Superficial Faith vs. Genuine Faith

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 4.35.23 PMI had the privilege today of leading a Bible study on the Gospel of Mark chapters 11 and 12. It has been eye opening to study through the Gospel of Mark, learning how Jesus Christ ministered while on this earth. If you have not been following the previous lessons, you can check them out here:

 

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God’s Plan for spiritual growth

I am preparing to teach a review lessons to my 2nd grade Sunday School class. We have spent the last 5 walks walking with the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. We left him in Rome, serving the Lord until his death. As we review this week, I thought that this would be the best lesson to teach because in this lesson, we discover the secret to Paul’s success in the ministry. There are many methods and books out there today that deal with ministry, leadership, church planting, missions, etc. I want to take a look at the Book of books on ministry, leadership, church planting, missions, etc., the Bible. Continue reading

Trust the Lord when life gets tough

UntitledTonight, 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

The teachings of the Pharisees vs. The teachings of Christ

phariseesI am so excited about being able to teach this chapter of Scripture this coming Monday to my preschool teachers. We have already walked through 7 chapters of the Gospel of Mark. It has been life changing to experience the life and ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I just think that it is so neat for people who have been in church for most of their lives jump into the Gospel passages and study them inductively for the first time. If you know me, you know that I love to study and teach the Bible inductively. I believe it is the Biblical way. We see the idea of questions being asked by the teacher and students responding to those questions with the Biblical text. The best example is the Apostle Paul. In his epistles, he asks questions and then anticipates the answer, or, he gives the Biblical answer and then anticipates your next question based on the previous, Biblical answer. We also see this method used by him in Acts. The verb “to reason” from the Scriptures is used 10 different times in Acts. In order to understand this concept, we must understand the meaning of the verb “to reason” as used in the Biblical text. It means to converse in the form of question and answer. The teacher asks the questions and the students respond with answers from the text. This is not a lecture or a sermon. This is not an argument over the meaning of words and phrases. This is a form of inductive Bible study, a method that means “going into the text to find the answers”. This method places the speaker and the audience under the authority of the text. Now that we chased that little rabbit, let’s move our attention back to Mark 8 and see what we can discover. But, before we begin, if you have not been following the series, you can read the previous lessons here: Continue reading

Striving to live a disciplined life

disciplineIt has been a lot of fun teaching through II Thessalonians. I have taught this book many times and, each time I teach through it, I learn new things about God and new things about myself.

If you have been following this series, you are aware of the previous lessons and what they teach. If you have not been following the series, take a moment to play a little catch up by reading the following articles.

  1. The importance of communication
  2. Genuine faith endures persecution
  3. Concerning the Day of the Lord
  4. The Church and the Day of the Lord 
  5. Praying for your disciples

The previous lesson focused on prayer, specifically, praying for your disciples, that they would grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, that they would grow in their faith, that they would grow in their love, and that they would continue making more disciples.  Continue reading

Paul’s Missionary Journey

fullsizerenderThis coming Sunday we are going to learn about Paul’s first missionary Journey in Acts 14. I am excited for our kids because they are learning to discover the Truth of the Word of God for themselves. The valuable, basic Bible study tools that they are learning will stick with them for the rest of their lives and equip them to be able to open God’s Word at any time and hear directly from Him. Over the past month, we have covered Acts 4, Acts 8, Acts 9, and Acts 10. It has been neat to see how the Lord has worked in and through the lives of His disciples. He has given each of His followers the gift of the Holy Spirit and told them to be witnesses everywhere they find themselves. We saw Peter and John do this in Acts 4. We saw Philip do this in Acts 8. Paul began to do it once he encountered Christ and was born again. We ran in to Peter once again in Acts 10 when he shares the Gospel with Cornelius and a house full of Gentiles. Now, we are going to shift our focus to Paul and his missionary journeys.  Continue reading

