• BSCNC - One Story Disciple-Making_A
  • BSCNC - Summer Missions_A
  • CP Challenge #2_A
Sunday School Lessons

Explore the Bible Lesson for January 4: God Commands Obedience

December 23 2014 by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson

Focal Passage: Ezra 7:1-10
As a parent I command obedience from my children. Sometimes my commands are easily understood, and sometimes they may not be from their perspective. They may see my commands as burdensome or restrictive. I know the things I am asking of them will bring them both freedom and joy. Their obedience will not only cause them to avoid punishment. It will also allow them to walk in joyful fellowship with their father.
The people of God had disobeyed Him in many ways, resulting in exile to Babylon. In the immediate context of Ezra 7-10, one of the clear ways they had disobeyed was by intermarrying with pagan nations. God had warned them against this practice, knowing that marrying those who worshipped false gods would cause the hearts of God’s people to turn away from Him. But, wanting their own way and ignoring God’s commands, God’s people disobeyed and suffered the consequences.
Ezra’s response, upon returning to Jerusalem, was threefold. First, he “set his heart to study the law of God.” He knew that if he and the people were going to walk in obedience, they must first know God’s law. They must meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2). Second, Ezra set his heart to “do” God’s law – that is, to obey it. God has not given us His law so that we might simply read it, know it or memorize it. He gave us His law so that we might do it (James 1:22). Third, Ezra set his heart to teach God’s statutes in Israel. He would remind the people of the necessity of obedience to the law of God.
We know, ultimately, we will not perfectly obey God’s law. In fact, Paul says in Galatians that God did not give us the law so we could keep it and be good, but rather to show us that we could not keep it and thus needed a savior. Christ perfectly obeyed and fulfilled God’s law. This does not mean, then, that we can live however we want. It means that because His Spirit now lives in us, He has empowered us to study God’s truth, obey it and teach it to others. Living in obedience to God’s commands, by the power of His Spirit, always results in our good and His glory.
12/23/2014 1:51:30 PM by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson | with 0 comments

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for January 4: The Shelter of God’s Peace

December 23 2014 by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram

Focal Passage: Psalm 46:1-11

Selah. A word used 74 times in the Hebrew Bible – 71 of these are in the Psalms. We find it used three times in Psalm 46 – possibly marking the end of each stanza or thought in this Psalm.
So, what does Selah mean? Many believe it is a musical interlude, a pause or a rest. I like the way the Amplified Bible states it: “pause, and calmly think of that.” We struggle day-by-day facing obstacles, fears and turmoil. If we listen to the news, it is enough to “scare us to death.” In verse two, the Psalm tells that “we will not be afraid.”
How can he say this? How can we know peace in a world that seems so out of control? The Psalmist begins by telling us “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” God is our Peace. God is in control. The answer to finding peace is not complicated. Selah. Pause. Rest easy. We should never expect life to make sense. We should not fear because surprises occur. Life is full of surprises, shocks and senselessness. However, remember that nothing takes God by surprise.
Consider the three stanzas in this Psalm. First, even if the whole world should crumble, we can find Selah (v. 1-3) because God is our refuge. Then, even through floods and nations collapsing, we can find Selah (v. 4-7) because God is our stronghold. Finally, the Psalmist invites us to witness the works of God – He is exalted, with us and the Stronghold.
Horatio Spafford in 1871 lost most of his investments in “The Great Chicago Fire.” He sent his wife and daughters for some rest and recovery. The ship they were on sank, and all of his daughters drowned. He boarded a ship to go to his wife’s grieving side in England. As the ship went past the spot where this had happened, he went on deck; then he went back to his cabin and penned the words that would become a beloved hymn during crisis – “It is Well With My Soul.” This reminds us to settle, to pause and to find rest in God. God our Refuge, our Stronghold, our Selah.
12/23/2014 1:49:01 PM by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram | with 0 comments

