Posts filed under BIBLE2019

The Prophets Before the Exile

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 8:
Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah.

A few things always stand out as I read through this section of Scripture.  One is the fact that God knows what is going on.  He knows what Israel is really doing not just what they are trying to project publicly and He knows the consequences of those actions.  Another thing is the creative and sometimes unique (is that a soft way of saying confusing?) ways in which God get's His message across and accomplishes His will. 

There are crazy weird prophets and even pagan kings that become part of the story.  And then there is the always sad story of how such a blessed people with amazing potential trade it all in for defeat and disaster for the opportunity to be as faithless and immoral as their neighbors.   

The old adage is that we should learn from other people's mistakes.  That is never more important than in the messages of these prophets who are trying to save a group of people from themselves.  God has saved us from ourselves and given us an amazing future.  We need to listen to these Old Testament prophets and learn from their words the danger of trading that future and salvation for an opportunity to conform to the immorality of our culture. 

We have been called out and given a hope and future.  Let's make sure we never go back to old lifestyles or new compromise.

Posted on May 26, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Rise and Fall of Israel's Kingdom

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 7: Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings

The symbols and typology of this amazing story continue.  The illustration shifts from navigating the desert to how do we live with God on the earth in a place that includes both His amazing blessings and the resistance of evil. 

As most human stories seem to do, they start out with amazing grace and amazing victories.  The waters part on the Jordan River and they enter the land by amazing intervention.  The walls of Jericho fall as the result of complete obedience to what is by any standard a crazy battle plan.  Over a period of several years the armies of Israel are victories over enemies that were determined to stop them.

But rather than acknowledge the wonders of living in harmony with God, the people quickly turn to tribalism, violence, and immorality.  It is hard not to read these events and wonder how could a people that had experienced so much deliverance and victory trade it in for a way of life that they knew was flawed and led to destruction.  Yet how many times have we experienced God’s deliverance and mercy in our own lives only to return to the very things He delivered us from in the first place?  How many times have we traded our old sin for a new one, knowing that our new sin is only new to us and that it did not work for the people who tried it before us? 

Superstition and sensuality will always be practiced by someone who will offer it to us as an alternative to righteous living.  The freedom God gives us is the freedom to choose as opposed to the addiction of our sins that tells us what to choose.  This freedom to choose does not choose for us.  How we live this life of freedom and provision from God is directly connected to the choices we make. 

God has brought you to a new place.How are you living in that new place?

Posted on April 9, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Promised Land

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 6: Joshua & Judges

The symbols and typology of this amazing story continue.  The illustration shifts from navigating the desert to how do we live with God on the earth in a place that includes both His amazing blessings and the resistance of evil.

As most human stories seem to do, they start out with amazing grace and amazing victories.  The waters part on the Jordan River and they enter the land by amazing intervention.  The walls of Jericho fall as the result of complete obedience to what is by any standard a crazy battle plan.  Over a period of several years the armies of Israel are victorious over enemies that were determined to stop them.  

But rather than acknowledge the wonders of living in harmony with God, the people quickly turn to tribalism, violence, and immorality.  It is hard not to read these events and wonder how could a people that had experienced so much deliverance and victory trade it in for a way of life that they knew was flawed and led to destruction.  Yet how many times have we experienced God’s deliverance and mercy in our own lives only to return to the very things He delivered us from in the first place?  How many times have we traded our old sin for a new one, knowing that our new sin is only new to us and that it did not work for the people who tried it before us?

Superstition and sensuality will always be practiced by someone who will offer it to us as an alternative to righteous living.  The freedom God gives us is the freedom to choose as opposed to the addiction of our sins that tells us what to choose.  This freedom to choose does not choose for us.  How we live this life of freedom and provision from God is directly connected to the choices we make. 

God has brought you to a new place. How are you living in that new place?

Posted on March 15, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Wilderness

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 5: Numbers & Deuteronomy

We have been pausing to take a look at this wilderness journey in our times together on Sunday mornings.  The lessons and illustrations are seemingly endless.  There are these amazing points in the story when God just does awesome things and there are even a couple of times when the people believe God will do them and are thankful when they are done.

Unfortunately there seems to be more times when they doubt God can help them regardless of how many times He has helped them in the past.  And what should result in gratitude often seems to end up in dissatisfaction.  In fact, in the end, Paul writes to the Corinthians and says the things that happened to them are examples for us so that we do not mess up the way they did.  I hope no one ends up using my life as an example of how not to live.

