“I want to be like Adrian Rogers…”


Adrian Rogers remains one of the most influential people in my life.  Other than the Words of God in the Bible, the words of Adrian Rogers have influenced me more than any other. There is literally not a single day that I do not think of Dr. Rogers and something I have learned from him.  Were we close friends? No. Actually I only had the privilege of talking with him on one occasion.  What I have learned from him, I gleaned from a three day pastor’s conference that he led and from near countless sermons I have heard him preach. Still, his impact on my life is incalculable. Just this morning, I quoted him in a conversation.

The other day I was talking with a young person who is a very faithful, committed young Christian who had never heard of Adrian Rogers.  It was then I realized that it’s been almost eight years since he went home to be with the Lord. Perhaps you are reading this blog and you have never heard of him.  Adrian Rogers was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee for thirty years.  He was a mighty preacher and became known all over the world through the ministry he founded, Love Worth Finding. The video below will give you a flavor of his life and ministry. It was played for the first time at his funeral service…

Upon learning of his death, I typed a personal tribute to him that I shared with the church family I was serving at that time. Here it is in its entirety…

A Tribute to Dr. Adrian Rogers

By Gregory L. Corbin

November 15, 2005


            Dr. Adrian Rogers, a well-known pastor and leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, went home to be with the Lord on November 15, 2005.  While I will not be among the thousands who will be present at his funeral service, I decided to honor Dr. Rogers among my church family and others that I have contact with by sharing my thoughts about a man that I had the opportunity to meet up close and personal.

“I want to be like Adrian Rogers.”  Those have been the words of thousands of young Baptist preachers over the years. They have been my words in my younger days as well.  I still remember the first time that I saw Adrian Rogers preaching on television. I had just begun my own journey of preaching the Word of God when I saw my first Love Worth Finding broadcast. “What a voice,” I remember thinking.  Like many, I was struck by his booming voice and the passion that he preached with.  In 1996, I saw him in person for the first time as he preached at the Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference in New Orleans. He was no less impressive in person than on television. Great preacher. Huge church. Baptizing hundreds. Commanding leader.   Like many young preachers there, I remember thinking, “I want to be like Adrian Rogers.”

Fast forward to the Fall of 2003.  I was privileged to be one of 50 pastors that Dr. Rogers invited to spend three days with him in Memphis.  I preached that Sunday morning at the church I was serving as pastor, hopped into my car, and took off to Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis for the evening worship service. It was an incredible service and Dr. Rogers preached a tremendous message.  There were three or four other pastors who arrived early for the conference to attend the evening service. To our surprise, an announcement was made at the end of the service that Dr. Rogers would like to meet in his office with any pastors who were present.          We were escorted into his office.  Of course, it was very large and tastefully decorated. Behind his desk were portraits of Dr. Rogers with three different United States Presidents. However, the thing that I remember most about his office was the visitor who was there when we entered – a truck driver.  As a child, this man had been saved and baptized at Bellevue early on in Dr. Rogers’ ministry there. He had not been to Bellevue or seen Dr. Rogers since he was a child. In fact, he was not even planning on being at Bellevue that night. His rig had broken down in Memphis, and it was going to be the next morning before he was going to be able to resume his trip. So, in his work clothes, he took a taxi to Bellevue for the Sunday night service and wound up getting invited to visit with Dr. Rogers in his office.  It impressed me that Dr. Rogers would do that. He only spent about ten minutes with that man, but it was ten minutes that man will never forget. Even though thousands were present that night at church, Adrian Rogers took a few minutes to talk to a truck driver he had not seen in years.

When the pastor’s conference started the next morning, I was again pleasantly surprised.  Dr. Rogers had cleared his calendar for three days for us. Yes, he taught us during the sessions, but he also stood out in the hallway with us during the breaks.  He ate meals with us.  He arrived early to talk with people and he left late after talking with people. He had a way of making each person that he talked with feel like the most important person in the building.

Speaking of the sessions, they turned out to be the opposite of what I expected. For three days, Dr. Rogers never talked to us about “how to grow a big church.”  Instead, he talked with us about the pastor’s prayer life and personal integrity.  He talked about the pastor’s family life – “the ministry that doesn’t begin at home doesn’t begin.”  He taught us about expository preaching and how important it was to invest our lives in preaching the Word – “the Bible will get the job done.”  He opened up and shared with us deeply personal stories of the tragedies and triumphs of his fifty years in ministry.  He shared with us about times when he failed as a husband and struggled as a father.  He shared with us about the times when he was not happy at the church he was serving. He told us about times when he had been hurt.  There was not a dry eye in the house when he and his wife Joyce talked about the heart break of burying their infant son.

