All posts by JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. Preacher. Baseball fan. Music nerd. Bookworm.

Closer To Thee

Closer To Thee

I. God’s grace

    A. When we come face-to-face with God’s holiness, we see how undeserving we are (Job 40:3-5; Isaiah 6:5)
    B. Yet, His grace allows us to be near Him, in His embrace (Ephesians 2:8-9)

II. God’s guidance

    A. Closeness to God gives us peace and rest (Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 11:28-30)
    B. Closeness to His Word provides guidance and guards us from sin (Psalm 31:3; 73:24)

III. God’s glory

    A. If abide in His Word, He will never abandon us—in times of joy, sorrow, or even death (Hebrews 13:5-6)
    B. And when that time of death comes and we await the final judgment, we have confidence that He has prepared a place in glory—in His eternal “home on high” (John 14:1-3)

The Great Physician for the Sin-Sick World (Mark 2:13-17)

The Great Physician for the Sin-Sick World (Mark 2:13-17)

Mark 2:13-17

I. Jesus calls Levi [also known as Matthew] (Mark 2:13-14)

    A. The multitudes taught (Mark 2:13)
    B. Yet, the Teacher took the time to address the individual – and an individual unworthy of His attention [in the eyes of man] (Mark 2:14)

II. Jesus eats with Levi and his friends (Mark 2:15-16)

    A. Tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:15)
    B. The Pharisees criticize Jesus (Mark 2:16)

III. Jesus reveals His purpose (Mark 2:17)

    A. The physician treats the sick, not the well (Mark 2:17a)
    B. The Lord calls sinners, not the righteous (Mark 2:17b; cf. Luke 19:10; Romans 3:10)

Compassion for the Lost (Matthew 9:35-38)

Compassion for the Lost (Matthew 9:35-38)

Matthew 9:35-38

I. Continue working (Matthew 9:35)

    A. Even when persecuted and ridiculed (Matthew 9:3, 10-11, 24, 34)
    B. If it happened to Jesus, it will happen to Jesus’ followers – rejoice! (1 Peter 4:12-16)
    C. Don’t let anything in this world stop you, recognizing that God is with you when you obey His will (Matthew 28:18-20; Hebrews 13:5-6)

II. Look upon opportunities with love (Matthew 9:36-37)

    A. Jesus’ compassion compelled Him to help (Matthew 14:14; 15:32; Mark 1:40-41; 5:19; Luke 7:11-15)
    B. You are not expected to do what is beyond your ability, but you are expected to do all that you can! (2 Corinthians 8:12)

III. Pray (Matthew 9:38)

    A. Pray for more workers (Matthew 9:38)
    B. Pray for boldness in the work (Acts 4:29; Ephesians 6:18-20)

The Power of Jesus (Mark 1:29-2:12)

The Power of Jesus (Mark 1:29-2:12)

Mark 1:29-2:12

I. The compassion of His power

    A. Simon’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31)
    B. The leper (Mark 1:40-41)
    C. The paralytic (Mark 2:5-11)

II. The immediacy of His power

    A. Simon’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:31)
    B. The leper (Mark 1:42)
    C. The paralytic (Mark 2:12)

III. The popularity of His power

    A. Simon’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:32-39)
    B. The leper (Mark 1:43-45)
    C. The paralytic (Mark 2:1-4, 12)

The Benefits of Baptism (Romans 6:1-11)

The Benefits of Baptism (Romans 6:1-11)

Romans 6:1-11

I. Death (6:1-3)

    A. Answering the error of a misapplication of Romans 5:20b
    B. Jesus died to sin (6:10), when we are baptized into Christ (and into His death) we also die to sin through Him—and we die to ourselves! (cf. Romans 8:13; Galatians 2:20; Luke 14:33; Romans 12:1)

II. Burial (6:3-4)

    A. This points to the mode of baptism – “buried”
    B. An act of submission

III. Resurrection (6:4)

    A. Just as Jesus died, we die – just as Jesus was buried, we are buried – just as Jesus was raised, we are raised
    B. The purpose: “to walk in newness of life” because we are dead to sin, freed from sin, made a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

IV. What it means for the Christian (6:5-11)

    A. We are united with Him in His death and resurrection (6:5)
    B. We are freed from sin (6:6-7)
    C. We live with Him to God (6:8-11)

