Belief is more than a confession

Jesus-and-LazarusI am getting ready to teach tonight at our church. I have a lesson with the AWANA kids and we are going to study John 11. This is a fascinating chapter because in verse 35, we find the shortest verse in the Bible. Why did Jesus weep? Some say that it is because He was heartbroken over the death of Lazarus. Others claim that He wept because Mary and Martha were mourning over the death of their brother. While those seem like logical conclusions, I do not feel that the text leads us to that conclusion. We read that into the text based on our own experienced. There are three key players in this text that work together to explain the purpose of this passage in the Bible. One of the key players is Jesus. He is referenced more in this passage than anyone else. The verb “believe” is referenced 8 times in this chapter, making it another key player in the story. Another word that is mentioned three times in this chapter is “resurrection”. All three of these key players lead us to the logical conclusion of the text. Continue reading

The Importance of Daily Bible Study Habits

bible_read_meI have noticed that there are more and more church goers who do not seem to think that personal and corporate Bible study is that important. From a Biblical perspective, daily Bible study is a necessity. God writes to us all through the Scriptures about the importance of the Scriptures in our daily lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is II Timothy 2:15. Continue reading

The Law of God

surrenderI am so excited to prepare for our Connect Group teacher training meeting on Sunday evening. In our Connect Groups this Sunday, we are going to learn how discipleship is the process of empowering others for ministry. The lesson that follows is about the Law of God given to the children of Israel. In this lesson, we are going to discover the purpose of the Law, but, before we dig into what the Law was for, we have to discuss what the Law is not for. Continue reading

A Picture of Faith

faithI am getting ready to teach at our AWANA group tomorrow evening. I am so excited to work with these kids. I have been teaching them since last Fall. It is so neat to see what happens when kids learn to study the Word of God for themselves. Last week, we learned about Running the race of faith. This week, we are going to see a picture of what faith is. Our text to consider this week is Luke 9. In this lesson, we are going to see an example of faith’s actions, a need for adjustment along the journey of faith, and finally, we are going to examine faith’s acknowledgment (confession). Continue reading

Saint Vasile (Basil the Great)

st basilTomorrow, Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate New Year’s Day according to the Old Julian calendar. It is also the holiday to honor Saint Vasile of Caesarea. Unfortunately, many Orthodox Christians venerate Saint Vasile to the point that he is worshiped. God does not share His glory with anyone and it is unfortunate that people worship Saint Vasile. Instead of worshiping him, we should study his life and seek to live the way that he lived. Saint Vasile was a born again Christian. He shared of his conversion in a letter to a friend: Continue reading

Sin Nature is Contentious

grumpyAs we continue to walk through the book of Exodus, we continue to see the character of God, His working out of an eternal plan, as well as His personal interaction with humanity. While walking through Genesis, we discovered that all of us have been born with a sin nature and that sin nature wants to master us. God’s plan is to rescue us from our sin nature so that we can master it. In Exodus 17, we are going to discover that God is our victory over our sin nature. God reveals this character trait to us through His Name, Jehovah-Nissi. The Lord is our banner of victory. Victory over our sin nature is already ours, we simply must choose to walk in that victory. God shows this to us with His interaction with the children of Israel in the wilderness. Sin nature is never satisfied, ever. The more that it is fed, the more it wants. The children of Israel were hungry, so, by grace, the Lord fed them manna from heaven. They then wanted meat. God gave them meat until it spewed from their nostrils. In Exodus 17, now they are thirsty. Let’s take a look at how their sin nature manifests itself when squeezed. Continue reading

Delivered from the bondage of FEAR

breaking-free_1851_1024x768In our previous Connect Group lesson, we covered the Freedom that Christ offers to us as His followers. This freedom was foreshadowed in the Old Testament book of Exodus with the inauguration of the Passover feast. God frees us from the power of our sin nature so that we may worship and serve Him. We must be careful of idols and other sins creeping back into our daily lives. Sin is like leaven, just of little of it will leaven the entire lump of dough. Continue reading

Freedom in Christ

freedom-1I am excited to prepare and teach this lesson during our Connect Group meeting this coming Sunday. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period, from Genesis through Revelation. Last Sunday, we jumped into the book of Exodus. Genesis was amazing and I am excited to see what Exodus holds for us. We just saw how Moses answered God’s Great Calling in Exodus 3-4. This week, we are going to see how God extended that Great Calling to the children of Israel through Moses and how God extends that Great Calling to us today, through Jesus Christ. Our passages for consideration today are Exodus 7 and Exodus 12. Continue reading

Joseph: Forgiveness and Service

bigstock-Forgive-This week during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to continue covering the life of Joseph. This is part of our overall, three year plan of walking through the Bible. We began the journey in August. It is now December. God has really blessed the study of His Word. We have learned so much over the past four months. We have covered such topics as: Continue reading

Joseph: A type and shadow of Christ

josephThis Sunday, we begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups. As a church, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. In this quarter, we will begin by looking at the life of Joseph, over a three week period. In this first lesson, we are going to begin to see how Joseph is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. He is a picture of what the Messiah will be like when He comes on the scene. Continue reading