Another attribute that impressed me was the fact that Adrian Rogers was comfortable in his own skin. He did not try to act as if he was not a well-known pastor who led one of the largest ministries in the world. Yet, his genuine humility shined through at every turn. There was absolutely no hint of taking credit or putting on airs.  He was humble, real, and personable.  On the closing night of conference, we had a formal banquet.  A friend and I sat down at a table and begin talking when I felt a hand on my shoulder. “May we join you?” Dr. Rogers asked as he sat down with his wife. So, I literally ate a meal elbow to elbow with Adrian Rogers. We did not talk about Bellevue or his ministry.  He asked about my wife and children. He wanted to know all about them. He asked about my church and how things were going. I had dinner with Adrian Rogers and he wanted to talk about me.

When I arrived home the next day, I wrote Dr. Rogers and thanked him for three of the best days of my life. On a recent trip, I listened to most of the tapes of those sessions again. Once again, I laughed and cried and prayed as I listened to Adrian Rogers remind me that the most important things about a pastor are not the size of his church and the number of baptisms.  Now that he has gone on to be with the Lord, I will probably listen to them again very soon.  They are priceless.

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know Adrian Rogers the man. He was so much more than a powerful preacher and a strong leader.  He was a husband who stayed faithful to his wife and loved her more the longer he was married to her.  He was a father who would quickly let you know how proud he was of his children, and, when it was time to have dinner with them, he showed you to the door! They were important.  He preached with great boldness but on a personal level he was humble, loving, and sincere. He loved Christ with all of his heart. He served the church with all of his might.  He preached to thousands from one of the most prestigious pulpits in the world, and yet he took time to talk to truck drivers and young preachers from Alabama.  There was never a hint of scandal or immorality in all of his years as a pastor. He was faithful to his Lord, his family, and his church. In a day when so many fell, he stood. In a day when so many quit, he finished. It was never about Adrian, but it was always about Jesus. Whenever he stepped into the pulpit, he did not have a sermon – he brought a message. He preached from the heart – with all of his heart. He lived what he preached. And then he died.

I want to be like Adrian Rogers.

Counter culture!

By this time of the year, many Christians have begun to struggle with fulfilling their New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible.  For many, the reason can be summed in one word: Leviticus!  Certainly, the book of Leviticus is not the easiest reading in the Bible.  In fact, I am in Leviticus right now in my own daily Bible readings as I journey through the Bible again this year, and each time that I read it, I come to a greater appreciation for the book. Yes, Leviticus is tedious and filled with laws and regulations that we do not understand and as New Testament Christians, we no longer live under the obligation to follow. It’s easy to wonder, “Why is this even in the Bible?” One year as I was struggling to read through Leviticus, I learned the key verses in the entire book…

“You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 18:3–5, ESV)

Did you catch that?  God is giving His people the Law so that they would have a lifestyle distinct from the culture they lived in. Remember, in the centuries before this time, the people of Israel had been slaves in Egypt, and the Lord miraculously delivered them through the Exodus experience – think plagues, parting the Red Sea, and raining bread from heaven!  Now, the people of God were delivered from Egypt and on their way to the Promised Land.  However, the influences of Egypt were still with them. The culture they had lived in worshiped many gods and did not believe in the one true God of Israel.  Egyptian culture had many beliefs, practices, and standards that were not in keeping with God’s plan for His people. So, in the book of Leviticus, we have the Lord giving His standard to His people. It is not God’s intention that His people continue to live just like the unbelievers they lived among.  It is God’s intention that His people live distinctly from the people who do not follow the Lord. THAT is the core issue in the Leviticus.

While we now live as Christians in the age of New Testament grace brought through the work of Christ on the cross and no longer are required to keep the Law, this principle of God’s people living a distinct lifestyle is carried throughout scripture…

“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:17–20, ESV)

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, ESV)

We live in a time when the church is under pressure to compromise and conform to the culture. That is always a tragic mistake. Throughout the Bible, God’s people are called to a counter cultural lifestyle.  The fact that the church is not like the world is a positive thing.  The fact that our values as Christians increasingly clash with the values of the culture should not surprise us – in fact, it’s the Biblical norm. If you study the Bible, you will find that God’s people did not get into trouble when they did not live like the world, but rather when they did. Think about it.

