Idolatry: Are you not entertained?

vort-2017-01-16-thumbIf you saw Russel Crowe in Gladiator back in the year 2000, you remember that line that the title of this article is from. The Romans loved to be entertained. That is our human nature. That is our sin nature. The children of Israel were no different. We are also no different today. We have a way of justifying our idols today, similarly to the way that the children of Israel justified their idols. 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

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

Joseph: Forgiveness and Service

bigstock-Forgive-This week during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to continue covering the life of Joseph. This is part of our overall, three year plan of walking through the Bible. We began the journey in August. It is now December. God has really blessed the study of His Word. We have learned so much over the past four months. We have covered such topics as: Continue reading

Joseph: A picture of steadfastness

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 3.37.53 PMThe Gospel transforms us. It is the most amazing miracle of all time. It has been happening every day over the past 2,000 years. Not only does the Gospel transform us, It also equips us for daily life. Many people are influenced by the circumstances of life. When things are going well, they respond well. When things begin to go poorly, they do not respond well. The Gospel makes us stable in all of our ways. This is exemplified in the life of Joseph. Early on in his life, things were going well. Joseph was loved by his father. He was walking with the Lord. God revealed His plan to Joseph. Joseph was living to accomplish the will of the Lord. The dark spot was the fact that his brothers did not like him. By the end of Genesis 37, Joseph is at a low point in his life. His parents thought he was dead. He was sold into slavery. This is a test for Joseph, to see what he is really made of and to see if he really trusts in the power of God. Let’s see what we can discover about Joseph’s response and what that teaches us about the power of the Gospel. Continue reading

Joseph: A type and shadow of Christ

josephThis Sunday, we begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups. As a church, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. In this quarter, we will begin by looking at the life of Joseph, over a three week period. In this first lesson, we are going to begin to see how Joseph is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. He is a picture of what the Messiah will be like when He comes on the scene. Continue reading

The Gospel Restores Ruined Relationships

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Relationships are hard. Everyone can agree on that. They are hard because relationships involve being selfless. That does not come naturally to us as humans because of our sin nature. By nature, we are selfish. I do not like it but, it is the truth. All of us have suffered at some point or another from ruined relationships. It does not really matter if we are the victim or the aggressor. In either case, God wants to restore relationships. In fact, He is in the business of restoring relationships. God has always been in a perfect relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When God created mankind, He created us to be in a right relationship with Him and to manifest that right relationship with Him in our relationships with one another. We see this theme run all throughout the Bible. Continue reading

God’s Mercy and Grace extended to Leah

extending-mercy-graceIt has been neat to see the common theme of the mercy and grace of God run through each chapter of the book of Genesis. God is weaving a story together throughout His Word and it threads together beautifully with human history. Mankind, from Genesis 3 to Genesis 29, our current chapter for consideration, has been looking for a Rescuer. God promised Adam and Eve that they would be saved by a Male Child, born of a virgin. Every generation that has followed has learned about this Male Child who would Rescue people from sin’s penalty and power. God’s mercy is manifested in the fact that He does not punish people immediately for their sins. God’s grace is manifested in the fact that He gives people multiple opportunities to get right with Him through faith in the Messiah, the Promised Rescuer. Continue reading

God’s Mercy and Grace in Jacob’s life

640px-Book_of_Genesis_Chapter_27-5_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media)As we have been walking through the book of Genesis, we have noticed a pattern that appears in almost every chapter. Mankind deserves punishment for his sin, yet, God, being rich in mercy and grace, chooses to give mankind a Savior instead of the punishment that we deserve. We see faith appear in Genesis 4 when Eve believes that her firstborn son, Cain, is the promised Savior. Adam and Eve pass faith on to their sons Cain and Abel. Abel chooses to live by faith while Cain chooses to allow his sin nature to master him. Noah is a man of faith. He trusts God with his life and the life of his family. Abraham is known as the father of faith. He passes his faith on to his son Isaac and Isaac passes that faith on to his sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau chooses to live by his sin nature while Jacob chooses to live by faith. The story of Esau and Jacob continues in Genesis 27-28. Although Jacob lives by faith, he still makes mistakes. In the midst of those mistakes, he keeps his eyes on God’s eternal plan and is able to experience God’s mercy and grace. That same mercy and grace is available for Esau, yet, he keeps his focus on gratifying his desires. Continue reading