As of this morning, we are on day 47 of the Summer Reading plan!
Reading through the Major Prophets this summer has been really challenging. I tend to like my Scripture readings with a little less wrath and punishment! However, as I've been reading through, I have found that God is much bigger than the picture of wrath and punishment that many of us see when we read through the Old Testament. Reading through books like Isaiah and Jeremiah, we are struck with this picture of a God who is angry at his creation, one who disciplines in ways that seem extremely harsh and sometimes, unwarranted. How could this God be a "God of love"? The more I read through the Old Testament, the more I come face to face with this picture of God, and I don't think that I am the only one. Many of us come to this place, but ignore the entire story. God is love, and he disciplines out of love. He takes sin seriously, but desires restoration and reconciliation in his relationship with us. That is what the prophets are about: God’s justice in dealing with sin, and his love in the future hop of a Messiah to come, one who will restore the nations of Israel and Judah, and place us in right standing before God.
This summer, the guys small group is studying the book of Hebrews. Over the past few weeks, we have been talking about the fact that Jesus is our High Priest. He intercedes for us, he took on the wrath of God on the cross, and now because of that we are able to commune with the Father. Hebrews 6:19-20 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” When we read through the prophets, we can know the culmination of the story - we see the hope that is mentioned, and we see it fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
As we began the book of Ezekiel this week, I wanted to share a few resources with you:
The Year of Biblical Literacy: A collaborative project from The Bible Project, Bridgetown Church and Reality SF. This website is slam-full of resources for you. The app is a great resource for you to use to supplement your Bible Reading, and the teaching/lecture videos are really great information as well!
Ezekiel: Part 1- Part 1 of The Bible Project’s summary video of Ezekiel
Ezekiel: Part 2 -Part 1 of The Bible Project’s summary video of Ezekiel
**** “Bloodlines: Race, The Cross, and the Christian” - by John Piper
After the events of the last few weeks in America, it feels like we are all looking for answers. This book has been a great resource for me as I process through the racial divide in America and around the world. It is a free e-book (for now), and I would highly encourage you to download it, prayerfully begin reading it and humbly have conversations with your peers about it.
Download Link: http://www.desiringgod.org/books/bloodlines
Written by: Josh Jones • July 15, 2016 • Short Link: http://bit.ly/29DIBX5