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 (we’ll cover twelve through fifty next week). This breakout is because this expansive book of the Bible deals with two very important themes for the rest of the Story. Namely, “Creation and Fall” (Genesis 1-11) and “The Covenant with Abraham” (Genesis 12-50).
In addition to posting the sermon each week (you can find it here), we are providing additional resources for your further study and understanding in response to the sermon and, more importantly, the text of the Story. It is our hope that you will use these resources in your community group, in your family worship time, or in conversations with friends, to further interact with and apply this portion of God’s Story to your lives.
As I mentioned in the service on Sunday, we have partnered with the Bible Project to provide the majority of these additional materials. We are incredibly grateful for this highly skilled group of artist theologians who are inspiring us all to more pleasure and delight in The Whole Story of God’s plan of rescue and restoration. Here are the resources for this past week’s sermon and text, Genesis 1-11:
- The Bible Project page for Genesis 1-11.
- Each week, this will be the most important part of further investigating this section of The Whole Story. On this page you will find the one sentence summary for Genesis 1-11, an interactive “Milestones” section, multiple videos that will help you grow in your understanding of this portion of the story, the ability to download a study guide for the text, recommended books to read further, and finally, additional articles and podcasts on the text.
- In the sermon, I reflected on the pursuit of Bible reading, and how sometimes that can be quite difficult. I quoted from a book I recently read, and many of you asked about it. You can find Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life here.
- I also mentioned a very helpful podcast by a good friend of mine, which will be covering Biblical Theology over the coming year. Biblical Theology is, in essence, a branch of theology that better helps us understand the whole story of Scripture. The name of the podcast is Doctrine and Devotion, and you can find out more information about following it, and their blog, here.
One final thing. This will also be a place where we continue to share ideas for how to be consistent, regular, and successful in reading through The Whole Story together this year. If you find yourself having difficulty keeping up reading the story traditionally, that is, holding a paper Bible in your hand, you may find great help listening to the Bible. It still counts! There are multiple apps and websites that allow you to listen to a text of your choosing for FREE. My favorite is probably the ESV mobile app and the ESV website.
And by the way, if you have questions, suggestions, or a testimony you’d like to share as we make our way reading and preaching through The Whole Story, please call, email, or talk to me on a Sunday morning. I’d love to hear from you.
And remember, be sure to read Genesis 12-50 in preparation for the upcoming sermon on Sunday, January 14th.
In the name of Jesus, the point of The Whole Story,
Day Thirty: Vistas of Wisdom
I am very near the end of this little writing experiment called “31 Proverbs.” While I’m unsure how helpful it has been to how ever many have read it, I know that the process of sitting down six days each week to read, ponder, and then ponder some more by plunking on a keyboard has helped me grow in my understanding of wisdom.
Day Thirty-Two: A Mother's Wisdom (part two)
Yesterday, we heard from what was likely King Solomon’s mother imparting worthy words of wisdom in the area of leadership. For the sayings of wisdom we find here are those “which his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). And she now turns her attention to the search for a woman of virtue and noble character, suitable to be a wife and mother.
Day Twenty-Nine: Please—Quietly Hold Your Tongue
Anger. noun. “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) As I entered day twenty-nine of Proverbs this morning, and came to 29:11, it struck me that this book has quite a bit to say about anger, strife, wrath, quarreling, fights, and rage. It is a theme that Solomon keeps coming back to, probably because he knows that it is a theme woven through humanity and history. Sometimes the best way to see a theme is to pull on that string so all the wisdom he has offered comes together for our observation. The accumulation helps us feel the weight of it.
Day Twenty-Six: A Morning Conversation With King Solomon
A conversation that happened this morning as I came upon a visitor in our fireplace room….
Day Nineteen: God Chose Her, Not You
The doctrine of God’s rule and reign in and over all things comes crashing into the human conception of the self-made man. We are tempted to think we have so much to do with our happinesses. But the wisdom found from James speaks a wakefulness into the pondering of our circumstances—the good gifts we have come not from our own hands, but by the grace and providence of our heavenly Father. And the wisdom of Solomon makes clear—one of man’s greatest gifts is something only God can give, an understanding wife.
Day Seventeen: The Great Gain Of Godly Contentment
We live in a world where the temptation is constant to believe the amount of our wealth and possessions directly translates to our joy and happiness. The Bible, once again, confronts our culture and holds out another possibility. Namely, “better” does not imply “more,” “bigger,” or “expensive.” It suggests that the reason you still haven’t found what you are looking for is because you’ve been searching in all the wrong places. Wisdom opens our eyes and hearts to deeper wells of contentment.
Day Fifteen: I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me
I always feel like somebody's watching me. And I have no privacy. Woh, I always feel like somebody's watching me. Tell me is it just a dream? So sang Rockwell in the dawning of my high school years back in 1984. All the cool kids were singing it at the time, and its the tune that sprang to mind when I read this similar sentiment this morning: Yahweh is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3, New Living Translation)
Day Fourteen: Death By Living
For those of us desirous to live a good life, we’ve known since the very beginning of this book that it begins with a healthy awe, reverence, and trembling before the God of the universe whose name is Yahweh (Proverbs 1:7). And here we are again reminded that this humble posture before the Holy One is a fountain overflowing with life.