Faith, Worship, Serving, and Spiritual Gifts

68d729ed4b7103ab6906fa04f885f478I had the privilege last night of teaching Romans 12:1-8 to our Journey kids at AWANA. These are high school students who are looking to the future. They are making decisions at this time in life that will impact the rest of their lives. Many are thinking about their future; what superior studies they would like to attain, what kind of job they would like to have, where they want to live in the future etc. These are tough decisions for teenagers to contemplate. The most important decision that anyone could ever make is dedicating his or her present and future to serving the Lord. What does that look like practically? The apostle Paul gives us the answer in Romans 12. Continue reading

A Criminal’s Cross

851339505Last night at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, one of our worship leaders preached a powerful message about the crucifixion. The focus was not on Jesus but, on the two criminals who were crucified with Him. In this story, we get to associate ourselves with one of the three main characters. There is the rebellious sinner, the repentant sinner, and Jesus Christ. As the late Wayne Barber used to say, “there is no vacancy in the Holy Trinity” so, you are not allowed to associate with Jesus in the story. You and I either associate with the rebellious sinner or the repentant sinner. That is why the Apostle Paul quoted from the Psalmist when explaining the state of all mankind: Continue reading

Rahab experiences salvation

cph_30120959831As we have been walking through the Old Testament, focusing on the fact that God has promised to send a Savior to rescue mankind from his greatest enemy, himself, we have seen many different people trust in God’s plan of salvation. Adam and Eve trusted in God’s salvation. Able trusted in God’s salvation. Noah trusted in God’s salvation and he shared the message of salvation with everyone who would listen. Only his family chose to believe him. Abraham trusted in God’s salvation. Isaac trusted in God’s salvation. Jacob trusted in God’s salvation. Joseph trusted in God’s salvation. Moses trusted in God’s salvation. Joshua trusted in God’s salvation. We saw that both Jews and Gentiles experienced God’s salvation.  In this lesson, we are going to see how a lying prostitute named Rahab comes to trust in God’s salvation. This story reveals that God’s salvation is not based on merit. God’s salvation is based on His character, the revelation of His mercy and grace to a world that is far from His presence. Rahab was far from the presence of God yet, in His mercy and grace, He sent out His message to her. Continue reading

Forgiveness, Love, Service, and Salvation

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 1.45.25 PMI am getting ready to teach during our AWANA class tonight at church. The subject of our study is Luke 23. We are going to focus on the crucifixion of Christ and the fact that will suffering unjustly, Jesus was still ready to offer to His enemies:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Love
  3. Service
  4. Salvation

Continue reading

A sanctified soul, spirit, and body

LJ4cgVPhSHuJdSdr3DWc_bodysoulspirit1I am getting ready to teach a lesson to a group of elementary kids this morning and the lesson is supposed to be about the importance of spiritual health and its role in an overall, healthy lifestyle. In this lesson, we are going to come across the English word “sanctified”. It is a translation of the Koine Greek word, “hagios” and it means to be set apart, different. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be different from the people who do not follow Jesus. This difference is seen in our intellectual life, our spiritual life, and our physical bodies. What does this look like in reality? Let’s turn to the Scriptures to discover the answer. Continue reading

God’s Provision for Salvation

maxresdefault-11In our previous lesson, we looked at Numbers 13-14, specifically at the contrast between the children of Israel and Caleb and Joshua. The people had the chance to enter the Promised Land and, as a result of their unbelief, they are cursed to wander in the wilderness until they perish. Now, we get to Numbers 21. God is still faithful yet, the people have not changed. Some of our previous lessons are: 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

The Law of God

surrenderI am so excited to prepare for our Connect Group teacher training meeting on Sunday evening. In our Connect Groups this Sunday, we are going to learn how discipleship is the process of empowering others for ministry. The lesson that follows is about the Law of God given to the children of Israel. In this lesson, we are going to discover the purpose of the Law, but, before we dig into what the Law was for, we have to discuss what the Law is not for. Continue reading

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