The seventeen prophets are sometimes discounted because they are often hard to follow and understand. As Stephen pointed out, this is because they aren’t linear or follow a narrative format. Often, they are written in a visionary and poetic way. However, just because something is hard to follow does not mean they should be discounted! As one of the major prophets (Isaiah) wrote, “the word of God will not return void…” it is always worthy of our time and effort to spend time in God’s word.
The books we have navigated so far in this series have dealt with justice: when there is righteousness, there is blessing. When there is wickedness, there is punishment. That is black and white and everyone understands it. However, life is not always black and white. In fact, its’s rarely ever all black or all white. That is where the wisdom and poetry books come in…
The history books (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther) tell of a seemingly never ending cycle. I don’t know about you, but it sounds very familiar to me: God’s people let the culture influence them, God extends grace (again), prophets or others sent by God speak the truth, and God’s people return to God (again). Sounds a bit like LIFE, doesn’t it?
To not understand the full picture of the Bible is a missed opportunity to know and understand God more intimately. Some folks leave it to a pastor, or perhaps a meme on social media, but that only ends up preventing you from seeing the complete picture. Every verse, chapter, book and section fits into a bigger picture. It is like a mosaic that all fits together culminating in Jesus. The Bible is God’s love story written for you and written for me. You are part of the bigger story.
Our guest speaker was Lt. Colonel Kent Walker. He is the Head Chaplain at Brooks Army Military Center. He gave an inspiring word for fathers about how God knows and sees how you make a difference in the lives of your family members. This is a hugely important role, yet there are no “manuals,” even though how a man fulfills his role as a father impacts the entire household and generations to come.
Mary’s faith can be an inspiration to us all. In this week’s study we see how faith leads to obedience. We see that obedience is measurable. We also see that obedience can be exciting, leading to seeing God doing things that only God can do. Finally, obedience is the key to making your faith real and alive. God is the same yesterday, today and always. He is still as reliable and trustworthy as he was for Mary. Can you trust him, believe him, and follow him today and moving forward? How can you learn from Mary’s faith and trust in God?
Pastor Adam is continuing the Rockhills series on the “shady ladies” who are part of the legacy of Christ. When Matthew outlines the lineage of Christ, he purposely mentions four women with rough backgrounds and reputations. Jesus not only came from them, he came FOR them. They are not unlike you or me: imperfect, sinful, poor life choices, rough around the edges. Today’s teaching was on Rahab. God used all her hurt, her pain and her dark days to honor and glorify God. She went from harlot to heroine. God can change and use you in the same way. God doesn’t waste pain. Are you ready to live into your new story with God at the front and center?
When Matthew wrote his chapter on the genealogy of Christ, he made a point of emphasizing who Jesus came FOR - not just who he came FROM. There are many good, wholesome and awe inspiring women in the genealogy of Jesus, yet Matthew fails to mention many of them. However, he seems to make a point of and even draws attention to mentioning the ones who many would consider scandalous.
God uses people from unexpected places in unexpected ways today just as he did in Ruth’s situation. This book focuses on the management of land and family obligations, but it teaches us a more profound meaning of redemption. God gives new life in abundance where only death and emptiness are expected. And while God is easing Naomi’s and Ruth’s need, he is also bringing about his purpose for the entire nation.