11/18/18 morning Bible study – presentation from Ghana trip

Lake Volta – world’s largest man-made lake






They have miles of traffic jams; no sense of speed limits

People sell things on the side of the road

People are very friendly

Southern part of the country is more industrialized

The Church participated in a national hand-washing event

Healing Hands International/GWAM are working to teach the people sustainability skills

It can sometimes be challenging to obtain building materials that are uniformly constructed

They teach a class over there in drip irrigation

Women do a majority of the farming in the north

Most people don’t own cars and only a few have motorcycles

In Ghana, people will stop and listen to someone preaching on a street corner

There’s not been a case of guinea worm infestation in about a year

The people are eager to hear the Gospel


11/18/18 morning sermon - 2 Timothy 3:1-5


Romans 15:4 – whatever was written in former times was written for our understanding

1 Corinthians 4:15 be imitators of me as I am an imitator of Christ

What does unthankful look like? Could it describe members of the Lord’s Church?

Romans 18:21 – “…did not honor Him or give thanks to Him…”

Luke 18:9 – parable of two men who walked to a temple to pray…one a pharisee and one a tax collector…the pharisee is thankful that he’s not like the tax collector

Luke 17:15 – one of the healed lepers turned back and praised God (this man was a Samaritan)

Our society is thankful once a year

There are some whose lives are full of blessings from God but they don’t realize they are from God

We don’t want to find out at the last day that we were falling short; we should want to find out now while we can correct behaviors

“…all things work together for good…”

It’s impossible to understand the full picture when you are in the midst of a situation…you can be unthankful at this point

Time gives us perspective

Romans 1 – “…I am eager to teach the Gospel to you…”

Be careful of what you ask for because you just might get it

Paul really wanted to travel to Rome but he didn’t yet realize what the price would be (shipwreck, prison, sickness)

“I sure am glad that didn’t happen to me”…sometimes blessings come gift-wrapped in pain

It can be helpful to write out your daily prayers along with the dates you started praying for that item

We want immediate responses to our prayers…our prayers can be one of many thousands that persist for years

You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the number of apples in a seed

Malachi 3:10 – we can’t ask for enough that God won’t be able to fill

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 – we don’t have a clue about the things God has prepared for us

What does it take to convince us that God is waiting to hear from you?







11/11/18 morning Bible study Hebrews 4, page 31 in the workbook

Keep the faith

“…they did not share the faith of those who obeyed…”

How many of the 600,000 men made it into the Promised Land? Two: Caleb and Joshua

The Word of God is alive and active back then and today

Why can’t you think about the positive things that happen in your life and give thanks to God for them?

Jesus knows what it was like to be human

Why would you not believe?

You can live your life believing there’s nothing else

You don’t have to know who Melchizedek was, but you do need to know who Jesus is

“…He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant…”

“…he was heard because of his reverent submission…”

Qualities of a priest: Sympathy and a calling…high priests atoned for the peoples’ sins

Some Christians act nonchalantly towards sin, yet others are very harsh towards the sinners

Jesus was never abusive and abrasive towards sinners, yet He was firm

Psalm 2:7 – “…ask me and I will make the nations your inheritance…”

God selected Aaron as the first high priest

Christ is both a King and a priest similar to Melchizedek, different than Aaron’s office of high priest

The agony experienced by Jesus shows His humanity

What is one lesson I have learned by suffering

If you are alive today, you will suffer, are suffering or did suffer

He brings about the end we seek but not necessarily in the way we expect

If you aren’t in Christ when you are suffering, who do you put your trust in?





11/11/18 morning sermon – Philippians 4:6-9

100 years ago today an armistice was signed over in Europe

1914 – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on a battlefield in France was when there was a truce during which soldiers from both sides sang hymns and visited

We envision peace as meaning a lack of conflict

We may be in conflict with someone and not even realize it either by commission or omission

Are we in conflict with God? How can that be when God is a God of Love? Scriptures point out that at one time we were enemies of God

Romans 5:1 – “…since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God…”

The world thinks that it’s ok (the book “I’m ok, you’re ok”)

Colossians 1 – “…through Him to reconcile all things…”

Paul is writing these letters to Churches…he begins them with “…grace and peace to you…”

Ephesians 2:11 – “…remember that you at that time were separated from Christ Jesus…”

As Paul travels through Athens and sees the various idols, the Spirit stirs within him

“…I see that you are very religious…” (some translations show the word as superstitious)

Even the simple-minded can grasp God’s love for us

All people qualify to be able to be at peace with God




11/4/2018 morning Bible study – Hebrews 3, workbook page 23

A summary of Hebrews is “Jesus is the best”

The writer of Hebrews was encouraging the people to persist in their belief instead of joining the Jewish worship…Christ is God’s full and final revelation

Hebrews refers to those Israelites who didn’t enter the Promised Land due to their unbelief

God promises rest in Christ as did He promise rest to the Israelites once they reached the Promised Land

Acting according to their own will was what the Israelites did

10 of the 12 spies that went into Canaan reported that it was impossible for them to take the land

“…for we also have had the Gospel preached to us…for those who heard did not combine it with faith…”

“…His work has been finished since before the creation of the Earth…”

What do you call the Lord’s rest? Heaven.

Creation rest, Canaan rest (mentioned in Deuteronomy), continuing rest, Christian rest, consecration rest, celestial rest – God’s rest is continuously offered to people of faith

We want to strike back at others when they do us harm, but our rest will come later…God’s job is justice

 Faith is the key to the door of God’s rest

A disobedient generation of Israelites wandered the desert…but God would offer His Promise to successive generations…David offered the people rest

The fulfillment of the Sabbath rest had come in Christ…rest for the souls of humanity





11/4/2018 morning sermon – Psalm 100

It’s easy to take things for granted

Living a life of thanksgiving should be a hallmark of our life

Every good and perfect gift is from God

Colossians 3:15-17

Giving thanks through our worship and our deeds

When someone does something nice for us, we usually want to communicate back to them our positive feelings

…let your prayers always be filled with thanksgiving…”

Serving myself or serving others?

Jesus told some of the people following Him that they were in search of a free meal, not the Truth

There should be energy in what we do for God

A good gift recipient is one who understands the sacrifice the gift-giver went through to deliver the gift

How will we thank God? Through prayers, through acts of service, through regular attendance. If not, why not?

Think about someone who sacrificed for you and thank them.

Psalm 100:4 “…we will enter his gates with thanksgiving…we give thanks to you for the Lord is good…Your steadfast love endures forever…”



10/28/18 morning Bible study – Hebrews 2, workbook page 15

If you don’t have faith, you don’t have much…you don’t have hope

Gifts of the Holy Spirit were sent as God’s testament

For some reason the Hebrews thought the angels would be in charge during the Messianic age

The writer of Hebrews was speaking to the people of that time about issues that were relevant at that time

Here am I and the children God has given me

Children have an innocent faith…at some point we lose it as we grow older and get it back at baptism

Only through the suffering of the Son of God could salvation come to all

Jesus became qualified to be our salvation because He became a man and suffered as we do

We love our brothers and sisters but we may not always like them

“…Jesus had to be fully human…since He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted…”

“…fix your thoughts on Jesus…Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses…God is the builder of everything…”




10/28/18 morning sermon - Hebrews 1:1-3

There are no other foundations on which to build than Jesus

“…on this Rock will I build My Church…”

The Church isn’t built on a man

Jesus is using our faith and our obedience to put us where He wants us to be so that we can be blessed and be forgiven

If you follow Jesus, you will live a good life, good people will see the goodness in your life and want to live the same way, and your life will please God

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize you have pleased others but not pleased God

Numbers 6:22

We exist because God exists

I think therefore I am…should be “I think therefore He is”

In Egypt, the Israelites were praying to things that can’t bless them

Anything we trust in instead of God is a burden

The Lord can’t bless us and keep us unless we belong to Him already

The Israelites wanted to be like the nations around them…they were trading their birthright for something else

God wants to take the Israelites to the Promised Land but the people need to be obedient

God spoke to us in these last days through His Son

Moses goes up on the mountain and his face shines due to the presence of God

2 Corinthians 3 – whenever non-believers read the Word, they are viewing through a veil; when they become believers, Jesus removes the veil and they can see clearly

The key to peace is a thankful heart

We should live a life that makes Jesus smile

The Lord wants to smile over you

The Lord wants to bless you, but you need be in the right place

Romans 15:13 – “…the God of hope be with thee…”

The true and Living God is waiting for an excuse to bless our lives, not condemn us

God told our forefathers to not follow the ways of the world

Blessed are the peacemakers

We won’t find peace as long as we resist God

You can do whatever you want to do, but as for me and my house, we will follow the Lord – Joshua



10/21/18 morning Bible study – start study of Hebrews

Who wrote Hebrews? We aren’t sure of the human author, but it could be one of the seven people mentioned in there

It was directed to Christians to strengthen them in tough times they were facing…some Christians at this time were considering going back to being a Jew

Why would we want to go back to what we did before? Because it’s what we know and what we’ve always done…the old way isn’t necessarily an easier way but sometimes the familiar is easier

Jesus didn’t promise us comfort in this life

Jesus is our great High Priest who made the ultimate and final sacrifice for us

Hebrews may have been written around A.D. 60-70

Jesus’ name is superior to the angels

We are all evangelists by our example we live

When you share your faith, what’s the first thing you want to talk about? The bedrock of your faith is Christ risen

If someone won’t accept a risen Christ, then it makes it tough to talk to them further

What do you believe?

Some reasons the Jews didn’t accept Christ: He wasn’t part of the lineage they expected, and He didn’t become an earthly king

The Jewish life revolved around synagogue activities

Jesus isn’t the last in a long line of Old Testament prophets; He is the fulfillment of the words of those prophets

The Hebrew people placed emphasis on angels and the writer explained that Jesus was above the angels

The angels are God’s servants; Jesus is God’s Son

God has sent his Son to accomplish the most sanctified task: to save people

Angels have a lesser role as ministerial servants

“…pay attention to what we have heard…how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation…”

Apostle – the Greek word that means “one who has been sent”…anyone who had seen Jesus and carried out His duties






10/21/18 morning sermon Jonah 4:9-11

It took three days for Jonah to travel through Nineveh proclaiming that in 40 days the God of Israel would judge the city unless they turned from their ways

The king of Nineveh was known for conquering peoples and cutting their heads off and putting them on posts outside the city gates as a symbol…he would also send the parts of bodies of the conquered peoples as trophies to other parts of the kingdom

Jonah can be categorized with these themes:

·       Jonah runs from God

·       Jonah runs towards God

·       Jonah runs with God

·       Jonah runs ahead of God (more judgmental than God)

What brings a person to the state of mind that they are happy that a people are about to be destroyed and dismayed that God would have mercy on them?

“Do you do well to be angry?”

Jonah is the only book of the Bible that ends with a question.

There are similarities between Sodom and Nineveh

Jonah was probably glad to sit under the plant’s shade and watch Nineveh be destroyed

We read in Proverbs about the dangers of anger…anger can blind us to our surroundings and happenings

God showed Jonah how irrational he was about the plant and the discomfort he felt about the plant’s demise…Jonah should have been more upset about the plight of the Ninevites

Scholars believe there were about 500,000-600,000 people in Nineveh at that time

What in my life is more important than the saving of souls?

There are similarities between Jonah’s stay in the fish and Christ’s time spent in the grave

The Ninevites stand as reminder for the Jews (and all) that everyone needs to repent

Jonah’s message was “repent or be destroyed”; Jesus’ message is “repent and live forever”



10/14/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 34-40, workbook page 103

God told Moses to bring two more stone tablets up the mountain

God reinforces the covenant He is making with the people

God was reminding the people of the Commandments…the people needed to rest on the Lord’s Day

God had two skilled craftsmen to start the work on the tabernacle and other stuff and to train other people in building things

There are all sorts of things that will need to be constructed to accompany the tabernacle: tables, lampstands, ephods

God blessed the people with specific abilities

Work at everything as if working for the Lord

Aaron still served an important role in God’s service even though he had trouble during the issue with the golden calf

We should be radiant since we are God’s people

We should be thankful that we have a God to whom we can go with our sickness and despair

Once the tabernacle was ready, the Ark was moved into it

“…as the Lord commanded him…”

The glory of the Lord descended to the tabernacle and rested in the Most Holy Place

The curtain covering the Most Holy Place was torn in two at Christ’s crucifixion

Romans 6:18 – God saw humanity enslaved in bondage to sin

In the Old Testament, Moses was the deliverer of the people. In the New Testament, Jesus was that Deliverer

There are direct connections between what God does…it’s all part of a plan

Joshua 4:19-5:10 – tabernacle moved around a bit…after about 300 years, it’s destroyed by the Philistines who took the Ark with them





10/14/18 morning sermon

Hebrews 11:6-7

Things that are unseen…things that had never happened before

No frame of reference

Noah is mentioned in here as acting on faith

People of faith who did more than just believe…they put it into action

“…by faith…in reverent fear…”

Peter mentions Noah twice – “…a herald of righteousness…”

We don’t hear the word faith used in Genesis to describe what Noah did

Genesis 6 – Noah did what God commanded him; this is faith in action

What if Noah had chosen to do things his way? Would it still be faith?

If we choose to do all but one thing that God commands us to, are we faithful?

Noah had to work towards something no one had ever seen before

We live by faith and a promise of something yet unseen

“…they will say ‘where is the promise of His coming?’…”

We can’t imagine the heavenly bodies dissolving (in Greek – to loosen)

Things that are unseen – we now know that everything is made of atoms

“…faith comes by hearing…”

We need to live by Bible ways for Bible reasons







----------------------------------------------------------------------------------10/7/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 32, workbook page 95

Moses knew that he did wrong and knew what he needed to do to grow and move forward…he had a direct link to God

There’s knowing things and there’s taking action with what you know

God have given the Israelites instructions on how to construct the tabernacle

While Moses was up on the mountain during the 40 days and 40 nights period, something happened down with the people: they thought Moses had abandoned them and they took gold and made a calf idol…the Lord told Moses about what was going on down below…the Lord wanted to kill all the people but Moses interceded on their behalf

Moses took the calf and burned it in the fire and then ground up the ashes and made the people drink it

Aaron said they put gold in a fire and out came a calf

Moses saw that the people were running wild around the camp (Egyptian worship rituals often involved parties and other wild behavior)

Moses asked “who is for the Lord” and the Levites flocked to him. Moses then instructed them to put their brothers and neighbors to the sword; 3000 people were struck down

Moses tried to atone for the people and even offered to be condemned in their place…God said “I will punish whom I will punish”

Levi and his descendants were cursed by Jacob…they weren’t given land allotments in Canaan and were scattered about the land of Israel

The Israelites didn’t always remember God’s greatness despite seeing all the wondrous signs

Is the awesome power of God any different today than it was in the Israelites’ time? Am I tapping into God’s power?

We tap into stuff we get benefit from

God tells Moses to tell the people to move out of the current location and will not be traveling with them otherwise His anger might burn, and He might destroy them all

Moses pitched a tent outside of the camp which was called the Tent of Meeting and people could inquire of the Lord…Moses would meet with God in that tent

Moses pleaded with the Lord to continue accompanying the Israelites on their journey






10/7/18 morning sermon – Proverbs 1

When we are faced with a choice, we may only look at immediate consequence instead of long-term issues

Illustration on board:

“Fear of the Lord turnpike”


Fear of the Lord               Haviture Way

Wisdom Way                   Folly Footpath

Righteousness Road         Injustice Avenue

Integrity Thruway            Crooked Pike

Humility Bypass              Pride’s Passage

Discipline Track               Unruly Freeway

Peaceful Lane                  Strife Corridor


Proverbs 24:30 – “…I looked and received instruction…”

“…do not envy a man of violence…”

“…a good name is to be chosen rather than riches…”

23 times Solomon uses the words “path” or “paths” in Proverbs

74 times uses “way” or “ways” in Proverbs

Wisdom is a journey

“…better is a little with a fear of the Lord…”

Proverbs 14:12 – “…there is a way that seems right to a man, but it leads to death…”

Righteous/righteousness – the right way of doing things…equity

Hebrew word for integrity is the root word for the perfection

“…better is a poor person who walks in integrity…”

A dead fly makes an ointment stink

It doesn’t take much to make something bad

Reputation/integrity – keeping it pure is important

Humility – it’s always been a problem that we elevate “me” above others…even 3000 years ago when Proverbs was written

Discipline – ability to make corrections, to say “no” to impulses

“…better is open rebuke than hidden love…”

We are not living in the moment, we are on a pathway journey

For a person who seeks peace and calm, there are ways to avoid strife

It takes help along the way to build someone’s integrity

Proverbs 27:10 – “…better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far…”





9/30/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 24, workbook page 87

God may not want us to focus on the minute details of the story, but He wants His people to focus on what He has done for them

The Glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire at the top of mountain

Moses is up on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights

The people were to make a sanctuary in the manner that God instructed them…they were to use gold, silver, dyed yarn, etc.

The people were constructing the Ark of the Covenant in which they would place the tablets containing the Commandments

They were also making items to furnish the Tabernacle (habitation/dwelling place)

The people didn’t have to get creative; God guided them at every step

Goat-hair curtains were constructed to cover the Tabernacle

Acacia wood doesn’t attract insects

48 2-foot frames were used to support the curtains

The Most Holy place would have been a cube of about 15 feet on each side

The Tabernacle was modular in nature to allow for easy packing up and setting up

Ephod – square box worn on the chest of the priests that contained something like dice

The priests’ garments were designed to give them dignity in the view of the people

Every Jew was required to give to the Temple…equivalent 160 grams of barley to half a shekel or 8 grams of silver (about $5 in today’s money)

Bezalel is chosen as project manager and he’s given the Spirit and wisdom and skills he needs to carry out this task

“…you must observe My Sabbath…”

Being cut off from your people would have been a death sentence because you are out in the desert surrounded by hostile people

Our God has no limits…why do we put human limitations on Him?





9/30/18 morning sermon – Haggai 1:1-5

Franklin planner has a section for “items left over from the previous day”

A dog’s diary – everything is “my favorite thing”

Do you keep notes on daily events?

Solomon wrote “there is nothing new under the sun”

Reflect on what they are doing

Reevaluate their life based on what they have learned

Restore themselves to what they should have been doing all along

ABC – what happened above, what happened below, and the context

King Darius – common name

We are given an exact timeline from when the captivity starts and when the foundation of the temple is laid…16 years later the temple is unfinished

If people realized all of the prophecies that were fulfilled, they would have no choice but to believe the Bible

Ezra 4 – rebuilding of the temple runs into opposition: nothing new among the people of God

The people didn’t understand about things to come

“…the silver is mine and the gold is mine…in this place I will give peace…”

The temple was a shadow of the One to come

The Old Testament prophets were speaking of the Church to come

Have we got caught up in this world and not focused on the work of the Kingdom?




9/23/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 23, workbook page 79

The most famous laws were the 10 Commandments but that was only the beginning

Why so many rules and regulations?

“do not follow the crowd in doing wrong”

Impartial justice was to be administered to the Israelites

Caring for our enemies is a main theme of Christ

When we start forming opinions about other people based on differences between us and them, we can get into trouble

People that are different than us are just different

If I am a truck driver, I might tend to associate with other truck drivers because I understand them

God expanded on the 4th Commandment (Sabbath) – the Sabbath Year pointed out that the land was given to the people in trust

The crops grown in the 7th year were to be left as food for the poor people and the wild animals

This week is the Feast of the Tabernacles (orchard and wine harvest) which is still practiced by Orthodox Jews

Canaanites may have cooked a young goat in its mother’s milk as part of an idolatrous fertility rite, so this may have led to the rule against this practice

Why does God need to remind the people of all the good things He has done for them?

Why is someone always telling the people what is going to happen?

After Moses read the Book of the Covenant to the people, they responded “we will do everything the Lord says” – the agreement to a covenant was conditional on the people being willing to obey

If we follow God’s Laws, He will take care of us

The sealing of a covenant was usually signified by a meal; this is a foreshadowing of Christ’s Last Supper


9/23/18 morning sermon – 3 John 1:1-4

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

How do guests perceive the Traverse City Church of Christ when they visit? If we don’t make them feel welcome, chances are they won’t come back

We shouldn’t be so involved with visiting with our friends that we neglect guests

Matthew often receives phone calls and emails from people wanting to know what we teach and whether it jives with the Bible

2nd John – walking in love, but not in truth

3rd John – walking in truth, but not in love

3 point sermon – Gaius, Diotrephes, Demetrius

Gaius – the most popular name of the 1st century

We must be missionary-minded – there will never be a lack of need. We can help those in Traverse City, those in Michigan, and those in the world

Diotrephes – he always must be in the middle of things; running the show – we have met this person…center of attention; “my way or the highway”…bullies of the Church

Demetrius – “…has received a good testimony from everyone and from the truth itself…” – they don’t want their name known for something they do…we don’t know all the good they do

We could get a lot more done in the Church if we don’t care who gets credit…no need to keep egos stroked

Romans 16 – Paul describes people like Demetrius who labor behind the scenes: Phoebe, Priscilla and Aquilla, Mary, Andronicus and Junia, Rufus – we know nothing more than what Paul wrote about them, but Paul thought enough of them to mention them

We need to recognize our leaders less and our workers more

Your reputation is everything; once a bad reputation is with you, it’s hard to shake


9/16/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 21, workbook page 71

Romans 6 – “…count yourself dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus…”

God didn’t come up with the Laws because He didn’t have anything better to do, He did it because the Israelites were doing some heavy-duty sinning

Do we still have terrible sins in the world today? Who encourages the sin in the world today? How do we resist sin?

The first set of laws dealt with slaves/servants

A person could be enslaved for various reasons:

Parents could sell children to meet debts, a thief could repay a debt in this way, a man could seek food and shelter by serving

People were not to be held in perpetual slavery by Hebrews

Slavery has been practiced by every culture that has kept records

Slaves were considered property except among the Hebrews…in some cases a slave was treated as a member of the family

Anyone who strikes a fatal blow against another person shall be put to death (except if God allows it to happen)

Kidnappers shall be put to death

Anyone who curses their father or mother shall be put to death

If someone strikes another person and causes injury, the offending party is to pay the person for lost time

If a master beats their slave and the slave dies, the master must be punished

If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman who gives birth prematurely, the fighting people must pay whatever the woman’s husband demands

“…tooth for tooth…bruise for bruise…”

The Law was designed to protect the innocent and punish the guilty

Don’t do the bad stuff and you won’t have problems

If a master hits a slave’s eye and destroys it, the slave must go free

If a bull gores a person and they later die, the bull is to be stoned

A break-in at night could lead to the intruder being killed without consequence but if the break-in happens during the day and the intruder is killed, the houseowner is in trouble

There were a lot of rules regarding accountability

“…you are to be my holy people…”




9/16/18 morning sermon Hebrews 7:26-28

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “…for everything there is a season…”

We leave it to the Holy Spirit to determine what remains in our Holy Bible

Some people say there are things in the Bible that are wrong or just stories

“…all flesh is like grass…grass withers and the flower falls…”

God has preserved His Word for us down through the ages

Why was Hebrews written? It had to be written before the destruction of Jerusalem because the destruction wasn’t mentioned in there

It’s laid out that Jesus is greater than Joshua, greater than the priests, greater than the promise to Abraham

The Church is greater than the tabernacle

Jesus’ sacrifice is greater than all sacrifices

The Old Law that people clung on to so tightly was fulfilled and replaced

That which was in the Old Law was a shadow and Christ is the real thing

If the Old Law was faultless, there was no reason to look for a replacement

We don’t baptize children because they can’t yet understand the plan of salvation

Hebrews 12:1 – “…so that you may not grow weary and lose heart…” – do not be discouraged

Heaven: don’t miss it for the world (seen on a bumper sticker)

Nothing matters except your soul’s salvation



9/9/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 19, workbook page 63

Moses’ father-in-law suggests that Moses could appoint some men to handle smaller matters

3 months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites arrived at the foot of Mt Sinai. The Lord told Moses that the Israelites were to be His chosen people

God told Moses that he was going to come to him in a cloud…do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it until they heard a long blast on a ram’s horn…God knew that His people had a history of not always following directions

The people were instructed to wash themselves and their clothes

The Lord descended to the mountain…there was smoke, fire, and trembling of the ground…Moses went up to meet the Lord

Exodus 20 – “…I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt…”

No other gods before me

You shall make no images to worship – many people of the time believed that gods could reside in carved items

You shall not misuse the name of God

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Honor your father and mother

You shall not murder

You shall not commit adultery

Shall not steal

You shall not give false testimony against a neighbor

Shall not covet your neighbor’s belongings

The first part of the commandments pertain to God’s relationship with us; the second part of the commands pertain to our relationship with others

God’s intent wasn’t to kill the people but to test their reaction to Him…a healthy reverence and fear of the Lord should help curb our propensity to sin

God instructed an altar to be built with only natural stones, not man-hewn





9/9/18 morning sermon – Hebrews 5:13-6:3

A syllabus in school shows what you will learn as you progress through the year

There are expectations of being a Christian

The doctor tests our children to see if they are growing properly

We take tests in school to see what our learning progress is

The Hebrews writer talks about the supremacy of God’s Son over the people of the earth…he then stops and indicates that they are babies in knowledge

All the Old Testament points to Christ

“…you have become dull of hearing…”

“…you are under obligation to learn these things and carry them on…”

The Gospel was given to the Jews first, then the Gentiles

There’s a price to pay for staying a child

Minds that are trained by use…won’t atrophy

John 7:17 – our senses should be able to use discretion on the things we experience to know if they are true

Discern good against evil…you could be considered as hateful when speaking out against wrong

Do we have a plan to move on to maturity?

We may not all become scholars, but we can still move to the next level






9/2/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 15-18, workbook page 55

People grumbled against Moses about the bitter drinking water…God commanded Moses to throw a stick in the water and it became drinkable

God told the Israelites that if they follow His commands, then He won’t allow any of the illnesses that befell the Egyptians to afflict the Israelites

It’s up to us to decide who to follow…our scales tip between following God and following our own minds

Moses told the people that they aren’t grumbling against Moses and Aaron but against God…they are mere servants for God

God sent quail at night and manna in the early part of the day…the people were only supposed to gather what they needed for the day

God instructed the Israelites to gather no food on the Sabbath…some tried to but found no food…God was reestablishing the Day of Rest

We should trust God to deliver us from obstacles in our lives instead of grumbling about our plight

The scenario with the daily manna could be the basis for Jesus instructing us regarding the Lord’s Prayer

“…give us this day our daily bread…”

God knows what we need to sustain ourselves

Do I ever take for granted God’s daily provision for me?

When don’t I take for granted God’s daily provision for me?

What if you woke up tomorrow and only had what you thanked God for yesterday?

The Israelites often found out that not listening to God doesn’t make their life easy

When did the idea of the Sabbath move from Saturday to Sunday? At the Resurrection.

Jewish people don’t work from Friday night to Saturday night

How can we bring the generation back from the brink? By spreading God’s Word

Is it easy to convince someone that following God means having a better life?

Even after seeing God’s miracles and love firsthand, the Israelites still grumbled

Joshua fought the Amalekites…as long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites won…when Moses’ arms grew tired, the battle turned against the Israelites…people helped Moses hold his arms up

Other people helped Moses



9/2/18 morning sermon

Joshua – Admit, submit, commit

Daniel convinced Nebuchadnezzar that Nebuchadnezzar was not the king of the world but that God was

We can’t walk away from God and not have grave consequences

Don’t say “it is all due to what I have done that I am successful”

We are stewards of what God has blessed us with…it’s our duty to use the gifts and talents to further His Kingdom

We need to leave behind the doctrines of men and rely solely on the Word of God

Who is exempt from teaching God’s Word to the next generation

We need to know everything about the children in our Church…in the future they will remember that someone took the time to be interested in their future





8/26/18 morning Bible study Exodus 13-15, page 47 in workbook

Pharaoh gathers men and chariots to chase the Israelites

Moses told the people to not be afraid

“…the Lord will fight for you…”

“…I will gain glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and horsemen…”

The pillar of fire moved from in front of the people to the back of the Israelites

“…the Lord is my strength and my song…”

“…sing to the Lord for He is highly exalted…”

God led people on the longer route so that they encountered less Egyptian troops otherwise the people might despair

The Israelites were carrying Joseph’s bones with them to the Promised Land

No one knows exactly where across the Red Sea the Israelites crossed

The guiding angel became a guardian angel

How does knowing God is your guardian and guide change your life?

A strong east wind blew all night and held the waters back

While the Egyptians were traveling through the parted sea, confusion beset them and chariot wheels fell of and the sea returned to its original state over top of them





8/26/18 morning sermon Act 16

Societies have always been fascinated by the idea of zombies (the walking dead)

Paul’s 2nd missionary journey begins at the end of Acts 15

A man from Macedonia has a dream and Paul heads west to visit there and Greece

Paul has no idea what awaits him as he travels to Philippi

(named after Alexander the Great’s father Phillip)

Paul meets Lydia and the Lord opened her heart

A young girl has a spirit of divination…she was essentially giving Paul free advertising (announcing who he was and who he represented)…with the Lord’s help, he cast out the spirit and the girl’s masters were upset that their money-making tool was gone

Watch where the money goes

Most people at this time don’t recognize the difference between Jews and Christians (strange teachings)

Paul and Silas have already been beaten and are in prison and they are praying and singing at midnight

The jailer is responsible for every prisoner and now that the prisoners are free

Ephesians 2 – those who don’t have Christ are dead in their trespasses…they are the walking dead

We walk around the walking dead all day long

What must I do to be saved? The jailer knew he needed to make a change to be rescued

The same Message that Paul spoke of is the same Message today





8/19/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 11, workbook page 39

“…I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh…and he will let you go…”

We all need reinforcement of God’s power

Every firstborn son of Egypt will die…including cattle…except the Israelites

This is to be the first month of your year…on the 10th day of that month, each household should obtain a lamb enough to feed the household (from sheep or goats)

On the 14th day of that month, the households need to slaughter the animals and use some of the blood to paint on the tops and sides of the door frame (Passover meal)

The Israelites were to commemorate the Passover for years to come

Feast of Unleavened Bread – use no yeast in the bread for 7 days

Israelites were under oppression for 430 years

There were no houses in Egypt without someone dead (except Israelites)

Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and told them to leave and asked for Moses to bless him

600,000 men on foot traveled from Ramses to Succoth…along with lots of livestock and women and children

How many times were the Israelites reminded to commemorate all that God had done for them?

