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

The Lifestyle of a Child of God

screenshot_2016-12-22-10-05-03-1It has been amazing teaching through the New Testament this quarter in our Sunday School classes. We started the year off with walking through the book of Acts. Since the beginning of this new quarter, we have been studying the epistles in the New Testament. God has much to teach His church in these epistles and we have learned a lot. Some of our previous lessons include: Continue reading

The church plant in Philippi

1I am getting ready to teach our kids this coming Sunday about the Apostle Paul’s Second missionary journey. Part of that journey included a church plant in the city of Philippi. As we saw when Paul was on his first missionary trip, he did not set out to plant churches. He was called by God to go and make disciples. The churches were formed as a result of people being discipled. This is the model for church planting. The modern approach is exactly backwards. We seek to plant churches and then disciple people once they become part of the church. Our modern form of church has much to learn from the Biblical approach. There are many areas where we are far from the Bible in our approach to modern ministry.  Continue reading

Belief, Signs, and Palm Sunday

While preparing to teach/preach a sermon on Palm Sunday a couple of years ago I had an “aha” moment in the Gospel of John. I was asked by a minister friend of mine to fill in for him on last minute’s notice. I was racking my brain in trying to figure out a message. I did not want to do the same old “Palm Sunday” sermon that I heard a million times (not that it is not interesting but just wanted a change of pace this time). Continue reading