When will this happen?

mount-of-olives-jesusI have been teaching through the Gospel of Mark with a group of guys. We meet up on the internet and do a live, video Bible study. I love how modern technology gives us such an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and to disciple others. It does not replace face to face interaction. It is just another tool in our belts to be fruitful for the Kingdom of heaven. Are you using modern technology for the furtherance of the Gospel? I know that the Apostle Paul would be using it. He used the modern technology of his day to take the Gospel to the “ends of the earth”.  Precept Ministries International has a great 3 part study on the Gospel of Mark. Each lesson is designed to take about 40 minutes to complete and it is a perfect tool for a small group Bible study setting. The following article were written based on some of the lessons from the studies. 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

Run the Race to Win

Man Running Reaching Finish LineThe title of this article is what the Apostle Paul wrote the the Christians in Corinth. One of the things that I really like about Paul is the fact that he was a very practical teacher. As the old pastor says, “that guy likes to go down deep but, he comes up dry”. The Apostle Paul was not like that. He does not get lost in the weeds. He is what we call a “prac app” guy today. In I Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul deals with the importance of sharing our faith with the people around us. The final command that Jesus left for His disciples was, “go and make more disciples”. This command has rung true throughout the generations. As followers of Christ today, we are also called to make disciples. In order to make disciples, we have to share our faith, in other words, preach the Gospel with the people around us. This is true for every generation and this is something that has to be taught to each new generation. Let’s discover how the Apostle Paul uses himself as an example, the analogies that he uses to challenge the Corinthians, and then take a look at the practical advice for us today. First, take a moment to read I Corinthians 9:19-27. Continue reading

Jesus’ Prayer for His disciples

DM8i9C7XcAASxbjI spent a good portion of the day today preparing to teach tonight at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I am teaching the Journey kids during our AWANA program. I am excited about teaching John 17:1-21. This is the Lord’s prayer. No, not the Lord’s model prayer, you know, “our Father”. This is Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, the prayer that He prayed for His disciples (all of them throughout the ages).

This is a powerful prayer and we have much to learn from it about ministry, especially in the form of making disciples. I want to divide this lesson into two parts; what we learn about Jesus and what we learn about His disciples. As we look at these two characters, we will also discover truths about ministry that are vital for all followers of Christ, especially since we are all called to make disciples. 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

God’s Plan for spiritual growth

I am preparing to teach a review lessons to my 2nd grade Sunday School class. We have spent the last 5 walks walking with the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. We left him in Rome, serving the Lord until his death. As we review this week, I thought that this would be the best lesson to teach because in this lesson, we discover the secret to Paul’s success in the ministry. There are many methods and books out there today that deal with ministry, leadership, church planting, missions, etc. I want to take a look at the Book of books on ministry, leadership, church planting, missions, etc., the Bible. Continue reading

Paul making disciples in Rome

fullsizerender-copyOver the past month, we have been taking a detailed look at the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. It has been eye opening to “walk in Paul’s shoes” as he makes disciples among the Gentiles. We discovered that Paul had a plan on how to make disciples every where he went. If you have not been following the series, take a look at the following articles.

Continue reading

The teachings of the Pharisees vs. The teachings of Christ

phariseesI am so excited about being able to teach this chapter of Scripture this coming Monday to my preschool teachers. We have already walked through 7 chapters of the Gospel of Mark. It has been life changing to experience the life and ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I just think that it is so neat for people who have been in church for most of their lives jump into the Gospel passages and study them inductively for the first time. If you know me, you know that I love to study and teach the Bible inductively. I believe it is the Biblical way. We see the idea of questions being asked by the teacher and students responding to those questions with the Biblical text. The best example is the Apostle Paul. In his epistles, he asks questions and then anticipates the answer, or, he gives the Biblical answer and then anticipates your next question based on the previous, Biblical answer. We also see this method used by him in Acts. The verb “to reason” from the Scriptures is used 10 different times in Acts. In order to understand this concept, we must understand the meaning of the verb “to reason” as used in the Biblical text. It means to converse in the form of question and answer. The teacher asks the questions and the students respond with answers from the text. This is not a lecture or a sermon. This is not an argument over the meaning of words and phrases. This is a form of inductive Bible study, a method that means “going into the text to find the answers”. This method places the speaker and the audience under the authority of the text. Now that we chased that little rabbit, let’s move our attention back to Mark 8 and see what we can discover. But, before we begin, if you have not been following the series, you can read the previous lessons here: Continue reading

Paul’s Plan to make disciples

time-management-imageI love to study and teach on the vibrant life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. He was a man who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles. I am a benefactor of his life and ministry. Paul was a disciple making machine and I want to examine his methods to see what I can learn from him about ministry and fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples over the course of my lifetime.  Continue reading

Paul making disciples in Miletus

paul_ephesian_disciplesWe have been following Paul as he lives a life on mission, seeking to fulfill the calling of Christ to make disciples. Our journey has been awesome. We first met Saul the bully in Acts 7-9. Then, we see Saul encountering Jesus Christ and being born again. Saul marks this event in his life by changing his name to Paul. This is an outward sign of an inward, spiritual reality. Then, Paul is trained by Jesus Christ. He begins to minister in the local church. While ministering in the local church, God calls him and Barnabas to go out to the Gentiles and make disciples. This begins his first missionary journey. After the first trip of making many disciples, churches were formed and Paul and Barnabas return to the local church and give testimony of what the Lord is doing among the Gentiles and Jews. A couple of weeks ago, we began to look at the second missionary journey. Paul and Barnabas go out again and begin to make more disciples. More churches are formed as a result of making disciples. A church is formed in Philippi. Then, another church is formed in Thessalonica and yet another in Berea. All of this happens in the midst of heavy persecution. Paul would gather people together and reason from the Scriptures. People would repent, believe in Jesus Christ, and be equipped to serve the local church and make more disciples among their own people, both Jews and Gentiles. This week, we are going to journey with Paul on his third missionary journey. We pick up the story in Acts 20. Continue reading