Is Your Worship Useless?

Useful and Useless directions.  Opposite traffic sign.I imagine that the title is quite provocative. In all honesty, it is not a title that I came up with on my own. I actually borrowed the idea from the Lord. He makes this proclamation in Isaiah chapter 1. I would like to examine the passage to discover what kind of worship is useless in the eyes of God. Could any of this describe us today? Continue reading

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

The Importance of Daily Bible Study Habits

bible_read_meI have noticed that there are more and more church goers who do not seem to think that personal and corporate Bible study is that important. From a Biblical perspective, daily Bible study is a necessity. God writes to us all through the Scriptures about the importance of the Scriptures in our daily lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is II Timothy 2:15. Continue reading

The Law of God

surrenderI am so excited to prepare for our Connect Group teacher training meeting on Sunday evening. In our Connect Groups this Sunday, we are going to learn how discipleship is the process of empowering others for ministry. The lesson that follows is about the Law of God given to the children of Israel. In this lesson, we are going to discover the purpose of the Law, but, before we dig into what the Law was for, we have to discuss what the Law is not for. Continue reading

Sin Nature is Contentious

grumpyAs we continue to walk through the book of Exodus, we continue to see the character of God, His working out of an eternal plan, as well as His personal interaction with humanity. While walking through Genesis, we discovered that all of us have been born with a sin nature and that sin nature wants to master us. God’s plan is to rescue us from our sin nature so that we can master it. In Exodus 17, we are going to discover that God is our victory over our sin nature. God reveals this character trait to us through His Name, Jehovah-Nissi. The Lord is our banner of victory. Victory over our sin nature is already ours, we simply must choose to walk in that victory. God shows this to us with His interaction with the children of Israel in the wilderness. Sin nature is never satisfied, ever. The more that it is fed, the more it wants. The children of Israel were hungry, so, by grace, the Lord fed them manna from heaven. They then wanted meat. God gave them meat until it spewed from their nostrils. In Exodus 17, now they are thirsty. Let’s take a look at how their sin nature manifests itself when squeezed. Continue reading

Run the Race to Win

Man Running Reaching Finish LineThe title of this article is what the Apostle Paul wrote the the Christians in Corinth. One of the things that I really like about Paul is the fact that he was a very practical teacher. As the old pastor says, “that guy likes to go down deep but, he comes up dry”. The Apostle Paul was not like that. He does not get lost in the weeds. He is what we call a “prac app” guy today. In I Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul deals with the importance of sharing our faith with the people around us. The final command that Jesus left for His disciples was, “go and make more disciples”. This command has rung true throughout the generations. As followers of Christ today, we are also called to make disciples. In order to make disciples, we have to share our faith, in other words, preach the Gospel with the people around us. This is true for every generation and this is something that has to be taught to each new generation. Let’s discover how the Apostle Paul uses himself as an example, the analogies that he uses to challenge the Corinthians, and then take a look at the practical advice for us today. First, take a moment to read I Corinthians 9:19-27. Continue reading

Delivered from the bondage of FEAR

breaking-free_1851_1024x768In our previous Connect Group lesson, we covered the Freedom that Christ offers to us as His followers. This freedom was foreshadowed in the Old Testament book of Exodus with the inauguration of the Passover feast. God frees us from the power of our sin nature so that we may worship and serve Him. We must be careful of idols and other sins creeping back into our daily lives. Sin is like leaven, just of little of it will leaven the entire lump of dough. 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