The Lord told Moses to consecrate all the first-born males (man and livestock)




8/19/18 morning sermon – The 10 Most Wanted - Colossians 4

The New Testament contains 27 books written by 9 different authors…often at the end of Paul’s letters he will list fellow workers in the Kingdom

Colossians 4:2 – “…be wise in the way you act towards outsiders…let your conversation be always full of grace…”

Tychicus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus

Paul describes all of these people as ministers in the service of God even though they all didn’t have the same skills

Who am I? Surely God needs someone better than me…

God doesn’t use me because I’m perfect and He doesn’t reject me because of my mistakes

Tychicus – he traveled with Paul through Macedonia and Greece

He had a servant’s heart…he didn’t have a problem helping someone else do their job better

The Church needs a few people like Paul but many people who do the work behind the scenes and under the radar…medical missions, visiting the sick, support orphans

Are you willing to work in support of another…your name might never be tops of peoples’ minds but your work will have an impact

Onesimus – runaway slave from Philemon…if ever caught he could have been in big trouble

Onesimus means useful…Paul describes to Philemon how useful Onesimus has been to God

Do our failures disqualify us? No, because God uses people with questionable histories

God may use us to minister to those we have sinned against

Aristarchus – he travels with Paul…he was probably the Thessalonian delegate…he traveled with Paul to Rome (and imprisoned with him) and was in the shipwreck

Paul had a burden-bearer with him much of the time

Can you listen and encourage and comfort and bear burdens?

Mark – a man with a second chance…Barnabas and Paul started a journey with him but halfway through the journey, Mark returned home…Paul felt like it was desertion. On a future journey, Paul refused to let Mark accompany them.

When we give up on someone, God doesn’t give up on them

A while later, Paul celebrates Mark as a comfort to him

2 Timothy 4:11

Have you ever failed really big at something? Remember Mark.

Jesus/Justus – Greek form of Joshua (Jehovah is salvation) – he’s a Jew and a comfort to Paul

Justus took up the challenge of the name Jesus and strove to work for the Kingdom

What name do you see in the word Christian? We wear His name

Epaphras – a man with a prayer (Colossians 1:6) – probably a citizen of Colossae who worked with two other communities…he had a pioneering spirit – it’s not Epaphras’ courage that Paul praises, he praises Epaphras’ struggles in prayer for the workers in the Kingdom

All of us can wrestle in prayer

Luke – a man with a gift – he traveled with Paul starting in Troas

His medical training may have helped Paul with an ailment

What’s our gift?

Luke could have made a handsome living being a doctor and writer…he chose to use his gift to the Kingdom

Demas – Paul said “he loved the world”…although when Paul wrote Colossians Demas was a fellow colleague but in 10 years the story had changed

David was a man after God’s own heart yet broke 40% of the Ten Commandments

God entrusts great tasks to those who have experienced great failures

The last two “most wanted” are you and me





8/12/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 6, page 31

Who is in control of all things? The 10 plagues should remind you

Aaron will speak the things God told Moses to say

The Egyptians viewed Pharaoh as a god

Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and it became a snake…Pharaoh’s magicians did the same feat but Aaron’s snake swallowed up the other snakes

Aaron touched the Nile with his staff and it turned to blood along with all the other bodies of water in Egypt…Pharaoh’s magicians echoed this feat too

Some people theorize that maybe the river appeared as blood due the presence of red clay or a “red tide” (algae bloom)…going after the Nile was a stab at the river god that the Egyptians worshipped

The frogs came and the Pharaoh’s magicians repeated the feat…Pharaoh asked Moses to pray to his God to remove the frogs…and Pharaoh started to change his mind on letting the Israelites go into the desert to worship the Lord.

Gnats came out of the dust…the Pharaoh’s magicians couldn’t repeat this feat

Swarms of flies would beset the land except Goshen…Pharaoh tells Moses that the Israelites can offer sacrifices to God here in Egypt

The Lord struck the livestock except those belonging to the Israelites

Moses tossed soot from a furnace into the air in Pharaoh’s presence and boils broke out on the people and the livestock

God tells the Egyptians that He could have wiped them off the earth but He is showing His power

Hail came down on men and animals and stripped trees and destroyed crops (except in Goshen)

Pharaoh said “I have sinned” and was willing to let the people go



8/12/18 morning sermon – “Show up, speak up, stand up

Judges 2:6-10

Accident reconstruction entails trying to figure out what conditions led to a calamity…more technology is involved today but it usually boils down to a cause that’s easy to ascertain (texting, blew a stop sign, etc.)

How could an entire generation of Israelites forget the things that Joshua and the 12 tribes had done to conquer the land?

Romans 15:4 – things that were written before have value for us today (examples of what to do and what not to do)

We have been living the last days since the Day of Pentecost…we await the Second Coming of Christ

1 Chronicles 12:22 – men who understand the times and know what ought to be done

If we know the Word, we won’t have to guess at what is true and what isn’t true

The Jewish Talmud suggests that Samuel wrote the book of Judges. Samuel looked back over many years and saw a pattern that the nation of Israel was stuck in

Joshua 24 – Joshua is at the end of his life…he asks Israel to make a choice: “Fear the Lord…serve the Lord…choose this day whom you will serve…”

It’s one thing to make a choice…it’s another thing to follow through and act on that choice

Joshua 1 – Joshua is being assured of the Lord’s presence in his life

“…be strong and courageous…do not turn from it…”

God has told Joshua earlier than this the same thing

Deuteronomy 6:4 – “…you shall love your God with all your soul and all your might…”

The Lord wants all of the people to know His Word…not just priests, not just adults

People don’t forget to do what they should do, they choose not to do them

We can’t blame the next generation for their behavior; the previous generation raised them and taught (or didn’t teach) them

We need to show up at our Church gatherings

There are many things that beckon us away from gathering with the Church

Acts 11 – for a whole year they met with the Church

Acts 20:7 –

“…let us consider how to stir up one another…encouraging one another…”

How can I be encourage and encourage others when I stay at home?

We should show up for each other at times other than the Assembly too

We should speak up about our hope to those who haven’t heard the News yet and encourage fellow believers

We should stand up for those things that God taught us

Ephesians 5:8 – “…walk as children in the Light…”



8/5/18 morning Bible study

Exodus 4, workbook page 23

Do you ever feel like God is working in your life?

The Lord told Aaron to go into the desert to meet Moses

Moses and Aaron went first to visit the Israelites

Do we only approach God will our big problems and suffer through our “small” problems?

Is there a problem too small to bother God with?

If we pray over the small problems, maybe that can keep it from becoming a bigger problem

When you are praying, you are staying in touch with God

God warns Moses that Pharaoh’s heart will be hardened

Zipporah circumcised her son to keep God from killing Moses

Moses asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the desert for 3 days to worship God…Pharaoh denied the request and removed the supply of straw and required the Israelites to produce bricks while gathering their own straw

The Israelites are now grumbling against Moses and Aaron for bringing calamity upon them

Pharaoh may have thought ahead that if the Israelites leave for 3 days, they aren’t coming back…he may also have thought that people who have time to go to the desert for a festival have too much time on their hands

The Israelite foreman told Moses that he hoped God would judge him for bringing so much trouble upon them all

The Lord gave some advice to Moses, but the Israelites did not believe it





8/5/18 morning sermon – Mark 6:30-34

“…come away by yourselves to a desolate place and get some rest…”

ABC – verses above this text, verses below this text, context of the current verse(s)

John the Baptist, Peter’s great confession, Jesus feeing the five thousand are instances where all the Gospels record the same story

Jesus told the disciples to go on ahead of Him

Mark 6:47 – Jesus walked on water (and Peter did too)

What is it that the disciples are supposed to be learning in these desolate places?

Desolate – it means lonesome, places of waste, solitary, desert, wilderness…not always a dry, sandy place but a place that lacks inhabitants

Very often the Israelites grumbled and failed to see that going back to Egypt meant returning to slavery…they hardened their hearts and refused to trust in God

Matthew 4 – Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (same word that is used in Mark 6)

Hebrews 5:8 – Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered

The disciples learn that when they travel through a desolate place, the only hope they have is to trust in God…He provides what we need right when we need it

The seeing of the unseen – the disciples could not grasp the feeding of the five thousand

Blessed are the poor in spirit…blessed are they who realize that they must rely on God to fill my emptiness (spiritual and physical hunger)

You can’t find a Groupon for the wilderness trip that Jesus calls us on

Wherever we look in this world to find peace, it will fall short

We can say “I don’t know how this is going to work out, but I will trust in God”

By faith we can see the unseen

We can’t work hard enough or fast enough to figure out life on our own


7/29/18 morning Bible study – Exodus 3, workbook page 15

When you ask someone to do something, wouldn’t you like them to do it when you expect them to?

Moses saw that the burning bush was on fire but it was not consumed

Why do we spend more time explaining why we can’t do something than spending the time to do it?

Moses spent 40 years shepherding his father-in-law’s flock

Even the great men and women of the Bible had human frailties

Moses would have had plenty of education in Egypt and survival techniques from shepherding in the desert

Moses’ removal of his sandals in the presence of God shows his admission of his sinfulness

Moses said to God “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?”

Exodus 3:14 – the Hebrew version of “I am” means to exist or to be

The word Lord in the English-translated Bible is Yahweh

God told the people to take gold and silver and other items from the Egyptians…He changed the attitude of the Egyptians towards the Jews (fulfillment of Genesis 15:14)

God is with Moses every step of the way…He remains with us in the very same way

God gave Moses a “magic staff” that could turn into a snake and showed him God could inflict and cure leprosy and showed him that pouring water from the Nile on the ground would turn it to blood

Turning the Nile’s water to blood would shock the Egyptians because they saw the Nile as their source of life and productivity

God often works through less than perfect human instruments to accomplish His goals





7/29/18 morning sermon

Revelation shows the number 7 a lot (7 Churches of Asia)

Genesis shows the 7 days of creation

7 days dealing with Noah’s ark – when dry land was found

7 days feast

7 “I am’s

We visit the doctor and have tests done and we think we know better about our health than the expert

God is giving the report to the 7 Churches that they aren’t in good health

We can’t afford to say “at least we aren’t as bad as …”

When is the best time to be proactive about our health?

We can’t afford to rest on yesterday’s laurels

The point in Revelation is that something is about to happen and you need to be prepared (written for those people of the day in which it was written…oppression/persecution by the Romans)

Much of the book of Revelation is revealed in Daniel, Zechariah and others

“…it is God who raises up kings and takes them down according to His will…” – Daniel

Revelation 1:3 – “…blessed are those who hear these words and keep them…for the time is near…”

If the Son of Man doesn’t know the exact date of the end of the world, what makes us think we can figure it out?

“…he who has an ear, let him hear…” – means process in our mind what is being said

James 1:19-20 – “…be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger…”

Jeremiah 36:1 – it might happen that Judah hears the punishment that is due them and they change their behavior and repent

Amos 7:12-13 – “…never again prophesy in Bethel…” – the people didn’t want to hear what God wanted them to correct

“…you have abandoned your first love…”

It’s not about how we started, it’s about how we finish

One of the saddest things that you can hear is “we used to do that”

“…I know your works…you are neither hot nor cold…”

What are the positives in the Churches mentioned in Revelation?

We don’t have the assurance of tomorrow…it gets harder to mend things each day that we delay

Our works don’t save us, but we are saved to do good works










7/22/18 morning Bible study – starting study of Exodus…page 4 in the new workbook

The author of Exodus knew this was a narrative continuing from Genesis

Part of the book pertains to Moses’ work with the Israelites

Most people accept that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible

Modern writers of history are careful to record specific dates and names; this wasn’t the custom at the time of the writing of the book of Exodus…we aren’t specifically told the name of the Pharaoh at the time (although history suggests it was Ramses)

Jacob’s descendants numbered about 70 and they multiplied in the land of Egypt

The more the Egyptians oppressed the Israelites, the more the Israelites flourished and the Egyptians treated them even more ruthlessly

Pharaoh commanded that the midwives were to kill the newborn boys…then he commanded that newborn boys be thrown in the river

Do I ever feel pressured to do something that I know is wrong?

We all do and how we deal with it says a lot about us

Fear of the Lord in this context shows reverence

Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses as her own

Moses received the best education available

Like Moses, we are often given the choice of following the way of the world or the way of God. The way of the world is a much easier path.

If we follow God even through adverse conditions, we will have our eternal reward

Moses fled to Midian a little while after killing the Egyptian slave master

God heard the groans of the Israelites and was concerned about them







7/15/18 morning Bible study – last week of study of book of Luke

Chapter 24, workbook page 103 – Jesus’ resurrection

Luke has been about Christ’s ministry on earth

The disciples didn’t believe the women…Peter ran to the tomb and wondered what happened

Jesus is more than a good example; He’s alive today

Jesus explains the whole story about Him prophesied since Moses

Patience, love, compassion, faith, love should be hallmarks of our lives as modeled for us by Christ

The disciples remarked after the walk on the road to Emmaus that their hearts burned while Jesus spoke to them…perhaps their disappointment clouded their minds

The disciples told the “stranger” on the road that they were disappointed that Jesus was crucified. Most Jews hoped that the Messiah would overthrow the Romans

Many people fall victim to cults or other questionable teachings due to a limited knowledge of God’s Word

Jesus told the disciples to stay in the city until “they have been clothed with power from on high”

Jesus made 11 appearances after His resurrection:

·       Empty tomb

·       Mary Magdalene at the tomb

·       Road to Emmaus

·       Peter in Jerusalem

·       10 disciples in upper room

·       Disciples in upper room a week later

·       Disciples fishing in Galilee

·       11 disciples on mountain in Galilee

·       500 people

·       James

·       Ascension (Mount of Olives) – 40 days after His resurrection

The day of Pentecost coincided with a Jewish harvest festival which took place 50 days after the beginning of Passover

Jesus had a resurrected body that wasn’t a ghost…He could enter locked rooms

Jews often settled disputes over a meal

The disciples by themselves couldn’t handle the large task set before them but the Holy Spirit’s help would be crucial

God uses waiting periods of our lives to grow us to be ready for action

The Ascension was the springboard for the disciples’ Great Commission

Acts 1:11 – “…why do you stand looking into the sky…”



7/15/18 morning sermon - Seven Psalms of Praise

·       Psalm 100 – songbook # 8

·       Psalm 148 – songbook #3

Praise the Lord in the heavens…the psalmist suggests that all created things should give the Creator praise

Ecclesiastes 3 – “…He has place eternity in our hearts…”

Hallelujah – part of hallel (to celebrate often in a garish way) and jah

·       Psalm 42 – songbook #71

Written while in anguish

“…when shall I come and appear before my God…”

“…why are you cast down o my soul…”

·       Psalm 1 – songbook #976

“…the way of the wicked will perish…”

Walking, standing and sitting signify our life…what we choose to have close to us in our life

The wise man doesn’t walk with the wicked

·       Psalm 23 – songbook #126

How many times have we heard or read this or seen it somewhere?

Starting in verse 4, David switches pronouns…talking directly to God

·       Psalm 119 – songbook #432

The Sermon on the Mount and Psalm 119 are two portions of Scripture people try to memorize…both can read in about 16 minutes

This psalm is attributed to David but we aren’t sure

“…with my whole heart I seek You...”

“…teach me Your statutes…”

176 different verses about God’s Word

·       Psalm 46 – songbook #31

“…God is our refuge and strength…”

“…be still and know that I am God…”

Paul speaks twice in Scriptures about our relationship to one another through song

We don’t sing to entertain one another



7/1/18 morning Bible study

Luke 22, workbook page 87

Jesus is coming into Jerusalem in time for Passover (commemorates the Exodus) – also known as the “Feast of Unleavened Bread”

Passover festival is 7 days long

The chief priests were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus because they were afraid of the people…they conspired with Judas to take Jesus when no crowds were present

Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray Him

At the same time the disciples are trying to figure out who will betray Jesus, they are also trying to figure out which disciple is the greatest

We learn a lot about ourselves and others when we are tested…it’s easy to say that we’ll behave a certain way ahead of time

Do we ever deny Jesus? Maybe not outwardly…by silence, by disobedience

Life can seem to be a series of setbacks and failures

No matter what we have done, we have hope until we give up hope

The grace of God can help us like Peter recover and once again follow in the Word





7/1/18 morning sermon – series of “Sevens”

Seven freedoms we have in Christ

1.    Free from bondage of sin…Jesus said “all who sin are slaves to sin”

2.    Free from bondage of law and its requirements – (special days, sacrifices, etc.)  - this also means you can’t be justified by following the laws

3.    Free from condemnation and guilt - Romans 8:1

4.    Free from power of death – my hope is not in this world

5.    Free from fear & worry – “…perfect love casts out fear…”

6.    Free from God’s wrath – “…God has not destined us for wrath…”

7.    Free to approach God with confidence – Romans 8:15 (we can approach God as a child approaches its father)

All of these freedoms came at a price

    “…not using your freedom as a coverup for evil…”

There was a great price paid for the freedom of the USA…there was an even greater price paid for our freedom



6/17/18 morning Bible Study

Luke 17 & 18, workbook page 71

Jesus was getting more popular but also had a growing number of enemies

A lot of people were still waiting for an earthly king to come

Is everyone we speak to going to believe?

Jesus never stopped trying to speak to people

If someone tells you 5 things, what is the thing you will remember? The thing most important to you

It’s tough for us to forgive

The apostles asked Jesus to “increase our faith”…they thought then it would be easier to do the things they should be doing

“…we are unworthy servants…we have only done our duty…”

We shouldn’t be gritting our teeth and doing good deeds to try and impress God…God wants humble servants in His kingdom

“…the kingdom of God will not come with your careful observation…”

The kingdom of God is within us…it’s a calming influence in times of trouble

“…men will tell you ‘Here He is’…”

Unjust judge – widow was persistent

“…everyone who humbles himself will be exalted…”

“…what is impossible with men is possible with God…”

The rich young ruler’s possessions/wealth were a hindrance to the man’s relationship to God

Jesus’ call to commitment is individualized

It’s not only the love of money that can lead you astray

Jesus predicts His own death

The blind man asked Jesus to have mercy on him

Who knows what you need? God does…and He may know more about what you need than you do

Jesus spoke with Zacchaeus and went to his house

“…today salvation has come to this house…”




6/17/18 morning sermon “Our Father Is In Heaven”

Matthew 6:8-13

Acts 20:27 the whole counsel of God

There’s no mandate to preach on the holidays (Thanksgiving, Labor day, etc.) but Jesus taught parables relating to the events and locations of His day (parable of the sower probably spoken out in a field)

Based on historical records, fathers were designed to prepare their children for adult life in an agrarian society…the fathers would have to build the home and plow the fields

Today’s fathers have to teach kids how to drive, how to barbecue, how to use a cell phone

For the people in Jesus’ time, they thought the example of piety was the Sadducees and Pharisees

For the residents of Shults-Lewis, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day weren’t always their favorite days

All the 613 laws part of the Laws of Moses, they can be condensed down

Deuteronomy 10:12 – love God and serve Him with all your soul

Micah 6:8, Jeremiah 7:22 – obey My voice and I will be your God

Exodus 4:21 – “…Israel is My son…”

Isaiah 1:2

Matthew 7:7-11 – “…ask and it will be given to you…”

A good father knows what his children need and uses discretion when dealing with their wants

What would children learn if their father is unforgiving and harsh?

We have the example of our Father forgiving us and others…how should we act?

Our children imitate us in many ways

Our heavenly Father will lead and deliver us

Our Father gives us a choice to follow Him and live or defy Him and suffer consequences

Luke 15 – Prodigal son – God is waiting for us to come home to Him

We may look around at the pig sty we are in and look towards God to get out

God wants us to love and forgive each other


6/10/18 morning Bible study

Luke 15 & 16 - workbook page 63-67

Parable of shepherd leaving the flock to find one lost sheep

Parable of woman’s lost coin - possibly part of her life savings or part of a sentimentally-valued necklace (could be part of a dowry)

Parable of prodigal son

The Pharisees didn’t approve of Jesus welcoming sinners

The idea that God would actively pursue sinners was a radical concept

The Pharisees thought they earned God’s favor by following all of the Law and the traditions

Some of us have long lists of people we don’t think will listen to the Gospel...sometimes the people we think will listen aren’t the ones that actually will

The prodigal son may have wanted to be out from under his father’s thumb or be away from the shadow of his older brother

Being free from authority means being a slave to the consequences of that freedom

Those enslaved to sin seem to suffer a spiritual insanity in which they can’t see what they are doing to themselves

Repentance is a personal issue

The father watched the horizon every day hoping to see his son coming back

In Palestinian culture, running wasn’t something that was appropriate to do for an older or distinguished person

The older son practiced service without love, religion without joy

Doing good can become a sort of slavery

We can’t look down our noses at the lost

All of us can identify with having a spiritual failure

Luke 16 - crooked manager - whoever is dishonest with little will be dishonest with much

No slave can serve two masters

The manager was clever in the way he prepared for his future financial needs

Jesus showed His disciples that they could invest material things to yield spiritual results

The Pharisees’ view of wealth was that it was a reward for good spiritual deeds

The bit about divorce was put in place to show how the Pharisees overlooked the spirit of the Law

Since the Pharisees held so tight to the Law, they couldn’t accept Jesus’ teachings







6/10/18 morning sermon

Daniel 2:20-22

It was God’s plan all along that the Lamb would be given as our sacrifice

Daniel lived in the 6th century B.C.

In the days of the 4th kingdom, God’s kingdom would be established (Jesus came during Roman era)

Isaiah Chapter 2:2 ff

Isaiah 11:11 ff - “...in that day the Lord will recover His people...”

Luke records in Acts a fulfillment of Isaiah and Joel’s prophecy (and Malachi 4 - Jews were expecting someone to coming for 400 years)

The Church and the Kingdom are one and the same (established in Acts 2)

There is no other plan or event that we are waiting for except when we hear the trumpets sound

Why is preparation important?

It’s not enough to say “God loves you....you should obey His commands”

The Bible isn’t a history book or a science book...it shows how much God has done for you and I

The Old Testament teaches “someone is coming”

The early parts of the New Testament teach “someone is here”

The last parts of the New Testament teach “someone is returning”

Matthew 14 - “...who do people say that I am?...

Who do we say that Christ is?

Mark 9 - timeframe for God’s Kingdom - some were standing there that would not taste death before the Kingdom of God comes

Acts 2 - Church established on the Day of Pentecost - this chapter is the hub of the Bible

Why were all these things brought about? Because God loves us so much

Why study the history of the Bible? It shows us how much He cares for us

Philippians 2 - Jesus was willing to forgo His place in heaven to redeem man

Acts shows examples of how people obeyed the Gospel

We must meet God on His terms...He wants us to turn 180 degrees from our old life

Rev 2:10 - continue on


June 3 2018 morning Bible study

Luke 12-14

Workbook page 55

How could people hate someone who was healing the sick and loving the multitudes and raising the dead?

Are we always patient and kind with everyone?

Jesus treated people with respect and taught with stories…He could have struck down His enemies

Jesus taught us how to tell other people they are wrong

Peter disowned the Son of Man yet was forgiven because he repented

Hostility against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin (because they aren’t repentant and don’t seek forgiveness)

What if a brother or sister became challenging to us (or we were challenging to others)…what could we say? We could say “let’s pray together”

Common sense may not be common practice

It’s hard for people to resist something done for them out of love

If a person resists the Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they are showing that they are on quite a dangerous path

Parable of the rich fool…tore down his storehouse and built bigger ones to store all his stuff…he thought it would be enough

“…do not worry about your life…what you will eat or what you will wear…who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life…”

Worry is natural – be careful that worry about the future doesn’t become crippling

Jesus warned people that the pursuit of riches distracts people from what they should be doing

We should still work to earn wages to support ourselves and our family

Wealth should not taint our attitudes

Jesus’s command to sell what you have could have been designed to wage a war on poverty and a war on greed

It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of the work grindstone

Who’s going to be judged more harshly: the servant who knew what they should have been doing (versus the servant who didn’t know what was expected of them)

Jesus healed a woman with an evil spirit and the synagogue rulers were upset that He healed on the Sabbath…He pointed out that they did work by unhooking the rope to their livestock to take them for a drink of water

The imagery of the fig tree shows that God never gives up on us

Jesus healed a man with dropsy

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled


June 3 2018 morning sermon

Daniel 2:20-22

We can read stories but we may not fully understand them until something in real life puts it into perspective

Psalm 71 – “…my mouth will speak of your righteous acts…”

“…do not forsake me until I declare Your might to the next generation…”

Bible classes should be fun (not funny)

The history of Scripture isn’t just historical facts but it’s the great story of God’s love for us and His plans for us

Why doesn’t the Bible contain the history of South America? It contains the information that we need to know

Paul described “mysteries made known to us”…things that previously people puzzled over that are made known through the Scriptures

1 Peter 1:10 – “…things into which angels long to look…”

We can understand things that the angels and prophets of old didn’t yet understand

God told Abraham to look at the stars and try to count them and more than that would the number of Abraham’s descendants

Until the 1800s, we thought there were only about 2000 stars

Ephesians 6:19 – “…boldly proclaim the mystery of the Gospel…”

Ezra set his heart to study the Law of the Lord and then teach the people

Why do we have to keep teaching about history?

Revelation 2:5 – “…those who lost their first love…”

Preach in-season and out-of-season

Stephen told the people listening that they were as stiff-necked as those who crucified Christ

God is in charge of the world and we should not think we are exempt

We should not follow deism that suggests God wound up the world like a clock and then left

Jeremiah was trying to explain to the people that they were about to go into captivity for 70 years due to their sins

Sometimes kings think they are in charge…little do they know that they are God’s servants

We are here to do God’s will and His will alone

Romans 9:17 – “…for this very purpose, I have raised you up…” – speaking of Moses

Daniel was brought up in Nebuchadnezzar’s household

Daniel prays to God that he can interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream…the dream outlines the progress of God’s people from captivity to salvation

The next kingdoms to come after the Babylonian empire are the Medo-Persian empire, then the Greek empire, then the Roman empire.

Iron mixed with clay – that’s the description of the Roman empire. This makes the iron weaker. Rome didn’t fall due to invasion by outside forces; it fell due to internal decay

“…in the days of those kings, the God of heaven shall setup a Kingdom that will never end…” – speaking of the Roman empire

Leopard with wings – reference to Alexander the Great

The Church was purposed and planned

God is not a respecter of man




May 27 2018 morning Bible study

Workbook page 47

Luke 9-11

Jesus has been establishing his disciples and sending them out to do His works

How many miracles did people need to see before they would believe in Jesus?

Jesus knew that some people wouldn’t understand even after being told repeatedly

Jesus spoke with people at Bethsaida…5000 men plus women and children were there…5 loaves and 2 fishes fed the people…12 baskets full of leftovers were collected at the end

Some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist, some though He was Elijah, others thought He was a prophet from long ago who came back to life

“…what good is it for man to gain the whole world but forfeits his soul…”

About 8 days after Bethsaida, some of the disciples got to view the Transfiguration

Luke 9:51 – Samaritan village wasn’t welcoming to Jesus and His disciples

“…the Son of Man has no place to lay his head…”

The Lord appointed 72 others to go ahead of Him into the various towns

“…I am sending you out like lambs among the wolves…”

“…when you enter a house, say ‘peace be upon this house’…eating and drinking whatever they give you…”

Why wouldn’t someone believe

Luke 10:25 – parable of the good Samaritan

Who is my neighbor? Have you ever been in a situation where you saw someone in need and you walked past them? Maybe another time you saw someone in need and you stopped to help them.

Is it an easy decision to make to help someone?

Chapter 11 – The disciples wanted some guidance from Jesus on how to pray

“…for everyone who asks receives…”

Why would we want to receive the Holy Spirit? He intercedes for us

If we fall into trouble, is that the end for us? We can get back out






May 27 2018 morning sermon

1 Samuel 17:33-36

Many stories have one of three themes:

·       Man vs man

·       Man vs nature

·       Man vs God

The Bible verse today showcases the underdog who succeeds despite overwhelming odds

The Philistines were about 25-30 miles to the west of Bethlehem

Goliath was 9ft 6 in

Average height in our country in the 21st century is 5ft 10 in

The armor that Goliath wore was about 157 lbs.

The end of his spear was 18-19 lbs.

Goliath taunts the people for 40 days

Goliath fell forward on his face…that struck fear into all the people

Three points to ponder:

·       Some problems are giants in proportion – each one of us must face fears in our lives. I may not think that your problem is big, but it is. If they are debilitating to us, they are giants.

Imagine if a giant in your life taunts you day after day and says “I will defeat you”…this can be addictions, etc

·       These problems require faith alone…we must put them in the hands of the Lord…most of our problems are of a spiritual nature

·       God can provide a champion of the most unlikely sort…He gives us the tools we need

“…the sting of death is sin…your labor is not in vain…”

Philippians 4:12 – “…I know what it is to abound and to be brought low…”

Why not let the Lord fight your battles for you?


May 20, 2018 Morning Bible Study

Workbook page 39 – Luke 7-9

Jesus was amazed by the centurion’s faith…He said the non-Jew had more faith than the Jews

Jesus was followed by a large crowd when He travelled

Jesus rose a widow’s son and people said “a great prophet has come”

Jesus knew people would be scandalized but what He did or didn’t do

Some people rejected those who weren’t baptized by John the Baptist

The religious leaders of the day didn’t like John and Jesus’ lifestyles…they accused them of being demon-possessed and eating with questionable people

“…he who has forgiven little loves little…”

The seed is the Word of God

The seed that fell among thorns are those who hear the Word but don’t mature as life comes at them

No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bed

“…there is nothing that is hidden that will not be disclosed…”

Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him but couldn’t get close to Him because of the crowd

Jesus’ brothers and sisters are those who hears God’s Word and puts it into practice

The disciples are always amazed at all the things Jesus does



May 20, 2018 Morning sermon

Mark 4:26-29 – parable of the sower

Ecclesiastes 3 – “time for everything…God set eternity in our hearts”

We have the capacity to consider that we don’t just live in today…we wonder about tomorrow and what comes after this life

Genesis 1:26 – God made us in His image

2 Timothy 3:16 – “…all Scripture is God-breathed…”

God has given us a spirit that will return to Him and our body returns to the dust

Come let us reason together…to better understand the Word of God

This is the only place we find this parable

We all have ears…we also need to perceive what is being said

The Kingdom and the Church are one and the same…that is hard to grasp by some denominations who think a Kingdom is yet to come

Daniel spoke of a Kingdom to be setup (the Church)

“…some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom…” – what makes more sense: that there are 2000+ year old people still walking around or God’s Kingdom is the Church?

