We have THE WORD of God

d006774290bb4800931f501ec5f9e45a-736x450I am preparing to teach during our AWANA program this evening and the theme for the night is the Word of God. The Bible is a unique book in human history. It is the very hear of God, communicated to us in a language that we can understand so that we can discover what God wants from us. Many people have asked throughout the ages, “what does God from me”? Many others have tried to answer that question. The definitive answer is found in the pages of the Holy Bible. Parts of the Bible were written by different men over a 1,600 year period time. These people lived on different continents and came from vastly different cultures. Yet, the central message of the Bible is the same. Other parts of the Bible were written by God, Himself. Continue reading

Beware of Gossip

636699511480249780-636615629448888954-GettyImages-690656936I heard a message the other day, preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. It really touched my heart and I decided to translate it here in written form. The word that is translated into English as gossip, in the New Testament, is the Greek word “psithurismos“. It is derived from the verb “to whisper“. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is “ragan“. In some English translations, it is translated as “whisperer“. It’s roots go back to the grumbling and murmuring that the children of Israel did when they were wandering in the wilderness. It means to talk bad about someone, especially when they are not there to defend themselves or the accusations that you make. It causes another person to form a negative opinion about the person you talk about. This is something that is appealing to our sin nature. Little children do this without being taught what it is or how to do it. It’s in us from birth. Continue reading

David experiences mercy, grace, and forgiveness

016-david-bathshebaAs we continue looking at the life of David and his walk with the Lord, we are reminded of why he is called a man after God’s own heart. He has a teachable spirit, a servant’s heart, and he was quick to obey. David is a man who has experienced God’s mercy and grace and he has been quick to extend that mercy and grace to others, even his enemy, King Saul.

In this lesson, we are going to see how David experiences God’s forgiveness. David, although a man after God’s own heart, was not perfect. Like all of us, David was born with a sin nature. His heart was inclined to sin, just like my heart is and just like your heart is. As we study this, just remember, no matter what you have done, God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness is available. Continue reading

Mephibosheth and God’s Kindness

GettyImages-471862605-57775e30ee3244bead8a14fbd4e0c8a8Over the past few weeks at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we have been looking at the life of David. The Bible teaches us that David was a man after God’s own heart. What are the characteristics of David that make him a man after God’s own heart? He had a teachable spirit and a servant’s heart. David experienced the grace of God and he wanted to extend that grace to the people around him. David lived for the glory of God. David was not a perfect man. He had a sin nature like all of us have. David made mistakes, like all of us do. David, as we will see in our next lesson, when confronted with his sins, was quick to confess and repent. He was the polar opposite of King Saul. Continue reading

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

Influenced by God to influence others

David-and-Saul-in-CaveKing Saul and future King David are a study in contrasts. Both of these men are born to the same nation, during the same period in history, influenced by the same culture etc. yet, they could not be more different in their paths in life. One of these men trusted in himself while the other trusted in the Lord. This trust manifests itself in all kinds of different ways. The prophet Jeremiah uses a great illustration to explain the differences between people who trust in themselves vs. people who trust in the Lord. Continue reading

David takes a stand for the Lord

David-Vs-GoliathWe live in a world where people are afraid to take a stand for the Lord because of political correctness. People have been trained to keep their heads down when it comes to social issues, like gay marriage, because if you take a stand and speak out, you get noticed and being noticed causes problems to your daily life. This is not something new. The Bible teaches us that there is nothing new under the sun. Almost 2,000 years ago, during the lifetime of Jesus, the dilemma of taking a stand for the Lord was just as complex as today. Continue reading

Rebellion, Revolt, and Rejection

402127As we have been walking through the Old Testament, tracing the promise of the coming of the Messiah, we have seen that God is always faithful to His promises. In the midst of carrying out His eternal plan, God invites people to join Him in His eternal plan. Some people understand the significance of this calling and submit to it. Others chose to reject the Lord’s invitation. God allows people to make their choices. On the other hand, both choices have consequences. Continue reading

Church Discipline is needed

you-are-that-manDear friends, this is a difficult subject that is not covered much in our modern church. I have written on the subject of Biblical correction and you can read it here. The way that you handle correction reveals your heart. Discipline is a major part of our Christians life. God disciplines us for our own good and for His glory. His discipline conforms our character to the character of Jesus Christ. God has given us His Holy Spirit that responds to His discipline. God also places spiritual leaders in our lives who are to apply discipline for the good of the individual and the entire local body of Christ, also known as the Church. The Apostle Paul was one of those spiritual leaders whom God called to discipline the individuals in the body of Christ in Corinth, along with the local church. We learn about this subject in II Corinthians. Let’s take a moment to read the following verses and then, we will examine two examples from the Old Testament, two men whose sins were confronted and the two very different responses. You probably have guessed the two people. One was the first King of Israel, Saul. The second is the second King of Israel, David. Continue reading

Faith is public not just a private affair (Psalm 40)

keep-calm-and-live-out-loudI was challenged by a friend of mine on Facebook today to take time to read Psalm 40. Boy am I glad that I did. I would like to share some of the truths that I gleaned from Psalm 40 in this article.

A few years ago, while serving on the foreign mission field, I ran into people who had this strange mentality, suggesting that faith and our relationship with God was something that we keep in our hearts. In other words, faith is private and not a public matter. King David had a very different opinion. He boldly proclaimed his faith and relationship with God to anyone who wanted to listen. In the famous “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus proclaimed that His followers are to be salt and light. Both salt and light have visible effects on the world around them. In other words, Jesus and David both teach the same principle, that faith is to be very public, that we should be ready to share about our relationship with God with anyone who will listen. Continue reading