Encountering the life changing power of Jesus Christ

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 3.27.10 PMIt has been a lot of fun studying through the Gospel of Mark. I have been studying this Gospel with my preschool teachers on a biweekly basis. So far, we have covered 8 chapters. It is amazing to see how Jesus transforms people through the power of His Word. His message is for the entire world. In case you have not been studying along with us, here is a list of the previous lessons.

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals
  7. Discipleship according to Jesus
  8. Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions
  9. The teachings of Pharisees vs. The teachings of Jesus Christ

In Mark chapter 9, we are going to discover the transforming power of an encounter with Jesus Christ. Just meeting Jesus is not enough. 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

Genuine Faith removes Idols

abraham-friend-of-god2As I have been spending time in the Word of God today, studying to learn more of who God is and what I am really like, I discovered an important Truth that I would like to share with you here in this article. I am preparing to teach this message on Wednesday to my staff. This school year, we are learning about Abraham as we teach these truths to the children at Treasure Trust Club. It is so neat to see the children begin to understand how to begin a real relationship with God, the way that Abraham did. It is also neat to see how we learn to walk with God the exact same way that Abraham did. This lesson covers the topic of faith and idols. I recently taught a lesson on faith and fear, about how they cannot coexist in the same place. One will drive out the other. The same is true with faith and idols. When they clash, one will drive out the other. In this article, we are going to examine Abraham’s faith and his battle with his sin nature. If we are ever going to have success in our battle with our sin nature, we must learn how to spot the idols in our lives because, these idols give power to our sin nature. Faith in Christ removes our sin nature’s power. Idols cause us to empower our sin nature that continues to dwell in us. Let’s take a look at Abraham’s example and see what we can learn about faith, idols, and the work of God in our lives.  Continue reading

Jesus calls people to follow Him

gospel_of_mark_chapter_10-5_bible_illustrations_by_sweet_mediaWhen studying the Bible, I always encourage people to remove their denominational glasses  because they can distort the clear teachings of the Scriptures and cause people to read into the Biblical text what is not there, or, overlook what is there. It’s called a bias and we all have one based on our experiences. It is difficult to do but it is a necessity if we really want to get to the heart of the message of what God is trying to communicate with us. I usually begin an article or message on this topic with Matthew 28:19-20. It is the clearest teaching of our Lord that demonstrates that followers of Jesus Christ are to make disciples. The apostles were to go to nonbelievers and invite them in to the process of discipleship. Part of that process is evangelism. Other parts of the process of discipleship are repentance, faith, and dedication to following Jesus Christ. This is a packaged deal that Jesus clearly communicates in His teachings in Matthew 4 and Mark 1, when He calls the 12 to follow Him. They are nonbelievers. They hear the message of the Gospel. They repent, believe in Christ, and dedicate themselves to following Jesus Christ. There is one exception. Judas became a follower of Jesus Christ but he never repented or believed. He was never born again. He was like the majority of the crowds who “followed” Jesus. They were doing it for selfish reasons. Some wanted another free meal. Others wanted to be entertained with a miracle. Judas followed because he was able to steal money from the ministry funds.  Continue reading

The Church and the Day of the Lord

file-saint_paul_writing_his_epistles_by_valentin_de_boulogneI am preparing to teach the next lesson in the study of II Thessalonians and we are going to examine the relationship of the church to the Day of the Lord. This is teaching number 4 in the series.

We have seen that it is very important for the followers of Jesus Christ to remain excellent students of the Scriptures so that we will not have our faith shaken by false teachings or by false teachers. Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them and to get them back on track so that they can remain faithful to the Lord, serving Him by preaching the Gospel in the midst of persecution and suffering. One of the areas in which the Thessalonians had been led astray was in the area of the Day of the Lord. There are many people today who are confused when it comes to the rapture, the Day of the Lord, and the Coming of the Lord. These are three distinct events yet often lead to great confusion for people who attend church or read the Bible. We fully covered the idea of the rapture in the last lesson so I will not get into explaining it in this lesson. Continue reading

Jesus sends out the disciples to preach

core4_01-490x350I was studying Matthew 10 today and as I was going through the passage in context, I discovered something that I had never seen before and I wanted to share that with you in this article. By the time we get to Matthew 10, Jesus’ disciples had been following Him for a while. They heard the message of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This calling was in the context of discipleship. Jesus taught them about repentance, and called them to follow Him as His disciple. The 12 answered the call. This calling was for any and everyone, but, the 12 were the ones who had answered the call. As they were walking with Jesus, He began to teach the crowds and at the same time, He was modeling ministry to His disciples. In chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus is about to give the disciples a practical assignment. This is one of the things that makes Jesus’ teaching special. He not only taught theory (concepts), He also gave practical assignments so that the people could apply what they were learning. Jesus’ teaching was practical. This is extremely important. If teaching is not practical, people are not able to use it in their daily lives. Take a moment to read Matthew 10. Continue reading

What are the deeds worthy of repentance?

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-4-10-02-pmThis is an article written by my good friend and brother in Christ, Alexei Tentiuc. It was originally written in Romanian and I have translated it into English so that you may be just as blessed by it as I was.

The deeds of repentance do not come about from your own will power. The deeds of repentance come as a result of a changed mind. “Metanoia”, the Koine Greek word that is translated “repentance” in English simply means “a change of mind”. A person who has experienced genuine repentance has had a radical change in his way of thinking take place. The way that he views things also change as a result of the change in his way of thinking. As a result of a change in thinking and faith in Jesus Christ, a person who has repented will also see a change in his actions. This is what the Bible teaches on the subject of repentance, faith, and the deeds worthy of repentance. Let’s take a look for ourselves in the Word of God to discover these important truths. Continue reading

How insistent should I be when calling people to repentance?

repentanceThis is an article written by my good friend and brother in Christ, Alexei Tentiuc. It was originally written in Romanian and I have translated it into English so that you may be just as blessed by it as I was.

Question:

How insistent should I be in calling people to repent in order to accept Christ as Lord and Savior?

Continue reading

Persecution: The fuel that furthers the Gospel

philip-eunuchWe are in Acts 8 as we continue to walk through the New Testament this year in our Children’s Department at Hoffmantown Church. To get us caught up in what we have learned, we need to take a look at the commands given to the disciples by Jesus before He ascended into heaven.

  • you will receive power
  • the power will be the Holy Spirit
  • the Holy Spirit will allow you to be a witness for Christ to all
  • you are to live a life of missions, seeking to make disciples of all nations and ethnic groups
  • evangelize and equip/train those who believe
  • teach/preach/proclaim/share the Word of God with all who will listen
  • you are to make disciples starting in Jerusalem and moving out to the ends of the earth

Continue reading

Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions

I am working through the Gospel of Mark during my time off from work over the Christmas holiday season. I have been teaching through Mark with my preschool teachers. It has been amazing to experience Christ’s loving touch through His mighty Word. After Christmas break, we will jump in and study Mark 6. After that, we will dive in and study Mark 7, the source of this article. If you have not been following the teaching series, you can access the previous teachings by clicking on the article titles that follow:

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals
  7. Discipleship according to Jesus

Continue reading