Blog Posts
Isaiah 32: Isaiah's Vision
Isaiah 32: Isaiah's Vision

Calvary Baptist Temple • July 06, 2020

By Patrick Mulvehill


“Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention.” Isaiah 32:1-3 ESV


Isaiah envisions a day when the world will be at peace. A day when a righteous King will rule the earth and His princes will only act with justice. A day when God’s people will no longer be beaten down by the winds and rain of modern issues. When the refreshing Living Water will restore and regenerate our weary souls. A day when the heat of a dying world will no longer scorch our minds because we will be hidden in the shadow of the Almighty.


When that day comes every eye will be open to the truth and every ear will hear the words of the Father clearly. There will no longer be any question of right or wrong, fact or fiction, justice or injustice. There will only be peace and all of those who call on the name of the Lord will enjoy that day. Do you long for peace? There is only one place to find it...in the arms of Jesus.

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1 Kings 6-9: A House of Worship-Either a Help or a Hazard
1 Kings 6-9: A House of Worship-Either a Help or a Hazard

Calvary Baptist Temple • June 29, 2020

By Allan Bosson


Our Old Testament reading for this week is found in 1 Kings 6-9 and 2 Chronicles 5-7. These chapters, as you will see, have some wonderful truths and great inspirational and extremely important spiritual principles outlined in them. These chapters actually explain the work of King Solomon, along with showing his ability as an architect and builder.


God Jehovah had previously come to King David, Solomon’s father, and spoken to him about building a very special “house of worship,” also called the Temple, in the city of Jerusalem. God, however, denied King David the right to build this holy place because he was a leader who had made some terrible mistakes, which left him, as the Bible describes, “a man with blood on his hands.” So, the task of building this very unique, holy place of worship in Jerusalem was assigned instead to his son Solomon when he would become the King over all of the nation of Israel.


God had required that this Temple be built in Jerusalem. Interestingly, the original name of Jerusalem was Jebus. Before the Israelites conquered the city, it was the home of the Jebusites, a Canaanite tribe who had lived there for many years. It is a city built on seven hills, and it stands 2400 feet above sea level. That is why the Bible always speaks of going “up to Jerusalem.” The name “Jerusalem” actually means “city of peace.” According to the book of Revelation, one day the entire world will experience peace for a thousand years, under the worldwide reign of Jesus from Jerusalem. Often Jerusalem is also called Zion. Mount Zion is the famous hill on which the home of the king and the Temple of the city was built. The emblem of this city is a lion, representing the Lion of Judah, the tribe of Judah, and later the Kingdom of Judah. For more than three thousand years, Jerusalem has been a capital city of one empire after another. No other city in the world has that history attached to it. 


One of the main reasons why God requires a particular place of worship in which his followers meet together is to show their love and loyalty to Him by praising, thanking and worshiping Him in a building set aside for such specific worship activity. It is here God promises to meet with His people in special ways, and here also God promises they can receive His special instructions for life from His living Word, the Bible. Of course, God’s vital intention for a place of worship in Solomon’s time is just as significant and important for His followers today. Notice also, that Solomon’s Temple was built in the center of the city for easy access for all. It was also to be distinct in its design. It was not to look like any other building so that folk seeking God could easily and quickly identify His temple and flee there for spiritual help at their time of need. 


Many buildings can be used for a variety of purposes, but that is not true of God’s house of worship. God’s house of worship is to be a holy place, a sanctuary from the chaos of the world outside, a place where His Word is taught in all its truth and lived out by those who worship there. Houses of worship are to be set aside for the purpose of upholding and honoring God’s principles and precepts in every way. Doing this had to be the major and most serious endeavor of the builders and later the worshipers, as 2 Chronicles 7: 19-20 makes very clear. If, therefore, those who worshipped in God’s house violated the statutes and commands in God’s Word in any way, He declared that He would bring heavy judgment on the participants. First, God said He would take away any spiritual power from such a place, and second, He would cause those in the city to look with scathing ridicule on not only the members of the Temple but also on the very name of the Lord. So, we clearly see, God plans to use His houses of worship for enormous help and blessing. But, when God’s worship centers are used simply as places of social association and personal benefit, they will lead to hazards both spiritually and physically.

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1 Thessalonians 4: The Embodied Spirit
1 Thessalonians 4: The Embodied Spirit

Calvary Baptist Temple • June 22, 2020

By Sarah Snyder


As we continue to move through the Bible, we find ourselves in 1 Thessalonians. In this book, Paul is reaching out to one of his favorite churches. In Acts 17, we learn that Paul and Silas helped establish this church, but due to severe persecution, they were forced to leave. So Paul reached out to his beloved church in this letter. 