As Christians, we live in this world. In fact, the Bible teaches that the Lord has us in this world for a purpose and a mission.  That fact is why God has always intended for his people to be in the world, but to live distinctly from the world. How can we shine as lights in a dark world if we live just like the world?  We can’t.  The first witness we must give is a life sold out to Jesus Christ in every way.  When unbelievers see Christ in us, they will be willing to listen when we share how they can know Him too.

It works the same collectively in the church.  I am in no way opposed to the church using technology and all means available to us in order to communicate the Gospel.  I am in no way opposed to churches changing how we do things to meet the challenges of a changing culture.  In fact, I am staunchly in favor of those things.  My point is that no matter how much technology we use in the church and no matter how many styles of music we offer and no matter how “cutting edge” we might strive to be, the true church as described in the Bible has always been and will always be distinctly counter cultural.  We do not offer just a “christianized” version of what is offered in the world. We offer hope and eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We offer changed life, not from self-help but from Christ living in you!

As the days we live in grow darker with sin, let us each one determine to shine more brightly. Think about it.

Depending on God

It’s so easy to fall into pride and self-sufficiency. One of the greatest passages in the Bible on our utter dependance on the Lord is found in 1 Peter…

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” (1 Peter 5:6–10, NKJV)

These verses are great reminders of just how much we must depend on the Lord.  As we look closer at this passage, we find four things for which we must all depend on the Lord…

I.        Depend on God in your sorrows  (v. 6-7)

 Verse six uses a phrase that we don’t hear in church very often today: “the mighty hand of God.”   You see over and over again in the Old Testament, the Bible talks about God’s work in our lives – the things that God brings our way, the things that God allows to happen to us, the things that God teaches us – and it calls all of those things “the mighty hand of God.”  It means different things at different times in your life. Sometimes the mighty hand of God delivers us from trouble, but sometimes the mighty hand of God corrects us when we’re in trouble!  Sometimes we haven’t done anything wrong but the mighty hand of God brings a test into our lives. The mighty hand of God is God’s sovereignty, God’s power, God’s authority over your life and mine. God is in charge.  The mighty hand of God is the hand of God in charge of you.  And the Bible says here that we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt us – in other words, He will lift us up.  Do you need a lift?  Are you going through a hard time?  You can depend on God in your sorrows, but here’s how you do it:  humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.

Think about taking a young child to the mall or across a crowded street.  What do you do?  You hold their hand or you place your hand on their shoulder or the back of their neck. But what do they do? They pull away. They complain. They don’t like it.  Why? Because they want to be INDEPENDENT. They don’t like the way you guide their little life. They think they know what is best.  But they have to learn to humble themselves under the mighty hand of mom! Think about that.  Maybe you are reading this blog right now, and you don’t like how God has guided you. You don’t like where you are in life.  You don’t like how He is leading you. Many of us think we know what God should do in our lives.  The truth is that we must get under God’s mighty hand – humble ourselves and say “Lord, I accept it.”  “Lord, I’m not going to question”  “Lord, I want to be content.”

 Now, let me show you something wonderful.  God does not expect us just to take our medicine in life and like it. He knows we hurt.  Now, we are supposed to humble and submit ourselves to what He is doing, BUT look at verse 7.  When the Bible says to “cast your cares on Him” the Greek word literally means to put that weight onto something else. When you go on vacation, you load your car, van, or SUV up don’t you?  You pack everything but the kitchen sink – especially if you have kids. Question:  How far would you get on vacation if you had to carry everything on your back or in your hands? You will not get very far in life trying to carry all of your burdens, God has unlimited cargo space.  You can load Him up!  You can cry. You can be honest with Him. You can tell Him how you feel. You can depend on God in your sorrows.

