Dr Mickey Muse - Caring for Churches

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Caring for Churches
Happy Is Doing Not Just Knowing
(John 13:17)
“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Are you a happy Christian or just one of the average believers that are more unhappy than happy? Of course to be happy as a Christian is the byproduct of “joy” which only comes from a right relationship with Jesus Christ. (John 15:9-11) “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

To be happy here means to be “blessed” and that is demonstrated in showing our love through obedience to what our Lord says in His word “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love”. In the passage of John 13 our Lord is teaching the disciples to have a humble heart of service. One of the best ways to be happy is to learn to serve Jesus by serving others. Serving others through Jesus brings about a gladness and joy in knowing we are obeying what Jesus taught. It’s not just about “knowing” but “doing” what we know that pleases our Lord and that’s loving and serving others as He does.

“A believer is to serve because of resulting joy. The Greek tense is continuous, "Happy are ye if ye keep on doing them [these things, serving]." Just knowing the truth is not enough. We must do the truth and keep on doing the truth. When we do, we are filled with joy.”- (POSB) To have continuous joy “happiness or blessings” there must be a continuous doing of what Jesus has said in His word. Our joy is found in the person of Jesus Christ and therein is our hearts filled with joy, that results in a happy, “blessed” life.  

If you are not enjoying your Christian life and don’t see any reason to be happy, “blessed” then you may need to ask the question, why. Is there anything that is hindering your relationship with Jesus at this moment? No matter if we think that it is a very small thing or sin, it could be quenching, grieving or hinder the Holy Spirit from His ministry within. When the Holy Spirit is offended and hindered there will be no true joy.

When David lost his joy it was because of his unconfessed sin and until he repented and confessed it he lived an unhappy or unblessed life. As soon as he confessed his sin then he asked for the joy of the Lord to return and it was granted unto him. Our Lord wants us to be filled with joy that overflows with happiness that brings about a dynamic witness for His glory! God wants His children to be joyful and happy believers and to let our light shine before men that they may see our good works “doings” and glorify our Father with is in heaven.  

Bro. Mickey

Walking With God
Walking With God  

(Gen. 5:22, 24) “And Enoch walked with God - And Enoch walked with God”
(Gen. 6:9) “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
(1 John 2:6) “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

I would describe a walk as a consistent forward motion taking one step at a time in a certain direction.  Each one of us is walking in either the Spirit or the flesh (Gal.5:16 / Rom.8:1). As believers we should always desire to walk in the Spirit and in a close relationship with our Lord. We are not perfect in our Christian walk but we should be getting better day by day so that we are walking closer to the Lord then we were earlier in our Christian life (Phil.3:12-14).

Sometimes believers stop walking and even start going backwards from following and walking with God. This can happen to anyone of us if we are not careful and watch where our feet are taking us. The enemies (world, flesh, devil) of our Christian life are always seeking to trip and cause us to fall down so that we might be injured or become handicapped and be of little use to God or the ministry. Thank the Lord for His powerful love and grace that is available to us each day as we decide to walk with Him through this life.

Here are some steps that will help us to stay walking with God each day:

1. Walk in the Light – (1 John 1:5-7) “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The best place to walk is in the light and for the believer that is God’s Holy Word through which He gives us “His light” to walk in – (PS.119:105, 130 and 133). Therefore we need to walk with God through His word daily in a consistent direction reading and studying His word.   

2. Walk One Step at a Time – (PS. 119:133) “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Overcoming temptation is a step by step walk with the Lord who is all victorious and has given us the victory in all things through Himself- (1Cor.15:57). As we walk with the Lord there is nothing that can have dominion over us- (Rom. 6:14a) “For sin shall not have dominion over you” (1Cor.10:13).

3. Walk Vigilantly and Watchful – (Eph. 5:15) “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” We should make sure that our steps and walk is looking unto Jesus at all times- (Heb. 12:2) “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”.  Watching Him allowing Jesus to use all of our functions and bodies to make each step correctly and on His timing.   