Explore the Bible Lesson for December 28: God Ordains Restoration

December 16 2014 by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson

Focal Passages: Ezra 3:1-7, 10-11; 6:19-22
I was recently given a small fiberglass jon boat that had been abandoned. When I got it, it was filled with water, covered in moss, grown up with weeds and full of leaves and sticks. The tires on the trailer were flat and dry rotted.
The boat was a far cry from the well-functioning fishing boat it had been made to be. I have stripped it down to the shell of the boat and am getting ready to restore it.
How will I know when that mission has been accomplished and a success? When the boat is once again on the lake being used for fishing, the purpose for which the boat was made.
The people of God that had been exiled in Babylon had returned to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the temple, which laid in shambles after being destroyed. God fulfilled His promise to return His people to the holy city to rebuild the house of worship.
Under edict of the king and with the financial resources of the royal treasury, they returned to rebuild God’s house. They faced great persecution during the rebuilding from opponents who tried to discourage them and stop the work. However, they listened to and trusted God’s promises through the prophets.
How did they know when the job was complete? When they were once again fulfilling God’s intended purpose for His house – when the people of God were again bringing sacrifices to worship God according to God’s design and command.
But the temple was but a shadow of what was to come. While they worshipped God according to His design, the day would come when the fulfillment of that to which the temple worship pointed would be fulfilled.
The Son of God would be the once-for-all sacrifice for the sin of the world, and one day, His people would worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
God created us to know, love, worship and obey Him, so how do we see evidence of those purposes being fulfilled in our lives?
When we are worshipping Him and living our lives sacrificially (Rom. 12:1), as He created us to do for His glory.
12/16/2014 1:17:23 PM by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson | with 0 comments

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 28: The Shelter of God’s Encouragement

December 16 2014 by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram

Focal Passages: Psalm 42:1-3, 6-8; 43:3-5
In Donald McCulley’s sermon – “Got Hope?” – he tells of a famous painting by G.F. Watt with the title of “Hope.” The painting pictures a poor woman against the world. Her eyes are bandaged so she cannot see ahead. In her hands is a harp, but all the strings are broken save one. Those broken strings represent her shattered expectations, her bitter disappointments. That one last unbroken string is the string of hope. She strikes that string and a glorious melody floats out over the world; it fills her dark skies with stars. The artist painted a great truth: Even when all else seems gone, you can still have hope!
Have you ever felt depressed? If so, then you will find good company in Psalms 42-43. These psalms are about a person who is desperately longing for God’s presence and rescue but is overwhelmed with feelings of depression. Water is a big theme in Psalm 42. This writer is feeling separated from God and he can feel it so much in his soul that he is like a thirsty animal, searching for water. He has a spiritual need in his life: a longing for God’s presence.
The psalmist cannot figure out why he is so depressed. He goes on to describe himself as “deeply depressed.” Now the theme of water returns – describing the depression, which he sees as a conspiracy of the waves that cascade over him and drag him to the bottom.
Depression is like that. You cannot breathe, cannot see your way out and you feel like you’re sinking fast. Even in the midst, he knows he must continue to look to God’s faithful love at all times.
Sometimes all we can do in the midst of depression is keep crying to God.
Ponder over two truths from this Psalm. First, depression can happen even to a believer. We are not immune from this struggle. Then remember that ultimately it is God who is our hope. We can trust in the promises of God that no matter what is happening around us, it will be okay because God is in control. God does have a plan, God does love you and he will see you through even this.
12/16/2014 1:13:55 PM by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram | with 0 comments

Explore the Bible Lesson for December 21: God Provides a Savior

December 4 2014 by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson

Focal Passage: Luke 2:8-20
As I read through this familiar passage again, I couldn’t help but think of the words to the song “A Strange Way to Save the World.” The chorus of the song is sung from the perspective of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. He is standing in the stable at Bethlehem, asking: “Why me?/I’m just a simple man of trade? Why him?/With all the rulers in the world? Why here?/Inside this stable filled with hay? Why her?/She’s just an ordinary girl? Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say. But this is such a strange way to save the world.”
Consider how strange this must’ve been from a human perspective. It began with an unusual announcement to a barren, elderly couple – Abraham and Sarah – about their son who would be the forerunner of God’s messiah. Then came an unusual announcement from an angel to a teenage girl who was engaged to a carpenter – not exactly the expected family line for the birth of a king. This young couple ended up in an unusual, small town and was forced to go to a most unusual birthing place like the stable where a king’s animals might eat. This couldn’t be where the king should be born.
Then an unusual heavenly host brought this joyful announcement to simple shepherds who were keeping their sheep on a hillside outside of town.
From our human perspective, this whole endeavor seems a most unusual approach, but it was God’s perfect provision of exactly what man needed.
As D.A. Carson so aptly reminds us, “If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.” Go tell the Good News of this Savior! His name is Jesus!