 II.        Depend on God for your security  (v. 8-9)

 These next verses talk about something that most of us NEVER think about – our enemy.  Now you may spend a lot of time worrying about your enemies, but verses 8-9 talk about THE Enemy. The devil and what he is up to.  Read verse 8. Let me give you four places that Satan loves to attack:

  • You – he attacks through temptation, through other people, through our mind, wherever there is an open door. He loves to make sure we are discouraged or angry or tired or too busy and preferably all of the above!
  • The family – Please understand, you have a very real enemy that would love nothing better than to destroy your marriage (and he may be well on the way). He would like nothing better than to see your kids and mine self-destruct.
  • Leaders in the Church – We’ve all heard of Godly men who preached the Gospel and influenced so many people, just up and leaving their wife for someone else. We say “How could that happen?”  Satan is attacking the leaders of God’s people.
  • The Church – The churches who will never have to deal with the devil from time to time are those who never preach the Gospel, never pray, and have a form of Godliness but no power. They are no threat to Satan’s Kingdom.

The Bible says that we are in a Spiritual battle and our enemy is real. So what do we do?  Verse 9. Resist him.  How?  Steadfast in the faith.  Know the Word, depend on God. We must depend on God to win the spiritual battles we all face.  He is your Security!

III.        Depend on God for your Salvation  (v. 10)

 Now, if there is one thing that people just naturally want on their own terms, it is their eternal destiny.  Practically no one believes they are going to wind up in Hell. Practically everyone believes that somehow they will make it to Heaven.  And everybody has somehow, in their own mind, rationalized why they are going to Heaven:  “I’m just as good as those people who go to church.”  “I’ve never harmed anybody and I try to help people.”  “Now, Pastor, I was raised in church…”  Do you know what all of those have in common?  The natural human desire to define and control our own destiny.

Let’s see how that squares with what we find in the Bible. Look at verse 10.  “God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus.”  Did you notice how it says that God calls us to eternal life?  “by Christ Jesus.”  Now, we may want to define our own existence, but the truth is that we only really begin to understand who we are when we visit a hill called Golgotha where Christ hung on that cross almost 2000 years ago – when we understand a little of His agony and comprehend exactly WHY every drop of blood was spilled that day.   Christ died for my sins and yours – in our place, paying our debt.  THAT MY FRIENDS, DEFINES OUR EXISTENCE.   You can’t really understand life until you understand the Cross.  The Cross tells us that we can’t make it to Heaven on our own, we must depend on God for our salvation. We must go to the Cross and place our faith in what happened there.

Did you notice that God is “calling” you?  Perhaps you are reading this right now and thinking, “But I’ve done too much, God could never love me.”  God is saying “Come, Come to me right now.”  Someone is saying “But, I put it off years ago and I have lived my way for years, God won’t have me now.”   God is saying “Come on.”  He is calling you!   “But I’m afraid I won’t be good enough”  He is saying come, the ground is level at the foot of the Cross!  Come and depend on God for your salvation, it is the ONLY way!

IV.       Depend on God for your Strength  (v. 10)

At the end of verse 10, Peter moves from what it means to be a Christian, to what happens after we become a Christian.  It says that God will “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”  Those four words are just almost synonyms. They all have the basic idea of becoming strong, stable, and sure.  I love the way the Living Bible puts this “He will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.”  That’s the idea.  So, AFTER we become a Christian, then God begins this process of strengthening us.

Did you notice how this strengthening comes?  “after you have suffered a while.”  Now the people that Peter was originally writing to were suffering for their faith.  They were suffering unjustly. Many of them had been lied about and lied to.  Maybe your suffering comes another way. You are suffering physically or maybe you are suffering a marriage that causes you great pain.  Maybe you are suffering mentally, so you struggle with depression.  Maybe you are suffering financially or suffering on your job.  Perhaps one reason might be that  God is making you strong in Him!

Why don’t you take a moment and review these ways we each must depend on the Lord?  Remember what happens when we humble ourselves under His mighty hand?  He exalts us – He lifts us up!  Do you need a lift?  The way to get a lift from the Lord is to humble down and depend on Him!

Happy 10th birthday Daniel !!


On January 29, 2003 the Lord blessed Becky and I with another healthy baby boy and Daniel Corbin entered our lives.  In case you are reading this blog and do not know our family, we have an older son, David, who will be the subject of a post like this on his birthday in July. Anyway, words cannot express the joy that Daniel has brought to our home.  Little did we know that Daniel would turn out to be a very fitting name for the little boy who was born at Brookwood hospital.

