Applying Scripture to Our Lives

An excerpt from a
Bible study

January 26, 2023

Even though Jesus was full of compassion, His primary goal was not simply to eliminate the physical discomfort that fear, worry, and anxiety bring into our life. He taught us that our emotions reflect what is going on in our hearts, values, and thinking. If we are going to take our faith seriously, we need to listen to the clues that anxiety brings our way.

Jesus talked about fear, worry, and anxiety often because He didn’t want us to lose sight of what was most important in life. In each principle Jesus taught about anxiety, He also gives us an action step. Use the four principles below to evaluate your heart and see how you should take action.

Principle #1: My Anxiety Reveals What I Value (Matthew 6:19–24)

Matthew 6:25 is perhaps the most quoted verse about anxiety in the Bible because it challenges us to trust God rather than falling into worry and anxiety. What we often miss when quoting verse 25 is that the teaching on anxiety is an application of verses 19–24. In verses 19–24, Jesus reminded us all that life on earth is short and we can’t take anything with us. He taught us that what we value will become what we prioritize. If we value the world’s priorities more than we value God’s priorities, we will naturally be anxious about the things of this world like food, clothing, and “stuff.”

Because our money, health, reputation, and relationships are valuable to us, we become anxious when what we love becomes threatened. Anxiety provides us a window into what our hearts find truly valuable. When our hearts align with God’s values, we will view the dangers around us differently. Death, discomfort, and dire circumstances don’t have the same sting when we have God’s eternal perspective. When God’s values and our values align, we will understand what is most important and live out the purpose we were created for.

Action step: God calls me to overcome anxiety by keeping my focus on what will last eternally.

Principle #2: My Anxiety Reflects My View of God (Matthew 6:25–34)

How we respond to life’s trouble reflects how we view God and whether we trust how He has acted towards us. Jesus makes the case that our worry really stems from a heart of unbelief that God is acting in a good way towards us. To those who doubt the provision and power of God to do what’s best, Jesus gives a gentle rebuke, “O you of little faith.”

How often we become distracted when we fear the future and take matters into our own hands. We seek to control our destiny and focus our attention on what we want most. We don’t trust God to provide or to keep us safe. We start to think 10 steps down the road and bring tomorrow’s problems into today. Jesus reminded us that worry accomplishes very little and distracts us from being present in our lives today.

When dealing with death, divorce, dysfunction, and distance in relationships, we can extrapolate all kinds of negative outcomes. Focusing on the possible outcome stems from a heart that ultimately desires to be in control. Rather than trusting a good God, it really is a heart of pride. Do we trust God with our future so we can stay present in our today?

Action step: God calls me to overcome anxiety by keeping my focus on His faithfulness.

Principle #3: My Anxiety Is Related to My Trust Level in God (Matthew 8)

After Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, the disciples and Jesus embarked on a ministry trip so that Jesus could teach His disciples and model for them the way of life that He was describing in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew records these stories one after another to make the case that Jesus alone has the power to intervene. He was unlike the other religious leaders of His day. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7, Matthew adds that “the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one who had authority, not as their scribes.”  He has real power to intervene in our troubles and Matthew wanted to make sure you understood the reason why Jesus could stand up and say don’t be anxious. It wasn’t just a slogan to make us feel better or distract us from our troubles. Jesus really was different. People’s lives were really changed when they encountered Him.

The chart below from Matthew 8–9 represents the various conversations and encounters that Jesus faced on this trip. As you read the list of the circumstances it could have been written yesterday.    

Circumstance of Anxiety & WorryConversation PartnerReference
Terminal IllnessOstracized LeperMatthew 8:1–3
Death of a Loved OneCenturion RulerMatthew 8:5–13
Physical Discomfort & SicknessPeter’s Mother in LawMatthew 8:14–15
Spiritual OppressionMany inflicted with illnessMatthew 8:16–17
Financial SecurityScribe lacking commitmentMatthew 8:18–22
Physical SafetyThose in the boat w/ JesusMatthew 8:23–27
Spiritual WarfareTwo Men with demonsMatthew 8:28–34
Loss of ReputationThose with Jesus & SinnersMatthew 9:9–13
Suffering of a ChildRuler with dying daughterMatthew 9:18–26
Permanent DisabilityTwo Blind MenMatthew 9:27–31

Do you get the point of all these stories given back to back to back? Jesus cares about you and your specific circumstances. He cares about the things that keep you up at night. In each of the situations, Jesus wanted His disciples to understand a key truth about life: they lacked the power to control the outcome, but God was powerful. In our anxiety, we tend to focus on the problem, and we find ourselves under the illusion that we must find a way to control what ails us. On this ministry trip, Jesus made it crystal clear to His disciples, “apart from me, you can do nothing.”  However, if they were sent with God’s power and were empowered by His Spirit, they did not need to fear. His power was available to them just like it is available to us.

Action step: God calls me to overcome anxiety by keeping my focus on trusting Him with my trials.

