Tag : teaching

Internal and External by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Jesus never forgot about his small group. While he spoke to the masses, and people were constantly seeking him out for healing, he did not disregard his twelve disciples. In Mark 9, Jesus had just healed a demon-possessed boy, one who the disciples tried to help and couldn’t. After that miraculous healing Jesus traveled through Galilee and did not want anyone to know he was there because he desired to spend more time with His disciples in order to teach them.

And boy, did he teach them. He told them he would be betrayed, killed, and three days later would rise from the dead. He instructed that whoever wants to be first needed to be last. He shared that children are important and that anyone who is not against them is for them. The last teaching was about sin, and he said if your hand, foot or eye causes you to sin, you might as well cut it off. He concluded, “It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:48). Wow Jesus, have you seen any good shows lately? “The Chosen” is a great series.

It was a heavy conversation, but Jesus cared deeply about his small group of twelve and wanted them to be ready when he physically departed the earth.

This passage was a reminder that our internal circle of family and friends is just as important of a ministry field as those we know externally.

When I thought of the love Jesus had for his disciples, I thought about our own Pearls of Promise team, now at eight, and the love I have for each of them. While we have a broad reach through our media, our small group is just as important, and I cherish the position I hold as servant leader.

In the same way, I try to live out my faith in front of family members. They know where I stand. My youngest son just sent me a photo of a beautiful piece of art in Prague where he is visiting. It depicted Jesus carrying his cross. He knew that would be meaningful to me and it also told me he’s watching and listening, and hopefully, witnessing authenticity.

Internal is every bit as important as external. Jesus knew that, and took every moment He could to teach and minister to his disciples. We cannot forget the ones God has placed in front of us to disciple. We should see it as a privilege and an honor that the Lord has entrusted each of us believers with a small group of His children to whom we can minister and to whom we can teach—just like Jesus did.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

Categories: Blog

Deception is Real by Mayada Naami

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

(2 Timothy 4:3-4, NIV)

The Greek word that translates to “itching” literally means to “tickle.” The Bible verse above says that the time will come when people will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their “itching ears” want to hear. I believe we are living in these times. Many people today are being deceived by false teachers that are tickling the ears of their listeners to grow in popularity.

The popularity of the New Age movement is growing rapidly in today’s modern culture because it’s a type of spirituality that doesn’t hold a person accountable to any moral standards. The New Age movement promotes self-spirituality with the goal of connection with the “Universe.” It promotes the belief that you can create the life you desire by connecting with spirit guides through spiritual practices. Many are deceived because of their hunger for something greater than themselves; to be connected to a higher power. The longing for a relationship with God is engraved in our hearts, but many have turned away from Him because of guilt and shame. They turn away because “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it? ”Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

(John 6:60-66, NIV)

Some of the early disciples of Jesus also found it hard to follow and turned away from Him. These early followers had “itching ears” and were more concerned with what made them “feel good” and not with the truth of the Word of God. Today, messages that tickle the ears are deceiving people to believe that they can decide for themselves what is right or wrong. That they do not need to turn to the Word of God for guidance. It’s important to not allow the world to influence your thinking. Beware of false prophets and teachers that will say things to tickle your ears. Ephesians 5:6 tells us, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

(1 John 4:1, NIV)

Categories: Blog

What? Locusts Aren’t Just Bugs? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

You are never too old to learn something new. I’ve always had an image of John the Baptist in the Judean desert eating wild honey and locusts, wings and all. Isn’t that what the Bible says? “John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4).

In my mind, eating bugs made John ultra-eccentric and a little weird, even though locusts are supposed to be full of protein. If interested in trying a locust appetizer, I found them online here: https://blessedbuyisrael.com/products/israeli-locusts?variant=31708216754249

A Locust leaf

But on our tour of Israel, our guide informed us there is a Carob or Locust Tree and its seeds taste a lot like chocolate. Could it be? John the Baptist ate chocolate and honey, not bugs and honey? Now that is a more tolerable diet and it changes the way I view him. I might have considered joining him for a quick lunch by the Jordan River.

It goes to show you that the Lord has a lighter side. He wants to reveal new truths to us; we just have to be willing to listen. Proverbs 1:5 says, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance..”

Lisa, Lynn and Michelle putting their feet into the Sea of Galilee

Before I traveled to Israel, I asked God to speak to me in the Land, even though I had been there before. He was faithful, and obviously provided some light-hearted information along the way. The Holy Spirit is always teaching.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you(John 14:26).

Categories: Blog