Superficial Faith vs. Genuine Faith

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 4.35.23 PMI had the privilege today of leading a Bible study on the Gospel of Mark chapters 11 and 12. It has been eye opening to study through the Gospel of Mark, learning how Jesus Christ ministered while on this earth. If you have not been following the previous lessons, you can check them out here:

 

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Encountering the life changing power of Jesus Christ

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 3.27.10 PMIt has been a lot of fun studying through the Gospel of Mark. I have been studying this Gospel with my preschool teachers on a biweekly basis. So far, we have covered 8 chapters. It is amazing to see how Jesus transforms people through the power of His Word. His message is for the entire world. In case you have not been studying along with us, here is a list of the previous lessons.

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals
  7. Discipleship according to Jesus
  8. Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions
  9. The teachings of Pharisees vs. The teachings of Jesus Christ

In Mark chapter 9, we are going to discover the transforming power of an encounter with Jesus Christ. Just meeting Jesus is not enough. 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.

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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 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

Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions

I am working through the Gospel of Mark during my time off from work over the Christmas holiday season. I have been teaching through Mark with my preschool teachers. It has been amazing to experience Christ’s loving touch through His mighty Word. After Christmas break, we will jump in and study Mark 6. After that, we will dive in and study Mark 7, the source of this article. If you have not been following the teaching series, you can access the previous teachings by clicking on the article titles that follow:

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals
  7. Discipleship according to Jesus

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Discipleship according to Jesus

It is the day after Christmas. The gifts have been opened and the kids are playing with them. The final days of the year are winding down. We begin to think about the New Year, making our resolutions and planning out all that we want to accomplish over the next 52 weeks. While meditating on Mark 6, I saw a clear connection between making my New Year plans and including making disciples the way that Jesus did during His lifetime. Here is a quick list of the lessons that we have already covered from the Gospel of Mark.

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals

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Jesus serves individuals

meeting-jesus-2I am meeting with my preschool teachers for the last time in 2016 to continue our study on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the Gospel of Mark. This time, we will cover Mark 5. Our first meeting after the New Year will finish up the study with Mark 6. I have learned a lot from seeing Jesus’ teaching style and His compassion on the people who surrounded Him. He was so popular that He could not enter the cities and towns because of the crowds, yet, at the same time, He always took time to meet the needs of the individual. We see this clearly in chapter 5. In chapter 4, Jesus spent most of the chapter teaching the large crowds about faith. Most of the crowd missed the essence of His message. The disciples asked for clarification so they clearly understood the teachings in chapter 4 about faith. In the end, their failing faith needed a faithful friend and that faithful friend was Jesus Christ. Chapter 5 changes the focus to the individuals in the crowd. Jesus never got so caught up in numbers and crowds that He forgot about the individuals who made up the crowds. This is something that all disciple makers must remember. Crowds come and go. The individual is who is important to the Lord. Continue reading

Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-11-17-51-amI am preparing to teach this lesson to my preschool teachers at church, the ladies who work as our Kids’ Express teachers. I am so thrilled to be able to serve these teachers who are investing in the next generations of children. We have an awesome opportunity to impact the future of our country in a positive way. This is the Lord’s work and we want to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in those who are doing the investing. Many times, this vital part is overlooked. The Biblical model is that we have a Paul who invests in us as we invest in a Timothy.

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