Only John’s account of the feeding of the five thousand mentions the boy whose lunch became food for thousands. We don’t know anything about him, his reasons for being there or if he struggled to yield what was his to his master. What we do know is that when he put what little he had in the Jesus’ hands, he had more than he needed and so did thousands more. Jesus taught.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Can you trust God with your resources, your desires, your plans, your time, your family, your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Maybe it’s time to find out. Join us as we examine John 6:1-14 and consider the call to exercise faith in giving.
Literature is filled with compelling stories of exchanged lives — The Prince and the Pauper, or A Tale of Two Cities. But there is no more compelling story than the “Son of God becoming man, so that men could become sons of God.” This week as we conclude our study of the Westminster Shorter Catechism’s teaching on the Incarnation by considering the costliest exchange in history — the humiliation of Christ. Join us as we examine 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 as we consider what this exchange meant for Jesus and what it means for us.
In Luke 1:26-38, we have one of the most remarkable stories in scripture. The angel, Gabriel comes to Mary with a startling announcement — she will be the mother of her Savior. Unlike the fearful skepticism of Zechariah, Mary asks “how will these things be?” A question we all wrestle with as we consider the nature of our Savior as fully God and fully man. But in the answer, scripture points us to one of the most precious truths of our faith. Because Mary asked this question, we, along with our forefathers can go to scripture and ask,
Q22: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man? A22: Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin.
Join us as we examine Luke 1:26-38 and consider this question and why it is important.
When someone mentions Jesus, what comes to mind? Religious revolutionary? Social justice warrior? Ethical teacher? Failed Zionist leader? Founder of a yet another world religion? Who is this Jesus? For many it is a caricature, influenced by pictures you have seen or by clichés which permeate our cultural ideas of “the historical Jesus.”
Our seasonal displays of a baby Jesus in a lowly cattle stall have led us astray, thinking only of his humanity. But in the opening chapter of John’s gospel, the beloved disciple pulls back the curtain to reveal “the rest of the story.” You think you know who Jesus is? Come and find out as we examine John 1:1-5, 9-14 and consider the “only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.”
In Christ, redeemed mankind can boast more blessings than Adam ever had. That is a remarkable statement. This is what God planned for us always. Time and time again we are told in Scripture that God has purposed grace in Christ, “from before the foundation of the world.” Even in its fallenness, and sin, and sorrow, this world with its promise of redemption, regeneration, and renewal in Christ is the “best of all possible worlds.” Nothing has gone amiss with God’s plan and purpose. There is no waste, not “gratuitous evil” in God’s economy. The world is not “off the rails.” God’s perfect and gracious plan is unfolding, just as He intended it. And in this we have hope. He is the God who does all He pleases, and all He promises. Join us as we examine Ephesians 1:3-10 and Galatians 4:4-7 and consider God’s eternal, unbreakable, and effective plan to save us from the power of our own sin.
The first chapter of Ephesians is a literary masterpiece. In one long breath, Paul extols the amazing beauty and richness of God’s grace to those who are ‘in Christ.’ The Ephesian church faced severe crises internally and externally. False teaching and persecution were leading many to ‘abandon their first love.’ So, God pulls back the curtain to show them the truth of their situation ‘in Christ.’ And to drive the point home, he reminds them of what life was like outside of Christ. And in this great contrast we find a clear and concise picture of our lost condition.
Join us this season as we walk through the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 19-23, and consider, ‘why and how Jesus became man in order to save us from ourselves.’ This week we begin in Ephesians 2:1-3, 12 by examining the misery of the condition into which the Fall and our own sin have brought us.
God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. So, it is fitting that Jeremiah ends with an extensive call to the nations to know the Lord and to walk in His ways. The Book of Jeremiah is no mere sorry tale of the demise of an ancient kingdom. But it is a constant refrain of grace, sung out to men who are utterly undeserving of it. It is a reminder that God’s promises are not for some particular tribe, language, nation or people, but for “every creature under heaven.” And most importantly, for you. You are not beyond God’s grace. You are not excluded from His offer. In John 6:37, Jesus says, “whoever comes to me, I will never cast out.” In Jeremiah 46-51, God calls the nations to turn back. In some of the Scripture’s most remarkable poetry, the Lord calls those who are far from him to return home. Join us as we see that God calls us to return as well.
We have all seen the threatening-repeating parent — warning the disobedient child of a judgement that never comes. For hundreds of years, God sent prophets to warn the children of Israel and Judah of judgement for their sin. Persistently, He called them to repent, but unlike the threatening-repeating parent, God always follows through. Beginning in Jeremiah 39 we see the terrible picture of God’s judgement, a picture that warns us not to presume upon God’s grace. The Bible warns us that today is the day of salvation. How urgently have you heeded God’s call to turn back to Him? Join us as we examine Jeremiah 39-41 and consider the urgency of God’s call to turn back.
In Jeremiah 36 we find the terrible picture of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, burning the words of the Prophet Jeremiah. He was not open to what God’s Word had to say. But he was not the only one. The people of his time neither listened, nor inclined their ears to hear God’s word through the prophets.
When God’s people have little concern for God’s Word, disaster cannot be far behind. The people of Jeremiah’s day only wanted positive messages. While Jehoiakim’s Bible burning shocks us, what should shock us more is that the people who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they think God’s Word applied to them. What about you? We profess to be a ‘people of the book,’ but is the Bible authoritative and sufficient in your life? Join us as we examine Jeremiah 36 and consider faithful and unfaithful responses to God’s Word.
It is rare in scripture when men are commended by God for their faithfulness. Yet, Jesus commends a Centurion in Matthew 8:10, saying, “truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” And in Jeremiah 35, the Lord commends to Jeremiah the example of the Rechabites – not for the particulars of their vow, but for their faithfulness in keeping it, generation after generation. In faithless Judah, they are a remarkable example of steadfast commitment. The Rechabites illustrate the power of one generation discipling the next. Join us this Lord’s Day as we examine Jeremiah 35 and consider the power of multi-generational faithfulness.