We had the wonderful privilege to be in CA last week for about 5 days. Our daughter Allison, and our youngest son Logan live in CA right now, so we have made it a priority to be with them whenever we can get time together. While we were in CA our oldest son Marcus proposed to his fiancé Sarah along a beautiful hiking trail in the Smokey Mountains of TN.
As I have been reflecting over the incredible blessings of these family relationships that God has given to us, I thought of the verse from Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (NLT version)
Sometimes in the midst of demanding seasons of life we forget that our children are a gift from God and a precious reward to us. “Growing up” always comes with challenges and days that seem like they will never end. Trusting God to work in our lives and our kid’s lives is always a step of faith. We want to be in control and not lose control so we often rush the growing up process. We seek to conform our kids to what we want and don’t lead them in the path or way that fits who they are and need to be. (Proverbs 22:6) But then God does something just right in our lives and in our families that gives us hope, joy, and peace that is beyond our understanding.
I remind you in whatever season of life you are in with your family, to let God do his work and to wait patiently for the outcomes. When the Bible says to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV), God is simply reminding us that he knows what is best for us and for those within our sphere of influence. I pray that God’s love for you, and the blessing of those that he has rewarded you with, will be an encouragement to keep pressing on as you serve and lead in the place that God has given to you.
This last week we made our way through the book of Numbers. We learned how this book, filled with some pretty famous Sunday School type of stories, is also shot-through with the sad themes of unbelief and rebellion. It is shocking how a people who experienced so many displays of God’s faithfulness could still be ungrateful and unsatisfied with his provision and timing. Which ironically makes it so relevant for our study, for we all struggle with being satisfied with the circumstances of our lives.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
There are a number of major themes that weave their way through the whole story of the Bible: covenant, kingdom, and temple, just to name a few. This last Sunday we looked at the theme of God’s presence in each of the sections of the story that we have covered thus far (Genesis 1-11, Genesis 12-50, and Exodus 1-18), and then how this idea of God’s presence comes into a bit of a sharper focus in Exodus 19-40.
I think it is probably safe to say that there are two great peaks in the mountain range of God’s rescue and restoration of the earth. What the cross-resurrection event is to the New Testament, the exodus is to the Old Testament. In each case, the great redemptive salvation act (exodus/cross) produces the covenant community of God’s people (Israel/church) who are called to serve God and his universal mission.
Genesis 12-50: I Will Bless You
It is hard to look at any one text in the Bible and say that it is more important than any other text of the Bible. Since the whole Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit as God’s Words, it is all equally valid and useful for growth in the grace and knowledge of our King, Jesus (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18). At the same time, there are those passages that are particularly vital and important to knowing what God is up to in his rescue and restoration plan for the world.
The Whole Story: Genesis One Through Eleven
This last Sunday, January 7th, we kicked off our new sermon series, The Whole Story. As Genesis is the first book of the Bible, we began there, by covering chapters one through eleven...
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.