Daniel is tough as nails and a fierce competitor (something about having an older brother I’m told).  He is extremely independent and a hard worker.  As a matter of fact, it offends him if you ask about his homework.  He just does it and does it extremely well!  He will work for hours at a time to improve in whatever sport he is playing.  Speaking of sports, I do not believe I have ever seen a child that loves sports more than Daniel does.  If he has an idle minute, he will be out the door and bouncing a ball in a matter of seconds!  The picture above is Daniel just before his first football game this season. He also plays basketball and baseball.

Daniel is an absolutely huge football fan. In his short life, he has already cheered the Alabama Crimson Tide on to three national championships.  In fact, on the first day of school this year, his teacher had each student fill out a paper that listed their favorite foods, TV shows, etc.  On the question that asked for Daniel’s favorite place to go on vacation, he replied, “Tuscaloosa.”  As the father who has financed family trips to Disney World, Washington D.C., the beach, and a host of other places, I asked Daniel why he put that in light of all of the wonderful places he has visited.  Without missing a beat, Daniel said, “Dad, Tuscaloosa just feels like home!”

Most of all, I had the privilege of praying with Daniel as he gave his life to Christ one night in his bedroom.  The next Sunday, I had the privilege of baptizing Daniel at Whitesburg with most of our family there.  Even though he is only ten years old, I am continually amazed at how much scripture Daniel knows and how many of the Bible stories he can recall in great detail.  I really do believe that Daniel knows more of the Bible than I did when I started college! He is showing signs of growing into a young man who loves the Lord and it is that for which I am most proud of Daniel.

Happy birthday, Daniel!  Your dad loves you, and your dad is proud of you!  Oh yes, one more thing in honor of Daniel….Roll Tide!

Don’t be a grumbler

This morning in my devotional time, I read Exodus 13-18 – the famous story of the exodus of the people of God from Egypt and its immediate aftermath.  It is an exciting story filled with miracles and the power of God – the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea that allowed God’s people to cross on dry land. In fact, the Bible says that this awesome demonstration of God’s power made quite an impression on the people…

“When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:31, HCSB)

However, a mere three days later look at what happened…

“Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water. They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter—that is why it was named Marah. The people grumbled to Moses, “What are we going to drink?”” (Exodus 15:22–24, HCSB)

Almost immediately the people of God fell into grumbling and complaining. Think about it. They have just been miraculously delivered from years of slavery in Egypt. They have seen the power of God very real and tangible ways.  Yet, they begin to grumble and complain at the first sign of adversity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get better; it develops into a pattern of life for the Israelites…

“The entire Israelite community departed from Elim and came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt. The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!”” (Exodus 16:1–3, HCSB)

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of episode after episode of grumbling by the people of God.  The more things change the more things stay the same. I believe that one of the greatest barriers that many Christians have in their walk with God today is the barrier of constant grumbling.  Some churches can’t move forward because of constant grumbling among the people. Some pastors cannot lead their churches because they themselves constantly grumble and complain. The truth is that it is easy for Christians to fall into the trap of grumbling and complaining.  It can become such a way of life that we really don’t think about it.  Monday mornings are prime time for many of us to be grumblers!

Why is grumbling among the people of God a serious matter?  Please allow me to list several reasons…

  1. Grumbling really means that we are questioning God’s provision and goodness toward us.
  2. Grumbling makes us unthankful and ungrateful people.
  3. When we are grumbling, we aren’t praying!
  4. Grumbling takes our focus off of the Lord and onto ourselves.
  5. Grumbling leads us to unfairly question and blame the leaders that God has placed in our lives.
  6. Grumbling leads us to focus on the past rather than what God has for us in the future.

If you read through the book of Exodus, you will see these issues play out among the people of God. While this list is far from comprehensive, it’s easy to see that grumbling is serious business that can have a devastating effect on our spiritual lives.  Don’t be a grumbler. Exchange grumbling with praise and prayer.  Build people up and minister grace rather than tearing down.  You’ll be glad that you did!

What to do when you are in a pit

Tonight, I began a series of four messages on the life of Joseph from the Old Testament.  One of the great things about God’s Word is that it continually speaks to us in fresh ways, even if we have read the same passage a hundred times!   You can read the life story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37 and following.  His jealous and bitter brothers throw him in a pit and plot how they will explain his absence to their father.  The Bible identifies this “pit” as an empty cistern – that’s a big hole in the ground that was used to store water.  You can still see empty cisterns in Israel today.  In fact, some of them were as much as twenty or thirty feet deep.

