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

Grow to maturity in Christ

cropped-13585354-256-k574691I 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

Encountering the life changing power of Jesus Christ

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 3.27.10 PMIt has been a lot of fun studying through the Gospel of Mark. I have been studying this Gospel with my preschool teachers on a biweekly basis. So far, we have covered 8 chapters. It is amazing to see how Jesus transforms people through the power of His Word. His message is for the entire world. In case you have not been studying along with us, here is a list of the previous lessons.

  1. Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry
  2. Jesus the Rescuing Teacher
  3. The unpardonable sin
  4. The parable of the sower and the seed
  5. Failing Faith needs a Faithful Friend
  6. Jesus serves individuals
  7. Discipleship according to Jesus
  8. Genuine faith honors Scripture over Religious Traditions
  9. The teachings of Pharisees vs. The teachings of Jesus Christ

In Mark chapter 9, we are going to discover the transforming power of an encounter with Jesus Christ. Just meeting Jesus is not enough. 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

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

Praying for your Disciples

is4086rf-00038636-001Over the past month, I have been teaching through II Thessalonians with one of my many Bible study groups. It is so neat to study the Scriptures with others and discover the Truth of the Word of God for ourselves. II Thessalonians teaches us how to plan our time knowing the the Lord will one day return. Here are a few of the things that we have been learning as we have walked through II Thessalonians together.  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

Concerning the Day of the Lord

359788141_1280x720I am preparing to teach the next lesson in our study of II Thessalonians. Previously, we have looked at the importance of communication from the Apostle Paul’s example in his second letter to the Thessalonian church. After that, we looked at how genuine faith endures persecution because of preaching the Gospel. This lesson deals with the coming of the Day of the Lord. This was part of the reason Paul had to write to the Thessalonians. Paul planted the church in Thessalonica when he was there with Timothy and Silas. He spent time teaching the new believers the Scriptures so that they could know God’s plan for the ages. Part of that teaching dealt with the coming of the Day of the Lord. After Paul left, he wrote his first letter to them to teach more concerning God’s plan for the ages. You can read about that in I Thessalonians. In between the first letter and the second one that he wrote to them, false teachers began to mislead people concerning God’s plan for the ages. There was a series of teachings and letters that taught that the Day of the Lord had already come and the Thessalonians had missed it. It shook the faith of some and they lost hope. They did not see a point in continuing to live out and spread the Gospel. Before Paul’s first letter, the Thessalonians were great about proclaiming the Gospel. They had filled Asia Minor with the Gospel and Paul praises them for it in his first letter. That had stopped because of the false teaching and shaken faith caused by the false teachings. This is where we pick up chapter 2 of II Thessalonians. Paul gives evidence that the Day of the Lord has not taken place yet because of some events that MUST take place first. Continue reading