The vanity of happiness

71a1yApXr5L._SX466_But God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He“? I have heard people declare this many times, in the form of a question of course, even though their minds are already made up. Mantras like “YOLO” were popular at one time. “If it feels good, do it” was another popular saying for a time. If you do not know, YOLO means “you only live once” which implies, have fun at all costs because you only get one time around. Each older generation declares that the younger generations are selfish, unlike themselves, when they were younger. I want to look at a passage of Scripture that speaks of people about 3,000 years ago. According to our modern way of thinking, the people 3,000 years ago should have been much less selfish than we are today because each generation claims that the next generation is much more selfish. Let’s take a practical look at the people of Israel, almost 3,000 years ago. Continue reading

Mercy and Grace through Judgment?

hoseaIs it possible for God to show mercy and grace even in the midst of His judgment? Can judgment/discipline be a positive event in our lives? Is it possible to view judgment in a positive light? Let’s discover the answers to these questions and more as we turn to the book of Hosea. Here at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we have been walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. Currently, we are in the book of Hosea. Our goal is to examine every book of the Bible and discover how each book points to the person of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. Continue reading

Beware of Gossip

636699511480249780-636615629448888954-GettyImages-690656936I heard a message the other day, preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. It really touched my heart and I decided to translate it here in written form. The word that is translated into English as gossip, in the New Testament, is the Greek word “psithurismos“. It is derived from the verb “to whisper“. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is “ragan“. In some English translations, it is translated as “whisperer“. It’s roots go back to the grumbling and murmuring that the children of Israel did when they were wandering in the wilderness. It means to talk bad about someone, especially when they are not there to defend themselves or the accusations that you make. It causes another person to form a negative opinion about the person you talk about. This is something that is appealing to our sin nature. Little children do this without being taught what it is or how to do it. It’s in us from birth. Continue reading

Elisha prepared for ministry

63865-1280px-elijahthrowinghismantleonelisha.1200w.tnOnce again, I am preparing to teach our Bible study for our Connect Groups this coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. This is our third week in a row that we are focusing on the life and ministry of the prophet Elijah. We saw Elijah’s encounter with the pagan, widow woman. Then we looked at how Elijah confronted the sin of King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. The previous article ended the complicated life of King Ahab. This week, we are going to come to the end of Elijah’s earthly ministry. But, before Elijah goes to be with the Lord, he does what all good leaders in the Bible do; he makes a disciple. Elijah prepares a disciple to receive the baton of leadership and continue the ministry. Far too many leaders today miss the most important calling of leadership, to prepare more leaders. Continue reading

Complicated King Ahab

023-jehoshaphat-ahabI finished off the last article with a cliffhanger. Elijah confronted the sins of wicked King Ahab and there was a showdown between the false prophets and God’s prophet, Elijah. Elijah had the wicked, false prophets put to death for their actions. Then, he was sent to pursue King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. That is how the story ended. King Ahab and Jezebel must pay for their deeds. They rebelled against God and murdered the prophets of the Lord. They led the people in idolatry. The rest of this story unfolds in I Kings 20-22. These are some fascinating chapters in the Word of God. Continue reading

Elijah Confronts Sin

cph_30240958230Once again, I am sitting to write out my lesson for this coming Sunday. At Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are walking through the entire Bible over a three year period. Last week, we covered the lesson on Elijah and the widow woman from I Kings 17. Jesus actually uses this woman’s faith as an example of what genuine faith looks like. She heard the Word of the Lord and she chose to trust the Word of the Lord, even when it meant putting her life and future on the line.

Elijah is a man of faith. He has a very difficult task ahead of him. He was called by God to take a very difficult message to the leadership of Israel. He publicly rebukes King Ahab for his wicked ways and then he prays according to the Word of God. As a result of that prayer, it does not rain in Israel for three and a half years. There is a severe famine in the land and everyone is suffering. The widow from the previous chapter was suffering because of this event. King Ahab is enraged and his wife actually begins putting to death the prophets of the Lord. One of King Ahab’s own servants, a man who fears the Lord, hid one hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two different caves so that they could not be put to death. He also provided food and water for them. King Ahab does not know about this. Elijah has survived the persecution but he is on the run. Things are bad in Israel physically, politically, spiritually etc. This is where our story picks up in I Kings 18. Continue reading

David takes a stand for the Lord

David-Vs-GoliathWe live in a world where people are afraid to take a stand for the Lord because of political correctness. People have been trained to keep their heads down when it comes to social issues, like gay marriage, because if you take a stand and speak out, you get noticed and being noticed causes problems to your daily life. This is not something new. The Bible teaches us that there is nothing new under the sun. Almost 2,000 years ago, during the lifetime of Jesus, the dilemma of taking a stand for the Lord was just as complex as today. Continue reading

Learn to Respect the Lord

dagon-cae-ante-el-arca-de-jehovaLast week during our Connect Groups, we took a look at how Samuel was taught to hear and answer God’s high calling. The same is true for us today. God has the same high calling and we need to learn to hear it and respond. This week, we are going to continue to look at the ministry of Samuel. We discovered, last week, that Samuel spends the rest of his life taking the Word of the Lord to His people. That does not mean that the people always followed the advice that Samuel gave to them. Like all of us, the children of Israel battled with their sin nature on a daily basis. One of the biggest battles that the Lord warns us of is our battle with idolatry. Anything, even positive things, noble things can be turned into idols. Continue reading

Jesus’ Trial

Await_lgI have been teaching through the Gospel of Mark in an online Bible study that meets once a week. Mark has been racing through the stories to get to the cross. In Mark 15, we take a look at the trial of Christ. In a couple of the previous lessons, we covered:

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Coming under the protection of the Lord

Ruth-wsI am so excited about getting to meet with my Sunday School class this week at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I have not been in the class for the past 4 Sundays due to ministry work in South Asia. I was so blessed to have members of the church fill in for me while God directed me to teach the Word in a difficult area of the world. This Sunday, as we are walking through the entire Bible in a three year period, we have come to the Old Testament book of Ruth. We have been tracing the line of the Messiah from Genesis and we have found Jesus in every book of the Bible. This week, we are going to learn how a Gentile pagan chooses to believe in the coming Messiah and come under the protection of the Lord. It is an amazing story for us Gentiles. Continue reading