Welcome to Pastor Stoeber’s Blog!

A simple on-line forum to encourage and edify the saints through uplifting our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • PREACHING

    “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the...

  • Thoughts for our Spring REVIVAL

    Steps for Revival 1 Kings 8:47 “Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives...

  • When Life Get’s “Turned Upside Down”

    Today, makes the one year anniversary of Victory Baptist Church voting me in as their Pastor. Words cannot describe all...

  • Revival

    Here at VBC, we are preparing for a special time of meetings! Certainly we are asking God to reach down...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Young Preachers–let ’em preach!

This past Sunday, we were privileged to have a men’s quartet from The Crown College with us….they did a wonderful job singing, but what touched my heart the most was their preaching!  We had them with us on a Sunday AM and even in the morning service, I let two of the young men preach-concluded by Bro Crichton (40 years of ministry experience) preaching!

A word to the “older” preachers:

Of course, I am not only referring to age here, but to those that have years of maturing behind the pulpit under their belt.

  • If we are not careful, we can allow an attitude of: “I am Senior Pastor, and my people need to hear what I have to say”. Now, while I am 100% for leadership and consistency behind the pulpit; let me remind us all that we are nothing except a sinner saved by grace! 
  • It is healthy and profitable to the church to allow young men with the call of God on their life to preach! I believe we should “protect our pulpits” but not “hog them”! 
  • If we don’t give them opportunity….they will be seriously handicapped as they enbark upon whatever facet of ministry the Lord is leading them into. 
  • Nursing home – teens – children – etc… all offer good experience, but let’s face it, nothing is like standing behind the “sacred desk” on a ‘normal’ church service preaching time! Allow them to learn and experience this under your guiding and mentoring hand!

A word to the “young” preachers:

  • Don’t expect it and claim it as your right to preach–be honored and humbled when your Pastor extends an immense amount of trust in you and let’s you preach! (And by the way, why not express to your preacher your love to preach and your gratefulness when allowed to preach!)
  • When you have the opportunity to preach, it’s not time to “wax eloquent” on the latest theological debate that is raging! (I truly believe that young preachers should spend most of their time developing strong ‘textual’ and/or ‘expositional’ style sermons.) Just preach the Book!
  • Allow your Pastor/mentor to critique you! Don’t be hurt and don’t be defensive….allow a mature hand to guide you as you develop your preaching skills. (and by the way, don’t ever stop trying to develop these skills)

What a great privilge to PREACH THE WORD! I trust that whether “old” or “young” you will get in the Book and let the Book get in you and then preach that Book with Holy Ghost power each and every time!

Enlarge our Vision

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

As spiritual leaders, we need to have biblical vision and insight for the task of following the Lord as well as leading others to do likewise! I trust this simple outline will aid and encourage you along that path!

Jabez was the head of the clan of Judah…known for their closeness to God.

1. Any successful endeavor requires a vision…

a. The word “vision”:

1) Literally means the ability to see things that are visible

2) But it also used to mean the ability to see other things

a) “unusual competence in discernment or perception; intelligent foresight” (American Heritage Dictionary)

b) “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible” (Jonathan Swift)

b. Business or politics require “men of vision”

1) Companies require CEOs with vision, countries require leaders

with vision

2) Without the ability to visualize worthy goals and how these

can be realized, very little of importance is achieved

2. In the Lord's work, we desperately need an elevated vision of what

it is all about…

a. We need greater goals (what can be done) and greater objectives

(how it can be done)

b. Jesus certainly had a great vision: the saving of souls!

c. We need to have visions that are worthy of the “King of kings and

Lord of lords”

A vision is enlarged by…

I. Focusing on Duties

A. Prayer (Nehemiah 1:5-10)

Prayer is critical to vision development. Why? Because we see what we are looking for, and often miss what we don’t expect to see.

Prayer keeps us looking.

It keeps our eyes and our hearts in the expectant mode.

When God begins to move, we are only going to see it if we are ready and watching.

Notice that Nehemiah did not pray for God to rebuild the wall.

He prayed for an opportunity to go rebuild it himself.

That is the difference between a dreamer and a visionary.

Dreamers dream about things being different.

Visionaries envision themselves making a difference.

Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done.

Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something.

—Visionary Praying Involves Praise –v.5

Nehemiah begins his prayer by exalting the Lord.

He praises God for His Superiority, His Strength, His Sovereignty, His Sacredness and His Sincerity.

Matt. 6:9 “Hallowed be thy name”

Psa. 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

—Visionary Praying Involves Perseverance –v.6a

Nehemiah prayed “day and night”.

The kind of prayer that goes to God and stays before God until it has what it came after.

