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Psalm 95: Celebrate, Worship!
Psalm 95: Celebrate, Worship!

Calvary Baptist Temple • October 19, 2020

By Derward Poole


Psalm 95:1-7 “O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you would hear His voice, …” (NASB)


Dr. Charles Stanley said of worship, “Of all the things Christ wants for us, loving Him and focusing our attention on Him are the most important.” When we celebrate Jesus, we have a sense of revival. When we come to worship, we should expect to hear God’s voice and to understand God’s voice. The tragedy in our society today is that many are looking and wanting some entertaining, emotional movement. When we worship “focusing all our attention on Him,” it builds a foundation for a true experience with the Lord.


In Psalm 95, we have an Invitation to Worship. The method of worship is spelled out for us. First, in verses 1-2, 6, we are exhorted to worship:

     =Joyfully (v. 1): Spiritual joy is the heart and soul of thankful praise. Drawing near to God is the reason for rejoicing in the Lord.

     =Readily (v. 2a): The anticipation of going to meet Him! There is a readiness of heart offered with pleasure and zeal.

     =Gratefully (v. 2a): The grateful recognition of God’s gracious dealings with us and all the blessings He has bestowed on us.

     =Reverently (v. 6): The posture of profound reverence in attitude. Joy wedded together with seriousness, gratitude wedded with humility, confidence wedded with reverence, and zeal wedded to Holy awe.


In the passage, there is also found the Motives of Worship. We are motivated because:

     =The Lord is Supreme (v. 3): He is exalted far above the highest position ascribed to the gods of this world. He is ruler over all!

     =The Lord is the Creator and Owner of All (vv. 4-5): From the peaks of the mountains, the deepest, darkest caverns, the depths of the sea, He is the absolute owner and ruler.

     =The Lord’s Relations to His People (vv. 1b, 7): Our Maker made us capable of worship. It is to Him alone that our worship should be offered. He is the “rock of our salvation.” He is unchangeable, faithful, protecting, providing, governing, and watching. He is “our God,” and the shepherd of our souls. “Come let us worship and bow down!”

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2 Chronicles: Praise - A Weapon of Warfare
2 Chronicles: Praise - A Weapon of Warfare

Calvary Baptist Temple • October 13, 2020

By Patrick Mulvehill


In 2 Chronicles we read about King Jehoshaphat who was facing a "...great multitude against thee from beyond the sea…" In verse 3 we see the humanity of the king when we read, "...Jehoshaphat feared…" isn't that our natural response when the enemy surrounds us and threatens our peace?


What is it that is shaking your peace today? Are you having problems in your marriage? Is something threatening your job? Do you feel like you are on the verge of a breakdown? Have you gotten bad news from the doctor? How is the enemy attacking your peace? Whatever it is, why don’t you do the one thing that the enemy doesn’t expect? It is one of the hardest things to do when you are feeling attacked. That’s right, just praise the Lord.


Praise is a spiritual weapon! We see it throughout the Scriptures, when God’s people are in trouble, they turn to worship. When Jehoshaphat was facing the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites he didn’t prepare his finest warriors and put them on the front lines... no, he called out to the Lord and when the Lord assured him that the battle was not Jehoshaphat’s to fight but that it was God’s battle, Jehoshaphat did the only logical thing...


“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord ; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 KJV


When we praise God we acknowledge our need for Him and that the battle is not ours to fight but His. Praise helps us to focus our thoughts and fears on the only one in existence that can actually do anything about it. When we do this it allows us to experience the VICTORY that God wants to give us.


Find a song today that you can sing or a scripture that you can recite to the Lord. Make it your victory cry and just praise the Lord!

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Jeremiah: Clay in the Potter's Hands
Jeremiah: Clay in the Potter's Hands

Calvary Baptist Temple • October 05, 2020

By Allan Bosson


As we at Calvary read through the Bible in a year, this week’s readings are found in the book of Jeremiah, written by a man known as the “weeping prophet.” Though the readings go from chapter 11 to chapter 45, I want to direct our thinking to chapter 18, which covers a parable about the potter and the clay.


Jeremiah was the premier prophet of Judah during the dark days that finally led to the complete destruction of Israel, as well as the eventual departure of the presence of God from His position in the Holy of Holies over the Ark of the Covenant. This departure of the Spirit of God from the nation of Israel led to what is known as the beginning of the “Time of the Gentiles”. This period of history will last until the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ. As a nation, Israel has not and will not enjoy again God’s personal presence as their leader until Christ reigns over the entire world during the Millennial period. Although the light of other prophets, such as Habakkuk and Zephaniah, flickered in Judah at that time, Jeremiah was really the blazing torch exposing the darkness of Judah’s sin through the brightness of God’s Word. Now, of course, Ezekiel also wrote of Israel’s sin at this time but Ezekiel was already a captive in Babylon.


Looking at the message in chapter 18, we see God directing Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s house to observe the potter at work. He sees the potter molding a lump of raw clay, fashioning it into an amazing, decorative Middle Eastern pot. As Jeremiah watched, the potter suddenly stopped his work. He apparently had discovered a flaw in the pot that he was shaping. Thoughtfully, though disappointingly, the potter pressed that flawed pot into what looked like the original lump. Then, with that same lump of clay, he began to form a new pot.