4. Walk as a Child of God – (Eph. 5:8) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” As Christians we should be walking as children of light that is reflecting the “Light” (Jesus) through our lives. We are to follow the steps of our Lord and heavenly Father in obedience to His commands. Letting our light shine so others may see our good works each step of the way to point them who are lost to the Lord (Matt.5:16).

5. Walk in your Integrity(PS. 26:1) “Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.” Integrity is not perfection but walking in honor, truthfulness and uprightness before God and others. (POSB) - “By declaring his integrity, David was not claiming to be perfect or without sin, nor was he boasting of self-righteousness. He was simply declaring that he was blameless in his overall walk before the Lord as well as in his dealings with others.” (J.V. McGee) - “This is a marvelous psalm that speaks of David's walk. David committed a great sin, but David did not continue to live in sin. What David did once, the king of Babylon did every day. David's sin stands out like a lump of coal in a snowman because the rest of David's life was an example of godliness. He became a measuring stick for the kings who followed him. Every king was judged by whether or not he walked in the steps of his father David. If he followed David's example, he was accepted and proclaimed a good king.

6. Walk together in the House of God(PS. 55:14) “We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” Many believers have the mistaken idea that they can “walk” or visit God’s house when only they want to (Heb.10:25). Walking with God means that we walk together with Him into His house and that is the church house today. One who truly desires to walk with God will be willing and faithful to the house of God (Church).

7. Walk in the Same Spirit(2 Cor. 12:18) “I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Walked we not in the same spirit? Walked we not in the same steps?” Many of our churches today just can’t seem to walk together in the same spirit that God has given to everyone of us who are saved. How are we going to walk before a lost world and show them how Christ loves them if we can’t even love each other – (John13:35)? I know that we need to agree on the foundational doctrines but aren’t we all walking in the same direction as (IBF’s)? We should walk in the same spirit of love and grace even if we disagree on “things”.

How are we “walking with God” today and where do we want to walk with God in the future? It is totally our decision and we all have to make that choice. Maybe today we need to change some directions and start making the right steps to walk with God more than ever before.

Bro. Mickey Muse

O Baptist Church
O Baptist Church, O Baptist Church
and ye would not”

(Matthew 23:37-38) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

In these verses Jesus shows His love and heart towards the very people that He came to save and give His life for a ransom. He sent His servants and prophets multiple times and they were despised, rejected and killed. His desire was that they would listen and receive Him and those that He sent in times past but they “would not”. Therefore their house (refers to their temple, their nation and their lives) is left desolate (was to be destroyed) because of their unbelief and rejection of Him and His word.

Thank God today for His mercy and grace to us who are saved and have the privilege of being a part of His church. In considering what the people of Jerusalem (Jews) did as a whole or nation that left them desolate we would do well to learn from their mistakes.  
We as believers have eternal security in Jesus Christ as our savior but do we submit and obey Him as Lord? What can we do in order to be used of Christ in His churches that will lead to getting closer and used greater for His glory? Here are a few things.

I. Be doers of the word and not just hearers only- (v.2-3) “Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” How many of us in our Baptist churches hear the word taught and preached every week but do little of what we hear? As Jesus charged the Jews at Jerusalem “and ye would not”.

II. Make sure that we have a heart of humility- (v.12) “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Pride is always the downfall of people, nations and churches and God doesn’t discriminate with those who will not humble themselves to Him and His word. If we look closely at every church that is going downhill and “won’t” turnaround there’s pride at their center. It’s not that they can’t revive and turnaround but they “will not” choose by submitting to God and to each other through the Word of God.

III. By being genuine and transparent before others- (vs.13-28) [v28] “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” There are many woe’s and rebukes from the Lord to the religious leaders of the Jews that they were not honest and authentic in their lives before others or the Lord. And the Lord points many things out so that there is no mistake about what He is saying to them. Notice what our Lord points out to these Jewish leaders;

They are Hypocrites- meaning “one who pretends, puts on a show, acts out something he is not” (POSB).
  • They were taking advantage of people and making long prayers for show and stealing members to make themselves look good (vs.13-15).
  • They were tithing on things but not loving the people of God and choosing to do what was more convenient rather than what was right in God sight (v23).
  • They had an outward appearance that was not from a sincere heart inside, their outside facade was not a true reflection from the inside (vs.25-28).
  • Our Christian lives should be real inside and outside the church house and in front of all others who are watching how we say that we live for Christ.

