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:“Understanding the Old Testament” part 1 Oct 18, 2020 see slides watch video Why Study the Old Testament?
The purpose of this talk is to convince you of the value of exploring the Old Testament,
and to begin the journey.
We start with the origins of our Thanksgiving Day,
work through the kind of things Jesus gave thanks for,
and look briefly at modern discoveries of how thanksgiving changes your brain.
Then we do it!
When Thanksgiving Leads to Victory
There is strong Biblical support for the power of weaving thanksgiving into the story of our lives.
In more than one place, victory and answer to prayer are linked to giving thanks.
Giving Thanks Always and for Everything
The best remedy for Covid-19 depression is to increase our daily level of thankfulness by taking some practical steps.
Here are some suggestions of things you can do.
What the David and Goliath story is really about
A different take on this well-known story—
You don’t have to be a David, and try to defeat Goliath!
Meeting Jesus in the pages of John
John’s desire is that we should meet Jesus through his writing.
Even if we are Christians, we can meet him in a new and powerful way as we engage in these pages with the one who is both God and human.
From Shame and Sin to Strength—How Jesus Restored Peter
This story helps us understand how Jesus deals with our failure.
Come to him and let him gently restore you and give you strength.
Just honestly tell him about it, and accept it is the same gentle Jesus that talked with Peter on the beach that morning.
A Meal on the Beach with Jesus (where he revealed something new and extremely comforting)
People get fixated on the 153 fish, Peter’s clothes or odd behaviour, and miss the wondrous and life-changing point that this story is making.
What we can learn from Mary Magdalene at the Empty Tomb
Life from the resurrected Jesus brought life to those around him.
You can experience more of that life, as Mary did.
How Jesus’ Resurrection Directly Empowers Us
The resurrection of Jesus was not simply coming back to life, but the start of a new kind of humanity.
It gives us access to a new kind of life within us—empowered for victory.
Jesus’ Burial, with some Insights from Archeology
We believe the Bible because it is God’s word, but nevertheless it is encouraging to our faith so see the strength of the evidence.
Plus it helps us to visualize and conceptualize what actually happened at a real place and date.
Why John is so selective when telling the story of the Crucifixion
John is very selective, but this is because he is very focused in the unique way he wants us to relate to Jesus as he suffers and dies on the cross, a way that we miss if we don’t follow his references
What we can learn about ourselves from Pilate
Pilate was faced with a choice that in some ways is very similar to ours, even if we are a Christian.
The challenge is to see what it is for you!
Bread & Wine: the Body of Christ United
The simple celebration to remember Jesus is so often misunderstood.
If we get what was so terribly wrong with the way the Corinthian church was breaking bread,
then we have the key to bringing joy to the heart of Jesus.
Betrayed, Arrested, Abandoned, Denied and Abused —John 18
Jesus was betrayed, arrested, abandoned, denied and abused.
Yet those were the very people he came to die for!
What manner of love is this?
How We Should Bring our Complaints to God (Psalms 54, 142)
A third of the book of Psalms is devoted to bringing complaints to God.
But the form of these complaints is very specific.
By giving us so many pslams in this form, God is telling us that he wants to hear the honest cries of our heart,
but also teaching us how he wants us to bring these complaints to him.
Our Destiny: to Receive and to Give Divine Love - John 17
We are a gift from the Father to Jesus: his beloved ones
He gives our love back to the Father as a gift:
to be revealers of God’s self-giving love to the world (and universe) This is the highest expression of the Christian faith you will ever hear.
More than that, it is the highest point of human existence
The High Point in the whole of Jesus’ Teachings
Jesus highest teachings, given just to his disciples in John 14–17 come to a climax in his prayer at the end,
and now we reach the very pinnacle of the prayer
Safe and Sent — Coming to Grips with the Challenge of Jesus in John 17
Jesus’ words move from comfort to challenge,
from ‘Safe’ to ‘Sent’
as this amazing prayer in John 17 moves towards it’s climax.
John 17: The Greatest Prayer in the Bible
What would it have been like for the disciples to hear Jesus praying for them in a way that
was so loving and caring,
was so challenging in the mission he gave them,
and raised their identity and destiny so high?
Do This… so that Your Joy may be Full
Jesus said, “In a little while… your sorrow will turn to joy.”
Do this, he says, and you will receive a joy that no-one can take from you.
What does the Promise of the Spirit of Truth mean for us?
Do you wish you could have been there with Jesus, heard him teach and seen the miracles?
Jesus says you are actually better off with what you have now:
The very Spirit of God living inside you and empowering you.
How do we experience this?
My peace I give to you… Do not let your hearts be troubled or be fearful
Our connection with Christ, the vine, grows as we hear his words, believe them, and do them.
In these troubled times, chose to believe these words of peace, and walk in them, rather than words of fear.
The Flow of God’s Energy—Jesus Explains how to be Connected to the Vine
At the very centre of Christ’s last hours of teaching comes an idea that is striking and life transforming.
To enhance its vividness, and help it to stick, the thoughts are laid out in semi-poetic form.
They are like two beautiful flowers, with leaves around the outside, and vivid blooms in the middle.
If Jesus has chosen to express himself in this way, we need to give attention and listen!
The Breathtaking Invitation by Jesus into a New Dimension of Connection to God
‘If you love me, you will obey my commandments’
Do we have to perform well enough at this love to get rewarded?
The answer is both surprising and extremely encouraging!