Principle #4: My Anxiety Is Redirected Best by Compassionately Serving Others (Matthew 9:35–10:15)

In our anxiety, we are incessantly inward-focused. At times, we do worry about others, but even these worries are typically how the actions of another might affect themselves and our ability to relate in a healthy way with them. In our worry, we may fear losing a parent or fear the self-destructive actions of a young adult spiraling out of control. Jesus taught us that this worry accomplishes little. However, one of the consistent themes throughout the gospels is the call to care for those in need and share the good news of what Jesus has done for us. At the end of the ministry trip that Jesus took His disciples on, He gathered them around and let them in on a secret. It was their turn to go and heal the sick and share the good news of forgiveness of sins. He didn’t just want them to trust Him. He wanted them to help others to trust Him too. He was sending them on a ministry trip.    

Because our thought patterns of fear, worry, and anxiety tend to focus on the danger we face, refocusing our mind and energy towards serving others can make a major impact on how you deal with anxiety. Anxiety tends to paralyze, isolate, and cause self-doubt. However, when we can learn to focus on others with a heart of compassion, life has renewed meaning and we experience a renewed purpose and vision for our lives. If you are a follower of Christ, Jesus calls you to pray for the harvest, to serve in planting seeds, and to make as much of a difference as you can, even if you are struggling with anxiety. Just because you can’t do everything you once were able to do, doesn’t mean that God has put you on the shelf. Seek to find the difference that God has called you to make. You have a purpose given by God for your life, and you will experience less anxiety by pursuing a life of purpose.

Action step: God calls me to overcome anxiety by keeping my focus on serving others.

Heavenly Father

I come to You today to ask for help. Gracious Father, I need rest. I need Your peace, love, and understanding. Help me to turn to You and not to myself, to stop doing and start trusting. I give You my worry. Help me to wait on Your answers, because I know that they are good. Give me Your wisdom, direction and guidance. Thank you, Father for Your patience and grace. I love You, and I know You love me so much more than I could ever imagine.

I ask this in Jesus Christ

 Amen.

In Matthew 11:28 NIV, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

Credit: Biblical Counseling Center

 

An excerpt from a
Bible study

January 6, 2023

A New Year! Time to Wait On God?

One of the most difficult things to do at times is “nothing”. We are people of action and if things do not happen, we make them happen. Jacob, the son of Isaac, was like that. He had been promised a blessing by the Lord when he was born but got impatient as a young man and took matters into his own hands and tricked his older brother and his father into giving him the blessing. Because of this he had to run away from home and suffered a lifetime of anxiety over the matter. His life would have been so different if he had learned early on to wait upon the Lord.

In Genesis 46:1-4 we see Jacob, as an old man having learned this lesson, appeal to God in making an important decision concerning a long trip to Egypt to see his long lost son Joseph.

So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.

Genesis 46:1-4

When he was young, God had not allowed Jacob to leave Canaan but he ran away for fear of his brother. Now that he was older and wiser, Jacob waited on the Lord to tell him what he should do concerning this departure. He had not seen his son in over ten years, thinking him dead and now his son was calling to him to come, but Jacob waited on the Lord before he left the land. 

Note that God rewards Jacob for his patience and faith by blessing his trip and revealing to him the future of his family. Jacob could now go in peace and security knowing that God was with him. 

As we see in the elder Jacob’s experience, waiting on the Lord is a virtue that takes a lifetime of trying to acquire. But once you learn there are many benefits:

1. Avoid Costly Mistakes.

God’s way, God’s plan, God’s purpose for your life is always the best and most profitable for you. When we go our own way, or neglect to consult or wait for the Lord to lead us, we end up making poor choices or we do not fulfill our true potential in Christ.

2. Develop a godly character.

Waiting on the Lord is difficult; it requires faith, perseverance, and self-control just to wait! Sometimes it takes greater strength and courage to do nothing and stay where you are, in waiting on the Lord than just jumping ahead impatiently.3. Go with God’s approval.

We need to ask God to tell us what He wants first, then ask for His blessing in meeting our needs, not our wants.

We need to pray first, then plan not make our plan then pray!!!!!!!

  • If we pray first then God will give us the plan.
  • If we pray first, then God will help us prioritize our lives.
  • If we pray first, then God will lead us away from temptation; in other words, help us to avoid plans and traps that will cause us to fail.

If we pray before planning then the plan will be God`s plan and He will provide for it; He will receive the glory for it; we will become fruitful because of it; and others will be blessed by it. 

Of course, when it comes to confessing Christ, repenting of your sins and being baptized there should be no waiting or hesitation!

How can we help? Please let us know. 

Special thanks to Bibletalk.tv

 

An excerpt from a
Bible study

December 15, 2022

What Is Under Your Tree?

Grace the Ultimate Gift…

Grace existed in the Old Testament.

To say that people were saved by the Law in the Old Testament and we are saved by grace in the New Testament is incorrect. The Law was revealed in the Old Testament and was necessary to bring man to an understanding that he was a sinner.

However, it was God’s grace that first chose the Jewish nation and gave them the Law. That same grace sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit, established the church, preached the gospel and will resurrect the faithful in the end.

The people who were saved in the Old Testament were saved by grace through faith in the same way we are today. Their sins were sent forward to the cross for atonement and ours are sent back to the cross for the same atonement. They expressed their faith according to the teachings of Moses (circumcision, temple worship, food laws, etc.); we express our faith according to the teachings of Christ (baptism, worship, evangelism, etc.). They looked forward to the time when God would send a savior to save them from sin (their lives were based on the trust that He would one day do this); we look forward to the time when the savior will return and save us from the second death (our lives are based on the hope of our resurrection).