Genuine Faith removes Idols

abraham-friend-of-god2As I have been spending time in the Word of God today, studying to learn more of who God is and what I am really like, I discovered an important Truth that I would like to share with you here in this article. I am preparing to teach this message on Wednesday to my staff. This school year, we are learning about Abraham as we teach these truths to the children at Treasure Trust Club. It is so neat to see the children begin to understand how to begin a real relationship with God, the way that Abraham did. It is also neat to see how we learn to walk with God the exact same way that Abraham did. This lesson covers the topic of faith and idols. I recently taught a lesson on faith and fear, about how they cannot coexist in the same place. One will drive out the other. The same is true with faith and idols. When they clash, one will drive out the other. In this article, we are going to examine Abraham’s faith and his battle with his sin nature. If we are ever going to have success in our battle with our sin nature, we must learn how to spot the idols in our lives because, these idols give power to our sin nature. Faith in Christ removes our sin nature’s power. Idols cause us to empower our sin nature that continues to dwell in us. Let’s take a look at Abraham’s example and see what we can learn about faith, idols, and the work of God in our lives.  Continue reading

Jesus calls people to follow Him

gospel_of_mark_chapter_10-5_bible_illustrations_by_sweet_mediaWhen studying the Bible, I always encourage people to remove their denominational glasses  because they can distort the clear teachings of the Scriptures and cause people to read into the Biblical text what is not there, or, overlook what is there. It’s called a bias and we all have one based on our experiences. It is difficult to do but it is a necessity if we really want to get to the heart of the message of what God is trying to communicate with us. I usually begin an article or message on this topic with Matthew 28:19-20. It is the clearest teaching of our Lord that demonstrates that followers of Jesus Christ are to make disciples. The apostles were to go to nonbelievers and invite them in to the process of discipleship. Part of that process is evangelism. Other parts of the process of discipleship are repentance, faith, and dedication to following Jesus Christ. This is a packaged deal that Jesus clearly communicates in His teachings in Matthew 4 and Mark 1, when He calls the 12 to follow Him. They are nonbelievers. They hear the message of the Gospel. They repent, believe in Christ, and dedicate themselves to following Jesus Christ. There is one exception. Judas became a follower of Jesus Christ but he never repented or believed. He was never born again. He was like the majority of the crowds who “followed” Jesus. They were doing it for selfish reasons. Some wanted another free meal. Others wanted to be entertained with a miracle. Judas followed because he was able to steal money from the ministry funds.  Continue reading

The Church and the Day of the Lord

file-saint_paul_writing_his_epistles_by_valentin_de_boulogneI am preparing to teach the next lesson in the study of II Thessalonians and we are going to examine the relationship of the church to the Day of the Lord. This is teaching number 4 in the series.

We have seen that it is very important for the followers of Jesus Christ to remain excellent students of the Scriptures so that we will not have our faith shaken by false teachings or by false teachers. Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them and to get them back on track so that they can remain faithful to the Lord, serving Him by preaching the Gospel in the midst of persecution and suffering. One of the areas in which the Thessalonians had been led astray was in the area of the Day of the Lord. There are many people today who are confused when it comes to the rapture, the Day of the Lord, and the Coming of the Lord. These are three distinct events yet often lead to great confusion for people who attend church or read the Bible. We fully covered the idea of the rapture in the last lesson so I will not get into explaining it in this lesson. Continue reading

Jesus sends out the disciples to preach

core4_01-490x350I was studying Matthew 10 today and as I was going through the passage in context, I discovered something that I had never seen before and I wanted to share that with you in this article. By the time we get to Matthew 10, Jesus’ disciples had been following Him for a while. They heard the message of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This calling was in the context of discipleship. Jesus taught them about repentance, and called them to follow Him as His disciple. The 12 answered the call. This calling was for any and everyone, but, the 12 were the ones who had answered the call. As they were walking with Jesus, He began to teach the crowds and at the same time, He was modeling ministry to His disciples. In chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus is about to give the disciples a practical assignment. This is one of the things that makes Jesus’ teaching special. He not only taught theory (concepts), He also gave practical assignments so that the people could apply what they were learning. Jesus’ teaching was practical. This is extremely important. If teaching is not practical, people are not able to use it in their daily lives. Take a moment to read Matthew 10. Continue reading