1 Cor 15:1-4 – “…Gospel by which you are being saved…

Anyone can scatter the seed of the Gospel

Scientists still can’t explain how seeds grow into a plant

1 Peter 1:12 – “…even the angels long to look into these things…”

Even Moses and Isaiah didn’t understand some things

Hebrews 4:12 – “…the Word of God is active…”

We don’t need self-help books to change our lives…we only need the Word of God planted in our lives to effect change

The seed that fell on good soil is ready to produce fruits many times above what was planted

We are at enmity with our Creator when we are outside the body of Christ

Once a person is willing to submit to the will of God, then they are ready to serve in His Kingdom

If we are heading to self, we need to turn around and step towards God


May 13, 2018 Morning Bible Study

Samuel’s report on Ghana and beyond

Almost 30 years ago when TC C of C started working in Ghana

Heritage Christian College – this school started as a school of preaching…now it has 4 different programs:

Bible institute (HBI) – for training of ministers and evangelists – used to train 12-20 students per year but enrollment went down due to cost of living in the city so they established study centers in various locations…teachers would visit for two-week time periods

Four-year liberal arts college (HCC) – accredited by Ghanaian government & internationally accepted…you have to have a library and accredited managers (had to come to US to get a Ph D)

Bachelor of Business Administration (7 degrees), Bachelor of Information Technology (1 degree), Bachelor of Theology (1 degree)

Two-year professional diploma training (partner with ICM UK)…people who complete this can go to HCC to earn a bachelor’s degree

Center for philanthropy, entrepreneurship & ethics (CEPE) – business boot-camps, start-up challenge, business advisory & nurturing, incubator services & support, day of philanthropy – even the preacher students must attend this program so that when they are out in the field, they don’t look to foreign sources for support

Young scholars summer Bible training – these are students at public universities who want to teach Sunday school and lead Church services back in their home villages

Two new proposed study centers for September 2018: Assin Faso and Tema-Ahsaiman

Graduates from HBI are now serving in 11 countries including Ghana (even one in Italy)

HCC policy mandates that each student have a laptop

Integration of Christian values & ethics & entrepreneurship

If you have knowledge but lack integrity, you are as bad as the devil

The rate of growth is exceeding their projections – they need a new multi-purpose building that will provide a cafeteria/auditorium, lecture room, IT labs, etc.

Last Sunday this May will be Giving Sunday with the money going towards the new building



May 13, 2018 Morning sermon

Ruth 4:13-17

When all seems lost, it really isn’t

Two inspiring photographs in the book of Ruth:

1st – two women shedding tears because of loss

2nd – the same two women shedding tears of joy and restoration

What explains the difference in their tears?

What turned their tragedy and sorrow to hope and joy?

In bad times we often ask God “why”?

Boaz showed special concern for Ruth

The marriage of Boaz and Ruth marks a turning point for Ruth, Naomi, and the land of Israel and as a result it leads to us as Christians

Isaiah 54:1-4 “…you will spread abroad…fear not, for you will not be ashamed…you will forget the shame of your youth…”

1.    When confronted with making choices to improve our financial condition, choose principle over pragmatism

2.    When suffering strikes us, it doesn’t mean God has abandoned us

3.    God sees and cares and does intervene in even mundane affairs especially those who make a commitment to follow them

We aren’t immune to tragedy due to our immoral and broken world

We can trust God to see us through tragedy…God is able to orchestrate all circumstances

Don’t give up and don’t give in…trust in God


April 29, 2018 morning Bible study, page 23 in workbook

Luke 4

If you are looking for a commentary, James Burton Kaufman (Church of Christ member who wrote in the 20th century) wrote a good one

Follow-up from last week: When the devil was tempting Jesus, he pointed out that he would give Jesus the kingdoms of the earth

From the commentary: the devil didn’t have any kingdoms to give to Jesus anyway…because the devil’s claim had no significance, Jesus didn’t mention it in His reply

Jesus read the Torah in the synagogue and told them “today the Scripture is fulfilled”

Many people came to hear Jesus talk

Skepticism can easily replace faith in our lives…we need to be able to see God’s work in our lives (Hebrews)

Matthew 15:13-58 – Jesus chose not to show His power in front of these people because of their doubt…they wanted Him to prove Himself

God won’t solve all our problems…He works His will in our lives according to His timeframe

Jesus infuriated the people by saying He was God’s Son and making the people even angrier by saying they weren’t under God’s blessing

Jesus helped a man with leprosy and told Him not to tell anyone

Jesus forgave the paralytic man and the teachers of the Law were grumbling…Jesus then healed the man as a teaching tool

Jesus recruited a tax collector (Levi)

“…it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick…”

Jesus is bringing the new covenant and that will require big changes in the peoples’ lives

People have resisted changed for thousands of years






April 29, 2018 morning sermon

Luke 15:1-7

How many words are there for “going somewhere”? A sojourn, a quest, a journey

Our preacher isn’t a circus barker, he is traveling with us one a journey to uncover some truths

We must bring an effort to work along with our preacher to get the greatest good out of what we look at in God’s Word

On a museum tour, the guide sometimes talks too much instead of getting out of the way and letting the visitors see the item for themselves

God doesn’t hide Himself; He is there in plain sight

Let the Scriptures speak for themselves

Don’t add to or take away from the Scipture

1 Kings 10 – a prophet was sent to send a message: he was told don’t eat or drink when you are there and take a different way home

Ezekiel 48:9 – “…no one shall leave by the gate they entered…”

The Magi departed from visiting Christ and went another way

When we look at a piece of art, we aren’t there to see the frame or the background or the center…we come to see the entire portrait

This parable may seem to be 3 stories but they are actually only one

It takes about 4 seconds to pick up a penny…they can add up if you do it a lot over time

The idea of the parable: who doesn’t search for something that is valuable that is lost?

We can see the “item that is lost” as lost souls

In this portrait, we see a picture of ourselves and of God

Has your journey been one of serving God or serving yourself?

God’s army needs volunteers to seek out the lost

Has someone been searching for you?





April 22, 2018 morning Bible study


Workbook page 15

John the Baptist’s role was to prepare the way for Jesus…he went into the countryside surrounding the Jordan River preaching baptism

The minor prophets were speaking to a small group of people (the Jews) whereas John was preaching to all peoples (rural areas)

John’s preaching style was fire and brimstone at the beginning of the message and then followed up with the hope the people needed

John warned the Jews that being a descendant of Abraham alone would save them from God’s wrath

It’s easy to claim we have repented…we must display actions that show we have indeed repented

If we harm someone and are truly repentant, does the person forgive us? Not necessarily. We have the example we need on how to forgive

40 days Jesus was tempted by the devil…Jesus ate nothing during this time…the devil tried to use Scripture to trip Him up (and us)

Deuteronomy 8:3

Tempted with being food, being a ruler, and throwing self off a cliff

Psalm 91:12

Do we respond to temptation by quoting Scripture?






April 22, 2018 morning sermon

Matthew 22:17-22

Stump the chump – designed to trip up the expert

The Pharisees were working to ensnare Jesus, not learn from Him

Is Jesus with the Jews or with the Roman government?

The Pharisees aren’t seekers, they are predators

Has anyone asked you a question and you realize that they don’t really want to know the answer but to show how smart they think they are?

There’s a fine line in knowing where a person will gravitate: they receive the word of God or trample it

Herodians are referenced 3 times in Scripture – they were Jews who were aligned with Herod

Jesus was surrounded by spies who pretended to be sincere

We sometimes fall for flattery

Proverbs 26:23

“…why put me to the test, you hypocrites?”

Render – to restore, to pay

Jesus didn’t answer the question for them (how much to pay in taxes nor how much to give to the offering plate)

Why didn’t Jesus quote from Psalms? (the idea that all things come from God)

Romans 13:1 – “…let every person be subject to the governing authorities…whoever resists the authorities resists God…”

The things that are gods versus the things that are God’s

What do you make gods in your life?

Matthew 6:21 – “…for where your treasure is, there you heart will be also…”

Does my time belong to me or my country or my job or God?

Are my gifts/talents mine or do they belong to God? Have I used them for God’s good?

Does your heart belong to God or the world? Our thoughts and actions give insight into the truth in our lives.




April 8 2018 morning Bible study

Starting study of Luke

What does it mean to take somebody for granted?

We often take Jesus for granted

More parables are found in Luke than in any of the other Gospels

The Jews and Gentiles are both included as sons of God

Luke traveled with Paul

Luke was a Gentile born in Antioch who trained to become a doctor…he may have been a freed slave

The addressee of the book of Luke was Theophilus who may have been a government official

Mark may have been written in the 50s A.D. and Luke may have gotten information from Mark and written his book in the 60s A.D.

John the Baptist and Jesus’ births were foretold via angels visiting Zechariah and Mary respectively

John lived in the desert until it was his time to start his ministry

People hope for world peace but each of us needs inner peace through Jesus first

Simeon prophesied about Jesus after meeting him in the temple…so did Anna the prophetess

Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem while his family had traveled away




April 8 2018 morning sermon

James 3:2-6

The tongue has thousands of taste buds

We can yodel and sing and talk due to our tongue

Shibboleth – certain sounds that we are unable to reproduce

For all of the abilities of the tongue, “no human being can tame the tongue”

“…from the same mouth come blessings and curses…”

1.    No man can tame the tongue

2.    The tongue can be tamed

The tongue isn’t responsible for what it says…it’s the responsibility of what the tongue is attached to (the heart)

Matthew 15:10 – “…it is not what goes into the mouth the defiles a person but what comes out of the mouth…”

“…what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart…”

Jeremiah 17 – “…the heart is deceitful above all things…”

Proverbs 28:26 – “…he who trusts in his own heart is a fool…”

Matthew 19:23 – “...with man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible…”

Genesis 18 – “…is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Phillipians 4:13 – “…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…”

Ephesians 4:29 – “…that it may give grace to those who hear…”

Titus 3:1-2 – “…to speak evil of no one…to avoid quarreling…”

The more we talk, the more we get ourselves into trouble

Proverbs 26:20 – “…where there is no whisperer, the quarreling stops…”

2 Cor 12:20 – “…there may be quarreling…slander…deceit…”

The angrier I get, the stupider I get

Ephesians 4:30 – “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…let all bitterness…be put away from you…be kind to one another…”

You can tell who or what is controlling a person by the language they use





April 1 2018 morning Bible study

Micah 6-7

Workbook page 105

Matthew 28 – “…go and make disciples of all nations…”

Micah 6:8 – “…what does the Lord require of you?...to walk humbly…”

God reminds the people how He has watched out for them for so many years

The people were willing to carry out the rituals of worship but still treated other people unfairly and God wouldn’t accept their worship

“What does the Lord require of me?” has an analog in the New Testament: “What must I do to be saved?”

Acts 2:37-41 – “…men and brethren: what should we do?...

What is the difference between listening and hearing and understanding?

When we aren’t listening to someone, why not? We don’t care, we are preparing to say something in response

Families didn’t trust other family members

“…as for me, I watch and hope for the Lord…”

Joshua 24:15 – “…choose this day whom you will serve…”

“…nations will see and be ashamed…You will be true to Abraham…”

There is hope for sinners…God is always faithful

“…who is like Yahweh?...



April 1 2018 morning sermon

Firm foundation – Christ compared those who heard His words and put them into practice as having this

Matthew 5, 6 and 7 – “…when Jesus finished, the crowd was astonished at His teaching…”

The scribes of the day were known for not quoting the Torah directly but saying “Rabbi so-and-so believes this or that”

“…you have heard it said…but I say…”

Deuteronomy 18:15 – “…I will raise up from among you a prophet…” – Jesus arrived 15 centuries later as a fulfillment of this promise

Matthew 17:5 – mount of transfiguration

12 times in the NT it says “…he who has ears, let him hear…”

The type of listening Jesus desires is an active listening…He doesn’t tell us stories to entertain

Why do we call ourselves disciples of Christ when we aren’t willing to do what He commands of us?

“…blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it…”

Jesus wants to change the course of our life and the quality too

Hearing and doing God’s Word is intended to enrich your life

What must I do when I hear God’s Word? I must make a decision because I cannot save myself

Don’t be a hearer only


March 25, 2018 morning Bible study

Micah 3-5, workbook page 97

Discover the dangers that God’s people faced in Micah’s time

Two prophets within the same time said the exact same thing was going to happen to God’s people

The people were taking advantage of the poor…charging for knowledge of God

“…is not the Lord among us?...” The people didn’t think anything bad would happen to them because they were God’s people

People look to their own self-interest which usually excludes the common good

When people move away from God, we lean on ourselves and bad things happen

Can we help one another when we are struggling? We should.

God created everything and it was good…man came along and messed some things up

End of chapter 3 talks about the temple mount being overgrown with thickets…then later the temple mount would be restored

Micah prophesied that many nations would worship God

“…everyone will sit under their own fig tree…”

Some people think the Christians waste time with evangelizing when the world has more pressing physical needs

Biblical prophecy should spur people to obedience

Micah chided the people for following their political leaders instead of the will of God

“…He will stand and shepherd His flock…”

“…you will no longer bow down to the works of your hand…”

We forget about the wrath of God

We can’t make something legal that God has made immoral

Remnant of Jacob compared to dew and a lion

What enemy (sin, fear or suffering) would I most like to lift my hand to triumph over?






March 25, 2018 morning sermon

Romans 13:12 The Armor of Light

What did it take to get here today? Physically, spiritually, emotionally…

Some peoples’ daily struggles are such that work, neighbors, the news keep pressing in on them with on relief in sight

We appreciate the effort others make to be here today

Sometimes we struggle to meet the basic needs of the day

Either we are struggling right now with something in our lives, we just finished struggling with something in our lives, or we are about to struggle with something in our lives

If we pretend to understand another’s struggles, we are fooling ourselves

2 Cor 11:28 – daily pressure on me…anxiety about the Churches

2 Cor 12:7 – “…a thorn was given me…"

“…for the sake of Christ, I take delight in weakness…”

Sometimes we should feel glad when we endure a thorn to keep us humble

Everyone around us is undergoing some kind of struggle

Ephesians 6 – “…the time has come for us to awake from our sleep…”

Everything in life is closer than it appears

Ecclesiastes 3 – “…He set eternity in our hearts…”

We need to be prepared for anything that comes our way

We need to prepare ourselves for the day through prayer

Colossians 2:6 “…as you receive Christ, so walk in Him…”

None of us who are born again are instantly mature…we grow constantly through the rest of our lives

How do you prepare daily for the struggles you may face?

Luke 18:1 – “…ought always to pray and not lose heart…”

Ephesians 6: “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces…”



March 18, 2018 morning Bible study – attendance 45

Starting the study of Micah

Consistent theme with the prophets we’ve studied lately – God is not happy with Israel and Judah’s behavior

Micah had a vision of Samaria (capital of Israel) and Jerusalem (capital of Judah)

What biblical account of judgment has had the greatest impact on me?

Around 701 BC, the Assyrians captured many cities in Judah

This proved that God was willing to turn His wrath on His covenanted people

Some of the influential people at that time were using fraud in the courts to steal land from the rightful owners

It is sad that bad things happen to people, but there will be judgement against the bad actors and it might not happen from our hand and it may not happen on earth

The nature of our behavior will dictate the consequences of our behavior

The Lord chides the people by saying if Micah were prophesying about a time of plenty of beer and wine, the people would believe him…the people didn’t want to hear the truth

Micah talks about the faithful being gathered together as a flock of sheep and being led

Micah predicted an upcoming exile (Babylonian captivity) but he offered hope in the future for the faithful

There is always help and hope






March 18, 2018 morning sermon – Matthew 13:44-46

Cost versus value…we can put a price on anything

What will people go back into their burning house to rescue?

Real-world examples: A cell phone, a rack of ribs, Xbox, pets

Rational people become very irrational

Moment of clarity – where you suddenly get a deep understanding of something that has been previously out of reach of your mind

A moment of clarity may not always lead to the best decision

Example of shoe box versus a treasure box

Each of us understands treasure

Have you ever wondered what the man in the parable found in the field?

If we don’t understand something’s value, we won’t understand the lengths someone will go to obtain that treasure

True treasure: Light to walk by, forgiveness of sins, eternal life, to become a child of God, riches beyond our imagination

Do we remind the Lord how much we’ve given up in order to follow Him?

Treasure from the shoebox: IOU – idolatry, envy, anger, lies, atheism, a blank for everything else (house, car, bike)

Rich young ruler: did he possess wealth or did it possess him?

Take your time to count the cost before you trade real treasure for fleeting treasure

Maybe the treasure in the parable is you…what are you worth?

Philippians 2 – “…look not only to your own interest…”

A moment of clarity is nothing if we don’t act upon it




March 11, 2018 morning Bible study – attendance 41

Hosea 11-14 workbook page 81

While there may be a lot of negativity in the Old Testament, there’s always hope when people turn their hearts to God

God loves us despite our sins

The Lord is like a compassionate farmer who cares for the young livestock – He took care of the Israelites in their younger days

God tells the Israelites that even though they have grieved Him, He won’t punish them the same way he had punished other cities of non-believers

How has God showed you mercy or worked in your life?

God references some of Jacob’s life events…he was faithful to God and was blessed

A lot of people believe in God but their hearts are far from Him

The Israelites had to come back to God to stay in His good graces

Why did God use such graphic visuals of what was going to happen to the Israelites? It would hopefully shock them into action

Hosea 14 – take words to the Lord – talk to God

Do you consider yourself wise? The ways of the Lord are right and we need to walk in his ways. The rebellious stumble.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------March 11, 2018 morning sermon

Ephesians 5

Redeem the time for the days are evil

Make the most of every opportunity

Colossians 4:5 “…redeeming the time…”

Paul is talking about occasions and opportunities

Hebrews 11:42 – kronos – passage of time

Ransom – to rescue

No one can buy a second or lose a second in a day

Our life lived before coming to Christ was wasted time

Our life now is lived for a different purpose

1 Chronicles 12:32 – sons of Issachar: men who understood the times

Do we understand the times in which we live?

Are our lives driven by our culture? Or are we living peculiar lives in our culture?

God wants us to be wise in the ways the devil works

John 12:35 – “…walk while you have the Light…”

attached garage, air conditioning, online shopping – they have reduced our interaction with other people in our community…this has fundamentally changed our society and us

Are we becoming more isolated?

Many children who commit school shootings have an isolated existence

Examine all areas of your life…ask yourself if every moment you spend doing something is constructive for the Kingdom




March 4 2018 morning Bible study attendance 36

Hosea 4, workbook 73, around 620 B.C.

Israel was very problematic at this time…the priests were misbehaving as well

Israelites were guilty of sins of omission and commission

Priests believed that obedience to the Torah was a path to salvation

Judah was starting to follow Israel’s bad path

We are all in need of God in our lives

“…in their misery they will honestly seek Me…”

Matthew 18:6 – don’t lead others astray




March 4 2018 morning sermon – Seven Pillars From Proverbs For Raising Children – Proverbs 9:1

Our priority in our Congregation should be to build strong families

It’s not the Church’s responsibility to teach children morals; it’s the job of mothers and fathers

Solomon uses imagery of architecture for Wisdom

1st Pillar – Trust in the Lord

2nd Pillar – Seek God’s Word – absolute truth for our lives

“…buy the truth and do not sell it…”

3rd Pillar – Choose friends wisely – “…keep your foot from their paths…”. Show me your friends and I will show you your future

Using phrases like right and wrong are imperative to raising children

There are too many gray areas in life

4th Pillar – Protect your heart – watch what you take in

“…as a man thinks in his heart, so is he…”

There are many things in this world that can taint a child’s heart…they are bombarded by pure evil

5th Pillar – Teach them integrity

“…better is the poor who walks integrity…”

One’s reputation cannot be stressed too much

6th Pillar – Respect the ancient landmarks (doctrines and teachings of God) – God’s Word never changes

The minds of children cannot be left to their own devices

7th Pillar – Today is the day of change – every moment is a teaching opportunity…make changes while you still have time

Ecclesiastes: “…fear God and obey His commandments…”




February 18 2018 morning Bible study…attendance

Amos 7-9

Workbook page 57

Amos was prophesying to Israel

Israel was treating the needy people badly

God would set a plumb line amongst the people

Amos saw 3 visions: locusts, fire, plumb line,

Amos pleaded with God to not send locusts and fire to destroy the people and God relented

Locusts showed up in Joel

Amos is preaching to the people of Israel but he’s from Judah

Amos used to be a shepherd and sycamore fig tender

Jerusalem – main place to worship in Judah

Bethel/Dan – main place to worship in Israel

Amos tells the priest that Israel will be exiled

We must resist attempts to break our obedience to God

We may not face such strong resistance as Amos did but we will still face obstacles

Amos 8 – Amos saw a vision of a basket or ripe fruit

“…I will make all of you wear sackcloth…I will send a famine through the land…for hearing the Word of the Lord…”

“…who calls for the waters of the seas…”

“…did I not bring the Israelites from Egypt…I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob…”

God spoke of a restoration of Israel after the destruction

We have short memories after a hard trial









February 18 2018 morning sermon

Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Paul isn’t talking about praying as soon as you open your eyes in the morning and never stopping until you lay down at night

We need a spirit of dependence on God for all things

We have a privilege to talk to God throughout our day

David prayed morning, noon and night

We need to recognize that God is in our lives


An acrostic based on the alphabet

·       Always – give thanks always for all things

·       Busy – when we are in the midst of the battle, bend your knee

·       Constantly – Daniel 6:10 – he prayed as was his custom

·       Delight – Romans 7:22 – I can hardly wait to talk to the Father

·       Everyday – Can I see God working in my life and the lives of the world around me? Can I see Him in creation?

·       Fainthearted – our prayers are important for those who are struggling in their own lives

·       Gathering of the saints

·       Hateful; hardened of heart, lukewarm – we should pray that their hearts turn from stone to flesh (Ezekiel)

·       Infinite blessings – God’s riches are unsearchable. How many blessings from God could we recall and write down?

·       Journey – we have joy through our journey with Jesus. Our citizenship isn’t here but we are ambassadors here

·       Keep loving and keep learning – 1 Peter 4:8 “…above all have fervent love for one another…”

·       Love to pray – patiently endure – 2 Tim 2:12, Matthew 11:20 – what we endure, we don’t have to endure alone. Turn it over to God in prayer and marvel at what He does with it

·       Mad, malice, mean-spirit – that is not the time to distance yourself from God - 1 Peter 2:1 – Eph 4:31 “…let all bitterness…be put away from you…”

·       Nations near and far – our nation and our neighbors, kings, leaders, etc.

·       Omniscient God – Eph 3:22 – if we pray for only what we can imagine, we still don’t come close to what God can do

·       Praying at all times of day. – easiest time to quit praying is when we become discouraged

·       Quarrel with God – question your purpose…quitting

·       Rebuke, reproof, repent – David recognized when he was wrong

·       Stand firm – stand up for Christ- Eph 6:13 (full armor of God)

·       Time – redeem our time…the time is near…our time is in God’s hands. Psalm 90:12. Pray that we can use our time wisely. Ezra 7:10

·       Understand God’s Word and God’s will

·       Virtuous, victorious, vigilant living

·       Wisdom

·       Yearning to serve – Psalm 71:18 – teach the young people

·       Zeal to hear the Message – “…be doers of the Word and not hearers only…”



February 11 2018 morning Bible study attendance 40

Amos 5

Workbook page 49

Throughout the Old Testament, the “day of the Lord” is referred to often.

God gave the Old Testament people time frames for events (i.e. in 40 years such and such will happen)

The prophets usually prophesied about the wrath of God and the coming of the Messiah

God’s own people should know better than anybody else how they should be behaving

“…woe to you who long for the Day of the Lord…”

The people were excited for the Day of the Lord because they thought God would judge their enemies, not them too

“…even though you bring Me grain offerings and drink offerings, I will not accept them…”

Assyrians attacked around 723 B.C.

The people may have been doing the sacrifices, but they were living corrupt lives

We must not rely on external religious acts

Do I always deal fairly people or on an intermittent basis?

The people of that time were wealthy and elevated that above helping their fellow neighbors

At this time, Israel’s enemies weren’t too powerful and this allowed Judah and Israel to prosper financially and grow politically and they may have had a boosted sense of self-confidence…they were taking credit for their good luck

It’s better to limit our self-indulgences then to allow society to suffer

“…you have turned justice to poison…”

“…I will stir up a nation against you…”

1 Peter 3:15 – “…always be prepared to give an answer for the hope you have…do this with gentleness and respect…”





February 11 2018 morning sermon

The gift of the Holy Spirit

Deuteronomy 29:29 – “…secret things belong to the Lord our God…”

The things God has written are for us

Romans 1:20 – those who should have believed in God but don’t

Without the Bible, we can’t really know much about God

Trinity is a not a word found in Scripture

Col 2:19 – Godhead

The Holy Spirit is found throughout the Old Testament

Christ shows up many times in the Old Testament as the “Angel of the Lord”

The Holy Spirit is not some energy field or a wisp of smoke…it’s a person of the Godhead

“…He will guide you…”

Acts 5: Ananias and Sapphira held back some proceeds from their land sale…lied to the Holy Spirit

John 14:26 – “…He will teach you all things…”

Ephesians 4:30 “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you were sealed…”

2 Peter 1:21 – prophecy never came from man

1 Cor 6:19 – your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:26 – “…the Spirt helps us in our weakness…”

Acts 7:51 – “…you always resist the Holy Spirit…as your fathers did…”

The Holy Spirit dwells in us as we dwell in the Word

If God’s Word says “don’t do that”, then don’t do it. If God’s Word says “do that”, then do that.



February 4 2018 morning Bible study

Joel was a prophet speaking to Judah

Jonah was a prophet speaking to Nineveh

Amos was writing about 800 B.C. to reach Israel

Jesus is our Prophet

Workbook page 43

These passages can give some context to what Amos will speak about:

Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 15:18-21, Exodus 23:31, Numbers 34:1-12, Ezekiel 47:13-20

Amos was a shepherd

Schedule for God’s wrath: Damascus (present day Syria), Gaza (Philistine territory), Tyre (sold whole communities of captives), Edom, Amman (present-day Jordan), Moab, Judah (led astray by false gods), Israel (sell the righteous for silver and mistreat the poor)

“…on the day I punish Israel…the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed…”

“…I gave you empty stomachs in every city, yet you have not returned to Me…”

“…seek the Lord and live…”

“…though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them…”

The Lord doesn’t forget us but we forget him

Did the people not remember what God had done for them?

Israelite judges were taking bribes to rule against the poor and oppressed

The law of Moses allowed a cloak to be taken as collateral but were supposed to be returned the same day…instead people kept them and slept in them when worshipping other gods

God would allow Israel to be defeated in battle

723 B.C. – Syrians conquered Israel






February 4 2018 morning sermon – First words of the psalmist

Psalm 1:1

What would you pay for happiness?

Bookstores and libraries have self-help sections

True happiness includes contentment, peace, fulfillment, harmony, self-actualization, optimism, purpose in life

The world offers a lot of negativity

We aren’t told who wrote this psalm but it may have been David

The secret things have been given to us to grasp

The things Jesus mention in Matthew 5 aren’t things that Madison Avenue can sell you

The wicked who do not meditate on the Scriptures…the wicked will not stand in His presence…will not be counted among the righteous

Children and adults need to understand the word “no” and “do not”

1 Kings talks about David’s son never being told “no”

There are hundreds of times we are told in the New Testament “do not” do something

It is good and healthy to say “do not”

God setup a moral law that says some things are right and some things are wrong. We do a disservice when we deny that

1 Cor 15:33 “…do not be deceived. Evil company corrupts good habits…”

“…what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness?”

Show me your friends and I will show you your future

Some say the exception is the rule

“…his delight is in the Law of the Lord…”

“…blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…”

Joshua said “choose this day who you will serve”

Be careful what wall you lean your ladder on



January 28 2018 morning sermon

Grow in grace and knowledge

What are the last words a loved one has spoken to you?

2 Peter was Peter’s last words before he died

Always speak in love and kindness

The salutations of most New Testament writers begin and end with “grace to you”

Peter talks about having and growing in knowledge

God claims exclusivity

Why is Peter concerned about knowledge?

The theme is similar to Jude

Gnosticism had begun to seep into the early Church at the time Peter wrote this…he suggested that you need knowledge to combat this

We have to know God’s Word

Increase in gratitude

Step back and look at God’s love

Romans 8:29

What is my goal today? It should be to conform to image of Christ

Christ is our Master who gives us our orders…He is our deliverer

What’s your plan for this year? It should be to grow individually and collectively

Pray, plan, proceed

Don’t take the usual way home if you aren’t walking with Christ yet



January 28 2018 morning Bible study

Jonah 3 & 4

Workbook page 33

The role of a prophet was to deliver God’s message

Jonah received the message from God: go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent

Jonah goes to Nineveh with a message…”repent or in 40 days the city will be overtaken”

It took Jonah 3 days to make his way through the city

The Ninevites took God’s message seriously…they repented and put on sackcloth and fasted

Jonah didn’t feel the Ninevites were worthy of God’s salvation and mercy

How has God given me a second chance to do what pleases Him?

Nineveh was founded Nimrod…it is in present-day Iraq

Nineveh had about 120,000 citizens at the time of Jonah’s visit…middle of the 8th century B.C.

The Babylonians destroyed Nineveh years later (6th century B.C.)

The king ordered a city-wide fast

God was pleased with the peoples’ repentance

History records that there were a series of earthquakes and a solar eclipse around this time

Jonah understood God’s patience and mercy but he didn’t accept that He could offer it to sinners like the Ninevites

Have we questioned God’s decisions?

“Is it right for you to be angry?”

In rejecting God’s goodness towards the Ninevites, Jonah was rejecting God Himself

Am I allowing bitterness into my life? Have you ever second-guessed God?

We need to have faith and trust

“Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

Jonah is concerned about the plant yet he didn’t plant it or care for it…it grew overnight and died overnight

Jonah had no sympathy for the people of Nineveh

It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are…we can always do something…pray at the minimum

We don’t like being shown that we are wrong…we may stick to the wrongdoing out of pride or willfulness

If God is telling us we are wrong, we need to let our stubbornness fall away

We aren’t told if Jonah finally learned the lessons God was teaching him









January 21 2018 morning sermon

Acts 17

Athens was the seat of ancient philosophy

Holy Spirit had prevented Paul and the apostles from visiting a few places

Thessalonica – in regards to the Christians, they had turned the world upside down (had disturbed the whole world – Roman empire)

More idols in Athens than people

Is our world wholly given over to idols? They aren’t necessarily full of actual stone or gold idols

Are we provoked in our spirit when we see the idolatry in the world?

Paul used apologetics to reason with the people

“What does this babbler (seed picker) want to say?”

According to Roman law, it was against the law to preach about foreign gods (gods not approved by the Roman government)

The Athenians’ time was spent learning and hearing new things

Why do we watch the news?

Paul doesn’t stand up and say “you are all wrong and I’m going to tell you what’s right”

Paul starts talking to the people at the level at which they are at

We ought to be ready to offer a reason for the hope we have…with kindness and gentleness…people respond better that way

How many doors of opportunity have we walked past?

Everyone that we meet is a seeker in one way or another

Paul was quoting from some of the philosophers’ own poets

Some believed Paul’s message…others wanted to hear more…other rejected it altogether

We don’t know why God moves situations and people in the ways He does

Paul does not try to convince the people about the ways of worship or building a structure to meet in


January 21 2018 morning Bible study

Jonah 1

Workbook page 25

What does a prophet do? Delivers God’s Message

Jonah was supposed to go to Nineveh to preach against what they were doing and teach about repentance

Nineveh was part of the Assyrian nation which had oppressed Jerusalem over the years

Jonah fled to Joppa to sail to Tarshish

Do we run away from what we are supposed to do?

