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

Jesus’ Prayer for His disciples

DM8i9C7XcAASxbjI spent a good portion of the day today preparing to teach tonight at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I am teaching the Journey kids during our AWANA program. I am excited about teaching John 17:1-21. This is the Lord’s prayer. No, not the Lord’s model prayer, you know, “our Father”. This is Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, the prayer that He prayed for His disciples (all of them throughout the ages).

This is a powerful prayer and we have much to learn from it about ministry, especially in the form of making disciples. I want to divide this lesson into two parts; what we learn about Jesus and what we learn about His disciples. As we look at these two characters, we will also discover truths about ministry that are vital for all followers of Christ, especially since we are all called to make disciples. Continue reading

People of faith vs. People of the flesh

014-esau-jacobI am preparing to teach my Connect Group this coming Sunday and wanted to share some of my insights with you here. We have been walking through the book of Genesis week by week. This lesson will cover parts of Genesis 25 and Genesis 26. As a class, we have been tracing the Promised Messiah from Genesis 3 all the way through the book of Genesis. We will follow this thread all throughout the Old Testament. This week’s lesson will focus on the two categories of people God places all of mankind in for life and eternity. Abraham’s son, Isaac, received God’s eternal calling from his father. Isaac has two sons, Esau, and Jacob. Even though they were both raised in the same family, one of the boys inherited the faith of his fathers while the other chose to live like on of his forefathers, Cain, and be mastered by his sin nature. This lesson will shed some light on what the Apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to the Roman church. Continue reading

Why do bad things happen to good people?

bad-things-good-peopleOGI am preparing to teach our upcoming Connect Group at Southern Calvert Baptist Church and the title of this article is the title of our lesson. We are going to take a look at Job to discover why bad things happen to good people and what that means for us today. For the purpose of time, we have selected chapters and verses that will capture the heart of Job’s story. Our chapters for consideration are Job 1, 9, and 42. The three main characters of this story are God, Satan, and Job. Continue reading

Why should a Christian attend worship services regularly?

maxresdefaultThis is a translation of an article written by my mentor, Vasile Filat. There is a link to the original article here. It was originally written in Romanian.

Once, when I was traveling on a mission trip I sat next to a fellow passenger on an airplane and we started a discussion en route to our destination. I shared with the person that I am a pastor. My new friend proudly proclaimed that he was also a Christian. I asked him what denomination his church was and his response was, “I do not attend worship services at the church. My faith is personal and I have my own reason for not attending worship services.” Are you familiar with a response like this? Maybe you have used this line of reasoning. It is not a good idea for Christians to ignore the regular attendance of worship services and here is why: Continue reading

Why we all have a sinful nature

10_principle-rebellionThis weekend at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to study Genesis chapter 3 and learn about the fall of mankind into sin. Because of this fall, all of us have a sinful nature. This is important to understand because the world as it is right now is not the way that God created it. People are not the way that we were created to be. In Genesis 1 and 2, we learn that God created a perfect world and that He created people to be His image, His reflection, not in the way that we look, but, in our character. Our attitude, actions, and words are to reflect God’s attitude, actions, and words. This is not the case for the majority of people around us. If you have ever asked why things are the way that they are, the answer is found in Genesis 3. Let’s take a look at this chapter and a portion of chapter 4 to see what we can learn about why we are the way that we are. Before Genesis 3, mankind existed in perfect relationship with God and with each other. Because of the events in Genesis 3, everything changed. Here is how it happened. Continue reading

The Gospel Rebuilds Relationships

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 12.39.25 PMAs I sit here preparing to teach one of our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, I am amazed to see how much God values relationships. As a pastor, one of the most frequent problems that I help people deal with is broken relationships. Building and maintaining relationships is very difficult because of our sin nature. God created us to be social creatures. He is social. He has always existed in a perfect relationship as the Holy Trinity. The Father has always had a perfect relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. When He created mankind, He created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. The reason that we have difficulties with relationships is because we are broken by our sin nature. Even after we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we still have a sin nature that taints us. Our sin nature causes us to be selfish. By nature, we are egotistical. This egoism causes relationships to break down. God knows of this and He wants to help us learn to live in good social relationships with others. This is the topic of this lesson. We are going to learn how to invest in relationships with others. Continue reading