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Understanding the Old Testament part 26 Aug 1, 2021 see slides watch video Reading the Old Testament in our Devotions
All the Bible is God’s Word, and is beneficial, but different parts have different purposes.
Some parts are more suitable for study than devotional reading and we can get discouraged if we make this mistake.
The Silver Trumpets
What if we had a silver trumpet that we could blow at any time and God would come to our rescue?
Actually such trumpets really existed!
We have effectively the same thing if we can understand it.
Understanding the Old Testament part 25 July 4, 2021 see slides watch video Jesus: our Sympathetic Priest
We can gain a deeper appreciation of what Jesus does for us by examining the description given to us of O.T. priests.
Understanding the Old Testament part 24 June 20, 2021 see slides watch video Misunderstanding Holiness – Part 3: Tying it All Together
How does our new understanding of holiness fit with some N.T. passages that seem to be equating it with purity.
By making an extra step in our definition, we can tie everything together in a way that not only makes sense but is helpful and motivating,
and gives a very positive meaning to a word that is often seen as negative and discouraging.
Understanding the Old Testament part 23 June 6, 2021 see slides watch video Holy — Answering Problems with Correctly Understanding this Word (pt.2)
Having presented a new understanding of this incredibly important word, we clear up some problems with other Old Testament passages and dig deeper into the meaning.
Why I love Jesus
Let’s focus on why we love Jesus,
not just for what he has done for us,
but because he is the most fascinating, wonderful, awesome and lovely person that has ever existed.
Understanding the Old Testament part 22 May 23, 2021 see slides watch video Holy — The most Misunderstood Word in the Bible
A word that is so rich, so precious, and so heart-warming has been tragically misunderstood in recent centuries.
God’s holiness is a positive quality very closely linked to his love, and it is so important that we connect with this.
When God Speaks like a Mother
God sometimes uses the language of a mother to describe how he relates to us.
There are beautiful scriptures where he tells us how he sees us, hears our cry and deeply cares for us, using mother imagery.
Understanding the Old Testament part 21 May 2, 2021 see slides watch video Roadblocks when Reading the Old Testament
Quite often, when people start reading the Old Testament, they hit roadblocks such as
stories that seem to condone violence or abuse,
and strange or problematic laws, for example regarding women. All of these roadblocks can be shifted, and we do at least some shifting here.
Understanding the Old Testament part 20 Apr 18, 2021 see slides watch video Stories of God’s Compassion & Grace
Understanding God’s compassion is vital for living an authentic Christian life.
It shines most brightly in the N.T. in Jesus, but there are some remarkable stories in the Old, demonstrating that God does not change.
Many of us have trouble receiving this compassion and grace, which makes it hard for us to show it to others, and to experience joy ourselves.
Understanding the Old Testament part 19 Apr 11, 2021 see slides watch video Why are we told to fear God if love casts out fear?
Many people feel that the Old Testament God wanted to be feared but there’s a different God in the New who has banished fear.
The solution to this problem is very rarely understood, even by Christians, and extremely important.
The Empty Tomb
When we see what a strong foundation our faith is built on, the joy of that truth will well up inside us
Understanding the Old Testament part 18 Mar 28, 2021 see slides watch video The Rest of the Story of Israel—Past and Future
When we see how God’s promises and prophecies to Israel fit with the New Testament and beyond, like Paul we will not be able to help bursting out in praises to God.
Understanding the Old Testament part 17 Mar 14, 2021 see slides watch video The Story of Israel and the Heart of God
Seeing the big story of Israel allows us to get a glimpse into the heart of God that is deeply revealing and affecting.
Watch the 7-min animation at info.church.to/israel
Understanding the Old Testament part 16 Mar 7, 2021 see slides watch video The Exodus theme through the Bible
Seeing this theme throught the Bible will help us to take encouragement from some very powerful words from God in the Old Testament.
We now see how they speak into our lives.
Understanding the Old Testament part 15 Feb 28, 2021 see slides watch video Why Idolatry is such a big theme in the Old Testament
Behind idolatry is our fear, and a need to gain control when we are powerless.
Once we get how it worked in the Old Testament it is very easy to see how we fall into this trap ourselves on a daily basis.
Understanding the Old Testament part 14 Feb 21, 2021 see slides watch video The Bible and Archeology
Archeology shows us that Bible history and world history are the same.
We don’t need evidence from archaeology to prove to us that God is real but it can be a great encouragement to see where things match up.
Understanding the Old Testament part 13 Feb 14, 2021 see slides watch video New Creation (3) — How to live in the New Creation while still in the Old
All our problems as Christians, come down to the fact that although we are a New Creation, we are still living in the Old.
Answering this problem leads to true victory.
Understanding the Old Testament part 12 Jan 31, 2021 see slides watch video New Creation (2) — How it started with a New Eden
When we see how the images of Eden in the Bible all hang together in a beautiful way, it bring us so much hope and leads us towards victory.
Understanding the Old Testament part 11 Jan 24, 2021 see slides watch video New Creation (1) — The Big Story of the Bible
If we can grasp the big picture of God’s plan for humanity, it will not only help us understand the Bible, but hugely empower and energize us for the Christian life.
Understanding the Old Testament part 10 Jan 17, 2021 see slides watch video Chesed — A kind of love we have no English word for
Through stories of how God relates to humans we learn of a different kind of love that is at the core of who God is.
Chesed is utterly faithful, loyal to the very end, a love that will never let you go.
When you understand it, there is no word that is more beautiful.
Understanding the Old Testament part 9 Jan 3, 2021 see slides watch video “I will be with you!” – The Era from Abraham to Joseph
There’s a fresh start for humanity with Abraham and Sarah, a new Adam and Eve but with a very different requirement.
Instead of law, they are under faith, with the requirement of simply trusting that he will be with them.
God’s gift of Everything
If God has given you his own beloved Son, Jesus, then will he withhold anything from you?
In Romans 8 Paul gives us some of the most encouraging words in the Bible
Understanding the Old Testament part 8 Dec 20, 2020 see slides watch video Jesus, the Light of the World
Light is a key theme in Scripture, and as we put together references from the whole Bible, we see a beautifully unified theme what brings hope, and direction for living.
Understanding the Old Testament part 7 Dec 6, 2020 see slides watch video Has Jesus done away with the Law? —Answering the problems that come up
If the Law was for the Jews, what about everyone else?
Does the Law have any value in the New Covenant under Jesus?
Plus other questions.
Understanding the Old Testament part 6 Nov 29, 2020 see slides watch video The Covenants—the Backbone of the Old Testament
To understand the covenants is both the beginning and the end of the quest for truth.
For in them we can grasp how the Creator relates to humanity.
Understanding the Old Testament part 5 Nov 22, 2020 see slides watch video Making Sense of the Flood
How we can make sense of the Flood account in Genesis,
see how it connects with Jesus,
and how it still speaks to us today.
Understanding the Old Testament part 4 Nov 15, 2020 see slides watch video Old Testament Shadows and Types
Why did the disciples get so excited when Jesus opened up the meaning of the Old Testament to them?
Learn about types and shadows and you will see!
Understanding the Old Testament part 3 Nov 1, 2020 see slides watch video The “Fall” and The Big Story
It is so important to grasp the Big Story of the Old Testament so as to make sense of the hundreds of small stories.
To watch just the 4 min animation, go to go.church.to/arc
Understanding the Old Testament part 2 Oct 25, 2020 see slides watch video Creation
We read the creation account, and then look at how the rest of the Bible reflects on, and adds to, the event.
We end with the key question:
How are WE to respond to the creation?
: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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