Pastor Tim's


Category: Pastor Tim’s Blog

A Statement Concerning the Supreme Court’s Decision

As a church family, Fruit Cove Baptist Church rejoices with and affirms the Supreme Courts decision to overturn Roe vs Wade.  This decision has long been prayed for and we rejoice in the decision that now outlaws the taking of preborn life in the United States.  The impact of this decision will be felt for years to come.  It is a needed course-correction in the moral fabric of our nation.

But the battle has only begun.  Many will push back, some with violence, against this decision.  It is not our place to meet violence with violence but instead with prayer.

Fruit Cove Baptist Church is strongly pro-life.  We not only support the effort of opposing abortion on demand but we also stand supporting mothers who chose to carry their children to term…and to minister with grace to those who do not.

At Fruit Cove adoption is a high value.  We support adoptive families and those ministries that aid in helping adoption take place.

Our Fostering Hope ministry is one of the largest ministries of its kind in our area, supporting families who choose to foster children.

Embracing Grace is a new ministry that allows us to walk with pregnant Moms who have no partner or family support network.

All of these ministries of FCBC are responses to our pro-life views.  It’s easy to oppose a position but much more costly to support those affected by that opposition.  We oppose abortion. But more than that we support the mothers and children who are impacted by our position.

Please join us…both in celebration of this historic ruling, but now more than ever…let’s show the world what a true pro-life and pro-family position look like!

We Are At War


Ephesians 6:10-20

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. (Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)

My hope in this series is that we will come away reminded that spiritual conflict in our life on this earth is real. This world is a battlefield. It is a war taking place in an unseen realm, but the effects are being lived out through your life on earth. And in reality, it’s intensifying.  Some of us are completely unaware that such a war is taking place. Some Christians live in denial about this and some live in unconscious disbelief.

I certainly do not want to move us into an unhealthy obsession over the devil and demons. Let’s be real.  We can’t blame they demonic for everything that goes wrong in our life.  Demons don’t make your washing machine break down.  But it’s dangerous to go to the other end of the spectrum and deny that the enemy exists.

And if there is a spiritual war, what do you need to know about it? What do you need to do about it?

An old story is told about a farming community in a drought. The churches all came together one Sunday afternoon in a large, sunbaked field for a prayer meeting to ask God for rain.

As the first old preacher got up, he stood in silence on the platform hooked up behind the tractor. Then he said, “I noticed as I came in to begin this prayer meeting asking God for rain that, in all this crowd, that no one brought an umbrella.”

But I wonder, in much the same way, how many of us show up each day expecting, not rain, but a war? Did you bring your armor this morning, your weapons? Are you aware that we have a very real, very dangerous enemy lurking who wants to “steal, kill, and destroy?”  Possibility is, for some of you, he rode to church in your car!

You may have heard that on Wednesday of this week, Russian media declared that we are now in WW 3. According to their media pundits, the war with Ukraine has now grown larger and is now a war with the US, with Britain, and with NATO. WW 3. It’s on!  I would say most of us aren’t worried about it.  It’s not real to you.

In the same way, many Christians live oblivious to our battleground and the existence of our spiritual enemy. As the old hymn by Martin Luther says,

“And still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great
And armed with cruel hate
One little word shall fell him.”

You gained a very real enemy when you gave your heart to Jesus. Since he will never regain ownership of your soul, (demons cannot possess a person the Holy Spirit lives in) he seeks to lie, accuse, and torment and defeat those he has lost. He seeks to separate you and isolate you because you really can be manipulated if you aren’t under the covering of a spiritual family.   And he will take you down and discourage or disqualify you if you don’t learn to fight spiritually.


Billy Graham used to tell the story of a boxer getting pounded in the ring by his opponent. When the bell rang, he went into his corner bleeding and bruised, and said “You’ve got to throw in the towel!”  His trainer yelled in his face, “He’s not touching you!  He’s never laid a glove on you!”  But through swollen lips, the boxer said, “Well I wish you’d keep an eye on that referee then, because someone in there is beating me half to death!”

