The Bible is a big story. It’s the story of the beginning. It’s the story of God’s people. It’s the story of a great rescue. And, ultimately, it’s the story of you and me—and the love God has for His people. Each part of God’s story is richly connected to the next and has something to say to every one of us. So, let’s take a journey through the story and discover a God who has something to say to us, here and now, through a story that started “In the beginning.”
The cross was the turning point of history—no doubt about it. It changed the story forever. If we have grown up in church, we know this. We also know it should be the turning point of our own lives too. And it is—or at least feels like it is—for awhile. But then we find ourselves falling back into the same old habits, falling into familiar patterns. And it starts to feel like we just can’t get it right. But the cross already did something incredible—it forever changed the trajectory of our lives. It was a demonstration of God’s love. And we can live in that. Accept that. Relish that. And begin living in light of that. Because of the cross, we don’t have to do a thing. It has already been done for us.
Maybe you can relate to the feeling of being in a situation you thought was hopeless. It was a done deal. Over. Finished. You considered the chapter closed. That was how the people of Israel felt: like God was done with them. He was silent. There was no indication things would change. Until Jesus showed up. And what Jesus taught and how Jesus lived gave the people of Israel every indication that the story wasn’t over yet. God wasn’t done with them yet. He was up to something. He used His Son Jesus to demonstrate a way to live that was more than the right thing to do—it was the smart thing to do. Because it offered people a foundation worth building their lives on—a foundation for the people during Jesus’ time, but also a foundation for us.
Life rarely takes us in a straight line. There are peaks and there are valleys. And chances are, the time spent in the valleys are times when God feels distant—maybe even mad at us and inconsistent. The Hebrew people, the people God chose to be in relationship with, found themselves in enough valleys that no one would have faulted God if He had left them. But God’s story tells us of one thing over and over. His faithfulness. And if God didn’t abandon Israel, we are in a good place. God won’t call it quits on us, and the sooner we believe that, the better off we will be.
This week, we'll be reading the incredibly frustrating story of Israel in the Old Testament. Time and time again, they doubt and question God. He always responds and provides, saving Israel from itself. They are thankful and repentant - for a few minutes. We get so fed up with how selfish and short-sighted Israel was - until we realize that we do the same thing. Time and time again, we turn our back on God and forget the amazing things He has done for us. But God is always faithful. He didn't abandon Israel, and He won't abandon us!
Bottom Line: God initiated a promise with His people even though they didn’t deserve it.
Scripture: Genesis 12, 15
After such a low point in the continuum of God’s story—after the garden—it is hard to imagine how things could begin to look up. But the goodness of God wasn’t lost in the brokenness of humanity. God pursued a man named Abram. And to Abram, He made a promise—a promise that had nothing to do with what he could or couldn’t do. Following one of the lowest points in the story, God continues to make sure we haven’t lost His message. He is for us, and He wants a relationship with us—and we didn’t do a thing to earn it.
We'll be reading about the covenant God made with Abram in Genesis 12, re-affirmed in Genesis 15. He promises to bless the entire world - including you and me - through His relationship with Abram. That promise was completely unconditional! God's love never stops pursuing us. Even when we turn our backs on Him, He continues to love!
Scripture: Genesis 3
The Big Idea: When sin entered the world, everything was broken, but God didn't abandon His creation.
You don’t have to look very far before you come face to face with hurt, pain and brokenness in our world. As much as we don’t like it, it is a reality we live with. And anytime we encounter it, we can’t help but ask “why”? Why disease? Why death? Why sin? Why insecurity? Why anything that seems to combat a good God? How did we get here? As God’s story continues, we are presented with the place where things take a turn. A snake outsmarts humanity and, as a result, the world exists as we know it. But we are left wondering, how does God fit into it all?
This week, we'll be talking about the details of Genesis 3 - the Fall. This is a dark day in God's story. The day when our relationship with Him was broken. This brokenness has been passed down from generation to generation. Despite our rebellion, God has not turned His back on us. He continues to selflessly pursue us - even going as far as putting on flesh and dying for us! Join us as we dissect what it means to live in a fallen world and fix our eyes on Jesus!
Check out this post to see the overview and outline of Continuum.