Wednesday, August 03, 2016

THE FUNCTIONAL CHURCH, by Dan Mayfield

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Romans 12:18
I have heard criticisms of the church that it's made of imperfect people and that there's bickering and fighting. 

But in the big scheme of things, the church is actually the place where people get along. In big families, they hardly see each other and the stories are a plenty of how dysfunctional families are and what a circus it is to get them together even once a year. We know it's true. 

However, the church family that's brought together by Jesus' blood is able to come together weekly and even several times a week so that we love, share, work through problems, and when we fight we make up. Why? Because Jesus loves us and He says for his people to repent and forgive and get along. 

In the church, we see the lion and the lamb sitting side by side. In a dysfunctional world, the church is functional.

Friday, July 29, 2016

THE NEED FOR ESTABLISHING AUTHORITY, by Dan Mayfield

"He earned his love through discipline... a thundering velvet hand." "Leader of the Band", Dan Fogelberg
I heard of an Elder who explained a key to raising children to follow the Lord. He said you must establish authority early and the children will not rebel.
This may be the very best explanation for why many of our children are not following the Lord. They aren't reading their Bibles, they are not praying, they are disinterested in God, because they don't even respect their parents' authority. At home they rebel. At home the permissive parenting style has fostered a rebellion against all authority including God's. For this I am deeply saddened.
I have to confess that only with God filling in the gaps for my shortcomings as a parent, by my establishing authority with my children, while always trying to have that "thundering velvet hand", my children are following the Lord today. For this I am eternally grateful to God.
Kristin Gates and Kevin, Priscilla Wayland and Josh, Heidi Cooley and Gregg, Autumn O'Quin and Blake O'QuinDaniel Mayfield and Miranda Mayfield this is my message of love to you. Mom and I love you mucho gusto.

BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SAID IT ENOUGH, by Dan Mayfield

I want you to know you are all of the good things of God wrapped up in one cute little package. To me, you are sunshine with a cool breeze. You are the shade I run to in the hot summer. You are the formidable warrior standing by my side when I must fight. Your soul is so knit together with God in prayer and minute by minute devotion to Him that I think woe to the person who thinks to harm your man and family. When I must travel, you begin packing your bags. By the wisdom God has given you, you know my needs and are already praying for them before I even know them. You care for my every need and never stop thinking about how to satisfy your husband. You always have done me good and have never, not once in over 37 years of marriage, done anything to harm me. But your strength and extent of your love is without limit because you have enough to shower on all of your children, and their spouses, and upon our 12 grandchildren - not to mention for the brothers and sisters in the family of God. And yes, thank God, you have your own mind that refuses to be silent when I'm on the wrong course. You have given me more than I have given you. I cannot out give the one who has rescued me, served me, and given me wealth beyond measure in my family and life. You are my Eve who never asked me to do wrong. With all the godly attributes you have, another person would be in danger of pride and a fall. But not you. Faithful and true and lovable are you, my sweet Hazel.

GOD HARDENED EGYPT....NOT JUST PHARAOH, Exodus 14:17, by Dan Mayfield

The Calvinist doesn't want to apply Romans 9-11 the way he interprets the part about Pharaoh and the Potter. The wrong interpretation requires he also use that interpretation to explain why Israel wasn't believing in Christ.

The Calvinists prove their position that God sovereignly chooses exactly to the soul which one will be saved and which one will be damned by going to Romans 9 that says, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." These are the words of God to the Pharaoh. But what does it mean? Does it mean God directly hardened the man to disobey God or does it mean that God does it by presenting His will that is heavenly wisdom that a carnally wise man will reject? The latter is correct.

But the Calvinist digs in his heels and insist that God damned the man to hell to prove His point. But God doesn't need to fabricate disobedience since we know the world is already full of people who stumble over the wisdom of God!

Calvinist point out it's only one person. As God hardened Pharaoh, so God hardened the entire nation. Exodus 14:17 says God hardened Egypt.

"And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them."
So it is not only a single man God made an example of, but this passage says God hardened the nation with its army, chariots, and horsemen. The Calvinist doesn’t merely have to defend the point that, “it was only one soul God hardened”; but now he must defend that God hardened the whole nation of Egypt. The Calvinists have a harder problem now to explain that God would damn an entire nation.

How God hardens is the question. The question is not if He does, but how He does is the question. God's wisdom in the cross is hardening Greeks and Jews all of the time. Men will be judged, rightly so, by God for preferring a carnal messiah and for wishing for human wisdom and miraculous signs. The ways of God do not cater to a carnal man. The carnal man must repent and embrace God's wisdom.