They are Blind Guides- meaning that they “mislead others; they are blind guides in oaths and commitments” (POSB). (vs16-22)
  1. They stressed the secondary over the primary.
  2. They took the least important and made it more meaningful than the essential.
  3. They are blind fools not even using common sense in knowing what God requires of people obeying His word.
  4. They strained at the little things while swallowing big things against the true commandments of God. In other words allowing their own substantial sins to go unnoticed while seeing everyone else’s insignificant wrong doings.
  5. “They had rules for every minute area of life, while at the same time they forgot about the important things. It is usually the case that legalists are sticklers for details, but blind to great principles.” (W.W.W. - BE Series)

IV. Be receptive to those whom the Lord sends your way- (vs.34-36) [v34a] “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes” If the Lord has sent you His man to help the church then the church should receive and heed what he says from the Lord. The pastor, teachers and other preachers that the Lord sends to a church is for a reason that we may not understand but God does. If we don’t allow God’s man to share and minister as the Lord has sent him to do then we are rejecting the very thing God has for the church “and ye would not”.

O Baptist Church, O Baptist Church what are you going to do? What will it be said of you, that “ye would not” or that “ye will”? O that it will be a “Yes” to the Lord in whatever He is saying to the church.

Bro. Mickey Muse

The Whole Man
Spirit, Soul and Body  

(1 Thess. 5:23) “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  

Most of the time we just don’t think about or remember that the Lord is interested not just in our spiritual lives but our wholeness in the realm of our soul and body as well. They are all interrelated to each other and have an indirect affect to each other. So it would do us well to consider how we are doing in each area of becoming a whole person for the sake of usefulness and glory of God.  

I guess just like most, I myself would like to say that doing well in all three areas is a great idea but not so easy to accomplish. And then also most of us would have to say that we should have started and stayed with getting better in all three areas earlier in life. For sure there have been good intentions to get and grow in our spiritual, soul and bodies more than where we are at today. As we grow older that reality is clearer than ever before but we just tend to keep putting things off until things are in serious condition.  

This last April was my sixtieth birthday and that’s when it was decision time for me to really take a turn in the way of looking at where I would be in the next ten years. I hope it was the Lord encouraging me as well as my wife to get and be healthier for the next season of our lives. The only thing just like many others I wished that I’d done more in all three areas sooner. Of course the Lord is to be in control of every part of our lives but He also lets or allows us choose what we want in accordance with His will.

The one area that is most lacking and needy with many pastors and church members alike is in our body or physical. Staying up with our spiritual live and doing good in our souls requires discipline and work. But many times we fail in the area of keep our physical bodies in good shape and condition for the ministry and our families. Along with getting our churches healthier we should also look at our own bodies as well to set the right example. Here are just a few thoughts that have challenged me to get and stay healthier for my wife, family and ministry.  

I. How will I be physically in the next ten to fifteen years? When dealing with churches I ask them where and how healthy they want to be in the next five years. This is to get them thinking about what and where they are now and what they want or desire for the future. For most of us if we could see into the future we would not like what we would see. The time is now to change the future of tomorrow if we want different results.  

II. How can I be healthier and active in and with my family and in the ministry for the future? There comes a time that we have to realize that if nothing changes then we keep going in the same direction.  As we grow older we need to grow healthier and that will take discipline and work and probably more so than ever before.  
There’s an old saying that “what we don’t use we lose” but for many they have never started using some things. There had to be some serious thinking and discussion making to really come to the hard choice of being healthier for the future.

III. How do I start on the journey to becoming healthier? The first thing was to be aware of how unhealthy I am now and what are the needed changes that can take place right now. Another factor was to realize that my family has a history of certain health related problems that could affect my health as well. The key is to take responsibility and start making the right choices with a change of lifestyle for being and staying healthier.  Everyone will have to make their own determination of what they will do if they are truly serious about getting healthier.  