There is a real enemy. He’s not made up, not a fairy tale, not simply a myth or legend.  He’s a real, smart, and powerful being.  The Bible calls him “The Adversary.”  In some places, he’s called “The Accuser.”  And in others, “Apollyon—the Destroyer.”  He hides. He wants you to believe that he’s some old guy in a red onesie with a goatee and horns and a pitchfork.

He has a strategy.

The Bible tells us that our enemy disguises himself, sometimes as “angel of light.”  He can come in religious packaging, be a moral crusader if it furthers his purpose which is to deceive and to hide. But let’s be clear.

The Devil is not equal to God, nor is he omnipresent meaning, he can’t be everywhere at once.  So, there is a hierarchy in this cosmic war…he commands demons.

Jesus confronted him in the wilderness and wrestled with him for 40 days and 40 nights. He resisted him with the Word of God. You will only win as you do the same. Now let me be quick to remind you again the devil is not responsible for every bad thing that happens to you. We have three enemies as believers:  THE WORLD, THE FLESH, and THE DEVIL. (1 John 2:16)

We live in a fallen, broken, sinful world. It’s a perfect environment for the enemy to work in.  One day God is going to end it, but until then we live in an imperfect and broken world.

You live in a fallen, broken, sinful body. “The things I want to do, I don’t do….” Also, a perfect situation for the enemy to work against you. But sometimes the problems you faced aren’t Satanic, they’re just sin.  They come because we live in a world that is yet to be transformed by the resurrection of Jesus. The same with your body. So, let’s not give the devil more than his due.  He’s not orchestrating every bad situation.  We sometimes suffer from self-inflicted wounds.

But let’s remember we have a very real enemy working against us, who has come to “steal kill and destroy.”  Jesus said, “Satan was a murderer from the beginning.”  The first sins committed by humanity were instigated by this enemy.


Our warfare is not against flesh and blood…. you know what that means?  That means that the person you’re mad at this morning…the individual that frustrates you continually…the person that is making your life miserable right now…THEY ARE NOT THE ENEMY!  Our warfare is not with flesh and blood. Stop hating on people!

Now people can be pawns to the enemy if they are unaware of what this tells us today. And Satan can use any person…the person closest to you sometimes…to speak lies into your life; to keep your focus off the Lord and His purposes (get behind Me Satan).

He does this to keep you angry, and unforgiving, and depressed. The demonic realm needs a physical body to work through. We are told that Satan used a serpent in the Garden of Eden. He needs the cooperation of a person who is not aware of his devices:   DON’T BE IGNORANT of his “methodia.”  Don’t let him use you.  He can do nothing to you that you don’t give him permission to do!

We win spiritual battles with spiritual weapons. We are to live armed with the full armor of God. We can choose to access this armor or go into the battle without a helmet to protect us or a weapon to wield. We can walk barefoot onto the battlefield, or without covering for our chest.

So, what are we supposed to do? There are six weapons, each of them to be energized with prayer. Six weapons:  Two groups of three—

  • Having…Wear these all the time
  • Taking… Pick them up as you need them    (Tony Evans, Victory)

But God has given us armor…He has supplied us with weapons. But He won’t dress us!   Parents may I make an urgent suggestion? Instead of worrying about your children, dress them before they leave home. Pray the spiritual armor over them…as they leave the house, or your car, or as they are stepping on the school bus. Pray the spiritual armor over your children before they go out on dates, or as they are stepping onto a college campus for the first time.

2 Corinthians 10 reminds us that many of the battles we fight take place in our minds:

  1. When we believe the enemy’s lies
  2. When we surrender to the threat of fear
  3. When we yield to the pressure of temptations
  4. When we fight people as though they are the enemy
  5. When we are dealing with depression
  6. When we are struggling with our temper
  7. When we are gripped by addiction

Satan operates in the spiritual realm.

Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world. “The effects of the war going on in the unseen world reveal themselves in our strained and damaged relationships, emotional instability, mental fatigue, physical exhaustion and many other areas of life. Many of us feel pinned down by anger, unforgiveness, pride, comparisons, insecurity, discord, fear. . . and the list goes on. But the overarching, primary nemesis behind all these outcomes is the Devil himself.” (Shirer)

We don’t fight people.  People are not the enemy. That’s the lie the devil wants you to believe.  If you can just destroy that person that you are continually angry with, leave your spouse, quit your job, your life would improve. That’s the lie we must reject.  Our warfare is not with flesh and blood.


The enemy wants to destroy you because of the presence of Jesus Christ in you, but “greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world!”

The war we fight is not our battle…it is not our fight. It is not by power; it is not by might but by My Spirit says the Lord.

Our strength is not in our own might. It is there when we learn how to get out of the way and let God fight the battle through us!

You see, we work from a position of a victory that has already been won! The cross, the death, the resurrection of Jesus secured our victory. So, we need to learn to live out the victory that God has already won for us through the blood of the cross and Jesus’ victory over the grave.

(Resources:  Kent Hughes Commentary on Ephesians; John Stott The Bible Speaks Today; Tony Evans; Priscilla Shirer; Ray Stedman, Spiritual Warfare; Chip Ingram, The Invisible War; CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters; Billy Graham)

Lent #7: It is Friday, Good Friday

They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. — Matthew 27:33-37
It was Friday.  Now came the time for the clash between good and evil, heaven and hell. The crucifixion of Jesus is both the worst moment in all human history, and the reality of humanity’s only hope. That’s why we call the Friday before Easter, Good Friday.
It was Friday. Jesus’ followers were still too weak to understand, and so they ran. The religious elite carried out their wicked plans. The political leaders passed the buck, and in the end, they discarded Jesus for the sake of convenience. The crowds gawked.
It was Friday. Two thieves hung on either side of a man whose crime was hard to comprehend. The placard above his head announced with a degree of sarcasm: “King of the Jews.” That must have attracted some attention. We know of seven things Jesus said from that cross, including a pronouncement of forgiveness for the soldiers, provision for the care of his mother, and a plea for something to wet his parched mouth. But the last words on that last day of his natural human life were the most important: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). That was not a cry of resignation, nor capitulation or surrender. It was a shout of victory that all that God had planned for the restoration of sinful human beings was now accomplished. Now there could be justification! Redemption! Reconciliation! Salvation! All that needed to be done for the debt and wound of sin had been done. Forgiveness was now free.
It was Friday. All that remained was for Jesus to step out from the shadow of death, which he would easily do after a few days. But first, the disciples had time to search their hearts for how something good could be found in something so bad. And the enemies of God disappeared into the darkness of their own duplicity.
But that was Friday… Sunday was coming!

Lent #6

“We are kept by the power of God through faith…” 1 Peter 1:10
In 2015 we visited Israel with several folks from Fruit Cove. Part of our tour included a diversion down to the courtyard of Caiaphas, the high priest before whom Jesus stood trial.
The visitor quickly notices flags lining the descending stairway down to the courtyard. The flags have images of roosters on them. Roosters are everywhere. There are rooster t-shirts in the souvenir shops, and roosters decorating coffee mugs.
Most remarkably, there are rooster statues in the courtyard.  Roosters are shown roosting on the heads of people in the courtyard. A large rooster oversees the courtyard scene.
The roosters, of course, are reminders of the prediction that Jesus made about Peter’s denial of Him. It happened just as Jesus said it would. Before the cock crowed, Peter had denied his Lord in spite of his assurance that he wouldn’t.
I’m sure, in Peter’s mind, that shadowed event was never far away. But it’s also a stark reminder to us that, first of all, the world doesn’t want to forgive our failures. Of all the wonderful things that Peter did since, he is still remembered in this ignoble way.
Thanks be to God, He scatters the roosters for us! God has taken our sins from us and cast them into the depth of the sea! And the very Jesus Who Peter betrayed, prayed from the cross, “Father forgive them…”
Don’t let the roosters rule your life! The blood of Christ was shed to scatter them from your life once and for all.