And in Romans 9, which Calvinists understand so little, whatever is the understanding of God's action against Pharaoh, the conclusion must be applied to the Jews themselves who are the real subject of the entire chapter, along with the following two chapters. But if you listen to Piper and MacArthur, they will not preach that therefore the reason the Jews are lost, though given so many opportunities, is because God hardened and damned them! Calvinism is dumb. Calvinism is unchristian. I vehemently oppose Calvinism and the so-called Reformed Theology in the Westminster Confession. 

The Calvinist wrongly teaches man has no free will and that the sovereignty of God demands it. Jeremiah 18:5-10 shows that God’s shaping of the clay depends on the choice of the clay. God’s sovereign rule in full glory when he ruled over Adam in the Garden, and it is fully intact today when allowing each person free will to choose to accept or to reject the Gospel. Calvinism is an unjust perversion of about everything Christian.

I say this in love for the benefit of seekers. God bless you. Dan

CHRISTIAN: LIVING ABOVE AND BEYOND COLOR, by Dan Mayfield

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:28

Romans 8 talks about two mindsets. One mind is always set on the flesh and it brings death. The other mind is set on the things of the Spirit. It brings life and peace. I tell you straight out if you are always seeing through the filter of skin color, you are as carnal-minded as any person going to hell. We had better get above that. We don't think Jew or Samaritan. We don't think rich or poor. We don't think slave or free. That's Bible! So don't argue the point with me.

I have an idea that instead of living "white" or "black", just live "Christian" and everybody else can live "stupid". Be color-blind and see souls. This racial garbage is going to destroy this world. It shouldn't, but far too many think "race" way to much, and they think I do too. Nope, I just think "Christian" and I don't give a flip the color of his skin.

A proverb says, "The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all." Pro. 22:2. In the eyes of God, both are the same. Both are sinners, not only one side, but both are in need of God's grace. It's true of black and white. They both are alike in the eyes of God. And in the Lord's church they are the same. The rich man "glories in his humiliation" in the church and the poor man "glories in his high position" in the church. There is a leveling of all people in God's people. God sees no color or human status. He just sees souls. Everyone who comes back with arguments about race and color are not having God's mind.

I realize as I write this that I'm talking about a spiritual matters and that a carnal-minded person thinks it is all foolish. I just wish and pray to God that we could turn off the color. Just be a human. Be a spiritual person. Be a child of God. Be a lover of souls - without consideration of the external appearance. First step to being a Christian in this day and age is to live above and beyond color.

I say this in love. Dan Mayfield

THE MIND SET ON THE FLESH VERSUS THE MIND SET ON THE SPIRIT, by Dan Mayfield

In the Bible, Romans 8 for example, there is the principle that you choose if you are going to live your life dwelling on things of the flesh - focusing on skin color or on lusty things, or if you are going to live your life thinking about spiritual things of the soul - focusing on high and spiritual realities of God and His beloved Son. The first is a dead end road and it brings death. The second is a victorious road that brings life.

As a Christians, since we are under grace, we are freed from the futility that the commandments alone brings, Romans 7:14-8:14. The Christian isn't ignorant that he's imperfect and needs saving grace; but he's enjoying what God has allowed for the sinner to think on spiritual things, looking forward and upward, because he's been set free from death and fear.

When I listen to this man, he sounds like a man who understands this principle. His words very well illustrate the focus and outlook of a spiritual man who isn't thinking about his flesh and how everything is aligned against him. No, he gets up each day thinking of himself as a man, full of a soul that's made in God's image, who just happens to have a darker skin tone. He's not thinking of the skin or the flesh or the other things that are external. Dwelling on these would only cripple and make him feel overwhelming futility. But instead he's a guy who is enjoying life, he's enjoying peace, because he's a valuable soul, a walking and talking and doing soul, who isn't walking in fear.

This man is making the most of the life God has given him because he's got his mind set on things above and not on things below.

Now I would like to know if this man has washed his soul and saved himself by the grace of God by repenting and being baptized, Acts 22:16; Colossians 2:11-13.

God bless you all. Dan Mayfield

MY VBS LESSON: CHILDREN ALWAYS REMEMBER NICE, by Dan Mayfield

My wife is a bit of an expert in raising and training children. When it comes to raising her own or with looking after other peoples' children, she's not ever been permissive or neglectful of the attention and directing they need. But one thing she always is and always has been to every child is nice. It's her creed to be kind to children.

When I read the Gospel where people were trying to bring children to Jesus, it is telling of the culture that the disciples were being rude and telling the people to take the children away. Matthew writes, "13 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Mt 19:13-14.

Jesus rebuked the disciples. They didn't have a tender spot in their hearts for the children the way Jesus did. But it all worked out because Jesus taught disciples from then on out that children are not to be pushed away and treated unkindly. Children are precious little souls who either see meanness or kindness in the adults around them. Christians who are well-trained to have the mind of Christ are gentle and kind to children. I fear that far too many children are not seeing kindness. And like Hazel says, children remember if you were kind or not. She's right.

