Ministering to Those Who Have Hope, Are Losing Hope, Or Didn't Know There Was Hope

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Our Varying Expectations of Christ (Article 17-13)

Let me begin this lesson with a straight forward question. What are the reasons we seek Jesus? I know this is a profound question to ask; however, it’s an important one. The answer means understanding the difference between knowing Christ and only knowing of Him. We hear of stories where soldiers confess that they found Christ in a foxhole. Others may reflect on a severe injury, health or death-related experiences that drew them to Christ. Some may admit that they were attracted to Christ stemming from abusive relationships or the crises addictions bring to their lives. After all, it is our nature to reach out to anyone or anything in times of despair and desperateness and found Christ

Wisdom - The Path to Knowing God (Article 17-12)

I suspect at some point in your life, you've asked yourself, if I could have anything from God, what would it be? Some may say prosperity. Some may say a long life. Some may ask for God to protect their home and family. Some may ask to find true love and happiness. How do I suspect these are questions people may be asking for themselves? Because at different points of my life, I’ve asked for many of the same things. However, as I’ve spiritually matured, I’ve come to realize that what I should thirst for most is “wisdom” and not just any wisdom, but God’s wisdom. Why? Because I’ve learned through my life experiences and scripture studies that it is only through wisdom that I can trul

The "Blueprint" To Spiritual Maturity (Article 17-11)

At the core of our salvation is our rebirth which we refer to as being “Born Again”. The whole idea of being re-birthed is a confounding concept. It certainly was in the time of Christ as exampled when Jesus tells a prominent Jewish Pharisee name Nicodemus “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:1-3). Christ goes on to say “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5). There are five (5) things we should conclude about these scriptures. First, our rebirth is a prerequ

Having Hope In A World That's Losing It (Article 17-10)

At the risk of discouraging some of my readers, I feel spiritually compelled to write this message. It’s a message with a theme that some may find depressing, but I suspect talks to the reality we contend with each day. It's about a nation that is losing hope. It talks to a nation, America, that has to contend with carnage and evil doings on levels that were at one time unimaginable. It's about a nation that has to contend with clashes between political and religious ideologies; random and senseless killings; the killing and injuring of our children in public schools; the "bullying" of children; serial killings; sexual assaults; drug abuse; child abuse and exploitation; human trafficking

The Veil That Once Blinded Us (Article 17-9)

Non-believers are “blinded” from knowing and understanding God. Why? Because a veil covers their eyes and dulls their hearts, and until this veil is removed, they never will know and understand God. So, what is this "Veil" and what does it mean? As for all our questions, we must turn to God's Word in Scripture for the answers. The History of the Holy Temples and the Veil Shortly after David conquered Jerusalem, he built an altar to the God of Israel on a threshing-floor (2 Samuel 24:24–25). This was eventual site of the First Temple built by King Solomon: "Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where [the Lord] appeared unto David his father; … in t

Knowing the Holy Spirit as a "He" and Not as an "It" (Article 17-8)

For many, understanding who and what the Holy Spirit is can be difficult and confusing. To some, the Holy Spirit is a mystical power that hovers around and envelops the world. The Holy Spirit appears to be intangible and eludes our sense of knowledge and understanding. To others, the Holy Spirit may appear to be an inanimate object that is void of form, inviting us to refer to the Holy Spirit as an "it." The fact is that the Holy Spirit, like the Father and the Son, is a "He" - a divine and Holy Being. He is the essence of God the Father and God the Son. Of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of both. The Holy Spirit is “All Knowing” The Holy Spirit is all knowing (omniscience) and knows eve

Are You A "Legalistic Christian?" (Article 17-7)

Many Christians may not realize that being "legalistic" in practicing one's Christian faith runs contrary to the Gospel, thus teachings of Jesus Christ. What is legalism? Legalism is attempting to fulfill God's "Laws" (the 10 Commandments) by one's own abilities to obtain and maintain one's salvation. You may recognize "Legalistic Christian" traits by a person's zealous or aggressive religious mannerisms; rigid interpretations of scripture; or perhaps through a person's spiritually elite attitude and behavior. A Legalistic Christian often sees sins in varying degrees of severity, thus living by a selective moral code and is usually critical of others who do not live by the same code.

Becoming Like Christ (Article 17-6)

When we give our lives to Christ, the "Old Man" in us dies which paves the way for our resurrection (re-birth) into a new being. With our rebirth, we are transformed from living as "human beings" having a "spiritual experience" to "spiritual beings" having a "human experience." Our transformation is to exalt and glorify our Heavenly Father and to become one with Him. With this comes the fulfillment of our life purpose. However, none of these things are possible without becoming like Christ through our abiding in Him and His abiding in us. (John 15). This is how we are to be perfected in the Body of Christ. We Are to Be Perfected. Scripture tells us that “The God of peace…make you perfect in

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