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 type and shadow of Christ

josephThis Sunday, we begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups. As a church, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. In this quarter, we will begin by looking at the life of Joseph, over a three week period. In this first lesson, we are going to begin to see how Joseph is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. He is a picture of what the Messiah will be like when He comes on the scene. 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

Jesus’ Prayer for His disciples

DM8i9C7XcAASxbjI spent a good portion of the day today preparing to teach tonight at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I am teaching the Journey kids during our AWANA program. I am excited about teaching John 17:1-21. This is the Lord’s prayer. No, not the Lord’s model prayer, you know, “our Father”. This is Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, the prayer that He prayed for His disciples (all of them throughout the ages).

This is a powerful prayer and we have much to learn from it about ministry, especially in the form of making disciples. I want to divide this lesson into two parts; what we learn about Jesus and what we learn about His disciples. As we look at these two characters, we will also discover truths about ministry that are vital for all followers of Christ, especially since we are all called to make disciples. Continue reading

God’s Mercy and Grace in Jacob’s life

640px-Book_of_Genesis_Chapter_27-5_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media)As we have been walking through the book of Genesis, we have noticed a pattern that appears in almost every chapter. Mankind deserves punishment for his sin, yet, God, being rich in mercy and grace, chooses to give mankind a Savior instead of the punishment that we deserve. We see faith appear in Genesis 4 when Eve believes that her firstborn son, Cain, is the promised Savior. Adam and Eve pass faith on to their sons Cain and Abel. Abel chooses to live by faith while Cain chooses to allow his sin nature to master him. Noah is a man of faith. He trusts God with his life and the life of his family. Abraham is known as the father of faith. He passes his faith on to his son Isaac and Isaac passes that faith on to his sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau chooses to live by his sin nature while Jacob chooses to live by faith. The story of Esau and Jacob continues in Genesis 27-28. Although Jacob lives by faith, he still makes mistakes. In the midst of those mistakes, he keeps his eyes on God’s eternal plan and is able to experience God’s mercy and grace. That same mercy and grace is available for Esau, yet, he keeps his focus on gratifying his desires. Continue reading

Why do bad things happen to good people?

bad-things-good-peopleOGI am preparing to teach our upcoming Connect Group at Southern Calvert Baptist Church and the title of this article is the title of our lesson. We are going to take a look at Job to discover why bad things happen to good people and what that means for us today. For the purpose of time, we have selected chapters and verses that will capture the heart of Job’s story. Our chapters for consideration are Job 1, 9, and 42. The three main characters of this story are God, Satan, and Job. 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

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

Ungodly Mocking

object-of-ridiculeIf you have been paying attention to our culture over the past two or three decades, you may have noticed that the animosity aimed at God and His Word has grown tremendously. It seems that way but, in reality, it has not. Animosity toward God and His Holy Word has been around since Satan fell from heaven. His first attack on God’s perfect creation was to get the man and woman to doubt God and His Word. Read Genesis 3. Did God really say . . . . , that is his strategy. During the days of the Apostle Peter’s life, things were no different. Things had not changed much in 4,000 years. They have not changed much in the last 2,000 years. Peter has much to teach us on this subject. Although written 2,000 years ago, the teachings are relevant to the 21st Century person. Continue reading