Let not your Hearts be Troubled—Jesus Reveals Surprising Things about the Father
As he faces the most horrific death that any human faced, Jesus feelings are instead for his disciples, deeply caring for them.
But what is even more surprising is that in this act of selfless empathy, Jesus is revealing to us the heart of the Father.
The God who will Love You to the End and Wash Your Feet
Peter misunderstood foot-washing and so do many Christians, but Jesus tells us how blessed we will be if we understand and receive it.
But most of all this chapter is about how Jesus loves his own “to the end”,
and never abandon us to the end of time.
Jesus’ last days of teaching: Why so few really ‘got’ him. Can you?
Let’s walk with Jesus through his last days of teaching.
How come so very few really ‘got’ him?
Does his final challenge connect with you?
How come Jesus weeps before raising Lazarus? —The Good Shepherd in Action
Just before Lazarus is raised, Jesus weeps along with Mary. Why not just tell her everything will soon be ok?
If this account was just about Jesus’ power to raise the dead it would be told in just 7 verses,
but the other 43 tell of a Shepherd who loves each of his sheep in a unique way.
The deeper, fuller meaning of the parable of the Good Shepherd
It is easy to read through John 10 on a surface level and miss what is going on.
Here, at the final climax of Jesus’ public ministry he presents an image that will leave you enthralled with it’s beauty, and deeply moved by it’s implications.
How the Man Born Blind challenges you and me
On the surface this is a simple healing story,
but John has beautifully put together a series of events and conversations that build up to a startling revelation from Jesus
that his light can actually lead people to become blind,
and we ourselves need to pay close attention.
“The Lord is my Shepherd” brought to life with David’s Own Stories
This is David’s best loved Psalm, but how did he come to write it?
We piece together stories from throughout his life that could have provided inspiration for each part of the song.
Immanuel: Experience empathy from Jesus who is truly With Us and understands our weakness
The stories from when Jesus walked this earth with us,
show a man who experienced a full range of emotions, and was deeply empathic with those around him.
Hebrews 4 encourages us to experience this deep compassion as we engage with him in prayer.
Getting Free from the Lies that Drag us into Darkness
There is a voice inside you that is telling you lies!
Experience what it is like to have the truthful words of Jesus bringing freedom from this darkness.
If Anyone is Thirsty
Are you feeling dry and thirsty? Jesus is offering cool refreshing water—abundant, life-giving and free. Come and drink!
A deeper look at the strange words: ‘Eat my flesh and drink my blood’
These strange sounding words can be, for your, a deep source of life.
What on earth does it mean to ‘feed on Jesus’? and why this is one of the most important things you can ever learn
After feeding the 5000 and walking on water, Jesus was asked to provide more food. The answer he gave was very strange, and resulted in many people walking away from him.
New Life at the Pool - Healing followed by some radical claims
How might you be like the man at the pool?
Most of those who have studied this chapter see it as disorganized and repetetive,+but in fact there is a beautiful logic to Jesus’ reasoning.
A Challenging Story about the Journey of Faith
Even if you are a Christian, there are some deep challenges in this story.
Jesus wants to keep moving you along the journey until you really know who he is, and act accordingly.
The Woman at the Well - Jesus Sees your Deepest Need
There’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye, from why she misunderstood Jesus, to connections with several other well-encounters in the Bible, and finally all the talk about food at the end being a clue to what really satisfies us.
God’s Love for Humanity
John 3:16 is probably the best known verse in the Bible, but it has a hidden depth and richness that makes it (and the rest of the passage) well worth studying.
Born from Above
Jesus challenged Nicodemus to think outside his religious box.
In a similar way he challenges us, not to live ordinary lives limited by the expectations of this world,
but to embrace the amazing reality of the age to come, now in the present.
Anger and Love in the Temple
What exactly made Jesus so angry?
Why did he gave such a strange answer to the Pharisees?
When we can truly resonate with Jesus’ anger and feel his love, we can get what this story is all about.
A Different Take on turning Water into Wine
Why does Jesus answer Mary in such an odd way? It is almost rude and seems very out of character.
Yet it turns out that this answer is what unlocks the challenge to us in the story.
Why the very first believers were so drawn to Jesus
Before Jesus even started doing miracles, John is very interested in the impact he had on people.
Some people didn’t care, but others were drawn to him powerfully.
We can engage with Jesus today like those those first followers did.
The extraordinary poem hidden in the first 18 verses of John
Be impacted by the power and the beauty of this painting of Jesus at the beginning of John. My Jesus, God from all eternity, came down to earth as a human so that I might have new life.
Jonah - More Than Just a Fish Story
Listen as Braden explains how Jonah is more than just a story about an Old Testament prophet
It’s a story that is in many ways about each one of us, and it is one that is both challenging and comforting.
The Temple, from Eden to Revelation
There are amazing connections between Eden, the Temple, Jesus’ teaching, and the book of Revelation.
Our understanding of parts of the Bible will come into sharper focus if we get these themes and connections.
Grasping the power of the temple imagery throughout the Bible will impact our own lives and mission.
A Psalm that will change your life
Psalm 90 starts out as one of the most depressing scriptures:
“You live 70 yrs and die. If you live to 80 it will just be pain, and so on…”
But by an extraordinary twist, which you need the handout to really see, everything is turned on its head.
Make sure you view the handout here: nlife.ca/…les/Psalm90-text.pdf
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