Posts from September 2020

Peak of the Week: Train Yourself – Godly Dependency

Train Yourself The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength” 2 Timothy 4:17 We now come to a great paradox in understanding the will of God. We are to train ourselves but not focus on ourselves. We are to train to be strong but rely on God to strengthen us. We are to train ourselves to be courageous and take a stand but do so in total surrender and humility to God’s will. This training of self is…

3 choices Christians need to make

I have often said to my eldest son as we discussed serious issues that life is a series of choices. Where you will live? Who will be your friends, marry? How you will react to what happens to you? What you will do with your time, talent and energy? When you look back at your life you can usually see the line it took by plotting out the choices you made along the way. Christian life is like this as…

Hebrews: The Glorious Jesus – Greater than Moses

Mike begins to develop the Hebrew writer’s next argument for Christianity’s superiority over Judaism – Jesus’ greater authority than Moses. This epistle was written to certain Christian Jews who, because of persecution, were considering a return to their former religion. The author encourages them to be faithful by arguing that Christianity is superior to Judaism and is, in fact, the fulfillment of the Jewish religion. In successive chapters, the author demonstrates how Christ is superior to the Jewish prophets as…

Top ten things that kill church growth

In this lesson we examine 10 things that hinder church growth. The church at Corinth had a lot of things going for it that promoted growth: Good location in a key city No other congregation there Established by an Apostle (credibility, sound teaching) Many talented people who possessed “spiritual gifts” Even though it had these advantages, I don’t think it was a growing church because it didn’t seem to be practicing the things that make for church growth. Not only…

Christian Worship in 150 AD

Justin Martyr was a Samarian Christian who lived in the second century. He was a Platonist philosopher who was converted to Christianity and became a strong defender of the faith. In one of his works, “Apology of the Christian Religion”, written in around 150AD, he describes a typical Christian worship service of that day. “On that day which is called after the sun, all who live in the cities or in the country gather together in one place. Then the…

Peak of the Week: Train Yourself – Godly Demeanor

Train Yourself “Set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” 1 Timothy 4:12 Read the context of 1 Timothy 4:6-16 to get the full picture. At its simplest, godliness is taking on God’s character. It is imitating God. This has been the essence of godly living from the earliest times. The Old Testament law was premised on this injunction: “Be holy for I am holy.” In the New Testament it is the same. In Ephesians 4:24 Paul tells…

The Modern Church

It seems that there are three elements that help identify the “modern” church. One is a focus on music in worship. Orchestras, choirs, even drama with music are a must if a church is to appeal to today’s church goer. Another is the preoccupation with the miraculous. People want to go to a place where God reveals Himself to the congregation through healings, tongues, and a sure vision and knowledge of when the end times are coming. Of course the…

Hebrews: The Glorious Jesus – Greater than the Angels, Part 2

After demonstrating from Scripture that Jesus is greater than the angels, the author focuses on what Jesus accomplished when, for a while, He took a position lower than angels. The book of Hebrews was written to first century Christian Jews who were contemplating returning to Judaism because of the persecution they were facing. The author encourages them to be faithful by demonstrating that Jesus Christ was superior to every element of their former Jewish religion. He begins by showing how…

Surviving the Opposition’s Candidate

According to the pundits, the possible presidency of either candidate would be the final step in the destruction of this nation. This election has so polarized the American people that each side views the other as the agent of the apocalypse should the other’s candidate ascend to the top position in the land… According to the pundits, the possible presidency of either candidate would be the final step in the destruction of this nation. This election has so polarized the…

The Good Idea of America

​In July of 1776 the American Congress approved the Declaration of the Independence of the 13 United States of America. One of the key figures behind the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson, whose writing in “Defense of Liberty and Rights of Man” was the intellectual force behind the Revolution. In July of 1776 the American Congress approved the Declaration of the Independence of the 13 United States of America. One of the key figures behind the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson, whose…

Peak of the Week: Train Yourself – Godly Disciplines, Part 2

Train Yourself “Until I come, devote yourself to the reading of Scripture, etc.” 1 Timothy 4:13 Now understand clearly – A _____________________________________ is the goal! We are to train ourselves to be “godly.” As with almost any type of training, there are necessary disciplines that accompany the desires we have for success. So, if our desires become “Godly Desires”, the next step is to determine what some “Godly Disciplines” are. Disciplines are the habits (processes priorities, regimens, routines) that connect…

How Important is 1 Vote?

Sometimes when we listen to the news and they talk about the number of people there are in the world and the magnitude of the problems, we feel rather insignificant. Sometimes when we listen to the news and they talk about the number of people there are in the world and the magnitude of the problems, we feel rather insignificant. It seems that corporations and governments are getting bigger and more powerful and we, the solitary citizens are becoming weaker…

Hebrews: The Glorious Jesus – Greater than the Angels, Part 1

In this section the Hebrew writer lists the many passages in the Old Testament that demonstrate Jesus’ exalted position above the angels. The book of Hebrews was written to a particular group of Jewish Christians who, because of persecution, were being tempted to abandon Christianity and return to Judaism. In his letter, the author appeals to them to remain faithful to Christ by showing them Christ’s superiority to their former Jewish religion. He does this by comparing Jesus to various…

Satan Unmasked

I want to share with you the first thoughts I had after seeing the 9/11 tragedy in real time on television on that terrible day. Each anniversary of that event brings them back to my mind: I dream about the plane circling against the blue September sky slamming into the tower sending a torrent of flame on the unsuspecting. ~ I am angry that such horror exists and that the media torments the nation with its mindless repetition of the…

Peak of the Week: Train Yourself – Godly Disciplines, Part 1

Train Yourself “Until I come, devote yourself to the reading of Scripture, etc.” 1 Timothy 4:13 Now understand clearly – A _____________________________________ is the goal! We are to train ourselves to be “godly.” As with almost any type of training, there are necessary disciplines that accompany the desires we have for success. So, if our desires become “Godly Desires”, the next step is to determine what some “Godly Disciplines” are. Disciplines are the habits (processes priorities, regimens, routines) that connect…

Teachers’ Remembered

I don’t recall much of the material we studied in High School an eon ago when I was at that point of my life but I do remember some of my teachers. I can still see Mr. Blanchard trying to teach me the intricacies of Algebra, long after the last bell had rung for the day. We would be at the blackboard just he and I. He would valiantly try to explain some theorem (as animated as if there were…

Hebrews: The Glorious Jesus – Introduction to Hebrews

This first lesson in the series establishes the historical and religious context for the writing of this book. The first Christians were Jewish. The first congregation of the Lord’s church was made up of Jewish people. The first Scriptures used to prove Christ as the Messiah were the Jewish Scriptures which we refer to as the Old Testament. It took approximately ten years for the Apostles to preach the gospel to non-Jews (Cornelius and his household – Acts 10). In the…

The 3 R’s in Labor Day

The last thing we want to do on the Labor Day weekend is think about “work.” But before we leave for the lake or start on the Labor Day project, let’s spend a moment reviewing a few main ideas that the Bible has about our work that might be helpful when we get back to the job after the holiday is over. 1. There Is Time For Work Solomon reminds us that there is a time for everything, including work.…

Peak of the Week: Train Yourself – Godly Desires

Train Yourself “I desire to do your will, my God.” Psalm 40:8 Train yourself to be godly – to pursue godly desires. Do you want to be godly? If so, to what degree? To what lengths would you go to be godly? How strong are your desires in this area? If you do, follow closely with the truths in this lesson. Desires are immensely POWERFUL! They come from deep within you, your ____________________________ – the birthplace of decisions and actions…
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