In chapters 1-3, Paul celebrates the faithfulness of the church at Thessalonica as they have endured persecutions. In chapters 4-5, he moves to challenging the church to grow evermore in their faithfulness. In 4:13-18, Paul addresses their concerns over those who had fallen asleep. They feared that those who had fallen asleep would miss out on the Day of the Lord. This particular section reminds me of my favorite verse in the Bible, Romans 8:11 “Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.” I love this verse as it describes our embodied faith. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul also further elaborates on why the Spirit living in us has bearing on our future faith. In these two passages, Paul describes both the present and future realities of the Holy Spirit in our lives.


In Romans 8:11, Paul tells the church in Rome that the life they now live in the Spirit will actually change their lives. He says in verse 8 that those “who are in the flesh cannot please God.” But they are not in the flesh, but are in the Spirit and live different lives. Their lives are so different, that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that lives in them!


In 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, the embodied Holy Spirit in our lives moves from having a present reality, to a future hope. The church was concerned that their dying brothers and sisters would not experience the future hope in Christ. But Paul reminds them that Christ will raise them from the dead as he was raised! This should remind us that we have the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and who will also raise us from the dead.


As we think and pray about our future hope, let us also remember that our current realities are grounded in an embodied Spirit. While we look forward to being raised with Christ or “caught up” (vv. 17) with him, let us not forget that our present life is one spent with an embodied Holy Spirit who was the one that raised Christ. We have that hope and power in the here and now. Let us live as embodied Spirit dwellers.

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A Prayerful Heart
A Prayerful Heart

Calvary Baptist Temple • June 13, 2020

By Chris Watson


When history looks back into a person’s life there is often one or two things that will be said about that person consistently, regardless of who you ask. A devoted husband; a loving mother; the hardest working person I know; these are some of the things that may describe the life of someone. What about a man after God’s own heart? There is one person that comes into your mind when we say that phrase, King David. To me, this seems to be the highest honor a person can have said about them. Now we know that David was certainly not a perfect man, but for most of his life, we see a man who’s heart was in a right relationship with God. Long before Jesus demonstrates how we should pray in Matthew 6, David gives us a wonderful example of how to pray with God’s will in mind in Psalm 40.


When we begin to unpack the heart of David’s prayer in Psalm 40, we see several characteristics of a prayer that flows from a submissive, prayerful heart. He begins the prayer with patience, v.1 “I waited patiently for the Lord.” David does not expect or demand God to answer his prayer immediately upon hearing it, but instead waits patiently for God to answer in His timing. This prayer is a prayer of worship, v. 3 “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.” While David waits for God to answer his prayer, he worships God for who He is. His prayer is one of Honor to God, v. 5 “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds, and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you!” David reminds God of his faithfulness to God in verses 6-10. “I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;” David speaks of his confidence in God to deliver him from his present troubles in v. 11, confesses his sins in v. 12, and waits all the way until v.13 to make his request of God. He then finishes with giving Honor to the Lord v. 17, and submission to Him v.18. 


So how does this line up with how we pray? For many of us, myself included, we find ourselves listing off a laundry list of what we “need” God to do for us. Health, wealth, comfort, and safety are often at the forefront of these lists. However, when we pray, let our hearts to be aligned with God, as David’s was, to allow God’s will to be done in our lives.

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Romans 1: Faithful Performance
Romans 1: Faithful Performance

Calvary Baptist Temple • May 25, 2020

By Derward Poole


In a little cemetery at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, one grave stands out from the rest. On its tombstone are the words: “Barton W. Stone … Minister of the Gospel of Christ and Distinguished Reformer of the Nineteenth Century.” Stone was a leader in the great 1801 Cane Ridge Revival---over 20,000 attended---that led to the first Christian churches of Kentucky.

     

In Romans 1:8, Paul says, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” When he wrote to the Romans, he, too, paid tribute to their faithful Christian service. In thinking about it during these days, the word success is used once. The word faithful is used 83 times. It seems that there is less emphasis on success than on the faithful performance of Christian service. In the parable of the talents (matthew 25:14-30), the slaves who had earned five and two talents, respectively, received the same commendation: “Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.”

     

How will we like to be remembered? Whether you are a famous leader or an uncelebrated servant, there is no greater tribute than for God to say, ‘Well done, good and faithful child of God.” Let us thank the Lord for the faithful believers who have gone before us and let us be found faithful.

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God's Great Love for Us!
God's Great Love for Us!

Calvary Baptist Temple • May 18, 2020

By Patrick Mulvehill


Oh, how He loves you,

Oh, how He loves me,

Oh, how He loves you and me.


