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February 2017

Covenant

Every covenant includes a rite of admission. For Abraham that right was the act of circumcision for all the men who were part of his household. In circumcision they showed they agreed to be counted among God’s covenant people. For Christians, we enter into that covenant relationship through the action of baptism.



Priest King

You would think that Melchizedek is an insignificant character in Scripture. He appears in the life of Abram and is gone after four verses. But this fleeting character is unfolded for us in Psalm 110 and Hebrews 6 and 7 as a compelling type for the Messiah, both king and priest. In this type he presents two convincing truths: God can be trusted, and our salvation is sure.



Conquest

God promises to reestablish his kingdom, and He invites his people to take part in advancing that charge. Abram embraces that call in worship. We can continue it in the worship of witness.



Diversity

God introduced diversity to unify humanity in fulfilling its mission. However, humanity tends to interpret diversity as disunity. God reversed this flow through the blood of Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ we can experience unity in the midst of our diversity.



January 2017

Deliverance: Noah, Jesus, and the New Creation

God provides an instrument for salvation for those who will obediently follow His instructions.



Faithfulness

Eve undoubtedly felt like God’s promise of victory over the serpent was lost when one son was killed and the other exiled. Perhaps, she felt as though she had received the stomping. However, God is always faithful and opened another pathway to promise fulfillment … a promise finally realized in Christ.

 
 
 


Sin: Paradise Lost

Adam and Eve were placed in paradise, but it didn’t take long for paradise to be lost to sin. Since we live in a world that follows Adam into sin, we too don’t experience paradise.
 
Yet, in this story of the fall into sin is the beginning of a message of hope and grace. God gives this couple two signs of his ultimate victory over sin, and paradise restored.


Control

When we look at the Creation story, we tend to look to answer the 20th century question of HOW. Yet God in telling his story of Creation answers the greater question, WHO and WHY. 
 
His message, in a world of chaos, God is in control. In creation, God defeats the other gods of the Ancient Near East, in preparation for taking his kingly throne in the presence of humanity.


New Growth Commitment

Growth is a normal thing. However, as Christians many fall into the habit of putting growth in neutral. Jesus’ spiritual growth was intentional. Neither gospel writer spends much time on his infancy because Jesus grew.
 
In his spiritual development, he lays for us some markers for our own growth in Luke 2.


December 2016

Jesus, Suffering Savior

Christmas was never meant to be about an infant cozied in a manger. Christmas is about the reason that child came … to suffer and die for humanity sins. Isaiah prophecies that suffering in Isaiah 53.



Jesus, Hope For The Broken

The Servant of Isaiah offers life-giving hope to the broken, oppressed, rejected, and outcast. Matthew reflects Jesus as the fulfillment of this Servant. In spite of currently broken lives, hope can be offered to those who accept the gracious ministry of the Servant because Jesus brings healing to broken lives, and puts things right for everyone open to his work.



Christ, the Child-King

The Child-King of Isaiah 9 anticipates the one who helps us confront some of the hardest questions of our life with a positive answer. Each name prophesied of Jesus speaks to real needs within our lives.