Jonah might have been afraid of what the people would have done to him or he may have felt that they didn’t deserve God’s mercy

In Old Testament times, if something bad was happening to you, it was because you did something bad

On the boat ride to Tarshish, the sailors casted lots to figure out who was to blame for the storm and it fell to Jonah

Is there anyone in my life that I would like to see suffer God’s wrath instead of His mercy and forgiveness?

There are many ways we can run away from God

In some cases, we aren’t running away from God but not paying attention

The sailors on the boat prayed to God to forgive them for throwing Jonah in the sea

Once Jonah was thrown into the water, the sailors offered a sacrifice and took vows before God

Does God have a purpose for our life? Do you need to be in a fish for three days to know that?

Jonah learned about God’s patience and forgiveness







January 14 2018 morning Bible study

People back in the minor prophets’ days didn’t have a lot of distractions…they looked to their overseer or God

There are things on Earth that we need to deal with but we should look to God to get help dealing with them

Do we ever each a point where we “fully get God”?

He expects us to follow what He tells us to do

In Joel, could the locusts really have been an army of men?

Is there “locust damage” in my life that God needs to repair?

What can I do to prevent evil things from happening? Pray.

Is God dwelling in your heart today?







January 7 2018 morning Bible study

Starting minor prophets study

Sometimes known as “the book of the twelve”

Major prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah are large books

Minor prophets’ books were probably written about 200 years before Christ’s birth and they were all pointing towards this big event

The two kingdoms at this time were Israel and Judah

The longer someone has been doing something, the harder it is to get them to change how they do it

If you follow God’s path in your life, it will go well with you…that hasn’t changed in thousands of years

732BC Israel and Syrians teamed up to fight against Judah

Judah’s king appealed to the Assyrians and they destroyed Damascus

The Babylonians would eventually be a problem but later in the stories of the 5 prophets we will study

Joel – a plague of locusts started the teaching that judgement was coming

At Joel’s time (about 800 B.C.) the Sabbath was on Saturday and they visited the temple to offer sacrifices, offerings (first fruits of crops), and the priests read from the scrolls. Also some singing and praying. The women and men were separated.

A theme of Joel is that when you leave God out, you head down the wrong road

Joel was using disaster imagery

There will be suffering; look to the Lord for guidance through the storms

“…rend your heart, not your garments…return to the Lord your God…”

Joel suggests to God that if God doesn’t help His people, the surrounding peoples will assume that God doesn’t care





December 24 2017 morning Bible study

2 Thessalonians 3

Paul could have allowed the Church to support him but instead he worked to set an example

We can fall victim to “exception processing” where we can find reasons to point out that God’s Word does not apply to today

Paul warns that some of the Church were idle while others were busybodies

A busybody is a gossiper

Gossip is hearsay…”did you hear about so and so?”

Social media is a huge avenue for gossip

Sometimes we can smear others with the truth…it’s not something we should be spreading

Never tire of doing what is right

Paul was talking about people who weren’t willing to work

Paul wanted the Church to distance themselves from the other members who weren’t doing right to make them feel ashamed

There were probably people freeloading off of the Church

Telling someone “no” may be the best help they will receive

Not too many people tell others “may the peace of the Lord be with you”





December 17 2017 morning Bible study

How does the Holy Spirit fit in with Christ and God the Father

2 Thessalonians 2:13

Your conscience can be clean but you might not be innocent

You should always be counting on God through the good and the bad times

Am I seeking the Kingdom of God with what I do?

God wants us to live in His love and demonstrate that in how we love others

Prayer is our first defense in our struggles with the world



December 10 2017 morning sermon

All time pieces may have different times but they need a standard to coordinate with

I may have inherited a nice grandfather clock but it may not have the correct time

Mark 16:16 – “…those who believe and are baptized…”

You can’t inherit your faith based on who your grandfather is

There is only one way to get the faith that God tells us that we must have: the Bible

Romans 10 – “…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God…”

The word “faith” is found 229 times in the KJV and NKJV versions of the New Testament

The Old Testament doesn’t use the word “faith” much and instead uses “trust”

Is there a different way in which one group is saved and another method for another group?

Acts 2:37-38 – Peter told the people about what they had done to the Son of God…these people asked what they could do now?

How did the Ethiopian eunuch know about baptism?

Oldest promise in the Bible: that we would have eternal life

Belief must take place before salvation; young infants and children can’t understand the plan of salvation

Age of accountability – when an individual comes to the realization that they are in sin and Christ died for their sin

Can one be taught wrong and baptized right? Acts 19

You can be baptized for the wrong reason

Acts 18:24 Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila – they were on the right track and Paul and others help guide them

Is the idea that some things are right and some things wrong a new concept?

Cain and Abel were both instructed as to the sacrifice they should be making to God

Leviticus 10:1-3 – Aaron’s sons didn’t behave properly before the Lord and they were killed

2 Kings 5 – Naaman had leprosy and didn’t believe in the instructions that Elisha gave him (dip seven times in the Jordan)

When did Naaman obey the Lord? When he did what Elisha told him to (and not a minute before)

If we are told God requires certain things for salvation, who we are to say there are other ways?

Luke 6:46-47 “…why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ but do not do what I say…”

Faith is more than just believing that Jesus existed and was a good man

If you have to consult your priest or pastor or creed book to find out about your salvation, you may not have baptized properly






December 10 2017 morning Bible study

2 Thessalonians

Page 71 in the workbook

Follow-up question: Does God hear the prayers of a sinner (non-believer)? Yes.

God makes a way for those who earnestly search for Him

For those who seek God’s blessings and favor but don’t want a relationship with Him, they won’t be very successful

God hears all prayers but answers those of His children who are in a relationship with Him (actively or searching)

We would like to have “connect-the-dots” answers from God so that we can make more sense of the Second Coming

There are things that are far beyond our need to understand

2 Thessalonians 2 – “…we ask you brothers not to become easily unsettled…”

Some people said that Paul said the Second Coming had already occurred

“…the man of lawlessness will set himself up proclaiming to be God”

Paul needed to reassure the believers that they hadn’t missed the Second Coming…Paul was alarmed that a lot of the Church were in such confusion

Paul firmly stated that the Second Coming had not yet happened

Have I ever been taken in by a false prophet? End of the world in 2000.

Every time there is a Blood Moon or a lunar or solar eclipse, someone says “this is the End”

Acts 19:11-12 “…God did extraordinary miracles through Paul…”. Some TV preachers hawk prayer handkerchiefs

Can prayer heal you? Yes, if it’s God’s will

The Church today clings to the Word of God to help us wade through false ideas

Who was “the man of lawlessness”? He will be the leader of the rebellion.

Paul wasn’t writing to satisfy curiosity about the rebellion and the man of lawlessness, but instead encourage the believers to be steadfast and not to be swayed

You can always look for signs, but this “man of lawlessness” hasn’t showed up yet

It would be easy for people to buy into a charismatic individual

The antichrist isn’t an individual but a spirit (a way of thinking); 1 John

Apostasy – the abandonment or renunciation of religious belief

2 Thessalonians 2:5 – “…for the secret power of lawlessness is already at work but is being held back…”

“…they perish because they don’t love the truth…”

“…God sends them a powerful delusion…”

God’s Word must not only be acknowledged but also loved

God will let people continue in their sin

Paul showed how will and emotion are connected












December 3 2017 morning sermon

Hebrews 10:19-25

People can grow apart slowly over time

We may be sitting in a pew near where a faithful disciple once sat…they no longer share the joy of fellowship

Neglect, desertion and forsakenness

A house falls into decay due to neglect

Luke 11:24-26

It would have been better for people to never have known the Way then to have known the Way and turned away from it

“…it is right to stir you up by reminding you…”

A dilapidated house doesn’t become that way overnight…it is a gradual process

When the outside comes inside the house, destruction soon follows

“…blessed is the man who walks not in the paths of the ungodly…”

We may walk near sin but we dare not stand next to it and we certainly shouldn’t sit down with it

Colossians 4:14 mentions Paul and Demas as fellow laborers

2 Timothy 4:10 – “…Demas has forsaken me for this world…”

We are the last ones to realize a change in ourselves but those around us surely notice

Ephesus was warned that their lampstand would be removed if they didn’t shape up

“…exhort one another daily…”

In spite of our apathy, God still calls to us

When our faith wavers, it’s not the time to put distance between ourselves and God

We need to have boldness and confidence to run towards God

James 4:7-8 “…resist the devil and he will flee…draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

We are told collectively to encourage one another in love and good works

Hebrews 6:9 “…we are confident in better things concerning you…”

If you aren’t allowing a fellow disciple to help you in your walk, then you are missing out on a great opportunity

We need to pray that each of us remains strong




December 3 2017 morning Bible study

Start 2 Thessalonians 1

Page 63 in the workbook

This period was about 65 A.D. and the Christians at the time were actively expecting the Second Coming

They were getting sidetracked by people saying “look at this sign” or “look over there”

If you remember that the Second Coming could happen any time, it helps keep you focused…relates to the hymn “Are you ready?”

Does politics cause trouble with faith?

How are we standing up to today’s struggles of our faith?

“…God will pay back trouble to those who trouble you…”

Our human nature likes to get swift justice

Can we make all the wrong right?

We have sadness for the sins of the world (for those not saved)

Do we have opportunities to help others?

If you spread the Gospel, does that mean your audience will accept it or like it?

Our job is to spread the Good News

Do people in TC know about us? Most people know us as the Church on the hill

Paul told the Thessalonian Church that they were a great example to their neighbors

Some of the Thessalonians might have felt unworthy of Paul’s compliments…they may have been under a lot of strain from persecution

Paul told the Church he was praying for them but he didn’t offer an escape clause or a promise of other relief

If someone tells you that they will pray for you, is that a trivial thing?

We may say that prayer isn’t the only thing I need right now (it doesn’t help me when my car is in the ditch; I need help to get the car out)

Many of us have seen the power of prayer in our lives and others

When Jesus had struggles, He went to the Father in prayer

Paul’s hope for the Church was that the Christians live up to their high and holy calling

We are instruments of peace and righteousness

The business of the Church is to attract people to Jesus not run programs or erect buildings




November 26 2017 morning sermon

Ephesians 4:11-16

A good example of a run-on sentence. Some Bible translations have verses 11-16 as one sentence.

Ephesians is one of the “prison epistles”; it is similar to Colossians. There are some pretty intense passages of doctrinal material

·       Plan – NKJV – “…He Himself gave…” – the oldest promise in Scripture: eternal life. God always has a plan and He tells us what it is

Amos – God reveals Himself to the prophets. The prophets knew the Messiah was coming but they didn’t fully understand

·       People – Some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors & teachers – God has people in mind for all of these tasks.

·       Power - He uses power to make things happen. There is diversity of gifts but the same Spirit. There are varying activities but the same God. This is for the profit of all.

·       Purpose – for the equipping of the saints; for the edifying of the Body

·       Period of time – 1 Cor 12:29-31 – all these things are here until the Coming…we see dimly now but we will see clearly then

·       Partial becomes perfect – 1 Cor 8:13 – Love never fails…knowledge will vanish away…when I became a man I put away childish things. Faith does not come from miracles, speaking in tongues, or prophecies. Romans 10:17 – faith comes by hearing.

Some people in Corinth thought they were superior by the gifts they had

·       Possibilities – positively priceless is the Word of God and it will guide us. “…no longer be thrown about by those who teach false doctrines…”.

Every malady of spiritual life can be solved by His Word. No book outsells the Bible. God’s Word has gone out to every continent and every nation.

Scaffolding is used to build a house but once the house is finished, the scaffolding comes down.

The need for miracles and speaking in tongues was no longer needed once we had the Word of God and we don’t need to be a scholar to understand it.

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “…add to your faith virtue…to godliness brotherly kindness…”




November 26 2017 morning Bible study

1 Thessalonians 5; page 55 in the workbook

“…but you brothers are not in darkness…”

When the Lord comes back, it will be like a thief in the night

The signs of the second coming: loud trumpet call, dead in Christ will rise

Is it complicated to live in the light?

If we are in the dark, do we have to stay there? No, we have hope in Him.

Do people always forgive you? Do you always forgive others? Do you forgive yourself?

“…encourage one another and build each other up…”

How do we encourage one another? How often do you do it?

Something might be common sense but it might not be common practice

How can you encourage someone? Call them, text them, mail a letter to them

Don’t use someone’s bad example to justify your own actions or inactions

How should we conduct ourselves without leaders?

Paul probably had appointed leaders for the Church in Thessalonica…he may have heard that some people didn’t properly appreciate their leaders’ work

It’s easy to criticize leaders we don’t like. We must give our leaders credit for their hard work.

“…warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak and be patient with everyone…”

For the timid in the Church of Thessalonica, they needed encouragement to grow in their faith. Maybe they were intimidated by the persecution happening outside the Church’s door

If you give constructive criticism to someone, can you also encourage them in some way?

What if you are working with someone who doesn’t know how to pray? Matthew 6:9-13 “…this then is how you should pray: Our Father, who art in heaven…”

Joy, prayer, thanksgiving – will we always be in this state? This is what we should aim for. If you can adopt one of these activities, it can help you with the other two

Can you be content in all circumstances?

The news is full of bad things. What could change that? People putting their faith in God. People who are on the fence on doing something good or bad could benefit from Christ in their life.

The phrase “I charge you” could be an oath…Paul could have written this part of the letter himself



November 19 2017 sermon

1 Cor 11:23

Isaiah and Ezra – trembling at the Word of the Lord

Do you feel that you tremble at certain stages of your spiritual walk?

When you visit a site like Gettysburg or Arlington cemetery, there is a sense of awe

Psalm 8 – “…when I consider Your heavens…what is man that You are mindful of Him…”

Queen of the south (known as Queen of Sheba in Old Testament) – she was breathless at everything she observed when meeting Solomon

When I consider all that God has done for me, am I breathless?

We have had mysteries revealed to us that angels long to learn about

Luke 24 – road to Emmaus – when all is revealed, they remarked “didn’t our hearts burn while we were with Him?”

The oldest promise in the Bible – Titus 1:2 – God promised eternal life before time began

“…when all was but a dream of dim conception…”

“…what language shall I borrow to thank You Lord…”

John 1:1 “…and the Word was with God and the Word was God…”

“…and the Word became flesh and dwelled among us…”

Philippians 2:5-8 – “…made Himself of no reputation…He humbled Himself…”

Colossians 2:9-10 “…you are complete in Him…”

“in Him dwells” is a present tense verb in the Greek texts

We learn what Christ gave up to come to earth for us

1 John 3:2 “…we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is…”

1 Cor 11:17 “…since you come together not for the better but for the worse…”

There are divisions in our Church and in our world today

Jude – “…each one takes his own supper ahead of the others…”

Some people say that partaking the Lord’s Supper each Sunday can cause it to lose its luster. If you let it lose its luster, it will

Acts 20 – Paul is trying to hurry back to Jerusalem in time for the Passover

1 Cor 16 – first day of every week…give as you have been prospered

Sometimes we think “am I worthy to take the Lord’s supper” which makes it more about us than about Him

The important thing is the manner in which we take the Lord’s supper

Examine yourselves…where is your mind…think about what you are thinking about

We look ahead because we are told that He is coming back

How can we not take our daily worship for granted?

2 Peter 1:10 – “…be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure…”



November 19 2017 Morning Bible study

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Page 47 in the workbook

The Thessalonians wondered if Christians died during this current time, would they miss out on the blessings?

Paul reminded them that they should look forward towards the Day of the Lord

The Thessalonians wanted hard facts on the timing of the Second Coming and Paul suggested that it was not important

The Day of the Lord will catch people by surprise

If we knew the exact Day of the Lord, we would probably live however we wanted to and then repent at the last minute

Paul’s readers could expect the Day of the Lord

Ephesians 6:10-16 – armor of God – hints of Isaiah 59

Paul pointed to the Cross to clear up uncertainty about the deaths of their saved loved ones on the Day of the Lord

Although we deserve wrath, we as Christ’s followers will receive mercy

Whether living or dead, or destiny will be the same

Ecclesiastes 3 – God put eternity in our hearts

We as humans know that there is something greater than ourselves

Acronym HOPE – hang on, pain ends

There’s a lot of encouragement in the Bible; the end of the world brings the coming of the Lord



November 12 2017 Morning sermon

2 Timothy 4:2-5 “Sound Doctrine”

Hosea 4:6 – “…My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge…”

Isaiah 5:13 “…therefore My people have gone into captivity for they have no knowledge…”

Ephesians 4:11-13 “…He gave some to be apostles, some evangelists…”

We ought to grow into maturity and not be swayed by all the doctrines in the world

“…the time will come when they will not listen to sound doctrine…”

Nothing new is true and nothing true is new

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 “…I did not come with excellence in speech…”

You should not be tricked by someone who is a smooth talker

What is sound doctrine?

If anyone ministers, let him do so as God has enabled

Revelation 2:14-15 “…you have those who hold the doctrine of Balaam…”

“…there are those who will forbid some from marrying…some from eating certain foods…”

We need to know the difference when we heard different teachings (gospel of wealth, gospel of works)

We ought not to think we are following the doctrine of individuals but of Christ

“…He taught them as one who had authority…”

If there is anything we do, can we point to a Scripture to support it?

“…be diligent…rightly diving the Word of Truth…”

We need to be bold but not brash…contend for the faith but don’t be contentious…be kind but not compromising

There is no substitute for reading the Word of God

Study the Word of God – make it your habit

Ezra – he set his heart to study the Law of the Lord

Psalm 119 – it mentions that the writer meditates on the Word of God

Blessed are those who read the Word of God

If we know the Word of God, we won’t be swayed by other ideas

God has given us instructions on how to get right and stay right



November 12 2017 Morning Bible study

1 Thessalonians 4

We need to work and be stable enough to help others

No one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him

He who rejects this instruction does not reject man but rejects God

At the time of 1 Thessalonians, there were probably about 100 Churches

The leadership of the Church at that time consisted of apostles, elders, deacons

If you were in Saginaw and had a question about the Bible, would you ask the Church in Saginaw or appeal to some other Church?

Each Church should be able to answer the questions you have; no central authority is needed other than Christ and the Bible

Does anyone doubt that the trumpet call of God could happen anytime?

What do some people call the concept of people being gathered to Christ in the air? The rapture.

At least two people in the Bible left the earth without dying

The Lord Himself will come down from Heaven

Those who are already dead and those still alive will meet Him in the air and we will be with the Lord forever

With God all things are possible

My ways are higher than your ways

Isaiah 40:28 – “...He will not grow tired or weary…His understanding no one can fathom…”

Romans 11:33 – “…how unsearchable are His judgements and His ways…”

Psalm 145:3 – “…great is the Lord…His greatness is unsearchable…”

When the Second Coming occurs, we will be with the Lord forever…it won’t matter if it’s our physical or spiritual body going to Heaven

Deuteronomy 29:29 “…the secret things belong to God…the revealed things belong to us…”



November 5 2017 Morning sermon

Colossians 4:2-6

Hamlet said “Word, words, words”

We are either talking or listening

The majority of how we communicate is nonverbal

Our words stick with people with whom we speak more than our expressions

Kids remember things said to them as children even as they age

Paul is winding down his letter to the Church in Colossae; Paul urges the believers to pray for future speaking opportunities

Pray often and with thanksgiving in your heart

There are a few prison epistles and Colossians is one of them; Philippians and Philemon are others

Paul encourages the Church to be examples of Christ in every way…we are to be the picture of Christ

We can show people not what Jesus physically looked like but what He did

We are God’s ambassadors

What is our duty? “Walk in wisdom towards those who are outside…”

What you do is a direct reflection on the One who paid the ransom for us

No one will listen to us if we are rude, obnoxious, self-righteous

Death and life are in the power of the tongue

Ephesians 4:29 – “…let no corrupt talk go out of your mouth…”

It was more important to Paul that we work to win souls than to have his own way

Take advantage of every opportunity to do good…we are sowing seeds each time

“…a servant of the Lord must not quarrel…”

“…speak evil of no one…”

“…let your gentleness be known to all men…”

Do we argue about words? We may lose the hearers

Contend without being contentious




November 5 2017 Morning Bible study

1 Thessalonians 3 and 4

Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians because he couldn’t go

Timothy brought back a good report

There was probably a lot of sexual immorality at this time; some of it was part of the peoples’ religions

Justification is our status at baptism

Throughout our lives, the Holy Spirit helps make us holy (sanctification)

Sometimes there are improper relationships between Church members

Never be concerned about sharing your story with others; the Holy Spirit will guide you as to what to say

Your job is not to convert a person, your job is to plant a seed. Sometimes you plant a seed by how you live your life.

When you interact with people, most people don’t like to alienate people

We love our brothers and sisters but maybe we like some more than others

We love each other and then as time goes on we love them more (doing things for them, helping them with instruction)

People might not like correction

How have I showed love for others?

“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…mind your own business and work with your hands…”

Paul could have relied on the money others gave him but he chose to work to support himself

If no one worked, we couldn’t contribute to the Church; we would not have a building and couldn’t share with others who are in need (sharing love, prayers, finances, other resources)



October 29 2017 Morning sermon

Ephesians 5:15-16

Wonder, truth, love & security

Origin, meaning, morality & destiny

These are our eternal truths

12 rules for raising a delinquent child – Houston, TX police department

1.    Give the child everything they want

2.    When he picks up bad words, laugh at him which makes him feel cute

3.    Never give any spiritual training; let him decide when 21

4.    Avoid using the word “wrong”

5.    Do everything for him

6.    Let him read and watch anything he wants

7.    Quarrel frequently in his presence

8.    Give him all the spending money he wants

9.    Satisfy his every craving

10.                      Take his side in everything

11.                      When he gets in trouble, apologize for him

12.                      Prepare for a life of grief

We should have high expectations for the upcoming generations…we already have the instruction manual: the Bible

Why does Paul single out fathers? God had intended a certain order for the family with the father as the head

Government, the Church, and the family all have precepts to follow and if and when they are followed, the system will work well

It’s not the responsibility of the Church to raise your children

We shouldn’t let society dictate how the family should be organized

Jeremiah 10:23 – “…the way of man is not in himself…”

We don’t need to invent new ways of raising children

“…there is a way that seems right to a man…” Proverbs 14:12

Fathers do not provoke your children

John McArthur – 8 patterns that can harm children

1.    Parents that are overprotective (helicopter)

2.    Favoritism

3.    Pushing children to be overachievers

4.    Constant criticism

5.    Making the child feel like they are an intrusion

6.    Never letting children grow up at their own pace

7.    Using love as a tool

8.    Physical and verbal abuse – disciplining in anger

Not keeping promises and not listening can also hurt the child

A lack of humility and discipline also hurt

Discipline goes beyond spanking; discipline means “tutor”

Is there one perfect way to raise a child? Each child is a different individual

Hebrews 2:1 “…give earnest heed to the things we have learned…”

Training isn’t a “one and done” but a long process

Hebrews 12:5-11 “…do not despise the chastening of the Lord…”

Children thrive under boundaries because they know what is expected

There are many in the world who love their children

We should be preparing our child’s soul for eternity…the best evangelism is to be done in our own homes

“…all things work together for good…”

All fathers need the help of the Church





October 29 2017 Morning Bible study

1 Thessalonians 2

Jews were accusing Paul of using false teachings to trick them

Paul tells them “you know me”

Why should someone believe an evangelist if they don’t know the person?

How did the Jews know Paul was not deceiving them? Miracles were performed…Paul was previously known as a persecutor of the Christians

Paul had a relationship with the Thessalonians

We have more success with evangelism if we get to know a person first versus standing up in the town square and shouting at people

Paul worked hard and gave God all the credit…”by the grace of God”

Spiritual warfare – the devil is always using varying techniques to attack us

Maybe Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was the devil constantly tormenting him

We should always take a kind word to someone even if we aren’t doing something physically for them (lending money, etc.)

We should not blame Satan for our own failures but recognize his influence in our lives

Paul sent Timothy

Who looks forward to having struggles in life?

Some people come to faith because they think God will reward them materially

God places us in our local Church so we can receive wise counsel which can tell us God is faithful

Can you solve everybody’s problems? Maybe I don’t want someone to solve my problems but just listen and pray with me

There’s “listening to respond” (before they finish telling you something)…there’s also “listening to understand”

If you listen to them, chances are they’ll listen to you

Why would Paul need encouragement?

Jesus wasn’t gone long and Paul was already talking about Jesus coming back





October 22 2017 Morning report from Ghana – Greg N

Grade 1-8: 700 students

Village of Hope started in Accra

Fred found a 25-acre piece of property…a local chief has given another 80 acres to the cause

Traverse City home houses all boys…fully staffed hospital

Hope College – high school 9-12 grades. 400 students who are boarded on campus

New applied science building with hands-on labs

Vocational training center – our change goes to help the street children here who are fed and are taught a trade (reading and writing, sewing, auto repair (two-year program), cosmetology) and possibly reunited with family members

Southern Ghana – large metropolitan city, crowded, dirty. The advancements of the south don’t really make it to the north part of the country

The north is a step back in time…grass roofs on mud huts

Bob Chisholm meets once a year with the evangelists to help freshen up

Only 10% of Ghanaians have fresh water…the girls/women have to walk up to two miles for fresh water

Costech Science and Technology school – built in 2013…only tech school in the north region. The recent 9th graders out of this school scored among the highest in the nation of Ghana

The Bank of Ghana saw the potential of the program and donated nearly $800K to build an administrative building…they want a fully accredited university in the north

Another function of the well project is the building of a latrine and instruction in health and sanitation

Only 5% of Ghanaians wash their hands

North is predominantly Muslim…the north is primarily agricultural

1 Cor 10:31 – “…do it all to the glory for God…”

Approximately 3 million people have access to potable water



October 22 2017 Morning Bible study

1 Thessalonians 1-2

Workbook page 15

Paul wanted to be sure to exhibit faith, hope and love in his dealing with the Thessalonians

What changes occur in society where God comes in and then goes out? France worked hard to take God out of society and had numerous revolutions

Dwight Eisenhower added “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954…communists didn’t believe in God

Paul is trying to bolster the Thessalonians strength to do what is right

Paul and the other apostles did other jobs to not be a burden to others

Some scholars had in mind that Paul had in mind a nursing mother

Paul would have been worn down by this job because he gave it his all

Paul could have lived off the backs of the believers…he worked to authenticate the Gospel

It is a powerful message that someone can spread the Gospel without getting paid to do so

Paul worked for extended lengths of time in Corinth and Ephesus to gather funds for his trips and offer the Gospel free of charge; he refused payments

“…we dealt with you as a father deals with his children…”

Earlier in the text Paul describes himself as a mother figure to her children

Maybe Paul cares for his people as a mother but instructs as a father

Aiming to please God is the only worthwhile endeavor in life

How many sides of a story are there?

We as adults may be more into telling people how to live

When the consent of the heart joins the conviction of the mind, there is change

The Jews were causing the Thessalonian Christians to suffer…a Jewish mob often would rise up

God’s righteous displeasure is against not only those who do not believe in Him but also those who obstruct others from learning about Him

Some people regard Paul as anti-Semitic; he is only reporting on events of the time. There were other groups that persecuted Christians (Romans).

Some people get caught up with a phrase but miss the bigger picture

God will be the ultimate judge…we needn’t take the law into our own hands (bad for society)

Hope is assurance, not a wish

Paul wanted to visit but was stopped by the devil









October 15 2017 Morning sermon

Acts 6:1-6

Last lesson on deacons

The principle of deacons isn’t a new topic originally started in the New Testament

Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law) noticed that Moses would sit from morning until night judging the peoples’ complaints

If we concentrate on things that aren’t meant for us to do, it will wear us out

Jethro suggested Moses appoint honorable, Godly men to work with the people so that Moses can concentrate on the spiritual matters

Numbers 11 – God gives the Spirit to 70 men to help Moses…good example of delegation

In the passage in Acts, the Church has grown

1 Tim 3:8-13 – Paul lists qualifications for deacons

One of the tasks of an elder is to groom the men to replace them

We need to be a congregation that has a vision and plans for the future

Must not be double-tongued or in search of selfish gain

Must be tested; not novices who might fall in the snare of the devil

They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience

Wives of deacons must be sober minded

Nothing new is true and nothing true is new

Sound doctrine guides us

Ephesians 4 – everyone has a role to play in the Church

You can’t say you don’t need an organ just because you can’t see it

Which one of us are dispensable? Paul teaches in Ephesians and Colossians, not a single one of us can be spared

You can be what God has given you to be according to your abilities

We are to build one another up…who doesn’t that apply to? Do we need to form a committee to work on being kind to other people?

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice always…do we need a task force for that?

We all have a task to do…God has given deacons to help organize us

The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed

The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed

Ephesians 1:8-10 – “…making known to us the mystery of His will…”

Hebrews 6:1 – “…let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ…”





October 15 2017 Morning Bible study

Starting 1 & 2Thessalonians

The Thessalonian letters show the need for Godly living until living eternally. It shows the pain and toil of being a follower of Christ.

Primary author of both letters was Paul with help from Silas and Timothy.

Paul often used the plural “we” in various spots to indicate shared authorship

By the 2nd century AD, it was widely accepted that Paul wrote Thessalonians

Probably written AD 50 or 51 with not too much space in between the letters

They worked down the eastern coast of modern-day Greece

Thessalonica had an active Jewish community…some Jews believed but a large number of Greeks came to Christ as well as a number of prominent women

Jewish troublemakers casted doubt on Paul’s authority…they said his message was a delusion and Paul was in the ministry to financial gain

The Church at Thessalonica wasn’t always behaving very well morally

The Jews were still waiting for the Messiah…Paul was working to convince them that Christ has come

Who wants to be told what to do? Paul was telling the visitors to the synagogue about the Good News

Occasion and purpose for writing – Paul wrote the letters after Timothy visited them. There were instances of sexual immorality and idleness yet steadfastness

Paul may have had a strong personality (he and Barnabas ended up traveling separately)

Acts 15 – Barnabas wanted to take John (Mark) on the journey but Paul resisted and instead went separate ways from Barnabas and took Silas with him

Paul didn’t pray in vague terms for the Church

The themes of faith, hope and love often arise in Paul’s letters

Faith produces deeds of kindness and mercy


Hope is not a groundless desire that things will turn out right, it’s the belief that faith in Christ brings about good

Paul reminded the Thessalonians about the heart of the Gospel. Jesus was seen by many people after His resurrection.

God isn’t an image carved in stone or wood

The central battle for minds and hearts is over whether Christ really came to earth and died and was buried and arose

Paul uses the word rescue to indicate the need for people to be rescued from the coming wrath




October 8 2017 Morning sermon

1 Timothy 3:8-15

Deacons and the households of God

Classes coming up on Wednesdays – What does visitation mean?

Future class on personal evangelism

The Church of the 1st century had some struggles due to their fast growth

An architect and their builders follow a blueprint

If we follow the same blueprint as the Church of the first century, we will have Christ’s Church

God is not the author of confusion…He is very specific where He needs to be specific

How should we behave in the household of God?

