Test of Archive Feature

A list of blogs by date

Amazing Fulfillments at Shavuot or Pentecost

From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.  (Leviticus 23:15–21, NIV)

Shavuot or "Weeks" in Hebrew gains its Pentecost label from the Greek word for Fifty, because this harvest (Exodus 23:16) festival is tied tightly to Passover and the Feast of the First Fruits. It's usually observed on the 6th or 7th day of Sivan in Israel. 

Back to spectacular fulfillments:

  • Jesus was crucified on Passover as our Passover lamb (1Corinthians 5:7) and three days later He rose on the Feast of First Fruit! Note later in 1Corinthians 5:20 "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." Pentecost is 50 days from the First Fruits. Jesus was the first fruit of the great harvest in fullest form.
  • This harvest then turns to those who would be redeemed by His sacrifice when 50 days later during Shavuot, as His disciples prepared for the Harvest Festival, likely by studying and meditating on the significance of the Feast (Acts 2:1-4):
    • Shavuot was also the day that the Law was given on Mt. Sinai. Numbers 19 clarifies this day.
    • On Mt. Sinai, they would have reflected on the sound and fury: “The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.” (Psalm 29:7–8, NIV)
    • An ancient fragment targum (from Cairo Geniza) captures the Jewish tradition of those same events in Numbers : “The first commandment, when it left the mouth of the Holy One . . . as meteors and lightening and as torches of fire; a fiery torch to its right and a fiery torch to its left, which burst forth and flew in the air of the heavenly expanse; it proceeded to circle around the camp of Israel.”
    • Jewish tradition also holds that the 70 elders of Israel had flames then rest above their heads as they spoke in the 70 languages of the world (see Genesis 10 as it marks out seventy nations "each with its own language"). Thus, this first Shavuot was  a reversal of the curse of Genesis 11's Tower of Babel when God scattered the nations and confused their languages. Now He extends His grace to them by expressing His covenant in languages of all the nations. His harvest begins on this day, the birthday of Israel.
    • As the disciples reflect on these glories of Pentecost, they also begin to hear a loud, violent, and rumbling sound from heaven — the Holy Spirit! The harvest is about to be fulfilled with a new birthday for God's people: the birthday of His Church.
    • Through the Holy Spirit, 3000 are harvested as fulfillment of the second harvest festival. Jesus fulfilled the Feast of First Fruits, and we are now fulfilling the Feast of the Harvest or Shavuot. 
    • Amazingly, this harvest extends beyond Israel. Two loaves are offered at Shavuot rather than one. This second loaf may point to a second harvest of Gentiles that mercifully includes us.
    • A final note of encouragement (especially when Satan tried to accuse us) on our less-than-holy days: only these loaves are offered in the Temple with leaven. All other sacrifices are cleansed of leaven. Thus, while we are harvested, washed, sanctified and justified by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:10-11), we are still in a battle between Flesh and Spirit (Galatians 5:13-18). God knows this about us; He prophesied it. But we continue to be refined and sanctified but the Spirit despite our ever present flesh.
  • There's one more Feast toward which we strain in eager anticipation, Succoth or Tabernacles. It's the last feast and the final redemption when we no longer tabernacle here in temporary dwelling but enter into the great reward (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) having been sanctified through and through, kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Succoth marks the temporary dwelling in the desert until God's people enter into the promise land. It's also the last great harvest of the year for Israel. For us, it will be both a great and awesome final harvest and our joyful entry into the Promised Land, the New Heaven and the New Earth. Maranatha!

The Holy Spirit's Harvest at Pentecost

May 24, 2015 is Pentecost, God's brilliant fulfillment of the Old Testament feasts — especially the Feast of Harvest or Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. 

Not only is this day His Church's "birthday", it's also His Nation Israel's "birthday" as this is the day in Exodus 19 when God makes His covenant with Moses and Israel from atop a blazing Mt. Sinai. 

As God harvested His people from bondage (NO MORE CHAINS), He also has harvested His people from sin (NO MORE STAINS), and will eventually harvest us on His final Day of the Lord into a new Earth and new Heaven with new bodies (NO MORE PAINS). 

More on the Holy Spirit

Recently, the Hampton Roads Church hosted its Tenth! Troas Teaching Night (usually it's a Friday night where we meet from 6:30pm to midnight to roll deep for a congregational teaching event - it takes its name from Paul's teaching in Troas that extended beyond midnight in Acts 20). Here are two lessons on the Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Transforms Us Into The Image of Christ

As Hampton Roads Church embarks on a year of spiritual formation, we will capture many of the midweek lessons in this blog post. 