But from the very beginning, everything God did was based on grace, and all who were saved, before the cross or after the cross were saved by grace through faith. This has always been the method, this has always been the plan.

In the New Testament God revealed perfectly the plan and the person who would accomplish it, Jesus Christ. This is the main difference. 

The embodiment of the gift of grace is Jesus Christ who accomplishes salvation for us. Grace (salvation through Christ, obtained by faith) is a gift because we cannot earn it nor do we deserve it.

  • We are Christians. We are not sinless Christians, but we are faithful ones.

Because of grace, God allows us to have a relationship with Him based on our faith rather than our perfection. This is His precious gift to us.

Someone might say, “What would Jesus want or need for Christmas?” The Lord doesn’t really need anything, surely no “thing” made in this world (which He created – Colossians 1:16). But if I chose to give Him gifts of some kind, gifts of value and meaning, then here are three that I would put under the tree for Him:

Gift #1 – A Life of Faith

My life of faith can be an amazing gift to my Lord because it stands out so remarkably from the disbelief of this world. It sparkles and shines brightly next to the despair, discouragement, and darkness around it. It honors the Lord like the gold of the Magi honored Him because it acknowledges Him as our King, our Lord, our God – not the powers of this world. Matthew 2:11

Gift #2 – Commitment

Our love for God is demonstrated by our level of commitment to worshiping and serving Him.. We have endless opportunities to be a servant to our Lord. 2 Corinthians 4:5

Gift #3 – A Conscious Confession of Christ

Every time we share our faith, invite someone to church, teach someone the gospel, have a Bible study, help those in needs, we offer the gift of conscious confession to Christ. The beauty of this gift is that each time we offer it to someone, we give it to Christ – no matter how the person reacts. The value of this gift is that it has the power to multiply into countless gifts of praise and thanksgiving by those who are saved because of our witness. All glory to the God. 1 Timothy 1:17

These are gifts worthy of the One who saved our souls from eternal death. 

Maybe after having blessed us with all that we have at this time of year, I wonder if the Lord is disappointed that we offer Him so little in return, in gratitude. So by all means, don’t be afraid to enjoy this season in good conscience because it all comes from God and He is the one from whom all blessings flow. James 1:17 

Just want to make sure that if you wanted to offer the Lord a gift that would truly be pleasing to Him – you’d know what to shop for!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 2 Corinthians 13:14

 



An excerpt from a
Bible study

November 13, 2022

Give Thanks

God truly is good to us.  It is right that we give thanks for all He has done for us and continues to do for us.  Read Psalm 92:1-2.  “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night,” NKJV 

Throughout the Bible, we see thanksgiving for blessings as a theme.  The Old Testament resounds with the people praising God; Israel had a history of giving thanks to God for the mercy and deliverance he showed them.   In the New Testament we read, Jesus “Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke them” (Luke 9:16).  At the Last Supper Jesus took bread and gave thanks, and offered it to His followers (1Cor. 11:24).  Jesus always prayed before meals.

With the holiday approaching, let’s consider some thoughts for thanksgiving. 

Motive.  When we give thanks to God, our sole motive should be pure gratitude.  Thanksgiving is giving thanks and that alone. It is about God’s blessings toward us and our appreciation of those blessings.    

Knowledgeable.  Being grateful requires us to look back into the past, whether times recent or years past, and acknowledging blessings for which we are thankful.  Our culture is infatuated with the future and the result is that thanksgiving is sometimes neglected.  But to give thanks to God is to look backwards, not forwards, and to express gratitude for the good things that have come our way.

Comprehensive.  On the U.S. holiday, we thank God for the meal.  Sometimes we include more in our prayers.  We should, because we are so blessed.  God is to be thanked for our freedom to worship, family, friends, housing, jobs, health, vacations, hundreds of other minor things.  We need to put our whole life into God’s hands…all of it. Giving God thanks should be a theme running through our lives in times good and bad.  The Pilgrims lived close enough to the soil to know how dependent they were on God’s providence. In bitter winters with scarce food, they learned to thank God for all they had.  And they were eager to thank Him during times of abundant blessing, too. 

Psalm 100:4 we are to “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his Courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name”. Christ, himself, was the perfect example of obeying this commandment.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, ponder and consider the many blessings you enjoy. Be grateful for these wonderful benefits and thank God for them. 



An excerpt from a
Bible study

October 13, 2022

A Thousand Choices

There are always choices to make if you want to follow God’s way. A thousand little decisions: to hold your tongue, to switch the channel, to make an effort. In the end, our choices become the daily spiritual exercises that shape our Christian character and measure our development, or lack of it. With time they become predictable not only in their presence but in their nature as well. For those along the Way, the choices are always:

1. Difficult

Self-denial, purity, humility, faith are other words for “narrow.” The narrow way is difficult, that is why Jesus said that few find it and fewer still travel it.

