I am writing this article to address an issues that I have observed over the years in the ministry. I have been ministering since 1999 and have worked with many different people in the context of ministry. I praise the Lord that in that same year that I began the ministry, I met my future wife and she introduced me to my spiritual mentor(s). As I began to be trained in the ministry, I was surrounded by husband/wife teams who ministered together. I met men who had been blessed with awesome suitable helpers who helped them in every aspect of their lives, including the ministry. I was amazed to see them work so well together. Continue reading
As I prepare to teach Philippians 4 tonight, I am excited about all that God is going to teach us. God has done some awesome things over the past 10 weeks and I am excited to see what He is going to continue doing. The previous lesson dealt with pressing on to the goal of knowing Christ intimately. It was neat to be challenged in our relationship with Christ. This week, we are going to take a look at the overview of Philippians 4.
In order to understand the chapter, we need to get some context. The theme of the epistle is found in Philippians 4:4. Philippians teaches us how to rejoice in every circumstance of life. In chapter 1, we rejoice by preaching the Gospel in every circumstance of life. In chapter 2, we rejoice by having the attitude of Christ in every circumstance of life. In chapter 3, we rejoice by knowing Jesus Christ intimately. Now, in chapter 4, we rejoice by doing all things through Christ who enables us. Continue reading
Lord, we need more Gideons in the church, with the exception of the way that he ended. He did not start well and he did not finish well but, we do have much to learn from his middle years.
I am preparing to teach this lesson to our kids next Sunday. I pray that the Lord will use this message to challenge the children to become Gideons, rising to the call of leadership that our churches and societies so desperately need. Continue reading
So, what did you think about the title? I intentionally worded the title the way that I did because this is what Paul is trying to point out to Timothy. Just being in a church does not make you a follower of Jesus Christ. In fact, a great portion of chapter 3 is dedicated to the people who are in the church but do not know God.
Now, before we jump in to the meat of this passage, I want to review what we have already discovered from II Timothy 2.
On Monday night, I met with my Bible study group and we continued studying Philippians. I would like to share this with you here.
Before we get into this lesson, I would like to review the previous one. The previous lesson was entitled “choose Christ above all else“. This lesson taught us about Paul’s idols in his life before he came to Christ. He warns the Philippians to be careful of their idols, making sure that they continue to count them as rubbish when compared to knowing Christ specifically, the power of His resurrections and the fellowship of His suffering. Christ exposes our idols for what they are and then He sets us free from those same idols by the power of His resurrection. As He works in us, He also begins to work through us and we preach the Word of God to others. His Word pricks their sin nature and they respond in a couple of different ways; 1) they are indifferent to the message 2) the message changes them 3) they attack us even though we are just the messenger. When we are attacked, we join in with Christ and His sufferings. Continue reading
Today I am continuing our study of the life of Abraham with my teachers. I am excited to teach this lesson because we continue to look at Abraham’s faith and how his faith changed him and directly impacted every aspect of his life.
We have already seen
- how the Gospel was preached to Abraham
- the purpose of the Law
- Abraham, the father of our faith
- Genuine faith positively impacts relationships
- Genuine faith fights against immorality
Over the weekend, I had the privilege of leading a retreat with my wife. We got away for a few days with my staff and studied God’s Word together, learned principles of time management, and planned the events, both major and minor for 2015. God blessed our time. We were in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, in a small ski town called Angel Fire. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was amazing. While we were there, we studied II Chronicles 34, learning about King Josiah‘s values and how he planned and acted according to his values. His impact in Israel was simply amazing. He changed the outcome of an entire generation and left a legacy that impacted several generations. We pray that as a Children’s Department, we will follow Josiah’s example and impact many future generations with the power of the Word of God. This study set the tone for our time. We discovered what our own values are and planned everything according to those values. Now we pray to follow those plans faithfully all throughout 2015 and beyond. Continue reading
I am going to continue teaching my staff this week from II Timothy. We took a break over the Christmas holidays and studied about the birth of Christ for a couple of weeks. Now we are ready to dig back in to II Timothy. This week, we are going to cover II Timothy 2:5.
The last lesson that we covered was about verses 3-4, the importance of and the need for trained soldiers. These two images go together to explain the spiritual truth of the importance of training in the Word of God in order to make disciples. Let’s see what we can learn about competing as an athlete. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach this evening from Paul’s epistle to the Philippian church. We are covering the first 11 verses of chapter 3. The previous lesson was from chapter 2 about working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Paul teaches us how to do this in our daily lives.
In chapter 3, Paul’s desire is that we know Christ specifically, above all else. The reason that he motivates us to focus on Christ is because of our sin nature, we have a tendency to turn to idols. Idols are anything that take the #1 place of Christ in your life. Even noble things can become idols and when they do, they become negative. Idolatry is a sin that enslaves us before we come to Christ and a sin that tries to take our focus off of Christ once we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. That is why 1 John ends the way that it does. The entire epistle is about the love of God, how it is manifested to us, in us, and through us. Continue reading
Alright, I hope that you week has been wonderful. Mine was filled with study and teaching the Word of God. It was amazing to see Him work through His Word in the lives of the people around me. I hope that your week was very fruitful for the Lord. If not, don’t lose heart. You have a fresh chance this week to make it a productive one. This past Sunday during #theROC I was able to teach on Luke 15 about the 3 parables. This week, I am going to focus on the one son who repented. The lesson is all about repentance, forgiveness, and a new purpose in life. I pray that this will be useful to you and that the Lord will use it to bless you as you read, understand, and apply what you learn. Continue reading