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Who Is Jesus?

Acts 3 is an example of the “signs and wonders” being done at the hands of the Apostles Luke refers to in Acts 2:43. Peter and John, going to the temple see a lame man they likely have seen many times before, but this time it’s different. Peter speaks in Jesus name and the man is healed. A crowd gathers and Peter preaches his second sermon.

Chapter three is a miracle and a message. And this miracle is a message about the salvation Jesus can bring to our souls. It’s also about the restoration Jesus will bring to the world!

Scripture: Acts 3:1-26, 2:43; Isaiah 65:17, 35:5-6

How to Discern God’s Will

“How can I know God’s will?” That is a question that we ask many times in life.

What is God’s will concerning where to go to college or work? How can I know where to go to church or what house to buy? Should I do this or does God want me to do that? These are just a few of the issues that a sincere Christian will grapple with as we seek to live a life that is pleasing to and blessed by God.

The Apostles were in a time of great transition. Jesus had ascended to heaven and they were left here on earth to chart the way forward. These 11 men show us what it means to discover God’s will for our lives.

Scripture: Acts 1:12-26

Spirit-Empowered Witnesses

Acts is the story of the Gospel unleashed by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the people of God to the world. And Jesus teaches us that He means for that story to be continued through us. But many Christians find witnessing awkward at best, and unthinkable at worst. Perhaps that’s because we’re “giving it our best shot,” or feeling “forced” into it? But what we learn here is that Holy Spirit power is essential if the mission of Jesus is going to continue through us. In other words, this calling is bigger than anything we can do on our own, and the good news is that we don’t have to. His power is available to us now!

Scripture: Acts 1:1-11

Unacceptable Love Part 1

Jesus calls His people to love one another with a supernatural love, so much so as to joyfully participate in one another’s pursuit of holiness.

Scripture: John 1:1-17

The King David

David was the king of Israel. There were only three men who could make that claim and none greater than David. Among his accomplishments was the establishment of the City of Jerusalem and make it the capital of the country.

Sixty-six chapters of the Bible are devoted to him, more than any other Bible character. He is also mentioned in the New Testament more than 59 times! That shows us how important he is to us.

David was a prolific writer, musician, warrior, king, and “a man after God’s own heart.” While he did well in many areas of life, he did fail in others. He had an affair that led to the death of the woman’s husband. He appears to not have been a particularly good parent. One son tried to usurp his throne, another raped his sister, and another committed murder.

David has many truths to teach us about the way God works behind the scenes in our lives to prepare us for what He wants. In many ways, David’s life is a model for us. He was humble, reverent, faithful, obedient, and repentant. Those are amazing qualities which we all should desire.

David also teaches us from the negative aspects of his life. For example, he shows us the dangers of boredom, how none of us should believe that we are immune from sexual temptation. Finally, David shows us the heartbreaks that can come with parenting.

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Scripture: 1 Samuel 8:6-8, 13:14, 16:1; Acts 13:22; 1 Kings 2:9-10

The Prophet Daniel

The temptation to compromise our faith is enormous. Television commercials often reveal a homosexual agenda. The news carries stories about the “narrow mindedness” of Christians. Educators belittle Christian faith and values. And society, in general, is decaying into the moral abyss.

What impact is this having on you? Before you say that it has not touched your life, I encourage you to consider what you are willing to compromise now that you were not willing to five years ago.

How do we remain true to our faith in the midst of a corrupt world? Daniel shows us the way.

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-10

The Thief Achan

Achan is a biblical character that made headlines for all the wrong reasons. He made a terrible decision in the city of Jericho, and the impact of that decision reverberated not only through his family but also the Israelite people.

Finally, after years of wandering through the desert, the Israelites have crossed over the Jordan and entered into the land of Canaan. This was an event that was a long time in the making. But entering the land did not mean that the Israelites possessed the land. The Canaanites and other tribes of polytheistic idolaters stood in the way of Israel fulfilling their God-given destiny.

The story of Achan is, in a way, our stories. Here was an Israelite who ignored God. What happens when we do that? Achan provides a warning for us all.

Scripture: Joshua 6-7

Esther the Queen

Esther is a compelling and beautifully told story in the Bible. At the same time, it’s a bit obscure for some people. The story is told with many coincidences and reversals. Perhaps most impactful is that God is not mentioned anywhere in the book. However, just because He seems to be hidden, doesn’t mean He’s absent from the story.

If you read Esther in the context of the rest of the Bible, you see God’s unconditional, covenant promises made to Abraham and David are in jeopardy. You also see God’s faithfulness to His promises as He providentially saves His people and defeats their enemies through the actions of Esther, the Queen.

The big idea from Esther 4 is this: God providentially positions His people to face defining moments and calls us to die to ourselves and act in faith for His glory and our good.

Scripture: Esther 4:1-17; Matthew 16:24-26

The Patriarch Abraham Part Two

Today we come to one of the most dramatic and most well-known events in the O.T. To understand Abraham, we must understand this passage. It is a one-of-a-kind story that portrays the greatest story ever told. Abraham would offer Isaac by faith and in doing so, gives us a good look at what would happen 2000+ years later on Mt. Calvary.

In Genesis 22 we find central truths that will help us better understand how we come to Christ and what is expected after we do.

Testing is one of the lessons of the passage. Testing is not the same thing as tempting. In temptation, Satan lures us to disobey God. The purpose of testing (or trials) is that God is behind it and the purpose is to build faith. Abraham was about to face his greatest test.

Jehovah Jira is one of the compound names of God. It means “God will provide.” Abraham was faced with a great dilemma. God had asked him to sacrifice his long-desired son. Would he do it? Why would God call for this to happen?

Finally, what does Abraham teach us about faith that is required for salvation?

Scripture: Genesis 22; James 1:2-4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 11:17-19; Romans 4:1-3

The Prophet Elijah

The most significant problem of both the Old and New Testaments is idolatry. And for that matter, the greatest problem that we face is also idolatry.

Elijah was a man called by God to confront idolatry in the most convincing way. It is a story like none other. But Elijah shows us that even God’s choicest servants can suffer from profound weakness.

Elijah confronted Israel’s idolatry and those who propagated it. He won the most unimaginable victory and drew the hearts of God’s people back to Him. However, he then wandered into the wilderness and suffered greatly with depression and wanted to give up.

His life shows us the reality of life in God’s service.

Scripture: 1 Kings 18