God went on to announce to Jeremiah that the potter and the clay illustrated His relationship to His people. They were like clay in His hand, and He, as the sovereign God of the universe, has the right to tear down or build up any nation or person just as He chooses. Yes, He had promised to bless the nation of Judah. Judah, however, had continued to ignore Him and practice evil. Therefore, He would reconsider the good He had intended and replace it with judgment.  But, if the people of Judah would turn back from their evil and disobedient ways, repent and obey God, He would revoke His plan of judgment and replace it with a blessing.


There is a clear analogy here to how God deals with not only nations but with individual people. The God of the Bible is the Master potter, and He plans to mold His followers into great vessels for spiritual service. When, however, He finds a flaw (unrepentant sin) in a vessel that He is molding, He will not ignore that flaw, but rather He will firmly deal with that sin through the Holy Spirit’s conviction. After a believer’s genuine repentance, He will remold that individual vessel into a more usable and faithful servant, which in turn leads to a more fulfilling and exciting life. Wow, how great it is to be clay in the Master’s hands.

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Habakkuk: The Power of Leadership
Habakkuk: The Power of Leadership

Calvary Baptist Temple • September 30, 2020

By Sarah Snyder


As we enter into a season of elections and voting, we find ourselves thinking more about leadership. What qualities do we like? What policies are important to us? How does he/she stack up? Each question leaves us wondering exactly how a certain individual will perform as a leader. The Old Testament found itself in similar situations throughout all the centuries it covers. Most recently, our Bible Reading Plan has us covering multiple kings and their inevitable downfall. This week we discover Habakkuk, who found himself questioning leadership in a time of turmoil.


Habakkuk is a unique book amongst the Minor Prophets as it is written as lament rather than a prophecy. The book begins with Habakkuk and God dialoguing about Israel’s future. Habakkuk does not understand why God allowed Israel to become so violent and unjust (1:2-4). God responds by saying that he will bring Babylon to take care of Israel (1:5-11). This surprised Habakkuk as Babylon is even more violent and unjust as Israel (1:12-2:1). God responds again to Habakkuk by telling him that he will bring down Babylon but that all nations are ultimately unjust (2:2-5).


The leads into a series of ‘woes’ that God has for poor leadership of all nations. In 2:6-20, God describes the leaders of the nations as unjust and without hope. They “get rich by extortion” (v. 6) and “build cities by bloodshed” (v. 12). They have “committed violent acts against the lands, cities, and those who live in them” (v. 17). Finally, they have created idols that they put before God, idols made of wood and metal that have no speech (vv. 18-20). God has seen all these acts of injustice and will put up with it no longer. We should be reminded that these nations include Israel. Remember back on the kinds of Kings and Chronicles as one by one they chose to serve other gods. 


An important aspect of leadership is the power it holds. Kings and Chronicles does not document Israel’s sins as a people. It documents the king's sins and evils. When a king of Israel turned from God, the whole nation followed. To do otherwise would be to go against the one anointed by God. While the kings of Israel fell away from God, they were still, with each coronation, anointed by people on behalf of God. Psalm 2 was the coronation Psalm read aloud for each king. Psalm 2:6 says, “I [God] myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.” So when this king inevitably worshipped other gods, the people followed their anointed king; with leadership comes power. 


Habakkuk ends with a prayer. It is a beautiful prayer that calls on God to rescue the nations. It should remind us of Exodus, when God comes down in might and power and pulls Israel from the grips of corrupt leadership. The three verses of Habakkuk call on us to find joy in the Lord, even though “the fig tree does not bud,” and “when the olive trees do not produce” (v. 17). Though we today may find ourselves under corrupt leadership or trying to explore how our future leadership might go, Habakkuk tells us “The Sovereign Lord is [our] source of strength” (v. 19).

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2 Kings 22-23: Look to the Book
2 Kings 22-23: Look to the Book

Calvary Baptist Temple • September 21, 2020

By Chris Watson


Those of you who know me know that we have had an addition to the family approximately every 2 years for the last 9 years. Over that time there are a few things that I have grown accustomed to: Diapers, stepping on toys in the middle of the night, and kid’s shows on the television. Over the years there have been many shows that have come and gone based on my different child’s preferences, but one of the shows that have remained the same has been Super Why! It is all about the values and things you can learn while reading. Typically the show is set up with a problem and when they need to find the answer they “Look in a book.” 


In 2 Kings 22-23, we see Josiah, the boy king take over the throne at the ripe old age of 8 years old. He had inherited considerable problems from his predecessors Manasseh and Amon, as they had driven God’s people into further disobedience to the Lord. Unlike his father and grandfather, it tells us that Josiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely in the ways of David. One day as they were repairing the temple, The Book of the Law was found. They brought it to Josiah and read it to him and at the hearing of these words, Josiah tore his robes and wept. He began to tear down all of the temples and sacraments to false gods and renewed a covenant to follow the Lord alone and keep His commandments. 


So where do we look when we have a problem? We look in The Book. God’s word has the answers to all of the problems that have surrounded us in the past, that surround us now, and that will come in the future. His word is timeless and can penetrate the soul. We see in the days of Josiah, that much of the lawlessness, wickedness, and evil that are going on today, was going on during that time as well. So as we look for answers to the problems we face, the hurts that we experience, and the struggles we encounter, look to the Lord and to His word, for in Him we find life, meaning, purpose, and hope.

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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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