2. Demanding

Jesus was asked to choose at the worst of times – when He was hungry in the desert and when He was in anguish in the garden. It seems unfair, but the tough choices appear when we are least equipped to deal with them. However, courage is validated on the battlefield not in the barracks. The test of our resolve to follow Christ is confirmed when the choice to remain faithful is demanded of us while we struggle not while we stroll.

3. Defining

God uses man’s free will as the tool to create the character of Christ in him. All the choices are one – Are we Christ-like or not?

One feature of heavenly life that is rarely mentioned is the fact that there will no longer be any choices to make because the choices we make here will be fulfilled there. Choose wisely now, eternity is a long time to experience regret.

How can we help? Please contact us if you are interested in setting up a Bible study for yourself or a group. Special recognition to Mike Mazzalongo of Bibletalk.TV for his endless dedication in the biblically correct teaching of God’s word.



An excerpt from a
Bible study

September 16, 2022

Will He Find You Faithful?

When speaking of His eventual return to judge the world and transport the church to heaven, Jesus had only one question expressed in Luke 8:8, “…when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” When applied in personal terms this question becomes, “When Jesus returns, will He find you faithful?”

The Bible teaches us that the return of Christ and the end of the world will come suddenly and without any warning (Luke 12:40; Rev. 3:3). When this happens it won’t be those who are sometimes faithful or used to be faithful or would like to be faithful that are going to be saved. It’s those who ARE faithful who will be invited to join Him in the heavenly kingdom.

Now the only way to be faithful when He comes in the future is to be faithful today because He might come today! Ask yourself the question, “Am I faithful today?” It doesn’t matter how many years ago you were baptized, saved being faithful requires a daily decision…will I be faithful or not?

Don’t let the sun go down without doing what you need to do in order to be found faithful should Jesus come today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow because there may not be a tomorrow left to answer this important question.

If you have questions or just need to understand how to be ready if Jesus returns tomorrow let us help. Call or email we are expecting you!

An excerpt from a
Bible study

September 6, 2022

Start each day with God. Have a good year!

It’s back to school time! He will be there too.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

Psalm 143:8

An excerpt from a
Bible study

August 11, 2022

The Gospel – The Greatest Gift

You meet people who have a kindness of the heart. It is so special when you meet by chance.  A moment in time. Although it is just a moment, a brief encounter… you find yourself praying that the greatest gift (the Gospel) would somehow find its way into their life one day. That moment of kindness is long gone from their memory. But I haven’t forgotten… and the blessing that I have asked the Lord to bring them will always be waiting. 

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

An excerpt from a
Bible study

July 11, 2022

Parable of the Lost Son

One of the most basic lessons or principles taught throughout the Bible is the Prodigal Principle. We see examples of it in Genesis and all through the Old Testament as God dealt with the Jewish nation as they rejected Him, fell into sin, and then were rescued by Him. This is the Prodigal Principle.

We read the most classic story of it in Luke 15 as Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son (the word prodigal does not appear in the Bible; it means wasteful and was applied to this story because one of the sons wasted his inheritance). Which one? Let’s find out!

Please note Luke (15:1-10)…

Luke changes the scene at this point and sets up the occasion for the presentation of three parables concerning things lost and found. These three are given as a response to the criticism He was receiving from the religious leaders because He not only ministered to sinners and tax collectors (outcasts) with His teaching (which they eagerly sought), but He also ate with them, as He did with the Pharisees(religious leaders), from time to time. The religious leaders considered these people a lost cause. Jesus, on the other hand, preached the gospel to these outcasts and mixed with them socially.

The first two parables (lost sheep and coin) are examples of the natural human desire to diligently seek for a precious thing that has been lost, and the joy one experiences when it is found. Each parable has a happy ending as both sheep and coin are located. Both parables explain why Jesus bothers making an effort to reach these “outcasts” (that are written off as not worth the effort by the religious leaders). In God’s eyes the lost are still precious and the effort made to find them is worthwhile.

Luke 15:11-32 (Please Read) The Lost Son

After two parables about lost objects, Jesus steps up His imagery about lost and found and tells the story of the lost son. In this parable He will include characters that represent each person present at the telling of the story: Himself, the outcasts, the religious leaders and how each plays a part in the lost/found scenario.

The parable of the Prodigal Son only appears in Luke’s gospel and is probably one of the best known of all the parables. In this story what is “lost” is this young man’s soul. He goes from being acceptable and safe in his father’s house to becoming an outcast through his own sinfulness and foolishness. There is no searching here because unlike objects (sheep and coins), he has free will. His choices led to his lostness and his own choices will be what bring him back.

The father represents the heavenly Father who is present in the form of Jesus. Just as Jesus ministered to and associated with the outcasts, the father waits for his son and receives him back into the family when he returns. What he lost (his younger son) has returned to him and he rejoices.

The older son personifies the Jewish leaders. True to the tradition, legalistic in following the rules, working for a reward, but no inward faith and love for God which would produce a kind and merciful attitude towards others.

The parable accurately describes the two sons (groups) Jesus dealt with: the outcasts who sought reconciliation and the religious leaders who refused to see their need. Both sons were “lost” but for different reasons:

  • One for dissipation and immorality.
  • One for self-righteous pride.

The sad reality was that only one of the sons was eventually found.