12/4/2014 1:27:06 PM by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson | with 0 comments

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 21: The Shelter of God’s Forgiveness

December 4 2014 by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram

Focal Passage: Psalm 32:1-7
Someone said life assurance is far more valuable and important than life insurance. I read that not long before Marghanita Laski died in 1988 – a well-known secular humanist and novelist – she said, “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me.” 
God designed man to have a need to relieve the guilt he has in life. Guilt is a spiritual issue, not a psychological issue. We try to cope and explain away the mechanism of guilt, while continuing to struggle with it. We seek all sorts of ways to conceal, to release, to endure the pangs and feelings of guilt that is unresolved in our souls.
This reminded me of Val Patterson who died on July 12, 2012, due to cancer. He knew the end was coming, so he chose to write his own obituary notice. Through media outlets, this obituary went viral.
In this account he said, “Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say. As it turns out, I am the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest.”

Forty-one years earlier as a teen, he had committed a robbery.
Though the police did not catch him, he was never able to escape the voice of a guilty conscience. Just as many today seek to hide or remove this voice, it keeps coming back to cause us pain and remorse.
King David said in Psalm 32:1-2 (HCSB): “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is the man the Lord does not charge with sin and in whose spirit is no deceit!” Jesus Christ came into this world to offer us forgiveness for our sins, and to remove them completely from us (Psalm 103:12).
It will be no small comfort when we come to the end of our journey to know that our sins are forgiven, and that they are not screaming at us in the corridors of our mind as we pass from this world to the next.

12/4/2014 1:18:38 PM by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram | with 0 comments

Explore the Bible Lesson for December 14: God Provides Deliverance

December 2 2014 by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson

Focal Passage: Esther 4:6-17
Have you ever heard the adage: “Caught between a rock and a hard place?” That statement indicates a situation wherein a person has two options available to them, neither of which is desirable. You likely have been in such a situation at some point in your life. So what will you decide? And, what things will you take into account in order to help you make your final decision?
There are many resources you can use when considering your course of action. You can simply weigh the pros and cons of each option and try to determine which has the best outcome or the least undesirable outcome. Hopefully, you will seek God’s wisdom and direction in His Word and in prayer.
Esther is caught between that proverbial rock and a hard place. On the one hand, Haman is seeking to have Esther’s people (the Israelites) killed because of his retaliation against Mordecai. On the other hand, Esther has not been in the presence of her husband, the king, in over 30 days. To go before him uninvited could cost Esther her life. To do nothing would mean the death of her people and her death as well. She sought the wisdom of Mordecai. She, along with those around her, fasted and prayed as she approached the necessity of action.
While Mordecai challenged Esther to consider the fact that she could have become queen “for such a time as this,” and while Esther risked her life by going uninvited before the king, the real hero in this story is the covenant-keeping God of Israel. God’s providence is seen at every step. His faithfulness is seen in His rescue of His people from the hand of Haman. God made a promise to Abraham to bring from him a great nation – a nation from whom the Savior would come. No earthly tyrant would thwart the redemption plan of our covenant-making, covenant-keeping God.
While God may sometimes call us to walk in great faith and trust Him in the midst of extremely challenging circumstances, we can trust Him to be faithful to keep His promises and to providentially work in a way that is both for our good and His glory.

12/2/2014 12:20:48 PM by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson | with 0 comments

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 14: The Shelter of God’s Salvation

December 2 2014 by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram

Focal Passage: Psalm 27:1-6
OK, let’s admit together: There is a power outage, and when you walk into a room you still hit the light switch to turn on the lights. Be honest. Yes, it is human nature. Why? Because we depend upon it. It is always there, most of the time.
Moreover, when it isn’t, we feel totally let down. People will fail us, material things will fail, plans will go awry, and all that we see and know around us can fail us when we count on them most. Someone has said that there are two things we can depend upon: “Death and Taxes.” The Bible says that we can be sure of two things (Hebrews 10:27) – death and judgment. The entire Word of God shows us clearly that the one thing that is unchanging (James 1:17) is God.
In Psalm 27, David gives us a clear picture that the One he ultimately relied upon was God, and it is God who we can rely upon today.
The ultimate reason Jesus came into the world was to “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Moreover, because He is God, we can rest assured that what He has provided is enough. When He completed the work of salvation that day, He provided us an assured guarantee of our safety, security, guidance and rest.
David had a desire “to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). Jesus came and provided the way that anyone “who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
I have always loved this verse – it is infinite in it’s scope, and finite in its meaning. Anyone who comes to Jesus and trusts Him is guaranteed eternity in the presence of God. Because of this promise, we do not need to fear the future, we have confidence in what we have and know the security that only God can give.
As you consider this truth, do you know the security that comes from a personal relationship with Christ? Have you shared this with others around you so that they too can have security of salvation?

