Posts Tagged ‘ a simple man of God ’

VerseD: Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

We have nothing to fear. Our God takes care of His own. The worst others can do to us is kill us, and that means we join our Lord.

VerseD: Proverbs 18:2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Proverbs 18:2, ESV

How easy it is for us to claim understanding without knowledge. We think we know God’s will and desires, but frequently we push our own onto His.

Humbly seek God through His Word and Church, being willing to learn before offering opinions.

VerseD: Jeremiah 17:14

Heal me, O Lord , and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.
Jeremiah 17:14, ESV

God alone is our Healer and salvation. Trust in our Creator and Savior. Give Him the praise He deserves.

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 2


I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post last week, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 3: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – His Rebukes

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how did Jesus confront each of them?

Jesus clearly took issue with everyone:

  • Pagan Romans did not know what they worshiped, but they believed this life was worth leaving behind.
    • He called out their sinfulness and incorrect worship.
    • Matthew 16:18 may have taken place at one of the “Gates of Hell” popular with pagans and Jews alike
      • Jesus’ Church would prevail over death and pagan beliefs, meaning the Roman idea that death was preferable to life is directly refuted.
    • Likewise, when the Canaanite woman pleads with Jesus in Matthew 15 to heal her daughter, Jesus rebukes her that He came for the faithful.
      • Her humility in accepting that she is outside of the nation of Israel is a rebuke to Roman ideas that you can believe whatever you want. It is those who believe in Christ alone that find peace and eternal life.
  • The Divided leadership:
    • Pharisees – Were simultaneously too strict and not strict enough in their interpretations.
      • See Matthew 23.
      • See Matthew 5-7
    • Sadducees – Denied everything Christ was about while using His Scriptures.
      • Just about anything Jesus ever said to the Sadducees was a rebuke.
      • They can be included in Matthew 5-7 and 23.
    • Essenes – Largely cut themselves off from society instead of interacting with it to change it.
      • See Matthew 28:18-20
    • Zealots – Took devotion to the wrong extremes.
      • See John 18:36
    • Look at Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-22 – Jesus clears the Temple Courts
      • This was a handy rebuke of all of them:
        • The Sadducees most obviously allowed selling to happen in the courts
        • The Pharisees either allowed it and/or promoted it
        • The Essenes essentially ignored it
        • The Zealots liked Jesus’ actions, of course, but they were so focused on fighting off the pagans while neglecting the House of God
  • Read the Seven Letters from Revelation 2-3:
    • Notice the similarities of the churches with the leadership in Jesus’ time
    • Notice similarities to today’s churches

VerseD: John 7:38

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
John 7:38, ESV

Believing Jesus is Lord comes with the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit empowers and encourages us to share the truth of Christ with others.

2 Corinthians 4:18

as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18, ESV

It is easy to get focused on the things of this world, but we are to look to the Kingdom of God. It is mostly insubstantial until Christ returns. Trust His promises that His Kingdom is growing and that He is coming again.

Matthew 7:1-2

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1‭-‬2, ESV

Jesus never said “never judge.” He warned to use good judgment, but realize you invite judgment from others.

Judge yourself first according to Scripture, then help others do the same.