We may want to follow the latest trends because that church over there has more members

Are we left to decide how we want to get things done? In Judges there was the issue of “everyone doing right in their own eyes”

“...there is a way that seems right to a man…”

Titus 1:9 – “…exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict…”

“…the time will come when they will not listen to sound doctrine…”

1 Timothy 4:1 – “…doctrines of devils…”

Whatever we do, we should do that which God requires and in the manner He wants us to do it

All Scripture is given by inspiration

Corinth had issues with discord and confusion

Who is to be a deacon?

“…it was not Adam who was deceived but Eve…”

Will we follow the trends of today or God’s Word…it may not be popular

We must worship God in spirit and truth

Romans 16 – Phoebe was performing a task given to her by Paul

We are not left to guess about how to run things and certainly not about how to obtain salvation…a faith that not only believes but acts






October 8 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 45

Page 103 in workbook

Joseph makes himself known to his brothers

Joseph invites his brothers to bring their families to Egypt to setup households

Jacob was told by God that he will see his son Joseph

There were about 70 people in Jacob’s extended family that went to Egypt to live in Goshen

Pharaoh put some of Jacob’s family in charge of the kingdom’s livestock

For a while, people bought food from Joseph…when their money was gone, they paid for food with livestock

Next the people had no money or livestock to buy food…they said “we only have our bodies and our land”

“…we and our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh…”

All of the people became servants to Pharaoh except the priests who received an allotment

Joseph gives the people seed to grow crops and with and instructs 1/5th of the crops be given to Pharaoh (first example of sharecropping)

Jacob was about 147 years old when he died…he requested a burial back in his homeland

Jacob’s family stayed in Egypt even after the famine ended

Tribe of Manasseh was led by banner of Ephraim…Jacob gave the blessing to the younger of two sons versus the older son

God often works in ways that aren’t congruent to man’s customs

How ready am I to accept the unexpected from God?

Jacob died and he was embalmed (a process which took 40 days) and the Egyptians mourned for Jacob for 70 days

Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to visit Canaan to bury Jacob

Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt before he died

Chapter 50 – Joseph’s brothers are nervous now that Jacob is dead. Maybe Joseph will exact vengeance?

Over a number of years, the 70 people that came to Egypt grew quite quickly









October 1 2017 Morning sermon

Luke 10:25

Parable of the good Samaritan

This parable is challenging to implement but easy to understand

Guilt is a great motivator for those with selfish ends in mind

Several times in the Gospels, Jesus is put to the test by questions (literally “tested by the devil”)

The scribe in this story already knew the answer

Out of 613 laws the Jews adhere to, it can be boiled down to two items (one from Leviticus and one from Deuteronomy):

Love God with all your heard…love your neighbor as yourself

Is neighbor a person in proximity or a family member or a heritage issue?

For the Jews, a neighbor was NOT a Gentile or Samaritan but a fellow Jew who wasn’t a tax collector or sinner

What is and isn’t being said in this parable? We aren’t told who the beaten man was. We don’t know where the priest or the Levite where traveling to. They did not wish to become defiled by touching someone who might be dead.

Which of these three proved to be a neighbor? Why could the scribe not say “the Samaritan”? Instead he said “the one with mercy”.

The scribe (lawyer) displays arrogance, the priest and lawyer demonstrate apathy, and the Samaritan shows compassion

The Greek word for compassion is used 12 times in the New Testament; 9 time it’s used in reference to Jesus having it for those who were afflicted. The other three times it deals with the story of the prodigal son

Pity only goes so far…compassion sees someone suffering and spurs action to aid

Three choices when we hear of those who suffered cataclysmic disaster:

We can be unmoved by what we see

We can be uncaring

        We can be compassionate and act

Sometime we can be so wrapped up in religion that we don’t tend to those in need




October 1 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 39

Workbook page 91

Potiphar completely trusted Joseph

Potiphar’s wife made constant advances towards him

God gave success to Joseph in prison

Joseph always gave God the glory for anything that other people admired Joseph for being able to do

Joseph interpreted the dream for the cupbearer and then requested that the cupbearer remember him when he gets out of prison

Seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine

Jacob told his sons to go to Egypt to buy food…he didn’t send Benjamin (his only other son from his favorite wife Rachel)

Jacob eventually let Benjamin leave with the other sons to Egypt to present themselves to Joseph

Joseph’s household steward gave credit to our God for having great power

Joseph ate lunch but separated from his brothers

Egyptians detested people who herded sheep





September 24 2017 Morning sermon

Psalms 119:1-8

Psalms seems to end up in the physical center of the Christian Bible

If you count by number of words, the middle of the Bible comes out to about Psalm 117

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible…it is an acrostic poem…every 8th verse is another character in the Hebrew alphabet

Something about God’s commandments is spoken in almost all of the verses in this psalm

Scholars are divided on who actually wrote this psalm

One of the duties of the kings of Israel was to write a copy of the Law (Genesis, Exodus Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

In the early part of US history, the Bible was used to teach grammar and spelling and morals (New England Primer)

Plumb lines show true up and down…Zechariah mentions it

Situational ethics tends to sway the plumb line’s direction

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless…who seek Him with their whole heart

Blessed are the poor in spirit…blessed are the meek

Blessed means happy

3 things to notice about the author of this psalm



Guide one’s life according to the Word

Rising at midnight to praise Him

I rise before dawn to cry for help

7 times a day I praise You for Your righteous rules

The man in these verses may have had the same amount of distractions as we do today



Let me not wander from your commandments

My soul melts away from sorrow

I will keep Your Law continually

It was good for me that I was afflicted so that I may learn Your statutes

When will You judge those who persecute me?

I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts

The author does not live a privileged life



May my heart be blameless

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies

I hold back my feet from every evil way in order to keep Your Word

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path


Will God’s Word still be a lamp in your life? What efforts will we make individually and as a Church to make sure that God’s Word still guides us?




September 24 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 37

Workbook page 87

Joseph’s brothers resented him

Joseph was 17 in this part of the story and sent a bad report about his brothers to their father

Some people consider Joseph a tattle-tale; others regard this as his duty to inform

Jacob loved Joseph more because he was his child of old age (youngest son along with Benjamin) and first son from his favorite wife Rachel

Joseph had two dreams; the first one suggested that his brothers would bow down before him. The second dream includes Joseph’s mother and father also bowing down before him

In the ancient world, dreams were believed to predict the future

When wheat is ready to harvest, the heads tip down…in the dream, Joseph’s sheaf of wheat wasn’t tipped down…maybe he wasn’t ready for harvest yet?

The last part of Genesis is the narrative of Joseph’s life

The brothers correctly interpreted the meaning of the dream to be that they would serve their brother Joseph

2nd dream: Sun and moon and 11 stars bow down to Joseph – Jacob correctly interprets this to be about Joseph’s rule over them

Sins in the family of Judah…he had three sons with a Canaanite wife. Tamar disguised herself and became pregnant by her father-in-law Judah

Joseph resisted Potiphar’s wife’s advances and is put in prison and excels even there

Joseph is sent to the prison reserved for political prisoners and was probably the most comfortable prison available…maybe Potiphar was going a little easy on Joseph?

Joseph interpreted dreams of chief baker and chief butler who were in prison with Joseph…in 3 days the butler would be restored to Pharaoh’s service…the baker would be put to death

Joseph was put in charge of preparing for the upcoming famine





September 17 2017 Morning sermon

1 Thessalonians 5:18-20

Give thanks in all circumstances

Consider every moment of life a moment to be thankful in

“God’s will for you” – You is plural to include the Church

Many scholars believe that the 1st letter to Thessalonica was the first letter that Paul wrote

Paul’s message doesn’t change as he comes under more pressure

Paul should have reason to complain about his circumstances but he doesn’t

Every moment in our lives is an opportunity to give thanks

It’s easier to look at the opposite – when don’t people give thanks?

In Paul’s last letter to Timothy, he speaks of sins of people including ungratefulness

Romans 1:28 – God gave them up to do what not ought to be done

1 Cor 10 – putting Christ to the test…don’t grumble

1 Peter 4:9 – show hospitality without grumbling

Grumbling is a way of not giving thanks to God…it’s a way of saying “I have a better way to do this, God”

What happens when things get tough?

Philippians 4:11 – “…I know how to be brought low and how to abound…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me…”

Paul had reason to complain

“…when I am weak, then I am strong…”

It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well for us

It’s the will of the Father for us to give thanks…we can be a light for the world

We should be grateful for the things we have and the things we don’t have

Proverbs 30:7 – “…give me neither poverty nor riches…”

This is similar to “…give me this day my daily bread…”

Be thankful for your persecutions…look for opportunities to bless those who abuse us

1st world problems: the road is bumpy, my wi-fi is slow

Be grateful for the challenging people in your life…also be thankful for the people not in your life

Be thankful for the power and grace of God in your life

Am I truly thankful in my heart and soul? Not good to only appear thankful

God is working in your life in whatever way He sees fit





September 17 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 32-36

Workbook pg. 79

Jacob is heading back home but Esau is there and might kill him

The angels met Jacob on the way home

Jacob sends messengers ahead of him to Esau with a message of humility…the messengers returned to Jacob and reported that Esau is coming to meet Jacob along with 400 men

Jacob reminds God of His promise to protect him…Jacob is afraid of Esau

Jacob offers a gift of livestock to Esau

Jacob wrestled with God all night…Jacob through his life had been a struggler

Jacob had relied on his wits to survive; God wanted Jacob to rely on God for his survival

Jacob initially wrestled with God but ended up holding God once his hip was put out of socket

Do I find myself fighting against God or embracing Him?

We don’t know what form the blessing took

Jacob didn’t get what he expected, but got what God planned

Jacob’s daughter Dinah had been violated by Shechem…Shechem’s father Hamor speaks to Jacob to procure Dinah as Shechem’s wife

Jacob’s sons wouldn’t agree to the marriage unless Shechem’s people agree to be circumcised

Simeon and Levi attacked the city and put them to the sword and rescued Dinah…they looted the city and took the women and children

Jacob laments the trouble that Simeon and Levi brought upon him




September 10 2017 Morning sermon – elder installation Sunday

James 1:5-8

1 Kings 3 – Solomon poised to take the throne…God asks Solomon what to give him. “…give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people…”

Is it still that easy to gain wisdom from God? Should we climb a mountain and talk to God?

If anyone wants wisdom, ask God for it.

We can’t sit and do nothing and receive wisdom

What type of wisdom does it take to lead God’s people? What about 10 people…or 100 people?

God assures us that He will give us this wisdom as we need it

Gideon questioned whether it was to be him that was to lead the people

There are many instances where those chosen to lead the people had doubts of their role

God is able to do amazing things beyond what we think can be reasonably done

Paul spoke often with the Church at Corinth about wisdom because they were known for wisdom in this part of Greece…1 Cor 2

“…secret and hidden wisdom…”

The prophets spoke often of Jesus’ coming and His work on earth

2 Peter 1:3-4

The complete wisdom to guide us is found in God’s Word

Philippians 2:3 – this Church was on the edge of Greece – “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves…”

Man has desired his own way

Paul left Silas in Crete to work on installing elders

Whoever intends to lead people must first be a servant

We aren’t installing a king or judge or prophet, we are installing two men will serve us

1 Tim 5 – “…don’t be hasty in laying your hands on anyone…” (giving power to those who will lead)

A congregation must yield to their elders

1 Peter 5:5-7 “…you who are younger, be subject to the elders…humble yourselves underneath the mighty hand of God…”

Exodus 17:8 – Amalek fought with Israel – whenever Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed in battle. Moses couldn’t not keep his hands up by himself but he had helpers

Our elders are not mind-readers…don’t make their job any harder than it has to be




September 10 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 27:41

Workbook page 71

Jacob stole his father’s blessing that was intended for Esau

We are a community of peoples with a common love for the Lord

Genesis 24: Abraham told his chief servant to NOT get a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites

Jacob was 77 when he had not yet taken a wife

Genesis 28:6 – do not marry a Canaanite woman…Esau realized how displeasing it was that he had a

Hittite wife…he went to Ishmael and married one of his daughters

Jacob’s dream – it wasn’t a ladder like we put on a roof…the word for stairway was used to depict a mound that was put against a city wall for getting up and down…this symbolized heaven and earth being connected

The Lord promises He will be with us until the end

Genesis 29 – Jacob meets Rachel…he offers to work for 7 years to marry her. Laban tricked Jacob by sending him Leah first and then he had to work another 7 years to get Rachel. Jacob is now 91 with two wives.

Genesis 30 – Rachel envied Leah and asked Jacob to give her children or she would die…she offers Jacob her servant as a wife

Jacob asked Laban for speckled and dark-colored lambs…Laban tricked Jacob by mixing up the flocks a bit

Rachel took the household gods from Laban’s house

Jacob and Laban make a deal…they erect a pillar of standing stones and agree to go their separate ways






September 3 2017 Morning sermon

Something has passed and something is waiting for us; the turning of the calendar signifies change

Hopefully we aren’t working towards retirement or the next vacation

Ecclesiastes – the man had no one to give the fruits of his labor to

People still wonder what they are laboring for

Luke 12:13-21

Why did this man get up in the morning to labor? So that he could get more and take life easy

Three questions:

·       Why is it that we get up in the morning? Habit or compulsion?

If we have no one to pass on the fruits of the labor, why are we collecting stuff?

James 4:14-15 – “…you do not know what tomorrow will bring…if the Lord wills, we will do this or that…”

·       What are we laboring for? One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions

There is great gain in godliness with contentment

        “…for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…”

·       Who are we preparing treasures for? Fear God and keep His commandments

If I have been given talents by God, I must use them to His glory

We can live in misery when we live for self

Am I laying up treasures for myself here on earth?

Matthew 25:15 – parable of talents and the servants…given according to each servant’s ability

Ephesians 5:15-16 “…look carefully how you walk…making the best use of the time as the days are evil…”

Please consider what your role is in the Congregation to do the many works that need to be done

We have been gifted with time




September 3, 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 25, workbook page 63

The death of Abraham

Ishmael – he would be at war with all others

Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac

He gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them to the east

God blessed Isaac

Ishmael’s sons – descendants settled near the border of Egypt and lived in hostility with all their brothers

Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah

Older child would serve the younger child

Esau – the name means hairy

Jacob – the name means “he grasps the heel” or in Hebrew “he deceives”

Isaac was 60 years old when his sons were born

Esau became a skillful hunter; Jacob was a quiet man who dwelled among the tents

Isaac loved the older son and Rebekah loved the younger son

Our children could become what we tell them they are

Does knowing God in a closer way motivate our lives?

There is no such thing as a bad answer; only a badly worded question

Do people receive the news of God’s Word with exclaims of “wow!”?

Is it our job to make sure the other person believes in God? No, our job is to plant the seed.

Abimelech gave orders not to harass Isaac or his wife…later Isaac became too wealthy in the eyes of the Philistines

Isaac moved away from Garar after Abimelech tells him to leave

When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith (a Hittite) and another woman (also a Hittite) and they were a source of grief for Isaac and Rebekah

Rebekah assisted Jacob in deceiving Isaac to prompt the father to give the blessing intended for Esau to Jacob

Esau asked Isaac for at least one blessing…Isaac tells him that he will serve his brother Jacob. He consoles himself with the thought of killing Jacob.

Rebekah advises Jacob to flee for now and tells Isaac that Jacob has to leave otherwise he’ll take a Hittite woman as a wife





August 27, 2017 Morning Bible study and sermon – Oakey Blvd C of C Las Vegas, NV

Christ’s kingdom won't look like other kingdoms

5 challenges to kingdom

Forgive sins


Not fighting government

Not recruiting rich but broken

Luke draws attention to Gentiles who would outnumber Jews after a while

First people Jesus worked with were Jews who rejected Him

We should bless and do good to others and pray...that should be our default setting when we are challenged

Don't let the Kingdom fall on your shoulders...you can't do it alone

 It's easy to give to someone when you know it will come back to you

You will be sons of the Most High...a gift in the process of being His child. We fulfill His promise by living like we should

Although we will be judged for how e judge, that doesn't mean we should use judgement and discernment

Romans 1:16-17

A lot of people view death as final

Sin brought forth death and it strikes us all at some point

Death is our enemy

Paul challenges death

Israelites struggled with what it meant to be children of God

The Gospel changes whomever it touches

They claimed to be wise but they were foolish

I give not to get but because it's the right thing that do

Woe to the individual who calls good evil and evil good

God let them go down their own path...foolish hearts were darkened

Exodus 3 - burning bush addresses Moses

God will show everyone who He is and will do that through the world leagues and the exodus from Egypt

How will the Messiah answer evil when He died on a Cross?

Romans 5 - justified by faith

Romans 6 - those who are baptized in Christ have died to sin

Romans 8 - no condemnation for those in Christ...although our physical body will come to an end

Nothing less than all of us given to God will do

We may subconsciously conform to the world

Everything becomes new...we have to love those you aren't supposed to love

God gives us hope when we contemplate death


August 20, 2017 Morning sermon – Bob

Rehearsal – it can be something you prepare for and also something you believe in

We rehearse the Passion story of Jesus

Original Passover meal had a hymn with it

Luke 22:39 – Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives

Kidron means dusky or gloomy…the Kidron valley was below Jerusalem and all things drained down there

John 1:29

1 Cor 5:7

1 Peter 1:19 “…a lamb without blemish or defect…”

Pride will not admit failure

Confidence knows that failure isn’t final

The garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of the Mount of Olives

Three gardens: Eden, Gethsemane, Revelation

Why did Jesus take Peter, James and John with Him to the garden?

Mark 14:32-36 – Jesus was deeply distressed…He is stunned by what is to come

Troubled – to be away from home

Jesus has never been afraid to step into the pain of other people

My will and God’s will – when you can choose one or the other, it’s a true instance of free will

Mark 14:37-40 – disciples fell asleep…Jesus went back and prayed some more then came back…three times Jesus told God that He didn’t want to go to the Cross (separation from the Father)

Jesus prays to a point of decision

Mark 14:43-46 – “…Judas, one of the Twelve…”. Maybe Mark wanted us to know that Judas saw it all and still sold out Jesus. It’s possible to follow yet betray.

Mark 14:47-52 – “…everyone deserted Him and fled…”

Jesus had spent His entire journey getting ready for the Cross and His followers had not

Mark 14:53-56 – Jesus was taken to the former high priest Annas and then to the son-in-law Caiaphas, the current high priest

How did Peter manage this crisis? He boasted a whole lot during His walk with Jesus over the past days

Luke 22:54-62 – Peter followed Jesus at a distance…disowned Jesus three times before the rooster crowed

At that time, the courtyard was surrounded by the house

5 stages of Peter’s struggle:

·       He followed at a distance – latent commitment (been with Him for 3 years)

·       He sat down – he wants to see but not be seen

·       He’s caught due to his accent from up north – he denies it even though he previously told Jesus he’d die for Him

What is he actually denying? I don’t know Him

·       He remembered that Jesus predicted his denial

·       He went outside and wept – he’s probably concluded that Jesus shouldn’t have picked him to be a fisher of men

The story ends with Jesus fixing breakfast for Peter and the others











August 20, 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 18

Workbook page 44

When God tells you something, it’s no laughing matter

Constant theme for us and Abraham: our faith in God

Abraham traveled from Egypt with Lot…one went one way and one went another

God and Abraham had a relationship as friends

Abraham reasons with God not to slay those in Sodom & Gomorrah as long as 10 righteous citizens could be found

Abraham asking these questions shows that he had a heart of mercy

Workbook page 48 – in the Middle East exists a long tradition of haggling over price

Abraham and Sarah got visitors; now Lot will get visitors

The future son-in-laws thought the impending destruction was a joke

Lot wasn’t 100% sure that danger was coming

Workbook page 52 – once you leave your sinful past, you shouldn’t look back

Genesis 19 – Lot and his 2 daughters left their new town and lived in a cave for a while. In the daughters’ perspectives, their future pool of husbands had been wiped out…they became pregnant by their father due to trickery. The sons were Moab and Ben-Ammi (Moabites and Ammonites peoples)

Genesis 20 – Abraham moved to the Negev…Abimelech took Sarah because Abraham and Sarah said Sarah was his sister

In both cases of Abraham representing Sarah as his sister, he was reprimanded by pagans (Pharaoh and Abimelech)







August 13, 2017 Morning sermon

“Seven things that God cannot do”

This does not diminish God’s power; it should fortify your faith in God

A study like this could make an atheist happy

Psalm 90:2 “…from everlasting to everlasting, You are God…”

We can’t conceive of what/who existed before Genesis 1:1

Jesus uses the phrase “I am” when talking to the Pharisees

Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above

We hold up George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as pillars of virtue, but they couldn’t be truthful 100% of the time

There is absolute truth in our world today

God doesn’t taunt us with the fact that Christ came down as a man and was perfect and we aren’t perfect

The Law God gave Moses mentioned impartiality a lot

We have the same Word of God that our early Church ancestors had

1.    God cannot stop being God

2.    God cannot lie

3.    God cannot sin nor be tempted by evil

4.    God cannot show favoritism…Romans 2:6

5.    God cannot change His Word…1 Peter 1:25

6.    God cannot stop loving you…2 Timothy 1:9

7.    God cannot change our hearts/minds if we are unwilling…nevertheless He still loves us

God can make many changes occur in the world around us







August 13 2017 Bible study

Genesis 15 workbook page 39

God needed one man to become the father of His people. We aren’t sure why God chose Abram…at the time God called him, he and his family were worshipping false gods

Abram’s path was to leave the familiar and head towards the unfamiliar

Up to about the 1800s, people thought there were only about 2000 stars in the sky

By walking through the halves of the animal sacrifice, the two parties to the covenant were symbolizing that if they break the covenant, they will become like the dead animals

The people of Canaan at this time were practicing child sacrifice, idolatry and religious prostitution

Abram and Sarai conspired to move God’s plan offspring plan along on their own

The Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the desert…her child was to be called Ishmael

God changed the name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many)

God asked for a sign from Abraham that he was all-in for the covenant: circumcision of him and his community

The symbolism of circumcision was “may I be cut off from God like my foreskin if I fail to keep the covenant”

Some early Jewish Christians disrupted the Church over the issue of circumcision

Abraham was 99 and Ishmael was 13 when they were circumcised

God changed the name Sarai (my princess) to Sarah (a princess)

Isaac means “he laughs”…it is fitting due to the fact that Sarah laughed when hearing that she would conceive a child





August 6 2017 Morning sermon

1 Cor 16:1-2 “As you may prosper”

Who is it that prospers us?

Two subjects people just “love” to hear about: history and giving

1 out of 6 or 1 out of 8 verses in the New Testament deal with giving or possessions

It is a command of God to give back a portion of what God has given to you

Tithing for the Christian is never mentioned in the New Testament…it’s an Old Testament concept of giving a certain percentage of what you have or earn

The New Testament has a tenet: the more you give, the more you get

2 Samuel 24 – dark time of David’s life…David is told to go to Jerusalem and buy a property. The owner offers to give it to David for free but David refuses “…I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing…”

The Old Testament taught giving of the first fruits of what you have, not the leftovers

The Lord’s Church gets shortchanged

Haggai scolded the people who worked on making their own houses fancy while the temple stood in shambles

Malachi warned the people against the sacrifices the people were making – blemished animals

Luke 12 – “…one’s life does not consist of his possessions…”

Will a man rob God?

Is your giving comfortable or is it a sacrifice? It speaks about your heart.

Proverbs – “…give me neither poverty nor riches…”

What does your heart ask for? Paul spoke to Philippians: “…I seek the fruit that increases to your credit…”


4 types of attitudes concerning giving:

·       Some people have no propensity to give anything (time, possessions) – they have a cold heart

·       Some people will give but not give to the Lord – they are willing to help any organization other than the Church (Girl Scouts, veterans, fundraiser for a cancer-stricken community member, donate blood, support NPR)

·       Some people won’t give to the Lord that which cost me – easy givers…they only give small change but not enough to really cost them

·       Some people won’t give to the Lord that which cost him nothing


Are you giving back to the Lord as you have been prospered?

Have you given your time back?


August 6 2017 Morning Bible Study

Two qualifications pertaining to an elder candidate’s family:


Must be the husband of one wife

If a man is the husband of one wife, then he cannot by definition:

1.    Have more than one wife (polygamy)

2.    Be unmarried or single

3.    Be in a same-sex marriage (Romans 1:27)

4.    Be a woman

5.    Be in an adulterous marriage (Matthew 5:31-32, 19:8-9)

If a man is the husband of one wife, then he can:

1.    Be a man who has been married to only one woman

2.    He can be a widower who has remarried per 1 Cor 7:39, Romans 7:2-3

3.    He can be divorced and remarried if it is in keeping with Matthew 5:31-32, 19:8-9

Subjective – refers to personal perspectives

Objective – refers to the elimination of subjective perspectives and a process that is purely based on hard facts

Mike Scott said that Greek scholars agree that the structure of this passage should be translated “a one-wife sort of husband”.


Must have faithful children/rule well his house

Titus 1:6

ASV: “…children that believe…”

NKJV: “…having faithful children…”

Greek: word faithful is “pistos” meaning trustworthy

While pistos can mean a believer, it is more often used to describe the state of one as it pertains to their character

Some of the men being considered for eldership in the early Church didn’t grow up in the synagogue

Is it preferred that a child of an elder be a Christian? Yes.

Is it a requirement according to Scripture? No.

What does God require of an elder? That he has his family in subjection.

Did Paul ask any of the elder candidates how they ran their business?

Subjection isn’t oppression

Albert Barnes: He should maintain proper dignity

Wayne Jackson: Totally rebellious children nullify the elder’s ability to lead the church…adult children who have moved out of the house are not under the father’s control anymore






July 16 2017 Morning sermon – Keeping watch over your souls

Hebrews 13:17

1 Samuel 16 – King Saul has disappointed the Lord so Samuel is sent to anoint a new king

Psalm 23 – David was inspired by the Spirit to write the psalms

The hired hand wouldn’t risk his life to go find the lost sheep; only the shepherd would

Luke 15:1 – it is comforting to know that the Shepherd is willing to do what it takes to rescue you

We don’t like the word submit…sometimes it seems more like oppression

We like winning

The Gentiles wanted to be in charge but Jesus instructed that His people needed to be servants

Consider that those in charge of us will be called to give an account for the care of our souls

Why would we want to make our shepherds’ task a hard one?

Many elders have walked away from their role due to the stress on them

Lots of work goes on behind the scenes…most of it we won’t or can’t know about

Often times a shepherd takes one sheep and then the other sheep follow

We aren’t seeking perfect men for the eldership…we want those who live out the qualifications in their life

We look at the shepherd’s heart and the life that is driven by that heart

Acts 20: Paul traveling back to Jerusalem…he tells the elders to pay attention to themselves and their flock…there will be people arise from the elders that draw away some of the flock

Titus 1:9 – giving instruction and sound doctrine…elders must be ready to teach right wrong

1 Peter 5 – don’t be domineering

Shepherd’s rod was for beating off enemies or animals

Shepherd’s staff had a crook that was used to rescue sheep from a cliff

Moses’ anger overcame him and he struck a rock with his rod

Phil 3:17 – become imitators of Christ, the chief shepherd

Have you considered what Christ gave up for you?



July 16 2017 Morning Bible study

Elders should always be plural…need to have more than one

Jeremiah 3:15 – studying the Old Testament gives us a lot of insight into the people that God chose to lead His people and how they should behave (and examples of those behaving badly)

God always had a specific plan of how He wants His Kingdom to be organized and led but man has continually rejected God’s plan and sought his own ways

Examples of shepherds: Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob

Jeremiah 2:7-8 – example of negligent shepherds

Jeremiah 12:10 – “…many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard…”

Who were the shepherds? Prophet, priest and king

The Messiah would be a shepherd over His people

John 10:11 (ESV) “I am the good shepherd…”

Jeremiah 23:3-4 “…I will set shepherds over them…”

1 Peter 5:2-3 – the life you want people to lead by example needs to be practiced by the leaders trying to influence the people

What does the word ordain mean? To designate, appoint, conduct, make

Hebrews 5:1, Hebrews 8:3 – “…for every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices…”

The term ordain seems to connotate great ceremony and garments

Instead of ordain, maybe use “set aside”…they aren’t above anyone

Worldy definition of clergy – above reproach, in charge, and holier or more important than lay members

Matthew 23:6-11 – the Pharisees love the attention of the people…call no man your father on earth…the greatest among you shall be your servant…

1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone

Phil 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit

Minster – diakonos – an attendant

Col 4:7 “…fellow servant in the Lord…”

Matthew 20:25-28 “…whoever should be great among you must be your servant…”

The leaders of the Church are servants of the flock





July 9 2017 Morning sermon Ezekiel 34:1-3

Jeremiah 3:15 – “…I will give you shepherds…who will feed you with knowledge and understanding…”

It’s not an insult for us to be known as sheep being led by shepherds

In many instances, those in charge of feeding the flock were busy feeding themselves

Jeremiah 23:4 – “…I will place shepherds over them…”

It’s in man’s personality to “go it alone”

When we opt to take our path, we reject Christ as our Head

We can’t invent a better a way than what God has prepared for us

Prophet – received message from God and gave it to people – like Moses, Samuel and Ezekiel

Priest – teach people the Lord’s rules and the Law…Lev 10:10, Ezra 7:10

King – shepherd for the people Deut. 17:28 – the king was to make a copy of the Law so that they knew

Some people are waiting for Jesus to come and setup His kingdom on the earth

Do you want someone leading you who is feeding themselves or feeding you?

Hebrews 13:7

Congregations need shepherds after God’s own heart







July 9 2017 Morning Bible Study – A Study of Shepherding

Goal of this class is to learn how He wants us to choose leaders

Who is the Head of the Church? Christ is.

Matthew 28:18 – “…all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…”

A preacher isn’t a pastor unless he is also an elder

Matthew 7:21 “…not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom…”

God desired every congregation to be led by elders (plural)

1 Peter 5:1-5: “…shepherd the flock of God among you…likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders…”

Why is it important to know the history of God’s people as it to pertains to their response to the leaders over them?

1 Cor 10:11 – “…but they were written down for our instruction…”

Acts 20:28-30: “…from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them…”

History shows the gradual departure from the pattern of congregational leadership God gave in the New Testament

150AD we see a start of a departure from this arrangement

381AD we see the first pope installed

In the Catholic Church, their traditions are as important to them as the Word of God

How did it happen that the structure of the early Church evolved into the same structure as the Roman Empire?

2 Thess. 2:3-4: “...let no one deceive you in any way...”

1 Samuel 8:5: “…appoint for us a king to judge us…”

Man has it in his mind a better way to rule over man than God does

Man has traditionally resisted authority

Numbers 12:1 – Miriam and Aaron spoke out against Moses

Romans 13:2 “…to resist governing authorities is to resist God…”

Acts 3 – disciples were told not to preach in His name

Numbers 16:3: The rebellion of Korah

Luke 12:48 “…too whom much is given, much will be required…”

Exodus 32:1: In a vacuum, men will create and follow their imaginations “…make us gods to go before us…”

Jeremiah 10:23: “…it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps…”

Why has God chosen the model of shepherding sheep and not a CEO?