Luke 18:1 “…men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

Prayer that is born out of a genuine burden cannot be satisfied until it is answered!

—Visionary Praying Involves Penitence –v.6b-7

Confessing sins…we see here is a man with a repentant heart.

Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”

Nehemiah was not just interested in talking about where others had gone wrong, he was also willing to see where he, himself, had missed the boat with God. Repentance is about me getting my heart right with God!

—Visionary Praying Involves Promises –v.8-10

Nehemiah begins to remind God of the promises He had made to Israel.

When prayer is based squarely in the Word of God and founded upon the promises of God, the one praying can be sure that he will have the things he prayers for.

Bible vision is different than what the ‘world’ calls vision…

  • In Gen. 15:1 – vision is “the word of the LORD”
  • In Num. 12:6 – vision is “I the LORD …. will speak unto him”
  • In Num. 24:4 – vision is “heard the words of God”
  • In Num. 24:16 – vision is “heard the words of God” and “knew the knowledge of the most high”
  • In 1 Sam. 3:1 – vision is “the word of the LORD”
  • In 2 Sam. 7:4-17 – vision is “the word of the LORD”
  • In 2 Chron. 32:32 – vision is “Isaiah” and “the book of the kings”
  • In Psa. 89:19 – vision is “then thou spakest”
  • In our disputed text of Pro. 29:18 – vision is “the law”
  • In Lam. 2:9 – vision is “the law”
  • The prophets, such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah, and Habakkuk, referred to their heavenly message as a “vision”.
  • In the New Testament, where the word “vision” is used 15 times, each verse deals with a heavenly message. Consider, for example, Acts 10:3 (Cornelius) and 10:17 (Peter), both visions were a message from God. Also, Paul, in Acts 26:19, testified to King Agrippa that he had not disobeyed the “heavenly vision”.

Simply put; a BIBLICAL vision is: “A Word from God”

Bible vision is not all about “seeing the big picture” and “dreaming big”…It’s about getting a message from God through His Book.

Makes more sense with Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish”

Instead of encouraging people from this verse to “dream big and work hard”––how about, Get in the BOOK and read It and head It!

(We can see how a lack of Bible preaching, teaching, and heading can result in perishing.)

There are ‘visionaries’ in the Bible, no doubt; but we must also stress the importance of having not only “Contemporary Vision” but also “Bible Vision”

II. Forgoing Discouragement –Nehemiah 1:1-4

—Visionaries Understand the importance of opposition

It is through ‘struggle’ that we grow.

Difficulties provide us the joy of seeing God do only what God can do.

—Visionaries Understand the importance of mentors

Nehemiah & Ezra were contemporaries.

No man is an island unto himself.

Humble yourself and find someone you can fellowship with.

—Visionaries Understand the importance of people

For those that have the ‘type A’ personality; it is easy to only see the ‘vision’ and view people as obstacles to get there.

Ministry is People! Without people you are not a LEADER––you are a LONER.

—Visionaries Understand the importance of seeing life through Heaven’s eyes

We hold the end results loosely…knowing “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil 2:13

III. Forming Daily Plans

Though the church is an organism, it must be organized or it will die.

Pray for opportunities and plan as if you expect God to answer you.

When God has given us a vision, we need to go ahead and start developing a plan.

The problem is that many of us fail to pray and fail to plan.

As we pray about and plan for the vision, it seems overwhelming and impossible. When God puts something on our hearts, it always seems out of reach (because it is). God ordained visions are always too big for us to handle.

There are always more questions than answers and more obstacles than solutions.

God open the doors…maybe He’s waiting for you to get ready for Him to!

Assuming you had the resources, what would you do?

Assuming you had the time, what would you do first?

Assuming you had the people, how would organize it?

Nehemiah laid out steps of how to pursue this vision.

He made sure that if he got an opportunity to present his vision to the king, he was ready.

I pray the Lord will help us as Christian leaders to not just be “dreamers” but to be “visionaries”!

 

godscalling

Over the years, one of the largest things that I have had to make sure I keep up with is that I stay faithful to God’s calling on my life as a Pastor | father | husband | leader. (I have also noted in counseling people that this is a big area of question for most.)

It seems as if people think that the “Calling of God” is something mystical and confusing and not able to be easily understood. While I totally understand that there are some issues/circumstances in life that are very difficult and require much wisdom; I also believe that a lot of these areas could be more easily understood if we had a better understanding of the “Calling of God” on our life!

Let’s look at examples of the “Calling of God” in the Bible and draw some conclusions that will help! (You can study these more in detail-we will just look at an overview.)

