RSS

Author Archives: Joey Hufstedler

About Joey Hufstedler

I am the Senior Pastor at Poplar Grove Baptist Church. I am currently working towards my master's degree in divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The internet: The good, The bad, and The ugly

Hey guys,

This is not an ordinary post for me. I would like to talk about the internet. To be more specific, social media. We have made some great advances over the years. Social media has been a source of fun and connection with others. Social media, by itself, is not a bad thing. However, what we do with it can be a problem. There are some great uses for it. We can connect with long lost friends, update our friends with pictures of our life, as well as many other things.

The problem is that now everything is instant. Before social media, if someone pushed our buttons, we usually had an amount of time to think about our response. That does not have to be the case anymore. I wish it were. Never forget that once we put something “out there” we cant delete it. Someone will see it and share it before we can take it back.

These instant updates can cause great harm to ourselves and our ministry. We must ask ourselves, before we push “send”, how will this affect my ministry? Will this update be a Godly response or a worldly one. The stakes are greater than we realize in the moment. Is the moment of frustration worth the loss of our testimony?

This is a lesson that many have had to learn the hard way. Let us learn from history that one momentary outburst will never benefit us in the long run. How can we keep orselves from this? There are a few things we can do.

1. It is usually not a good idea to engage in those types of discussions on social media. You should make every effort to stay away from social media arguments. Even when you think that you not coming across this way, things tend to get lost in type.

2. If we feel we must get involved, never respond quickly. Do not immediately hit “send”. There is nothing wrong with taking a few moments to calm down and gain perspective. There is also nothing wrong with reading ans re-reading your update. Sometimes taking a couple of moments is a good thing.

I am not saying that we should not engage people via social media necessarily. I am saying that, just as we must control the words we speak, we must also control thw words we type.

Serving Him,

Joey

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Handling Hard Times

Hey guys,

Life can be tough. There is no doubt about it. If you are reading this post, chances are that you are either going through a difficult time, just coming out of a difficult time, or you are about to head into a difficult time. We can’t escape difficult times, but we can handle them rightly. So, how do you handle hard times? What do you do when you are going through hard times. Now there are many illustrations throughout Scripture of people going through hard times. King David definitely had his share of difficult times. We can look at how he handled hard times and learn the proper response that we should have.

I. He turned to the Lord.

Ps 62:1a

62 My soul waits in silence for God only;
NASU

David is going through a difficult time when we writes the 62nd Psalm. His own son is out to get him, and what does David do? He turns to the Lord. As you read the 62nd Psalm you will see that God was his salvation in the difficult times. Isn’t a great thing to know that when the problems of life arise, we can turn to the Lord.

II. He trusted in the Lord.

Ps 62:8
8 Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
NASU

You see, trusting in the Lord is following through with turning to the Lord. God has promised us in His Word that He will never dessert us or forsake us. When we turn to the Lord, we must trust in Him that He is faithful to all of the promises that He has given us in His Word. Notice that David said to “Trust in Him at all times.” No matter if it is good times, bad times, or worse times. Our trust in the Lord is to be continual.

III. He talked to the Lord.

Right in the middle of V. 8 David said, “Pour out your heart before Him.” Take time to spend in prayer with the Lord. No matter the circumstance, talk to the Lord. We are to pour out our hearts freely and fully. Don’t hold back with the Lord. Bring it all to Him.

We will always have struggles in this life. There is no escaping that this side of Heaven. However, we do not have to be defeated during those times. Our God is with us. At all times He is with us. Cast your cares before Him. He will see you through.

Serving Him,

Joey

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Christianity, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No more unnecessary resolutions, please

Hey guys,

I am not sure how many of you keep up with the SBC annual meetings, but they are a big to do. Southern Baptists from all over the nation will gather in just under 3 weeks to discuss the business of the Southern Baptist Convention. I believe these meetings are vital, necessary, and always very interesting. We vote on who our next Convention President will be. This is very important as the President will help appoint people that will set the direction that the SBC will follow. We elect other officers as well. We also hear reports from the various agencies in the SBC. I look forward to going to the SBC.

