Let us learn to respect our spiritual elders

As a relatively young pastor, I have had to learn and apply this teaching to my own life over and over again. I am not teaching pure theory. This comes from years of practical application. As people, our sin nature does not like authority. Because of this natural state, it is very difficult for us to honor our elders. We have to be taught and reminded over and over again. That is why “Honor your father and mother” is a command. It is a command because it goes against our nature. Showing honor and respect to elders is not natural to anyone. It is a conscious effort that we must make, moment by moment, day by day. The command to honor has no time limit. Even when you are married and have your own kids, you are still to honor your father and mother. The same is true once you receive authority yourself, you must still respect the authority of those who are older than you are.

I. Walk humbly in authority

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Gideon, the courageous one

Lord, we need more Gideons in the church, with the exception of the way that he ended. He did not start well and he did not finish well but, we do have much to learn from his middle years.

Gideon grew up in culture similar to our own. In order to understand Gideon’s story, we need to read a couple of chapters from the book of Judges, 6, 7, 8.

I am preparing to teach this lesson to our kids next Sunday. I pray that the Lord will use this message to challenge the children to become Gideons, rising to the call of leadership that our churches and societies so desperately need. Continue reading

Engaged in good deeds

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of leading a retreat with my wife. We got away for a few days with my staff and studied God’s Word together, learned principles of time management, and planned the events, both major and minor for 2015. God blessed our time. We were in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, in a small ski town called Angel Fire. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was amazing. While we were there, we studied II Chronicles 34, learning about King Josiah‘s values and how he planned and acted according to his values. His impact in Israel was simply amazing. He changed the outcome of an entire generation and left a legacy that impacted several generations. We pray that as a Children’s Department, we will follow Josiah’s example and impact many future generations with the power of the Word of God. This study set the tone for our time. We discovered what our own values are and planned everything according to those values. Now we pray to follow those plans faithfully all throughout 2015 and beyond. Continue reading

Humbleness and Obedience go hand in hand

Last night, during our Philippians Bible study, we covered the idea of humbleness and obedience to the Lord. God, through His great wisdom, gives us an example of humbleness and obedience in the person of Jesus Christ. He also commands us to humble ourselves and obey Him. Not only does He do these two things, He also gives us a litmus test daily to show if we are humbly obeying Him or not. Now, is an example and a command enough? Let’s find out.

Our passage of examination is Philippians 1:27-2:11. Take a moment to read this passage. Now let’s examine what God has to teach us here. Continue reading

Bondservants, Saints, Elders, and Deacons oh my!

As I am teaching through Philippians during my Monday night Bible study, I am amazed to see how clear and practical the Word of God is. It really is for daily living. God really has given us all that we need for life and godliness. This week, we are taking a look at 4 words mentioned in Philippians 1:1. The 4 words are 1) bondservant 2)saint 3)elder 4)deacon

In order to understand these words and what was meant by saying this, I would like to divide these 4 into 2 groups of 2. Continue reading

Leadership: Helping people break the cycle of sin

slavery_to_sinAs I prepare to teach my staff tomorrow on the subject of leadership, I sit here thinking about the problem that all humanity faces, our slavery to our sin nature, which we inherit from our parents. Do you understand how the cycle of sin works? Are you still stuck in that cycle? Do you know how to lead people out of that cycle?

All of mankind is born into this cycle of sin because of original sin. We all inherit a sin nature from our parents. Sin is in us and it begins to manifest itself from an early age. I have written this before but I believe that it is worth writing again. We see inherited sin in children through the fact that we do not have to teach them to lie, steal, be selfish, harm others etc. Instead, as parents, we have to teach them not to do these things. Continue reading

Be an example of submission and humility

Two weeks ago, while I was serving as a counselor at our children’s camp, I lead a daily Bible study out of I Peter 5. It was neat to see how God gave us practical assignments during the camp. In fact, that is one of the reasons that I love camp. People are outside of their comfort zones and situations arise where they get squeezed and what is on the inside manifests itself quite rapidly, unmasked and unfiltered. This totally happened while we were at camp and I would like to share it with you here. First, I want to take a look at the text and see what we can learn about ourselves and then see what God wants us to do with this information. Continue reading

Baby Dedication

This Sunday I have the honor and privilege of leading a Baby dedication service at Hoffmantown. Other than weddings and baptisms, this is one of my favorite activities as a pastor. I love what Baby dedications represent.

In some denominations, babies are baptized into the “faith”, a practice that has no foundation in Scripture. On the other hand, baby dedications are called for, directly by God. If we open up the Old Testament to the book of Numbers, a book rarely studied these days, we find a command from the Lord to bless babies.  Continue reading

Do you love, obey, and serve Jesus?

As I prepare to teach this Sunday, I sit and think about all that we just celebrated yesterday as we remembered the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I was able to teach on the importance of the resurrection yesterday during children’s church. You can read it here if you would like.

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