God is Almighty. He is all knowing and all seeing. We believe He is the very embodiment of wisdom, justice, love and power. As our Creator, we believe He has a plan - a detailed plan - that He will see accomplished for the good of all mankind. How do we think we know these things? The Bible. We believe that His Plan and its details are revealed in the Bible. Now, depending upon our brand of Christianity, we will come up with several contradictory interpretations of that plan unless we are willing to subject our understanding to a rigorous series of tests that will point us to Truth and not tradition. There are five rigorous tests, five ways of finding the mind of God in Scripture! Are you ready?
There are many accounts in the Bible that really run along the edge of reality for many of us here today. Think about it – Balaam’s donkey talks, the sun stands still for Joshua in a battle, Jesus rises from the dead and goes to heaven… These are fantastic and unbelievable to many. And then there is the story of Noah. Here is a man around 500 years old who builds a boat to save his family and the animals from a devastating flood! Now THAT is amazing! So, what is there about this story of Noah that rings true for us today? Is his experience a warning for us here and now?
Love God. It is a simple enough commandment - easy to say, repeat and remember. But what does it really mean? Are there different ways of expressing love for God and does God look for different results depending on what age of humanity we live in? Most of all, is loving God - no matter when and where we live - enough?
There is so much that comes to mind when you think of the life Jesus lived here on earth for 33½ years. The Old Testament had an amazing amount to say about his life – much of it written hundreds and thousands of years before he came. This brings up the question – could Jesus have done the things he did and said the things he said simply because he knew the prophecies and wanted to fulfill them, or was it all of his own free will? Stay with us – this is fascinating!
When you begin to grasp the life and times of Daniel the Prophet, what you find in your hands is pure inspiration, integrity, faith and courage. Here is a man who lived out his entire life far from his home in Israel and who, by God’s grace, turned captivity to a pagan nation into an opportunity to reveal the greatness of the One God and eventually win over the King who made him captive. When we grow up, we should all want to be like Daniel! Stay with us as we continue his story!
A few weeks ago we began looking at the life of Daniel the Prophet, beginning at the time he was about 17 years old and taken prisoner by the Babylonian Empire. What we saw was a boy who displayed solid integrity, faith and focus as he navigated his way through the muddy waters of captivity and idolatry to shine out as a light of God in a very dark place. Stay with us as we observe him grow up and grow into a man, a leader of uncompromising strength and passion for his God.
We all want to be inspired. We all want to see or hear a story of someone who was so strong against sin, so courageous against captivity and so trustworthy against temptation that we ourselves become invigorated to follow that example. Daniel the prophet was one such man who lived one such story. Stay with us as we open the book of Daniel and look upon his life to see why he was beloved of God.
Daniel was a good, righteous and deeply faithful man. From a very young age, he showed himself to be wholly keyed in on being in lock-step with obedience to God. God, in turn, blessed Daniel in many ways, from preserving his life, to granting him ability to interpret dreams, to elevating him in power, to bestowing upon him an incredible gift of prophecy. Oh yeah, and God also delivered him from the den of lions! Today, Daniel’s prophecies are among the most discredited scriptures in the Bible! Why? What is it about Daniel that makes so many afraid?
A few weeks ago, we began an important discussion regarding God and His treatment of humanity in the Old and New Testaments. There are many who say that the warlike and nationalistic activities of the God of the Old Testament cannot possibly be the same as the God of mercy love and salvation of the New Testament. So, how do we explain the obvious shift in focus? Stay with us!
Several weeks ago we began to tell the story of a hero – not the kind of hero that rises up in courage to do a deed that changes the outcome of an event – rather, the kind of hero who lives his vision for a lifetime and changes the world as a result of his lifetime dedication. This hero is the Joseph of the Old Testament – dreamer, interpreter of dreams, man of wisdom, faith, integrity and mercy. Joseph was a true hero, the kind that appears only once in many generations. What can we learn from him?