So here we are, living on the earth having been set free from sin and addiction headed for heaven – our kind of wilderness wandering.  Consequently every day we get to choose to have faith or fear, to be grateful or grumpy, or to trust or be terrified.  God is with us on this journey and He is providing for us along the way.  He has promised to bring us to a place of abundance forever.  We just need to walk with Him from where we are to where we are going.

It sounds so simple but as the story of the Israelites tells us the frustrations of the desert can get the better of our faith and our perspective can become sour if we are not careful to place our thoughts on Him, the originator and finisher of our story.

Read and learn as the Apostle Paul tells us.

Posted on February 25, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Covenant at Mt. Sinai

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 4: Exodus 19-40 & Leviticus 1-27

God is amazing, awesome, and terrifying.  He wants a relationship with us and as He proved through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus He is willing to do whatever it takes to have that relationship.  But as the story of God and the Israelites tells us, getting that close to God can be an overwhelming experience. 

God instructed the Israelites to get ready for their meeting on the mountain and to not just run up whenever they wanted.  In the end the people did not want to go at all.  They were more than willing to let Moses go (if was crazy enough to try it) and then come back and tell them what God said.

In the end, they received some guidelines about how to relate to God and how to relate to each other along with instructions about how to construct a meeting place that was modeled after what is in heaven.  A little heaven on earth so to speak.  (See Hebrews 8:1-6)

There are certainly lessons for us as we read through the events in these verses. 

  1. God is awesome – be sincere in your relationship with Him.

  2. God is holy – be serious in your attention to living a righteous life.

  3. God wants relationship – do not settle for letting someone else go up on the mountain to meet Him.  Pursue the relationship with God that is available to you because God has pursued you. 

As the author of Hebrews reminds us we have not come to a mere physical mountain that can be touched even if it is burning and shaking.We have the privilege of coming to a spiritual mountain and entering into an eternal relationship with God. (Hebrews 12:18-29)

Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Exodus from Egypt

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 3: Exodus 1-18

This next section of Bible reading – The Exodus from Egypt – is truly one of the most dynamic and exciting portions of the whole Bible.  We have dramatic confrontations with God in the wilderness when a burning bush refuses to be consumed and a voice speaks from the bush.  We have powerful human leaders trying to impose their will on others by enslaving them and using them for profit and a God who goes head to head with such corrupt and powerful rulers and wins big time.  We have clueless people being delivered by God, trying to follow Him, but not sure what to believe or do.  And we get introduced to a God who feeds a couple million people with mystery food from heaven, gives them water in the desert, and meets with them to create a whole different culture than has ever existed on the planet before.

This is exciting stuff.  And just think, God is doing the same with us today.  He is delivering us from the things that try and control us and profit from us. He provides for us in the middle of a corrupt culture, and He is trying to create through us a culture that has never existed before on the earth. 

This is good.

Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

Abrahamic Covenant

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 2: Genesis 12-50

You would think that after we humans had messed things up that God would just skip over us and fix things on His own without including us.  Yet we read early one how God decided to do His work of saving us from ourselves with us.  His desire for relationship with us is amazing. 

So we meet this guy Abraham, whose choices, strengths, weaknesses, and faith, which is at times amazing and at times tragic, becomes the human partner in the divine deliverance.  Over and over again we will see this pattern – God working with us in spite of us to deliver us from ourselves.  And it is not just Abraham but his kids and grandkids, most of whom continue this pattern of amazing faith interspersed into lifestyles and choices that are so messed up you wonder how God can work with any of them.  Yet He is faithful even when we are a mess.

So how is God working with you to deliver you from yourself?Think about it as you continue to read the amazing story of the Bible.

Posted on January 29, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

Creation & Fall

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 1: Genesis 1-11

The opening chapters of the Bible are both exciting and discouraging.  It is exciting to see that we are not in a completely random universe.  What we know of as the physical universe was well thought out, powerfully brought into existence, and our corner of it was uniquely designed for our existence and purpose.  On the other hand it is tragic how quickly it went sideways because of human choice.  We were created with freedom and influence, so when we chose badly it affected lots of things.

But the God who had executed the beginning of all things executed a plan to fix what we had done to ourselves and to our environment before we messed it up.  There is tragedy but there is hope!  This is a theme we will see as we read the story of the Bible.

Together we are reading the Bible in 2019. If you would like to follow along with us, visit www.parkwaycc.com/Bible2019 to download the app today.

Posted on January 25, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.