Saint Vasile (Basil the Great)

st basilTomorrow, Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate New Year’s Day according to the Old Julian calendar. It is also the holiday to honor Saint Vasile of Caesarea. Unfortunately, many Orthodox Christians venerate Saint Vasile to the point that he is worshiped. God does not share His glory with anyone and it is unfortunate that people worship Saint Vasile. Instead of worshiping him, we should study his life and seek to live the way that he lived. Saint Vasile was a born again Christian. He shared of his conversion in a letter to a friend: Continue reading

Sin Nature is Contentious

grumpyAs we continue to walk through the book of Exodus, we continue to see the character of God, His working out of an eternal plan, as well as His personal interaction with humanity. While walking through Genesis, we discovered that all of us have been born with a sin nature and that sin nature wants to master us. God’s plan is to rescue us from our sin nature so that we can master it. In Exodus 17, we are going to discover that God is our victory over our sin nature. God reveals this character trait to us through His Name, Jehovah-Nissi. The Lord is our banner of victory. Victory over our sin nature is already ours, we simply must choose to walk in that victory. God shows this to us with His interaction with the children of Israel in the wilderness. Sin nature is never satisfied, ever. The more that it is fed, the more it wants. The children of Israel were hungry, so, by grace, the Lord fed them manna from heaven. They then wanted meat. God gave them meat until it spewed from their nostrils. In Exodus 17, now they are thirsty. Let’s take a look at how their sin nature manifests itself when squeezed. Continue reading

Run the Race to Win

Man Running Reaching Finish LineThe title of this article is what the Apostle Paul wrote the the Christians in Corinth. One of the things that I really like about Paul is the fact that he was a very practical teacher. As the old pastor says, “that guy likes to go down deep but, he comes up dry”. The Apostle Paul was not like that. He does not get lost in the weeds. He is what we call a “prac app” guy today. In I Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul deals with the importance of sharing our faith with the people around us. The final command that Jesus left for His disciples was, “go and make more disciples”. This command has rung true throughout the generations. As followers of Christ today, we are also called to make disciples. In order to make disciples, we have to share our faith, in other words, preach the Gospel with the people around us. This is true for every generation and this is something that has to be taught to each new generation. Let’s discover how the Apostle Paul uses himself as an example, the analogies that he uses to challenge the Corinthians, and then take a look at the practical advice for us today. First, take a moment to read I Corinthians 9:19-27. Continue reading

Freedom in Christ

freedom-1I am excited to prepare and teach this lesson during our Connect Group meeting this coming Sunday. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period, from Genesis through Revelation. Last Sunday, we jumped into the book of Exodus. Genesis was amazing and I am excited to see what Exodus holds for us. We just saw how Moses answered God’s Great Calling in Exodus 3-4. This week, we are going to see how God extended that Great Calling to the children of Israel through Moses and how God extends that Great Calling to us today, through Jesus Christ. Our passages for consideration today are Exodus 7 and Exodus 12. Continue reading

Be useful to the kingdom in 2019

48979352_1923194321083172_4059992139201773568_nAs I have spent the last couple of days planning this sermon, I have been blessed by the Lord through His Holy Word. I do not know about you but, when I open the Word of God to study, I discover new things about Him and about myself every single time. The New Year is almost upon us. 2018 went by so quickly. It seems that 2019 will go by even faster. I want to be useful to the kingdom of God in 2019. I want YOU to be useful to the kingdom of God in 2019. The Lord teaches us how we can be useful. This is an article based on the sermon that I am preaching this coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church in Lusby Maryland. If you are in the area, stop by and encourage me. If you are not close enough to come, the sermon will be available online in the near future. God has truly blessed us with modern technology. I often wonder what all the Apostle Paul would have accomplished if he would have had the internet 😀 Continue reading

The Church and the End Times

maxresdefaultThis week during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to study two chapters of the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the church in Thessalonica. Of the subjects covered in this letter, the Apostle Paul attributes much ink to the subject of the end times. The reason that he does so is because false doctrine had wormed its way into the church and had begun to upset the faith of the believers. In Acts 17, we read the story of how the Gospel comes to Thessalonica. The Apostle Paul was on a missionary journey. He visited Philippi and as a result, a church plant was formed from him making disciples. After leaving Philippi, Paul and the team traveled to Thessalonica. While there, Paul and the team began to visit the synagogue and teach the Word of God. Some of the Jews accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Also, many Greeks accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. The team had a total of three weeks to train these new believers. Paul wanted to stay longer but was forced to flee the city because of persecution. According to II Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul taught much about the end times during his three week stay. Continue reading

The Gospel Rebuilds Relationships

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 12.39.25 PMAs I sit here preparing to teach one of our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, I am amazed to see how much God values relationships. As a pastor, one of the most frequent problems that I help people deal with is broken relationships. Building and maintaining relationships is very difficult because of our sin nature. God created us to be social creatures. He is social. He has always existed in a perfect relationship as the Holy Trinity. The Father has always had a perfect relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. When He created mankind, He created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. The reason that we have difficulties with relationships is because we are broken by our sin nature. Even after we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we still have a sin nature that taints us. Our sin nature causes us to be selfish. By nature, we are egotistical. This egoism causes relationships to break down. God knows of this and He wants to help us learn to live in good social relationships with others. This is the topic of this lesson. We are going to learn how to invest in relationships with others. Continue reading

The Gospel is Christ in me

sevenCitiesMapDuring this quarter at Southern Calvert Baptist Church in our Connect Groups, we are covering some of the epistles of the New Testament. Since January, we have been going back and forth between the Acts of the Apostles and various epistles. Last week, we finished Acts. Now we are returning to the epistles. This lesson will focus on Colossians 1. Our previous lesson was Philippians 1. The title of the lesson is “Preach the Gospel everywhere“. Continue reading

Paul’s Journey to Rome

acts-pauls-voyage-to-romeThis lesson for our Connect Group classes will carry us to the end of the book of Acts. The book of Acts has a peculiar ending. Actually, it does not end. The book concludes with Paul in Rome preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. The idea is that the ministry has continued uninterrupted until this very moment. In a way, even though Paul went to glory long ago, the ministry that he started still continues on to this day. Some mission movements have named themselves Acts 29 because the modern church is living out Acts 29. Every generation of Christians lives out Acts 29. Continue reading

A faithful witness for Christ

34029276_1644996785569595_5595464263444463616_oOnce again, I sit here studying to prepare for our Connect Group teachers’ meeting coming up this weekend. In our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are picking up our study of the book the Acts of the Apostles. Our focus now, is the faithful ministry of the Apostle Paul. In our previous lesson, we covered Acts 23, learning about the Apostle Paul, the pesky preacher. This lesson is a continuation of Paul’s witness of Christ before his captors. This lesson will cover Acts chapters 24-26. Our goal is to give an overview of these chapters, focusing on how the Apostle Paul stayed faithful to his calling of being a witness for Christ, even in the face of heavy ridicule and persecution. Could the same calling be true for YOU and for ME? The answer is a resounding YES!!! Let’s what insights we can glean from Paul’s faithful example. Continue reading