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The God of Second Chances

The God of Second Chances

By Ron Clark
Searching for Hope in Ancient Biblical Stories
Are the ancient Biblical stories narratives of an angry God, violence, and judgment? Are they only an ancient historical document? Are they lists of rules, commandments, and traditions?

Or, are they a history of a God who loves people, offers them hope, and works with courageous men and women who accept the call to preach peace, mercy, and justice?

Join us for this series of short lessons from the ancient Biblical narrative of God’s people interacting with a world and culture that needs hope, love, and compassion.
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Ezekiel and the God of Renewal
Ezekiel was a priest who was taken into Babylonian exile with many other Judeans. He would have witnessed the destruction of life, the temple, and felt the pain of captivity. As a trauma survivor his visions and experiences are graphic and portray a need for hope and healing. Yahweh is that God who reminded the prophet that the Lord sought healing, repentance, and renewal with the prophet as well as the people. We are not limited or judged by the behaviors or sins of others, but have a hope to be unique in the eyes of our God and Savior.
18:13
April 8, 2021
Jeremiah: Prophet, Therapist, and Friend for God
Jeremiah is the second of the three major prophets in the Hebrew Bible. In this book Jeremiah was sent by God to confront the abusive and unfaithful people of Judah. As any therapist Jeremiah represents the pain and suffering of Yahweh, while advocating for the people, his other "client." However, Jeremiah offers hope of a new relationship, if the people are willing to come home. Jeremiah reminds us that our role, as servants of God, is not only to hold others accountable for sin, but to provide hope of reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing.
18:57
April 8, 2021
Isaiah's God of Comfort
Isaiah is the first of the three major prophets. The prophet is quoted more than any other in the Gospels. Why? He shows us the heart of a God who desires to comfort and heal a nation turning its back on their own Hod while regretting this in captivity.
20:09
February 20, 2021
Who Were the Prophets?
As we transition from the "Former Prophets" to the "Latter Prophets" we begin by asking, "Who were the prophets". Were they crazy, wild eyed, ecstatic preachers? Were they magicians or fortune tellers? Were they servants of Yahweh who spoke of the realities of their day? Join us as we explore these heroes of the Bible and begin to read their stories.
17:17
January 10, 2021
Let Heaven and Nature Sing
The song "Joy to the World," reminds us that heaven, earth, and nature will sing of the glory of Jesus. When Yahweh leads the people of Judah from captivity a renewed heavens, earth, and relationship emerged. As John the Baptist proclaimed the return of God's people, in the wilderness, he reminded us that Jesus would also restore the world to be who God created us to be. No matter who we are, what we have done, or where we have been, the God of Second Chances is there to help us. As our world heals from the Covid pandemic, we likewise need churches that will reunite a world emerging from captivity.
15:30
December 23, 2020
Comfort and Joy
In the song, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen..." the promise is that Comfort and Joy will accompany us during this Christmas season. Likewise in Isaiah the prophet speaks a message from Yahweh of "Comfort" to a nation returning from captivity and healing from their own sins. The birth of Jesus not only offers comfort and hope, but joy from the darkness and sorrow when our lives rebel against God. No matter who we are, what we have done, or where we have been, the God of comfort is there to help us. As our world heals from the Covid pandemic, we likewise need churches that will bring comfort, joy, and hope in a world emerging from captivity.
14:52
December 23, 2020
Here's Your Sign
The prophet Isaiah challenges an unfaithful king to trust his God. Even more, the king's God challenges this king to believe, endure, and be faithful. The child is the sign, as he was for Joseph, you, and I. Christmas is not simply a time to give gifts, it is a time to believe that Jesus is the sign that God is truly with us.
21:05
December 11, 2020
Yahweh Among The Kings Pt 2
During the time of the kings, God continued to be present. In the midst of rebellion, obedience, and chaos...Yahweh uphold the covenant of love and faithfulness. This is the lesson for 2 Kings.
16:43
December 5, 2020
Yahweh Among the Kings Pt 1
During the time of the kings, God continued to be present. In the midst of rebellion, obedience, and chaos...Yahweh uphold the covenant of love and faithfulness. This is the lesson for 1 Kings.
16:53
December 5, 2020
Advent...Hope in the Darkness: Coffee With God
During Advent we are preparing for another Covid Holiday. However, is it possible to see God, during this time, as more than a baby in a feed trough? What if we could have coffee at a table with God? What would we hear? Would we see hope in the darkness?