Can you imagine being young Joseph?  For the first seventeen years of his life, he has known nothing but privilege.  He was born into a prosperous family. He was the favored son.  Now, in the course of one morning, his entire life is wrecked, the life that he knows is taken away, and he is thrown into a pit not knowing what the future holds. I am sure those twenty feet high walls of the cistern looked huge to a frightened teenager.  Joseph was in a pit – a big one!  Nevertheless, there was a simple lesson for Joseph in that pit:  when you are in a pit – look up!  The one positive thing about a pit is that the only place you can look is up. Look up to the Lord who is sovereign over all and in control of your situation.

Maybe you are reading this blog right now and you are in a pit.  Maybe it’s a financial pit, or a relational pit.  Perhaps it’s the pit of family conflict, or the pit of discouragement. Remember, there is one good thing about a pit – the only place you can look is up!  Look up to Jesus right now and find renewed hope!



Life verses # 1 – Galatians 6:9

From time to time on this blog, I plan to share some of my life verses and why they are important to me.  I will share them in no particular order.  Over twenty years ago now, when I was going through a time of discouragement and uncertainty, a good friend of mine quoted Galatians 6:9 as a word of encouragement. It has remained a fixture in my life since that day…

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, ESV)

Discouragement and disappointment come the way of every Christian.  However, “growing weary” is when pain and disappointment (or maybe fatigue and stress) build up in our lives until we reach the point where we say, “I’ve had it. I can’t do this anymore….”   This is why the same Greek word is translated “lose heart” in 2 Corinthians 4:1.  We all know the difference between feeling down or having a case of the blues and losing heart.  One is a bad day or week – the other is a dark time of the soul that lingers.  Galatians 6:9 is for those who are about to lose heart and give up.

Notice that this verse speaks of being weary of “doing good.”  We expect that a Christian who is living in disobedience will grow weary, but what about a Christian who is doing their best to live for the Lord?   The truth is that Christians can grow weary of even the best and most important things they are doing. It is possible to grow weary of doing the good things because those good things are not always easy and almost always draining.  Marriage, children, ministry, and careers are examples of good and important things that a Christian can grow weary of.  The truth is that almost every Christian, at some point in their lives, has felt like giving up on their marriage, their children, their church, or their career.  Perhaps a few have felt like giving up on all of them along the way.  Most readers of this blog know exactly what the Bible says when it speaks of “growing weary of doing good” because we’ve been there.  We know the pain of losing heart. Maybe someone reading this blog is going through one of those times right now.

The most powerful part of this verse is the end. It’s a promise…”we will reap, if we do not give up.”   Keep going. Don’t quit.  Live confidently that God will bless.  Believe that God will honor faithfulness, even if it appears to be hopeless.  What a promise!  It doesn’t say to keep going because we are so faithful and wise and hard working. Oh no!  It says to keep going because He is faithful and true!  We can keep going through the darkest times of life because we know that He is faithful.

One of my great heroes from history is man named William Carey.  He is known as the father of modern missions and accomplished great things for the Lord. His gospel work in India is bearing fruit for the Lord to this day. However, William Carey was a man who certainly went through times that he grew weary of doing good. He experienced extreme poverty, the death of a child,  crippling emotional problems of his wife, betrayal by a friend, and years with absolutely no “success” in his work for the Lord.  Yet, William Carey was a living embodiment of Galatians 6:9.  Here is how he described his ability to keep going through horrendous obstacles…

“When I left England, my hope of India’s conversion was very strong; but amongst so many obstacles, it would die, unless upheld by God.  Well, I have God, and His Word is true… though I were deserted by all and persecuted by all, yet my faith, fixed on the sure Word, would rise above all obstructions and overcome every trial.  God’s cause will triumph.”

No matter what you are going through as you read these words, God will uphold your hope too!  His cause will triumph. Stay faithful because of the faithful One!


Why January 22nd is a day you should mark on your calendar

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the saddest days in the great history of the United States. It was on January 22, 1973 that the United States Supreme Court handed down the famous “Roe vs. Wade” decision that paved the way for legalized abortion in our country.  Since then, tens of millions of abortions have been performed.  A number of years ago, this led many churches (including the church I serve) to observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on the third Sunday in January.   This issue is one that I care deeply about.