However, there is one thing that I believe the convention needs to address. It is my opinion that we have way too many unnecessary resolutions. Some of you may not even know what the purpose of a resolution is. According to the SBC website, a resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed. Resolutions are passed during the annual Convention meeting. 

Resolutions are a good and necessary thing when they are used properly. We have passed resolutions on race reconciliation, capital punishment, abortion, homosexuality, and the list goes on. Each of these were good resolutions that express the SBC stance on issues. However, many times we go too far with our resolutions. For example, last year in Houston, we passed a resolution that expressed our displeasure with the Boy Scouts with regard to their change in policy as it concerns homosexuality. I tried to explain to as many people as would listen that this resolution would not be helpful. We have already passed a resolution in regard to our stance on homosexuality. I told people that the media would grab hold of this and twist it against us. No sooner had I got home from the meeting, my father in-law informed that he heard on the news that the SBC was anti-boy scouts. I just shook my head. I later found out that over 20 different media outlets reported on this resolution. None of them reported what we actually said. I am no prophet, but I was right on this particular example. There was no need for this resolution, but we passed it and received all the negativity that went with it.

This year, we have at least 1 unnecessary resolution that will go to the resolution committee. My prayer is that it will not make it out of the committee. You can read the resolution by clicking here. Unbelievably, this is 1 resolution. It should be at least 3, but that is another issue altogether. On the 1st point in the resolution, we have already passed resolutions against homosexuality. I do not see the need to pass another one. It just doesn’t make sense. 

To the 2nd point in the resolution, I have no problem recognizing and applauding Kenny Washington for breaking the color barrier, but I am not in favor of condemning the Washington Redskins, and I am against it for at least 2 reasons. 1. We have already passed resolutions related to race and racism. Why do we need to pass another? We can not force them to change their name, even if we want to. 2. I have seen no information that Native Americans are against the name. As a matter of fact, everything I have read points to the opposite being true. From what I have read, many either don’t care or actually like it. Here is a link to a 2004 poll about this issue. 

To the 3rd point in the resolution, I believe that the state laws already state that you can’t be the aggressor and then use the “stand your ground” defense. The whole point of “stand your ground” is to protect those who are protecting themselves, which at least implies that they are not the aggressor, from criminal and civil suits. I absolutely agree that there have been times that the law has been misused, but that does not constitute an amendment. If we were going to pass a resolution, it would make more sense to call on them to use the law properly. 

Now, it is my opinion that this resolution is far too broad in scope to be a single resolution and it is not written all too well. It is also my opinion, that this resolution is unnecessary because we have dealt with all of these issues, except for the “stand your ground”, numerous times in the past. If this resolution makes it out of committee, we will spend a great deal of time debating and amending it, and even then, I do not think it will come close to passing. We have much business to get done in Baltimore, and not much time to do it. I don’t believe we will make good use of our time passing another version of resolutions that have already been passed. 

I am looking forward to the annual meeting in Baltimore. I know it will be eventful, interesting, and hopefully we will discuss necessary business.

Serving Him,

Bro. Joey

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Aside

Hey guys,

I was reading a story about Dr. George W. Truett the other day. He was preaching a sermon about prayer. He used Matt. 18:19 as his text.

Matt 18:19

19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
NASU

Dr. Truett asked: “Do you believe it?” Of course he did not expect an answer, but he paused for a moment that his question might be understood. A very poor member of the congregation rose to her feet and said, “I believe it, pastor, and I want you to claim that promise with me.”

“It staggered me,” said Truett. “I knew I did not have the faith to claim the promise, but before I had time to answer, a big, burly blacksmith in the congregation rose to his feet; l’ll claim that promise with you, Auntie,” he said, and together the two, the poor washer-woman and the blacksmith, dropped to their knees in the aisle and poured out their hearts in prayer for the salvation of the woman’s husband.”

Now it happened that this man was a riverboat captain on the Rio Grande, a swearing, foul-mouthed drunken sot, and he was at that moment sleeping off a drink at home. That night, for the first time in many years at least, the old riverboat captain was in the church and while the pastor preached the woman prayed, not for the salvation of her husband, rather she was thanking God for it, for she seemed to know it would happen that night. And of course, when the invitation was given, this old foul-mouthed captain came to give his heart to the Lord, and he became one of the most dependable and faithful workers in that church.

