Peter’s Denial of Christ

peters-denialI have been teaching through the Gospel of Mark in a weekly Bible study with a group of men. We are now in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14. Today’s lesson is on Peter’s denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although the outlook is bleak for Christ and for Peter, there is a ray of hope in this section. The ray of hope is for Peter. As you read, remember, you are Peter and I am Peter. We all have the capability of acting like Peter. The good news is that there is still hope for you and for me. Our text is Mark 14:41-72. Continue reading

Forgiveness, Love, Service, and Salvation

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 1.45.25 PMI am getting ready to teach during our AWANA class tonight at church. The subject of our study is Luke 23. We are going to focus on the crucifixion of Christ and the fact that will suffering unjustly, Jesus was still ready to offer to His enemies:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Love
  3. Service
  4. Salvation

Continue reading

Balaam: A Prophet seeking a Profit

1485591109322Balak was a pagan king who took preventative measures (in his own mind) by trying to harm the children of Israel. God had done some amazing things in the lives of the children of Israel. His Name became famous among the pagan nations of the Near East. Egypt, the world powerhouse of the time was brought to its knees by the power of God. They never made a recovery. The pagan nations of the Near East were afraid of the Lord because of His power and might. They also hated the Jewish people because they were sided with the eternal enemy of God, since they were pagans and idol worshipers and God had promised to bring mankind’s Rescuer through the Jewish nation. The people of Moab were terrified because they assumed that the children of Israel would attack them. They stirred up their king, Balak, to take preventative Continue reading

Praise and Service please the Lord

00.159.182_PS2I’m preparing to teach during our AWANA program this evening at church and we are going to study the topic of praising the Lord in our daily lives. Our passage of study is Luke 19.

The context of Luke 19 helps us understand why Jesus wept over Jerusalem during the festive time. The Triumphal entry marks what we call Holy Week today in the Christian calendar. It was a time of praise and worship, Palm Sunday, and yet, during the height of the festivities, Jesus wept. Why? Luke 19 explains why. Continue reading

Heroes appear after the danger is over

heart_of_stone_by_thecomicfanThis title of this article is based on an idiom in the Romanian language. Basically, it means that the true heroes fight while the danger is present. After the danger is over, the rest come out with signs of bravado, even though they were hiding when the danger was present. This is a perfect picture of what we see in the children of Israel in Numbers 13 and Numbers 14. Continue reading

Is Your Worship Useless?

Useful and Useless directions.  Opposite traffic sign.I imagine that the title is quite provocative. In all honesty, it is not a title that I came up with on my own. I actually borrowed the idea from the Lord. He makes this proclamation in Isaiah chapter 1. I would like to examine the passage to discover what kind of worship is useless in the eyes of God. Could any of this describe us today? Continue reading

Discipleship: Empowering others for ministry

quote-pics.002I am working on my Sunday School lesson this week and our passage is Exodus 18. Our previous lesson was on how our sin nature is contentious. God has promised victory to us, we simply have to walk in that victory daily. Continue reading

A Picture of Faith

faithI am getting ready to teach at our AWANA group tomorrow evening. I am so excited to work with these kids. I have been teaching them since last Fall. It is so neat to see what happens when kids learn to study the Word of God for themselves. Last week, we learned about Running the race of faith. This week, we are going to see a picture of what faith is. Our text to consider this week is Luke 9. In this lesson, we are going to see an example of faith’s actions, a need for adjustment along the journey of faith, and finally, we are going to examine faith’s acknowledgment (confession). Continue reading

Sin Nature is Contentious

grumpyAs we continue to walk through the book of Exodus, we continue to see the character of God, His working out of an eternal plan, as well as His personal interaction with humanity. While walking through Genesis, we discovered that all of us have been born with a sin nature and that sin nature wants to master us. God’s plan is to rescue us from our sin nature so that we can master it. In Exodus 17, we are going to discover that God is our victory over our sin nature. God reveals this character trait to us through His Name, Jehovah-Nissi. The Lord is our banner of victory. Victory over our sin nature is already ours, we simply must choose to walk in that victory. God shows this to us with His interaction with the children of Israel in the wilderness. Sin nature is never satisfied, ever. The more that it is fed, the more it wants. The children of Israel were hungry, so, by grace, the Lord fed them manna from heaven. They then wanted meat. God gave them meat until it spewed from their nostrils. In Exodus 17, now they are thirsty. Let’s take a look at how their sin nature manifests itself when squeezed. 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