Lent #5

“Nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done…” (Luke 22:42)

We are living through times like we’ve never experienced in our lifetime.  The uncertainty of it all produces a lot of dilemmas for us.  Times of crisis usually do.  They are “perplexing.”  They are chaotic.

Ideally, though, they force us to our knees in prayer.  Maybe we need to spend more time just focused there, rather than worry about  the storm blowing around us.    Every emotion you are experiencing right now… fear, anxiety, anger, depression, loneliness, frustration… should be processed before God in prayer.  Don’t dwell on it until you have prayed about it!

We stand in serious times, to paraphrase a famous quote of John Adams.  Most of us have never seen times more serious than these.  It seems almost hourly a new reality is revealed making our bad situation worse.

Let’s admit it.  We do find ourselves confused, perplexed, sometimes frightened, anxious, stressed, and unsure what to do next.  Sometimes that is precisely where life circumstances bring us.  God knows right where you are today.  He is still on His throne and He is the One we bow before.

Even as our Lord did that night in the garden.  In His most perplexing moment, He brought it to the Father in prayer.

And let us ALWAYS do the same!

Lent #4

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  — Galatians 6:12-15
What makes you proud? What is that one thing that makes you quick to tell someone because you are so proud? Maybe it’s a new job, or your family’s new home, or the accomplishments of a child or grandchild. Maybe you finally concluded that long-sought college degree. We all have those things of which we are most proud.
Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians, which we are studying Sunday mornings, to certain Christians who had commenced their spiritual life with faith in Jesus, but then were told by others that Paul’s message of grace was incomplete and probably should be rejected. Author and pastor Mel Lawrenz offers this:
 “They taught that it is not enough to believe in Jesus and follow him; you must also continue to observe those hundreds of regulations in the Old Testament. Even if you are a Gentile, you should still observe the dietary laws, the sacrifices, and circumcision, they said. Paul saw this as a spiritual emergency, and he wrote this letter to warn these believers not to be bewitched by those legalists. There is one way to God. Let the things in your life that should die, die. Let strivings die, let legalism die, let love for the world die, let personal spiritual pride die. Resign it all, give it all over, let it be crucified as Jesus let himself be crucified, and you will be free. Then we will have something to boast about. “
May we always brag about Jesus Christ. We must proudly shout his name to the world! Then we’ll fill up with a pride not in ourselves, but in him. And we will begin to look at the cross of Calvary and see it as a moment of glory, not shame.

Lent 3: Forgiven

From the cross, His hands and feet nailed to rough timber, Jesus spoke seven times. The first thing out of His mouth, when others cursed their enemies and cursed the ones who nailed them there, was “Father, forgive them…they don’t know what they do.”
If I could only choose only one word to characterize the follower of Jesus, that word would be “forgiven.” To be forgiven means that sin has been carried away…a debt owed has been paid in full…an injury caused has been fully restored…the offense has been covered.
To be forgiven captures the emphasis of words like “grace,” and “peace,” and “mercy” and “reborn.” And at the cross of Calvary, forgiveness was accomplished in full. Nothing was left behind. No pieces were left to be picked up at a later date. All can be forgiven.
But forgiveness, while freely offered, was not freely purchased. The cross was not an exercise in cheap grace for a costlier penalty. It was the full payment price for debts incurred. The cross did not just lightly cover over the sins committed. The blood of Jesus shed there for us was full atonement, complete satisfaction of the Father’s wrath against sin.
This begs a question: If the Triune God of the Universe, our Creator, and only wise God is satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus, how can we look for another way? There is only one way for sin to be taken out of the way; for debts to be fully repaid. And that way is “by grace through faith” in Jesus’ sacrifice.
As Easter draws nearer, take some time again to linger at the foot of the cross. Bring the sins that still torment you, the lingering guilt and regret and shame over sins long ago forgiven and allow the blood of Jesus to cover them once and forever.
Because of Jesus, we are forgiven. Our debts are paid. Our sacrifice offered to a Holy God. There is none greater. There is none other.
Trust. Jesus.  Today.

Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

How is Jesus to be understood?  Did he stride out of the wilderness 2000 years ago to preach a gentle message of peace and brotherhood? Or did he perhaps advocate some form of revolution?  When did he realize his mission would end with death upon a cross?  Did he view himself to be the promised Messiah?  Did he understand himself to be both God and man?

Ostling, Time Magazine

For those who say that Jesus did not see Himself as God, the opening verses of John 1 correct their view.  “Confusion about the deity of Christ is inexcusable because the biblical teaching regarding it is clear and unmistakable.  Jesus Christ is the pre-existent Word, Who enjoys full face-to-face communion and divine life with the Father, and is Himself God.” (MacArthur)

Clearly the Biblical affirmation that “Jesus Christ is Lord” was a belief that He was God.  His resurrection from the dead proved it without a doubt.

Who do you say Jesus is?

“He is Lord

He is Lord

He is risen from the dead

And He is Lord.”

The Empty Hope of Greed

It is important to remember at the conclusion of our little series that God is the owner of everything.  That means you really own…nothing.  He gives us “all things richly to enjoy.”   When we take an offering to “give” something to God,  we are only giving to God what He already owns.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having nice things and enjoying them.  The Bible does not condemn wealth or wealthy people.  But it does condemn the love of it.  “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” When we pursue wealth as an end in itself, it becomes the wellspring of all kinds of evil.

  1. We cannot separate our attitude toward money and material possessions from the true condition of our spirituality.  Your money and your use of it is a test.
  2. You cannot relate to Jesus authentically without dealing with this issue.  Jesus dealt with money (materialism, mammon) more than He talked about faith, or prayer or heaven.  Over 2,350 verses to be exact.  Most of the parables of Jesus are related to money.  You cannot hide and shelter your money as though it has no consequence to your eternal health and well-being.

Covetousness is probably one of the most downplayed yet most prevalent sins we are guilty of today.  All of us.  We have all tasted greed.

The Tenth commandment in Exodus 20:17 warns us, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions.” His wife, his home, his servants, his animals.  Don’t look over the fence and long for what your neighbor has.

Paul pointed out that the law convicted him he was covetous:

“For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.”   Romans 7:7-8 ESV

He lusted for things that he should not.  And in Colossians he makes a startling connection:

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”   Colossians 3:5 ESV

What is covetousness?  Idolatry.  You are looking to something or someONE created for your ultimate satisfaction, your ultimate good, your identity, your value… instead of to the God Who created these things.  As Tim Keller wrote, “The human heart is an idol factory.”

Are you an “accidental idolator?” Do you convince yourself that, in fact, your life DOES consist of the things you possess?  If you possessed MORE, you would be happier… more contented… more fulfilled?

Are you trying to prove Jesus was wrong?  Is the focus of your life on getting more, having more?  Do you realize this is all driven by fear?

The early Israelites bowed before the idol of a golden calf because they were afraid:  The idol gave them a sense of security in something they could see.  Covetousness is a default sin that we resort to when we’re afraid.

When we are very young, we covet because we are afraid we are going to miss out on something fun…something good.  Her bicycle is more fun.

When we are hitting adulthood and middle age, we covet because we are afraid we are going to be thought of as unsuccessful… as a failure in life… as less than we could be.  So, we covet power, and prestige, and wealth.  Our fear is we are not measuring up.

When we get older, we covet because we are afraid, we are not going to have security to last our retirement years, or afraid we will not be able to retire at all!

Covetousness is idolatry, and it demands we possess more, own more, make more money…it becomes our ultimate search for significance and meaning in life.  And at its root is fear.

But the Bible says you are serving an idol… a false god… a golden calf… that can never keep its promise to you.

When you see it for what it truly is, you will stare into the abyss of an empty hope.


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