In our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are finishing up our study on Exodus and Leviticus. We have learned some great lessons about the calling that God gives to each person and how we need to respond to God’s calling. We have also learned about what life is supposed to be like when we are part of the family of God. This coming Sunday, we are going to learn about teachings for daily living. Leviticus 17-27 is a series of teachings about daily living. I want to compare Leviticus 17-27 with what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount found in the Gospel of Matthew 5. I want to divide the passage into 5 sins, give Jesus’ explanation, and then the solution that He offers to us. Continue reading
If you have ever visited a church or, if you have ever hung around church people, then I know that you have had or heard a discussion on the subject of FAITH. If you were to ask ten different people what “faith” means, you are likely to get fifteen different answers. The best thing to do in order to discover what God has in mind when He uses the idea of “faith” is to go to the Scriptures. I want to examine a passage of Scripture that reveals what “faith” looks like in every day life and how the lack of faith in God is manifested. Would you like to discover what faith really is and how it is manifested practically? The passage that we are going to examine is Luke 18:9-23. This passage is broken up into three separate teachings linked together by the manifestation of faith. Continue reading
This coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to cover how God sets us apart to be a Royal Priesthood so that we can walk in the good works that He prepared from before the foundation of the world was laid. We have been walking through the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Previously, we looked at the daily sacrifices that we offered in Israel on a daily basis. There were 5 sacrifices and 2 of those 5 were dedicated to reminding the children of Israel to be grateful to God and to be grateful to each other. If you do the math, that equates to roughly 40 percent of the sacrifices, dedicated to reminding people to be grateful. Continue reading
I am getting prepared to teach my Sunday School class this week. For a little over a month now, we have been walking through the book of Exodus. Some of the previous lessons are: Continue reading
Our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church are walking through the Old Testament book of Exodus, focusing on God’s Great Calling. He is El Roi which means that He sees all things and is not indifferent to what happens to us. God intervenes on mankind’s behalf by calling us to come out of our slavery to sin and learn to worship Him. Some respond to the calling in obedience (Moses) while others respond by hardening their hearts to the message (Pharaoh). Once we respond to this calling, God wants to work in our lives via a spiritual mentor. He also wants to take us and train us to share His message of Good News with anyone who will listen. As we learn to walk with God, our sin nature seeks to dominate us like it once did, before we answered God’s Great Calling. It tries to get us to give in to our fears and not walk by faith. It tries to get us to grumble against our spiritual leaders instead of walking in humble obedience to the Lord by submitting to the leadership whom He has put over us. In our last lesson, we learned the purpose of the 10 Commandments. We learned that the 10 Commandments show us just how sinful we are. Moses had a sin nature just like the people of Israel had a sin nature. Moses was tempted just as the people of Israel were tempted. They both respond very differently to temptation. Continue reading
In our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are beginning a new quarter this weekend. I am excited because we are diving into the book of Exodus, learning about the great calling that God has. I have heard some people teach that “God has a plan for your life“. That sounds good but I do not see it in the Bible. I see God having a plan and inviting us to be a part of His plan instead of having an individual plan for each life. Each person does have a role to play in God’s overall plan but, it’s all about Him and not about us. I know the difference sounds subtle but, when the implications are carried out, it is huge. Continue reading
I was challenged by a friend of mine on Facebook today to take time to read Psalm 40. Boy am I glad that I did. I would like to share some of the truths that I gleaned from Psalm 40 in this article.
A few years ago, while serving on the foreign mission field, I ran into people who had this strange mentality, suggesting that faith and our relationship with God was something that we keep in our hearts. In other words, faith is private and not a public matter. King David had a very different opinion. He boldly proclaimed his faith and relationship with God to anyone who wanted to listen. In the famous “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus proclaimed that His followers are to be salt and light. Both salt and light have visible effects on the world around them. In other words, Jesus and David both teach the same principle, that faith is to be very public, that we should be ready to share about our relationship with God with anyone who will listen. Continue reading
Last Sunday, we had an awesome Sunday School lesson about doing battle with our worst enemy. David reminded us in Psalm 141 that we are our own worst enemies and that we need a Protector to protect us from ourselves. We all need a guard over our mouths so that we do not tear people down with our words and, instead, we build them up. We also need someone to protect us from hearts’ inclination toward evil. Finally, we learned to be grateful for those who help us stay away from evil and do good, even if they have to rebuke and correct us. I know all who were involved in studying the Word were blessed. I pray that we put into practice this week all that we learned last weekend. This coming Sunday, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to examine Psalm 42. Continue reading
I write this article from personal experience. Whatever denomination you are part of, as a follower of Jesus Christ, your local church has a form of “government”. The English word “government” comes to us via Old French, according to Online Etymology Dictionary. The meaning is “control, direction, administration”. The origin of the Old French word is of course the Latin, “gubernare”. The Romans borrowed the word from the Greeks, modifying the Greek word “kybernan” (pronounced cybernan). It was a nautical term for steering a ship in the right direction. A local church is made up of redeemed sinners who still fight a moment by moment battle against their sin nature and as a result, they need to be guided through life. God created man to be led by Him. Once mankind rebelled against God, we traded God’s leadership for the leadership of others. We still need to be led, even to this day. Communities and relationships fall apart if there is not strong leadership. Your local church needs leadership. God has provided leadership in the local church, just like He has established leadership in local, secular government. When God set the guidelines for leadership in the church, He chose mature believers who had certain experience and spiritual giftings to lead. God chooses what spiritual girts we receive upon salvation and He also provides ministry (service) for those gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. Biblically speaking, people do not choose a path to leadership in the church. God equips them and calls them according to His desire. In order to understand church leadership, we need to examine a couple of passages in the New Testament, passages that were written under the inspiration of God and these passages are the heart of God when it comes to church leadership. Continue reading
I am so glad to be back in writing mode. The past 2 months have been crazy for me and my family. I have changed jobs and, as a family, we have moved across the country. I have not been able to study and write like I normally do. I am getting settled in and I am so glad to be able to study and write on a more regular basis. Last week, our Sunday School lesson was based on Psalm 32. David left some practical advice for us to learn from his mistakes. Another of the Psalms that I have a lesson on is Psalm 19, Restoring the soul.