The vanity of happiness

71a1yApXr5L._SX466_But God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He“? I have heard people declare this many times, in the form of a question of course, even though their minds are already made up. Mantras like “YOLO” were popular at one time. “If it feels good, do it” was another popular saying for a time. If you do not know, YOLO means “you only live once” which implies, have fun at all costs because you only get one time around. Each older generation declares that the younger generations are selfish, unlike themselves, when they were younger. I want to look at a passage of Scripture that speaks of people about 3,000 years ago. According to our modern way of thinking, the people 3,000 years ago should have been much less selfish than we are today because each generation claims that the next generation is much more selfish. Let’s take a practical look at the people of Israel, almost 3,000 years ago. Continue reading

Elisha prepared for ministry

63865-1280px-elijahthrowinghismantleonelisha.1200w.tnOnce again, I am preparing to teach our Bible study for our Connect Groups this coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. This is our third week in a row that we are focusing on the life and ministry of the prophet Elijah. We saw Elijah’s encounter with the pagan, widow woman. Then we looked at how Elijah confronted the sin of King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. The previous article ended the complicated life of King Ahab. This week, we are going to come to the end of Elijah’s earthly ministry. But, before Elijah goes to be with the Lord, he does what all good leaders in the Bible do; he makes a disciple. Elijah prepares a disciple to receive the baton of leadership and continue the ministry. Far too many leaders today miss the most important calling of leadership, to prepare more leaders. Continue reading

Solomon’s Prayer

110_05_0134_BiblePaintingsAt Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are continuing to walk through the Bible, book by book, over a three year period. We are covering I Kings 8 this week. This is when King Solomon dedicates the Temple to the Lord. His prayer is a beautiful prayer and that is what we are going to study this week. As we observe this prayer, I want us to keep in mind the outline of the Lord’s Prayer. One version of the Lord’s Prayer is found in the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 6.

9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

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God’s mercy and grace produce genuine worship

king-davidLast week during our Connect Group at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we took a look at the contrast between King Saul and David. King Saul was a man who trusted in himself. The prophet Jeremiah teaches that a man who trusts in himself is like a bush planted in the desert on top of a rock that is covered in salt. The results are catastrophic. King Saul’s life was one disaster after another. The Lord allowed King Saul to rule for over 40 years as punishment to the children of Israel because they rebelled against the Lord and asked for a king so that they could be just like the pagans. David, the future King of Israel was a man who trusted in the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah also teaches that a man who trusts in the Lord is like tree planted next to the water, with roots that extend deep and tap into the underground water supply. Even when drought comes, the tree continues to produce fruit. David lived a fruitful life for the Lord. God allows us to choose our actions but, He has already announced the consequences of those actions. Continue reading

Influenced by God to influence others

David-and-Saul-in-CaveKing Saul and future King David are a study in contrasts. Both of these men are born to the same nation, during the same period in history, influenced by the same culture etc. yet, they could not be more different in their paths in life. One of these men trusted in himself while the other trusted in the Lord. This trust manifests itself in all kinds of different ways. The prophet Jeremiah uses a great illustration to explain the differences between people who trust in themselves vs. people who trust in the Lord. Continue reading

Learn to Respect the Lord

dagon-cae-ante-el-arca-de-jehovaLast week during our Connect Groups, we took a look at how Samuel was taught to hear and answer God’s high calling. The same is true for us today. God has the same high calling and we need to learn to hear it and respond. This week, we are going to continue to look at the ministry of Samuel. We discovered, last week, that Samuel spends the rest of his life taking the Word of the Lord to His people. That does not mean that the people always followed the advice that Samuel gave to them. Like all of us, the children of Israel battled with their sin nature on a daily basis. One of the biggest battles that the Lord warns us of is our battle with idolatry. Anything, even positive things, noble things can be turned into idols. Continue reading

Christ’s Crucifixion Prophesied

ArtBook__057_057__TheCrucifixion____I am teaching through the book of Mark and we have arrived at the crucifixion of Christ. We are going to look at Psalm 22, a psalm written 1,000 years before Christ, and about 500 years before the act of crucifixion was known in the Middle East. In other words, the psalmist is written about a torturous device that he knew nothing about. Continue reading

Hearing and Answering God’s Calling

hannah-presents-son-samuel-barrett-82857-printHere at Southern Calvert Baptist Church we are preparing to study the great calling that the Lord gave to Samuel. We are studying through the entire Bible over a three year period using “The Gospel Project”. In our previous lesson, we looked at how Ruth came under the protection of the Lord God of Israel. The Gospel was extended to the Gentiles long before the Day of Pentecost, even before Acts 10. God extended His great mercy, grace, and salvation to the Gentile, Rahab, who was also a prostitute. Then He extended His message to Ruth. In this lesson, we are going to see God extend His great mercy, grace, and salvation to a little Jewish boy named Samuel. It is a beautiful picture of the holy calling that the Lord extends to every human being. The question is, are we going to answer that calling or not? Continue reading

Jesus’ Trial

Await_lgI have been teaching through the Gospel of Mark in an online Bible study that meets once a week. Mark has been racing through the stories to get to the cross. In Mark 15, we take a look at the trial of Christ. In a couple of the previous lessons, we covered:

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