Mercy and Grace through Judgment?

hoseaIs it possible for God to show mercy and grace even in the midst of His judgment? Can judgment/discipline be a positive event in our lives? Is it possible to view judgment in a positive light? Let’s discover the answers to these questions and more as we turn to the book of Hosea. Here at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we have been walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. Currently, we are in the book of Hosea. Our goal is to examine every book of the Bible and discover how each book points to the person of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. Continue reading

Elisha chooses mercy and grace

3c86f228e28bb08242fca018e85248aeThis past Sunday, we looked at our second lesson on the life and ministry of the prophet Elisha. We saw how Elijah took Elisha under his wing and trained him for the ministry. In the beginning of his ministry, Elisha was not quick to extend mercy and grace to his enemies. Instead, he called down fire from heaven on two different occasions to consume his enemies. But, as he continued to minister, we see him change to a person who extends mercy and grace to those around him, even to his enemies.

The passage that we studied in class comes from II Kings 6. But, I want to give some context by quickly recapping what took place in II Kings 4-5. Elisha the prophet has several encounter with several different people in these chapters and there are some common character traits among these people. Continue reading

Complicated King Ahab

023-jehoshaphat-ahabI finished off the last article with a cliffhanger. Elijah confronted the sins of wicked King Ahab and there was a showdown between the false prophets and God’s prophet, Elijah. Elijah had the wicked, false prophets put to death for their actions. Then, he was sent to pursue King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. That is how the story ended. King Ahab and Jezebel must pay for their deeds. They rebelled against God and murdered the prophets of the Lord. They led the people in idolatry. The rest of this story unfolds in I Kings 20-22. These are some fascinating chapters in the Word of God. Continue reading

God’s mercy and grace produce genuine worship

king-davidLast week during our Connect Group at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we took a look at the contrast between King Saul and David. King Saul was a man who trusted in himself. The prophet Jeremiah teaches that a man who trusts in himself is like a bush planted in the desert on top of a rock that is covered in salt. The results are catastrophic. King Saul’s life was one disaster after another. The Lord allowed King Saul to rule for over 40 years as punishment to the children of Israel because they rebelled against the Lord and asked for a king so that they could be just like the pagans. David, the future King of Israel was a man who trusted in the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah also teaches that a man who trusts in the Lord is like tree planted next to the water, with roots that extend deep and tap into the underground water supply. Even when drought comes, the tree continues to produce fruit. David lived a fruitful life for the Lord. God allows us to choose our actions but, He has already announced the consequences of those actions. Continue reading

Rahab experiences salvation

cph_30120959831As we have been walking through the Old Testament, focusing on the fact that God has promised to send a Savior to rescue mankind from his greatest enemy, himself, we have seen many different people trust in God’s plan of salvation. Adam and Eve trusted in God’s salvation. Able trusted in God’s salvation. Noah trusted in God’s salvation and he shared the message of salvation with everyone who would listen. Only his family chose to believe him. Abraham trusted in God’s salvation. Isaac trusted in God’s salvation. Jacob trusted in God’s salvation. Joseph trusted in God’s salvation. Moses trusted in God’s salvation. Joshua trusted in God’s salvation. We saw that both Jews and Gentiles experienced God’s salvation.  In this lesson, we are going to see how a lying prostitute named Rahab comes to trust in God’s salvation. This story reveals that God’s salvation is not based on merit. God’s salvation is based on His character, the revelation of His mercy and grace to a world that is far from His presence. Rahab was far from the presence of God yet, in His mercy and grace, He sent out His message to her. Continue reading

Rebellious against God

rebellious-1Our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church are walking through the Old Testament book of Exodus, focusing on God’s Great Calling. He is El Roi which means that He sees all things and is not indifferent to what happens to us. God intervenes on mankind’s behalf by calling us to come out of our slavery to sin and learn to worship Him. Some respond to the calling in obedience (Moses) while others respond by hardening their hearts to the message (Pharaoh). Once we respond to this calling, God wants to work in our lives via a spiritual mentor. He also wants to take us and train us to share His message of Good News with anyone who will listen. As we learn to walk with God, our sin nature seeks to dominate us like it once did, before we answered God’s Great Calling. It tries to get us to give in to our fears and not walk by faith. It tries to get us to grumble against our spiritual leaders instead of walking in humble obedience to the Lord by submitting to the leadership whom He has put over us. In our last lesson, we learned the purpose of the 10 Commandments. We learned that the 10 Commandments show us just how sinful we are. Moses had a sin nature just like the people of Israel had a sin nature. Moses was tempted just as the people of Israel were tempted. They both respond very differently to temptation. Continue reading

Your Emotions Will Follow Your Faith

feelings-chart2-1024x786Last Sunday, we had an awesome Sunday School lesson about doing battle with our worst enemy. David reminded us in Psalm 141 that we are our own worst enemies and that we need a Protector to protect us from ourselves. We all need a guard over our mouths so that we do not tear people down with our words and, instead, we build them up. We also need someone to protect us from hearts’ inclination toward evil. Finally, we learned to be grateful for those who help us stay away from evil and do good, even if they have to rebuke and correct us. I know all who were involved in studying the Word were blessed. I pray that we put into practice this week all that we learned last weekend. This coming Sunday, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to examine Psalm 42. Continue reading

Honor the power of the Word of God

I am super excited about teaching God’s Word this weekend during children’s church at Hoffmantown. This lesson focuses on the power of the Word of God and what our attitude should be toward the Word of God. Our main passage of study is Jeremiah 36. Before we get into this text, I would like for us to examine some truths from II Timothy 3:16. From this passage, we discover that the Word of God is profitable to us when we open It up and begin to explore It. The first thing that the Word of God does is, It teaches us. Everything that we do in this life is something that we must learn. Walking with God is no different. We have to learn to walk with God. His wants to teach us how to walk with Him via His Word. As we learn from God, He begins to show us our mistakes. This is not a very pleasant experience but it is a very much needed experience. Continue reading

God, Joseph, his brothers, and FORGIVENESS

As we continue to study through the life of Joseph, learning how to connect with God and with others so that we can connect them with God, we get to the need for forgiveness. In order to forgive correctly, we need to understand what forgiveness is so that we can extend it to others. Last week, we learned that when you connect with God, He motivates you to work hard to serve the people around you. As you serve the people around you, you will have opportunities to connect those people with God. Continue reading