14:25
December 5, 2020
After God's Own Heart
David's sin was great, yet his relationship and love for God was greater. What happens when we are confronted with our sin? Do we point the finger back at those God sends to help us, or do we choose to be men and women after God's own heart?
19:48
November 7, 2020
A King Honors His God
In 2 Samuel we read the story of David's rise to royalty. Having been annointed by the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel, he patiently waited for God to take the throne from Saul and bless David as king. David and Yahweh share a powerful relationship, one that reflects honor and love between David and his God.
19:42
November 7, 2020
Listening and Rejecting Yahweh--1 Samuel
In part 2 of this discussion of 1 Samuel, the people of Israel want a King. By this they reject their God, Yahweh.  However, the theme of listening continues as we will later explore in 2 Samuel.
19:23
October 31, 2020
Listening to Yahweh
In 1 Samuel we experience the connection between listening/obedience and leadership. During dark times, when it seems God is silent, Yahweh finds those who listen to raise up leaders.
17:41
October 7, 2020
Lesson for Malawi
This lesson is a discussion for our churches in Malawi concerning the name of God (Yahweh) and the deity of Jesus.
24:59
August 19, 2020
No Leadership, No Justice, No Peace
The book of Judges ends with a haunting theme--when there is a lack of leadership...justice is absent. In the midst of the violence of a people struggling in their relationship with Yahweh, the reality that justice, peace, and leadership are deeply connected. Even today, our communities struggle due to a lack of strong leadership who offer peace and justice.
17:15
July 9, 2020
Judges Who Lead
In the book of Judges stories of violence, oppression, vulnerability, and disobedience seem to be the norm. However, there is a powerful message concerning leadership in this book. If we look past the violence we understand that Leaders who let loose, have people who follow and bless God!
17:45
July 9, 2020
Joshua: Faith and Leadership Among the Idols of Life
While the book of Joshua contains violence, wars, and struggle for land ownership the story does illustrate the faithfulness and love of God as well as people's response to that love. The book began, very similarly, as Deuteronomy ended with the promise that God would not abandon the people. It also ends with the relational covenant similar to the one Moses offered the people of Israel. As a leader Joshua not only modeled a faith and commitment to Yahweh, but he called others to that--while still modeling that even if they chose the opposite.
14:15
June 26, 2020
Joshua: Yahweh's Honor
While the book of Joshua contains violence, wars, and struggle for land ownership the story does illustrate the faithfulness and love of God as well as people's response to that love. The book began, very similarly, as Deuteronomy ended with the promise that God would not abandon the people. However, in this lesson we learn that relationships thrive when both parties offer love and honor one another with faithfulness.
15:47
June 26, 2020
Spring Surge: Preparing For Pentecost...Calling On God
With the current Covid-19 Crisis our congregations and faith leaders have had to adapt ministry both digitally and through social distancing. How will we create a vision beyond Easter Sunday (one of our biggest attendance and outreach days)? Pentecost would be the end of May and the time when many countries would begin to experience a Business Surge as well as a Spring Surge. Peter reminded the people that this event was a chance to call on God. What does it mean to call on a God who seems silent, holy, or distant? How does Jesus' presence remind us that we have an opportunity for relationship with the creator of the world, the cosmos, chaos, and light?
20:21
April 30, 2020
Spring Surge: Preparing for Pentecost...Restoration and Diverse Languages
With the current Covid-19 Crisis our congregations and faith leaders have had to adapt ministry both digitally and through social distancing. How will we create a vision beyond Easter Sunday (one of our biggest attendance and outreach days)? Pentecost would be the end of May and the time when many countries would begin to experience a Business Surge as well as a Spring Surge. The pouring out of the Spirit was not only manifested by the themes of Fire and Spirit, but diverse languages and dialects. This sign reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus is meant to be Global; crossing language, world view, and cultural boundaries to show the mighty works of God. As Luke began and ended at the temple...Acts began and ended in the home. The Christian movement can once again claim the cities of our world through homes, languages, and messages of power and hope.