Luke 15:25-32 The Older Son (Please read)

What was the reaction of the older son when he heard the news that his brother had returned? “But he was angry and refused to go in.” The father comes out and urged the son to come into the celebration. Why is the older brother upset. Verses 29-30 give the reasoning. The problem is that he doesn’t think he has received anything like what the younger son has received. He wasted your inheritance with prostitutes and you killed the fattened calf and threw a party when he came back. I have not wasted your inheritance and have been slaving for you these many years and what have you done for me? The older son does not think this is fair. He is thinking about himself and stubbornly refuses to enter.

Verses 31-32 are the critical teaching point of the parable. Please consider that the final words of a parable typically contain the point of the teaching. “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.” The father says to his older son, “You have everything. What are you upset about?” How can you be upset at this celebration over the lost one returning? You have everything the father has. The older son failed to see that he had everything. All that the father possesses is ours. How can you be upset when the lost return? You are already experiencing everything the father has to offer.

Please notice verse 32. “It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” The sheep was lost and was found. Therefore a celebration takes place. The coin was lost and was found. Therefore a celebration takes place. The lost soul was lost and was found. Further, he was dead but now is alive. He was eternally lost, separated from God. But now he is alive. He has been restored. Life has been returned to him. It is time to celebrate!

The older brother allows anger to take root in his heart to the point that he is unable to show compassion towards his brother, and, for that matter he is unable to forgive the perceived sin of his father against him. He prefers to nurse his anger rather than enjoy fellowship with his father, brother and the community. He chooses suffering and isolation over restoration and reconciliation. The older brother’s focus was on himself, and as a result there is no joy in his brother’s arrival home. He is so consumed with issues of justice and equity that he fails to see the value of his brother’s repentance and return. He fails to realize that “anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 1 John 2:9-11

Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

In the parable we see three times the celebration that is appropriate and fitting because the lost has returned. The spiritually dead have come to life. We must celebrate when the lost come to the Lord. It is a glorious day deserving of our praise, our singing, our cheering, our joy, and our excitement.

Do not be self-righteous. We are no more deserving of the blessings of God than anyone else. Further, see that we are presently enjoying everything the Father has blessed us with, be grateful and thankful and have a desire to share those blessings with others. God knows our intentions.

One son returned home with a truly repentant heart and was forgiven and reconciled by a loving father. The other son was unforgiving and judgmental. That son needed to check his heart. He became lost and ended up on the wrong end of the parable.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

June 13, 2022

Caution

One thing that is true about all of us is that, we all face disappointments. In every area of our lives, whether it be in our relationships, marriage, business, ministry, work place, life situation, etc…!

There will always be disappointments that we have to overcome. There will be many stumbling blocks in our life.

Maybe you’re going through something at the moment. If so, the hope for you is that you allow the Scriptures to speak life into your current situation. 

Be careful when you get discouraged and disappointed. This is a pivotal moment in regard to how you walk with the Lord in this specific season of your life. You can either dwell on the negative, which will cause you to stumble because your disappointment can easily zap the spiritual strength out of you, or you can focus on Christ. Keeping you mind on the Lord and the love of God will help your feet from stumbling. 

By doing so, you live in the light of eternity and you learn to trust in God’s will. What’s your response going to be? The next move you make after disappointment is crucial to your spiritual health. 

Trusting God is the antidote to fear and worry.

God already knows how you feel. Don’t try to hide your emotions, but instead bring them to Him. Disappointment is painful. It’s either your disappointment is going to drive you away from God or it is going to drive you to God. God understands how you feel. Talk to Him about your questions. Talk to Him about your doubts. Talk to Him about your confusion. He knows that you are struggling with these things and more. Be open and allow Him to encourage you, comfort you, guide you, and remind you of His sovereignty.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

1 Peter 5:6-8 “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Psalm 119:116 “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees.”

II Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Psalm 119:105

Your Word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path.

How can we help? Please contact us if you are interested in setting up a Bible study for yourself or a group.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

May 23, 2022

Our Times Of Weakness

Throughout Scripture, God affirms the value of every human life-from children in the womb to the elderly. Bible verses tell us about how valuable we are in the sight of the One who made us and gave us life…

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:7

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

God forms the man out of dust, a potter shaping clay…God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God forms man with His own breath

Powerful….God forms man with His own breath! To demonstrate and maintain the nature and value of human life. ..The sanctity of life is tied to the belief that humans are created by God in His own image

Genesis 9:6

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. (Life is in the blood)

Psalm 139: 13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Exodus 20:13

The 6th commandment refers specifically to the taking of an innocent “human” life.

Matthew 1:20

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me,

And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Share your pro-life views in Love

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Faith teaches us that all human life has value

Circumstances do not determine the worth of a human being. 

Our mind and our hearts need to acknowledge the pre-born is fully human. The pre-born is a unique and genetically unrepeatable human being. The meaning of pre-born is “existing but not yet born”. 

Science show us an unborn baby is a human being. Since time began every baby born started off conceived!  

Every conceived baby is a pre-born.

A fertilized ovum lives within the body of the woman but has its own genetic code. It is a separate and unique person living within the mother.

