Nation

LENT ADVENTURE 2016Read Exodus 19:1-8

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

The LORD delivers Israel in the Exodus so that they would become the people they were called to be, His People, “a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation”, to enter into a covenant with Him.

Kingdom and Covenant: two key themes in the Biblical Story. Covenant comes from relationship with God as King. The Kingdom creates the Covenant. “The Covenant was a way in which these redeemed people could relate to God and to each other and demonstrate to the world what being the people of God was really like” -Winn Griffin [1]

Today, what is your relationship with God like?

Read 1 Peter 2:9-12

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. (The Message)

How will you show others that you belong to the LORD? How will you proclaim what He has done in your life? How will you live “an exemplary life’?

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Blessed

LENT ADVENTURE 2016The Lord had said to Abram,

‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

 ‘I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.’

…So Abram went,

God’s great mission to restore all things gets under way. An elderly, childless couple become the means by which the whole rescue of humanity, the “whole mission of cosmic redemption”, will begin.

 

God calls. Abram responds. Blessed. Such a rich word. Abram will be blessed. All nations will be blessed. To be blessed is to be fruitful, to grow to flourish. God’s blessing is universal. This is Blessing. This is Peace: Universal Flourishing. This is salvation. This is the gradual undoing of the curse. This is the renewal of all things. this is the gospel: The gospel is that in Christ jesus the curse has been set aside and God’s creative purpose for the blessing of his creation is established beyond any possibility of reversal –Richard Bauckham

How have you been blessed? What will you do with the blessings you have received? See Psalm 116

Today, How will you bless those around you?

Where is God calling you to demonstrate his mission to renew all things? Will you obey?

 

Fallout

LENT ADVENTURE 2016“…Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7

God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.” But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. Genesis 6:5-8 (The Message)

Genesis 4 to 11 is the fallout from Eden. Humanity is in a downward spiral of evil.  Chapters 4-11 “…combine an escalating crescendo of human sin alongside repeated marks of God;s grace. the serpent’s head will be crushed. Adam and eve are clothed, Cain is protected. Noah and his family are saved. life goes on, and creation is protected under Covenant. The great creation project is still moving forward, but it is limping under the crippling weight of human sin.” -Christopher Wright

Today, How will you master (“rule over”) sin, rather than give into it?

What would it take for you to believe that sin is not your master? What practical things can you do to decide not to let sin rule you?

Pray,  “God, today I offer my hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mind to you.”  For more listen here. Or view some Prayers to honour God with your body.

Rebellion

LENT ADVENTURE 2016“Did God really say…” Read Genesis 3:1-10

…When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man,

‘Where are you?’

Relationship is fractured. Humanity is ‘Lost in Space’. We go from Creation to separation. Humans make a choice to worship what God has created rather than worshipping God the creator. Humans become distorted, they lose something of their humanity. In making this choice the whole world is affected.

The Fall, is the term, used to describe the massive disruption of all of creation that occurred due to the rebellion of humanity against God as evil invades earth. Adam & Eve doubt God, believing him to be spiteful and mean, a cruel oppressor.

Today, Where are You? where are you in your relationship with God? Where are you doubting God?

How have you rebelled against or rejected God because of a lie you have believed about Him?

Is there a relationship that is fractured that needs restoration and reconciliation?

“In a nutshell, the Bible from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 tells the Story of a God reckless with desire to get his family back” -Philip Yancey, The Jesus I never knew

Further Reading: Romans 8:19-20,22

Relationship

LENT ADVENTURE 2016

“…a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2:18-25

Happy Valentines Day!

We are not meant to live life alone. We were made to live in relationship with others. For the first humans they were in perfect relationship with one another and with God. There is a connection. Lovers of God are lovers of people. You may be single or married, but you are still called to a life of love. To seek community. It is not good for you to be alone .

Today, where is your heart hurting? Let God the Father speak words of love to you?  May you hear the voice of the one who says, “You are my Beloved, in you I am well pleased!”

What are you ashamed of? What do you regret? Know that there is a difference between guilt (which says what I did was not good) and shame (which says I am no good)

Ask God to deliver you from shame and free you from a guilty conscience…

…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:22-23

How do we treat those of other faiths?

Tough Questions_web

Guest Speaker, Sunny Gilbert (from Dehradun Vineyard, India) challenges us on how we respond to those people who have different views or different beliefs to us and teaches us seven simple words that can change the world…