearly direct our paths.
  3. God prepares and equips us for service.
  4. Ministry friends are a great source of counsel and encouragement.
  5. God’s glory should be the focus, not selfish ambition.

We are excited about this new season of ministry and look forward to making Dalhart, Texas our new home.

Living in Community for God

Living in Community for God

Living in Community for God

1 Peter 4:1-11

The older I get, the more interested I am in making sure that I am living my life to the fullest for God. When I was young, it seemed that time went by slowly and I was always waiting for what was next. Now that I am older, times seems to fly by and I am constantly wondering where the time went. In the passage before us, Peter describes four attitudes a believer should have to make the most of the time they have. As you read about these attitudes, ask yourself if you have these attitudes present in your life and what adjustments you may need to make to live your life to the fullest for God.

Righteous Attitude Toward Sin 1 Peter 4:1-3

Peter encourages the reader to have a righteous attitude toward sin. “Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because He who has suffered in His body is done with sin.” (1 Peter 4:1) Remembering what Christ did in His own body to pay for the penalty of our sins helps us combat the sin that is present in our own lives. The person who remembers Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross does not live to satisfy the evil desires of the flesh, but lives to fulfill the will of God. Peter reminds us that we spent too much time living as “pagans” before we received Christ. He lists the prevailing sins of the day to make a contrast between the “pagan” lifestyle and the believer’s lifestyle. Nothing will sabotage the time that we have to live for God more than sin. In light of what Christ did for us on the cross, why would we want to return to a sin-filled life?

Understanding Attitude Toward the Lost 1 Peter 4:4-6

I was twenty when I received the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers those who will trust Him. The change in my life was dramatic and noticed by my family and friends. Many of them did not understand why my life style changed so dramatically and why I was so passionate about the things of God. Peter describes the need for a understanding attitude toward the lost. He writes, “They think it is strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, that they heap abuse on you.” (1 Peter 4:4) They too will be judged for the way they live their lives and what they do with Jesus Christ. The truth is they don’t understand because they don’t believe. Having an understanding attitude will not only help you stand up to their abuse, but you will have opportunities to be a light for Christ in a very dark world. Take every opportunity to minister to those who do not know Jesus. Time is too short to miss these divine appointments.

Expectant Attitude Toward Christ’s Return 1 Peter 4:7

Since time is short, we should have an expectant attitude toward Christ’s return. Peter writes, “The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray.” (1 Peter 4:7) The early church expected for Christ to return during their lifetime. Every day that passes is an opportunity for us to minister to those around us. When Christ comes back, it will be too late. The truth is that we will all see Jesus one day. We don’t know when, but we know it is closer today than it was yesterday. The quality of our lives today will determine our reward on the day we see Jesus face to face.

Servant’s Attitude Towards Others 1 Peter 4:8-11

The final attitude Peter encourages the reader to have that is described in this passage is a servant’s attitude toward others. He encourages love, hospitality, and the proper use of our gifts. Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church in California, describes the unique ministry S.H.A.P.E. that God has given each one of us.

  • S – Spiritual Gifts
  • H – Heart
  • A – Abilities
  • P – Personality
  • E – Experience

The unique blending of these five areas of our lives equip us for a the unique ministry God has for each one of us. Peter goes on to emphasize that our gifts should be used for the glory of God, not ourselves. This will ensure that God receives His proper glory. Peter ends this passage with a fitting doxology, “To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Living Without Fear

Living Without Fear

Living Without Fear

1 Peter 3:13-22

When a commitment is made to teach through the Bible verse by verse, there are going to be times when the teacher arrives at a passage that is difficult and defies simple explanation. 1 Peter 3:13-22 is one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament to interpret and teach. We may not be able to solve every problem presented by this passage, but we can find a source of hope in difficult times, which is Peter’s theme for this letter.

Peter starts this passage with a question, “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?” (1 Peter 3:13) This verse immediately follows the direct quote of Psalm 34:12-16. If a person seeks to love life and see good days as Psalm 34 describes, who will harm them? It is unlike that an individual who lives a righteous life will be persecuted for doing good. Peter encourages the reader that if suffering does result from a righteous life, they will be blessed. Peter was there when Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)

With the possibility of suffering for doing good, Peter calls the reader to not fear or be frightened. Two forms of protection are given to defeat fear. The first is to “set apart Christ as Lord,” in your heart. In the Bible, the heart represents the spiritual center of man. When the center of one’s life is rightly focused on God, he is able to defeat fear and live victoriously for Christ. Christ is Lord of our lives. He is in control, and by his grace He will not allow us to face any situation that He will not provide us the strength we need to find hope.

