The Gospel transforms us. It is the most amazing miracle of all time. It has been happening every day over the past 2,000 years. Not only does the Gospel transform us, It also equips us for daily life. Many people are influenced by the circumstances of life. When things are going well, they respond well. When things begin to go poorly, they do not respond well. The Gospel makes us stable in all of our ways. This is exemplified in the life of Joseph. Early on in his life, things were going well. Joseph was loved by his father. He was walking with the Lord. God revealed His plan to Joseph. Joseph was living to accomplish the will of the Lord. The dark spot was the fact that his brothers did not like him. By the end of Genesis 37, Joseph is at a low point in his life. His parents thought he was dead. He was sold into slavery. This is a test for Joseph, to see what he is really made of and to see if he really trusts in the power of God. Let’s see what we can discover about Joseph’s response and what that teaches us about the power of the Gospel. Continue reading
This Sunday, we begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups. As a church, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. In this quarter, we will begin by looking at the life of Joseph, over a three week period. In this first lesson, we are going to begin to see how Joseph is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. He is a picture of what the Messiah will be like when He comes on the scene. Continue reading
Relationships are hard. Everyone can agree on that. They are hard because relationships involve being selfless. That does not come naturally to us as humans because of our sin nature. By nature, we are selfish. I do not like it but, it is the truth. All of us have suffered at some point or another from ruined relationships. It does not really matter if we are the victim or the aggressor. In either case, God wants to restore relationships. In fact, He is in the business of restoring relationships. God has always been in a perfect relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When God created mankind, He created us to be in a right relationship with Him and to manifest that right relationship with Him in our relationships with one another. We see this theme run all throughout the Bible. Continue reading
It has been neat to see the common theme of the mercy and grace of God run through each chapter of the book of Genesis. God is weaving a story together throughout His Word and it threads together beautifully with human history. Mankind, from Genesis 3 to Genesis 29, our current chapter for consideration, has been looking for a Rescuer. God promised Adam and Eve that they would be saved by a Male Child, born of a virgin. Every generation that has followed has learned about this Male Child who would Rescue people from sin’s penalty and power. God’s mercy is manifested in the fact that He does not punish people immediately for their sins. God’s grace is manifested in the fact that He gives people multiple opportunities to get right with Him through faith in the Messiah, the Promised Rescuer. Continue reading
I spent a good portion of the day today preparing to teach tonight at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I am teaching the Journey kids during our AWANA program. I am excited about teaching John 17:1-21. This is the Lord’s prayer. No, not the Lord’s model prayer, you know, “our Father”. This is Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, the prayer that He prayed for His disciples (all of them throughout the ages).
This is a powerful prayer and we have much to learn from it about ministry, especially in the form of making disciples. I want to divide this lesson into two parts; what we learn about Jesus and what we learn about His disciples. As we look at these two characters, we will also discover truths about ministry that are vital for all followers of Christ, especially since we are all called to make disciples. Continue reading
As we have been walking through the book of Genesis, we have noticed a pattern that appears in almost every chapter. Mankind deserves punishment for his sin, yet, God, being rich in mercy and grace, chooses to give mankind a Savior instead of the punishment that we deserve. We see faith appear in Genesis 4 when Eve believes that her firstborn son, Cain, is the promised Savior. Adam and Eve pass faith on to their sons Cain and Abel. Abel chooses to live by faith while Cain chooses to allow his sin nature to master him. Noah is a man of faith. He trusts God with his life and the life of his family. Abraham is known as the father of faith. He passes his faith on to his son Isaac and Isaac passes that faith on to his sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau chooses to live by his sin nature while Jacob chooses to live by faith. The story of Esau and Jacob continues in Genesis 27-28. Although Jacob lives by faith, he still makes mistakes. In the midst of those mistakes, he keeps his eyes on God’s eternal plan and is able to experience God’s mercy and grace. That same mercy and grace is available for Esau, yet, he keeps his focus on gratifying his desires. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach my Connect Group this coming Sunday and wanted to share some of my insights with you here. We have been walking through the book of Genesis week by week. This lesson will cover parts of Genesis 25 and Genesis 26. As a class, we have been tracing the Promised Messiah from Genesis 3 all the way through the book of Genesis. We will follow this thread all throughout the Old Testament. This week’s lesson will focus on the two categories of people God places all of mankind in for life and eternity. Abraham’s son, Isaac, received God’s eternal calling from his father. Isaac has two sons, Esau, and Jacob. Even though they were both raised in the same family, one of the boys inherited the faith of his fathers while the other chose to live like on of his forefathers, Cain, and be mastered by his sin nature. This lesson will shed some light on what the Apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to the Roman church. Continue reading