Merge Recap 2/23

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Series: Promise Maker, Promise Keeper (week 2 of 4)
Message in a Sentence: Sometimes God’s promise can take a long time to be fulfilled, but he is faithful and will do what He promises.
Main Scripture: Genesis 22, Hebrews 11:17-19

This week as we continued to look at the fact that God is a promise maker and promise keeper, I thought it would be good to look at an Old Testament example of God being faithful to his promise.

We looked at the story of Abraham and when God called him in Genesis 12. We then traced the story through chapters 13, 15, 16 and 17 till the promise is fulfilled in Genesis 21. This process took 25 years! I think this is interesting because I think a lot of times we want God to move immediately, but He’s got his own time table and I believe his timing is perfect.

I wanted our students to know that just because God’s promise has not been fulfilled yet, doesn’t mean he won’t keep it.

Then we turned to chapter 22, where God asks Abraham to sacrifice Issac as a sign of his faith in God. I could have simply read this part of the passage, but I found a video that perfectly sets up all the emotion and feelings that sometimes we miss.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/62992476″>The Fatal Place</a>

 

Hebrews 11 gives some insight into Abraham’s faith. I, even as a pastor, have trouble understanding that level of trust in God, but that’s the faith that He has called us. And that’s why I think this series is so important to our students. To show them how God keeps his promise and because he keeps his promises We Can Trust Him. 

We finally landed in Romans 4 where it says 2 important things:
1) The promise is received by faith (v.16)
2) Abraham was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. (v.21)

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Merge Recap 1/12

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Sunday night we had what I’m calling an Ask Me Night. For two weeks I’d been talking with students and providing cards for them to write me questions on any topic. I also threw it out on social media. I took all the questions and we made a night of it.

One of the main reasons for doing this was so that our students would get to know me better. They asked questions about me now, me in middle school and high school, and some really off the wall stuff. It also allowed them to ask specific question about our faith that they may not have asked otherwise.

The one question that I really spent time a lot of time with was If Jesus was Jewish and we are supposed to model our lives like His, why are we not Jewish?

This is a great question that I myself have never thought about and was really fun to figure out the answer. So today I’ll unpack it here on the blog.

There are 2 uses for Jew
1) Ethnically
2) Religiously

I think we all understand that there is a race of people who are Jewish. The heart of our question is rooted in the religion side.

God through Abraham started the Jewish people. Genesis 12:1-3

Jesus came and completed the Jewish religion because He was the Messiah, the one the prophets had foretold about.

God promised Abraham that through his family line the nations would be blessed. In Matthew 1:1-17, we see how Jesus is connected to Abraham and David, just like was promised.

The Jewish faith in 2014 is still waiting for the promised Messiah. We as Christians believe that Jesus is that promised Messiah and has come died for our sin and be raised again.

We also believe that Jesus is bigger than any one race and came for all mankind. Romans 1:16 tells us that God revealed His Son Jesus first to the Jews then to Gentiles, proving that He has come for all mankind.

Some great further reading is Romans 2:28-29, all of Romans 4, and Galatians 3:6-14

Sunday night was a fun night that had a really good laid back feeling. I think our students really enjoyed the feel and getting the chance to be heard.

Merge Recap 1/5

andwereback

 

Merge is back! I’m happy to say that. I enjoy what I get to do so much and Merge definitely falls into that.

For our first Merge of 2014 I felt I needed to go a different direction that normal. It all started in January last year. I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where two friend were riding skateboards and one gets hit by a car. The one hit by a car needs a blood transfusion but is a jehovah’s witness and they do not believe in blood transfusions. The friend of the injured boy had no idea his friend was a jehovah’s witness and asks several really good questions or statements:

He never mentioned he was a jehovah’s witness.
He never talked about.
I don’t think he was one based on his life.
If you believe in something so hard you’d die for it, would you keep it a secret? Even from your friends?

I was watching this scene and it instantly reminded of our students and myself also.

Would someone be shocked to find out you are a Christian? Does your life show what we believe about Jesus?

We looked at four specific passages of Scripture that encourage us as Christians to share our faith with others and to live our lives in a way that shows Christ to others.

Matthew 28:19-20 is a very familiar passage about us talking the message of Christ to others.

Colossians 4:2-6 talks about us praying for opportunities to tell others about Christ and pray that we communicate Him clearly. Is our conversation attractive to others? Are they drawn into knowing more about Christ based on us or our lives?

Romans 10:13-15 asks how will people know about Christ unless someone tells them.

Matthew 5:14-16 talks about us as Christians being the light in a dark world. People should be able to see that we are different because of Christ.

What we talked about was very timely because of where we fall in with the calendar. Many students started school last week and for the next few weeks they will be wearing and showing of Christmas presents. With the new school year they have an opportunity to almost reinvent themselves. 

My challenge to them was to either accept Christ and become a Christian or being to live their lives like Christ would want them. In a way that others would not be surprised that they love and follow Jesus.

I cannot wait for what God is going to do this semester! I believe He has outlined something special for our students and I look forward to sharing those thing with you each week.