The second solution for fear is preparation to defend the hope we have as believers in Christ. (1 Peter 15) In order to defend the hope we have, it is necessary to understand the depth of Christ’s love for us and what that means to us on a personal and practical level. When a believer is firmly grounded in the Word of God, has experienced the grace of God through Christ, and can explain this hope to those who would ask, they are well on the way to defeating fear and being confident believers who can find hope in every situation. Peter encourages the reader to give this reason with gentleness and respect, and with a clear conscience.

Jesus is the supreme example of suffering for doing good that brings God glory and salvation to man. Peter writes, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 This is the good news about Jesus in one verse. It is by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection from the dead that we can have eternal life.

As Peter is describing the death and resurrection of Christ, he describes an event where Jesus “preaches to spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” These verses about this preaching event are difficult and should not take the focus off the hope a believer can have in Christ. It is helpful to answer three questions about this event: 1) To whom was Jesus preaching? 2) When did this event take place? and 3) What was the content of the message?

First, the passage describes the recipient of the message as “spirits.” This is a term reserved to spiritual being like angels or demons. This term would not be used to describe the spirit of man. Peter uses the word “spirits” to describe angels or demons and “souls” to describe man. This message was preached to spiritual beings in prison; fallen angels who were connected to the sin in Noah’s day.

Secondly, when did this event take place? There are two main ideas about the timing of this message to fallen angels. This proclamation took place either during the three days between His death and resurrection or during His ascension. Whichever time it was has the same effect. Jesus made a proclamation to the fallen angels after His death on the cross.

Finally, what was the content of Jesus’ message? Peter does not tell us the content of Jesus message to these imprisoned spirits. We do know that it was not a message of redemption, since angels cannot be saved (Hebrews 2:16). Since this message is linked to the resurrection, we know it was a message of victory over Satan. One can imagine the resurrected Lord strongly proclaiming His victory to these imprisoned spirits in a loud victorious battle cry.

To summarize this difficult passage: After Christ died on the cross and was resurrected, He made a victorious proclamation to fallen angels. (Jude 6)

In the remainder of this passage, Peter uses the symbol of baptism to bring hope to the reader by reminding them of their salvation. Baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the same way, the flood pictures death, burial, and resurrection. The waters buried the earth and lifted the ark to safety. The ark is a symbol of the salvation that God provided for Noah and his family. They were saved from the flood by placing their faith in God as He provided a way of salvation from the rising waters. Sinners, in the same way, are saved by faith in God as they trust Christ, God’s provision for the penalty of sin.

It is important to emphasize that baptism does not save anyone. It is a faith relationship with Jesus, that baptism represents, that saves. The symbol should not be confused or substituted for what it symbolizes.

Clear Application for Today

  • Teaching verse by verse through the Word of God is both challenging and rewarding.
  • As we live for God, we should not look for suffering, but when it comes, we should trust God with the details of our lives.
  • In our hearts, we should set apart Christ as Lord.
  • We should be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have.
  • We should marvel at what Christ did for us on the cross.
  • Baptism is an important symbol of our salvation relationship with Christ.
  • Jesus is at the right hand of the Father with all of creation in submission to Him. We are His prize possessions!


Judges 6-7  Gideon  The Reluctant Warrior

Judges 6-7 Gideon The Reluctant Warrior

Judges 6 – 7  Gideon – The Reluctant Warrior

In Judges 6, the people of God are once again turning their backs on God. To chasten His people, God hands them over to the Midianites. The chastening of God is evidence of His love for His people. The Midianites pillaged the land and destroyed their crops. This causes the Israelites to cry out to God for help. God raised up another Judge to deliver His people from the Midianites. His name was Gideon.

No one would have picked Gideon as a leader. He would not even have picked himself. His decisions were uncertain, and his faith was shaky. However, despite Gideon’s shortcomings, God used Gideon to bring glory to Himself and victory to the people of Israel. Gideon is a great encouragement to anyone who struggles with accepting themselves and believing that God wants to use them in a significant way.

After “fleecing God”, Gideon assembles an army to attack the Midianites. God leads him through a process of reducing His army down from 32,000 men to 300 men. God was making sure He got the glory for the victory. Gideon defeated the Midianite army and once again restored Israel.

Be Encouraged with this Clear Application

  • God listens to the cries of His people.
  • God uses ordinary, even reluctant, people to do His work.
  • Victory is not found in skill or number, but in the power of God.
  • Strategy and focus are important.
  • God is not done with us even though we fail.