Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Walk in The Word: God's Story of Redemption

Bible Study 1/11/10
Reading Passages: Genesis Ch. 1-11; John 1:1-3; Psalm 8; Psalm 104

The staff at Lifeline, along with many others, are reading through the Bible this year. As we begin to read through God's love letter to His people, how fitting that we start with God and all of His creation. He is Yahweh, Jehovah, Lord Almighty - the One who holds the universe in His hands. He gave us all of the blessings and beauty around us, and yet the great God of this universe wants a relationship with us. Who are we that the Almighty would want fellowship with sinful man?

The first two chapters of Genesis reveals the origin of God's world, and how it was perfectly designed for His glory. By chapter three, man had already rebelled against God, choosing independence from the Creator, rather than obeying His every command. The result was irreversible and had tragic consequences of both physical and spiritual death. Man's true nature was revealed through sin, and the divine image within ourselves was distorted. We were made in God's perfect and Holy image, and yet through sin, we reflect the image of the Evil One, God's enemy. The only way to restore our broken fellowship with a Holy God is through true repentance and redemption, which is offered by our merciful Father in chapter three. God's redemption plan, the message of hope, is revealed in verse fifteen, through way of God's Son, Jesus Christ. God's extends an abundance of grace and mercy, as He would rather sacrifice Himself in death out of love, rather than allow us to experience the death that we deserve. So again, I ask you to think: who are we to deserve favor from the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty?

2009 was an awesome year, filled with God's favor and blessings upon our agency. Please be in prayer for Lifeline as we continue to grow in God's Word, individually and collectively as a staff. I will also pray that as you follow along with us through our Bible study this year, your relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ will be strengthened and glorifying to Him!

Bible Study 1/18/10
Reading Passages: Genesis, chapters 12-29

Abram and his faith journey is the main focus from this week's reading. The Abrahamic Covenant is introduced in chapter 12, when Abram is called to leave his home in Haran, and set out for Canaan. This covenant, or agreement, was a promise from God to Abram that he would receive land, divine blessing, protection, and would become "the father of many nations." With this covenant came new identities: Abram became known as Abraham (17:5), and his wife Sarai became known as Sarah (17:15). These new names were a reflection of Abraham's relationship with God, based on the promise of their offspring. Twenty-five years after this promise, Isaac was born to 100 year-old Abraham and 90 year-old Sarah.

Abraham's faith was tested again when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son, in chapter 22. Only this time, Abraham's faith had grown so strong, he trusted God to provide, even if it meant resurrection of his son. ("By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, 'In Isaac your descendants shall be called." Hebrews 11:17-20) The Lord provided a ram in the thicket as an offering, in place of Issac - a beautiful foreshadowing of God's plan for our salvation! The Lord Almighty sacrificed His own Son, out of love,
so that we may experience eternal life with Him, rather than the death that we deserve. "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Give praise to God today for His blessings and promises!
In His Grace,
Deanna Crist

Next week: Genesis, Chapters 30-50

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