Isa 6:1-9a What picture of God do you have in your mind? This Sunday, we’ll dive into Isaiah 6 as Isaiah is brought into the heavenly temple of God and sees God on his throne. As a result, he experiences God’s presence, God’s grace, and God’s call in ways he’s never experienced them before. And as we stand alongside Isaiah, we’ll ask ourselves the question: Does my picture of God match the God we meet in the pages of Scripture?
Josh 10:29 – 12:24 The Israelites remain on the move in our text this Sunday. Under the leadership of Joshua and his obedience to the commands he received, the Israelites will complete the conquest of the Promised Land that had been defiled by the Canaanites for centuries. It’s a dark story, but, as is always the case with the God of the Bible, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This Sunday, we will follow the text down the dark tunnel, but we will also remember the Light at the end of the tunnel, the Light that calls us into a life of obedience of loving God and others!
Josh 10:1-28 As the conquest of the land picks up we are quickly reminded of God’s faithfulness to be with Joshua, Israel, and now Gibeon as one thing is made abundantly clear: The Lord is a Faithful Fighter for His people. Always. He faithfully fought for Israel in the time of Joshua. He faithfully fought sin, evil, and death, in Jesus. He continues to fight for us today! We only need to pray, “Come! Help! Jesus!” and He will faithfully fight for us!
Josh 9 Before Israel continues on in their conquest of Canaan, they find themselves being deceived by the Gibeonites into entering a covenant because they failed to pause and seek the Lord’s guidance. Much like Rahab in chapter 2, the Gibeonites had heard of all the Lord had done, but unlike Rahab who made a confession of faith, the Gibeonites used deception to avoid death. As a result, the Gibeonites’ lives were spared, but they were destined for a life of servitude as a result. This Sunday we will celebrate communion together, remembering that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are no longer slaves to sin and flesh, but children of God. Amen!
Josh 1 – 8 This Sunday we prepare to move forward in the book of Joshua on Jan 6, by briefly looking back to where we went with Joshua last winter. Perhaps you are doing the same in your own life? Looking back over 2018, the highs, the lows, the places God met you and the places you felt He was absent. All of these memories offer a chance for us to be drawn further into the Presence of our Lord and Savior whose birth we celebrated this week! We will have another chance to share in body life, this time looking back at how God has been faithful to you in the past (2018, or further back) and looking forward toward the ways He is calling you to lean into His Promised Presence in the future.
Matt 2:13-23 For God so loved the world, he sent his son… into the harsh reality of a fallen, dark, violent and suffering world. In the incarnation, we see the unbelievable depth of God’s extravagant love. He so extravagantly loves us that he enters into our reality in all of our pain and struggles and sorrows. He lives our reality which means we can trust him when he will eventually grow up and teach us. He really is the only hope “far as the curse is found.”
Matt 2:1-12 On this, the third Sunday of Advent, Matthew answers the third question concerning the birth of the Messiah through the voice of the Magi “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” The question is fraught with political overtones as it was addressed to one who claimed to be king of the Jews. Matthew’s portrayal of the Magi and Herod set in bold contrast two differing “ways” and “destinies.” One leading to life, the other to death and their is no third. Which one are you?
Matt 1:18-25 How can Jesus be born of Mary if Joseph is not the birth father? When Joseph found that his betrothed Mary was pregnant he pondered these things. How can this be? An angel gave him the answer: “that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” The same Spirit that hovered over the waters prior to the first creation, had now overshadowed Mary’s womb. God sends the same Spirit into us to birth a new creation. How can our broken pots be repaired so that they are even more beautiful than the original? It is the same answer: from the Holy Spirit.
Matt 1:1-17 Over the four Sundays of Advent we will follow Matthew’s account of the birth story of Jesus (Matthew 1–2). We’ll find answers to four questions about this newborn child. Who? Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. How? From a virgin through the Holy Spirit. Where? In Bethlehem. Whence? From Egypt to Nazareth. In each case this is in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
Matt 7:13-29 We come to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount this week, where Jesus essentially asks us what we’re going to do with it. It’s not enough just to read it and hear it. Jesus desires us to live it. So what will you do with it now?
Matthew 7:1-12 We return to the Sermon on the Mount this week and encounter one of the most breath-taking and brilliant statements that has ever been said, what has come to be called “The Golden Rule.” Everything comes together in this one brilliant statement. But, notice that it begins with “therefore.” That means the things that come before it feed into it. What comes before it? Do not judge others, help others and pray for others. Jesus invites his disciples to become “Golden Rulers” by doing these things.
Heb 12: 1-13 Carolyn Hindmarsh, Professor at Regent College and friend of PBCC, will be preaching here at PBCC this Sunday while her husband, Bruce, teaches our men at their retreat at Mount Hermon. Carolyn and Bruce were with us for our Pastors’ Retreat last May and they’re both very gifted teachers. We are in for a treat!