The Devil Among God’s People (Mark 1:21-28)

The Devil Among God's People (Mark 1:21-28)

Mark 1:21-28

I. The authority of Jesus heard (1:21-22)

    A. Taught by example – He went to the synagogue (1:21)
    B. Taught by word – consistency between His words and actions, unlike the scribes (1:21-22)

II. The existence of evil (1:23-24)

    A. The man with an unclean spirit was among God’s people at the synagogue (1:23; cf. 1 Peter 5:8)
    B. The demon knew who Jesus was (1:24; cf. James 2:19)

III. The power of Jesus demonstrated (1:25-26)

    A. Restrained the demon’s ability to speak (1:25)
    B. Forced the demon to exit the man’s body (1:25)
    C. The demon left, but did not go without a fight (1:26)

IV. The reaction of the people (1:27-28)

    A. Amazed at His authority over evil (1:27)
    B. When amazing things happen, word gets around (1:28)

The Trees in Eden (Genesis 2 & 3)

The Trees in Eden (Genesis 2 & 3)

Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; 3:1-7, 22-24

I. Abundance of trees (2:8-9)

    A. God provided beautiful trees – “pleasant to the sight”
    B. God provided nourishing trees – “good for food”

II. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:15-17; 3:1-7)

    A. Eve noticed three things about the tree (3:6)
    B. What is the “knowledge of good and evil”?

III. The tree of life (3:22-24)

    A. A tree that made perpetual life possible
    B. This tree is still available to us, but not in the “here & now” – it is in “the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7)
    C. How can we have access to it? (Revelation 22:14)

The Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry (Mark 1:1-20)

The Beginning of Jesus' Ministry (Mark 1:1-20)

Mark 1:1-20

I. John the Immerser prepared people for Jesus (Mark 1:1-8)

    A. The prophets foretold of John’s work (Mark 1:2-3; cf. Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3)
    B. John’s work included confession, repentance, and baptism (Mark 1:4-5)
    C. John’s humility seen in his attire, diet, and attitude (Mark 1:6-8)

II. Jesus faced ups and downs as He prepared Himself (Mark 1:9-13)

    A. His baptism (Mark 1:9-11)
    B. His temptations (Mark 1:12-13; cf. Hebrews 4:15)

III. Jesus did not attempt to do it alone (Mark 1:14-20)

    A. Jesus’ message (Mark 1:14-15)
    B. Jesus’ fishers of men (Mark 1:16-20)

What Have You Purposed?

What Have You Purposed?

I. With your life?

    A. What is your priority? (Matthew 6:33; Joshua 24:14-18)
    B. How do you view the pleasures of the world? (Daniel 1:8; 1 John 2:15-17)
    C. What is your goal when this life ends? (Philippians 3:12-14)

II. With your words?

    A. Are you ready to stand up for God’s truth? (Jude 3; Philippians 1:17; 1 Peter 3:15)
    B. Do you know why you believe what you believe? (2 Timothy 2:15)

III. With your things?

    A. The love of this world’s material goods is detrimental to faith (Matthew 16:24-26; Mark 10:17-25)
    B. We must love people and use things, rather than use people and love things! (Acts 4:32-37; 1 Timothy 6:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2)
    C. You are only expected to do what God has enabled you to do – but He often enables us more than we think! (2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:6-8; Ephesians 3:20-21)

Choose Your Path Wisely (Matthew 7:13-27)

Choose Your Path Wisely (Matthew 7:13-27)

Matthew 7:13-27

I. The narrow gate vs. the wide gate (7:13-14)

    A. The wide gate leads to eternal separation from God (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30,46)
    B. The narrow gate leads to eternity with God in His kingdom (Matthew 19:29; 25:46; 2 Timothy 2:10)

II. Warning against false prophets (7:15-20)

    A. Lull disciples into spiritual apathy (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
    B. Their fruits must be inspected (2 John 9-11)

III. Sound doctrine leads to sound living (7:21-23)

    A. Avoid deception by studying and doing what God says
    B. The purpose of miracles (Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 13:8-10)
    C. Deception leads to destruction

IV. Rock-solid foundation vs. foundation of sand (7:24-27)

    A. We must dig deep and lay the foundation on His rock (Luke 6:48)
    B. It is not merely hearing the Word, but doing the Word (James 1:22-25)