"She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Pro 31:26. The worthy woman is not only kind, but she teaches kindness to others. That's my wife.

It's Vacation Bible School time which always makes me think about my first VBS experience when I was 4 or 5 years old, living in a foster home with an elderly woman we called Granny. She drove me, my sister, and other kids around in her old station wagon. One place she took us to was to VBS. I'm pretty sure my mom still has the crafts I made stored away in a trunk somewhere. The craft was a cat made from a green soda bottle and a hand print in plaster of paris. Kids remember these things. But mostly I remember Granny's kindness. I still remember the VBS snack was orange drink and vanilla wafers. But I also remember that Granny, though she "switched" me when I was bad, was kind to me. It was like she loved me. She was not mean to me or to my sister. She was nice. Though it happened over fifty years ago, that she was kind still sticks with me.On the other hand, I've had some people in my life as a child who were not kind. I may not remember many of the circumstances, but there were enough instances of meanness and hate that it just doesn't go away. Though I've moved on from the hurt and grudges, it reminds me of the importance of always being kind to children.

Jesus was kind and He had a special place in his heart for every child. So leave a good, lasting impression on the children in your life. They will remember and you can't change it later. If you have been mean to children, you might receive forgiveness for it, but it will always be remembered.

When we do VBS, let's be kind and nice. When we do daycare, let's always be nice. When we talk to our children in the morning, noon, and nighttime, let's be nice. Jesus wants it that way. And if you aren't nice to children, repent now, because God is especially watchful in this matter.

I say this in love. Dan Mayfield

DON'T TELL PEOPLE YOU ARE CHRISTIAN, Dan Mayfield

I know that no Christian is perfect. God knows it. But when Christians are basically indistinguishable from the non-Christian world, well, that's a problem that can't be justified. 

It's a problem when so-called Christians talk, and act, and dress to look just like the world. Peter reminded us, 

"11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:11-12.

Christian, if you are still partying with the world? If so, do a solid for all of us who are concerned with representing Christ and, don't tell anyone you are a Christian. I mean it. Keep your faith to yourself because you are only confusing those who seek the Truth. There, I said it.

What God really wants is for our example to change so that the lost can see us and learn what it means to be a Christian. Otherwise, your example is confusing the children who thought holiness and purity meant separation from the world. Otherwise, your example is confusing the world. 

So please stop confusing people. Stop pretending you are friends with God if you are super cozy with the world. Just don't tell anyone you are a Christian. Truth said in love.

FIRST TALK TO GOD AND SEEK WISE COUNSEL, Dan Mayfield

Yesterday I was listening to the Proverbs and this verse jumped out at me: "It is a trap for a person to declare quickly, 'This is sacred,' and only later to have second thoughts about the vows." Pro. 20:25.
This brought to my mind the Joshua 9 instance of the Gibeonites being accepted by Joshua and the Leaders of Israel because it says, "they did not ask counsel of the Lord." Josh.9:14. They vowed too quickly and regretted it.
It also reminds me of Paul's words to Timothy not to lay hands on anyone - acceptance is implied - too quickly lest you be participant in their sins, 1 Tim 5:22. When we give our approval too quickly without seeking God's wisdom, we risk giving our acceptance to those who may even be wolves in sheep's clothing.
When Elders and others are making big decisions about acceptance, we must be reminded to not act without God's blessing. These matters usually require making judgments about people and between people. We need God's wisdom lest we have to admit later it was a mistake.
I feel pressured all the time to accept lifestyle choices and peoples' decisions. These are serious matters which call for us to seek God's counsel.

A GOOD QUESTION BEFORE BEING SAVED

Someone said he asks those who are seeking baptism if they wish to never commit another sin in their life? The question isn't will you ever sin again? No one can say he will never sin again. But if a person cannot answer with certainty, "I wish to never sin again in my life", this person hasn't decided to follow Jesus. I agree.
We have baptized people, I'm convinced, who we wouldn't have baptized if we had only asked them this question. The tree is known by the fruit and the continued life of sin says there was no such holy desire in them. They simply were not ready for be immersed.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME, Dan Mayfield

