How to Develop Hospitality

This lesson focuses on the heart of the leader toward strangers (Luke 9:37-50). Jesus wants us to be inclusive rather than exclusive without compromising the truth. Jesus is personally challenging his followers to deliberately go out of our way to welcome and include strangers. To be effective, this will require developing the character quality of hospitality. Following the transfiguration, the disciples who had been given the power and authority to cast out demons failed to exercise a demon out of a young boy (section 124). Two events later the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest (section 127) and then one of them forbids an unnamed exorcist to cast out demons (section 128). It appears that the disciples’ spirit of exclusivism and obsession with … Continue reading

How to Discern God’s Will

This is an additional part for the lesson on bearing one’s own cross, basically discerning God’s will over following my own self-interests. For more on this topic, consider looking over my seminar on God’s Will. There is a Sovereign Will of God: his secret plan that determines what happens in the universe. Daniel 4:34-35 – He does according to his will. Psalm 115:3 – He does whatever he pleases. Job 42:2 – No purpose of yours can be thwarted. Proverbs 21:1 – He directs the king’s heart. Revelation 4:11 – Creation exists because of his will. Ephesians 1:11 – Having been predestined according to his purpose. Proverbs 16:33 – Every decision is from the Lord. Romans 9:19 – For who resists his will? Acts 2:23 … Continue reading

How to Bear Your Cross

The passage for today is Mark 8:31–38. This lesson contrasts two orientations to life. One approach to life involves ignoring the cross and living for yourself. This is the self willed person that isn’t concerned with submitting to God’s will. The other approach involves denying self and becoming consumed with what interests God. Jesus is personally challenging his disciples to build the character quality of submissiveness toward God and his will for their lives. Luke 14:27 says, “whoever will not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Jesus is saying you have to carry your cross to become a disciple but that you cannot presently be one of my disciples if your life is marked by submission to the Lordship … Continue reading

How to Make Lasting Change

We are often perplexed on why we make commitments to change yet fall miserably short of success. One essential start is to make your life based on the Bible: “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” (John 8:31b NASB) One cannot stress enough how important it is to make a commitment to reading the Bible regularly. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31b NASB). It’s a long-term commitment to learn from Jesus and his Word that makes us his disciples. How do you continue in the Word and stay connected with Jesus through his Word for the long-term? 1. Make the decision. It starts with your commitment to actually do it. … Continue reading

How to Respect Aging Parents

This command to HONOR is all about Parental Respect, (Matthew 15:1-20) This lesson focuses on the heart of a leader toward his or her parents as they are aging. The hard-hearted Pharisees in this passage demonstrate a calloused heart for God and their own parents. Jesus is personally challenging his disciples to build the character quality of respectfulness towards aging parents. In this section, Jesus rejected the man-made traditions of the scribes and Pharisees because they focused on the outside and ignored the inner person. These men were plants that God did not plant (Matthew 13:24–30, 15:13) and blind guides who were leading people astray. “Let them alone!” was our Lord’s counsel. Historical Background: The feeding of the 5000 and the sermon about the bread of … Continue reading

Seven Laws of the Teacher

This material is from Howard Hendricks, who taught for 52 years at Dallas Theological Seminary. The Seven Laws of the Teacher will help pastors, teachers, parents, small groups, become more effective in their teaching role. This information will renew your thinking about teaching and unleash your effectiveness as a communicator of biblical truth. Our goal is teaching with a life-changing impact. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 1 – Teacher Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 2 – Education Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 3 – Activity Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 4 – Communication Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 5 – Heart Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 6 – Encouragement Seven Laws of the … Continue reading

Seven Laws of the Learner

This material is from Bruce Wilkinson, the Walk Thru the Bible guy. In each of these seven sessions, the author will guide you through: Mindset: an introducti0on to the law with a biblical passage to illustrate that law. Model: a chart (in the workbook) clearly demonstrating the law and what it means. Maxims: seven principles that explain the law. Meaning: a brief definition of the law. Method: ways to put the law into practice. Maximizers: tips to use the each law more effectively. Mastery: thought-provoking ideas to help you interact with the meaning of the law. Memory: a walk thru of each law to help you remember the laws. Listen and Learn: Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 1 – Learner Seven Laws of … Continue reading

Share the Message

This is the final session in the God’s Not Dead series (which we missed due to the icy conditions in Virginia Beach). While preparation is vital to becoming an effective witness for Christ, at some point we need to step out and start sharing the gospel. You can connect more often and more deeply with people outside of the church. You can become involved in activities or join organizations with diverse participants. You can cultivate a lifestyle of hospitality. You can get involved with people who don’t know the Lord, then they will inevitably see the centrality of Jesus that marks your life. At first you can defend the existence of God. Remember that knowing God exists is the beginning of faith. Then you can … Continue reading

Understand God’s Purpose

This is lesson five of six in the God’s Not Dead series: Some people draw nearer to God in times of persecution, crisis, and tragedy, while others blame God for not stopping the hurt, or is not loving enough to intervene. Think about the unreliability of a world where we get a little tickle every time we do something good and a shock every time we do something bad. I remember Stephen out playing and occasionally he would crash and burn, scraping his knees, and not once did he run to me and say, “It was a bit casual of you to sit back and let me fall, I can tell you are not a father of love by letting me get hurt.” or “What … Continue reading

Marvel at the Design

This is the fourth of six lessons in the God’s Not Dead series: Evidence from physics and astronomy point to a creator, but biology is a bit more challenging to reconcile with Christianity. Why? The triumph of the theory of evolution is usually the knockout blow to anyone attempting to maintain an intellectually credible belief in God. But evidence over the past few decades has also seen the fingerprints of God. Anthony Flew’s There is a God: how the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind. He was an atheistic philosopher who came to doubt atheism as a result of advances in molecular biology, particularly DNA. Dr. Flew was impacted by the amount of complexity in DNA that could only point to an intelligent designer. … Continue reading