Messages with tag - God

Sun, Nov 13, 2022
In Zechariah's second and third visions, God shows the prophet the future of Jerusalem. The old days of displacement will be replaced with a new day of worship. God will open the city's gates, widen its borders, and welcome worshippers from all directions. More importantly, God will remove Israel's enemies, her guilt, and dwell in her midst. This is the way God works: old losses are fertile grounds for new beginnings.
Sun, Nov 06, 2022
Zechariah opens his book with an invitation: Return to God. His summons home depicts God as merciful, compassionate, and longsuffering. The portrait frames the remainder of the book, full of visions and oracles. From the outset, Zechariah sees God on the move. His protection is real: he patrols the earth. His promises will prevail: he will rebuild Jerusalem. Thus, God's reliability and activity should inspire his people to get unstuck and make a move.
Sun, Oct 30, 2022
Zephaniah looks forward. Way forward. He describes God's coming kingdom on some far-off day. It will be a fearless future: no more lies, pride, shame, or false worship. It will be a festive future: God's joyful presence will be palpable. The imagery is inviting and inspired. It should give us hope for our fearless and festive future.
Sun, Oct 23, 2022
In the Information Age, we do not have to look far to see people failing. Politicians lie. Athletes cheat. Actors abuse. CEOs intimidate. And it's not just THOSE leaders in the world who are guilty. Abuse, scandal, and deception dwell within the church. Every month another spiritual leader falls from grace. We can wag our fingers, shake our heads, and join the chorus of critics. Or we can look inward at our own wayward hearts. We too walk a perilous path. We must check it for pitfalls.
Sun, Oct 16, 2022
God is not fond of our tendency toward idolatry, indifference, and independence. He wants people who worship in earnest, whose lives are surrendered to him. Sadly, throughout history his people have chosen their own way. This is the case in Zephaniah's day. The prophet gave the people a wake up call. The church may need one, as well. We are no less prone to idolatry, indifference, and independence. Today is an opportunity to come out of hiding.
Sun, Aug 21, 2022
Duration: 42 mins 21 secs
We all have things about ourselves we hide. Ghosts from our pasts. Wound we want no one to know. Failures we fear define us and will leave us destitute if they come to light. A word that captures these feelings is shame. It's real, painful, and crippling. The bad news is we have a spiritual accuser (Satan), who bullies us with shame. The good news is that God can remove our shame. His grace and forgiveness is a beautiful replacement. Zechariah saw this acted out in a vision with the high priest Joshua.
Sun, Aug 14, 2022
Duration: 37 mins 55 secs
Pain is real and it warps our sense of reality. It can steal our joy, ruin our relationships, and upset our tidy theology. Pain can also push us toward God as we cry to him in desperation. This was Hannah's story, filled with heartache over her infertility. She wept, prayed, and made a vow to God. He showed up, answered her petition, and soothed her ailing soul. We, too, pine for his healing presence in our pain.
Sun, Aug 07, 2022
Duration: 44 mins 13 secs
Moses met God. He was going about his shepherding duties, when he encountered God in the far side of the desert. He drew close to a burning bush and God spoke. He shared with Moses his plan to rescue Israel and assured him he was the man for the job. Sadly, Moses deflected and deferred. Facing God forced him to face his false self. The same thing happens with us: divine encounters expose our self-deception.
Sun, Jul 17, 2022
Passage: John 3:16 & John 1:12
Duration: 36 mins 20 secs
This verse does not need a title. It shows up on banners, billboards, and signs at sporting events. It speaks of God's love, his gracious invitation to everlasting life, secured through the gift of his Son. It hinges on trust in him. He loves; we trust: this leads to flourishing.
Sun, Jul 03, 2022
Duration: 46 mins 5 secs
When asked about the greatest command, Jesus didn't hesitate: "Love God with everything." The source of this teaching was the famous catechesis of ancient Israel, often called the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). The Shema joins a theological statement with a command. It confesses the uniqueness of God and calls for loving him. God is the single greatest reality. Love is our single greatest responsibility. Such faith is formed best in community.
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