Josh 3 Armed with the knowledge that the inhabitants of the land are melting in fear, Israel is ready to enter the land. Now God says it’s time to go, but as they arrive at the Jordan they find themselves faced with a flooded river and a fortified city. Even IF they could cross the river, they will be left with no retreat – there will be no turning back! It seems to be a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ but God has said go…
Josh 2:1-24 We have spent the first two weeks of our series watching the Lord build up and prepare Joshua for his calling of leading the people into the Promised Land. If Joshua commits to following the Book of the Law, the Lord will be his companion in fulfilling his calling. But, who will be joining Joshua in entering the Promised Land? This week we will see an unlikely addition into those who get to follow Joshua into the Promised Land! This addition to God’s family is Good News for us all!
Josh 1:6-9 Last week we saw the Lord promise to be present with Joshua as He was with Moses. We wrestled with questions like “where is ‘there’?” and wondered if that’s even the right question to be asking!? So, are we there yet? Come this Sunday as we continue to journey with Joshua!
Josh 1:1-5 As a father of young children, this is a question I’ve grown accustomed to hearing. However, isn’t it also a question many adults wrestle with as well? Maybe we don’t ask it with regards to ETA’s on family vacations, but isn’t it easy to get stuck asking this question with regards to certain life phases? Maybe it’s awaiting news from a doctor, or a job situation, or your relational status. Whatever the case may be, when we find ourselves in seasons of uncertainty or transition, we tend to rely on arriving “there” to solve our unsettledness. On this first Sunday of the series, we will see God call on His newly appointed leader, Joshua, to lead the people into the Promised Land. But, we also see God make a promise to Joshua that is even more important than his calling as Israel’s new leader, and that is His Promised Presence.
Exod 33:18-34:9 At the Burning Bush, Moses asked God, “What is your name?” He gave the enigmatic reply, “I am who I am,” which he then clarified as “He is.” In Hebrew this name is Yahweh, usually rendered in English as “The Lord.” At Mt. Sinai, Moses asks God, “Please show me your glory.” Instead, God proclaims to him his name, Yahweh, the Lord, giving a description that became confessional for Israel.
Exod 33:1-17 When you imagine God’s face, what do you see? A friendly face or an angry face? David prayed, “Hide your face from my sins… Cast me not away from your presence (face)” (Ps 51:9, 11). Many of us fear it’s the other way around: God hides his face from us but keeps our sins ever before his face. Maybe that’s because we’ve superimposed someone else’s face onto God’s face. For Moses, the Lord’s face (or presence) was all-important. The Lord used to talk with him face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Moses wanted that presence to go with the people of Israel, despite their great sin.
Exod 32:15-35 Satisfied in Him Alone. Jealousy is usually a negative trait, describing inappropriate longings. But there’s one situation in which jealousy is appropriate: a marriage. Once a couple marry, their affections belong within the marriage. Transferring them outside the marriage should arouse jealousy. Israel transferred its affections to a golden calf, breaking the second commandment. God forbids making and bowing down to an image in the likeness of anything because he is a Jealous God. His name, even, is Jealous. God has won our affections and bound our soul fast. He wants us to be able to say of him: my love he owns, I have no longings for another, I’m satisfied in him alone.
Exod 32:1-14 Maybe some of you have made New Year’s resolutions. You’ve embarked on the year with renewed resolve to be different, to be better, to try harder, to achieve some goal. But how long do such resolutions last? The Israelites were full of resolve when they entered into covenant with the Lord: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” We return to Exodus to see how the Israelites are doing in their resolve. On top of Mt. Sinai Moses has been in the Lord’s Presence, receiving instructions for the people: “Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” We turn to the foot of the mountain where we find the people experiencing Absence not Presence. Their resolve to live a life of faith collapses and they demand something they can see. We all, like them, are prone to wander, and so we pray, “Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
Eph 2:11-18 For our New Year’s Eve Sunday services Brian Morgan will give us a preview of the preaching calendar for 2018. Living in an age of destructive prejudice and divisiveness, we need to know what our calling is as Christians. Are we prepared to take new territory? What enemies will we face? Who will guide us? And what strategy do we employ?
Col 1:15-20 God was pleased to have all His fulness dwell in this baby in the manger! When God took on human form in the person of Jesus, everything changed forever, beginning with God making peace with humanity. This is the culmination of God’s saving plan – it’s amazing, it’s exciting, and it’s definitely worth celebrating!! Our Family-Friendly Celebration will include a play put on by our youth ministries, a short message wrapping up our Advent series, and, of course, many of your favorite Christmas songs.
Col 1:15-20 Your desire for God and your capacity to connect with God as a human soul is the essence of who you are. And the place where that desire is met is in a person who makes visible and tangible the invisible and intangible God. God becomes human flesh in Jesus. “The Incarnation brings the world (God’s) presence. It is a presence so complete that it overshadows every presence before it.” (Carlos Caretto). If God isn’t like Jesus, he ought to be.
Col 1:15-20 This baby in the manger is the – image of the invisible God firstborn of all creation creator of all things the goal of all things before all things and in him, all things hold together. It takes your breath away, but that’s the magnificence of the incarnation!