Here’s the last lesson in the series. Hope it’s been useful!
Last week, we talked about personal disciplines, actions we can take to grow in holiness. We know that it’s the Holy Spirit that changes us from the inside out, and disciplines simply help us cooperate with what He’s doing.
Now, holiness isn’t just an individual matter. God is a God of holy love, and He wants us the world to become holy again. And He wants us to help Him accomplish that. That’s why He created the church.
To be clear, the word “church” can mean a lot of things. It can mean the building we’re in, or the property we’re on. It can mean the people we’re surrounded with. It can mean the collection of churches that we’re a part of. It can even mean the collection of all the churches of all time.
Today, we’ll be talking about the church largely on the local level. We’re talking about the group of believers you spend your time with. it’s not really about the building: it’s about the body of Christ. Why do we call the church the body of Christ? Read the rest of this entry
Maybe it happened in a comic book. Maybe a TV series. Maybe even within a movie. You find a character you like, someone you identify with. You get to know how they work. Then, suddenly, they say a particular line or make a particular choice, and it just feels wrong. They would never do that, you think. You can tell the writer forced the moment in for convenience, or because they were pressured into it. It just doesn’t work.
I think God has similar moments with us.
You may not believe this, but God has a story in mind for each of us. We’re all hand-crafted, made for a specific purpose. And God cares very much about us fulfilling that purpose.
When we depart from that purpose, it can cause a lot of angst. It can feel like that out-of-character moment in fiction — except we’re living it out.
Sometimes we get there by defying God. We know what we need to do, but we’re too scared or too comfortable to do it. Or we may get there because we don’t think there’s any purpose to our lives. Maybe we never did; maybe we did once, then lost hope.
Whatever the case, believe this: You are not an accident. You are not a mistake.
God didn’t mess up when He made you. He had something good in mind. And He wants each of us to find what that good thing is. He wants us to live out our purpose.
Talk to Him about it. Take a moment in a quiet place. Ask Him what He meant your life to be about, then listen. If He doesn’t show you something right away, keep it in the back of your mind. He’ll find ways to get through to you.
Don’t force a story into your life that’s not your own.
The second XLM Bible Study was a lot of fun. Thank you so much to Avrom at Adventures in Comics and Games for welcoming us!
Our next event will be in early December. Details soon. For now, here are my notes from the lesson.
Last time, we talked about the power of the cross. Some people stop there when they talk about Christianity. Thing is, that’s just the beginning. Jesus was clear about that.
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, and not just that we could pray to Him or know about Him, but that He would live in each of us. Now, make no mistake: the Holy Spirit is God, just as Jesus and the Father are. So what we’re saying is, God Himself lives in us as Christians.
That’s what we’re talking about today. Christianity doesn’t end at the cross. The Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us accomplish what we could never do otherwise. Read the rest of this entry
You’re invited to the inaugural Extra Life Ministries Bible Study! We’ll discuss a Biblical topic for about 45 minutes, then have lunch and hang out. Questions are very welcome.
This week: Why the Cross is the Most Epic Event in All History.
There’s a reason Christians make such a big deal about the cross. It’s the central event of our religion. Without it, nothing else we preach about really matters. But even beyond that? It’s pure genius.
Come join us!
I hate being wrong. Even so, I know I sometimes need people to call me out when I am.
On Wednesday of last week, I taught the Bible study. We talked about one of the hardest but most necessary means of spiritual growth: accountability.
Do you have someone that will tell you when you’re messing up? Someone you’ll actually listen to?
I had a feeling that the conversation would cover a range of toics, so I tried organizing my notes a little differently than I usually do. They are below.
So, we’re gonna continue through this period of Israel’s history when the kingdom is split in two. We have the Kingdom of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. You heard about Elijah a couple weeks ago. Elijah was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom Israel and had some trouble with King Ahab and his wife, who are doing a very poor job of following God and leading the nation. In fact, in this period of Israel’s history there were lots of ups and downs as far as following God, from King to king, or even for individual Kings.
During this period, God sent prophets to the kings of Israel and Judah to try to keep them and the people on track. Or, at the very least, accountable for the bad choices they were making.
Have you ever had a friend call you out on something you were doing wrong?
Did it ever save you a lot of trouble? Still, was it hard? Read the rest of this entry
I’ve gone back and updated all the posts on my apologetics series with my notes. You can now read the lessons as they were written.
And as an extra bonus, here are the notes from the lesson that didn’t get recorded.
“Because the Bible says so” isn’t going to cut it with many of the people we talk to. Here are a few reasons why.
We claim not only that our God is the only god, but that the Bible is the Word of God. These are outlandish claims in a relativistic culture. People may be tempted to dismiss them outright – how could they possibly be true in a world with so many religions and holy books? Read the rest of this entry
When we pray, I think we sometimes try to think of the most holy thing to say. For some of us, there are certain subjects that just don’t come up when we talk to God.
If we want to have a deep relationship with God, we need to be totally honest with him.
That was the subject of my sermon this morning at Crossroads.
Below is the sermon as I wrote it out. There are only a few additional comments in the audio. Also, the recording started a little late, so my intro is cut off from the audio.
Good morning, everyone. And good day to everyone listening on the podcast, whenever you’re getting it. I am Pastor Brian, and those of you who don’t know me very well may be wondering, “why is that guy the head of geek ministries?” Those of you who know me a little better are not surprised at all.
In the final lesson of the apologetics series, we touch on perhaps the most important question of all: how can Jesus be the only way to God? What about all the other religions of the world? And aren’t all religions basically the same anyway?
And thus ends my Sunday School series. I hope it’s been useful and enlightening to you.
After this week, I’ll be getting back to regular blog posts. I say after this week because I’m preaching this Sunday! I’ll be working on my sermon, which you’ll be able to hear on the Crossroads podcast.
Also, my friends are trying to rope me into playing Warhammer 40k. And I’m tempted. Pray for me.
Below is the lesson as written.
This morning, we’ll talk about our most central apologetic task: defending Jesus Himself. Without Jesus, there’s no point in discussing the rest.
Jesus says this in John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” The term “lifted up,” according to my footnotes, also means “exalted.” Our job is to, in a manner of speaking, make Jesus look good. The best way to do that is to tell the truth about Him.
That means we’ll need to have answers ready for views that oppose Christianity. We need something to say when people ask, “how can Jesus be the only way to God?”
It may be good to start by asking for clarification. If someone asks that question, you still may not know their specific objection. Read the rest of this entry