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1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter
1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter

Calvary Baptist Temple • September 14, 2020

By Jacob Mock


As we enter week 37 in our Bible in one year plan, we start out in 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter of scripture is commonly referred to as “The love chapter,” which is a very timely passage. Being Christians and church members, most of us are certainly aware that love is an extremely important aspect of the Christian life. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us just how important it is. 


“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”


How well are you loving the people around you? Are you patient with them? Are you kind to them? Or are you quick tempered and rude? It makes sense that the world is not loving, but as Christians we should be the most loving people on earth! No other character trait can replace love. God’s word says that it does not matter how much money you give away, how many hours you serve, or how many weeks in a row you attend church. If you are not a loving person, then you have nothing! This chapter in the Bible should cause us all to stop and reflect on how we treat the people around us. Let’s be sure to love those around us well!

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1 Corinthians 4: Final Exam
1 Corinthians 4: Final Exam

Calvary Baptist Temple • August 31, 2020

By Derward Poole


1 Corinthians 4:1-5 - “So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.” (NLT)


Upon completing our education, most of us are relieved not to have any more tests. Two summers ago, when I walked out of the office of Dr. Bret Sullivan, President of Covington Seminary, it was like a six year heavy weight had been removed. However, our testing days aren’t quite over, because God has a final examination of sorts for believers. And just as we needed to study to demonstrate scholastic progress, we should also be preparing for the day when the Lord assesses our life.


Although believers won’t be judged for their sins since Jesus bore them on the cross, we are nevertheless accountable to God for how we have lived since salvation. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to have our works evaluated for the purpose of reward. Some of the deeds that we thought were good will be found worthless by the Judge who knows our motives, whereas others will be rewarded.


There are many factors by which the Lord evaluates our lives, and His knowledge of every detail is absolute. We will have no excuses for wrong motives or wasted time and opportunities. Therefore, we should live in light of eternity every day of our life, seeking to please the Lord with our thoughts, motives, words, and deeds.

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John 14: Call unto God
John 14: Call unto God

Calvary Baptist Temple • August 24, 2020

By Patrick Mulvehill


“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” - John 14:12-14


I was reminded by my 9 year old son this week that Jesus means what he says. It has been a rough week at work because we, along with the rest of the country, have been struggling with internet issues. With all of the digital learning taking place with students at home there is a lot of strain being placed on the resources we use. One evening as we were getting ready for bed, I was reading the passage in John 14 where Jesus says, “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” Afterwards while we were praying my son prays, “Jesus, in Your name help daddy fix the internet.” It was a sobering moment when I realized that I really hadn’t stopped to cry out to the Lord for help during these days of struggle. That I hadn’t called out in His name to help me when I didn’t have the answer or when feelings of inadequacy overwhelmed me. That I hadn’t really been trusting Him for the answer.


If you are finding yourself in an unusually difficult situation, take a moment to stop and call out the creator of Heaven and Earth. Ask for help and peace in His name. Jesus will answer...Jesus will save.

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2 KIngs 15-16: Honoring God
2 KIngs 15-16: Honoring God

Calvary Baptist Temple • August 17, 2020

By Allan Bosson


We are now into our thirty-third week of outlined Bible readings as we read through the Bible in one year. This week our readings cover portions from five books. Some of the readings are found in the Old Testament and some in the New. I want, however, to cover only the first of the outlined readings that we find in 2 Kings 15-16. These are sad chapters in the history of the Jewish people. As you read them, if you are like me, it is very easy to become upset and annoyed at the behavior of these Israelites. It is easy to ask the question, why are these people living like this when they know the practice of their lifestyle is so dishonoring and offensive to God? Also, God had made it clear, “If you honor Me I will honor you, but if you dishonor Me by your lifestyle, I will judge you severely” 1 Sam 2:30. We continue to notice, however, as these people stumble along doing their own thing in defiance of God their national and personal situation only gets worse. So why do they not stop and turn back in repentance to God? Why will they not seek the help of the God who got them out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt? Their God had provided miraculously for them for forty years in the wilderness and then enabled them to defeat the Canaanites and possess the land they were promised.


Notice in this passage also, that we are dealing with a divided nation. Gone were the days when the Jews were one people under the Godly leadership of King David then later King Solomon. Now we have two nations of Jews: ten tribes called Israel in the North, and two tribes called Judah in the South. As we know, Judah, the southern nation, for many years, was the more godly of the two nations because, at times, they had good, God honoring leadership. But ultimately both groups failed. Israel ended up in captivity in Assyria in 721 BC, while Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 606 BC and taken as captives to Babylon.  The big question is how could this happen to a nation of people who had the God of all creation as their God, along with His laws and commandments to guide them and protect them?


The answer is actually very simple and should be most enlightening to all Christians today, but alas, in many cases it is not. Listen, just because a person knows about the God of all creation and His sovereign promises to all mankind, and even has in his possession God’s infallible Word, that in itself is not a means of eternal security. You can be raised in a Christian home, go to a God fearing, Bible teaching church, be surrounded by “good Christian influences” all during your young life, but unless you personally believe in the God of the Bible and prove it in living by His commandments and standards (1 Jn 5:1-5)  you are nothing more than a well-educated, well informed, confident and comfortable sinner carrying out the wishes of the god of this world. That was the problem with the nations of Israel and Judah. It was not that they did not have a grip on the right information. The problem was the right information never had a grip on them and their eternal soul. What a word this is for us today.

