I am so excited to prepare for Christmas. What a tradition! We get to remember the promise of the First Advent of the Messiah and celebrate the fact that it happened in human history. All of human history was split in half by the birth of Jesus Christ. He is the most famous human being of all time. His book, the Bible, continues to be the best selling book of all time. The birth of Christ has set our Western calendar for the past 2,000 years. To me, Christmas is a magical season. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season that we forget the reason WHY we do all of this every year. It is a time of remembrance. It is also a time to reflect on the fact that the First Advent implies that there will be a Second Advent. I have written several articles on the Sundays of Advent and you can read them by clicking on the following titles: Continue reading
Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew
Advent Sunday 2
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of advent. I wrote an article about the first Sunday of advent and you can read it here. Since I wrote about the first Sunday of advent last week, I decided to write about the second Sunday of advent here. As we consider the second Sunday of advent, we will focus mainly on four Biblical texts. Continue reading
Evidence of the Resurrection
Last Sunday during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we studied the crucifixion of Christ. This week, we are going to focus on the Resurrection of Christ. This is the most significant event in all of human history. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins and offer forgiveness of sins to us. His resurrection from the dead is our sin nature’s death blow. But, in order to experience the power of the resurrection, we need faith. This lesson is about how the disciples see the evidence of the resurrection and believe. The same is true for us today. Continue reading
Jesus on the Cross: Our Forgiveness made possible
Since March, here at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we have been studying the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. Every Sunday morning, we meet at 9AM in what we call “Connect Groups”. We connect with each other around the Word of God as we seek to connect with God through His Holy Word. Our church is using the Gospel Project produced by Lifeway. This project walks us through the entire Bible over a 3 year period. As we study, we are not simply seeking to gain information about Jesus. We seek to encounter Jesus and experience the transformation that only He can bring to a person’s life. Continue reading
Do you value people over things?
I am working on my lesson for our Connect Groups that will meet this coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. As a church, we have been walking through the entire Bible over the previous two and a half years. I am so excited to see how all of the things that we have been learning are all coming together in the person of Jesus Christ. This week, our journey takes us to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12. What do you value in this life? What do you spend the majority of your time doing? What do you invest your time and energy into the most? For many humans, we invest our precious time and energy into acquiring wealth and possessions. In and of themselves, wealth and possessions are not a bad thing. Money is simply a tool in the hands of God that He uses to reveal our priorities. We all have a choice; we can use the precious gift of time to invest in temporary things, like wealth and possessions or, we can use the precious gift of time to invest in eternal things, like the souls of our fellow human beings. Jesus challenges us to pick one or the other because we cannot do both. In other words, we cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve wealth accumulation and God both at the same time. We will give lip service to one and really devote ourselves to the other. This is what Jesus addresses in Luke 12. Continue reading
A Criminal’s Cross
Last night at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, one of our worship leaders preached a powerful message about the crucifixion. The focus was not on Jesus but, on the two criminals who were crucified with Him. In this story, we get to associate ourselves with one of the three main characters. There is the rebellious sinner, the repentant sinner, and Jesus Christ. As the late Wayne Barber used to say, “there is no vacancy in the Holy Trinity” so, you are not allowed to associate with Jesus in the story. You and I either associate with the rebellious sinner or the repentant sinner. That is why the Apostle Paul quoted from the Psalmist when explaining the state of all mankind: Continue reading
Teachings for Daily Living
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
Jesus sends out the disciples to preach
I was studying Matthew 10 today and as I was going through the passage in context, I discovered something that I had never seen before and I wanted to share that with you in this article. By the time we get to Matthew 10, Jesus’ disciples had been following Him for a while. They heard the message of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This calling was in the context of discipleship. Jesus taught them about repentance, and called them to follow Him as His disciple. The 12 answered the call. This calling was for any and everyone, but, the 12 were the ones who had answered the call. As they were walking with Jesus, He began to teach the crowds and at the same time, He was modeling ministry to His disciples. In chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus is about to give the disciples a practical assignment. This is one of the things that makes Jesus’ teaching special. He not only taught theory (concepts), He also gave practical assignments so that the people could apply what they were learning. Jesus’ teaching was practical. This is extremely important. If teaching is not practical, people are not able to use it in their daily lives. Take a moment to read Matthew 10. Continue reading
Counting the cost of discipleship L1
I have taught this course many, many times. Each time I study it, I learn something new about discipleship and what it means to be a genuine Christian. Lesson 1 is the foundation for the entire study. It lays the base to be built upon. Of course, it begins with Jesus, the ultimate disciple maker. Jesus, while on earth, did not invent the process of discipleship. We see discipleship in the very beginning, when God discipled Adam and Eve, teaching them to disciple their children. This idea is passed down through the entire Old Testament.
I. The calling to be a disciple
Can we love Jesus and not serve in the local church?
This is a subject that I would like to tackle tonight at our church. At Good News, we are an active church, not sitting behind the four walls waiting for the people to come to us. We take the church to the people. There are many different ways that we do this. Some use English (like I do) while others use sports. There is also ministry via computers. There are many opportunities for our members to get involved. What happens when the members get so busy with the ministry that they start missing church services? When confronted, the pat answer is, “Jesus teaches us to go and make disciples and that is what I am doing”. Is this a good answer? On first appearance, yes, it seems like a good one. I would like to take a quick tour through a couple of passages, from the first church, to see if this is a good answer or if there should be a balance between outreach and serving in the local church. Before getting started, I would like to share a few quotes that people use when excusing themselves from coming to church or serving in the local church. Continue reading