Those are the words of Paul to the Ephesians to wisely redeem the time, redeem it from slavery to futility, buy it back and make it to be used for God, because the days are evil. Snatch the minutes and hours in this day out of the jaws of death and make them to be time for eternal things.
When we sleep until 10 or 11, time can't be redeemed. When we spend all of our time in recreation and games, the time it spent and lost their value for eternal good. When we waste our time God has given, we become poor stewards of the precious gift God has given. Instead, make the decision that some time today will be used by me and you to eternal matters.
The days are evil, says Paul. The minutes, hours, and days are pretty much devoted to the works of darkness. Look around you and see that pretty much everyone's time is flittered away for useless things. God will say to most people, "what did you do with the time I gave to you?" And the people will be silent. They will spend eternity, unending time, with a deep sense of regret that minutes and hours were not redeemed and give to the cause of Christ.
Time is right this moment. Yesterday time is spent and history. Tomorrow time doesn't exist. The only time you or I have is this moment. And so at this moment we must let the momentary breath, the moment beating heart of life, and the next thought must be devoted to God. At this second, will you determine that it will be redeemed and put into God's service? If God gives you the next 24 hours, will you be able to look back and rejoice that an opportunity here and there were clearly devoted to the eternal things of God?
God bless you.

THE 99 WHO NEED NO REPENTANCE, by Dan Mayfield

"In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent." Lk 15:7
There's great joy in heaven for the 1 man who repents and comes to the Lord. Sure enough. But what about these other 99?
Why do the 99 not need to repent? The answer is simple. These are Christians who are repenting all of the time. These are Christians. They don't need to be sought and found because they are walking in the light, always repenting, always forgiven, always rejoicing.
The 99 are people who always live with a good conscience. It doesn't mean they are always sinless. But when they sin, they repent quickly, and they are forgiven. Their conscience is clean because God has made them clean. It is when we neglect our conscience that we shipwreck our faith, 1 Timothy 1:19. If you would be the 99 who don't need to repent, then at all times take care of your conscience. Repent continually.
It's hard work for the church to care enough to go out and reach that 1 that needs to repent. It takes courage and love to reach them. But who is going to reach the 1 who needs to repent? The 99. The 99 are the most humble, repentant people in the world. They are not exalting themselves above sinners. They already know their sinfulness and their need for God's grace. They are bowing in prayer, bowing on their knees, in reverence before God. And when they see a lost soul, they see themselves and have pity and mercy for the soul that's in danger.
So if you are the 99 who doesn't need to repent, because you are always repenting, with a good conscience go and find that 1.

STAY DADDY, Dan Mayfield

Oh daddies who are thinking of walking away from your family.....don't you do it. Stay. Work through things. Be humble. Be selfless. Daddy, stay with the wife of their youth, Malachi 2. Daddy, work with your hands and labor hard to provide shelter for your family. Daddy, be a full-grown men, who loves Jesus the Carpenter and King of kings. Daddy, spend serious time turning pages of the Bible and then on your knees confessing your need for God. Daddy, have nerves of steel to never give up on bringing your children up in the Lord. Daddy, stay for a lifetime. Love your woman and love your children. Grab that Bible. The Almighty who wrote it will teach you what you don't know. He will be your Father. He will teach you to be a man and how to be a father. Look, take a close look at Jesus. When you truly see Jesus, you will see the Father. Stay daddy. Kiss your baby. Hold your woman. Stay and give them support. Be home at night when the work day is done. Stay.
- a man who doesn't provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever - 1 Timothy 5:8

GOD DOESN'T INTEND TO SAVE PEOPLE WHO DON'T INTEND TO BE HOLY DEVOTED TO HIM.

Baptism does nothing to the person who sees no need to change. The blood of Christ will cleanse only those who are broken with godly sorrow and with repentance turn to walk and talk in the light of God's truth.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A MARK OF THE TRUE CHURCH IS THE EMPHASIS ON ASSEMBLING AND FELLOWSHIP, by Dan Mayfield


John 4:23,24 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father IS SEEKING SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 

Importance of Assembling Together in Corinth.
  • 1 Cor. 11:22, notice the church isn't at home. 
  • 1 Cor 14 the emphasis is on the edification of the church assembly, 1 Cor 14:12; 14:18,19; 14:23,26,34
It's a sin to give up meeting with the church: "24And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. 25Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains,…"Heb 10:24-26

Observance of the Lord's Supper with other Believers, Mt 26:26ff; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17-20, 23ff; 

As with the Lord's Supper, the contribution is taken up on the first day of the week, 1 Cor. 16:1,2

Singing is a corporate activity, not just a private part of worship, Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.

Of course, preaching and teaching, takes an assembly. "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." 1 Tim 4:13. 

For there to be teachers in the church (Eph 4:11, He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers) there must be students, hence, there must be an assembly of Christian.

The preacher faithfully teachers the flock: "If you INSTRUCT THE BRETHREN in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed." 1 Tim 4:6 

One Another: The "one another: church language points to a family of brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, elders, children in the faith, a part of the body of Christ. If the church isn't together, it is not functioning. "10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;" Rom 12:10; cf 12:16; 13:8; 14:13,19; 15:5,7. There is no "one another" unless the church is meeting.

To email Dan Mayfield: Click Here