A Picture of Faith

faithI am getting ready to teach at our AWANA group tomorrow evening. I am so excited to work with these kids. I have been teaching them since last Fall. It is so neat to see what happens when kids learn to study the Word of God for themselves. Last week, we learned about Running the race of faith. This week, we are going to see a picture of what faith is. Our text to consider this week is Luke 9. In this lesson, we are going to see an example of faith’s actions, a need for adjustment along the journey of faith, and finally, we are going to examine faith’s acknowledgment (confession). Continue reading

Why should a Christian attend worship services regularly?

maxresdefaultThis is a translation of an article written by my mentor, Vasile Filat. There is a link to the original article here. It was originally written in Romanian.

Once, when I was traveling on a mission trip I sat next to a fellow passenger on an airplane and we started a discussion en route to our destination. I shared with the person that I am a pastor. My new friend proudly proclaimed that he was also a Christian. I asked him what denomination his church was and his response was, “I do not attend worship services at the church. My faith is personal and I have my own reason for not attending worship services.” Are you familiar with a response like this? Maybe you have used this line of reasoning. It is not a good idea for Christians to ignore the regular attendance of worship services and here is why: Continue reading

The Treasure of the Kingdom of God

hidden-treasureI am preparing to teach this Sunday in our children’s department at church. We have been walking through the entire Bible during 2016. We have arrived at the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, all through the Bible, we have learned that it is all about Jesus. It has been lots of fun and very eye opening. Last week, we covered Jesus’ miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6. During Jesus’ 3 and 1/2 year ministry on this earth, many, many people were given the opportunity to repent and become disciples of Jesus Christ. The 11 of the 12 disciples answered the call, repented and dedicated their lives to discipleship. There were others, about 120 in all who ended up answering the call by the end of Jesus’ ministry. The vast majority of the people who heard the call, chose to walk away, not repenting and deciding not to dedicate their lives to discipleship. Some of those same people probably answered the call the second time it was offered, on the Day of Pentecost when 3,000 people repented and dedicated themselves to discipleship. Of the other 2,000 who answered the call a few days later, I am sure many of them were the same ones who had rejected the call when Jesus gave it. Praise God that He is the God of second chances, and third, and fourth etc. Continue reading

The mark of a genuine disciple

disciple

Attn: This is a long post 4,300 words long 😀

I have had some interesting discussions over the past year about what a genuine disciple of Christ is like. Some of the discussion points are

  1. Can a person be a believer in Christ without being a disciple of Christ?
  2. Is discipleship required to be a genuine believer in Christ?
  3. Can a person say yes to salvation and no to discipleship?
  4. Does Jesus call us to faith and then to discipleship?
  5. If you present salvation in the packaged deal of discipleship, does salvation depend on works instead of by faith alone?
  6. Is it possible to follow Christ and yet, still not be a genuine disciple?

I would like to try and answer these questions, not from a theological stance but, from a Biblical stance. Continue reading

Jesus feeds 5,000

10807452516_a6890f0df2_bI am excited to be able to teach the Word of God once again this coming weekend. As a children’s department, we are continuing our walk through the entire Bible, learning that the Bible is all about Jesus. Last week, we learned that in the miracle of Jesus calming the storm, Jesus used the miracle to teach the difference between fear and faith. The two cannot coexist. Fear drives out faith and faith drives out fear.

This week, we are going to examine the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6. Anytime you witness a miracle from Jesus in the Gospels, you will encounter the following formula: miracle, teaching, and results. In John 6, we see this formula. I want to examine John 6 to see what we can learn about Christ and about ourselves. Continue reading

Are you connected to the source? (Rev. 3)

This lessons comes from the book of Revelation, the revelation of Jesus Christ to His bride, the church. This is the last book of the Bible because it is the final inspired revelation to mankind from the throne of heaven. Jesus Christ gave this messages to the church through His servant, Saint John, on the isle of Patmos.

I want to take a look at the letter to the church in Laodicea. The book of Revelation is divided into three parts, according to chapter 1. In verse 19, Jesus tells John to write down the things which he has seen, and the things which are, and the things that will take place after these things. In chapter 1, John sees Jesus Christ. In chapter 2 and 3, the things that are means the 7 churches to whom he writes. Chapters 4 through the end of the book, John writes about the things that are to come, after the church period. The churches begin with the “hub” church planted in Asia Minor, the Ephesian church. Then the order of the following churches is the along the mail route in Asia Minor. Continue reading

The Apostle Paul on Leadership (Acts 20)

Leadership-2Yesterday, I was watching a video of a Bible study that our church leadership did a few years ago as we met and planned the upcoming year for us at that time. It was an amazing day. As a leadership team, we hiked about 18-20 miles, visiting villages, sharing the Gospel, doing Bible study, and planning. It was a great day of fellowship and brotherhood. We even found time to take a nap beside a lake under some shade trees during the hottest part of the day. All the memories came flooding back as I watched the Bible study session. I wanted to write an article with the teachings from Acts 20, given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul. I linked to the verses, or, you can open your own Bible and read the account, starting in verse 15 and going through the end of the chapter. As we studied the passage, we looked at what we learned about Paul and the commands Paul gave to the Ephesian elders. From these two aspects, we have much to learn about Biblical leadership.

I. Insights about Paul

Continue reading

Let us learn to respect our spiritual elders

As a relatively young pastor, I have had to learn and apply this teaching to my own life over and over again. I am not teaching pure theory. This comes from years of practical application. As people, our sin nature does not like authority. Because of this natural state, it is very difficult for us to honor our elders. We have to be taught and reminded over and over again. That is why “Honor your father and mother” is a command. It is a command because it goes against our nature. Showing honor and respect to elders is not natural to anyone. It is a conscious effort that we must make, moment by moment, day by day. The command to honor has no time limit. Even when you are married and have your own kids, you are still to honor your father and mother. The same is true once you receive authority yourself, you must still respect the authority of those who are older than you are.

I. Walk humbly in authority

Continue reading

The importance of in depth Bible study

Dear friends, I am excited to share this message with you, a message that my mentor, Vasile Filat, preached at our former church, Good News, last Sunday. It was a powerful message that rebuked, corrected, and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. I want to share it with you here in written form since most of you do not have the ability to listen to it in Romanian and understand it. I pray that the Word will work in your heart the way that It worked in mine. Continue reading

Effective Prayer: Forgiveness

I am so excited to be able to teach this next lesson on Effective Prayer; forgiveness and deliverance. In case you have missed our previous lessons, or, just as a simple review, here is a list of previous lessons.

  1. Effective Prayer Lesson 1
  2. Effective Prayer Lesson 2 part 1
  3. Effective Prayer Lesson 2 part 2
  4. Effective Prayer: Allegiance, Submission, and Gratitude
  5. Effective Prayer: Petition and Intercession

This article is based on lesson 5 from the study, “The Essentials of Effective Prayer“. In this article, we will examine the need to be forgiven by so that we can extend forgiveness to others  to build and maintain relationships with others. Continue reading