  • The Old Testament Prophets: In a way, certainly all of them received a “call of God” in their life—Hosea and Jonah offer two great examples.
  • Moses: In Exodus chapter three, God calls him back to Egypt to be the leader of the Israelites.
  • The Disciples: Each one not only had the direct call of Jesus to walk with Him on earth, but were “called” into their own specific ministry after Jesus’ departure.
  • Paul: Certainly a man greatly used of God! For sake of example here, let’s just look at his call in particular….but I believe this pattern can be seen repeated consistently in the aforementioned examples.

Lesson’s we can learn from the “Macedonian Call”:

  • God’s call is PLAIN 
    • Acts 16:9
    • Paul had no problem understanding the vision!
    • If you can’t clearly and easily articulate the “call of God” for your life, let me encourage you to listen closely to God, for His leading is always clear!
  • God’s call is for a PLACE or PERSON
    • Acts 16:9,10
    • Here, Paul is given the specific call to go to “Macedonia”.
    • In the aforementioned examples, you will also find that without exception, there was always a specific place and/or person that the call was directed to.
    • We can take comfort in the fact that God’s call for us will be like this as well!
  • God’s call is for a PURPOSE
    • Acts 16:10
    • Paul went there to “preach the gospel unto them”.
    • Please remember: The call of God will never contradict or alter the Word of God! Many people “feel” a call from God to do this or that….all the while blatantly disobeying Scripture. This is not God’s call!
    • You don’t have to try and manufacture some purpose either….God has already given us a purpose as His people that comprise local bodies of believers all over the world!
      • LOVE God
      • LINKED Together
      • LABOR Selflessly
    • As we strive to accomplish these in our life—we are fulfilling God’s divine purpose and “His call” will fit perfectly.
  • God’s call is PERSISTANT
    • Acts 16:23
    • Only a short while after “the call”, Paul was imprisoned!
    • Please catch this: before this “Macedonian call” – during the beginning of it – and after the first church was started….Paul faced unbelievable hardships. 
    • The point is this: don’t let the presence (or absence) of trouble get you discouraged from following God’s call!
    • If the “grass is always greener” on the other side of the fence or down the road someplace else….why not spend some time watering your own grass so it’s green and healthy as well! Prayer | Fasting | Brokenness all help to “water our grass”!
    • Stay at it….not because of circumstances or results….but because “God is faithful”!
  • God’s call has His PROMISES 
    • Acts 16:14
    • The Lord opened the hearts of these folks….He always keeps His word!
    • I believe that far too often we try to manufacture the presence and power of God in our lives and ministries.
    • What we really need to do is just stay faithful to His call and live daily in His power and we will see His promises come true in His time!

Maybe you are a missionary, church planter, pastor, or a faithful church worker….it doesn’t really matter what “title” you wear, God’s calling is “without repentance” (Rom 11:29). For every born again believer, it is vital to know and do what God has called us to do!

And when God’s call for your life ‘changes’ or ‘takes a turn in life’: I firmly believe these five truths about His call should be diligently sought out and made certain that we are following God’s call….not something else!

The Lord has been meeting with us at WBC this week as we are in our Faith Promise Missions Conference! It has been a joy to see the Lord work in hearts and touch lives! Today (Sunday) we will be receiving our missions commitments for the year….and I just wanted to share some things that will hopefully encourage our local church in their commitments and maybe anybody else that reads this as well!

I am burdened to do more for Christ that ever before–so thankful for our churches missions program!

So, some may wonder: “Just how is it that God will provide for the Faith Promise Commitment that I make?”. While we can never delineate all of God's methods of provision, allow me to share these following thoughts!

(1) Money Unusually Attained: Raise, promotion, bonus, overtime, inheritance, gift.

(2) Money Deliberately Retained: Changed priorities, denying a luxury, delaying a purchase.

(3) Money Surprisingly Regained: Tax refund, investment return, insurance refund, repaid debt.

(4) Money Intentionally Maintained: Commitment to regular giving, Trusting God to supply.

Simply put: “God can increase your income, He can decrease your expenses, or He can give you the grace to give it anyway.” We must remember that “God may not give TO you what He will give THROUGH you”!

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself (Prov 11:24-25)

I trust that all the members of WBC will be encouraged to make a personal commitment to God -looking to Him for the wisdom- and then keep that commitment being fully persuaded that He is able!

 

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In studying for our missions conference coming up next week….this letter from a great missionary has grabbed my attention. May we seek to keep our hearts as tender and open to the Lord as our for-fathers!

Letter from Adoniram Judson to Mr. Hasseltine asking for his daughters hand in marriage:

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world ? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”

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