Ephesians 4:11 – “…and he Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists…”

Some preachers are pastors

John 10:1-5 – portrait of the shepherd and the flock





July 2 2017 Morning sermon – 1 Samuel 8 – the people want a king

Paul sent Titus to establish elders

God tells the people that man is rejecting God in favor of an earthly king

It’s in man’s nature to be hostile towards God…Jesus came to reconcile us

Elder is the same a pastor is the same as an bishop is the same as an overseer

Number 12 – Miriam and Aaron rejected Moses’ rule

2 Peter 10 – those who are against God defy authority

Romans – those who reject governing authorities are also rejecting God who installed those authorities

Hebrews 13:17 – Elders, etc. are there to watch over souls

The overseers are designed to guide the flock not rule over them

Jeremiah 10:23 – man can’t direct his own steps…he needs the direction of God’s Word to guide him

Proverbs 14:12 “…there is a way that seems right to a man…but it leads to death…”

Jeremiah 6:16 – God pleads with Israel “…ask where the good way is…find rest for your souls…”

We try to invent new ways of doing things, we beckon back to the old paths…God’s ways never change

John 21:15-17 – “…Peter, do you love Me?...feed My sheep…”

1 Peter 2:25 “…you have returned to the shepherd…”


July 2 2017 Bible study – Genesis 15

Abram wondered how God would bless him with children since he and his wife were of an advanced age

God established a covenant with Abram

Abram is told of the upcoming enslavement of his people for his 400 years and his death before that event

By walking through the middle of the parts of an animal, you signify that if break the covenant, you will end up dead like the animal used in the making of the covenant

Do we have covenants nowadays? Mortgages, contracts, etc.

Genesis 16 – Sarah gave Hagar to Abram to jump-start the children process instead of waiting on God

Page 43 in workbook – usually the two parties walk through the middle of the parts of the animal but in God and Abram’s case only God walked through the middle

Abram’s named is changed to Abraham (signifying the father of many nations)…God requires that all the men be circumcised to be part of the covenant…Sarai is now to be called Sarah (“my princess” to “a princess”)

Abraham asked for a blessing on Ishmael…God said He will establish a covenant with Isaac

There were already civilizations performing circumcisions at this time in other parts of the world, but this was a new practice for Abraham and his family

How many times in our lives have we been impatient and try to make things happen?

Sarah laughs to herself (but is still heard)…maybe Sarah never heard from Abraham that she would have a child or maybe she didn’t believe it




June 25 2017 Morning sermon

God is not found in the book of Esther…no Jehovah or El Shaddai or any other formal word for Him

It’s a great history book and a lesson on the providence of God

Have you not seen the handprint of God on the world around you? That’s what Mordecai asked Esther

Not everyone believes that God still exists in this time

A lot of people think that God doesn’t act and react in the affairs of men in our age…they think that when Jesus left, He stopped working in our world until Christ comes back

Is life a collection of random events that only sometimes intertwine

It takes more faith to believe in coincidences than to believe that God interacts with us daily

Mordecai doesn’t tell Esther what to do but asks “what is your purpose?”

There are no minor roles in life…everyone has their part to play

By Esther’s actions, she saved the Jewish people

Hebrews 11 – by faith…things we cannot see…things we cannot rationalize (otherwise it wouldn’t be faith)

1 Cor 7:20 – “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called…”

Jeremiah 29:11 – “…for I know the plans I have for you…”

There is a future we have until the end of time and the future of eternity

God has placed something in our hearts that is a sense that we exist in time

What is my particular purpose? What difference can I make?





June 25 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis 11 – Tower of Babel

Genesis 12, pg. 31in workbook

Abram and Sarai lived in Ur and were going to be traveling to Canaan

Abram was a good man but also human

Abram visited Egypt to seek refuge from a famine back home

Abram lied to the Egyptians in telling him that his wife was his sister and he profited greatly from it

Pharaoh asked Abram why he had lied and brought trouble to Egypt

Seven promises from God to Abram:

·       Make you into a great nation

·       Bless you

·       Make your name great

·       You will be a blessing

·       Bless those who bless you

·       Curse those who curse you

·       All people will be blessed through you

Abram wouldn’t see the full extent of these blessings

Excavations of Ur show fine craftsmanship…it had 30 foot walls and elaborate temples and many examples of finer things

Genesis 13 – Abram and Lot go separate ways…Abram went to Canaan (Hebron) and Lot settled near Sodom

From sight alone, the land Lot chose was better but the people were evil in that “good land”

God often would pick out certain children of a family to share details about but that didn’t mean that there were no other children

Genesis 14 – The conquerors took Lot and all his possessions…one person escaped and told Abram about the events…he took 318 trained men with him to go get Lot and his stuff and his people

The king of Sodom wanted to give stuff to Abram but Abram refused...he wanted God to get the glory




June 18 2017 Morning sermon – Judges 13:3-8

The animal kingdom has examples of fathers…the emperor penguin father takes care of the eggs…the African wild dog father feeds the pups…the red fox father hunts for 3 months for food for the pups and then stops bringing the food to them so they learn to forage and hunt

Manoah did 3 things as a father that we could learn from

1.    He prayed

2.    He pleaded

3.    He purposed

It’s frightening for a father to think of his kid being born into this world

Manoah’s son was to be a Nazirite for life

To have a child is a gift from God

Genesis 48:9 “…these are my two son whom God has given me…”

It’s not the world’s responsibility to raise our children…it’s not the school’s job to teach the kids the morals they need to be good citizens of the world

Paul instructs fathers to bring up the children

Proverbs has lots of words of instruction for parents

Solomon pleaded for wisdom to rule the people

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding…”

Hebrews 12:8 – “…if you are left without discipline, you are illegitimate children…”



June 18 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis 6-11 workbook pg. 23

Why would the Earth need to start over again? Man was evil.

There’s a lot of wickedness in the world back then and today

What is the difference between our world today and Noah’s day? We have our hope in Jesus

The ark would have been about 1.5 football fields long, 50 feet tall, storage area of about 450 semi trailers

Rained for 40 days and 40 nights…the water stayed on the earth for 150 days after that. Water was 20 feet above the tallest mountain

God makes a covenant to never send floods to destroy the earth again

The inhabitants of the ark were inside of it for more than a year

Why shouldn’t we kill others? They and us are made in God’s image

 God set the rainbow as a sign for man and Himself

Ham mocked his father’s nakedness and thereafter he was subject to his brothers

Tower of Babel




June 11 2017 Morning sermon – Luke 5

Kingdom of Israel was about taking over the Promised Land

Isaiah spoke of turning the swords into plowshares…the Gospel of peace…we would have peace with God…barriers breaking down

Jesus told the men they would become fishermen of a different kind

Mark 1 – Peter encountered Jesus before

John 1:41-42 – first encounter with Christ and Peter (Peter’s brother Andrew met first and went and told Peter)

A-ha moment…moment of clarity…epiphany

John 7:5 – Not even Jesus’ brothers believed in Him…although later they had an “a-ha moment”

Thomas had an “a-ha moment” a little while later

We don’t have to wait until we hear a booming voice from the sky or a life-changing event to make a decision but often it seems to happen that way

Our goal is “none of self” and “all of Thee”

Jesus prepared His disciples to become fishers of men who in turn prepared others to be fishers of men and the cycle repeated through Acts

Christ wants the disciples to grow in grace

Avocation – hobbies

Vocation – job that pays for us to provide for our family

What if we make our real job being a fisher of men?

1 Corinthians 11:1 – “…become an imitator of me as I am an imitator of Christ…”

People aren’t impressed to change their life because you know Hebrew

Remember that people are watching you to see who you imitate

We don’t want to draw people to us, we want to draw them to Christ




June 11 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis

God often said “it is good” or “it is very good”

Adam’s job was to name the animals and other living things and tend to the garden

Only one thing Adam and Eve couldn’t do: eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Eve told the serpent that God said we can’t touch the tree (God said don’t eat of the fruit)

God’s original intention was that we wouldn’t be aware of anything bad

God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and Eve

Chapter 4 – Cain and Abel…they were given instructions beforehand on what sacrifices would be acceptable…Cain knew what the rules were

Cain’s name meant “brought forth” in Hebrew and Abel’s name meant “temporary” or “meaningless”

The difference in the two offerings was a matter of obedience

God put a mark on Cain to keep people from killing him

Why is there different kinds of sin? Any sin boils down to one of these themes: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life

All literature falls into one of these themes: man against God, man against himself, man against nature

Around the time of Seth’s family, people called on the Name of the Lord






June 4 2017 Morning sermon

Acts 2:1-4

One of the highlights of the life of a Jewish person would have been to go to Jerusalem on one of the three special days of the year

The Ethiopian eunuch may have been on this sort of trip

Today is the Day of Pentecost (50 days after Passover)

The Old Testament was pointing towards the Day of Pentecost

From the Day of Pentecost and onwards, people pointed backwards

Israel and the Jews were looking for a Messiah to kick out the invaders and sit on the throne

In Acts 1 Jesus left to prepare a place for us

Jesus had to die in order for all the prophecies to be fulfilled

All of the pieces of the puzzle have been given to us

“…behold the kingdom is at hand…” John the Baptist was preparing for the Messiah.

Somewhere between Jesus ascending and Peter teaching the Gentiles (Cornelius’ family), something happened

Pentecost feast occurred 3 times a year…Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy

The Law was a shadow but the reality was Christ

The feast was a shadow that was preparing the people for the Messiah

Pentecost was when the people brought the first fruits of what they harvested or toiled at to give back to God. They were to present a grain offering (2 loaves of bread with leaven) – this can refer to the Jews and Gentiles. Leaven wasn’t usually used in bread baked for holy days.

It is a tradition of the Jews that the day of Pentecost is the day that Moses came down the mountain and gave the Law to the Israelites

“…lift up your eyes and see that the fields are white unto harvest…”

“…the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few…”

Pentecost is a fulfillment of

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – four kingdoms at the time: Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, Romans

We aren’t looking towards a kingdom that is to come; it’s already been established

We are given a peace that surpasses all understanding

Many Muslims who convert to Christianity report that the main reason they converted was that they were shown love

“…they will know you by your love…”

Isaiah 11 – “…the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him…with a word He will strike the earth…the lion shall lie down with the lamb…”

The Bible is the #1 best-selling book of all time

The Kingdom of God and the Church are the same thing…it’s God’s plan for us to have a relationship with Him…whether Jew or Gentile







June 4 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis

Who is the author of the book of Acts? Luke.

Workbook page 4 – in the old times, a book was usually named after the first few words

The Jewish people refer to their holy texts as the Torah…the first 5 books of our Bible…also known as the Laws and the Teachings

Most scholars believe Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible…it makes sense that Moses wrote them since he would have had a great education in reading and writing in Egypt

Moses may have listened to oral stories and incorporated them into his writing plus some documents that the Egyptians had

Some also came from the mouth of God

Acts 7:22 – speech of Stephen to the Sanhedrin…he spoke of the Jewish history from Moses onwards

Miriam and Aaron were Moses’ siblings. In Numbers 12:8, God took exception to Miriam and Aaron opposing Moses regarding Moses’ wife (a Cushite). God pointed out that He talks directly to Moses and not like other people with whom He speaks indirectly.

Genesis is not going to be a scientific study with minute detail explained. Why don’t we need to know every single nuance in the book?

We are going to talk about the glory of God…maybe by us needing to know the minute detail, we are trying to live by sight

Common words: “It was so…it was good…let it be”

 Up until verse 26, there was no mention of “us”

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?...

Elohim – God, Yahweh – Lord

The man was commanded to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Animals were named and woman was created



May 28 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Ephesians 6:10-17

Paul wrote from a prison cell…he was able fully view the concept of the armor of God (he probably saw the armor of the guards assigned to him)

We should be more vigilant in the Walk

We are not in the army of the world

Those baptized wear Christ’s name upon them

Man’s wisdom is nothing compared to God’s wisdom

The armies of the world boast of their strength

The army of God boasts about our weaknesses

Humbleness and the heart of a servant aren’t weak qualities

Be ready…be prepared…have your armor on before going into battle – these concepts would have been drilled into a soldier

We live in a time where we are told there isn’t an absolute truth

The Gospel of peace is our great commission

Without faith, it is impossible to please God

One piece of armor we often leave off is prayer

We think the devil’s schemes are new to our age

Envy, ungratefulness, division are tools of the evil one

There is a lot of so-called science that is just theories

One of the tribes of David understood the times in which they lived

As wise as a serpent…as gentle as a dove

Paul Harvey wrote an article titled “If I Was the devil”…subvert the Church first…whisper that the Bible is a myth…what is bad is good and what is good is square…families at war with themselves…young minds would have refined intellects but unchecked emotions…convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned…in other words if I were the devil I would keep on doing what he’s already doing…

We don’t hate people, we hate sin

Christians are delivered from the domain of darkness

Those who fool around with the dark arts have no idea who they are dealing with…our youth are gobbling them up like never before

To which kingdom do you belong?






May 28 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

Paul advised Timothy via the Spirit that a great many people would fall away (apostasy)

Persecution of the Church first came from the Jews

Romans tolerated the Church at first

The Church fathers mentioned there was not music used in the early Church

One of the first departures from the original setup was the organization of Church leadership

About 150AD there was an exalted elder to lead the other elders

About 200AD there was a bishop over the eldership

About 250AD there was a diocesan bishop over Churches

About 300AD there was a metropolitan over the diocesan bishops

About 381AD there was one patriarch (pope) over the many metropolitan – there was a pope in Roman and Constantinople…the Church in Constantinople become the Eastern/Greek Orthodox church

During Martin Luther’s time the people wanted to rebuild Vatican City and they were going to sell indulgences to finance it

Luther wanted to bring back the Catholic church to its center

People kiss the toe of the statue of Peter in Rome

Printing press invented in 1500s was used to make Bibles…for the first time, it wasn’t only the priest that could read the Bible to you

King James Bible – 1611

Henry the 8th – started his own church so he could get a divorce from his wife

People wanted to come to America so that they could worship God in their own way and not the way the King of England wanted them to worship God

The Lord’s Church has Christ as the head…we don’t have another governing head or body…we are self-governing




May 21 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

7 things we must do when we worship

Colossians 3:15-17 – Ephesians 5:19

True or false: The Church of Christ does not use music in worship

Being a member of the Church of Christ tends to make one accentuate the negative


1.    The Spirit and the Word must be dwelling in us

Don’t quench or grieve the Spirit

2.    Richly with all wisdom (abundantly)

There are many songs created that don’t accurately reflect Scripture

3.    Sing to one another

It doesn’t say “sing only if you have a good voice” or “sing only if you are having a good day” or “sing only if you like the song leader”

If you are looking for a Church with no hypocrites, you will be searching a long time

        We aren’t here to sing the praises of the world

4.    God desires the heart

5.    Sing vertically to God – there is none other worthy of praise than God

6.    Be thankful – not just during worship service but at all times



May 21 2017 Morning Bible study

Acts 27-28, pg. 103 in workbook (finished up the workbook series)

Paul travels to Rome…the winds were against them

Paul warned the sailors ahead of the trip that a bad storm was coming

During the storm, Paul warned that the ship would be destroyed but no man would be lost…they got stranded on Malta

Paul heals men from snake bite…he also heals a man with dysentery

Word spread and then many more people came from around the island to be healed…the people were so grateful that they provided a ship with supplies for Paul’s next journey…this gift ship had mastheads that depicted Zeus’s sons (Castor & Pollux)…they were supposed to bring good luck during storms

Pg. 105 in workbook – Paul prayed over the sick man

Paul created his own opportunity to do good…from a prisoner came deliverance

We need to offer to do what we can with God’s help

When in Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a Roman guard

When Paul got to Rome, he spoke to the Jews first which is interesting because the Jews in other locations got him sent to Rome

If you are telling the truth, it’s easy to tell the same story each time

Paul told the Jews that the Messiah they had prayed for had already come

The Roman Jews claimed to only have heard good things about Paul

For 2 years Paul stayed in his rented house and received anyone who came to visit

“…you will be ever seeing but never perceiving…” – quote from Isaiah





May 14 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Solomon said laughter is good medicine

Mother – a person who does the work of 20 people for free

Behind every Mom is a basket of laundry

A worried mother does better investigation than then FBI

Moms – like Dads only smarter

While on the cross, Jesus pauses to remember His mother

In the Law of Moses, if anyone struck their mother or father, they were to be put to death

Children obey your parents (first command with a promise: that it will go well with you)

Moses had two mothers

Moses was born into a culture of death

We live today in a culture of death…60 million is a conservative estimate of how many babies have been aborted since 1973…this doesn’t even count the rest of the world

The greatest gifts we can give to our children can’t be bought in stores

Let your children grow up in a poor household…let them grow up doing chores

Cowbird – puts its own eggs in the nest of another bird…not all mothers are good mothers

Older women are supposed to mentor the younger women

The Providence of God is greater than the wisdom of men

The one who rocks the cradle rules the world

Aristotle and George Washington credit their success to their mothers

The mothers of the Bible stand as good examples for us today

Three institutions God has given us: Government, family & Church

If one of those is removed, we don’t succeed




May 14 2017 Morning Bible study

Acts 22, pg. 95 in the workbook

Paul in chains

Sanhedrin (Pharisees and Sadducees) – they often were at odds with Roman authorities

The Roman official had Paul speak in front of the Sanhedrin

Can you follow the law when it suits your needs and ignore it when it doesn’t meet your needs?

Acts 23 – Pharisees believed in resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees didn’t

Paul was a Pharisee whose father was a Pharisee

More than 40 men took an oath to not eat or drink anything until Paul was killed

Paul’s nephew told Paul about the plot against him and then he told the Roman official about the plot

The Roman official ordered 470 soldiers to be gathered to take Paul to Governor Felix

Acts 24, pg. 101 in workbook – Felix was born a slave…he was a big fan of bribery

The Jews spoke about Paul as being from the “sect of the Nazarene” and him being an agitator

Festus pushed Paul’s case up to Agrippa

How many Roman rulers did Paul pass through? Claudius, Felix, Festus, Agrippa, Emperor

Acts 26 – Paul argued his case before Agrippa…he told how he himself used to persecute the Christians…told about his conversion process





May 7 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Matthew 13:1-8 – Parable of the sower

If you want to harvest in the fall, you need to sow seed in the spring

Christ was talking about an everyday event

Jesus was asked why He was speaking in parables…

Mark 4:13 – “Do you not understand this parable?”

The prophets throughout the Old Testament didn’t understand that the things they were writing about were pointing to the Messiah who was to come.

It’s the duty of the Church to teach the Good News to all (sow the seed)

We have the mind of Christ so that we may know all things

Every person sowed to can yield one of 4 results:

Rocky ground – yield nothing; they receive the Word with joy but once hard times come, they fall away

Rocky ground – spring up fast but wither without water

Thorny ground – choked out

Good soil – they hear and obey

Satan snatches away before the seed can take root

Some people accuse Christians of making the Word so difficult that nobody can understand

“…He who has an ear, let him hear…”

“…be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger as it pertains to the Word of God…”

It’s God desire that we understand…some will not or cannot bring themselves to obey the will of God…it’s not that God’s arm cannot reach them…God is not willing that anyone should perish

The choices we make every day bring us under the umbrella of the possibility of persecution

John 6:66 – “…from that time many disciples went back and followed Him no more…”

Mark 4:16-17 “…immediately they receive it with gladness…endure only for a time…immediately stumble…”

Thorny soil – lure of riches can choke out the good…

“…for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…”

Deceitfulness of riches – very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God

It all comes down to excuses…have you known someone who always has excuses?

People choose to walk away

What soil are you in? Am I producing what I should be? What is the fruit I need to be producing? There are changes expected in us as God’s Word grows in our lives

Some people will have lifelong struggles with sin and we shouldn’t look down on them for that

Eph 5:8-10: “…for you were once darkness…the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness…”

Gal 5:22-23: “…fruit of the Spirit is love…”

In Acts, we hear that the hearers of the Message obeyed the Gospel in order to live a new life in Christ

We never know when our time is up…life is brief

Acts 24:25 – Felix said go away for now…I will call when it is more convenient

Agrippa told Paul he almost convinced him to accept the Good News






May 7 2017 Morning Bible study - Acts 21 workbook page 87

Paul is doing a lot of traveling in this chapter…walking, boating…not always easy roads

Took a trip to Phoenicia, then Syria, then Tyre

While visiting with the disciples, they urged Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem

Paul is warned again that the Jews would bind Paul and give him over to the Gentiles

Paul was not dissuaded from going to Jerusalem

A lot of people were upset that Paul was telling people that Christians didn’t have to follow old Jewish traditions (head shaving, circumcision, etc.)

Nazirite vows – man or woman could take a vow of special dedication to God which included:

Could not eat or drink products of grapes

No contact with a corpse otherwise 7 days cleansing process

No cutting of hair

Many Jewish Christians still maintained old traditions

Christians can go out of their way to defuse situations by considering the feelings of others

Some of Paul’s actions towards Jewish traditions show that he tried to work with people where they were in their journey…some may say that he was compromising the Message by accepting the traditions of others. Paul would never compromise the tenet of salvation by faith.

During any time of transition, there has to be patience

You can keep your traditions as long as they don’t compromise your faith in Christ

Acts 21:27 Paul is arrested after the crowd got stirred up by a small group…they argued that Paul brought Greeks into the temple and defiled it (he didn’t actually do that)…the rioting stopped when the Roman officials arrived (civil authorities)

Paul was bound by the Romans and was led into the barracks…had to be carried into the building due to the violence of the crowd

The Roman commander asked Paul if he was the Egyptian terrorist who led 4000 people out into the desert

Paul talked to the crowd in Aramaic and to the Roman soldiers in Greek…he laid out his story as a Jew of Jews and a persecutor of Christians…he gave his testimony and urged the crowd to repent

Latin was the official language of Rome but Greek was the language of commerce

While Hebrew was the usual language of the Jews, they picked up Aramaic during the Babylonian captivity

Acts 22:22 – the crowd listened to Paul until he said this and then they shouted “rid the earth of him!”

Paul asked if it was legal for him to be flogged as a Roman citizen

Page 90 in the workbook section C – by Paul speaking Greek to the Romans, they would have thought that he wasn’t a Jew







April 30 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

2 Tim 3:14-17

Lots of companies look for a “does it all” device

Swiss army knife with 81 features and 108 uses

Workshops and kitchens and drawers are filled with items that claim to be an all-in-one tool

While the Bible isn’t specifically a book about science, scientists can look to the Bible for facts about science

The Bible doesn’t contradict any known scientific facts

The Bible confirms science…it was centuries ahead of man’s knowledge

The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed

The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed

The prophets of the Old Testament were writing about the Messiah to come

If you believe the Word of God is complete, it will direct your life

If you believe the Word of God is missing things, you will live your life in uncertainty

We wish that God would talk to us in a booming voice and tell us how to live our lives…He has already told us how to live via the Book

Many Christians may still be infants…they hold onto a verse and never grow and mature

We don’t do fellow people any favors when we hold their hand in their immaturity in Christ

Scripture is profitable for 4 things:

·       Teaching

·       Reproof

·       Correction

·       Training in righteousness

There is a sound doctrine and there is a contradictory doctrine

We can’t be left to our own imaginations

The man of God – refers to men and women

Paul would refer to men and women and mankind often

Preachers, teachers, elders, deacons, disciples – Paul uses the words for men and women

A disciple is fully trained but never greater than his or her teacher

If there is a maturity, there is also an immaturity

We should demand that we become mature in the Word of God

Paul’s desire was for congregations to become complete and mature in the faith

A congregation without elders is incomplete

Be diligent – study and do your best to become like Christ

Good works: evangelism, edifying the brethren, benevolence

What is God’s plan? His desire is that no one should perish.

People should know that Christ died for them, not just some other people over there




April 30 2017 Morning Bible study - Acts

Middle of Acts 18-middle of Acts 21 pg 79 in workbook

Paul’s 3rd missionary journey

God worked many miracles through Paul…people touched Paul with handkerchiefs and aprons and then took these and touched the sick and they were healed

Be wary of people nowadays who say they have items that can heal you

Acts 19 – some Jews tried to cast out demons…the evil spirit turned on them…it knew they weren’t speaking for Jesus

People burned old sorcery scrolls

A silversmith wasn’t happy that Paul taught that man-made gods aren’t right…this silversmith made his living selling items at the temple

For 2 hours the people shouted “great is Artemis of the Ephesians”

A clerk appealed to the people to calm down

Our governmental system was based on Roman rule of law

Paul talked until midnight…a man fell asleep and fell out of a window…Paul healed him




April 23 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Proverbs 3:1-12

Success in life – it has many different definitions…Wall Street may define it as a good return on an investment. Maslow said success if self-actualization…in Zen Buddhism, success is enlightenment. In America, success would be living the American dream.

Success in the eyes of God is quite different from man’s idea of success

Some successes are a milestone you reach, some are a journey

Ecclesiastes 12:10 – “…much study is weariness to the flesh…fear God and keep His commandments…”

1 Kings 3:14 “…if you will walk in My ways, then I will lengthen your days…”

Solomon finds out the hard way…we believe what God has told us about what we ought to do but we fail to follow through with it

Matthew 7:24 – house on the rock vs. house on the sand

Jesus wasn’t saying anything new…there is nothing new under the sun

How God deals with us today is different than how he dealt with Moses and others of the patriarchal age

There is a reward/return on investment on the items that Solomon lists in this passage of Proverbs

Let your heart keep His commands

The wider and deeper your foundation, the higher you will go

You can’t forget what you haven’t been taught

You can’t be a car by sitting in a garage

Family, government and the Church all require that people be taught

Proverbs 29:15 “…a child left to himself brings shame to his mother…”

We tend to think that “length of days” as us living a long life because God is pleased…the Hebrew meaning is more about addling life to the years that you have

A glad heart is the best medicine for the soul

Live His ways – Jesus chastised the teachers of the Law because they had neglected some parts of the Law, specifically mercy

Trust in the Lord – don’t try to be wise in your own eyes

Loosen our grip on our possessions – do we possess things or do they possess us? What we have is just things to use.

God gives us spiritual and physical gifts

Long for the discipline of the Lord

The purpose of the Christian (Romans 8:29) is to conform to the image of Christ





April 23 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 15

Workbook pg. 71 Lesson 9

Luke was author of Acts

Recap – previous Jewish people were requiring others to be circumcised to be in Christ

If I feel that God has done something great in my life, do I keep it quiet in humility or do I share it openly with others? That seems to be a fine line.

We should be open to sharing how God works in our lives

God purified their hearts by faith

Apostles worked with the Church in various cities to select some elders to stay and leaders to travel to various cities to address matters

Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement…Barnabas wanted John to accompany them on a trip…Paul didn’t want John to attend due to John abandoning them on a previous trip…good news is that Paul and Barnabas went separate ways on missionary journeys and covered more ground

Acts 16 – the apostles would sometimes receive instruction on where to travel from divine intervention via dreams and guidance from the Holy Spirit

Paul spoke to the spirit in the little girl and through the power of Christ cast it out…the handlers of the girl realized they lost their cash cow and lodged a complaint and Paul and his companions were put in jail…an earthquake came and shook open the jail and everyone stayed put…the jailer and all his family were baptized

Paul didn’t quietly leave jail; he mentioned that he was a Roman citizen

Acts chapter 17 pg 72-73 in workbook – Paul and Silas went to Berea…there were agitators whipping people up and Paul went separately to the coast and then to Athens while Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea

People were getting caught up in the unrest and forgetting about the peace

Paul while in Athens encountered philosophers who wanted to know more about these “strange teachings”…Paul noticed an altar with an inscription to an unknown god

“…God does not dwell in a temple made by man…and is not served by human hands as if He needed anything…”

“…in the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands the repentance of everyone…”

Chapter 18 – Paul went to Corinth…met Aquila who came from Italy. Claudius has ordered the Jews to leave Rome.

Paul met resistance from the synagogue so he next concentrated on the Gentiles…Paul stayed for a year and a half

The Jews agitated against Paul and the Jews took the complaint to the Roman magistrate who declined to hear their case

The Jews beat their own synagogue ruler

Workbook pg. 77 – God encourages us in various ways…could be by the hug of a believer

Gallio set the precedent of Judaism and Christianity being legal for about 15 years until Nero started persecuting the Christians



April 16 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

4 things that God wants from our hearts

Mark 12

To consider what is important to God is a timeless question

Matthew and Luke recount this similar incident…in Mark, the scribe genuinely seeks knowledge

Some people were interested in learning what Jesus had to teach; others wanted to hear themselves talk and ensnare Jesus

Jesus was often asked why his disciples broke with traditions, who gave Him authority, and other items like marriage and divorce

Those who are experts in their field are often bombarded with questions

Jesus would entertain the endless questions

“…always learning and never arriving at the knowledge of the truth…”

It all starts with the heart

We have been given a soul from God…He has put eternity into man’s heart

Keep your heart with due diligence

God wants an honest heart – from the honest heart begins the quest to seek God

Pharaoh’s’ heart was hardened first…God never makes us do something we don’t want to do for ourselves

God wants a seeking heart – the mind of the prudent acquires knowledge

John 7:17, Acts 17:11 “…examining Scriptures daily to find out if the words were true…”

Saul persecuted the Christians with a clear conscience but he didn’t yet have the knowledge of Christ

God wants an understanding heart

God wants an obedient heart – Romans 6:17 “…you became obedient from the heart…”

We need to be broken-hearted and contrite…see a need for God in our lives and others’ lives

How far are you from the Kingdom of God today?







April 16 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 15

Lesson 8 pg. 63 in workbook

Conflict resolution – the early Church has been in existence for 20 years

Acts 2: Jews are brought into relationship with Jesus

Acts 11: Gentiles are brought into relationship with Jesus

Judaizers: Jews that converted to “the Way” but still followed the laws and traditions of Moses and required Gentiles to do the same…especially requiring circumcision

Acts 15:1 – Paul and Barnabas went to various places to speak about circumcision…they would be fighting against rigid legalism…if they don’t address these issues now, then the Church could split

Sometimes in conflict resolution you find that one party is wrong…how do you validate what they say but also point out the error in their ways?

Matter of opinion versus matter of doctrine (refer to book, chapter and verse in the Bible)

Some Pharisees ordered the new Christians to keep the laws of Moses

Is it always bad when we are debating things?

Imagine that customs and values that generations of your family held are suddenly changed for a new set of customs and values

When Paul took Timothy on the various trips, Timothy was circumcised so that he could more easily enter the synagogues…not so with Titus

James lists some items to keep away from (related to old laws): food offered to idols, sexual immorality, eating meat from strangled animals and eating blood

How many laws do the Jews adhere to? 613.

