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

Striving to live a disciplined life

disciplineIt has been a lot of fun teaching through II Thessalonians. I have taught this book many times and, each time I teach through it, I learn new things about God and new things about myself.

If you have been following this series, you are aware of the previous lessons and what they teach. If you have not been following the series, take a moment to play a little catch up by reading the following articles.

  1. The importance of communication
  2. Genuine faith endures persecution
  3. Concerning the Day of the Lord
  4. The Church and the Day of the Lord 
  5. Praying for your disciples

The previous lesson focused on prayer, specifically, praying for your disciples, that they would grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, that they would grow in their faith, that they would grow in their love, and that they would continue making more disciples.  Continue reading

Appreciate your spiritual leaders

thank-you-card-lettering-leo-gomezI just listened to a wonderful sermon preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I am currently listening to it again so that I can translate it into English for this article so that you can be blessed by it the way that I was.

How much do you appreciate your spiritual leaders? Do you have spiritual leaders/mentors? God has orchestrated the Christian life to be one of a person having a mentor, being  a mentee, and then becoming a mentor while still being mentored. This process is laid out for us in Matthew 28. We see it explained by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:2. Paul was mentored by Jesus. Paul mentors Timothy. As Timothy is being mentored, he begins to mentor others. Those whom Timothy mentors begin to mentor others. Jesus –> Paul –> Timothy –> new disciples –> their disciples. Unfortunately, there are many in the church who have never experienced God’s amazing plan of being discipled. Even if you do not have a direct mentor, you have a spiritual leader if you are part of a local church. Paul explains this in Ephesians 4. The spiritual leaders pour into the lives of the members and the members serve one another and together, reach out to the community to make disciples. Continue reading

Paul’s Missionary Journey

fullsizerenderThis coming Sunday we are going to learn about Paul’s first missionary Journey in Acts 14. I am excited for our kids because they are learning to discover the Truth of the Word of God for themselves. The valuable, basic Bible study tools that they are learning will stick with them for the rest of their lives and equip them to be able to open God’s Word at any time and hear directly from Him. Over the past month, we have covered Acts 4, Acts 8, Acts 9, and Acts 10. It has been neat to see how the Lord has worked in and through the lives of His disciples. He has given each of His followers the gift of the Holy Spirit and told them to be witnesses everywhere they find themselves. We saw Peter and John do this in Acts 4. We saw Philip do this in Acts 8. Paul began to do it once he encountered Christ and was born again. We ran in to Peter once again in Acts 10 when he shares the Gospel with Cornelius and a house full of Gentiles. Now, we are going to shift our focus to Paul and his missionary journeys.  Continue reading

The Urgency of the Gospel

photoI was trained by some of the best disciple makers in the world and, as they were investing in me, they invested the idea of the urgency of the Gospel. As I have grown in my faith by walking with the Lord, and as I have grown in the ministry, I have noticed that there are many “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ who have a much different philosophy of ministry than the one I was taught. Part of that includes a lack of urgency when it comes to making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world. I would like to examine the Scriptures and focus on the idea of the urgency of making disciples because the days are evil. Continue reading

Jesus sends out the disciples to preach

core4_01-490x350I was studying Matthew 10 today and as I was going through the passage in context, I discovered something that I had never seen before and I wanted to share that with you in this article. By the time we get to Matthew 10, Jesus’ disciples had been following Him for a while. They heard the message of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This calling was in the context of discipleship. Jesus taught them about repentance, and called them to follow Him as His disciple. The 12 answered the call. This calling was for any and everyone, but, the 12 were the ones who had answered the call. As they were walking with Jesus, He began to teach the crowds and at the same time, He was modeling ministry to His disciples. In chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus is about to give the disciples a practical assignment. This is one of the things that makes Jesus’ teaching special. He not only taught theory (concepts), He also gave practical assignments so that the people could apply what they were learning. Jesus’ teaching was practical. This is extremely important. If teaching is not practical, people are not able to use it in their daily lives. Take a moment to read Matthew 10. Continue reading

Concerning the Day of the Lord

359788141_1280x720I am preparing to teach the next lesson in our study of II Thessalonians. Previously, we have looked at the importance of communication from the Apostle Paul’s example in his second letter to the Thessalonian church. After that, we looked at how genuine faith endures persecution because of preaching the Gospel. This lesson deals with the coming of the Day of the Lord. This was part of the reason Paul had to write to the Thessalonians. Paul planted the church in Thessalonica when he was there with Timothy and Silas. He spent time teaching the new believers the Scriptures so that they could know God’s plan for the ages. Part of that teaching dealt with the coming of the Day of the Lord. After Paul left, he wrote his first letter to them to teach more concerning God’s plan for the ages. You can read about that in I Thessalonians. In between the first letter and the second one that he wrote to them, false teachers began to mislead people concerning God’s plan for the ages. There was a series of teachings and letters that taught that the Day of the Lord had already come and the Thessalonians had missed it. It shook the faith of some and they lost hope. They did not see a point in continuing to live out and spread the Gospel. Before Paul’s first letter, the Thessalonians were great about proclaiming the Gospel. They had filled Asia Minor with the Gospel and Paul praises them for it in his first letter. That had stopped because of the false teaching and shaken faith caused by the false teachings. This is where we pick up chapter 2 of II Thessalonians. Paul gives evidence that the Day of the Lord has not taken place yet because of some events that MUST take place first. Continue reading

Beware that you are not a false believer

I am getting ready to teach Lesson 3 from the Bible study course, “Being a disciple: Counting the Real COST” to my preschool teachers. I love these lessons because they are very challenging to all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ.

It is always good to examine ourselves and our way of life to make sure that we measure up to the high calling that God has given to us, to follow Christ. This is one reason that the Lord’s Supper exists. We examine our daily lives to see if we are living up to God’s standards. This lesson is a great lesson for self-examination and I pray that God will use it to search your heart the way that He did to search my heart. Continue reading

The birth of Christ

Today during children’s church, we are going to cover the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Over the past 2 weeks, we covered the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Last week, we covered the ascension of Christ. Christ is our example of serving others, connecting with them and then teaching them how to connect with God. He did it during His life and after His resurrection, up until the moment that He ascended into heaven. After His ascension, He sent the Holy Spirit to empower His followers to be living testimonies for Him, connecting with others and discipling them, teaching them how to connect with God.

This week, we are taking a step back and looking at the birth of Christ, specifically focusing on the characters involved, namely, Joseph and Mary, and of course, their Son, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Daniel and Biblical Prophecy VII

This is the last article on the book of Daniel and end times prophecy. I started writing these posts a couple of years ago and wrote all of them but the last one. I am teaching this last lesson tonight and decided to write about it before teaching it.

As we have seen over and over again in the previous articles on Daniel, the future of the world has already been written. God has explained in very specific details what is going to happen in the future. He wrote this around 550 B.C. and laid out what the future held for the Jews, up until the first coming of Christ, all the way until the second coming of Christ. All has happened just like God explained. There is just a little bit left and it will happen.

From our previous article, we learned about the 70 weeks that have been decreed for the nation of Israel in Daniel 9. According to the text, the 70 weeks, or 490 years are divided like the diagram shows.Untitled Continue reading