It is such a simple truth, but one that we need to be reminded of so often. Jesus loves us! And it isn’t the superficial kind of love that only cares about how you are doing when bumping into you on the street, but it’s the “not forgetting your birthday” kind of love! The kind of love that knows you better than you know yourself. The kind of love that gives and then keeps on giving with no thought of getting anything back in return. The kind of love that sings along with you even though you sound like a dying cow in a rainstorm and never says a word about how bad it really sounds. The kind of love that doesn’t know that meaning of giving up. The kind of love that you feel even when you are miles apart. The kind of love that laughs when you laugh and cries when you cry, that seeks the best for you even when you don’t know what the best is yourself. That is a powerful kind of love. And if that weren’t enough, that same love made the ultimate sacrifice for you so that you could live enterally with Him.


“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9)


He gave His life, what more could He give;

Oh, how He loves you,

Oh, how He loves me,

Oh, how He loves you and me.

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1 Samuel 26-31: The Value of True Christian Friends
1 Samuel 26-31: The Value of True Christian Friends

Calvary Baptist Temple • May 11, 2020

By Allan Bosson


This week’s reading is found in the last portion of I Samuel into the beginning of II Samuel. These passages contain some of the finest teaching in God’s Word on the value of true, faithful Christian friends.

We see clearly in the life of David how enormously beneficial to him were the lives of his family and his good, faithful friends. Like David, each of us must surround ourselves with godly teachers and friends, if we want to have a truly meaningful and spiritually productive life. No one comes into this world with great, overwhelming knowledge. The knowledge we need to succeed in life comes from others.

The Bible makes it clear, much of life is a choice. If you make good choices you will have good experiences. Equally so, if you make bad choices you will have bad experiences. But the key is, on what basis do you make your choices? What or who is the governing factor in the choices you make? The basis of a person’s decision making, of course, comes from the teaching and advice each of us has received in the past. Hence, hopefully, we recognize the extreme importance of sound teachers of character and good, godly friends to help us carry out good, sound advice. 

In David’s case, he came from a simple, humble God-fearing family, who had its roots in the Temple and the teaching of the Word of God. It was also a family that respected authority and God’s plans of leadership, even when the leadership was questionable. It was a family, in most cases, that had close, personal relationships with each other. By the time David was promoted to serving in King Saul’s house, clearly he had been making good choices because he had a deep commitment to the Lord.

Although King Saul treated David very unfairly and threatened his life, the teaching in David’s past kept him, in most cases, from making bad, foolish choices. Without the consistent godly teaching in his life, David could have killed King Saul and thereby destroyed his opportunity of ever becoming the King of Judah. Along with this, David had the help of great friends like Ahimelech, Abishai and Jonathan, Saul’s son, who stood with David in the toughest moments of his life, supporting him and giving him sound, godly advice.

Without a doubt, two of the most valuable assets to a successful Christian life are sound, godly teaching and good, faithful Christian friends. Choose wisely.

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1 Chronicles 1-9: What's with All the Names?
1 Chronicles 1-9: What's with All the Names?

Calvary Baptist Temple • May 04, 2020

By Sarah Snyder


Last week, our readings brought us to 1 Chronicles. As we read through the Bible chronologically, the organizers of this reading schedule begin including the repeat stories found in this book. The first nine chapters is, for lack of a better term, boring. It’s just a list of names. In fact, the writer offers no introduction, the first word is “Adam.” Thus follows a long, long list of father and son names that have no practical meaning for us today. So this begs the question, what’s with all the names?


Genealogy was a big deal in Ancient Near Eastern cultures. Most kingdoms were ruled by kings who passed their kingdoms down to their sons. In Ancient Egypt, for example, the king was thought to be a direct descent from Ra, their most important god. In fact, the royal family often intermarried to keep a “pure” bloodline. Thus, keeping a proper genealogy was important in identifying who was from what family. This is of no exception for Israel. 


In the Hebrew Bible, 1 and 2 Chronicles is one book and it is placed as the last book of the Old Testament. Thus, the story of Israel ends with a list of names and repeat information. This book is also one of the last books written in the Old Testament. It takes place after Israel has returned from exile and is attempting to rebuild the Temple. We know from Ezra and Nehemiah that things are not going well. The author of Chronicles is trying to show Israel that through this is difficult time, God is still at work. The most important line traced in Chronicles is David’s. The author is trying to remind Israel of the covenant God made with David (2 Samuel 7). The whole book focuses on David’s line and Jerusalem, genealogy and geography. 


While Israel struggles to get things right as the return from exile and leaders continue to fail, the author of Chronicles points them to a future hope. Stephen Dempster in Dominion and Dynasty puts it this way, “The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) orients its readers to the future. As such the Story if unfinished. The long, dark night of exile awaits a sequel - the dawning of a new light that will radiate to the ends of the earth.” The line of David will prevail. The book of Matthew begins with a geology, one that points readers from Abraham to David, and from David to Jesus. That future hope has come.