22:40
April 28, 2020
Spring Surge...Preparing for Pentecost--Fire and Spirit
With the current Covid-19 Crisis our congregations and faith leaders have had to adapt ministry both digitally and through social distancing. How will we create a vision beyond Easter Sunday (one of our biggest attendance and outreach days)? Pentecost would be the end of May and the time when many countries would begin to experience a Business Surge as well as a Spring Surge. The Pentecost event included the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, one of two themes used by the prophets in the exilic communities. John the Baptist predicted that Jesus' ministry would involve these two themes of Fire and Spirit as the Gospel grew in communities seeking healing and forgiveness.
18:26
April 24, 2020
Spring Surge...Preparing for Pentecost
With the current Covid-19 Crisis our congregations and faith leaders have had to adapt ministry both digitally and through social distancing. How will we create a vision beyond Easter Sunday (one of our biggest attendance and outreach days). Pentecost would be the end of May and the time when many countries would begin to experience a Business Surge as well as a Spring Surge. Jesus prepared his disciples to become witnesses of this movement.  By breathing the Holy Spirit upon them, empowering them to forgive and hold people accountable, and teaching them the story, he equipped them to lead the church as it became a global reality. Today, leaders can use the same tools Jesus offered for this movement to thrive in communities emerging this Spring.
20:02
April 24, 2020
Spring Surge...Preparing for Pentecost--A Covidian Easter
With the current Covid-19 Crisis our congregations and faith leaders have had to adapt ministry both digitally and through social distancing. How can we create a vision beyond Easter Sunday (one of our biggest attendance and outreach days). Pentecost would be the end of May and the time when many countries would begin to experience a Business Surge as well as a Spring Surge. The resurrection of Jesus happened with or without the faith of the disciples. It happened through the power of God. Yet this resurrection is a key component to the Christian Faith. Is the Christian Faith a Good Philosophy or A Reflection of the Power of God? How can we become witnesses of this miraculous event? 
22:27
April 24, 2020
Spring Surge...Preparing for Pentecost--Faces at the Cross
With the current Covid-19 Crisis our congregations and faith leaders have had to adapt ministry both digitally and through social distancing. As I stepped into a new role as director for Kairos Church Planting I found that our church planters adapted well, but had to create a vision beyond Easter Sunday (one of our biggest attendance and outreach days). Pentecost would be the end of May and the time when many countries would begin to experience a Business Surge as well as a Spring Surge.  Good Friday is a day that many set aside to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus. However, it is a true and historical event that transformed lives and offers us a new view of ourselves, Jesus, and God.
20:31
April 24, 2020
Jesus Unleashed 4 Christmas: Angels, Shepherds, and a Raggety Baby
While our traditional view of the Jesus in the manger may be romanticized by lights, clean straw, worshipping animals, and holy shepherds...the story was much more simple, unimpressive, and a sign for outcasts who needed hope.
14:56
December 13, 2019
Jesus Unleashed 4 Christmas: Mary and Elizabeth
What would it have been like to be in the room where Mary and Elizabeth shared their miraculous stories of their pregnancies. Both women knew what it was like to be marginalized--and both women lived with a promise that their sons would change the world.
15:32
December 13, 2019
Jesus Unleashed 4 Christmas: Zechariah and the Angel
While Luke's Gospel begins and ends at the temple, it suggests that the Christian movement was not only divine, but an act of God. However, this movement began with the promise that a child would prepare the way for the Lord. How did Luke prepare Theophilus for his journey through the life of Jesus? How did John prepare the people to meet God? How can we prepare people for this Holiday Season and an experience of the living Christ?
15:19
December 4, 2019
Jesus Unleashed 4 Christmas: Dear Theophilus
Luke’s Gospel is the story of the Jesus movement for a wealthy reader. During the Holiday season Luke seeks to persuade the reader to see this movement as a simple relationship with God. Today, we must remember the Holiday season as a simple relationship with a loving God instead of “stuff.”
16:55
December 4, 2019
An Old Man's Wish: Discipleship and Deuteronomy
As Moses ends his life, he is allowed to see the promised land. His life was a struggle and yet, during the final days, he reflects on his walk with Yahweh, and the love God has shown people. Today, discipleship is similar--we are called to walk with God, wrestle in faith, and see our Lord face to face. 
28:07
November 22, 2019
Tending Sheep and Goats
At Agape we are often asked "Why do you emphasize social justice so much?" Others might ask why we are so passionate concerning ministries to the houseless, victims of abuse, those in trafficking or sex industry, and vulnerable people.  In a world where many faith based institutions can become focused on reaching the wealthy, powerful, or famous--the parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) challenges us to value ministry to the vulnerable, Jesus' brothers and sisters, and be ready to stand before the throne of the Son of Man.