12/2/2014 12:16:31 PM by Thomas Marshall, Spring Hill Baptist Church, Wagram | with 0 comments

Explore the Bible Lesson for December 7: Deliverance is Needed

November 20 2014 by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson

Focal Passage: Esther 3:1-9
There are daily reports of Christians being persecuted around the world. From name calling and bullying to torturing and beheading, God’s people face the anger and hostility of those who would like to remove any who are a living testimony to God. Sometimes the persecution comes simply due to hatred, other times to jealousy, and perhaps, due to fear. The consistent fact, however, is the persecution of God’s people at the hands of those who do not know Him or follow His ways.
This is not a new phenomenon. Almost from the time God created a people for Himself when He cut a covenant with Abram, God’s people have faced the ire of the world. God’s people don’t (or at least shouldn’t) play by the world’s rules. When others bow at the world’s altars or at the feet of the world’s rulers, the people of God stand, knowing they can only bow at the feet of God who alone is worthy.
Haman, an Agagite – descendent of the Amalekites – had been given a special position by King Ahasuerus. Most of the people of the kingdom readily bowed before Haman, paying homage to him. Mordecai did not.
We don’t know if Mordecai’s refusal – owing to his Jewish heritage – was driven more by his disdain for the Amalekites, enemy of the Jews, or by his commitment only to give honor and veneration to the God of Israel. Whatever Mordecai’s motive, the end result was the same. Haman burned with anger toward Mordecai to the extent that he desired to do away with Mordecai’s people as a whole.
What Haman did not understand was the people he sought to destroy were ultimately not Mordecai’s, but God’s. And, God would be faithful to keep the covenant He had made.

While God’s people had rebelled against Him, resulting in God’s punishment of His people at the hands of the Babylonians and Persians, God had neither forgotten them nor forsaken them. Their deliverance would come. Our God is faithful.

11/20/2014 11:25:10 AM by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson | with 0 comments

Explore the Bible Lesson for November 30: Living Out the Faith

November 18 2014 by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson

Focal Passage: Hebrews 13:1-8
I recently had the opportunity to speak to our students at a weekend student retreat. One of the things I have noticed while being around teenagers is that most have a desire not to stand out. You may have the occasional one that will cut up and act in a way that draws attention to himself. But, on the whole, one of teenagers’ greatest fears is to be put on the spot, to stand out and to look different. The reality is, many adults are the same way.
The problem with this mentality for Christians is that God desires for our lives to do just that: to stand out. We are to live to a higher standard, not because we are better than anyone else but because our lives have been transformed. The resurrected Christ is the one who the writer of Hebrews has said is the better High Priest who offered His own life as the better sacrifice for sin. Those realities, by definition, make our lives different. If we fail to live in a way that is different from those around us, our lives fail to give testimony to the life-changing power of the gospel.
Because Christ has transformed us, we are to gather with believers to “exhort one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). We are not to seek to live distinctive lives in our own strength, but by faith in God – the kind of faith seen in the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us (Hebrews 12:1). In fact, we should live in such a way that other believers around us can see an example of what it means to live a transformed life of faith.
This life will be different in every aspect, as the writer of Hebrews points out in today’s passage – in brotherly love, in hospitality, in marriage, in contentment with God’s provision, etc. In the midst of a culture that’s moving farther and farther from God’s design, our lives are to stand out. If we are truly living out our faith in Christ, our lives will look different – showing we live as part of a different kingdom, under the reign of a different king. Living in this way enables us to be the “salt” and “light” God has called us to be.

11/18/2014 9:49:04 AM by Randy Mann, lead pastor, Central Baptist Church, Henderson | with 0 comments

 |<  < 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >| 
Displaying results 1-10 (of 675)
  • BR Digital January 2013 (Space C)
  • BR Twitter/Facebook AD - Space C
  • Pastor Care Line - C