Monthly Archives: August 2009

Life Of Paul: The Jerusalem Council

jewsThis is actually the lesson from last Wednesday, I’ve been busy and haven’t had time to post the it. There wasn’t a lesson last night because I was hosting a community youth revival and the youth were there . You can check out it’s website at unifiedyouth.org.

The Jerusalem Council
(50 A.D.)

During Paul’s first missionary journey, He saw that God “opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27)
· Sergius Paulus Acts13:6-12
· Gentiles in Antioch of Pisidia Acts 13:42-49
· Greeks at Iconium Acts 14:1

It didn’t take long before questions arose about Gentiles in the church.
· Should they convert to Judaism first?
· Should they be circumcised?
· Should they keep the Law of Moses?
After two years at Antioch Paul and Barnabas were faced with a crisis!

I.


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When God Moves Faster Than We Do

church-splitThis will be an unpopular post and probably make some people angry, but the bible is full of people that offended in an effort to speak of Jesus and what God wants. I do ask either read this post all the way through or don’t read it at all. I’m going to start by saying I have never been in a church when it split. I’ve been in a church where there was tension over a decision and some people left and I still bear the scars from seeing how Christians react to these kind of situations. I also saw and did what was necessary to rebuild harmony so that the Body of Christ would not suffer. The church I attend did split many years ago before I was there and I still hear negative comments by people who do not belong to either church or they are new to the community. As far as church members both churches communicate on events and invite each other to events.
The main thing we as Christians most remember is that the church is not ours. It belongs to and IS the bride of Jesus Christ! When you insult a biblical church you are saying “hey Jesus your wife is ugly.” Now back to the subject of church splits, The book of Acts tells us about the early church and how we should do church. Paul went from town to town planting churches.
When a church grew it sent members to start another church. Look at Romans 16. First Paul asks them to accept Phoebe from the church of Cenchrae. Next he greets Prisca and Aquila who were at the church in Corinth and now they are back in Rome. (Acts 18:1-2) This is just a couple of people who went to help grow a church. Before somebody says vs. 17 says to watch out for those who cause divisions it also says contrary to the doctrine you have been taught. The biblical example of a church is for it to grow and then split and start a new church.
Sometimes Christians resist change. We like our church why would we go to another one. Many think the bigger a church is the more it can reach out. The more “means” it has. The fact of the matter is New churches are good. there are many excellent books and lessons on churches that prove through data that new churches promote growth in the established church and the new church. Every church split I have heard or read about both churches wound up gaining members.
God wants us to grow and multiply, when we move to slow for him God finds His own way of speeding things up. I’ve heard the people use the excuse that the devil was at work in splitting “that” church. I agree, just like God used the devil to teach Job some lessons and how He used to the devil lead a bunch of Jewish people to crucify the very person that they had been waiting on to deliver them. That worked out pretty good for me in that through the crucifixion of Christ my sin was atoned for.
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving Pamphylia, A young man named John Mark decided instead of continuing with them he would go back to Jerusalem(Acts 13:13). Later Paul and Barnabas decided to go back and see how the churches they planted were doing.(Acts 15:36-40) Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, but Paul refused and they “Split”. Is that a bad thing? Paul gathered other people and went anyways. Silas and another young man named Timothy(Acts 16:1-5) learned under Paul’s tutelage. Barnabas and John Mark didn’t give up ministry either, they continued on and Paul himself felt that John Mark was a great help in Ministry(2 Titus 4:11).
God split two experienced church planters up to accomplish His will twice as fast. We are all one church the bride of Jesus we must come together and act like it! We should encourage one another, support one another, and pray for each other. I pray for both churches that split near me. I pray that God will bless both of them. I pray for the leaders of both and pray that they will again realize sometimes God’s will is not ours.
God Bless,
MSW


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Life Of Paul: First Missionary Journey

acts22bThis is tonight’s lesson on Paul. It covers his first missionary Journey.Again this lesson is based on an outline by Mark Copeland at executableoutlines.com

First Missionary Journey, And Residence In Antioch
(45-49 A.D.)
So far we have looked at Paul’s life up until he starts his missonary Journeys
Paul has spent his life preparing for his calling by God
His education, heritage, his Jewish religous stnding and training all have prepared him
Since his conversion his preaching in Damascus, Arabia, and Tarsus have been getting him ready for what God had in mind for him..
Now Paul will begin his series of Journeys that will take the Gospel were it has never been heard Romans 15:20-21
So today we will look at Paul’s first missionary Journey Which begins in Syria.

I. THE CITY OF ANTIOCH IN SYRIA (45 A.D.)
A. THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH…
In Acts 11:19-21 we see that the church in Antioch was started by men from Cyprus and Cyrene and when the Christians at Jerusalem heard about this church they sent Barnabas to help strengthen the church. Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch and for a year they met with the church. Here is where the term Christians came into existence. Acts 11:19-26


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As Jesus Sees

woman_at_the_wellAugust is here! Time for children to head off to school and time for our revival, plus this year there will be a revival for the youth. Another busy month where it’s easy to get caught up in all we have going on and forget about others. So what can we do to prepare ourselves for this busy month?
First the most important thing we can do is pray. Before we can pray we need to prepare ourselves for prayer. Start by taking a minute a looking at people the way God looks at them. Think back through your day. Think of everyone you have met today. How did you see them?
What do you know about them? What problems are they having? What good things do they have going on in their life? Often I’m so busy with my life that I forget to take a minute and look at people as Jesus would.
When Jesus sat down at the well(John 4:6-29) with the Samarian woman He didn’t look at her like the Jews or even his own disciple did. The Samarians were hated by the Jews. The Samarians worshipped God but they also worshipped idols. In the apocryphal book of Sirach we can see in the words of a Jew exactly how they felt about the Samarians. Sirach 50:25-26 There be two manner of nations which my heart abhorreth, and the third is no nation: They that sit upon the mountain of Samaria, and they that dwell among the Philistines, and that foolish people that dwell in Sichem.
Plus this woman had multiple adulterous affairs; a good Jew would never defile himself by speaking to her. But Jesus looked past all this and spoke and asked for water. Jesus spoke kindly and lovingly to her. Jesus told her that He was the deliverer. Thanks to Jesus not looking at her with condemnation and hate she came to know Jesus and brought others to Him. This is how we should look at God’s people. With love!

MSW


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Life Of Paul;The Early Years

saul4Since most of my time lately has been devoted to studying and preparing lessons for my youth classes, I have decided to start posting the lessons here. Right now we are studying the life of Paul. I’ve already done two lessons that had such a basic outline when I taught that they wouldn’t be very helpful to anyone. Last Wednesday’s I detailed pretty good and next Wednesdays the same way. I often make seemingly random comments to help jog my memory on something I want to talk about.

I based these on an outline I found that Mark Copeland had done. The original outlines can be found at Executable outlines.com

This is the lesson on the ten years after Paul’s conversion and before he began his first missionary Journey. All bible verses are from the HCSB

Paul’s Early Years Of Service
(36-45 A.D.)
INTRODUCTION
What do we know about Paul?
He persecuted the church
He was converted on the road to Damascus
He was a missionary and preacher.

But Paul became a Christian around 36 AD and it was almost 10 years later in 45 AD when he began his first missionary trip.
So What was Paul doing between his conversion and the time when the Spirit called him to begin
his missionary journeys?

He was preparing………How should we prepare for what God has planned for us?

I.


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