This week, in our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are finishing up our last study on the Old Testament. This has been a two year journey. Our goal was to walk through the entire Bible over a three year period. It took us about 2 years to get to where we are now and that means that we will walk through the New Testament in one year. This week, our focus is on Malachi, the last book before God goes silent for 400 years.
I had the privilege last night of teaching Romans 12:1-8 to our Journey kids at AWANA. These are high school students who are looking to the future. They are making decisions at this time in life that will impact the rest of their lives. Many are thinking about their future; what superior studies they would like to attain, what kind of job they would like to have, where they want to live in the future etc. These are tough decisions for teenagers to contemplate. The most important decision that anyone could ever make is dedicating his or her present and future to serving the Lord. What does that look like practically? The apostle Paul gives us the answer in Romans 12. Continue reading
As I sit and prepare for Sunday School, I cannot tell you how excited I am for this lesson. I constantly hear calls for “unity” in the church but, very few of the proclaimers for unity, actually give a clear path of action, a blueprint if you will, that leads to Biblical unity. The vague call is “we just need to love more”. I understand that but, how to you express that call in concrete ways? I am a concrete thinker because when concepts are concrete, people are more likely to apply them. When concepts are abstract, people are less likely to apply because they are not sure what or how to apply the concept. God’s Word presents concepts in concrete ways so that we are able to apply them. In fact, when Jesus gives many of His teachings in parables, He lays the understanding and application in the lap of the audience by exclaiming, “he who has ears, let him hear”. In other words, if you heard this message, you are responsible to understand it and then apply it to your life. This is why God teaches concepts to us in concrete ways, because He wants us to understand them and then apply them. If we have a hard time with understanding, then the Lord tells us to ask Him for understanding and He will give as much as we ask for, without chastising us for asking again and again. In this lesson, we are going to examine Romans 12 in order to discover the blueprint for unity in Christ. Continue reading
Our previous lesson was on how Joseph overcame loneliness. If you studied with us, you saw that in order to overcome loneliness, Joseph did not focus on himself. He remained connected to God. Since he had a personal relationship with God, he continued to communicate with God and God continued to communicate with him. Since Joseph was faithful to God, he was given favor in the eyes of the head jailer and was given total control over the jail. Joseph had a desire to serve the people around him because as we have learned, when a person is connected to God, he wants to connect with others so that he can help them connect with God. Because Joseph serves the other prisoners, God gives him a chance to help them connect with Him. The head cup-bearer and the head baker end up in jail, have strange dreams, and look for help. They look to Joseph because they have seen him helping others. Joseph helps to connect them with God. Even though things did not work out the way that Joseph wanted, he remained faithful to God and God’s plan/calling. Continue reading