While these geologies are often boring, and Chronicles in general is a repeat, it is so important in understanding our hope in Jesus. Without dedicated writers to keep up with family lines, naming Jesus as Messiah is not as clear as it is with genealogies. God promised a future King that would reconcile His people through the line of David and Chronicles diligently reminds us of our hope in Christ.

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Acts 8-9: Never Too Far Gone
Acts 8-9: Never Too Far Gone

Sarah Snyder • April 27, 2020

By Chris Watson

Have you ever felt like there is something in your past, or maybe even something in your present that is so bad that Jesus couldn’t possibly love you? You are constantly looking for something that can fill this hole in your life, but nothing seems to do the trick. Maybe you really would like to go to church or would like to discover who Jesus is and why people are talking about this hope that they have in Him. Maybe you have accepted Jesus in your life, and there is this freedom that you feel in your relationship with Him, but when it comes to telling others or teaching others about Him, you feel inadequate. 


“ And Saul approved of his execution” (Acts 8:1). This is how our reading for this week begins in the book of Acts. Stephen, one of the leaders of the early church has been preaching the difference between Jewish law and life through the Holy Spirit. He infuriates the religious leaders and they stone him to death. This is the set-up of a character that is dead set against the growth and expansion of the early church. In fact, when I picture Saul’s persecution of the early church, I picture something very similar to the Nazi’s. It talks about him going from house to house and dragging those affiliated with the church off into prison. Later, in chapter 9, Saul is so deadset against the spread of the church that he goes to the religious leaders and requests authorization to go to other cities and arrest those belonging to the church there as well. 


However, just like in the life of Joseph, what was meant for evil, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20). We see that even before Jesus meets Saul on the road to Damascus, God is using the persecution to further His Kingdom. Jesus tells his disciples that they will be His witnesses to all of Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth; but up to this time, their ministry has remained in Jerusalem. It is not until Saul begins chasing the church from their homes in Jerusalem, that they begin to spread out. In fact, prior to the beginning of Saul’s missionary journies, God has already placed believers in Samaria, Damascus, Caeserea, Lydda, Joppa, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. 


Then Saul has a personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. The man ravaging the early church. The man who was similar to the Nazi Gestapo. Saul meets Jesus and it turns his whole life upside down. Saul changes from the chief persecutor of the Christian church to the foremost missionary of the church and the primary writer of the New Testament. I can’t help but think, what if Saul had thought he was disqualified from speaking the gospel because of his past? What if Saul was too afraid to go around the other leaders of the church because he was too concerned about what they might think of him? 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

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Acts 3-7: Unshakable Faith!
Acts 3-7: Unshakable Faith!

Calvary Baptist Temple • April 20, 2020

By Jacob Mock


This week in our Bible reading plan we continue in the book of Acts. Acts is one of my favorite books in the Bible! It’s full of so many interesting, inspiring, and intense stories. This week we are going to read about things like miraculous healings, Peter’s sermons, and the death of Stephen. In these first few chapters, one theme stands out to me the most: the unwavering faith of the early Church. 


In chapters 3-5, we read about Peter unashamedly preaching the gospel to thousands of people. When Peter was opposed by the Pharisees and Sadducees he refused to back down. These people were the very ones who put Jesus to death and he made sure to let them know that! “But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead” (Acts 3:14-15). They hated Peter for preaching about Jesus and how he conquered death, but no matter how hard they pressed Peter, he would never back down. He knew that Jesus was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and he desired to see all these people come to know Jesus as their Savior! Again, Peter preaches to these religious rulers, “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead… there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12). These religious leaders threatened to beat, whip, and even kill Peter, but he refused to stop preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. 


In chapter 5, Peter and other apostles are again brought before the council of the high priest. The priest demands to know why they have not stopped preaching Jesus even after they were ordered to stop, and their answer is truly amazing: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Peter and the apostles were determined to obey God no matter the cost. Their love for Jesus Christ was so great that they were willing to directly oppose the high priest if following his commands meant disobeying Christ. Their commitment to preaching the gospel to those who did not believe was incredible. In chapter 7, Stephen is stoned to death by these religious leaders because of his commitment to Jesus. He knew he was facing a painful death, but he loved Jesus more than his own life. 


I could go on and on about the unwavering faith of the early Church, but I’ll let you read about it as we work our way through the book of Acts. My point in talking about these things is this: as a church today, our faith in Christ must not be shaken. We must stand proudly together as followers of Jesus and not rest until everyone around us has heard the gospel! We must not be ashamed of the gospel, Church. Do not be afraid to talk to your lost friends and family about Jesus. When people oppose you because of your beliefs, do not back down. We must realize, just as Peter and the apostles did, that Jesus Christ is worth it all; our time, our reputations, and if it comes down to it, even our lives.

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