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
I write this article from personal experience. Whatever denomination you are part of, as a follower of Jesus Christ, your local church has a form of “government”. The English word “government” comes to us via Old French, according to Online Etymology Dictionary. The meaning is “control, direction, administration”. The origin of the Old French word is of course the Latin, “gubernare”. The Romans borrowed the word from the Greeks, modifying the Greek word “kybernan” (pronounced cybernan). It was a nautical term for steering a ship in the right direction. A local church is made up of redeemed sinners who still fight a moment by moment battle against their sin nature and as a result, they need to be guided through life. God created man to be led by Him. Once mankind rebelled against God, we traded God’s leadership for the leadership of others. We still need to be led, even to this day. Communities and relationships fall apart if there is not strong leadership. Your local church needs leadership. God has provided leadership in the local church, just like He has established leadership in local, secular government. When God set the guidelines for leadership in the church, He chose mature believers who had certain experience and spiritual giftings to lead. God chooses what spiritual girts we receive upon salvation and He also provides ministry (service) for those gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. Biblically speaking, people do not choose a path to leadership in the church. God equips them and calls them according to His desire. In order to understand church leadership, we need to examine a couple of passages in the New Testament, passages that were written under the inspiration of God and these passages are the heart of God when it comes to church leadership. 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
It has been a lot of fun studying through the Gospel of Mark. I have been studying this Gospel with my preschool teachers on a biweekly basis. So far, we have covered 8 chapters. It is amazing to see how Jesus transforms people through the power of His Word. His message is for the entire world. In case you have not been studying along with us, here is a list of the previous lessons.
- Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
- Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
- The unpardonable sin
- The parable of the sower and the seed
- Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
- Jesus serves individuals
- Discipleship according to Jesus
- Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions
- The teachings of Pharisees vs. The teachings of Jesus Christ
In Mark chapter 9, we are going to discover the transforming power of an encounter with Jesus Christ. Just meeting Jesus is not enough. Continue reading
I am excited to be back home from the foreign mission field in SE Asia. I am preparing to teach the kids this Sunday during theROC (children’s church). The subject is serving and our passage is John 13. There are three lessons that we can and need to learn from this passage. This is the well known passage where Jesus washes the feet of His disciples. Jesus taught them a lesson in service that they would never forget. It is a lesson that all of us who are followers of Christ need to learn and apply. In the previous lesson, we learned about forgiveness from Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus searched for her and initiated the conversation with her. He shows her the need for the living water that only He can give. In order for her to receive this living water, her sins are confronted. She admits to her sins and receives the forgiveness that Christ offers, opening the door to a relationship with Him. She immediately wants to share this living water with all the people she knows. Many other people come to believe in Christ because she leads them to Him. Continue reading
How is it that two people who knew Jesus could both serve the people around them yet Jesus rebukes one and praises the other? Have you ever wondered why Martha was annoyed and bothered by the very people she was serving? Do you serve in the church or in the ministry? What motivates you to serve and what kind of attitude do you have? Have you ever thought about WHY you do what you do? What is your attitude like when you serve? Do you know how to serve, when to serve, why to serve etc. ? Christ teaches us how to serve, when to serve, where to serve, why to serve, and what kind of attitude we should have. Let’s open up God’s Word and discover truth for ourselves.
This coming Thursday, in Moldova, we will celebrate the 8th of March which is the equivalent of Mothers’ Day in the USA. In honor of this celebration, the guys of the youth group are dedicating the youth service to the girls of the youth group. I am preparing a message for the service which will explain the importance of women in the church, as the Bible portrays. Continue reading
In this article, I would like to continue what was begun in the last article, that is, looking at and understanding the 7 character traits of the “Beatitudes” as found in Matthew 5:3-9. We have already covered the first 3 (poor in spirit, mourning over sin, gentleness/meekness). As previously stated, there is a clear progression of events, one thing leading to another even though the beatitudes are part of a packaged deal. It all begins with repentance, coming to God as you are and reaching out to Him in desperate need.
I am getting ready to go to a youth camp where we will study the life of Abraham, learning about how to be a faithful friend of God. We plan on having over 60 youth at this camp. One of our desires is to use this camp as a chance to motivate the youth of Moldova to have an eternal impact in their society. The first night of the camp I want to preach a sermon on service, the importance of Christians serving God by serving the people around them. In order to prepare for this sermon, I want to write an article explaining the main truth of the message. I hope that this message will be as helpful to you as it has been for me. Continue reading
As I wrote yesterday, there are several men of faith from the O.T. who loved people and did all that they could to help people who were running as fast as they could toward destruction by being disobedient to God. I would like to continue the list that we began yesterday and see what other truths we can learn from God about how to love people and serve them.
Nehemiah is the next hero of faith that I would like to look at because he loved his country and countrymen even though he was enslaved in another country. Nehemiah gets word of what life is like in Jerusalem and he is saddened. God begins to work in Nehemiah’s heart about praying for his people and going back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and restore the city. Nehemiah goes to the Lord in prayer to intercede on behalf of his countrymen and ask the Lord what he should do. Let’s look at the prayer to God from Nehemiah.
I said, “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. “We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. “Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are Continue reading