Do you believe that God answers prayer? The Bible testifies that God does answer prayer.

1 Sam 23:4a
4 Then David inquired of the Lord once more. And the Lord answered him
NASU

Ps 99:6

6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called on His name;They called upon the Lord and He answered them. 

NASU

Ps 65:2
2 O You who hear prayer,
To You all men come.
NASU

God absolutely answers prayer. Our problem, many times, is that God does not answer our prayers when we want or how we want. Can I tell you, that is not a God problem, that is an us problem? God always answers our prayers.

Sometimes we receive and immediate answer. I think about Peter as he was walking on water. He began to sink and cried out for God to save him. He needed and received an immediate answer.

Sometimes God delays in answering our prayers. People often times wonder why God delays. God is teaching us to be persistent. He is also teaching us to be patient. He is teaching us to rely on and have confidence in the promises He has given us.

Sometimes God gives us an answer to prayer that is different than we were anticipating. We must realize that God sees things differently than we do. We see dimly, but not God. Sometimes we think we know what is the best thing for us, but God’s answer will always be better for us.

God sometimes answers prayer with a “no”. Elijiah wanted to die. God said, “No”. Jonah wanted to die. God said, “No.” Peter wanted the thorn in the flesh removed. God said, “No.” In the cases of Elijiah and Jonah, I would imagine that there came a time that they were thankful that God did not answer their prayer. As for Paul we know that God told him that His grace was sufficient, and my friend, God’s grace is sufficient for you as well.

Serving Him,

Joey

 

Does God answer prayer?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Christianity, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Aside

Hey guys,

Everyone wants to know the secret to success. What can we do to make our lives successful? I would bet that most of us, at some time or another, has pondered that question. The answers to that question might be as vast as the number of people that have asked it. However, God’s Word tells us the secret to true happiness and success. It is trusting Him and living in the light of His Word.

Ps 1:1-3

1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
NASU

A happy person, a truly successful person, is a person that lives his or her life by God’s Word.

I. The happy life is a guarded life.

Verse 1 says that the happy person does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers.

Simply put, the person that is happy and successful will guard his life against certain things. It’s not that the happy person simply knows how to get out of bad situations, it is that the happy person guards himself or herself so that they are not in those positions to begin with.

II. The happy life is a guided life.

Ps 1:2
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
NASU

According to this verse, the happy person has his delight in the law of the Lord. This word “delight” speaks of pleasure. Following God’s commands are pleasurable to the truly happy person. He or she also meditates on God’s Word. The word “meditate” means to murmur. It could also be translated “hum”. The person that meditates on God’s Word hums God’s Word after he has read it.

III. These things bring a glad life.

Ps 1:3
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
NASU

The happy person, in this verse, is compared to a healthy tree. The person that is happy in God will have everything that he or she needs. He or she will bear fruit for God. They will not wither away. How great is it to know that to have a happy and prosperous life all we have to do is give ourselves over to God and His Word.

Serving Him,

Joey

The Happy life is a life lived by God’s Word

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Christianity, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

To give or not to give, that is the question

Hey guys,

I am going to take a minute and step in a hole. Many people don’t like talking about this subject, as it relates to God and His Word to the Church. What am I talking about? I am talking about giving. I am talking about tithes and offerings. Well, I will be spending most of my time talking about offerings.

However, let’s quickly talk about the tithe for a minute. I would like to quickly dis-spell the myth that tithing is Old Testament Law and not valid in the New Testament. For starters, How in the world would we want to, or believe it to be sufficient, to give less under grace than under the Law? That one just doesn’t make sense to me.

Second, many people say that Jesus never spoke about tithing, but that is not true either. When talking to the Pharisees, Jesus said:

Matt 23:23-24

23 ” Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
NASU

Did you catch that? Jesus said, “You tithe but you neglect the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. You should have done these things without neglecting the others.”

Translation: We are to tithe, but also to strive for justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Grace does not take away our responsibility to tithe. It takes it to another level.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I want to move on to the subject of giving/offering.