A woman has a right to her own body but the baby inside of her is not her body, it is a different body, a body being nurtured by her body but not her body.

AGAIN…Circumstances do not determine the worth of a human being. The conceived baby is just as valuable as any human whether pre-born or born for many years. The conceived baby is as important to God as you and me and every  other human that is created in the image of Him.

God’s plan is perfect and beautiful.

The basic unit of society is the family. God made husband and wife to care for the family unit. This is part of God’s plan. Family life is the basic element of human life. If the family gets destroyed the foundation of the nation crumbles because the nation is an extension of the family. The way the family goes so goes the nation. 

We need to pray for our young people….both young woman and young men. It is hard to stay virtuous in a world that thrives and promotes immorality. 

Remember…Share your pro-life views in Love 

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

However a young woman decides to make a sinful and spiritually devastating decision… she can know God loves…forgiveness is waiting…The good news (Gospel) is that because God is kind (Grace), He sent Jesus to pay the price of death for our sins and we can be forgiven of these by believing (faith) in Him. This is the good news, this is the plan of salvation.
John 3:16

An excerpt from a
Bible study

May 2, 2022

Happy Mother’s Day

Honor your father and mother is mentioned twice in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16) and six times in the New Testament ( Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2). Originally appearing in Exodus as Moses introduced the Ten Commandments to God’s people.

What does it mean actually to honor your mother? Well, basically it means that you live your life in such a way that it brings honor to her. What you do, how you live makes her receive honor because of you. This is whether she deserves it or not. Honoring your mother is not based on what kind of person or mother she was. It’s based on what kind of person you are. Big difference. 

When you honor your mother in this way, you transcend the kind of upbringing you have had and you place parental relationships on a spiritual level. It’s a command of God and our obedience is based on our faith in God not the character of our parents. To honor one’s mother not only blesses her and blesses you, it is also a way of honoring God who provided your mother as the giver of your life. No matter what else she has done, good or bad, she is your mother. She and no one else gave you life and for that, for that alone, she deserves your honor for a lifetime.

There comes a time when we begin to see our parent’s weaknesses and failings. We begin to see their limits. We begin to see them as human beings. We see ourselves in them.

The Bible says, “Give honor to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:7). And on this wonderful day we’re happy to honor those women who are in many ways, the heart and the soul of the home front. A honor due to them because of their suffering, because of their patience, because of their forgiveness, because of their hard work, because of never giving up hope for their children, because they love their children no matter what.

When children are faithful and fruitful servants of God, moms and dads receive the reflected honor from the Godly lives of their children. Nothing brings greater joy and a purer sense of satisfaction to a Christian mother, than seeing her son or daughter devote themselves willingly and wholeheartedly to the same Lord she has served all of her life.

The happiest day of a Christian mother’s life is when her children follow Jesus Christ because it’s important to them… not just important to her. 

Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”

special thanks to Bibletalk.tv

An excerpt from a
Bible study

April 9th, 2022

Easter? Think Resurrection!

Some people allow the spring weather and the chocolate bunnies to cloud their vision of what this day, and every Sunday for that matter, is all about. It’s about the actual physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from death.

Nearly two thousand years ago Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being crucified, then buried for three days. He appeared to over 500 of His disciples over a period of 40 days and then, as His Apostles watched in wonder, He ascended into heaven promising them that one day He would return.  This, in a very brief summary, of the story of Jesus’ resurrection as it was recorded by the eyewitnesses and preserved in the New Testament for our instruction and edification.                         

1 Corinthians 15

Apostle Paul silences the doubters by reestablishing the fact that Jesus experienced a bodily resurrection witnessed by hundreds of faithful brethren; they shouldn’t doubt this fact. He explains that this is a most significant fact in the Christian faith because our hope for forgiveness, resurrection and eternal life are based upon it.

 A resurrection done in a very public way. And why?

  • To prove once and for all time that He truly is the divine Savior.
  • To demonstrate that He was sinless and His sacrifice was sufficient to wipe away all of our sins.
  • To assure us that our resurrection was possible because His was accomplished.

What is left is to decide what each of us will do with the resurrection of Jesus:

  1. You can ignore it or deny it in which case you forfeit your own. You see if you reject Jesus’ resurrection, there is nowhere else to go for life after death – He’s the only savior who not only promises it, but He also backs up His promise with a demonstration of His power.
  2. You can believe it and obtain it for yourself. Jesus says in Mark 16:16, “Those who believe and baptized will be saved.” This is the way to receive the promise of resurrection – believe that Jesus is the Son of God and obey His command to be baptized. Once you have done this, the Bible promises that all who remain faithful to Jesus to the end will receive resurrection and eternal life.
  3. Finally, if you find yourself drifting away from your faith… you can believe again. Some believe and respond to Christ but with time they begin to fade. They live more in this world and forget that death is coming and resurrection will be an important issue. If that is you, then I encourage you to believe again, be restored to Jesus through prayer and be filled with the hope and joy that comes with the knowledge that no matter what happens in this life, the resurrection is coming. 

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about Jesus through the God inspired word of the Bible. * Special recognition to Mike Mazzalongo of Bibletalk.tv for his endless dedication in the biblically correct teaching of God’s word. Please visit Bibletalk.tv.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

March 20th, 2022

The Hub of the Bible

The hub, or center of a wheel is very important. Without it there could be no wheel. All the spokes of the wheel come together at the center. It has been said that Christ is like the hub of the wheel. In Christ all come together to form a perfect circle of unity by which the church moves forward in its work of saving souls, helping the needy, and edifying one another in love. Without Christ this cannot happen. In a similar analogy, the second chapter of the book of Acts has been called “the hub of the Bible.” Here we are starting in a miraculous event that we are still in today! The Christian age, the New Testament era.

In Acts 2 we have the culmination of God’s plan for saving mankind. In this great chapter the beginning of the church of Christ is recorded. The church was in the mind of God long before the Old Law, the Law of Moses, was ever established. It was God’s eternal purpose to save man through the church which Jesus Christ would establish after his death, burial and resurrection. The time of this beginning of the church is right here in Acts 2, on the first Pentecost day following the resurrection of Jesus.

In Acts 1 we read of the ascension of Jesus back to the Father in Heaven. In that same chapter, prior to His ascension, Jesus promised the apostles the power of the Holy Spirit, and He taught clearly that the church, or kingdom, would come when that power came upon the apostles. Here, in Acts 2, we see the fulfillment of that promise, and the fulfillment of God’s plan for saving the world from sin. That plan would be through Christ and His church.

Let us read Acts 2: 1-4. “And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to speak languages they had never learned in order to communicate to the Jews gathered there from “every nation under heaven,” as the text says. They needed to tell these Jews the good news that Jesus, Whom they crucified, was actually the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God. The purpose of the preaching was to convince them of this fact, to cause them to repent, or turn, from their sins and to come into the church which was being established on that very day.

As they began to speak, the multitude was amazed that these apostles could speak in their different languages. This was a miracle designed to convince the audience that what was spoken by these servants of God was truly from God. All of the multitude did not believe what they heard, but about 3,000 did believe and were added to the church, as we shall soon see.

Of all the preaching done on that day of Pentecost, only part of Peter’s sermon is recorded by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. However, it is designed to produce the same reaction in men who read it today as in those who heard it on the day it was preached. It was a powerful use of the prophecies of the Old Testament, which the Jews claimed to believe. By these prophecies, Peter was able to demonstrate to the honest hearers that day that Jesus is the Christ, and that they had been a party to His crucifixion. The climax of this great sermon is seen in verse 36, where Peter says, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.” What was the reaction? Verse 37 tells us: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?”

They were obviously asking what they must do to be saved from their sins, to rid themselves of the awful guilt of crucifying one whom they now knew to be the Son of God. When we see the answer Peter gave to these penitent, sincere believers, we will know what any man must do to be saved from his sins. What did Peter tell them? Then Peter said to them, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Notice he said “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you…unto the remission of your sins.” They already believed in Jesus, so it was not necessary to tell them to believe. Peter simply took them from where they were and told them what to do to get to where they needed to be. He told them what to do to be saved. 

Those who were being saved from their sins by obeying the apostles’ teaching were being added to the church by the Lord Himself. Thus, we see that when we believe, repent, confess and are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His spiritual body, the church. He adds us to the church. Can one be a Christian without being in the church which Jesus built? No. When one becomes a Christian he is automatically added to the church, as he is saved from past sins.

Please contact us. We would be happy to assist you in further studies on the church that began on Pentecost long ago as recorded in ACTS 2.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

March 3rd, 2022

Keep the Manual

For things like gadgets, home appliances, electrical devices and other systems out there for sale, the makers and producers of these tools find it important to release them to the market with a user’s guide or commonly known as a manual. These manuals are written by experts who know exactly how these tools are made and for which purpose. Therefore, the manual that come in every box of a newly purchased item contains instructions on how to use say for instance a device, how to handle it with care, and what to do when it’s broken; the manual also gives us detailed information of the different parts and functions of such device as well as warns us of things we should avoid doing. A manual basically gives us everything we need to know to maintain a product’s high quality and not to destroy it. In a similar manner, God is the all-knowing expert, who has created the heavens and the earth, including you and I. Our Heavenly Father has released us into the world with a manual to live by. That manual is called the Bible

If God is with you in life you have a great advantage. Your mind is solid, your heart is right and at peace. You are blessed. You are free. 

John 8:32 ‘and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’

Philippians 4:6-7 ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’

2 Timothy 3:15 

‘from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, the the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.’

What does Jesus say in John 10:27, “ My Sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me” His voice is found in every word of the Word. This is why we study, learn and memorize the Bible! We will be fully equipped for life. The scriptures are His voice, completely and utterly sufficient.

If one is depressed, anxious, fearful, or doubting, the solution is found not in self-indulgent pursuits like self-esteem and self-fulfillment or how many likes you have on social media. Your value has come from God. The solution is found right there in your Bible…

We can know we are valuable because of the high price God paid for us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

John 3:16 ‘for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life’.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

February 21st, 2022

Drifting Away

Christians never quit God in a single day. Oh, some give up the faith suddenly at times because of a great tragedy in their lives but these are the exceptions. No, the way that most Christians lose their faith is through “drifting”.

