The Gospel Rebuilds Relationships

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 12.39.25 PMAs I sit here preparing to teach one of our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, I am amazed to see how much God values relationships. As a pastor, one of the most frequent problems that I help people deal with is broken relationships. Building and maintaining relationships is very difficult because of our sin nature. God created us to be social creatures. He is social. He has always existed in a perfect relationship as the Holy Trinity. The Father has always had a perfect relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. When He created mankind, He created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. The reason that we have difficulties with relationships is because we are broken by our sin nature. Even after we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we still have a sin nature that taints us. Our sin nature causes us to be selfish. By nature, we are egotistical. This egoism causes relationships to break down. God knows of this and He wants to help us learn to live in good social relationships with others. This is the topic of this lesson. We are going to learn how to invest in relationships with others. Continue reading

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The Gospel is Christ in me

sevenCitiesMapDuring this quarter at Southern Calvert Baptist Church in our Connect Groups, we are covering some of the epistles of the New Testament. Since January, we have been going back and forth between the Acts of the Apostles and various epistles. Last week, we finished Acts. Now we are returning to the epistles. This lesson will focus on Colossians 1. Our previous lesson was Philippians 1. The title of the lesson is “Preach the Gospel everywhere“. Continue reading

Paul’s Journey to Rome

acts-pauls-voyage-to-romeThis lesson for our Connect Group classes will carry us to the end of the book of Acts. The book of Acts has a peculiar ending. Actually, it does not end. The book concludes with Paul in Rome preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. The idea is that the ministry has continued uninterrupted until this very moment. In a way, even though Paul went to glory long ago, the ministry that he started still continues on to this day. Some mission movements have named themselves Acts 29 because the modern church is living out Acts 29. Every generation of Christians lives out Acts 29. Continue reading

A faithful witness for Christ

34029276_1644996785569595_5595464263444463616_oOnce again, I sit here studying to prepare for our Connect Group teachers’ meeting coming up this weekend. In our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are picking up our study of the book the Acts of the Apostles. Our focus now, is the faithful ministry of the Apostle Paul. In our previous lesson, we covered Acts 23, learning about the Apostle Paul, the pesky preacher. This lesson is a continuation of Paul’s witness of Christ before his captors. This lesson will cover Acts chapters 24-26. Our goal is to give an overview of these chapters, focusing on how the Apostle Paul stayed faithful to his calling of being a witness for Christ, even in the face of heavy ridicule and persecution. Could the same calling be true for YOU and for ME? The answer is a resounding YES!!! Let’s what insights we can glean from Paul’s faithful example. Continue reading

Paul the pesky preacher

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 3.13.05 PMThis coming Sunday, we are going to begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. At the beginning of the year, we dove into the book of Acts. Then we moved into the epistles. Now we are going back to Acts and pick up where we left off. We left Acts after chapter 20 when Paul gave his final charge to the church leaders before heading to Jerusalem where he had already been forewarned of the persecution and imprisonment that awaited him. This is where we are going to pick back up this week, in Acts 23. In order to get caught up with what happened in chapters 21-22, I want to give a quick summary of those chapters. Continue reading

Living a Fruitful Life for Christ

RedClub-Wine_banner1cOver the past two months, the Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church have been studying through the Epistles of the New Testament. God has really blessed us to learn important life lessons from the early church. God’s Word is so applicable to daily life, no matter the Century or era in human history. We have looked at such subjects as: Continue reading

The Blueprint for Biblical Unity

blueprintAs I sit and prepare for Sunday School, I cannot tell you how excited I am for this lesson. I constantly hear calls for “unity” in the church but, very few of the proclaimers for unity, actually give a clear path of action, a blueprint if you will, that leads to Biblical unity. The vague call is “we just need to love more”. I understand that but, how to you express that call in concrete ways? I am a concrete thinker because when concepts are concrete, people are more likely to apply them. When concepts are abstract, people are less likely to apply because they are not sure what or how to apply the concept. God’s Word presents concepts in concrete ways so that we are able to apply them. In fact, when Jesus gives many of His teachings in parables, He lays the understanding and application in the lap of the audience by exclaiming, “he who has ears, let him hear”. In other words, if you heard this message, you are responsible to understand it and then apply it to your life. This is why God teaches concepts to us in concrete ways, because He wants us to understand them and then apply them. If we have a hard time with understanding, then the Lord tells us to ask Him for understanding and He will give as much as we ask for, without chastising us for asking again and again. In this lesson, we are going to examine Romans 12 in order to discover the blueprint for unity in Christ. 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

The Lifestyle of a Child of God

screenshot_2016-12-22-10-05-03-1It has been amazing teaching through the New Testament this quarter in our Sunday School classes. We started the year off with walking through the book of Acts. Since the beginning of this new quarter, we have been studying the epistles in the New Testament. God has much to teach His church in these epistles and we have learned a lot. Some of our previous lessons include: Continue reading

A pastor’s calling

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 12.28.50 PMAs I prepare for our teacher training meeting with our Sunday School teachers this Sunday, I was impressed by the depth and clarity of the lesson that we are going to study and then teach to our classes. This lesson is about the calling of a pastor and the results of a pastor living out his calling. In a specific sense, this lesson is for shepherds. All followers of Jesus Christ have been called to be leaders because we have all been given the Great Commission to “make disciples” of all the nations. Having made the above statement, I would like to clarify the fact that not everyone is a shepherd. God calls and appoints shepherds/pastors in the church to teach/lead/equip the members to make disciples. So, this lesson is profitable for every single person who calls himself or herself a follower of Jesus Christ (Christian, disciple etc.), even though these commands are given specifically to pastors, the pastor is going to use these commands to equip every man, woman, and child in the church to be discipled and to make disciples. Our previous Sunday School lesson was about Agape Love in Action. Continue reading