I am so excited to prepare for our Connect Group teacher training meeting on Sunday evening. In our Connect Groups this Sunday, we are going to learn how discipleship is the process of empowering others for ministry. The lesson that follows is about the Law of God given to the children of Israel. In this lesson, we are going to discover the purpose of the Law, but, before we dig into what the Law was for, we have to discuss what the Law is not for. Continue reading
On Wednesday nights at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, my wife leads a small group Bible study on the Peter’s first epistle. Last night, we covered lesson two which was a chapter study on I Peter 1. In order to get caught up to speed on I Peter 1, I need to give you some context. Peter is writing to believers, people who have chosen to bow to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him for the rest of their lives. This decision to follow Christ has cost them everything. They are heavily persecuted for their faith, to the point where they are on the run, fleeing to new areas to escape. Peter tells us his reason for writing in I Peter 5:12: Continue reading
Yesterday, I had a great opportunity to meet with our Sunday School teachers of Southern Calvert Baptist Church and study our up coming lesson on the importance of growing to maturity in our faith. This week, we are going to study the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the church in Corinth. This church was very near and dear to Paul’s heart, even though this church gave Paul many headaches and sleepless nights. All of the epistles that we have in the New Testament come as a result of conflict(s) among the new believers. I love to study and teach the epistles because they give us a great opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others. I smart man learns from his mistakes and I wise man learns from the mistakes of others. I want us all to be wise people because God wants us all to be wise people. In the last lesson, we learned about the problems in the churches in the region of Galatia. God exposes the problems and then offers the solution. Pointing out problems without offering solutions is just complaining. People who do this are a dime a dozen. There are very few who have the desire to point out problems and then offer wise solutions. The Apostle Paul was one of those rare people who pointed out problems and then offered wise solutions. Continue reading
In our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are beginning a new quarter this weekend. I am excited because we are diving into the book of Exodus, learning about the great calling that God has. I have heard some people teach that “God has a plan for your life“. That sounds good but I do not see it in the Bible. I see God having a plan and inviting us to be a part of His plan instead of having an individual plan for each life. Each person does have a role to play in God’s overall plan but, it’s all about Him and not about us. I know the difference sounds subtle but, when the implications are carried out, it is huge. Continue reading
I was challenged by a friend of mine on Facebook today to take time to read Psalm 40. Boy am I glad that I did. I would like to share some of the truths that I gleaned from Psalm 40 in this article.
A few years ago, while serving on the foreign mission field, I ran into people who had this strange mentality, suggesting that faith and our relationship with God was something that we keep in our hearts. In other words, faith is private and not a public matter. King David had a very different opinion. He boldly proclaimed his faith and relationship with God to anyone who wanted to listen. In the famous “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus proclaimed that His followers are to be salt and light. Both salt and light have visible effects on the world around them. In other words, Jesus and David both teach the same principle, that faith is to be very public, that we should be ready to share about our relationship with God with anyone who will listen. Continue reading
I am writing this article after teaching this past weekend at Hoffmantown Kids. I usually write before I teach, in order to think through the subject and be better prepared to share the lesson. Last week, I taught on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This lesson is about the New Jerusalem that God is going to bring down from heaven to the new earth. The question is, “why is there a need for a new earth and a new Jerusalem”? I am so glad that you asked that question because I want to answer it in this article. There are 5 aspects that we need to focus on in order to understand the new Jerusalem. Continue reading
I have spent the better part of this school year teaching through the Gospel of Mark with my preschool teachers. We have all learned so much about our Lord and Savior, how He interacted with people to share the message of the Gospel with them in order to help them connect with God. All throughout the history of Israel, God had established spiritual leaders to help the common people connect with Him. For the most part, the spiritual leaders used their position and authority to lord over the people instead of help them connect with God. In Mark 10, Jesus reveals what people who are not connected with God are like. Most of the examples are the spiritual leaders. This is yet another opportunity for the spiritual leaders to admit their failure, repent of their mindset and actions, and connect with God through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, most of them were so caught up in themselves that they could not admit their wrong doing and therefore continued to live disconnected from their Creator. This same problem exists to this very day in all churches, no matter the denomination or creed. I would like to examine this idea of getting connected with God through the Lord Jesus Christ as presented by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10. Continue reading
Tonight, at church, we are hosting a parents’ night out which means that we get the kiddos. We have over 80 kids signed up. The program is called Kids’ Jams. I am excited. We have a fun night planned. We are going to study Habakkuk.
What do you do when bad things happen? Some people blame God. Others lose hope. While still others try to “fix” the situation. What if none of those help, then what do you do? Habakkuk has the answer for us. Continue reading
I am getting ready to teach our kids this coming Sunday about the Apostle Paul’s Second missionary journey. Part of that journey included a church plant in the city of Philippi. As we saw when Paul was on his first missionary trip, he did not set out to plant churches. He was called by God to go and make disciples. The churches were formed as a result of people being discipled. This is the model for church planting. The modern approach is exactly backwards. We seek to plant churches and then disciple people once they become part of the church. Our modern form of church has much to learn from the Biblical approach. There are many areas where we are far from the Bible in our approach to modern ministry. Continue reading
I want to address the teaching that is popular today among many evangelical teachers, a teaching that I believe is incorrect, that is, a teaching that says a person can be a born again Christian without being a disciple. The idea, separate from the clear teachings of Scripture, is that salvation is a free gift, a statement with which I agree, and in God’s economy, He calls us to believe that Jesus Christ is God, and then, once we have believed, we are invited into the process of discipleship. I have previously written on the mark of a genuine disciple and in this article, I lay out the reasons why I believe that a person cannot be a Christian without being a disciple.
In this article, I would like to examine Luke 14 to demonstrate that Jesus teaches that a person cannot be a believer without being a disciple. Take a moment to read Luke 14 and then let’s think through this teaching that Luke records. Jesus is the teacher and He gives a call to follow Him in this passage. He gives a call to discipleship. He gives a call to enter into the kingdom of God. Continue reading