Last 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
If you saw Russel Crowe in Gladiator back in the year 2000, you remember that line that the title of this article is from. The Romans loved to be entertained. That is our human nature. That is our sin nature. The children of Israel were no different. We are also no different today. We have a way of justifying our idols today, similarly to the way that the children of Israel justified their idols. 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
As I have been spending time in the Word of God today, studying to learn more of who God is and what I am really like, I discovered an important Truth that I would like to share with you here in this article. I am preparing to teach this message on Wednesday to my staff. This school year, we are learning about Abraham as we teach these truths to the children at Treasure Trust Club. It is so neat to see the children begin to understand how to begin a real relationship with God, the way that Abraham did. It is also neat to see how we learn to walk with God the exact same way that Abraham did. This lesson covers the topic of faith and idols. I recently taught a lesson on faith and fear, about how they cannot coexist in the same place. One will drive out the other. The same is true with faith and idols. When they clash, one will drive out the other. In this article, we are going to examine Abraham’s faith and his battle with his sin nature. If we are ever going to have success in our battle with our sin nature, we must learn how to spot the idols in our lives because, these idols give power to our sin nature. Faith in Christ removes our sin nature’s power. Idols cause us to empower our sin nature that continues to dwell in us. Let’s take a look at Abraham’s example and see what we can learn about faith, idols, and the work of God in our lives. Continue reading
Can we separate love for God from service to God? Many seem to think so but that is not what the Scriptures teach. Unfortunately, in the Evangelical world, the title of this article is a common mantra. I do not believe that it is correct, nor Biblical. According to the Scriptures, we cannot separate love for God from service to God.
I. Jesus’ understanding
Well folks, another Wednesday is upon us and I am teaching my staff from James 4. I love teaching through James. It is such an eye opening epistle. It challenges you to take a close look at the faith that you claim to have to see if it is living faith or dead faith. Living faith is manifested in our everyday lives, just like dead faith is manifested. God allows us to go through circumstances that reveal which faith we have.
If you are just joining us, here are the previous lessons that we have covered, learning what living faith looks like. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach this evening from Paul’s epistle to the Philippian church. We are covering the first 11 verses of chapter 3. The previous lesson was from chapter 2 about working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Paul teaches us how to do this in our daily lives.
In chapter 3, Paul’s desire is that we know Christ specifically, above all else. The reason that he motivates us to focus on Christ is because of our sin nature, we have a tendency to turn to idols. Idols are anything that take the #1 place of Christ in your life. Even noble things can become idols and when they do, they become negative. Idolatry is a sin that enslaves us before we come to Christ and a sin that tries to take our focus off of Christ once we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. That is why 1 John ends the way that it does. The entire epistle is about the love of God, how it is manifested to us, in us, and through us. Continue reading
As I was teaching a couple of weeks ago on the rich young ruler while at camp, I was amazed to see how dangerous idols are simply because so many of us have them and so few of us know it. In order to jump into our text that teaches us about the idols in the life of the rich young ruler, I would like to use I John 5:21
21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.