Jesus the Servant, Messiah, and Redeemer

simeon-and-anna-dedicationLast week, I was able to lead our Connect Group lesson via a Facebook live post due to the Coronavirus. This week, we are still not able to meet in our small groups due to the restriction of public gatherings by the Governor of Maryland. As a result, we are going to have to do things a little differently when it comes to church. Our entire service will be virtual. I will be teaching via Facebook live and then our senior pastor will preach a sermon via Facebook live. The church will gather in the virtual sphere, which is a blessing in our modern times. In the last lesson, we learned that Jesus was born to be the King, the Savior, and the Servant. This lesson will focus on Jesus as Servant, Messiah, and Redeemer. We continue to study through the Gospel of Luke. This week, we will continue to look at chapter 2. Continue reading

From fear and doubt to praise and service

Last week, we took a look at our great salvation in Jesus Christ. This week, we are digging into the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1. Our lesson will cover the birth of John the Baptist. In this lesson, we will begin with fear and doubt that, through faith, leads to praise and service of the Lord. I do not know about you, but, to me, this is very, very good news. I know what it means to be afraid. I know what it means to doubt and be uncertain. I can relate to those feelings and emotions and I would be willing to bet that you can relate to them as well. Zacharias  was a servant of the Lord who struggled with fear and doubt. That reassures me to read about because I can relate. If you ever struggle with fear and doubt, this lesson is for you, just as much as it is for me. Let’s dig down in Luke 1 and learn how we can go from fear and doubt to praise and service. Continue reading

Mary’s Song of Praise

8500This week, I was preparing for our Connect Group lesson at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. We are walking through the Bible over a three year period and, after two years, we have finished the Old Testament and now we are going to begin the New Testament. Our study of the New Testament begins with the Gospels. We are going to focus on the Gospel of Luke. The lesson for this week does not focus on Mary’s song of praise, but, I want to write about it because it really moved me. Depending on the denomination, Christians generally have two views of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Continue reading

The transformational power of the New Covenant

Here are Southern Calvert Baptist church, we have completed the first year of a three year project of walking through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We have been tracing the promise and fulfillment of Messiah, the Savior of the world. In Exodus, we witnessed the giving of the Law and how Israel entered into the Old Covenant with God. This was another step in the process of bringing the Messiah to the earth. In the book of Jeremiah, we are going to discover that the Messiah is going to bring a New Covenant with Him to the children of Israel. This covenant will also be available for the Gentiles (everyone who is not Jewish by birth). It is a different covenant from the first one because it is going to do something that the first covenant was never intended to do. That is what we are going to discover in this lesson. Our passage for consideration this week is Jeremiah 31:31-40. Take a moment and read it below. Continue reading

Coming under the protection of the Lord

Ruth-wsI am so excited about getting to meet with my Sunday School class this week at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I have not been in the class for the past 4 Sundays due to ministry work in South Asia. I was so blessed to have members of the church fill in for me while God directed me to teach the Word in a difficult area of the world. This Sunday, as we are walking through the entire Bible in a three year period, we have come to the Old Testament book of Ruth. We have been tracing the line of the Messiah from Genesis and we have found Jesus in every book of the Bible. This week, we are going to learn how a Gentile pagan chooses to believe in the coming Messiah and come under the protection of the Lord. It is an amazing story for us Gentiles. 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

Belief is more than a confession

Jesus-and-LazarusI am getting ready to teach tonight at our church. I have a lesson with the AWANA kids and we are going to study John 11. This is a fascinating chapter because in verse 35, we find the shortest verse in the Bible. Why did Jesus weep? Some say that it is because He was heartbroken over the death of Lazarus. Others claim that He wept because Mary and Martha were mourning over the death of their brother. While those seem like logical conclusions, I do not feel that the text leads us to that conclusion. We read that into the text based on our own experienced. There are three key players in this text that work together to explain the purpose of this passage in the Bible. One of the key players is Jesus. He is referenced more in this passage than anyone else. The verb “believe” is referenced 8 times in this chapter, making it another key player in the story. Another word that is mentioned three times in this chapter is “resurrection”. All three of these key players lead us to the logical conclusion of the text. Continue reading

The Prince of Peace reigns

Slide06This 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

Why we all have a sinful nature

10_principle-rebellionThis weekend at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to study Genesis chapter 3 and learn about the fall of mankind into sin. Because of this fall, all of us have a sinful nature. This is important to understand because the world as it is right now is not the way that God created it. People are not the way that we were created to be. In Genesis 1 and 2, we learn that God created a perfect world and that He created people to be His image, His reflection, not in the way that we look, but, in our character. Our attitude, actions, and words are to reflect God’s attitude, actions, and words. This is not the case for the majority of people around us. If you have ever asked why things are the way that they are, the answer is found in Genesis 3. Let’s take a look at this chapter and a portion of chapter 4 to see what we can learn about why we are the way that we are. Before Genesis 3, mankind existed in perfect relationship with God and with each other. Because of the events in Genesis 3, everything changed. Here is how it happened. Continue reading

Paul’s Journey to Rome

acts-pauls-voyage-to-romeThis lesson for our Connect Group classes will carry us to the end of the book of Acts. The book of Acts has a peculiar ending. Actually, it does not end. The book concludes with Paul in Rome preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. The idea is that the ministry has continued uninterrupted until this very moment. In a way, even though Paul went to glory long ago, the ministry that he started still continues on to this day. Some mission movements have named themselves Acts 29 because the modern church is living out Acts 29. Every generation of Christians lives out Acts 29. Continue reading