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  — 2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV


"Do not get drunk on wine which leads to debauchery, rather be filled with the Spirit." — Ephesians 5:18. As the Spirit transforms us He also seeks to lead and fill us for His great and glorious purposes. 

Engagement (Positive Disciplines)

  1. Bible Study
  2. Memorization, Meditation
  3. Prayer
  4. Journaling
  5. Practice His Presence
  6. Proclamation
  7. Service
  8. HS Discernment
  9. Obedience
  10. Humility, Advice
  11. Discipleship, Training in Righteousness
  12. Thanksgiving, Celebration
  13. Singing, Worship


  1. Fasting
  2. Simplicity, Frugality
  3. Silence, Secrecy, Solitude
  4. Sabbath
  5. Chastity
  6. Unplugged
  7. No Complaints
  8. Submission
  9. Expose Entitlements
  10. Sleep
  11. Temptation Hedges

Imitating Jesus' Courage Through the Holy Spirit (Men's Lesson)

We are not pursuing transformation for Self Improvement. Instead the Holy Spirit affects transformation so we can more effectively know Christ and make Him known. We see the courage of Jesus through his disciples in Acts 4. 

As you pursue spiritual formation, anticipate opportunities to be put in a position where radical faith and great power is required. Have experienced the Holy Spirit's support and shaping you into a man with the courage of Christ? Likely you have not experienced the thrill of the Holy Spirit’s courage because you never do anything frightening for the Gospel. Determine to share the Good News of Jesus in a way that will require you to depend on the Holy Spirit’s power. 

Transformed Into His Image: Meekness

A  midweek lesson that examines Jesus' massive strength and power under control (AKA meekness or in Greek praus)

"I WILL" Bible Jubilee in NYCCOC (in the great New Jersey!!!! region)

The New Jersey Region of the New York City Church of Christ kicked off 2015 with a Bible Jubilee Sunday on the topic of "I Will." The lessons focus on both the Promises and the Covenants of God. And, of course, all promises are "Yes" in Jesus. The third video covers our "Yes" as respond to God's grace in this Covenant. The third video also covers many of the key principles for the NetMenders program offered through Commonwealth Academy at www.cwacademy.net/netmenders/

Bible in a Year Reading Plan for 2015

You can do it! Give it your all and you'll likely rank 2015 among the best years of your life. Here's the LINK.

Don't Get Drunk On Wine, But Be Filled With the Spirit

I've begun a series of lessons on the incomparable power of the Holy Spirit Who indwells us. Look for more entries over the holidays. Here are some audio lessons on the same subject.

Praising God from A to Z

As we study the Lord's prayer in Luke 11, we see Jesus praising God. It's embarrassing to say, but I find this to be one of the more difficult aspects of my prayer life. Thanks flow well; confessions are clear; supplications are often boundless; but praise escapes me. Here's a pattern that my wife Deb shared with me that helps:

  • A.     Awesome, Advocate, Amazing, Author, Avenger, Abba

  • B.     Brilliant, Benevolent, Bountiful, Beautiful, Bold, Bruised, Boundless

  • C.     Creator, Comforter, Conqueror, Compassionate, Caring, Consuming Fire, Cornerstone, Courageous, Constant

  • D.     Daddy, Delightful, Deliverer, Dignified, Discerning, Divine, Dominion, Destroyer

  • E.     El Shaddai, Emmanuel, Eternal, Example, Extraordinary, Exalted, Excellent

  • F.     Father, Faithful, Forgiving, Friend, Fearsome, First, Forever

  • G.     Good Shepherd, Glorious, Generous, Gentle, Gatherer

  • H.     Holy Holy Holy, Helper, Healer, Humble, Honest

  • I.     Immeasurable, Immortal, Immutable, Immoveable, Invincible, Involved, Instructor, Imminent, I Am

  • J.     Joyful, Just, Justifier, Jealous, Jehovah Jirah, Judge

  • K.     King, Kind, Knowable

  • L.     Loving, Limitless, Listener, Long suffering, Lovely, Lamb, Lamp, Life, Lord

  • M.    Meek, Merciful, Messiah, Magnificent, Martyr, Mighty, Miracle Maker, Master

  • N.    Now, Near, Never ending, Noble, Nurturer

  • O.    Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omnibenevolent, Only God, One

  • P.     Patient, Peacemaker, Perfect, Praiseworthy, Pure, Protector, Potter, Physician,

  • Personal, Pleasing

  • Q.     Quintessential, Quickener    

  • R.     Ruler, Refuge, Rock, Radical, Real, Reliable, Rest, Refresher, Rescuer, Revered, Righteous

  • S.     Sacred, Savior, Sanctifier, Shield, Shelter, Shepherd, Spirit, Stronghold, Supernatural, Son, Sovereign

  • T.     Transcendent, Triumphant, Truth, Teacher, Trinity, Treasure

  • U.    Upright, Unblemished, Unique, Unlimited, Unforgettable

  • V.     Valiant, Vast, Vine, Vindicator, Victorious

  • W.     Wise, Wonderful, Word, Way, Warrior, Witness, Wounded, Worthy

  • X.     X ray vision

  • Y.     Yahweh, Yoked with us, Yearning, Yes

  • Z.     Zealous 

What Will Heaven Be Like? Notes from Midweek Lesson

    What Will Heaven Be Like?

        The Present Heaven and Future Heaven

        This World is not our home? Not really.

        Redeemed humans will be God’s unchallenged, delegate rulers of the New Earth. God will come down and live with them forever deepening their relationships, as the glory of God permeates every aspect of the new creation.

        We will reign over a resurrected, centered on a resurrected Earth, with a resurrected Jerusalem as its capital city.

        We will eat, drink, work, worship, learn, travel, and experience many of things that we do now.

        Isaiah 65:17  See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

        Isaiah 66:22  “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.

        Romans 8:19–23 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

        Will Heaven (the New Earth) Be an Actual Place?

        It’s a Renewal of a very familiar place

        Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

        2 Peter 3:5–13 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

        What Will Heaven Be Like?

        Heaven is a City, a Country, a Paradise Restored!

        Hebrews 11:10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

        Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

        Hebrews 13:14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

        Revelation 21, Revelation 22. The Garden of Eden. And God saw that it was good

Notes from "Celebrate the Harvest of the Spirit at Pentecost"

Holy Spirit Works at Harvest Feast of Pentecost

        Background  on Other HS Ministries


        Sustaining the World

        Creativity in Bazaleal and Oholiab

        Administration for 70 elders

        Battle success (Joshua, Jephthah, Ehud, Gideon, Samson, et al

        Prophecy (even with Balaam and Saul)


        Joy in Holy Spirit

        Romans 14:7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

        Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

        1 Thessalonians 1:6  You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.


        General Harvesting of HS

        1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

        Background on Harvest of Feast of First Fruits (Leviticus 23)

        How the HS harvests today (introduction)

        First Fruit references in NT

        Rom 8:23, Rev 14:4, plus Jeremiah 2:3

        James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

        Feast of Weeks

        Numbers 28:26–30 (NIV)

26 “ ‘On the day of firstfruits, when you present to the Lord an offering of new grain during the Festival of Weeks, hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 27 Present a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 28 With each bull there is to be a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil; with the ram, two-tenths; 29 and with each of the seven lambs, one-tenth. 30 Include one male goat to make atonement for you.

        Deuteronomy 16:9–12 (NIV)

9 Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. 11 And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.

        Leviticus 23:15–18 (NIV)

15 “ ‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

        Exodus 23:14–16 (Festival of Harvest)

14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. 15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. “No one is to appear before me empty-handed. 16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.

        Exodus 34:22 (NIV)

22 “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.

        Acts 20:16 + Acts 22:16!

        Miraculous Attestation of HS/HE GETS OUR ATTENTION

        Acts 2 to gather the harvest

        Confirming the Gospel via miracles

        Understanding the Gospel via tongues

        1 Corinthians 2:13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

        2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

        Romans 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

        Acts 16:6–10 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

        Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

        Acts 8:29  The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

        Acts 10:19–20 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

        OT Considerations

        Ps 51.11 Take not they Holy Spirit from me. via David in OT

        Num 22-24 Spirit is upon Balaam, 1Sam 10:12 and 1Sam 19 Is Saul really among the prophets?

        Samson Judges 13, Moses Num 11:17 and then the 70, Bazaleel Exo 31:2-5, Joshua in military strategy and ability.

