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Showing posts from February, 2018

The Beginning of a Nation

The story of the Bible began with God's promise to Abraham that his descendants would inherit God's Promised land.  Hundreds of years pass.  While Israel is indeed a large group of people, they are not a Nation...instead, they are slaves.  They are oppressed in Egypt by an evil tyrant Pharaoh.  God uses Moses (and his brother Aaron) to confront Pharaoh, and in a series of miraculous judgements (plagues), God miraculously frees them and they head into the wilderness towards a place called Mount Sinai. 

Here at Mount Sinai Israel becomes a nation.  Moses receive from God their constitution in the form of the Law.  God also makes a way for them to have his Holy presence live among them in giving them instructions for the Tabernacle.  (By the way the idea of God as Holy makes his presence much more difficult that most of us can imagine).  The book of Leviticus reminds us that God is Holy and the way to worship God is to respect that Holiness, and to make provision for how our Sin …

The Joy of the Quiet Life

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life,” Paul writes (1 Thess. 4:11). It’s a small sentence with endless needs to meditate on and work out in living.  He says, “make it your ambition not to be ambitious”.  It’s a value, a desire, to embrace the anonymity of humility. It’s dreaming big about living small.  Be willing to live without being noticed, without the need for people to make us feel like we count.  It is enough that God knows us and has adopted us into his family...we are his children, that’s all I need.
The “quiet life” – isn’t it boring?  It’s so un-American...it’s dull... what about relationships?  What about the newest and best?  What about making a difference?  
A quiet life doesn’t mean we have no goals, or expectations; it simply means we look around us, and we look beside us.  We look around us and beside us at the people whom God has placed in our lives for us to serve.  
As I think about this my mind goes to what I've often thought about and project to other…

Exodus - Redemption

We looked this Sunday at the ongoing story - God's story - in the bible as we turned the page from Genesis to Exodus.
If you were there you already know some of this...but it's always good to be reminded.  Exodus is really 3 large stories...
The First third is about God's redemption of the Israelites freeing them from Slavery.  God reveals himself to Moses in chapter 3 as "I AM"...God who a Covenant keeping God who has always been and will always be. 
Then through a series of Judgements against Pharaoh God brings them out of Egypt through Moses' leadership.  There's a couple of key verses in this section as God tells Moses why these Judgements are occurring:
First, God is clear through Moses to Pharaoh that the Children of Israel are HIS people...not Pharaoh's slaves. 
Exodus 7:16 
16  And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.”   As God's peopl…