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Hosea: God will Heal His People
Hosea: God will Heal His People

Calvary Baptist Temple • August 10, 2020

By Sarah Snyder


One of my favorite books of the Bible is Hosea; not only does it contain typical prophetic poetry, but it also has a story line. It was written during the reign of Jeroboam II, probably the worst king in all of Israel (2 Kings 14). Throughout this story and through Hosea’s prophecy from God, we hear an incredible message: God will heal and save His people despite constant rebellion.


The book begins by God instructing Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife. It says in 1:2 “Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because the nation continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the Lord.” So Hosea takes Gomer as his wife and she gives him three children. However, just as God said, Gomer returns to her ways and begins prostituting again.


One of the most beautiful moments in this passage is chapter 3. In this short chapter, God calls Hosea to go and retrieve Gomer and rescue her from her sinful ways. So Hosea goes and finds his wife and brings her home. Verse 1 says, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, even though she loves another man and continually commits adultery. Likewise, the Lord loves the Israelites although they turn to other gods and love to offer raisin cakes to idols.’” The end of this verse is very telling, though the Israelites continue to worship other god, God loves them and will bring them home. The story of Hosea and Gomer is a reflection into the story of God and the Israelites. Though they continue to rebel, God will bring them back to him.


There are two final moments in this book where God shows his love to Israel. Starting in chapter 4, Hosea announces Israel’s ruin if they do not repent. This is how the rest of the book flows, prophecies of Israel's doom if they do not repent. However, in chapter 11, God reminds the Israelites that he will restore them. Then again in chapter 14, the very last chapter, God says “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely” (14:4). Though this book is compelling Israel to repent from their wicked ways, God will continue to love his people and restore them.


The final verse of the book offers us great insight into God’s desire to heal and restore not only Israel, but all of humanity. This verse is from the author, the one who compiled Hosea’s writings. He starts by asking who is wise and discerning. Then he says, “For the ways of the Lord are right; the godly walks in them, but in them the rebellious stumble.” The author is telling us that this message from Hosea applies even today. God will continue to heal his people, despite their constant rebellion. 


For more information watch this video.

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The Justice of God
The Justice of God

Calvary Baptist Temple • August 02, 2020

By Chris Watson


In this week’s Bible readings we find ourselves arriving at a very familiar Bible story, the story of Jonah. Oftentimes when his life’s story is taught, we discuss obedience vs. disobedience to God. The story goes that the Word of the Lord came to Jonah to speak to the evil city of Ninevah. Jonah rather than carry out the Word of the Lord to these people, boards a boat headed thousands of miles the other direction. God exercises His authority over the winds and seas to cause the ship’s crew to throw Jonah overboard. God saves Jonah and after 3 days in the belly of a fish, Jonah repents and is sent back to Ninevah to carry out the Word of the Lord. We find that the people of this dreadful city repent and God spares them. It is at this point that we typically finish with the story of Jonah and marvel at God’s power, grace, and mercy. 


There’s a second part of the story of Jonah that I don’t want us to miss. Let’s not forget Jonah’s response to the grace and mercy shown to the Ninevites. Jonah wants justice for the actions of the Ninevites. In fact, he tells God in Jonah 4:2, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.” He wants justice to be served on the people of Ninevah. He wishes that grace wouldn’t be bestowed upon them because he doesn’t believe they deserve it. So, as if spending 3 days in the belly of a fish wasn’t enough to teach Jonah about the grace of God, the Lord teaches him another lesson. As Jonah goes to sit outside the city and wait to see what God is going to do with them, God allows a plant to grow up over Jonah to give him shade and avoid discomfort in the heat of the day. The next day, God has a worm go eat the plant so that the plant is no longer there to give him relief from the heat and sun. As Jonah is filled with anger about the plant, God shows Jonah why this happened. There is nothing Jonah did to “earn” the right to have the plant to provide him shade. He did not plant it. He did not water it. He did not toil to prevent the weeds from growing up alongside it. However, God allowed the plant to grow, and then be taken away. 


Is God’s Justice not being carried out to your liking? Do you often wonder why bad things happen to “good people,” while wicked people continue to prosper? 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

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Matthew 6: Hey, Don't Worry!
Matthew 6: Hey, Don't Worry!

Calvary Baptist Temple • July 27, 2020

By Jacob Mock


There are so many things in our world today that cause worry and anxiety. It seems that worry and anxiety are lying in wait for us, creeping around every corner. Everyone is susceptible to it. And the scariest part about it is you never know when it will show up. Anxiety is crippling. It has the power to take away all peace and comfort from your life in a matter of seconds. Worry has the power to make you feel completely hopeless. But, there is good news! Worry and anxiety don’t have the final word. Jesus Christ has the final word! This week in our Bible reading plan we reach Matthew 6, which is part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Jesus has some powerful words when it comes to worry and anxiety.


Matthew 6:25-26 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” 


We should all be comforted by these words spoken by Jesus. Jesus knows what each and every one of us is going through. He knows the pain. He knows the heartache. He knows the sorrow. He knows about the things that cause us to worry. And He tells all of us not to worry! I know that when we are worried about something, the least helpful and probably the most annoying piece of advice we can receive is, “hey, don’t worry.” Sometimes we might think that worry is the only response to certain situations. But these words come directly from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Jesus doesn’t just tell us not to worry and then leave it at that. He continues to tell us why she shouldn’t worry. We shouldn’t worry because God cares for us. God takes care of the birds, and you and I are much more valuable to God than the birds. God will take care of you! 


Matthew 6:33-34 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” What should we do instead of worry? We should seek God first. Rather than becoming so overwhelmed with worry and anxiety, turn straight to God. The amazing promise of Scripture is that if we seek God first and foremost, if we make God our number one priority, “all these things will be added to us.” Trust in God. Seek Him first! Spend time with Him through prayer and His word each and every day, and watch how He takes care of you just like He promises.

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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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