Here are a few of the things that I’ve been working on since this past April;
1. The biggest is the way I eat and what to eat and staying with it for the long haul. I’m not saying that it’s been a perfect diet change without so much as ever cheating at times but a start of new habits for the most part as a new lifestyle.No more sugars and things that contain a lot of sugars.
  • No more breads as a common staple of each meal. (Biscuits and sausage gravy)
  • No more cold drinks and candy bars, donuts, cakes, or anything pertaining to them.
  • More drinking of just plain water and a lot of it.
  • More greens and vegetables than I’d ever dreamed of eating.
  • More meats and fish without the potatoes and all the rest of the fixings.
    These are not a complete list of everything that has changed but I think you get the picture.

    2. Getting the proper rest for the body to recharge and keep going. For most of my life and probably for most men they are more apt to be workaholics. I would feel guilty if I took time off or rested because I felt tired and wore out. As I understand now that proper rest and relaxation will actually be best for your health and productivity.  As in all things there should be a balance between proper rest and not being lazy. But don’t let others dictate what your body really needs.  

    3. Starting a plan for exercising on a regular weekly program.  As of today this is in the planning stage and looking at starting it very soon (like today).  This will need to fit each one’s own needs with their limitations of physical health and age where they are at now. My plan is to start doing more walking and doing the things to help in my all around body movements to stay active as I’m getting older. Besides being a missionary, preacher, pastor and teacher I also do tree trimming on the side to help churches and pastors when I can. So I want to be able to keep climbing trees and using the abilities and gifts that God gave me to be a blessing to others.

    All of this is not meant to condemn but to challenge and encourage others to work at being the best whole person that God intended for you to be for His glory. We all have a ways to go in getting and staying healthier and more active for our families and ministries for the future.  In all of this we need to seek the Lord’s help and power through prayer and commitment to His word.
    Bro. Mickey - SCM

    20170831 Pastor Stick with God's Plan
    Pastor Stick with God’s Plan

    (1 Timothy 1:3) “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus,” The word [abide] means, (to put up with, stand for, stomach), things for the ministry’s sake in the church.
    (Titus 1:5) “For this cause left I thee in Crete,” (there’s a “cause” for sticking it out here)

    In both of these verses Paul is helping these two preachers to stick to God’s plan for their particular ministry. Each church ministry has its own particular needs for its people and ministries. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the ministry or the church that you are presently at, there’s always a need for encouragement to stick to God’s plan. Let me share three simple things that have helped me over the past years of ministering to churches and pastors across America in SCM. I hope these will be of some help to others as we seek to stick to God’s plan for our ministries.

    1. GO – with the core group that you have in the church that is backing you and willing to follow you as God leads you for that ministry. It doesn’t matter how many you have but how willing they are to see God giving you vision for the church. Not everyone is going to be on board with what you believe God is telling you to do but work closely with them that do. Don’t stop just because some are not for or even against what God is directing you to do in the church. Just “stick” with God’s plan and “GO” forward in love and meekness for what God has called you there to do at this time for that church.  

    2. GROW – in and with those that are willing to learn what God has for the church at this point in its ministry. Most churches have a great need for their members in general to grow in the Lord and to see what God has for their ministries. This will and may take the pastor growing also along with the church members as well to learn patience and timing in the plan God has for them. Many well intended pastors are set back in their “going” because they did not see the need for the people to grow before the “GO”. If we are honest we all have a need to grow in some areas that will help us to lead others more effectively. As members grow they will be more likely to become part of your core group that will help you in your going where God is leading you.

    3. GRACE – as we have received grace from the Lord then we should give grace to all the rest of the people in the church family. This will be by showing love and respect for them also who are not on board as of yet. It may take more time and teaching with a heart of love and concern for others to come along and get with God’s plan He has given you for that church ministry. By the way we usually get what we give, so we need to make sure that we are giving a lot of grace to all the members of the church. Above all love will help us do things and stick with God’s plan where He has called us to serve!

    These are three simple things that have helped me to serve in and with many different types of church and people in ministry. I pray that they will encourage and help others.

    Have a great and blessed Lord’s Day this Sunday! And stick to God’s plan.

    Bro. Mickey

    2 Corinthians 11:28, "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."
    Helping pastors and people to seek God’s best in ministry.
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