Drifting is a slow removal of ourselves from the influence of God and His people. It is slow because drifting away from God does not usually set off the alarm bells that a sudden faith crisis might do. Drifting is a way to abandon our faith that will not make us feel too guilty.

You can recognize those who are drifting away rather easily. They are the ones who are replacing their spiritual priorities with worldly ones. For example: being with the church slowly becomes secondary to pursuing worldly activities and people; devotional time with God in prayer and Bible reading is slowly replaced by other more “urgent” things; serving others is relegated to times when there is nothing else to do. The saddest reality in all of this is that since our demise in Christ is ever so slow, it is not usually noticed until it is too late.

The sin that lies behind drifting is dishonesty. We refuse to be honest in acknowledging that the pull of the world and what John refers to as the, “lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions” (I John 2:16), is what is beginning to drive us rather than the search for God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Drifting can be reversed but it requires a brutally frank assessment of the direction of our spiritual lives as well as the courage to come to God on His terms, not ours. That is why remaining faithful requires a daily commitment to keeping the Lord and His church a priority, lest we drift away.

* Special recognition to Mike Mazzalongo of Bibletalk.tv for his endless dedication in the biblically correct teaching of God’s word. Please visit Bibletalk.tv.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

February 9th, 2022

God Is Love

l John 4:8

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

I Timothy 1:5

All of the teaching we receive is to create love in our hearts, and if we don’t love, we have not put what we have learned into practice. Paul the Apostle wrote the book of Timothy. Paul says that the object of teaching, the result of knowledge, the fruit of one’s faith is “love from a pure heart”. God looks into a person’s heart and if that power, knowledge and works are not grounded in love, they have no value in the sight of God. 

There are some things like power, faith and works which are legitimate if based on unseen love within a person’s heart. There are also visible attributes that are unmistakable signs that a person has love:

  • Patience – a willingness to bear with other peoples’ meanness, weaknesses and offenses without losing a loving attitude.
  • Kindness – the doing and saying of good.
  • Not jealous – envious of another’s blessings; fearful of losing one’s blessings.
  • Not brag/arrogant – boastful, haughty, proud. Having an unjust measure of self.
  • Not act unbecomingly – to be unthoughtful, uncaring.
  • Not seek its own – selfishness, self-centered.
  • Not provoked – bad temper, over-sensitive.
  • Not count wrongs – vengeful; get even attitude (doesn’t keep score).
  • Rejoice in right – loves to see right done, not wrong.
  • Bears all things – capacity to suffer much without complaint (everybody suffers – some complain more).
  • Believes all things – not suspicious (not a gullible person, but not overly suspicious).
  • Hopes all things – not pessimistic or negative.
  • Endures all things – a willingness to bear with injury, inconvenience and hardship without losing one’s loving attitude.

When we see these things in people what we see is the character of Christian love. Note that these signs are not based on:

  • Emotion – how one feels about something.
  • Attraction – like sexual love.
  • Mutual interest and service – like the love between friends.
  • Relationship – like the love in a family.

No, the love Paul describes here is Christian love, and it is based on a decision not a feeling. We decide that this is going to be the nature of our character…our love, and through the power of the Holy Spirit directed by the word of God – the Lord will create this love in our hearts a little at a time as each day goes by.

We are not born with this kind of love, we cultivate it through prayer, practice and perseverance in the trials that we experience. This is one of the basic reasons that God allows us to suffer trials, so we can cultivate Christian love.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love is the character of Christianity because love is the character of Christ. In I Corinthians 13:8a:” love never fails”. The most significant feature of love is that it is eternal. In I Corinthians 13:13 ” But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love is eternal (forever). Faith brings you to God, hope sustains you while you wait to be in His presence, but love is the actual experience that one will have eternally when Jesus comes to take us to heaven with Him. We abide in love because Jesus is love and we want to abide in Jesus.

An excerpt from a
Bible study

February 4th, 2022

God had a purpose from the beginning, and then He made a promise that He would bring that purpose to pass. God chose a man to make that promise to, and through him, He would bring it to pass. That man was Abraham. You recall that Abraham exhibited such faith in God that we came to know him as the father of the faithful. God chose him as the father of a great family and ultimately a great nation, through whom God developed His purpose.

Genesis 12:1-3  “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

That promise to Abram would be repeated again in Genesis 22, 26, and 28. What does it mean? That was a direct promise of the birth of Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abraham, made some 2,000 years before Jesus was even born.

Contact us if you would like to study the Bible. The studies will help us understand that everything within it, from Genesis 1:1 has to do with the unfolding of God’s ultimate and eternal purpose. 

An excerpt from a
Bible study

January 29th, 2022
Studying Genesis is really special. It is an ancient record and ancient people and yet… the stories, the lives, the feelings, the relationships, the mistakes that the people make are so common that we can see ourselves in these ancient people. 

We are blessed by God in many ways. Certainly, we are blessed as we obey our Father, but we’re also blessed during our times of weakness. God does not destroy us when we sin. Rather, He patiently and lovingly disciplines us to bring us back to Him. 

We appreciate God’s continued love and grace even during our times of weakness. From Adam and Eve to now, God takes us as we are and where we are, and gently leads us to where He wants us to be.