The New Jerusalem

UntitledI am writing this article after teaching this past weekend at Hoffmantown Kids. I usually write before I teach, in order to think through the subject and be better prepared to share the lesson. Last week, I taught on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This lesson is about the New Jerusalem that God is going to bring down from heaven to the new earth. The question is, “why is there a need for a new earth and a new Jerusalem”? I am so glad that you asked that question because I want to answer it in this article. There are 5 aspects that we need to focus on in order to understand the new Jerusalem. Continue reading

Superficial Faith vs. Genuine Faith

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 4.35.23 PMI had the privilege today of leading a Bible study on the Gospel of Mark chapters 11 and 12. It has been eye opening to study through the Gospel of Mark, learning how Jesus Christ ministered while on this earth. If you have not been following the previous lessons, you can check them out here:

 

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God’s Plan for spiritual growth

I am preparing to teach a review lessons to my 2nd grade Sunday School class. We have spent the last 5 walks walking with the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. We left him in Rome, serving the Lord until his death. As we review this week, I thought that this would be the best lesson to teach because in this lesson, we discover the secret to Paul’s success in the ministry. There are many methods and books out there today that deal with ministry, leadership, church planting, missions, etc. I want to take a look at the Book of books on ministry, leadership, church planting, missions, etc., the Bible. Continue reading

Grow to maturity in Christ

cropped-13585354-256-k574691I had the privilege of leading a Bible study for a couple of families the other night after we had a wonderful dinner. We took a look at Ephesians 4. I would like to share what we discovered. In order to better understand the context of Saint Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, we need a little background information. In Acts 19, we learn about how Paul made disciples in Ephesus and the church was formed. Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years, making disciples. In Acts 20, Paul gives his final instructions to the Ephesians. This is his final teaching that he gave them face to face. He is going to instruct them more through his letter that is to come later. This church is very important because these believers made disciples in Asia Minor. These disciples formed the other 6 churches that the Apostle John writes letters to in the Book of Revelation. Now, let’s take a look at some of what Paul teaches the Ephesian disciples through his letter to them. Continue reading

Encountering the life changing power of Jesus Christ

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 3.27.10 PMIt has been a lot of fun studying through the Gospel of Mark. I have been studying this Gospel with my preschool teachers on a biweekly basis. So far, we have covered 8 chapters. It is amazing to see how Jesus transforms people through the power of His Word. His message is for the entire world. In case you have not been studying along with us, here is a list of the previous lessons.

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals
  7. Discipleship according to Jesus
  8. Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions
  9. The teachings of Pharisees vs. The teachings of Jesus Christ

In Mark chapter 9, we are going to discover the transforming power of an encounter with Jesus Christ. Just meeting Jesus is not enough. Continue reading

The teachings of the Pharisees vs. The teachings of Christ

phariseesI am so excited about being able to teach this chapter of Scripture this coming Monday to my preschool teachers. We have already walked through 7 chapters of the Gospel of Mark. It has been life changing to experience the life and ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I just think that it is so neat for people who have been in church for most of their lives jump into the Gospel passages and study them inductively for the first time. If you know me, you know that I love to study and teach the Bible inductively. I believe it is the Biblical way. We see the idea of questions being asked by the teacher and students responding to those questions with the Biblical text. The best example is the Apostle Paul. In his epistles, he asks questions and then anticipates the answer, or, he gives the Biblical answer and then anticipates your next question based on the previous, Biblical answer. We also see this method used by him in Acts. The verb “to reason” from the Scriptures is used 10 different times in Acts. In order to understand this concept, we must understand the meaning of the verb “to reason” as used in the Biblical text. It means to converse in the form of question and answer. The teacher asks the questions and the students respond with answers from the text. This is not a lecture or a sermon. This is not an argument over the meaning of words and phrases. This is a form of inductive Bible study, a method that means “going into the text to find the answers”. This method places the speaker and the audience under the authority of the text. Now that we chased that little rabbit, let’s move our attention back to Mark 8 and see what we can discover. But, before we begin, if you have not been following the series, you can read the previous lessons here: Continue reading

Paul making disciples in Miletus

paul_ephesian_disciplesWe have been following Paul as he lives a life on mission, seeking to fulfill the calling of Christ to make disciples. Our journey has been awesome. We first met Saul the bully in Acts 7-9. Then, we see Saul encountering Jesus Christ and being born again. Saul marks this event in his life by changing his name to Paul. This is an outward sign of an inward, spiritual reality. Then, Paul is trained by Jesus Christ. He begins to minister in the local church. While ministering in the local church, God calls him and Barnabas to go out to the Gentiles and make disciples. This begins his first missionary journey. After the first trip of making many disciples, churches were formed and Paul and Barnabas return to the local church and give testimony of what the Lord is doing among the Gentiles and Jews. A couple of weeks ago, we began to look at the second missionary journey. Paul and Barnabas go out again and begin to make more disciples. More churches are formed as a result of making disciples. A church is formed in Philippi. Then, another church is formed in Thessalonica and yet another in Berea. All of this happens in the midst of heavy persecution. Paul would gather people together and reason from the Scriptures. People would repent, believe in Jesus Christ, and be equipped to serve the local church and make more disciples among their own people, both Jews and Gentiles. This week, we are going to journey with Paul on his third missionary journey. We pick up the story in Acts 20. Continue reading

Striving to live a disciplined life

disciplineIt has been a lot of fun teaching through II Thessalonians. I have taught this book many times and, each time I teach through it, I learn new things about God and new things about myself.

If you have been following this series, you are aware of the previous lessons and what they teach. If you have not been following the series, take a moment to play a little catch up by reading the following articles.

  1. The importance of communication
  2. Genuine faith endures persecution
  3. Concerning the Day of the Lord
  4. The Church and the Day of the Lord 
  5. Praying for your disciples

The previous lesson focused on prayer, specifically, praying for your disciples, that they would grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, that they would grow in their faith, that they would grow in their love, and that they would continue making more disciples.  Continue reading

Appreciate your spiritual leaders

thank-you-card-lettering-leo-gomezI just listened to a wonderful sermon preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I am currently listening to it again so that I can translate it into English for this article so that you can be blessed by it the way that I was.

How much do you appreciate your spiritual leaders? Do you have spiritual leaders/mentors? God has orchestrated the Christian life to be one of a person having a mentor, being  a mentee, and then becoming a mentor while still being mentored. This process is laid out for us in Matthew 28. We see it explained by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:2. Paul was mentored by Jesus. Paul mentors Timothy. As Timothy is being mentored, he begins to mentor others. Those whom Timothy mentors begin to mentor others. Jesus –> Paul –> Timothy –> new disciples –> their disciples. Unfortunately, there are many in the church who have never experienced God’s amazing plan of being discipled. Even if you do not have a direct mentor, you have a spiritual leader if you are part of a local church. Paul explains this in Ephesians 4. The spiritual leaders pour into the lives of the members and the members serve one another and together, reach out to the community to make disciples. Continue reading