Archives For April 2020

Bible Study based on Ecclesiastes 2:18-26

The preacher of Ecclesiastes now looks to work for the meaning of life. From a secular worldview–work always fails us and in the end it is vanity. From a biblical worldview–we love work! It is a gift from God and he has called us to it.

This Bible Study on Ecclesiastes 2:18-26 was recorded on 4/29/30 @MBBC.

Bible Study Notes from 4/22/20

This is what Christians call Good Friday. Around 33AD, Jesus the Nazarene was crucified on a Roman cross. This happened the Friday of the Jewish Passover celebration. That celebration was a memorial festival for the Jews where they remembered God’s angel of destruction “passing-over” their homes and preserving their children. Jesus had been arrested late Thursday evening into Friday morning. Through the night into the morning he had been passed from leader to leader, both Jewish and Roman. The Jews accused him of blasphemy because of his claims of being the Son of God. The Romans accused him of treason because he had been called a King, the King of the Jews. Normally foes, the Romans and Jews came together to deal with their common problem—Jesus the Nazarene.

The decision was made, Jesus was condemned to the cross. He was beaten, mocked and scorned. He had to carry his own cross, the one that would die one, he carried it out of the city, up a hill and to its final resting place on Golgotha. There he was nailed to the cross, both hands and feet, and the cross was lifted up and dropped into its hole to stand. Around 3 p.m., after three hours of darkness, the man died. At the moment of Jesus’ death there was a great earthquake and resulted in damage to the Temple.

Friday saw a corrupt trial. An innocent man was tortured and killed. The Temple was damaged. Why in the world would we ever call this GOOD Friday? Is it sarcasm? Did we get it confused with the day after Thanksgiving?

No, it is rightly named Good Friday. It is good because God makes bad things good! Jesus’ death was bad. But God used it for good. Jesus from Nazareth was unique, there had never been anyone on earth like him. The historical records about his life say that he never sinned—meaning never lied, never stole, never disobeyed his parents, never went against God in word, thought or deed. Because Jesus was an innocent man, a man without sin, God used his death as a substitute for all of those who are guilty, who do sin. The death of Jesus satisfied the wrath of God against sin. But there is more—Jesus’ death was not final—two days later, on Sunday morning Jesus was brought back to life. The man who didn’t deserve to die, was raised back to life. In this moment, God also defeats the power that death has over humanity. We are told in letters that circulated in the first century after Jesus’ death and resurrection that his resurrection was the prototype for what God would do with the rest of humanity. The letters declare that those who know who Jesus was and trust in God’s plan will also be resurrected after they die.

It is a Good Friday. The two great enemies of mankind had been defeated—death and sin. God was able to do this because he makes bad things good. Remember that today. There is a lot of bad in the world. There is a lot of fear. There is a lot of talk about sickness and death. The news will tell every reason to be afraid. Jesus tells us not to worry. We don’t have to fear death anymore. We don’t have to fear COVID-19. Don’t get me wrong—its bad. But remember, especially on this good day, God takes bad things and makes good happen. If you have questions about this, or want more information, ask God to show it to you. He will.

Happy Good Friday! I love ya’ Maugansville!

arranged for family worship on 4/5/20 from ESV, editorial notes by Chad Carter

Decency is not canceled. Love is not canceled. Friendship is not canceled. Family is not canceled. Generosity, compassion and kindness are not canceled.

There is a lot we have been asked not to do for a time, but there is so much more that we are allowed to do. Please, use this time to check in on friends with a phone call. Take your time, talk awhile. Catch up with each other and pray together over the phone.

Use this time to mend fences. Reconciliation hasn’t been canceled. Do you have a broken or strained relationship with a friend or family member? Fix it. Fix it today. You really can’t say you are too busy. There isn’t really anything to distract you. You don’t have any good excuses right now. So pick up the phone, call the person and just say, “I was thinking about you and wondered how you are holding up with all that is going on?” Then let God’s grace do the rest of the work.

You are still allowed to read your bible. Pick it up, open it and listen for God’s call to you. Read it and look for the beauty of God. Search the pages for his holiness, the transcendent nature of God. Pour over his instructions about life and how to be in a relationship with him and your neighbors. The stories in the bible are full of life and loss, success and tragedy, crisis after crisis and yet God continues to move everything towards his purposes. Dozens of different authors over thousands of years, and there is one theme that rings through the whole narrative—God wants you. You have all of the time in the world right now. Get to know the greatest love story that was ever written, the Holy God in love with his broken servants. It too is a story of reconciliation, God is calling you and he has been ready to mend fences for a long time.

Don’t waste your time watching the news for hours every day. Redeem the time we have been given this week and do something productive and meaningful. Strengthen and rebuild the important relationships in your life. If you invest your time doing that in the next month, our community will come out of this pandemic stronger than we were before it.

Love ya Maugansville!