I want to share a few things about giving.

1. Our giving is to be private. 

Matt 6:1-4

6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 

NASU

We are not to give so as to receive recognition on earth. To do so, shows that we have impure motives in our heart. Also, we see in verse 1 that the person who gives for a reward on earth will not receive a reward from the Father in Heaven.

Also, it is important to notice that Jesus says “when”, not “if”. It is not a question of should we or shouldn’t we, but a question of when we do it.

2. Giving is not easy. It is meant to be a sacrifice. 

2 Cor 8:1-5

8 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
NASU

Wow! How many churches do we have like that one today? Why is it that people think things in the Christian life are always supposed to be easy? The life of Christ wasn’t easy. We are not about our teacher, are we? Sometimes giving is not easy. However, the sacrifice is absolutely worth the reward in eternity.

3. We are to be cheerful givers.

 

2 Cor 9:6-7

6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
NASU

What greater reason to give and give cheerfully do we need than to know that God loves this? I want to do the things that God loves and do not want to do the things that God does not love. God loves a cheerful giver, and as I have grown in Christ and my understanding of Him, it has caused my heart to be happy and full as I give, even when my wallet may not be so much.

My hope and prayer is that we may all grow in our giving to God.

Serving Him,

Joey

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

What is your prayer?

Hey guys,

I have been leading the church that I pastor through the bible in a year. We are reading, together, through the bible chronologically. This is a one year plan, and I am preaching selected texts of the week’s reading during our three weekly services. The blessings have been simply amazing. We have seen an increase in those that are regularly reading their bible. Also, many have told me that the worship services have been even more engaging. We have also watched God do a mighty work in our lives, both collectively as a church, and individually as well.

How appropriate that we will be looking at the prayer of Jabez this week? The prayer of Jabez is actually pretty interesting. We find the name Jabez, in the midst of a sea of names in 1 Chronicles. There is this massive list of names and right there in the middle of it all is Jabez. We have these two verses that just jump out at you as you read the passage.

1 Chron 4:9-10
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
NASU

For the purpose of this post, I want to focus on his prayer. What an amazing prayer that Jabez prayed. This prayer just jumps out at you and ought to make your heart almost jump out of your chest.

Look at how powerful a prayer Jabez prayed. R. Earle Allen says that Jabez prayed intelligently. He knew that God had made covenant with Israel and would keep that covenant. He prayed earnestly. He prays with passion. He prayed definitely. Look with me quickly at what Jabez prayed for.

1. He prayed that God would bless him.

2. He prayed that God would enlarge his coast.

3. He prayed that the hand of God would be upon him.

4. He prayed that God would keep him from evil.

Jabez was not timid in his prayer. He didn’t pray some generic prayer because he was afraid God would not answer (or afraid that God would answer). No, not Jabez. He comes just about as boldly as one came come to the throne of God and makes his requests known to Him.

I believe we can learn a lot from Jabez. In fact, I believe that this is exactly the way God wants us to approach Him in prayer. He wants us to come to Him, boldly, confidently, and request specifically. These are the prayers that God delights in answering for His people.

Look at every great revival in human history. You can track them all back to a group of people that earnestly prayed as Jabez prayed.

Also, it was an answered prayer.

1 Chron 4:10b
And God granted him what he requested.
NASU

God answered his prayer! He was blessed. His coast was enlarged. God’s hand was upon him, and God did keep him from evil.

What would happen if we began to prayer the prayer of Jabez from our hearts? What would happen is we resolved to approach God with these requests? What would happen if we earnestly, fervently, and persistently took these petitions to God?

Let me tell you what would happen. God would begin to do things in your life that you never thought were possible before.

What if we, as a church, began to pray in this way?

I believe would witness a massive revival begin to break out! Don’t you want to see revival? Don’t you long to see true revival break out in this land and around the world?

It can happen. I believe that if we had the heart of Jabez and prayed the prayer of Jabez, God would show up in a mighty way. This is my challenge to you. Who’s with me?

Serving Him,

Joey

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Christianity, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,269 other followers

%d bloggers like this: