Jesus Baptism & Temptation by Crossing Barriers Ministry

After Jesus was born, He was taken to the temple to be presented to the Lord. Two Holy people there recognized Him as the Promised One. Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. When Jesus was about 30 years old, John the Baptist began to preach in the wilderness. Today’s message come from Matthew 3:1-4:1-11.

We start today’s story off with John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea. His message was basically a prelude to Jesus starting his ministry. He is telling the people to repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near. He further goes on to say that spoken through the prophet Isaiah that they are to prepare for the coming of Jesus or the Promise One. (Matthew 3:1-3)

John the Baptist wore clothes made of camel hair and he had a leather belt around his waist while his menu consisted of locusts and wild honey. People travelled from all over the region of Jordan to confess their sins and to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. (Matthew 3:4-6)

People came day by day, when John would see the Pharisees and the Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing. He basically challenged them by they were dangerous, treacherous persons. They would have to repent for their sins and if not, they would be thrown in the depths of fire of Hell. He finally stated that I baptize you with water for repentance, but the ultimate authority will baptize you with the Holy Spirit for who’s sandals I am not worthy to carry. (Matthew 3:7-12)

Jesus travelled to Jordan where John was preaching. Jesus wanted to be baptized by John, but John attempted to deter him by saying that Jesus should baptize John the Baptist. Jesus says let it be so now because it is the proper thing to do. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he arose up out of the water and the heavens opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. A voice from heaven says this is my son whom I love, with him I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:13-17)

After being baptized, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. This was so that Jesus may be tempted by the devil. Jesus was there and fasted forty days and forty nights before he was tempted. (Matthew 4:1-2)

Jesus was tempted three times. The first one was to command these stones to turn to bread because you are hungry after fasting if you are truly the Son of God. Jesus responded using the word that Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:3-4)

The second temptation was after the devil took him into the Holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple. If you are truly the Son of God, then throw yourself down and allow the angels to have charge over you that they may bear you up as it is written. Again, Jesus using the word stated you shall not tempt the Lord your God. (Matthew 4:5-7)

Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. The devil says to Jesus that if you drop to your knees and worship me I will give all these to you. Using the word for the third time, Jesus told the devil to go away and that it was written that you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve. The devil then left and instantly angels came and ministered to Jesus. (Matthew 4:8-11)

Review Questions

1. What was John’s message? How did he challenge the pharisees or Sadducees?

2. Why did John insist that John baptize him? What happened immediately after?

3. Who led Jesus into the wilderness?

4. How long was Jesus in the wilderness before He was tempted?

5. Who tempted Jesus? What were the three temptations and Jesus responses?

6. What did Jesus use to respond each of the temptation?

7. After the devil left, what happened?

Questions to be answered:

1. What did we learn about God in this story?

2. What do we learn about man/ourselves in this story?

3. What did you learn new in this story?

4. What should I do differently because of this story?

Precious Baby Jesus by Crossing Barriers Ministry

We learned in our mid-week bible study from the Book of Luke the story of baby Jesus. I think we all have heard various versions, but all end up with the basic concept Baby Jesus was born in a manger. I read not that long ago that scholars say that Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas day because they state the shepherds were tending their flock and they wouldn’t be doing that in the middle of winter. Whatever the real day is, we celebrate “The Reason for the Season” on Christmas Day. So, let us look at why we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.

Continue reading

Awesome God by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Would you not agree that God is an Awesome God? Just take a moment and think about all the things he has done in this book of life we call a bible. We are concentrating our message on the book of Isaiah 6:1-11.

We start this message off with King Uzziah’s death. Verse one Isaiah spoke that he saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted. He speaks three more times expressing the deepest feelings of God’s children that are dedicated to him.

Word of Modesty

Modest can be defined as “the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s abilities”, or/ and “behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency”. Either one of these definition fits Jesus while he lived here on earth but also a way we should be here on earth.

1 Timothy 2:9

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Verse 5 states “Woe is me for I am undone” Verse 7 further states “Your iniquity is taken away and your sin is purged”.

This is a lesson to us that we have only one place to seek forgiveness, We are not to feel hopeless but humble and unworthy. We must be aware that the Lord Jesus is our High priest and our advocate then, now and in the future no matter what building you are in.

1 John 2:1–2

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Hebrews 7:24–26

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Word of Bravery

What is the bravest thing you have ever done? We could say our first responders or military personnel would fit a fine example of Bravery. Bravery can be defined as “Courageous behavior or character”.

So, think of a couple examples from the bible of bravery. David & Goliath comes to mind, or Daniel in the lion’s den. How about Jesus?

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Verse 8 goes on to say, “Here I am send me”. Our Lord was disappointed that no one was able to share his word with a blind people and people who renounces religion altogether. In the biblical case though, Isaiah does volunteers and the Lord was happy someone was there for this task.

It is kind of like this today, it seems we don’t have people to share God’s word and love when the time is there, but we are not. I am sure that at times we have all felt overwhelmed in a world of sin and unbelievers. When you look at that way, your mentality becomes “What can I do?” or “What difference will it make?’

Let me tell you a story that happened not that long ago. A friend of mine was out doing mud out recovery with Missouri Disaster Relief after a Major tornado had recently hit the area. A young boy was watching from a park as they were working. My friend who happens to be a chaplain walked over and spent some time with the young boy and before departing, he had given his life to Jesus. She didn’t stop there as she proceeded to spend time with the parents and because of her answering God’s request, God has three new family members.

So, what do you say when God says to you, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”? So, the main question here is are you ready, prepared, trained, or just a blunder of words? What would you say if I told you that just showing God’s love is a start?

It might be noted here that Isaiah offered to go and preach to the blind and naysayers. He did not say “Send us” but rather “I will go”. God wants all of us spreading the gospel but individually not a group.

When we are out doing Disaster Relief work, a homeowner has a minimum of a dozen different individuals that have a chance to share the gospel.

Word of dedication

How dedicated are you to God and preaching his word? What are you committed to as they defined dedication?

Colossians 3:17

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

We wrap up with verse 11, “Lord, how long?” It appears that back then as well as today, we need to keep hearing the word, but we tend to have selective hearing these days. We must continue to be a soldier of God’s word.

I am sure that sometimes we are asking the same question as Isaiah which was, “How patient and persistent must I be?”. The response is we must continue till the end.

1 Timothy 4:13

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

The Promise of the Messiah By Crossing Barriers Ministry

During the time of the exile and the return to the Promised Land God sent the Prophet Isaiah to tell of the coming of the Messiah. Keep in mind this scripture was written in approximately 680 BC. Today’s bible study comes from the book of Isaiah 6:1-8 & Isaiah 53.

The time was after King Uzziah had died. The main characters are Isaiah, the Lord, and angels. Isaiah saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.            (Isaiah 6:1-2)

And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke. (Isaiah 6:3-4)

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:5-8)

Now to finish this week’s bible lesson off we wind up with Isaiah 53.

This chapter continues describing the “suffering servant.” He grows up in front of God like a plant. People ignore him because he doesn’t look particularly majestic. They all reject him and despise him, and he spends his whole life suffering.

But he pays off everyone’s sins with all this horrible suffering. No one realizes it, but it works. The people return to God like sheep to their shepherd.

Meanwhile, the servant goes like a sheep to the slaughter, bearing the people’s punishment silently. He is taken away by a “perversion of justice,” and is buried with the wicked and then with the rich.

God organized all of this to pay off the people’s transgressions. So, in the end the servant will be alright. He’ll see light through his troubles and find a place with the righteous and mighty as a reward for his atonement.

Review Questions

1. Describe what Isaiah saw in his vision?

2. What did he hear and witness?

3. What was Isaiah response and the interaction that followed?

4. In Isaiah 53, pull out the specific messianic (relating to Christ) correlation from these passages?

5. What is God trying to tell us through this story?

Questions to be answered:

1. What did we learn about God in this story?

2. What do we learn about man/ourselves in this story?

3. What did you learn new in this story?

4. What should I do differently because of this story?

When Things Get Hot by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Earlier this week, we learned that there is only one true God and we should be true to that one true God. The lesson can be read again by reading Daniel 3:1-30.

While Nebuchadnezzar was trying to create an idol that would make him more popular. However, Daniel’s three friends were doing their best to honor the one true God.

I. Be True

It is not just good enough that you accept or respect the one true God that exists in our world. No matter what or who tries to have you change sides, you must remain true. Don’t be Adam & Eve and allow the serpent to fool you into eating the forbidden fruit.

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

II. Trust Thy God

We all have that one person that we trust our lives with or least most of us. Bit what about those things that the one person you trust your life with that can’t help with. We hear it every week from our pastors, put all your worries in God’s hands. So why do we consistently not do it?

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

III. Always There

Who can you count on 24/7 365 days a year? No matter what you are going through, our God is able and willing to listen to our problems, concerns, and loves to hear about our successes but really enjoys our praises. Philippians 4:6–7

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

IV. Good & Bad

The sooner you learn that our Savior who knows trials because he went through the most horrific one when He die on the cross for our sins. So no matter what are trials are, God will always be with us.

James 1:2–4

My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

V. Got Your Back

How many times have you needed a favor from somebody and while you wait, you wonder if they will come through for you? No matter what you are facing, God will always come through for you. It may not be the exact results that you had anticipated but He will come through for you.

Isaiah 41:10

Fear thou not; for I am with thee be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

VI. Change of Plans

Seriously, is there anyone here that does not believe that there is only one Savior who will be there no matter what? All you must do is believe and trust Him with everything. As the three in our Mid-Week bible Study, it demonstrates to us that God can deliver from our own problems and trials.

Now that we know that He can deliver but we must also acknowledge that there are times that He doesn’t. The Apostle Paul shows us in Romans 5 that He may allow us to deal with our trials or difficulties to allow us to build character, or strengthen our faith, or for other reasons we may never know. We may not understand the reasons for what He delivers or doesn’t deliver, we are expected to trust Him no matter what.

Job 13:15

Though He may slay me, yet will I hope in Him

VII. Do Not Abandon

No matter what and when Jesus delivers or doesn’t deliver, we must remember to trust Him. No matter the outcome, He will be with us always. It has been said that the following is some of the most courageous words ever spoken:

Daniel 3:18

But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up

No matter what you are facing or possibly will be force to go through, God is there. It may seem like He is not there, not helping you, that there is no hope, but through all this, you must not abandon God or start worshipping another idol like Nebuchadnezzar was attempting to accomplish.

Matthew 10:28

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell

VIII. Assurances

Just like Nebuchadnezzar was shocked that the fire didn’t burn Daniel’s three friends in Daniel 3:25, He was shocked to see a fourth person that appeared to be like the Son of God. The three shows us that He is always with us.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight

Matthew 28:20

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

IX. World Meets Christ

The world will never meet Christ unless we show by our actions that there is a higher power, a greater purpose, and a superior morality, than the world in which we live.

2 Corinthians 4:16–18

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

X. Eternal Life

No matter what we go through in our life, we have to remember His promise that we will have eternal life for all who love and obey Him.

John 14:23

Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

People in Exile by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Do you remember what happened Elijah in the last story? Although God sent many prophets, the people continued to worship other Gods. First, God sent northern kingdom of Israel into Exile. (722 BC) 135 years later, the southern kingdom of Judah was taken in exile in Babylon. (587 BC) Some of the younger men taken into exile were chosen by King Nebuchadnezzar to serve in his court. These included Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Today’s bible study comes from the book of Daniel 3: 1-30.

We start of with King Nebuchadnezzar who wanted more control and an Idol that people would worship or claimed as his God. This idol was an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:1)

Now the King had his Idol and invited all the people, the people were commanded that as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, Zither, lyre, or harp and all kinds of music they are to fall down and worship the image of gold or the fake Idol. Those that fail to do this will be thrown into the blazing furnace. (Daniel 3:2-6)

All is going well till a group of astrologers came to the King. They called out the Jews mainly Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who are known not to serve your Gods or worship your idol. The main reason was the three appeared to be better than the magicians and enchanters. (Daniel 3:7-12)

Needless to say, the three were brought before the king to answer to these accusations. The three responded that would not serve the King’s God or the idol, and if thrown in the blazing furnace that their God would rescue them but even not we still will not worship your god or idol.                (Daniel 3:13-18)

The King was furious with these three and ordered the blazing furnace to be made seven times hotter. He then orders the three captured, bound, and thrown into the fire. (Daniel 3:19-20)

The men that were to throw the three in the blazing fire got close, but the flames were so hot that they killed the soldiers. Meanwhile the three were bound and tied and thrown into the fire. (Daniel 3:21-22)

The King arises and notices four men walking in the fire. He looks closer and starts to call out Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As they exit the fire, they realize they were not bound or tied, and the fire had done no damage to them at all. (Daniel 3:23-27)

The King realized that God had sent his angel to protect the three. He acknowledged the three had refused to serve his God or worship his idol and even give up their lives only to worship their God. Apart from the three being promoted in Babylon, the King declared that if anyone speaks against the three men’s god that they will be cut into pieces and their houses turned to rubble as no other God can save like this. (Daniel 3:28-30)

Review Questions

1. What did Nebuchadnezzar create and what was his motivation behind it?

2. What was the penalty for a person if they did not fall down and worship the King? Why?

3. Which people group call out the Jews? What was their motivation? (See Daniel 1:20)

4. How did Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego respond?

5. What was Nebuchadnezzar’s response?

6. Discuss the details encompassing the furnace?

7. How did God reveal himself to Nebuchadnezzar through this event?

8. How did Nebuchadnezzar respond to God?

Questions to be answered:

1. What did we learn about God in this story?

2. What do we learn about man/ourselves in this story?

3. What did you learn new in this story?

4. What should I do differently because of this story?

Faith

This week’s bible study of the Prophets and Baals takeaway would be there is only one God and you must have faith in that one God. When we talk about denominations, it is not one size fits all. Even in a certain denomination, there is not one size fits all. There is one thing that we can all agree on at this point: there is only one way to heaven.

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Now we must understand that faith in God can be lost by the blink of the eye. Your faith in God must be better than good enough if you want to go to Heaven. Faith is the only ticket to Paradise.

Provides

Think back over your life. Has there ever been that one moment where you thought that the situation was hopeless but at the last moment it all worked out. We all have moments like this – some more than others.

The message that we learn from this is that God is there no matter what. We have to have faith in the only God there is and he will assist in ways that we will never understand.

1 Kings 17:6

And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Now start thinking about all those situations that we thought were hopeless. They weren’t hopeless, they were the One true God aiding you in a way that no one else can do.

Now let’s think for a moment those things where it appears that God didn’t help you out. Do you lose faith? If you strike out the first time at bat, do you just quit trying? Don’t give up on your faith in our savior just because it didn’t work out. Maybe he had other plans. Remember everything happens because He wants it to happen.

Enables

Do we all realize that we have been enabled to do many things. We have been enabled to help those less fortunate than us.

1 Kings 17:8–16

And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So, he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after making for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah

We are enabled because God wants us to be. So, we are not enabled to be able for one but for all, as God loves all not just one.

Appearance

Ever agree to meet somebody but know that the person showing up has a spotty record of attendance? I am sure there are many teachers who offer extra help wondering if students will make it.

Have you ever had a situation where you wondered if God was going to show up? Have you ever given credence that He may have showed up but you got an answer that you weren’t expecting?

Let’s take this one step further if I may. You must put your trust and faith in the only God. We are instructed to go and make disciples meaning in some cases we will have to prove that our God is the only God like Elijah did in our Mid-Week Bible study. Check out the story at 1 Kings 18:17–40.

So, is there anyone here that thinks that God won’t put in an appearance. If you do, then you need to red-dedicate your trust and faith in the right Supreme being because the one you have now is a one-way ticket to Hell.

James 2:19

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.