Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bible Study
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Reference:  Acts 14:1-2

Topic:  “Internal Affairs”

The lesson aim is to raise awareness about the internal struggles to hinder spiritual growth.  More importantly, we must learn how to “read” people without jumping to conclusions or becoming defensive toward others. (Ephesians 6:11-12)  The divisive work being done within the church is by design.  The opposition is not about people. However, the main objective is to prevent sinners from being converted and becoming followers of Christ. 

This lesson is not an indictment against the church.  Nor is it designed to cast a cloud of doubt over the church or challenge its mission.  However, there are yet realities that suggest that some people inside the building (church house) are not working for the Lord.  The assignment that Paul and Barnabas had been given was in full swing.  (Read Acts 14:1)  Both men were willing to put aside their differences and work together toward the building of God’s kingdom. (Acts 13:2-3)  The Ephesians 4:12 agenda is designed to grow people. The indictment against today’s church questions the intentions of the heart of those who claim to know the Lord, but their actions don’t concur. 

The enemy works in contrast, that is in the flesh, to the Lord to break our stride toward spiritual renewal through transformation. (Romans 7:18-19; 12:2)  There are several major acts in the text that should raise a number of concerns. 

First, why would anybody want to challenge a good work that has been ordained to change lives? 

Secondly, how do we know what to look for when assessing the maturity of other believers? (verse 2 – “the unbelieving Jews”)

Thirdly, how do we protect the new converts from those sent to turn them away from the truth?

The church is the workshop for developing and training Christian soldiers.  We must be diligent in our pursuit of God’s righteousness and the indwelling of HIS spirit. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bible Study
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Reference:  Acts 9:10-18

Topic:  “I Accept”

The lesson aim is to show the results of reconciliation.  More importantly, we are chosen to serve the Lord in different capacities.  The “work of the ministry” has various stages and phases.  Individuals are called upon to complete specific assignments.  However, the Lord determines the magnitude of the assignment. 

The Apostle Paul is a prime example of God’s grace and mercy. (Read Galatians 1:15-16a)  Luke provides Theophilus a very detailed description of Saul’s conversion.  After his conversion, Saul is then chosen by the Lord to become an apostle and preacher of the gospel.  Acts 9 gives us an hear full in the struggles that take place in the body of Christ to receive one another.  Ananias is a disciple of Jesus Christ that has been called upon to serve as a messenger and transfer agent.  His primary role is to confirm the Lord’s words to Saul and restore his sight.  However, Ananias opposes the Lord because of the person he is called to serve. (Acts 9:13-14)  Once we have reconciled with Christ, we are reconciled with God. At that moment reconciliation removes the enmity between God and man.   In addition reconciliation unites the body of Christ as one. (Ephesians 2:13-16)  Saul had not yet fully received all that was ordained for him.

Enmity –

Trust -

Confidence -

I wonder how many believers are still waiting on their instructions from individuals that chose not to deliver the message from Christ.  Many of struggle to accept the Lord’s decision to rescue sinner. 

What are the key points in this lesson?
·         Acceptance of Christ – “what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6a)
·         The power of Grace – “go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me” (Acts 9:15a)

·         Understanding/Revelation of Reconciliation – “for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16)
Bible Study
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Reference:  Nehemiah 7

Topic:  “Sustainability”

The lesson aim is to show that the work must be completed by all those called to the “work of the ministry”.  More importantly, there must be a succession plan and a plan to sustain the work.  Thus, it is imperative that we grow people and raise financial support to “keep moving forward”.  The ministry of reconciliation opens the way for people to step into their god-given purpose. (Read II Corinthians 5:18-21) There are specific details we must understand about reconciliation that validates the purpose and resources provided for any work of God that we have been called to do. 

Sustain – to support, hold, or bear up from below; to keep a person, the mind, the spirits from giving way, as under trial or affliction; to keep up or keep going, as an action or process

Sustain – [kool] to keep in; hence, to measure; to maintain (I Kings 17:9)

Chapter 7 contains a plethora of solutions on how to address the issue of “moving forward”.  Nehemiah and the people have now completed the first phase of the project. But, Nehemiah realizes that there’s still work to be done.  Oftentimes we get caught up in the finished product and we forget to plan beyond the moment.  The work of the ministry has been given a final completion date. (Read Philippians 1:6) 

There are two major components that this reading plan describes that are the crowning jewels of God’s work:

·         Leadership (succession planning) – Read Nehemiah 7:2-3

What are the leadership roles identified in the text?

What specific instructions does Nehemiah give each of those appointed?

·         Stewardship (giving to a cause)  - Read Nehemiah 7:70-72

Who were the “chief of the fathers”?

What was their reason for giving?

To what work did they give? 

Bible Study
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Reference:  Acts 2:42-47

Topic:  “Keep Moving Forward”

The lesson aim is to show that there action steps that must be taken by all those involved in the “work of the ministry”.  More importantly, there is evidence that the “work” has multiple players that are expected to work together to move people forward..  No matter what stage you’re on in your walk, you still have a role in the building of God’s kingdom. 

Over the past several weeks we have unpacked the truth about the intensity of church growth.  Today, we will see that each phase of church growth points to the hand of God rests on and over all those willing to work on the team.  The team is made up of several groups, new converts and seasoned believers. 

The work that is set before the apostles is driven by their god-given purpose.  The purpose in which they are walking was assigned to them by the Lord Jesus himself.  Subsequently, their focused is on HIM and “all that Jesus began both to do and teach”.  The forward movement of any person is determined by the desires of their heart. 

What are the steps in the text?

What are the key terms in the text?

(Connect the text to the study questions)

[Take home assignment - please answer this question on a separate sheet of paper and submit to the pastor]

What new information have you discovered on the journey so far?