Is Jesus the Son of God?

As I sit here preparing for our opening night of VBS (vacation Bible school), I am reminded of the overwhelming evidence that Jesus truly is the Son of God. When dealing with evidence, eye-witness testimony is pretty important. For our first lesson, we want to take a look at some eye-witness testimony of people who heard God call Jesus the Son of God. Evidence is key to making any decision and God has called us as believers to be ready to defend our faith with evidence when people ask us. In fact, this is the theme of this year’s VBS. Agency D3; Discover, Decide, Defend. The key verse for the week is I Peter 3:15:

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Sermon on the Mount; Chapter 7

Earlier today, I taught on Jesus’ teaching on not being able to serve two masters. It was a challenging study as God examined our motives and we took a close look at our own attitudes toward possessions, worry, and judging others. For the rest of this week and the first half of next week, we are going to do a chapter study on Matthew 7, in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. I would like to focus on three important aspects of this chapter; the commands given by Christ, the contrasts, and the comparisons. Continue reading

Sermon on the Mount; you cannot serve two masters

I am preparing to teach this to my staff tomorrow and I would like to think through the process here as well as share some of my insights with you. God’s Word is so practical and the person who claims that It is not practical, I would argue, has never actually read what is there. Instead, the person probably just repeated what he or she heard from another person about the Bible. It has been such a pleasure to dig into God’s Word together as a staff and see how God speaks to us directly about all of life’s specific situations. Last week we covered giving and fasting according to the righteousness of God. All who were there were greatly blessed and challenged to evaluate our motives. Continue reading

Spiritual Warfare

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 10.02.25 AMFor the months of June and July, during children’s church, we are going to study about spiritual warfare. Our main text will be Ephesians 6:10-17.

The first lesson is an overview of the battle that we face on a daily basis. First, we have to establish that there is warfare and that there are two camps, those who serve the Lord and those who do not. There is no third team. Indifference and ignorance places you in the “other” team’s camp. Continue reading

Fasting according to the righteousness of God

Is fasting something that you practice? It is not something that our Western culture readily embraces. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus does not say, “if you fast”, instead, He says, “when you fast”. Most Christian churches in the West do not teach on fasting, which is sad because fasting is an important Biblical practice and by not doing it, we miss out on drawing near to God. Continue reading

Giving according to the righteousness of God

As I prepare to teach my staff this Wednesday on the importance and value of giving as a person who lives out the righteousness of God, I want to share some of those ideas with you here so that I can think through the subject and present it clearly. In order to better understand the subject of giving, I would like for us to read a few passages of Scripture.

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VBS training; Leading children to Christ

As I prepare to teach during our VBS leader training today on how to share the Gospel with children, I want to share some of the thoughts here so that I can think through more thoroughly. This is important because we need to be prepared to share with children in a way that they can understand and lead them to make their own decision about following Christ, based on knowledge of the Word of God instead of manipulative skills. I say that because, over the past 13 years of working with children and teens, I have encountered many, many kids and teens who have “gotten saved” multiple times. When talking with them, I usually quickly discover that they do not have a basic understanding of the plan of salvation or even what salvation actually means. On a side note, I have encountered adults who were “saved” when they were children but they, themselves admit that they did not understand what they were doing and made a decision based on emotions instead of knowledge. Continue reading

Jehovah-raah: The Lord is my Shepherd

As we continue to work through the Names of God from the Bible study manual, “Lord I want to know You“, we come to the Name, Jehovah-raah, the Lord is my Shepherd. If asked which is my favorite lesson from this course, I would reply, “the one I am currently studying” because they are all so powerful and relevant to daily life on planet earth. I love the way that all the Names tie together to show us just how dependent upon God we really are and since He created us and knows us better than we know ourselves, He can guide us through the struggles of day to day living. Continue reading

The conduct of a person who has the righteousness of God

As I have been teaching through the Sermon on the Mount with my staff, we have been amazed to see just how practical God’s Word really is. It truly is relevant to the 21st Century human being. To recap some of our previous lessons:

Yesterday, we looked at chapter 6 of Matthew, focusing on the actions/conduct of a man who has the righteousness of God. Continue reading