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

Rahab experiences salvation

cph_30120959831As we have been walking through the Old Testament, focusing on the fact that God has promised to send a Savior to rescue mankind from his greatest enemy, himself, we have seen many different people trust in God’s plan of salvation. Adam and Eve trusted in God’s salvation. Able trusted in God’s salvation. Noah trusted in God’s salvation and he shared the message of salvation with everyone who would listen. Only his family chose to believe him. Abraham trusted in God’s salvation. Isaac trusted in God’s salvation. Jacob trusted in God’s salvation. Joseph trusted in God’s salvation. Moses trusted in God’s salvation. Joshua trusted in God’s salvation. We saw that both Jews and Gentiles experienced God’s salvation.  In this lesson, we are going to see how a lying prostitute named Rahab comes to trust in God’s salvation. This story reveals that God’s salvation is not based on merit. God’s salvation is based on His character, the revelation of His mercy and grace to a world that is far from His presence. Rahab was far from the presence of God yet, in His mercy and grace, He sent out His message to her. Continue reading

Our Salvation in Christ

salvationOn Wednesday nights at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, my wife leads a small group Bible study on the Peter’s first epistle. Last night, we covered lesson two which was a chapter study on I Peter 1. In order to get caught up to speed on I Peter 1, I need to give you some context. Peter is writing to believers, people who have chosen to bow to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him for the rest of their lives. This decision to follow Christ has cost them everything. They are heavily persecuted for their faith, to the point where they are on the run, fleeing to new areas to escape. Peter tells us his reason for writing in I Peter 5:12: Continue reading

Justified by FAITH to be sanctified by FAITH

r3-justifiedI am sitting here reading over my notes for the Sunday School lesson at Southern Calvert this Sunday. We just spent the last quarter walking through part of the book of Acts. It was amazing to learn about life on a mission to be a witness, in the context of making disciples. God really motivated our church to be more intentional about being witnesses with the goal of making disciples. Now, we are moving into the Epistles in the New Testament. This week, we are looking at Paul’s epistle to the churches in the region of Galatia. A great need arose in the church causing Paul to take parchment and ink and write out his letter to them in order to give important Christian doctrine to these young, growing churches. Paul was a man who had been discipled by one of the greatest Jewish teachers of his day. After that, Paul was directly discipled by the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Now, he has been on a mission to be a witness for Christ everywhere among the Gentiles. While on mission, he is constantly looking for people to disciple. The Galatians had been discipled by Paul and they still needed to be discipled. They needed someone to confront them, in the love of Christ, and help them get back on the right path. We all need this in our daily walk with the Lord. We have a tendency to get sidetracked by false teachings and the desires of our sin nature. We all need a Paul in our lives who will love us enough to tell us the truth, even if we do not want to hear it at the time. Continue reading

Rebellious against God

rebellious-1Our 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

Covenant, Lesson 9: The Old vs.The New

I am getting ready to lead the next lesson in our series on the topical Bible study of covenant. I love this course because of its life-changing ability. Many people have had their eyes opened to our covenant God via this awesome inductive Bible study. Here is a quick recap of the previous 8 lessons:

  1. Covenant Lesson 1
  2. Covenant Lesson 2
  3. Covenant Lesson 3
  4. Covenant Lesson 4
  5. Covenant Lesson 5
  6. Covenant Lesson 6
  7. No article
  8. Covenant Lesson 8

Continue reading

God, Joseph, his brothers, and FORGIVENESS

As we continue to study through the life of Joseph, learning how to connect with God and with others so that we can connect them with God, we get to the need for forgiveness. In order to forgive correctly, we need to understand what forgiveness is so that we can extend it to others. Last week, we learned that when you connect with God, He motivates you to work hard to serve the people around you. As you serve the people around you, you will have opportunities to connect those people with God. Continue reading