The Prince of Peace reigns

Slide06This week during our Connect Groups, we are going to take a look at the first advent of the Messiah. This is our Christmas lesson since Christmas is just around the corner. Christmas is an annual holiday, a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The tradition is the celebration of the birth of the Promised Messiah. Celebrating the birth of the Messiah has its roots in Genesis chapters 3 and 4. God promised that a male child would be born and He would crush sin and rescue people from their sins. The first celebration of the birth of the Messiah took place in Genesis 4. Eve believed that her firstborn son, Cain, was the promised male child. She was correct in expecting his birth but she was wrong in the timing. This is the first time we see people seeking to celebrate the birth of the Promised Messiah. That happened roughly 4,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. For us today, it was about 6,000 years ago. During a 4,000 year period, people placed their faith in the Promised Messiah. The people were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, the birth of the Messiah. Now, we look back on the fact that the Messiah has come. It has been about 2,000 years since this event. Christians have been celebrating the birth of Christ for almost 2,000 years. The idea of celebrating the birth of the Promised Messiah has been around, as I mentioned earlier, for almost 6,000 years in human history. Continue reading

Joseph: Forgiveness and Service

bigstock-Forgive-This week during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to continue covering the life of Joseph. This is part of our overall, three year plan of walking through the Bible. We began the journey in August. It is now December. God has really blessed the study of His Word. We have learned so much over the past four months. We have covered such topics as: Continue reading

Joseph: A picture of steadfastness

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 3.37.53 PMThe Gospel transforms us. It is the most amazing miracle of all time. It has been happening every day over the past 2,000 years. Not only does the Gospel transform us, It also equips us for daily life. Many people are influenced by the circumstances of life. When things are going well, they respond well. When things begin to go poorly, they do not respond well. The Gospel makes us stable in all of our ways. This is exemplified in the life of Joseph. Early on in his life, things were going well. Joseph was loved by his father. He was walking with the Lord. God revealed His plan to Joseph. Joseph was living to accomplish the will of the Lord. The dark spot was the fact that his brothers did not like him. By the end of Genesis 37, Joseph is at a low point in his life. His parents thought he was dead. He was sold into slavery. This is a test for Joseph, to see what he is really made of and to see if he really trusts in the power of God. Let’s see what we can discover about Joseph’s response and what that teaches us about the power of the Gospel. Continue reading

The Gospel Restores Ruined Relationships

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Relationships are hard. Everyone can agree on that. They are hard because relationships involve being selfless. That does not come naturally to us as humans because of our sin nature. By nature, we are selfish. I do not like it but, it is the truth. All of us have suffered at some point or another from ruined relationships. It does not really matter if we are the victim or the aggressor. In either case, God wants to restore relationships. In fact, He is in the business of restoring relationships. God has always been in a perfect relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When God created mankind, He created us to be in a right relationship with Him and to manifest that right relationship with Him in our relationships with one another. We see this theme run all throughout the Bible. Continue reading

God’s Mercy and Grace extended to Leah

extending-mercy-graceIt has been neat to see the common theme of the mercy and grace of God run through each chapter of the book of Genesis. God is weaving a story together throughout His Word and it threads together beautifully with human history. Mankind, from Genesis 3 to Genesis 29, our current chapter for consideration, has been looking for a Rescuer. God promised Adam and Eve that they would be saved by a Male Child, born of a virgin. Every generation that has followed has learned about this Male Child who would Rescue people from sin’s penalty and power. God’s mercy is manifested in the fact that He does not punish people immediately for their sins. God’s grace is manifested in the fact that He gives people multiple opportunities to get right with Him through faith in the Messiah, the Promised Rescuer. Continue reading

Are you building your life on a crooked foundation?

Build New BusinessThe title of this article is the theme that we want to explore this week at Southern Calvert Baptist Church in our Connect Groups. We are walking through the Bible in three years and right now, we have arrived at Genesis 11. Almost 2,000 years of human history passes between Genesis 1 and Genesis 11. So far, we have explored God’s perfect creation and the fact that mankind (human beings) was created to be the reflection of our Creator. That reflection is seen, not in our appearance, but, in our attitude, words, and actions. Mankind is a relational being just as our Creator is relational. Our relationship with the Creator impacts the way that we relate to others. All of that changed in Genesis 3 when our original ancestors, Adam and Eve, chose to disobey God and brought sin into the world. This action marred their ability to reflect God correctly. They developed a sinful nature and passed that nature on to every human ever born, with the exception of Jesus Christ. Relationships are now hard because our relationship with our Creator is marred. God promised to send a Savior to reconcile mankind to Himself and resolve mankind’s slavery to his own sin nature. Adam and Eve believed God’s promise. 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

Trust and Obey God like Noah

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 8.02.52 PMIn the previous article, we were introduced to Noah, learning about his stand for God when no one else wanted to do it. God sent a message of judgment of sin. Within that message, He introduces a message of mercy and grace. Noah finds favor with God because he chooses to believe God’s message and walks with God. Noah begins to reflect God’s character correctly. He teaches his family how to walk with God. Their family is different from all of the other families of the earth. They are no longer dominated by their sin nature. They are now subservient to God. They do not act out in wickedness and violence anymore.

This lesson is day 2 or lesson 2 from our VBS Bible study. The theme of this study is trusting and obeying God the way that Noah did. Noah’s “faith” is not just an abstract idea. Faith is concrete. It produces the action of obedience. Faith that does not produce the good works of obedience is not genuine faith. Noah had genuine faith. In our world today, there are 1,000s of different faiths. In God’s economy, there are only two types of faith, genuine faith that produces obedience and useless faith that does not produce obedience. We want to learn about Noah’s genuine faith because it produced obedience in Noah and his family. Continue reading

Noah stands for the Lord

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 8.02.52 PMI am preparing to teach about Noah during our annual Vacation Bible School (VBS). This year, we are using Answers in Genesis’ Curriculum. I am excited about teaching this. I have been preparing the lessons and I want to share them here in article form so that I can think through the lessons before actually teaching them.

Our first lesson is about Noah and how he took a stand for the Lord when the rest of the world lived as it pleased. Continue reading