It must have been difficult to deal with all the different peoples with different cultures and customs…now they are all mixing together in the Church

When in Athens, the apostles spent their time talking about things that are new

Paul will continue to have issues with Corinthians, Romans and Galatians in regards to Judaizers…no one will be made right by following the laws of Moses

As long as there are people, there will be people problems







April 9 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Nehemiah 4:6-10

Did you pray about the future of our Congregation (assignment from last week)?

We all have things to do in God’s kingdom…that’s why we study his Word

Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to the king

Nehemiah fasted and prayed three months…he realized that anything that will be done can only be done through God

Nehemiah was gone from the king’s service for 12 years

Susa is 840 miles from Jerusalem

The focus shifts to “…the trouble we are in…let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem…”

It’s not a one-man project

Nehemiah didn’t form a committee to find out who to blame…he sees what lies before him and says “we are going to rebuild the walls”…he showed what God had put on his heart

Anytime that God’s people do work for His Kingdom, you can be sure that people will stand in the way of that progress

“…the God of Heaven will give us success…”

God gets all the glory for the things we do in His name

There may be people that won’t work but the work will still get done

From the high priests to the temple servants, everyone works

There is no shortage of critics in this world

Sometimes half-way through a project, we look around and think the project is too big…we think about how our strength is failing and forget to look up

We think we have to come up with something big to be relevant to the 21st century

“…don’t be afraid, remember the Lord who is great and awesome…”

We can outlast our enemies…we are assured a victory if we are doing the work of the Kingdom

The disciples were told to wait for the Holy Spirit to arrive…then they listened to God to know where to do the work next

It takes leaders to guide us in the Work

Everyone has been given a talent that equips them for service to the Lord

When people feel like they are a part of the Body, then they are willing work…what is your part in this Congregation?

There is room for everyone to labor in the Kingdom…no one is excluded, from young to old

Please pray this coming week to find a way you can fit in

Romans 12:3 – “…think of yourself with sober judgement…we in Christ from one body…”

Are you playing a part in God’s kingdom? We are all members of the Body

Maybe we will travel to far-off countries, but more likely we will influence our local community

If your gift is to be a parent in your home, then do it

If your gift is to invite people in, then do it

If your gift is to cheer people up, then do it

Whatever is holding us back, let’s leave it behind us

We all have struggles but we can work through them







April 9 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 13 & 14…pg. 56 in workbook

Barnabas and Paul went to Cyprus via boat

The God-fearers – Gentiles that believed in the Jewish God

Acts 13:6 – met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet…Paul called the sorcerer a child of the devil…enemy of everything that is right…he was blinded for a time

Up until this time, we had seen miraculous signs of healings…in this case a miraculous sign was someone being afflicted

How do we know what God wants us to do? By studying the Word, having an open heart in prayer

Paul is a Roman name…Saul is a Hebrew name

Eastern Orthodox Church can be found today on Cyprus

There’s no hierarchy between us and the Lord (man-made structures in some churches)

Acts 13:13 – sailed to Perga…John left for Jerusalem…leaders of the synagogue invited the apostles to bring a word of encouragement

God used judges until the time of Samuel after which Israel had kings

These 10 verses are a good summary of the history of the Jewish people leading up to Jesus

A servant was the one who untied their master’s sandals…John is saying I’m not even worthy to be a servant

The Jews were jealous of the large crowds that gathered to hear Paul and Barnabas speak…Paul and Barnabas had to speak to Jews first, and having been rejected in a large part, they turned their Message to the Gentiles

Pg. 59 in workbook Paul urged his listeners to accept Jesus as their Messiah…we can all use some good news nowadays

We have the same Message that Paul had

Acts 14: Iconium…people of the city were divided…there was a plot to stone the apostles

By spreading the Good News, we are putting ourselves in danger of rejection…not too likely to get stoned

Lame man in Lystra was healed…Barnabas they called Zeus and Paul they called Hermes…they thought the Greek gods had come down to earth…Paul and Barnabas quickly dispelled this idea

Paul was stoned and left outside of the city

Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in various Churches

The apostles reported what God had done through them…do we let God do works through us?




April 2 2017 Morning Sermon – Matthew

Nehemiah 4

There have been many motivational books and speakers over the last few decades: Napoleon Hill…Stephen Covey…Dale Carnegie…

You rarely find the book of Nehemiah among the influential peoples’ libraries

The Old Testament was written for our instruction

God has given us work to do

Nehemiah lived about 130-150 years after Jerusalem was sacked by Nebuchadnezzar’s army…Nehemiah has never seen Jerusalem

Years earlier the foundation of a new temple had been laid but they lost steam along the way

Nehemiah isn’t ignorant or apathetic about the issues…he prays for guidance

Our strength won’t be found in ourselves, it will be found in God

We need to pray for our ability and for doors to be opened

Jesus was always praying

If we try things with God’s help and guidance, it will fail

“…O Lord let your ear be attentive to the words of your servant…”

The people that would work on the wall weren’t skilled masons or carpenters, they were common folk but were willing to work

God didn’t call the qualified, the qualified called on Him

A lot of the heavy-hitters in the Old Testament were shepherds

God will qualify all of us to do a great work

We don’t have to invent anything new…all that we need has already been written

Sometimes we think too big…think about one person at a time





April 2 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts (Tim)

Pg. 47 in workbook

Most people who claim to be religious really don’t know that the Church didn’t exist before the book of Acts

After Saul’s conversion, the first Gentiles became believers

Mark 16 “…you will handle deadly snakes…raise the dead…”

“These things were done to confirm that they were done in the name of God…”

Acts 10:1-8 – Cornelius – an angel tells him to call on a man named Peter

Cornelius would have commanded at least 100 soldiers…he and all his family had been known for their piety and generosity

He turned away from polytheism to become Jewish

We may never receive a vision like Cornelius but God will still work in our lives and He sees our good works

Cornelius would have been comfortable with giving and taking orders…he obeyed even though he didn’t fully understand

God gives us guidelines for living but we don’t often know what is going to happen next…the future is like unexposed film to us though God sees the developed film very clearly

Sometimes we aren’t sure if God hears our prayer

Two kinds of people in the world: In Christ and not in Christ

We are either building a wall or tearing one down (the wall of sin between God and us)

We judge by the outside appearance

Peter sees a vision…he objects to the items that were previously unclean and that doesn’t want to do what the vision requests…he sees the vision 3 times…he eventually learns that the topic isn’t about clean/unclean animals but something deeper (the Message applies to Jews and Gentiles)

God pairs seekers with those who can fill the need (Ethiopian and Philip)

The Churches at this time would have had sort of a hybrid Gospel…old-time Jews would have expected certain rules and customs to still be followed

If the Old Law was adequate, there would be no need to update or change it…but it was nailed to the Cross with Christ

A lot of Churches today have hybrid systems of worship

Most Jews at the time of the new Church objected to the “new way” of doing things

SEE (significant emotional event)

Acts 11:17 “…who was I to hinder God…”

Cornelius fell at Peter’s feet but Peter said “…get up for I am only a man myself…”

Jews looked at Gentiles with great prejudice

“…if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation…”

Repentance is the old passes away








March 26 2017 Morning sermon – Dane

Ya Can’t Just Sit There”

Story about the guy in the lawn chair with tons of helium balloons

Mark 2:1 – the people can’t get enough of Jesus

Jesus worked in and out of Capernaum

The men with the paralytic friend know enough about Jesus to bring their friend for some healing

“…Son, your sins are forgiven.” The paralytic man’s friends are hoping Jesus will say “you are healed”. For Jesus, the spiritual needs are more important than then physical needs.

The teachers of the law that were present criticized Jesus in their hearts for Jesus’ forgiving the man his sins

It’s important to take time every day to think of the blessings God has done for you (for this day alone even)

Those things you can’t do anything about, don’t worry about them

The paralytic’s friends have a sense of urgency

We seem to be more concerned about getting a checkbook right than getting our soul right

Country-club mentality: when I get to a certain point, then I will get involved

When you buy into the Kingdom of Heaven, you need to expect roadblocks…the paralytic’s friends think of a way to get the man into the presence of Jesus

Community is valuable – what the paralytic’s friends did together could not be done by one man alone

If you are a baptized believer, you are walking with others

Grab a corner and do something…we often sit around and say “…what we ought to do…”

The first thing we should start doing is praying…





March 26 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

When people are seeking, we don’t have to know all the facts, we need to be able to share our story

We know people who are good and Godly but they put no value on baptism

Saul is converted – won over

Conversion vans of the 1970s…the company would receive a stripped-down plain vanilla van from the factory and they would outfit it with all kinds of upgrades such as chrome wheels, overheard carpet, TVs, fancy seats

Workbook pg 39 – Acts doesn’t tell us much about Saul

Saul was sincere in his belief that he was protecting the Law against a person and a movement that he deemed was violating it

Does being sincere make you right?

“…I was a Hebrew of Hebrews…” Saul disrupted the lives of many believers

Philippians 3:4-8 Paul’s credentials and authority

Paul would have needed to have a total hatred for the followers of the Messiah…we don’t know if Paul himself killed anyone but he definitely approved of it

The greater Paul’s rage, the greater God’s grace

How can God’s grace reach out to criminals or drug addicts…or a stubborn relative?

Lee Strobel – people will not die for their faith if they believe it’s not true

One of Paul’s motivating energies was that he couldn’t believe he could have been so wrong in his actions

A man like Paul with so much drive and tenacity is an asset to God’s side…God uses even the worst of us for some unbelievable tasks

Could God have felt what it’s like to be human before Jesus came to earth? No. God can now empathize with us as we walk through life.

When God told Moses to go talk to pharaoh, Moses said “I’m not a good speaker”

Ananias has the same feelings as Moses…he’s not sure that Saul is really the guy to do the job

When things are going quite right, that’s when we reach out in prayer

Saul is not destined to be a “secret-service Christian”…Saul has always given 100% percent

The officials that Saul had the approval of would now be his enemies

Verse 19 – “…something like scales fell off of Saul’s eyes…”

Paul knew where the Jews would be so he went to the various locations to share the Good News

Acts 3:22 – “…they were cut to the heart…” The peoples’ hearts were broken because they realized they killed the Christ









March 19, 2017 Morning sermon – Jack

John 15:13

“The man next door”

Each of us will have 24 hours this day…how will you use it? Not how will you spend it, but how will you use it?

Time represents opportunity

Matthew 25:14-28 – parable of the talents

A coin represents relative value…our labor or service is worth a certain amount of coins

Our abilities given from God can be thought of talents (value)…

While the master in the story is gone, time is given to the servants to make use of their given talents for their master’s glory

A box of treasure’s value isn’t in the box but what’s inside of it

Luke 12:34-35 – “…sell what you have and give alms…for where you treasure is, there will your heart be also…”

Alms can be a meal for a street child in Ghana, a blanket to a hurricane victim in Burma, a cup of clean water to the thirsty in Cambodia, a hug to a sister, an ear to your brother, a kind word to the grieving

A meal to someone who is starving is a treasure…same with a cup of clean water to someone who is parched

Our God who is timeless loves us and prepared a plan from the beginning of time…a plan to redeem us from sin

Matthew 16:24-27 – “…whosoever shall save his life shall lose it…for what does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul…”

Romans 8:12-17 “…for ye have not received the spirit of bondage…joint heirs with Christ…”

God loves you and has loved you since the very beginning

Our treasure is our soul…treasured by God above all else



March 19, 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

Simon the sorcerer believed and was baptized and followed Phillip

The believers in Samaria had been baptized but not yet received Holy Spirit…Peter and John came from Jerusalem to pray over the new believers and the Holy Spirit was then bestowed on them

Simon wanted to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit

Acts 8:26 – Phillip and the Ethiopian…

Our old habits, lifestyles and prejudices have to be given up in order for us to follow God

Workbook page 36

Acts 8:36 – the official was reading Isaiah…the fact that this man was able to read and that he had a copy of the book was pretty amazing

If you have grown up in a Church, you have many years of someone explaining the Bible to you…does all that info stick with us? How about compared to info we are given when we are younger or older?

Even an older person who has read the Bible for years can come across passages they don’t think they’ve ever seen before

Think about your opportunity to share your faith with others…while most people might not know you, if they see a Bible in your hand, they may know more about you





March 12, 2017 Morning sermon – Mark

Be Happy – there’s no reason why a Christian shouldn’t be happy

Nowadays it seems that Christians are the unhappiest people around…why are we so miserable?

Christians seem to use social media to complain

Why are we shaming Jesus?

Why am I feeling this way? My knee hurts, my back hurts…usually caused by something we did

Galatians 6:7-10 – “…a man reaps what he sows…the one who sows to please the Spirit…will reap eternal life…”

We think that because God loves me, all the things in the past are done and over with…God forgives our sins and death no longer hangs over us but that doesn’t mean we don’t pay for the things we’ve done in our lives (consequences of things we did before we were saved)

James 1:2 – “…consider it pure joy…when you face trials of many kinds…testing of your faith breeds perseverance…”

If we ask ourselves “How am I going to do this”, notice that we include the word “I”…we make it about ourselves

Jesus asks us “why do you worry…the birds don’t store and they are taken care of”

1 Cor 10:13 – “…no temptation has seized you except what is common to man…”

There is always a way out of temptation…God has promised that in any situation, He will always provide a way out

Why are we upset when we go through trials? James said we will endure a lot

In school, we are tested so the teachers find out what we know

In Christ, we are tested so that we know what we can do because God needs to use us…we may not know what His plan is for us but we are tested to become ready

God doesn’t tempt, He tests

1 Peter 4:12-19 – “…do not be surprised at the trials you are experiencing…if you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed…”

Instead of looking at rough days as something to regret, you should view it as a blessing because you were found worthy of such suffering…the more you suffer, then more you can handle

If you do something wrong and you suffer, you are only getting what you deserve

Suffering is usually a bad thing…it can be a paradigm shift to view it as a blessing (God is looking to us to proceed through the suffering so that He can use us for His purpose)

Persecution of the Church does happen in this country…it isn’t will bullets like some countries

There’s only two types of people who die – those who have done God’s will and those who haven’t

God is preparing us to help someone else…God has a reason for why we are still here on earth

Christians are in a fishbowl…the way we handle hardship is visible to others

Sometimes we need a reminder that God is good and our life is good and we need to rejoice…maybe God is in front of us during trials trying to remind us to rejoice in Him

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be happy…we need to take stock of where we are



March 12, 2017 Morning Bible study – Jack – Acts 5 (pg 23 in workbook)

Maybe the books of Acts should be called “action”…the apostles and colleagues are men and women of action…traveling and teaching and healing, etc.

Acts isn’t just the Church’s beginning but the Church in motion

Everything in the Bible is put there for a purpose…a major reason is for encouragement

Apostle – those who were selected by Christ who witnessed His ministry and His death, burial and resurrection

1 Cor 15:1-4 – Gospel is God through Christ saves us all

Solomon’s porch/portico – this was a highly visible section of the temple

The early Church did not separate themselves from their Jewish community…they see Jesus as the fulfilment of the prophets of old

Are we told to leave the world? No, we are told to reach out to the world…how do we reach others if we cordon ourselves off from others…we can’t let out light shine

A time of persecution doesn’t seem like a good thing for the growth of the Church…but God uses the calamity for good (Joseph in slavery)

Christian discipleship should not be a casual decision (what socks to wear, what to eat for lunch)

We may not be persecuted in the same way, but we shouldn’t casually accept Christianity

If someone wants to be baptized, they need to know the depth and breadth of the commitment they are about to make

Page 25 – High priest at this time is Caiphas…usually the Sanhedrin picks the priests but at this time the Romans chose the leaders who were aligned with Rome

It must have been frustrating for the leaders because they thought they were rid of Jesus and now these fishermen are telling the crowds about this same Jesus

At this time, in order to be a rabbi, you had to memorize the first 5 books of the Old Testament and then they study at the feet of a rabbi until they are about 40 years old

The apostles didn’t subscribe to the hierarchy of the high priests apart from Jesus

Usually Jerusalem has about 50,000 residents but during festivals, it could be about 100,000 people and out-of-towners would have heard the apostles’ preaching

The high priest himself wouldn’t have been the one grabbing people off the street so he has his underlings do it

The apostles spend a night in jail and are freed during the night and being preaching again

Stand firm, hold your ground

The Commission to preach the Gospel has never been suspended due to hardship and persecution…the Holy Spirit is our guide through all the difficulties we may face

“We must obey God rather than men…”

Jesus is our advocate who sits at the right hand of God

Can we expect forgiveness?

Page 27 – God of our fathers – any Jew would know the story of Moses, Joseph, Abraham, etc.

Gamaliel – pg. 29






March 5, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

Jesus’s death on the surface is a sad story

If there was any good to be done, Jesus did it

How many times do we miss an opportunity to do good?

Pilate saw no guilt in Jesus and was ready to let Him go

Jesus didn’t want to suffer, but He endured anyway

Matthew 26:28 – “…this is My blood…that is poured out…”

Jesus knew that He had to fulfil His role

Animal sacrifices could never fully atone for us

1 Cor 6:9-11 “…the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God…and such were some of you…”

Idolatry – putting anything ahead of God

Isaiah 53:7 – “…he was oppressed and afflicted…yet he opened not his mouth…”

A lamb doesn’t know what what is coming…Jesus knew what was in store for Him

Romans 3:23 – “…all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…”

The wages of sin is death…it’s not a good profit

If we live all our lives striving to be better, we will still deserve death due to our sin

1 Peter 1:18-19 – “…ransomed with the precious blood of Christ…”

We have become slaves to sin

How should we respond to God’s gift?

1 Peter 3:21 – “…baptism…now saves you…as an appeal to God…”

Some people say baptism is a work but it is a work of God

What do we do after baptism? Jesus calls us to walk in His ways

1 John 2:5-6 – “…whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk the same way He walked…”

If we live a life of unrighteousness, we tell God “I don’t want your gift anymore”

If we understand why Jesus came and what He did, we ought to praise God

Revelation 5:12 – “…worthy is the Lamb who was slain…” The angels know that Jesus is worthy

Is our life a response to what Jesus has done for us? He provides us with grace and peace…Ephesians 1:3 – all spiritual blessings come from above

It is sad that Jesus had to endure His suffering but it’s the ultimate blessing for us



March 5, 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 3, workbook pg 15

Speaking in tongues means they were speaking in the native languages of the people present

Some people were amazed at this miracle and others said “they are drunk”

Peter’s healing miracle at the temple – lame man at least 40 years old

Peter tells the people that they did wrong and that it was done out of arrogance and then he told them about Jesus

“If you will repent, your sins will be wiped away…”

What’s wrong with my sins? I’m not worried about them.

Doing wrong is right for different reasons (we tell ourselves)

Acts 4 – great outline for starting to tell someone about Jesus

The people were astonished that “ordinary, unschooled men” were preaching to them

The Sanhedrin didn’t deny that there was a miracle but they focused on keeping this phenomenon from spreading…they commanded the disciples to not speak more about Jesus…the teachers of the Law couldn’t figure out how to punish the disciples

Peter and John went back to their people and gave a report of what had happened…

There were a lot of houses and pieces of land that were sold and the money was given to the apostles to distribute to the needy

Acts 5:1-11 Ananias & Saphhira – they sold property and kept some money and gave some money to the apostles but told them that he gave all of the money…”you have not lied to men but to God…”

The disciples weren’t interested in a following for themselves…they looked beyond the lame beggar’s immediate physical needs

When we look beyond the surface of others, we can see the deep needs

If someone needs $20, is it only that person that needs the help? We need help too. Can you help them to get the $20 themselves in the future?

Just because someone seems to have x, y and z doesn’t mean they don’t have problems

What do you have that you can offer someone on a regular basis? You have a lot more than you think you have to offer someone else. Hope, love, listening ear, Word of God…

Using wisdom to help someone…instead of giving them $20, you may offer to buy them a meal

We should give the Lord credit for the good works He does in us…we have to guard against pride…we have to remind ourselves that the Lord does all the good works in us

Let us encourage one another to do good in the Lord






February 26, 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew French

1 Cor 15:58 – Our Labor Is Not in Vain

Some Greeks didn’t believe in the Resurrection

786 times in ESV occurs “therefore”…what’s it there for?

People all over the world wonder what happens when they die

If the only thing we have hope in is what we have today, then we are missing out

Daniel 12/John 5 – resurrection of just and unjust

My beloved brothers – the members of the Church at this time were often feuding with one another over who has gifts and who contributes what

Every congregation of the Lord’s Body has issues…there is no such thing as the perfect congregation

How we treat our own brothers and sisters speaks volumes to those outside the Church

Paul gives 37-38 directives to the Thessalonians…instead of “one more thing I have to do” it can be something I can strive to be

Be steadfast (kind of like immovable in our faith…not quickly shaken)

When we think “I have grown enough in the Lord”, that’s when the devil attacks

The world calls to us with fun things to do…they can become habits that take us away from the things of God

If I’m not regularly attending Church, why not? It’s a heart issue.

What is the work of the Lord? It could be using your talent…being a greeter at the door, working on the bulletin. You need to look to do something that is a work of the Lord

Whatever our circle of influence is, that is our world…what’s your elevator speech?

Equipping the saints – encouraging one another

We often feel discouraged…we don’t know if what we are doing is making a difference. It would have been easy for Paul to express discouragement.

You can count the seeds in an apple but you can’t count the apples in a seed

Are we continuing on with the Lord?


February 26, 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

Matthew French

Acts it the outline of how the Church started and it’s a blueprint for how the Church can work today…we don’t have to reinvent the wheel

Luke wrote Acts to Theophilus

Greeks write history differently from how Jews write it…Jews write in groups of topics whereas Luke decides to write in a linear format

Acts is about the spread of the Gospel from the time Jesus ascended to Heaven to Paul’s imprisonment at Rome after two years (A.D 30-62) – Jesus was born 4 B.C not 0

Acts’ geographical settings is modern day Israel, Syria, Turkey, Italy, Egypt, Libya, eastern Europe et al

Luke had some first-hand knowledge of the activities at this time and then other instances he relied on others’ information

Learning pyramid

Lecture-Reading-Audio visual-Demonstration-Discussion Group

Acts is a bridge between the apostolic books and the epistles

First part of Acts chronicles Peter and later part of Acts chronicles Paul

Are people saved the same way today that they were saved in the first century?

The true purpose of Israel is that the blessings of the Church would flow out to the rest of the Earth; lots of people thought Israel would become a powerful kingdom in the literal sense

Are you a missionary in your own home? Your neighborhood? Your state/country? Other countries?

If we don’t take care of our own children, it can be tragic.

We aren’t all called to be polished speakers…we should all strive to be kind and care about others…people want to see a sermon not hear one

The people in Acts thought Jesus would return in their lifetime

Drawing lots to replace Judas – a white stone and a black stone or several stones…if you pulled out a certain color, you were “it”

Why did they leave this choice to a game of chance? This removed the hint of favoritism and left the choice up to God

Chapter 2 – Day of Pentecost

Holy Spirit descends and causes speaking in tongues (different languages then they originally spoke)

The apostles for the longest time believed that the Message wasn’t going to include the Gentiles

Those who heard words in their own language: Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Rome, Cretans and Arabians

Isaiah 11 – root of Jesse…God will recover the remnant of His people from the nations mentioned in Acts 2

Lion laying down with the lamb…Jesus’ Message is about peace

Our sword is the Word of God…it’s our only offensive weapon. We haven’t been told to go kill people in the Name of God

Restoration heritage (circa 1800s) – all penitent believers receive indwelling of Holy Spirit at baptism

Acts 2:14-21 Fulfillment of Joel 2








February 19, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

What’s the deal with God’s commands?

There’s a lot of them

They come from God

Different attitudes and approaches to these commands

1050 commands in the Old Testament

800 different commands in New Testament


Three main approaches to Scripture:

·       The commands are there but God will forgive me. Because of grace, I don’t have to follow the commands

Good: grace saves Eph 2:8

Wrong: View of obedience Matt 7:21

·       We should follow all of the commands perfectly and that’s all we should o

Good: views obedience seriously

Wrong: fails to understand grace

Wrong: Vain worship Matt 15:1-9, Matt 23:23

Sometimes we make a mess when we try too hard to keep the commands…we may forget to practice forgiveness when someone errs

Are we robots in worship?

·       Observing the commands as a means to an end

Grace saves

Obedience is necessary

Obedience is a response to salvation that helps us

Baptism isn’t something that we do, it’s a work that God does in us


Why should we have this view?

·       Our motivation

We are often motivated by fear


·       Prevents empty worship and apathy

·       Helps us grow closer to God



Why are the commands there?

·       They help us to know God (1 John 2:3-6, Deut 10:12-15)

·       They help us to achieve conversion (Eph 4:22)

·       They help us to express devotion to God (John 14:21)


The commands are ultimately there to help us keep from harm in some way or another

We learn through these commands that God cares for us

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”




February 19, 2017 Morning Bible study – Jack

Reminder: this book has three speakers: Bride, Groom & Bridesmaids

Song of Songs 6

Verse 4 – as majestic as troops with banners – this would have been a lovely sight for a king to see

Verse 6 – sheep in this part of the world would have been walking in dust day after day and they would look spectacular after being washed

Compliment versus flattery – flattery is insincere and often self-serving…the word sincere literally translated means “without wax”

In the old days, they would fix statues with wax to make it look better

Verse 13 – Shulammite – several possible meanings two of which are “peaceful one” or a pagan god of fertility

Chapter 7:1-9 – customs of this time were a bit different than today

How do these more modern quotes compare with Song of Songs:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

“Beauty is but skin deep”

“Beauty is the gift of God”

“Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together”

“Beauty as we feel it is sometimes indescribable…what it is or what it means can never be said…”

The writers of the Bible used imagery that was relevant to the time of the writing

Genesis 3:16 – as a result of eating the fruit, childbirth would be painful for the woman and her desire will be for her husband

The young woman in Song of Songs is confident in her beauty and virtue and she says “my future husband will desire me”

How would a man with 700 wives desire this new wife versus the others? Not sure but that was a different time and place.

At this time, you could kiss your brother in public but not your husband

We see people walking together but not engaged with each other

Older women are to teach the younger women on how to conduct themselves…they instruct the younger women to remain chaste until marriage

Love is as strong as death…if you truly have love, it conquers everything else

The Church is Jesus’ bride

Song of Songs 8:14 – similar words in Revelation

God calls us to respond to His invitation to love Him and run towards Him






February 12, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

1 John 3:16-17

Moving forward with visitation

We know love because of Christ’s love for us

We are called to be like Christ

Our Body is in need

Life is perilous…all need encouragement

The blessings of visitation are innumerable

God is calling us to be involved in each other’s lives

Matthew 10:5-7 Jesus sends out the 12 to start visitation

If we don’t know how to achieve our purpose (Love God’s Word, Live God’s Word, Spread God’s Word), we won’t move forward

We need to put our knowledge to action

We need to stop using y’all passages…somebody else is already doing the work so I don’t have to

What are you goals for personal visitation?

If you don’t have a plan to do something, you probably will never do it…you have to be committed to the work

Matthew 2:37 – “…love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul…and mind”

Achieving God’s design – His Church wasn’t designed to be just a social group but a cohesive unit that is closely knit together and is headed in the right direction helping each other along

Acts 2:24-47

If our Church works towards the Lord, we become a working hospital

People saw that the Church was involved in helping each other and their community and that drew them in

God has given us so many talents…some we may not know until we start to work using them

You have to let the Lord work in you in order to be more like Christ…it’s not a passive event.

We are all called to be involved in helping one another



February 12, 2017 Morning Bible study – Song of Solomon Chapter 1 & 2

Who was the author? Solomon…although recent studies are trying to dispute that

1 Kings 4:32 – Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs

“Song of Songs” in Hebrew would mean “the best of the best”; the pinnacle

This is the all-time best love letter in the world

Three characters in this book: bride, bride’s maid/maidens, groom

Solomon reigned from 970-930 BC

The bride is quite in love with her groom

Why did God preserve this book for us? God is never mentioned in this book. Is this book left for us as an example of true romantic love?

During the time of this book, not everyone lived in cities…a large segment of the population lived in tents and moved with their herds of livestock. The city-dwellers might work out in the country during the day and go back to their city at night for protection.

The bride was dark-skinned because she spent her days outside in the vineyard in the daily sun

The “fair” women had covered heads and it was a sign of status to have light skin…the servants did the outdoors work

The Kedar nomadic people made their tents out of darker colors…this color would make the tent remain cooler

The bride was a little self-conscious about being dark-skinned although she is confident in her beauty

Does the color of your skin dictate your beauty? It’s the beauty inside that radiates outward.

The horses of Pharaoh were highly respected and prized…they put earrings, necklaces and jewels on the horse and their harness.

“…perfume spread its fragrance…myrrh…” – perfume was quite costly back then

Verdant – means green in color or can signify something new and fresh

“Your eyes are doves…” – doves are gentle and cooing and beautiful.

Rose of Sharon hymn refers to Jesus. It’s a beautiful flower that’s quite common in the Middle East when properly tended

Apples don’t grow in this area…maybe it was an apricot or date? Maybe this author helps others relate to it?

Banner – the symbol that an army follows…the banner signifies who the people are underneath it. There were multiple banners used to broadcast what the steps of battle were (archers forward, cavalry forward, etc)

Left hand/right hand – a deep embrace showing affection…is this really happening at this time or is she imagining the future?

Gazing through the lattice – apparently the bride wasn’t living in a tent but instead a house…the groom is trying to catch a glimpse

Some people think the bride may be holding the groom at arm’s length until they are married…time to slow down and stay out of sight









February 5, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

Confess your sins to one another

This command is probably one of the hardest to do

Confess – to admit or acknowledge a fault

Nobody likes to admit that they messed up

Sin is lawlessness 1 John 3:4

Pray for one another

Confession of sins leads to healing

Confess with purpose – don’t do it for selfish purposes (pity, attention, having someone else deal with your problems)

Confess for healing…can be physical and spiritual healing

Our conscience is going to affect our faith

Matthew 5:22-24

Perhaps the person you wronged needs spiritual healing too

Confess to “one another”…this can be a wronged brother, the Church, or someone who can help

Repentance is a part of confession

Struggle – to make a sometimes violent effort to get free of an entanglement

When we confess our sins, we should do so without excuses…don’t worry about losing status or tarnishing our image

Listen with purpose – gossip is a great evil that ruins trust…be considerate and forgive

Listen prayerfully – Philippians 4:6-7…prayer restores

We should ask God to guard the heart of the confessor

Respond without judgement…people are afraid to confess because they’ve seen how other people have judged previous confessors

How can we judge someone who wants to make their life better?

If we don’t provide a safe place for someone to confess their sins, how is there going to be healing?

