Praise and Service please the Lord

00.159.182_PS2I’m preparing to teach during our AWANA program this evening at church and we are going to study the topic of praising the Lord in our daily lives. Our passage of study is Luke 19.

The context of Luke 19 helps us understand why Jesus wept over Jerusalem during the festive time. The Triumphal entry marks what we call Holy Week today in the Christian calendar. It was a time of praise and worship, Palm Sunday, and yet, during the height of the festivities, Jesus wept. Why? Luke 19 explains why. Continue reading

Heroes appear after the danger is over

heart_of_stone_by_thecomicfanThis title of this article is based on an idiom in the Romanian language. Basically, it means that the true heroes fight while the danger is present. After the danger is over, the rest come out with signs of bravado, even though they were hiding when the danger was present. This is a perfect picture of what we see in the children of Israel in Numbers 13 and Numbers 14. Continue reading

The Day of Atonement

atonementIn our walk through the Old Testament, we have arrived at the Day of Atonement. This was an important event in the yearly calendar for the children of Israel. It is also a foreshadowing of the eternal sacrifice for sin. The Day of Atonement is described in the book of Leviticus, chapter 16. Continue reading

The Enemy’s Tactics Revealed

Breakthrough-Exposing-the-Enemys-TacticsI am getting ready to teach a lesson from the Bible study, “Lord, teach me to pray, for kids” produced by Precept Ministries International. I highly recommend this study for all ages, especially for kids. It is based on the Lord’s Model Prayer found in the Sermon on the Mount. This particular lesson is about trusting in the character of God. Jeremiah tells us that a man who trusts in himself (or others) is like a bush, planted in the desert, on top of a rock, covered in salt. What a great picture of doom. A man who trusts in himself has no hope. In contrast, a man who trusts in the character of God is like a tree planted next to a river. He will prosper. This is a situation that King Hezekiah faces in Isaiah 36. The Assyrians have attacked and defeated the Northern Kingdom in Israel. Now, they have their eyes set on the Southern Kingdom where Hezekiah reigns as king. The Assyrians send out leaders to persuade the people of the Southern Kingdom not to resist. King Hezekiah has to make a choice. Is he going to trust in himself, in others kingdoms as allies, or, is he going to trust in the Lord. His life is on the line. The lives of his people are on the line. What is he going to do? Let’s find out. Continue reading

Belief is more than a confession

Jesus-and-LazarusI am getting ready to teach tonight at our church. I have a lesson with the AWANA kids and we are going to study John 11. This is a fascinating chapter because in verse 35, we find the shortest verse in the Bible. Why did Jesus weep? Some say that it is because He was heartbroken over the death of Lazarus. Others claim that He wept because Mary and Martha were mourning over the death of their brother. While those seem like logical conclusions, I do not feel that the text leads us to that conclusion. We read that into the text based on our own experienced. There are three key players in this text that work together to explain the purpose of this passage in the Bible. One of the key players is Jesus. He is referenced more in this passage than anyone else. The verb “believe” is referenced 8 times in this chapter, making it another key player in the story. Another word that is mentioned three times in this chapter is “resurrection”. All three of these key players lead us to the logical conclusion of the text. Continue reading

Is Your Worship Useless?

Useful and Useless directions.  Opposite traffic sign.I imagine that the title is quite provocative. In all honesty, it is not a title that I came up with on my own. I actually borrowed the idea from the Lord. He makes this proclamation in Isaiah chapter 1. I would like to examine the passage to discover what kind of worship is useless in the eyes of God. Could any of this describe us today? Continue reading

Idolatry: Are you not entertained?

vort-2017-01-16-thumbIf you saw Russel Crowe in Gladiator back in the year 2000, you remember that line that the title of this article is from. The Romans loved to be entertained. That is our human nature. That is our sin nature. The children of Israel were no different. We are also no different today. We have a way of justifying our idols today, similarly to the way that the children of Israel justified their idols. Continue reading