This week during our Connect Groups, we are going to take a look at the first advent of the Messiah. This is our Christmas lesson since Christmas is just around the corner. Christmas is an annual holiday, a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The tradition is the celebration of the birth of the Promised Messiah. Celebrating the birth of the Messiah has its roots in Genesis chapters 3 and 4. God promised that a male child would be born and He would crush sin and rescue people from their sins. The first celebration of the birth of the Messiah took place in Genesis 4. Eve believed that her firstborn son, Cain, was the promised male child. She was correct in expecting his birth but she was wrong in the timing. This is the first time we see people seeking to celebrate the birth of the Promised Messiah. That happened roughly 4,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. For us today, it was about 6,000 years ago. During a 4,000 year period, people placed their faith in the Promised Messiah. The people were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, the birth of the Messiah. Now, we look back on the fact that the Messiah has come. It has been about 2,000 years since this event. Christians have been celebrating the birth of Christ for almost 2,000 years. The idea of celebrating the birth of the Promised Messiah has been around, as I mentioned earlier, for almost 6,000 years in human history. Continue reading
So what do you do in specific situations when you have real, live enemies? This is the topic that we want to cover today. In our previous two articles we covered the topic of fearing people’s opinions about you, specifically when you are called by God to a certain mission and why we tend to fear. We discovered that God has an answer for us at all times. In our Western world we generally do not face physical persecution for living out our faith and sharing the Gospel through the disciple making process. This is not the case in the rest of the world. Many Christians around the world are severely persecuted for their faith in Christ Jesus. I have some friends from Muslim backgrounds who have faced and endured some of the harshest physical as well as psychological persecution one can imagine just for the simple fact that they chose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, rejecting their dead religion and choosing a personal relationship with God that transformed their lives. What do you do when enemies threaten you because you live out your faith? What do you do when you are threatened with terrible consequences if you continue making disciples? The Word of God has our answers. Continue reading
This lesson deals with fearing people. Many times, many people are afraid to dedicate themselves fully to the Lord and serving Him because they fear what people might think or say about them. I am baffled by this response but I hear it often. God knows what we are like because He created us. He also knows why we act the way that we do because of the Fall of mankind into sin. In order to help us overcome our fear of people, God moved long ago through a righteous man to write down reasons why we should not fear the people around us, why we should not be afraid of what they will think and say about us. Before we get into this lesson though, I would like to have a quick review of what we have studied so far in overcoming our fears. Continue reading
I have been asked to lead a wedding ceremony for a member of our church, Good News and today I have our first premarital counseling session. I would like to share some of the information here in this article as resource for those of you who are planning on getting married one day.
I have been married for almost 11 years and most of the stuff that I will write about has come from my own personal experiences. Before doing anything else, you must study the Bible study course “Marriage without Regrets” written by Kay Arthur. Secondly, you must buy the book that accompanies the study. These must be read and studied constantly before you get married and during your married life.
As we celebrate Memorial Day, I would like to write about a soldier who impacted the future of a country and ultimately the world. We celebrate the brave men and women who gave up their lives to protect our freedoms and offer us a better future. Although Joshua did not give up his life on the battlefield, he did invest his life in the people of his nation, a nation that has become a blessing to the entire world. I am very appreciative to all of the people in my own family who served our great country in the military. I am grateful for my friends who currently serve in the military. The Gospel teaches us to be servants in all that we do, serving the good of the people around us and that is exactly what the men and women who serve in the military do. God bless you for your service. I salute you. I respect you because your service is similar to a hero of mine, Joshua. I would like to share some principles of his life and service, a service which brought about my freedom, many thousands of years later. Continue reading
There are many things that compete for our attention today, especially during this age of technology where all the information that you may need is at the stroke of a few keys. The problem is, this access is dangerous because many of the competing modern ideas contradict each other. Some of the ideas that are promoted can be very dangerous. In this age of information, we have many, many people who are confused about life and its purpose. Because of this confusion, the disease of the 2oth and 21st Centuries is depression. As a result, the world is full of people who are just drudging through life or, worse, people who end their days because they just cannot take the pain.
I would like to present 5 rock solid truths for every person who lives on this earth. Continue reading
I was thinking about what I wanted to say at Dad’s funeral today. I could not quite come up with the words to put it all in order so I just opened the Scriptures for some inspiration. That is one thing that the Scriptures do for me, they inspire. As I was thinking, I realized that my Dad was also an inspiration to me. In fact, I believe he was so inspiring because of his love for the Scriptures and his desire to live them out in his daily life. My Dad was genuine. What you saw was what you got. He did not “play” church. He did not want to impress everyone with his “Christian” lingo. He just put his head down and “did” what the Bible says to do instead of just talking about what the Bible says that we should do. He knew how to love. He loved his wife with all of his heart. He loved his sons with everything that he was. We never had a stranger walk into our house (once you walked in the door you were a friend and treated like a family member). Our friends were part of the family. All people were treated with respect. Continue reading
Yesterday morning, we lost my father, Melvin “Bubba” Brewer to his 3 year fight with lung cancer. He was a great man, father, husband, son, brother, and Christian. He lived his life for others. He invested his life in helping others. While meditating on my father’s life this morning, I realized the similarities between his life and what Jesus did while He walked among us on this earth. Jesus took 12 misfits and taught them how to be men. He took them under His wing and showed them how to live life. When they left His presence, they went out and transformed the world. My father did the same thing. He was a coach and he worked with young men who came from difficult families. He did not just take them in as players on a team, he took them in like his own children. Many of the boys were from “rough” families and many people said that they would never be worth anything because of their last name or reputation that they had. After living with my dad for just a few years, they learned how to love others, serve others, and be good citizens contributing to the good of society. Continue reading