        John the Baptist “filled” Luke 1:15 (but we are greater Matt 11.11)

        Elizabeth, JTB’s mom, filled Luke 1:41

        Zacharia Luke 1:67 filled plus Simeon Luke 2:25

        Disciples preach and exorcise demons by the HS, yet John 20:22 “Receive the Holy Spirit”

        John 7:38–39 (NIV) Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

        Hebrews 11:39–40  These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

        Convicting/Exposing of HS/ HE CUTS US DEEP

        “What must I do to be saved?” Acts 2:38

        John 16:7–8 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:

        1 Corinthians 14:25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

        John 3:19–21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

        Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

        Regeneration of HS/ HE MAKES US NEW

        Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

        John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.

        Titus 3:5–6 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

        Romans 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

        1 Corinthians 6:10–11 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

        2 Thessalonians 2:13  But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

        Romans 15:16  to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

        John 14:17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

        Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

        2 Corinthians 1:22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

        Empowering/Sanctifying of HS/ HE MAKES US GREAT

        Fruits of the Spirit

        Power of the Spirit

        Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

        Romans 8:26  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

        John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

        Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

        Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

        Ephesians 1:17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

        Sanctifying of the Spirit

        1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

        1 Thessalonians 5:13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

        Ephesians 5:26–27 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

        1 Thessalonians 5:23  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


        Don’t get drunk on wine but be filled with Spirit

        Be willing to lose control

        The impediment of the Flesh (inhibitions)

        Ephesians 5:18–21 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

        Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

        Do not grieve the HS

        Ephesians 4:29–32 (NIV)  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

        1 Thessalonians 5:16–19 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.

        Do not put out the Spirit’s fire

        Fan into flame the HS

        Avoid pitfall: Another reason for Guilt!

        Galatians 6:7–9 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Law and Sausages (and Sermons)

Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.

Many sermons fall into that category as well. Here's my initial mind map as I tackle the keynote lesson "Celebrate the Holy Spirit's Harvest at Pentecost":

The Transfiguration - a Family Devotional video

We tried to tackle the great scene of Jesus' transfiguration with Rebekah and the Jones family.

Keeping Up With Our Sermons

Most of the updates to our Hampton Roads Church website occur on the active sermons page. Currently, we are preaching through the Gospel of Luke. Here's the PAGE to find our sermons.

Bible in a Year for 2014

In 2014, I'll mainly be blogging in the "Bible in a Year" blog also on this site. I hope to have a year of simple discipline in the Word of God with convictions captured. Join me in the discussion as we read God's Word.

A New Bible Translation for 2014

I'll be reading through the Voice Bible translation in 2014 (using an annual reading plan - see the blog on Bible In a Year). So far, I've enjoyed it, but it injects explanatory phrases into the text without much distinction from the actual biblical text. It promotes itself as "A new Bible translation that reads like a story with all the truth and wisdom of the God's Word." Parts of the narratives receive a screenplay treatment, letting you always know who is speaking. If you follow the Hampton Roads Church progress through the Bible in 2014, you'll likely see a lot more on this new translation.

Do you have a reading plan for 2014 (it doesn't need to be reading through the entire Bible in a year, but some sort of a plan is very helpful)? Do you have goals to tackle some biblical topics more thoroughly in the new year? Have you set some spiritual goals for 2014? Now's the time to ramp up for "the best year ever."


Does God Exist?

Here's a lesson at ODU on both the Teleological and Cosmological Argument for the existence of God. 

Immersing Ourselves in Corinth

Our biblical study tour spent time exploring Corinth in Greece. Paul spent 18 months launching the Gospel from this ancient, bawdy port city. We had full access to the ruins throughout the main agora, the ancient temples, the Acrocorinth (site of a temple to Aphrodite with 1000 shrine prostitutes who stamped the culture of Corinth with their trade), the Bema judgment seat where Paul was judged by Gallio in Acts 18, and even the inscription of Erastus which validates the Bible's reference to him (Acts 19:22, Romans 16:23, 1Timothy 4:20). 

Amazing Biblical Tour of Greece and Turkey

Deb and I just returned from a biblical tour of Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Patmos, Colossae, Sardis, Smyrna, and Laodicea. Over 90 brothers and sisters from our fellowship gathered for a chance to immerse ourselves in the Scriptures with a backdrop of the local culture, language, rhetoric, and topography. 

I'll share some of the lessons from the trip over the next few weeks. Here's one lesson from the Areopagus in Athens.