Confessing is restorative

Confessing builds bonds – Galatians 6:2 “bear one another’s burdens”

As we build bonds, we can help restore our brother








February 5, 2017 Morning Bible study – Ecclesiastes 9…pg. 89 in workbook

Difference between youth and age

It’s easy to think about the problems of the day and not the blessings of the day

Even a live dog is better than a dead lion

We should enjoy the days of our lives because they are numbered

How we live our lives matters…as long as there is life in us, there is hope

As long as we have breath, we need to live in the present

Cast your bread upon the water (the waves will bring it back)

How do we come to relationship with God such that we know what He wants us to be doing with our life? Read the Bible, fellowship with others. The Bible isn’t just a book of “do this, don’t do that” concepts

Chapter 11 – banish anxiety from your heart

We need God when things are good and when things are bad

To the one who pleases Him God gives wisdom

Enjoy your life because it is in the Lord

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth

Fear God and keep His Commandments for this is the whole duty of man




January 29, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

Encourage One Another

Life is hard

        Trials – finances, family troubles, natural disasters, death

Temptations – these can result from the trials we face…where is God in my suffering…the world is numb to sin


You can worry your trials such that it consumes your mind daily

The world redefines wrong things such that it makes them appear to be good

The devil is a lion…he has the ability to make the sinful look desirable

Tolerance is the buzz word of the day

We tell ourselves “I can sin because God will forgive me by His grace”…we use this as an excuse

Romans 6:15-17 – Paul talks about using grace as an excuse to sin

We are a slave to something…either a slave to sin or to righteousness

Proper encouragement helps us stand up to sin

We can be encouraging to others by being attentive to their lives…we need to be able to see changes in their mood and behavior and speech

We can encourage another person by going and sitting with them

We can encourage with our words and bits of God’s Word…we will have a greater impact with His Knowledge than with whatever we can think of to say

God’s Word is more than just a book of rules…it’s a book of knowledge and comfort

We need to leave our comfort zone

Praying with someone can have an amazing impact

Satan is powerful…he has the ability to make sin look like it’s the right thing to do…we need to desire the things of God

Our goal shouldn’t be “I’ll do what I have to do to get to heaven”, it should be “what can we do together to all get to heaven”







January 29 2017 Morning Bible study Ecclesiastes 6-8

Solomon couldn’t fully understand God’s work in this world…neither can we

God to Job: Were you there when I created the water?

Which is better to have: money or a glad heart?

Matthew 6:34

No matter what your situation, put your trust in God’s hands

“Lord I don’t want to think about this anymore…I can’t do anything about it”

Your problem as you would like it to be solved may not be the result God brings about…but at least you know that God loves you and is paying attention to the situation

Is the Bible a heavy/deep book?

The end of a matter is better than its beginning

Anger resides in the lap of fools

Do not say “why where the old days better than these current days” for that is not wise

The wisdom preserves the life of the possessor

If people say nice things about you when you are dead, why wouldn’t you say the nice things to them while they are alive?

There’s always going to be something about you that someone else doesn’t like…but that shouldn’t keep you from being nice to others

We learn more from those in life who are hurting than those who spend their lives seeking pleasure

Were the “good ol’ days” really all that good?

Even wise people can never discover the full meaning of life





January 22 2017 Morning Bible study

Ecclesiastes was meant to be read aloud to groups

Without God in his life, a man will not find joy in his daily routine

Ecclesiastes 3 – a time for everything

Man has no advantage over the animals…all come from dust and to dust all return

Our responsibility is to figure out what activities are appropriate for certain seasons

In Hebrew, two opposites mentioned together symbolized totality

Is there ever a time to feel sorry for yourself?

We as Christians are striving to show love to the world while the world shows hate

Page 76 in workbook…2nd part of the burden on man is our eternity

We do not live only by our instincts like the animals do

How can one find satisfaction in one’s daily work? Be thankful for the opportunity to do meaningful work

You can focus on the positives or negatives in this life

Eccl 4 – “…I saw the tears of the oppressed and there was no comforter…”…those already dead are happier than those who are still alive…”…man envious of his neighbor…

For whom am I toiling?

Eccl 5 – stand in awe of God…guard your steps when you near the House of God…do not be quick your mouth or hasty with your heart…let your words be few…speech of the fool has many words…it is better not to vow than to make a vow and not keep it

The king himself profits from the fields

As goods increase, so do they that consume them

The sleep of the laborer is sweet

If you can remind yourself that I am doing my best for God, then whatever you are working on will benefit

Every opportunity is a teaching opportunity

Page 80 – Solomon told the tale about a miser who hoarded his goods and caused warped character and he lost everything…all the miser really gained was sadness and frustration

If we let the Lord work in our lives, we can live glad lives




January 15 2017 Morning sermon – Bob

Asking honest questions

What is our worst enemy? Cancer? Sin.

Sin wreaks more havoc than any other enemy we can think of, but we often rationalize it away.

Who is the true seeker? What does it mean to find God?

A growing viewpoint is that everyone is a seeker. They spend their whole lives looking for purpose.

Since people are seeking God in their own way, they are finding God in their own way.

Have you ever needed something but didn’t know what it was?

Have you searched for something and didn’t know where or how to look?

Matthew 7:13-14

We live in a multiple-choice culture…it has even found its way into religion

The limitations on us have a Godly reason behind them

The wide gate has no limitation on the baggage you can carry in…your selfishness, pride, sin

The narrow gate has limits and God decides what you can bring in…to travel this road, you have to leave everything behind (greed, bitterness…)

If you choose the wide road, you aren’t going to like where it ends up

There are two types of traveling companions: most people won’t give their life’s path a second thought…a smaller number of people give careful thought to the whole journey

Do all people search for God? No…most people stumble through life

Are all religious people searching for God? The devil likes to get these people to doubt themselves and other believers (Matthew 7:15-20)

What do you see growing in other peoples’ lives?

Are all Christian people searching for God? (Matthew 7:21)

When a person is born into a family, they wear the family name. That person can bring shame or pride to the family name.

Someone else can choose my name or nationality but I can choose Christ

People may call Jesus Lord but they don’t make Him their Lord

Why do I follow Christ? Is it faith or fear…love or duty?

Do all active Christians search for God? (Matthew 7:22-23)

A handshake can be extended but there’s not real warmth behind it

In matters of faith, Jesus wants a depth of sincerity

In our world, we don’t usually require sincerity; we are ok with going through the motions except when it comes to money. In matters of money, we require the utmost of sincerity.

What is it that God really wants? Does He want words and deeds? Sure.

We can offer these things to God and still miss out…He wants a relationship with us.

God didn’t need Paul and Apollos to work on planting Churches, He wanted to build a relationship between them and Him

Jesus pointed out that it’s not about activity, it’s about relationship

Matthew 7:24-27

It takes time to know Jesus…no shortcuts. It’s more than hearing God’s Word…it’s more than doing the things the Word says…it’s knowing Him

Matthew 7:28-29 – the people listened and were amazed…we aren’t told if anybody changed their life

The deception of sin is that we hearing a message about how to change our life but we don’t act on it

What if a cure for cancer was found but it was ignored? How irrational is that?




January 15 2017 Morning Bible Study – Bob

It shouldn’t surprise us that we have 4 different accounts of the Gospel.

Matthew, Mark and Luke were written about the same time.

John wrote decades later to a much different audience (many who didn’t eyewitness the written-about events).

We tend to see Jesus in our own image or as a larger version of ourselves…anthropomorphism (giving human characteristics to non-human beings like an object, animal or God).

How many paintings have we seen with various depictions of Jesus? It depends on who makes the paintings (i.e. European artist, Jamaican artist, North African artist…)

Everyone looks at Jesus as some version of themselves…in a way that’s an honor to Jesus because we want to identify with Him

Do you have a mental picture of Jesus? Has that picture changed over the course of your life?

We see Jesus most clearly in His relationships (i.e. John the Baptist, Teachers of the Law)…we learn about His:

·       Priorities

·       Struggles

·       Dreams

·       Leadership

·       Vision

·       Emotions


Malachi prophesied about a coming Messiah…then there were no new messages for about 400 years. Then a new prophet starts talking about Jesus (John)

John’s message – no abstract ideas, no complex laws

If God is truly personal, then the logical next step is for God to become human incarnate

John prepared the way for Jesus by telling people the bad news about their sins and the need for repentance

How can facing bad news prepare us for good news?

Why would God tell me I need to change if I couldn’t change?

Has our “Gospel” been about Jesus or something else?

We may be busy talking about how to respond to Jesus but that isn’t exactly about Jesus

Mark is an abbreviated Gospel; Matthew expounds on it a bit

Why is John confused by Jesus’ request to be baptized? He knows other people get baptized to redeem their souls by surely Jesus didn’t need to do the same…

Jesus was baptized for the forgiveness of sins but not His…He was making a decision to go down the road towards the Cross. This was the first step to giving all mankind the righteousness they needed

Jesus didn’t tell us that we have a problem with sin, He got down on our level and worked with us

·       Decision – Jesus decided to be baptized

·       Affirmation – Voice from heaven showed approval

·       Attack – Satan sees an enemy and starts to work against Him

How is my baptism my re-enactment of the Cross of Jesus?

We should always be growing in our knowledge of our Lord

If someone who is baptized at 12 thinks when they are 22 that they need to be re-baptized, you are asking your 12-year old self to have 22-year old maturity…all you can give God when you are baptized at 12 years old is your 12-year old self

None of us can point to others and tell them that they should be further along in their spiritual journey






January 8 2017 Morning worship sermon – Si

Does God have a specific purpose for my life? Yes and no.

Is there something specific God wants me to do?

God wants us to be His children.

Does God want me to open an auto body shop or drill oil wells or a teacher?

It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we do it in the name of Jesus

“…whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of Lord Jesus…”

The children of Israel did have a specific task that God wanted them to accomplish but they didn’t really understand what it was. They thought that their task was to rule the world by the Messiah who would sit on the throne in their country.

God shows us the things He has planned for the world…He worked through a broken people who struggled and suffered to bring redemption

About 70 Israelites moved to Egypt under Joseph and prospered for many years until Joseph died…the Israelites prospered and multiplied and Pharaoh got scared about being overtaken by these people and their coming Savior

The Israelites kept remembering and forgetting about their God…even when they returned to their own land, they were still in exile…God sent many nations to punish Israel

We are under the thumb of our own selfish sins

A man comes using a sword not of metal but of words…the people thought He would be the mighty ruler to vanquish the enemies of Israel…then He was crucified

On the road to Emmaus, Mary and Cloepus were downtrodden at the news of Jesus crucified…Jesus had to instruct the people that it was necessary for the Son of Man to be crucified

Jesus referred back to the foreshadowing of His coming in the Scriptures

The Israelites were looking for a specific sort of Messiah

Jesus spoke of a great victory but it wasn’t the kind of victory the people were expecting

We hate death…it’s not something we look forward to.

Without death, there would be no life. We pray all the time to heal the sick but if God answered ever prayer like that the earth would be too full

There are times when death is a welcome event

Mary and Cloepus asked Jesus to stay with them that night…during dinner their eyes were opened as to His identity and then He was taken from their sight…their eyes were opened to His glory

An old custom was to seal a covenant with a meal

We are made closer to one another and Jesus during our Communion

All of the bad things that happen to us in life can be offered up to Jesus because we know the One who makes all of our lives better

Most of our sufferings we bring on ourselves

The Savior did not refuse to suffer





January 8 2017 Morning study time – Si

In 1987, the TC congregation started a project to drill 3 water wells in Ghana. Si brought back video of some villages and people in Ghana and the TC Church mailed out cassette tapes to 1000 congregations in the US to solicit $20,000.

In 2 months, the project had amassed $85,000

World Vision International agreed to drill 15 producing wells for the $85000.

Larry Morris and Flo Mata were in the well drilling business, and they considered a 10-year program (starting in 1987) where we would buy drilling equipment and hire a crew to drill the wells. This project is still running today.

We started a Ghana newsletter to send to all sorts of congregations in the US to inform them of the progress of the well project and ask for help

We started working with local evangelists; we bought a house for Isaac Kpapko…he later went with a medical mission to South Sudan

Sudan had been in a 25-year war between north (Arabs) and south (black Africans)

West Searcy Church has been sponsoring some work in South Sudan…Isaac had to be pulled out of the field due to heavy fighting

Near Yendi, the project built a water tower with multiple faucet stations

If we win Mom and Dad we can reach the children

Samson Laar has been a blessing; he can speak 9 languages

We try to provide a motorcycle for all of the evangelists we work with

The local people are stopping the evangelists on the road to request that we preach to them and help their children get better water

We as a congregation have been part of reaching tens of  thousands of souls…we have millions to go



Since we started the project:

1000 wells dug

2500 refurbished wells

1100 congregations established

40,000 baptized


Current need is $5000 towards a utility truck






January 1 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

What is forgiveness?

We bring up the past to tell other people that they are in our debt for some wrong

Our main resolution for the New Year should be to forgive others

Forgiveness means “to give favor or grace”…it’s not something that the other person earns by doing or not doing things

The Greek definition indicates forgiveness also means “to pull from peril or pardon for wrongdoing”

A great example of forgiveness is Jesus

Ephesians 1:7 – we sinned and we don’t deserve forgiveness

Forgiveness is Christ’s gift to give

How should we forgive? Matthew 18:21-22 – Seventy times seven

This wasn’t a unit of measure but an idea of letting go of the grudges

Parable of the unforgiving servant – the man owed 10K talents, which would have been about 200,000 years of wages for a regular laborer

1 John 1:9 – Forgive like Christ does

Doesn’t hold grudges

Think forward, not backward…we dwell on the past so much that we don’t look forward

Forgiveness is about continuous love and unity with our brethren

What will you do in 2017?



January 1 2017 Morning Bible study – Ecclesiastes

Why did the teacher call everything meaningless?

Why do we search for more meaning in our lives than just physical survival?

It’s possible that the teacher didn’t consider his own life meaningless but he may have observed other people who rejected God in their own lives and wandered through life aimlessly…people guided by their desire to further their own profit

Matthew 16:25-26

Often during our prayers, we gloss over the thanksgiving part and get right to our laundry list of things we want done

Definition of faith: being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we have not seen

Difference between wisdom and faith: You can study as much as you want, but sooner or later you have to accept that there is a God and live your life accordingly

“I said in my heart…” – it seems Solomon was balancing the thoughts in his head and the emotions of the heart

Love comes from the heart…we don’t say “I will love somebody”

Don’t give up on love


December 25 2016 Morning Bible sermon – Zack

Love One Another As I Have Loved You

By loving Jesus, we can learn how to love one another

His coming to Earth says He loves us

Jesus didn’t have to come (He realized He needed to come)

Do we honor Jesus’ example by helping others in need?

Jesus didn’t just come to die, He ministered to the lost and needy

Instead of trying to adhere to all of the commandments, we should say “I want to be more like Jesus”

We have freedom of choice in this life…what is the right way to live? How can I get the most out of my life?

Jesus continues to minister to us even now

Jesus sacrificed His life – the most significant way He showed His love for us

If Jesus can love us who rejected Him and His Father, then we can certainly love one another



December 25 2016 Morning Bible study – finishing up study of Job

Job – Hebrew meaning “persecuted one”

Job – Arabic meaning “penitent one”

Does God test Job to prove Satan wrong?

Job tells God that everything God has given him has been used to serve Him but still Job is being persecuted…why?

God asked Job if he was content to condemn the Almighty…Job had called into question God’s integrity for making him suffer for no apparent reason

God asked Job if he was up to the task to question the Almighty

If Job was so mighty, he could have avoided the whole tribulation process

Job still knew nothing of Satan and God’s conversation regarding him…except he knows now that Job would be kept close to God’s heart

God ordered Job to listen

Often we can focus too much on rebutting what the other person says that we don’t actually listen to and process what they say to us

If you reach a point where you are happy with yourself in your knowledge of God, brace yourself…a humbling experience(s) may be coming your way

Job may have intended to take back the defiant statements he made to his friends

Job repented in sackcloth and ashes…you can’t be any sorrier than when you repent in this way

Job didn’t think he was perfect but he’s pretty sure he’s not guilty of all the many sins that his friends accused him of

We need to stop doing things to have to be sorry for

God expressed His anger at Job’s three companions…they may have assumed they were speaking on God’s behalf against Job

Job received exactly twice as much stuff after his tribulation than he had lost (sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, 7 new sons, 3 new daughters)…Job gave inheritance to his daughters as well as the sons which was unusual in that day

Job and his friends were half right and half wrong…Job’s friends were wrong to assume that Job’s sin caused his calamity and Job was wrong to question God’s justice

Job prayed on his friends’ behalf for their forgiveness

God is sovereign regardless of the fate of the righteous and the wicked

Job proved that a person can love God simply because He is God










December 11 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Receive One Another-Romans 15:7

What is God trying to tell us?

Greek – receive/accept/welcome…an aggressive, strong personal interest

Prodigal son

Who must we receive?

·       Our brothers with different opinions on life and traditions and how to raise children and etc

                Romans 14:3

                We shouldn’t allow our differing views to keep us apart

·       Our sick

John 8:2-3, John 11:1-44

Instead of “speaking” the leprosy away, Jesus touches the man to heal him

When Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, what did He do? He left what He was doing and He went to see him

We should ask what we can do to help

·       Our drifters – help those who have wandered from the faith

James 5:19-20

Often times people in these groups aren’t made to feel very welcome


Why should we receive on another?

·       Romans 15:7 – “as Christ received you”

·       How has Christ received us? When we were received by Christ, we were blind and in some ways we still are

·       God should look at us as vile creatures but instead He receives us


How good are we at receiving one another?



December 11 2016 Morning Bible Study

Job 32

When you go through struggles in life, you want to rely on your friends

Job had hoped his friends would build him up instead of tear him down

Job didn’t know the end of his story

Job’s friends were focused on his sin instead of trying to comfort him during his time of loss

We need to approach people with a sense of understanding

Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? “…the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…”

Job calculated that he had done nothing wrong and he intended to please his case before God. He wanted to point out that he didn’t deserve the calamity that had befallen him

Elihu started questioning Job since the other three friends had given up on convincing Job. Elihu was angry that Job had justified himself.

“…man may be chastened…can anyone who hates justice govern?...

Do younger people have wisdom that older people can learn from?

It takes a little bit of wisdom to know you don’t know anything

Two kinds of learning – learning on your own and learning as an industry (shared knowledge) (if you go with the 2nd one you save a lot of effort)

Job 35 – “…do you think this is just...to say ‘I will be cleared by God’…if you sin, how does it affect God…your wickedness effects only you…”






November 27 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

His Sacrifice and Our Blessings - Isaiah 53:5

Do you ever feel like life isn’t fair?

When we were kids, we were quick to yell “that isn’t fair!”

Do we get upset when we don’t get our way?

Jesus is God’s perfect gift to us

If we look at what Jesus endured while He was on earth, His life wasn’t fair

We have a tradeoff in Jesus’ sacrifice…He suffered so that we can have salvation

Focus: To learn humility and gratitude from the Gospel


He was crushed for our iniquities

1.    Jesus is our sacrificial lamb – Hebrews 9:12 – in the Old Testament, the Jews had to continually sacrifice animals to atone for their sins

2.    Jesus knew what was going to happen and He went anyway

Luke 18:31-33 – Jesus prophesied His own death

Matt 26:28 – when Jesus poured the cup at the Last Supper, He said “this is My blood of the New Covenant”

3.    The price was different than the result


He was chastised to bring us peace

1.    We may deserve chastisement when we have done wrong, but Jesus received unjust chastisement. Mark 14:62-65 – chief priests thought Jesus was a fraud and deserved punishment

2.    We were the guilty ones…instead of receiving punishment, we received peace. God and sin can’t be near each other.

Romans 5:1 – “…we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord…”




He was wounded to bring us healing

1.    Our sin has wounded us – sin is evil and it changes the condition of our soul. We need healing

2.    Jesus is our physician – Jeremiah 8:32 “…where is the balm of Gilead?” Jesus fits the bill.

His wounds make our wounds disappear


Life may not be fair, but forgiveness, peace and healing are things we don’t deserve

There should not be one day that passes without us praising God

Our gratitude towards God should push us along through life





November 27 2016 Morning Bible study – Job 15-21

Pg 23 in workbook

“…miserable comforters are you all…I could speak like you if I were in your place…yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved…only a few years pass until I go on the journey of no return”

Were Job’s friends praying for him?

“…those whom I love have turned against me…have pity on me, my friends…for the hand of God has struck me…”


5 Sufferings of Job:

·       Loss of servants

·       Loss of children

·       Physical suffering

·       Foolishness of wife

·       Torment of his friends


After Bildad’s speech, that was the last straw…he felt attacked.

Words can be damaging in a counseling context…especially if the person is suffering

How can I be more sensitive to my words I use towards someone especially if that person is in the wrong?

Is it ever wrong to be kind to people?


“…where now is the great man’s house? …how can you console me with your nonsense?”

In this world, the evil prosper. God sees all and someday the evil will be held to account



November 20 2016 Morning sermon – Dane

“Some things just don’t change” – Mark 12

The older we get, the less we like change

Our economy changes, technology changes,

Our challenge as Christ’s Church is how to communicate the unchanging Word to a changing world

In some cases, our resistance to change can delay the benefits that change can bring

Mark 12 – Jewish leaders are trying to trap Jesus…Pharisees try to get Him on legal grounds with the Romans. The Sadducees try and trick Him with questions about the Resurrection which they don’t even believe in

God gave Moses rules to live by and they morphed into traditions over the years which were then interpreted as laws…one such “law” was the idea that a woman whose husband dies will marry the deceased husband’s brother…Jesus said there is no giving and taking in marriage in Heaven

Rich young ruler asks how to be right with God…he’s confused by all of the information and expectations and noise…he needs to have a manageable path to follow

Of all the commands, which is the most important? Jesus answered “…Love the Lord with all your soul and strength and mind…and love your neighbor as yourself”

God wants your thoughts to be focused on Him throughout your day




November 20 2016 Morning Bible study – Job 4-14

Pg 15 in the workbook

According to one of Job’s friends, only the evil suffer

Can a man be more righteous than his Maker?

Eliphaz tells Job he needs to confess his sins to God

Chapter 6 – Job was hurt and angry…what had he had done that anybody hasn’t also done?

Chapter 8 Bildad –

Job said God is so powerful that no one should approach Him…Job figures he may have to plead for mercy and wished he had a mediator?…Job foreshadows the coming Arbitrator?

Chapter 10: “…I loathe my very life…I wish I had died before birth…”

“…He makes fools of judges…”

Chapter 11 Zophar

Job is pointing out to his friends that they shouldn’t be quick to judge him





November 13 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Christ but not The Church?

Lots of people identify themselves as Christians but aren’t affiliated with any congregation

Some people feel like they don’t have time to commit to a Church

A lot of people don’t like Church because they feel like it’s filled with hypocrites

Gandhi said “I like your Christ but I don’t like your Christians”

I make mistakes and in that way I am not like Christ but I should strive each day to be better

Is God fine with us choosing Jesus but not choosing His Church?

What is the Church? It’s not something you go to or an event that happens once or twice a week. It’s not a building.

The Church and Christ are inseparable

Names of the Church in Scripture:

1.    The Body of Christ Rom 12:4, 1 Cor 12:27, Col 1:18, Eph 1:22-23

A human body

Matt 16:18 – Christ has authority and ownership

The Church belongs to Christ…to reject the Church means rejecting the body of Christ

Eph 4:15-16 – Paul encourages us to get engaged in God’s Church

If we aren’t working properly, we are hindering the Church

2.    The Saved (Greek word ekklesia…assembly, the gathered)

Acts 2:40-47

God adds you to His Church

Two things happen at baptism (salvation for you and membership in a community of other saved ones)

Two relationships begin (Christ and His people)

3.    The Family of God

John 1:12-13

We are adopted children

As a family, we are supposed to be there for one another

Consider the “one another passages”

God designed His Church to work together

Has God added you to His Church?






November 13 2016 Morning Bible study – Job

Who was the author of Job? Ultimately God.

When was Job written? Around 970 B.C.

In the Old Testament, the Jews didn’t call Satan by that name, they called him “the adversary”

Job made no attempt to mask his grief at losing his children

We are not grieve as those who have no hope

Job 2

Life isn’t just about bad things happening to good people, it’s also about good things happening to bad people.

Job cursed the day of his birth…he thought death would be a relief after a life of struggle

“…I have no peace…only turmoil…”





November 6 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Loving Our Enemies

We have to look at Christ to know how to respond to those who hurt us

Goal of terrorism is to inspire fear

ISIS has killed more Muslims than they have killed infidels

ISIS utilizes propaganda

ISIS’ military is small in comparison to other governmental militaries

Luke 6:35

Matthew 5:43-45 (Sermon on the Mount)

God sends rain on the just and unjust

Do we have any hate in our heart for our enemies?

Matthew 6:15 – if you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you

Hate is ungodly



November 6 2016 Morning Bible study

Last part of Ephesians (Chapter 5 & 6)

Live a life of love as an offering to God

There must be no hint of immorality

Make the most of every opportunity

We have a difficult time with submitting ourselves to a Higher Power and each other…in the measure that we can submit to each other, that is an indicator on how we submit to God

We need to submit to each other in reverence to Christ

Our selfish and sinful nature makes it pretty hard for us to submit

Honor your father and mother and fathers don’t provoke your children

We should serve whole-heartedly those who are in authority because our Master is always watching…this will allow us to succeed in this life and the next life

Do we have enthusiasm in your job?

We need to wear our full armor of God to have a hope of fighting against the devil






October 30 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Tolerance or Godly Love?

How do we handle living with people with different views?

Is the country more divided now that it ever was before?

Things are being accepted today that were never thought of before

When there is division and hate, the world says the way to solve it is with love and acceptance

When someone doesn’t agree with you, they might believe that the best way to show love is to practice tolerance

The world’s definition of tolerance:

Love = acceptance/belonging

Feeling accepted is the goal (not necessarily actually being accepted)

Biblical love is different than the love of movies and songs

        Love = God

        Accepting people regardless of their sin

        Jesus is the Answer

Love accepts the sinner, not the sin

        Mark 2:15-17

        The sinners needed a physician

        Jesus cared for the sinners’ souls

How do we respond to those who are living in sin?

Love perseveres for the “hopeless” cases

Luke 6:32-36 – “…do good expecting nothing in return…”

Christians and hate? We are supposed to love our enemies.

There are people who are radically against us…should we have them for that?

God is kind even to the evil and ungrateful

It’s easy for us to think “God doesn’t care about those evil people because they are too far gone

Love encourages repentance

        John 8:2-11

Will we be like the Pharisees who believe the world would be better without those sinners

Will we be tolerant?

Will we be like Christ?

We need to stand up for the sinner and lead them like Christ would

We need to love one another even if it is our natural instinct to not love them

Real love has a person’s soul in mind

D.T. Niles – “Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find some food”







October 30 2016 Morning Bible study

Ephesians 4:25-5:20

We are supposed to put off our old self

How many times can I start over again and be a better person? Every day.

Does “let your ‘yes be yes’ and your ‘no be no’” mean you should tell someone exactly how you feel?

We usually know the right answer but we don’t always take the right action

Don’t let the devil get a foothold…we don’t normally think “the devil made me do it” while we are in the middle of doing something wrong

When we are busy holding grudges, we aren’t letting the Holy Spirit work in us

We are the light in the world…we are supposed to be an example of God…it’s easier to be the dark of the world

The Moon has no way to generate light; it is only a reflection of the sun…likewise we are a reflection of our Son

What is gossip? Unwholesome talk, damaging speech, any talk that doesn’t build a person up

The Bible says we need to build up another…before we correct someone, we need to have a relationship with someone

God sees us behave well and behave badly

Don’t forget about God because He never forgets about you

Paul told the Ephesians to find out what pleases the Lord and follow that Will

We should expose sins for what they are: disobedience to God





October 23 2016 Morning sermon – Brad

The most difficult passage for the modern world to believe

Matthew 6:33 – part of the Sermon on the Mount…the gist is the worries of the world choked out the good seed and it didn’t bear fruit

If you lose your soul, how can you get it back?

Eph 1:3 Everything that God made is ours who are in Christ

Our soul is so important that God sent his Son to redeem it

Blessed are they that is poor in spirit (blessed would be those who have everything they need)

We think that if we had more money or authority or youth then things would be so much better

Follow the Word of God and let everything else sort itself out

We think that if we obey God’s Word, we will miss out on all kinds of good things

When Jesus talked to the right young ruler, He must have had Heaven in mind. The ruler was focused on his earthly gains and couldn’t see the long game

Sometimes we don’t know what to pray but we should remember that God’s way is best





October 23 2016 Morning Bible study – Ephesians 4

Now there are no differences between Jews and Gentiles

When we are younger, we seem to have an easier time having and sharing our joy in being in Jesus

Speaking the truth in love

Paul is talking about how the lives of the Jews and the Gentiles has changed and how those who haven’t accepted Christ haven’t seen any change in their lives

Forbearance – coexisting with others and their faults

Some people are always gentle and humble, some people do what they should 20% of the time

Which is the harder virtue for you? Patience?

Common sense isn’t always common practice

In Paul’s day, the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians often didn’t understand each other

Unity is something we have to work at

We should also be peacemakers with our brethren

We as a Church should all be prepared to serve in ministry, not just the leaders of the Church

How is what I am doing today helping to prepare God’s people for service?

If we approach each other humbly, we can disagree in love

When we are in unity, the whole Church can function better

Is what I say to a brother or sister today going to prepare them for future service in Christ or will it encourage them to never want to be in service to Christ again?

After you accepted Christ, was your goal to continue living your life exactly as you did before?

Will you take the time to talk about love with someone today?





October 16 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Philippians 4:8

How does Jesus mold us in His image?

We won’t become like Christ overnight

We have been supplied with His Word and His Example

How well do we keep up with studying our Bible?

Philippians 2:13: God works in you

Ephesians 2:10 – we are His workmanship

2 Cor 3:18 – transformed, from one degree to another

Paul’s example: he persecuted Jesus and His followers and was turned around as an agent for Jesus

God molds us into Christ’s image by answered prayers

When we pray, do we think “well, I hope this happens but not too sure” or do we faith that it will happen?

Jesus believed in prayer:

        Matt 21:22, Mark 11:24, Luke 11:9, John 15:77

The apostles believed – Acts 4:29-31

By submitting to Him, we can be molded in His image

        Ephesians 2:10

        Galatians 2:20

Are we putting up a barrier to Christ by saying “I want to be only this much like Christ”?

Christ needs people who are full equipped and ready to face the trials and evils of this world

Once we fully submit to God, He can begin to do the work






October 16 2016 Bible study

Ephesians 3

The Gentiles weren’t expecting Jesus; they felt they had no route to God because it was always known that the Jews were the chosen people

Imagine if you think about how much somebody loves you all day

Galatians 3:28 – we are all one in Christ Jesus

Col 3:11, Romans 10:2 – the gist is that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile in God’s eyes

Was Paul prideful in his activities?

The Church is meant to be a mirror into which the angels can look and see evidence of God’s wisdom

Eph 3:16 3 petitions in prayer: strengthen Ephesians spiritually, let the believers understand the love of Christ, and hope that the readers be filled with God

God’s ability to meet the needs of His people greatly exceeds anything that people might pray to Him for





October 9 2016 Morning sermon – Zack “The Whole Jesus”