In thinking about any issue, it is most important to look to the Word of God and make sure we build our perspective on it from the foundation of scripture.  On the issue of life, scripture is crystal clear on two points.  First, from the beginning of creation, God makes a distinction between human life and animal or plant life…

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26–27, ESV)

Much has been written about what the Bible means when it says that human beings are made in the image of God.  You might consult five different Bible commentaries on the issue and find five different perspectives.  However, it is clear that God intends to make a distinction – while God created all life, only human beings are made in the image of God.  Certainly, there is nothing wrong with having a beloved pet or enjoying the beauty of nature, but human life is a special type of life created by God and valued by God above all others.

The second crystal clear perspective of scripture is that life begins at conception and that God is involved in our lives even while we are in the womb….

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13–16, ESV)

We can stand firmly on scripture and declare to anyone that they are not an accident and the God of the universe fashioned their existence.  Consequently, every single human life is precious in the sight of God and should be precious in our sight as well.  So, why is January 22nd a day that you should mark on your calendar?  Mark your calendar and be reminded to pray especially on this day that our nation might once again return to the value of life and end abortion. It is also a great reminder that if we really believe every human life is precious, that will also greatly affect how we treat others.  Think about it.

Finally, I could not conclude this post without mentioning some unsung heroes of mine who are on the front lines of ministry right here in our own state. The folks at Choose Life of North Alabama are there for women to offer free services like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and counseling.  They share the gospel of Jesus Christ with every single one who comes their way.  They exist to help women choose eternal life in Christ Jesus and to choose life by having the child that is growing in their womb.  After you support your local church with your tithes, I do not know of an organization that is more worthy of your support than Choose Life.  I personally know many of the leaders in this front line ministry and encourage you to pray for them and support them financially as the Lord leads you.  For more information, go to http://www.chooselifehuntsville.org

Interestingly enough, “Jane Roe,” the lead plaintiff in the Roe v. Wade class action lawsuit, was actually a 21 year old pregnant young woman named Norma McCorvey.  Two Texas attorneys recruited her in order to bring the case.  However, Norma McCorvey never had an abortion. Instead, she gave birth to a little girl that she subsequently gave up for adoption.  You see, “Jane Roe” actually chose life forty years ago. Join me in praying on January 22nd.

Yet another blog? Why and what I am trying to accomplish

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Perhaps you are wondering, “Why is Greg doing this and what does he hope to accomplish?”  First the short answer: several months ago, I felt led of the Lord to do it.  Certainly, I had every excuse in the book – time, the plethora of blogs already out there, etc.  To be very honest, the last thing I needed was another thing to do.  However, it became a matter of obedience for me.  I feel the Lord has led me to do this, and I want to do what He tells me to do.

Now, for a somewhat longer answer.  I had blogged a couple of times per week when I served at a church in Pell City,  and briefly when we moved to Huntsville. Time and the busyness of life and ministry resulted in my withdrawal from the blog world.  In recent years, I have connected with hundreds of people through the platforms of Facebook and Twitter, and I have enjoyed those greatly.  Having been in full-time ministry now for over twenty years and having friends from multiple churches we have served, friends from high school and our home area of Sand Mountain, and friends we have made from our journeys over the years, I feel that having a place to connect with everyone in a more in depth way than Facebook or Twitter can provide will be helpful on many levels.  Also, I have enjoyed writing since I was in high school and this site allows me to begin once again using that gift in a greater way.

Finally, my plan is that gregcorbin.com serve primarily as a place where the majority of my posts will flow from my weekly study of scripture and serve to build up the church through knowledge and application of God’s Word. From time to time, I also plan to post about important church and cultural issues.  Occasionally, I will also post something about my family or friends to change things up and to provide another window for further connection.  If you are looking for political rants,  theological debates, and commentary on everything that is “wrong”, then this site will not be for you. There are a great number of websites that already fill those roles.  Gregcorbin.com will be positive, edifying, informative, and (hopefully) thought provoking.  Right now, my plan is to post two or three times per week.

Most of all, it is my prayer that this site will bring honor and glory to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, to whom I owe all things. Thanks for reading and check back soon!