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
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 had the privilege of leading a Bible study for a couple of families the other night after we had a wonderful dinner. We took a look at Ephesians 4. I would like to share what we discovered. In order to better understand the context of Saint Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, we need a little background information. In Acts 19, we learn about how Paul made disciples in Ephesus and the church was formed. Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years, making disciples. In Acts 20, Paul gives his final instructions to the Ephesians. This is his final teaching that he gave them face to face. He is going to instruct them more through his letter that is to come later. This church is very important because these believers made disciples in Asia Minor. These disciples formed the other 6 churches that the Apostle John writes letters to in the Book of Revelation. Now, let’s take a look at some of what Paul teaches the Ephesian disciples through his letter to them. Continue reading
As a staff, we just finished up “Understanding Spiritual Gifts” and have now moved on to II Timothy, a study we are using this year to teach during our Wednesday evening program called T.T.C. (Treasure Trust Club). I would like to write about this week’s lesson, a lesson that I am about to teach in a couple of hours.
During our meetings, we have already taken a look at what we learn about Paul and what we learn about Timothy, from II Timothy. After doing that, we took a look at the specific commands that Paul wrote to Timothy and why he had to write them. Now we are going to take a look at the gift of God and how it corresponds to overcoming fear. Timothy, like all of us, had a spirit of fear. When we begin to serve the Lord with the gift that He has given to us, we are immediately faced with fear, from without and within. In order to overcome that fear, God has instructed us in His Word. Let’s see what we can learn. Continue reading
It is hard to believe that we have come to our last lesson on Spiritual Gifts. This has been such an eye opening experience for the staff. Unfortunately, many of us in the church do not even know that we have been given spiritual gifts, must less, have been trained in what they are and how to serve according to them. I pray that these articles have been as helpful to you as they have been for me. Continue reading
I am very excited to be able to teach this lesson today. The subject of spiritual gifts is so eye opening and there is such a need in the church to have a proper understanding of our spiritual gifts. This is the 5th lesson in the study, the 5th of 6. Here is a list of the previous lessons.
- Spiritual Gifts: An overview
- The giving of the Spiritual Gifts
- Understanding the Spiritual Gifts in Corinth
- Understanding the Spiritual Gifts in Rome
It is hard to believe that another week has come and gone. As I sit here preparing for my next staff meeting, I am overwhelmed at how good God is. I have studied the subject of spiritual gifts before, on several different occasions, but it is like is God is speaking to me in a fresh way, all over again. That is what I love about the Word of God, It is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword. This is the 3rd lesson on the subject of Understanding Spiritual gifts and before we dive in, I would like to link to the previous 3 lessons for anyone who has not already had the chance to read them. Continue reading
I have really had a good time studying this subject of spiritual gifts with my staff. It has been a pleasure for me learning right along side my staff members and you as well if you have been reading the posts on spiritual gifts. The previous two lessons have been very eye-opening for us as a staff. To recap, here they are:
This week’s lesson is powerful and freeing when properly understood. There was a lot of confusion in Corinth when it came to the subject of spiritual gifts. Some false teachers had come in and led many of the believers astray, even trying to turn them against their mentor, the church founder, the apostle Paul. Apparently, these false teachers were teaching that some of the Spiritual gifts were more important than others and that everyone needed to have certain gifts in order to be true believers. There was mass confusion. Paul takes quill, ink, and parchment to write to the believers and clear up the misunderstanding. Here is what we can learn from him as he was inspired to write all of this by the Holy Spirit. Please take a moment and read the following verses from I Corinthians 12:1, 4-11, 28-31 Continue reading
During our last staff meeting, we covered an overview of spiritual gifts. This week we are going to take a look at the initial giving of the spiritual gifts to the early church. We learned last week that it is Christ who gives us the gifts. He is the One who chooses which gift(s) we receive. We do not pray for a certain gift. We also discovered that we do not all have the same gifts. Not everyone has a speaking gift. Not everyone has a serving gift. Both types of gifts are equally important. The gifts are given to us to be used in serving one another and not ourselves. If the gifts are used properly, the Lord is glorified and the ministry grows. Continue reading