25:25
November 12, 2019
Called From the Tent
We begin our yearly reading plan with Genesis, but quickly become discouraged when we reach Leviticus. Why? Because we view this work as a list of detailed rules of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots" or deep discussions for the priestly tribes. However, the Hebrew title "Yahweh called to Moses from the tent..." reminds us that this book offers us insight into our relationship with God. What does it mean to be "called by God?" "What is holinesss?" and "What is worship?" are all questions that help us not only understand this book, but understand our relationship with Yahweh.
17:51
November 1, 2019
God Speaks in the Tent
The book known as Numbers is not simply a book of "numbers," stories of violence, and threats to the reader. The book is known as "Yahweh spoke to Moses inside the tent..." In this story God not only offers intimacy for all of us, but encourages us to hope for this same intimacy in the lives of others.
21:27
November 1, 2019
Why Care About IPV?
In our training and work with the community we observe that many faith communities neglect confrontation of abusive personalities and abandon those suffering abuse. In addition to this many Christian leaders and Christians ask, "Why should we care? Is this really an issue that Jesus has called us to address?"
16:05
October 25, 2019
IPV Awareness Month 4: The Rape of Dinah
In Genesis 34 Jacob's daughter was raped by a neighboring prince. While Biblical scholars for centuries have debated whether Dinah was raped, or caught in a love affair, their discussion is very similar to our ongoing debates concerning consent, force, and oppression. The recent #MeToo movement not only calls us to awareness that males have, from the beginning of time, continually overpowered our sisters while silencing their voice. Moral leadership is needing in both ancient and modern times.
19:37
October 4, 2019
IPV Awareness Month 3: Dealing With a Father In Law
In Genesis we find a woman, named Tamar, who has been manipulated by men--but God intervenes and calls us to protect, support, and intervene as well.
16:15
October 4, 2019
IPV Awareness Month 1: Is Intimate Partner Violence a Biblical Issue
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, or IPV (Intimate Partner Violence). In our work with local, state, and government agencies we have often heard that faith communities not only contribute to the problem of addressing and confronting abuse, but leaders are often ill equipped to help those oppressed by controlling and abusive behavior. Even more we hear many, many stories of faith leaders using the Sacred texts to keep women from leaving or finding safety from their abusive partners.  Do the Sacred texts teach that individuals have the right to use violence to oppress their partners? Does God stand on the side of the abusers or offenders? Does Jesus call leaders to protect the vulnerable and confront oppressors? In this 4 part series we will explore the Biblical text and it's application to those struggling to be free from intimate partner violence, oppression, and manipulation.
18:06
October 4, 2019
IPV Awareness Month 2: Is Intimate Partner Violence A Biblical Issue 2?
If IPV is not "mentioned in the Bible," does it mean that God approves of abuse, controlling behavior, and partner violence? Can we understand who Jesus wants his followers to be in light of a modern culture of violence, oppression, and disrespect of females? What can we as ministers offer to help survivors and offenders in a world desperately needing peace, mercy, and healthy love.
17:43
October 4, 2019
A New Community
We sometimes skip the "details of the tabernacle" as we feel that they are as laborious to read as the tent must have been to build. However, the Hebrew nation had built Egyptian temples under the whip and surrounded by fear and oppression. Now they have the chance to create something beautiful for a God who chooses to be among them--in spite of all the problems in the community wandering in the wilderness.
14:24
August 23, 2019
A New God
While Moses and Joshua were gone for 40 days, the people quickly forgot him, Yahweh, and that they had fled slavery. Solution--they build a calf (similar to Anubis--the gold calf god of Egypt) and worship. They failed to see the love and passion of their new God, who wanted relationship and love from those created and freed by the hand of Yahweh. Even more Moses, caught in this "mosh pit" of emotion advocated, then turned against the nation. Yet through this swirl of emotion, betrayal, pain, and anger Yahweh's glory was shown as the God who has always been loving, slow to anger, and passionate. Often I hear people claim that the God of the "Old Testament" or "Hebrew Bible" is an angry God. Listen to this lesson and see if that is true.
21:24
August 23, 2019
A New Relationship
Covenants were ancient contracts, agreements, binding relationships, and transactions. As we have read in Genesis, covenants were how Yahweh developed relationships with humans. In covenants both parties have obligations. Even though people do not always hold to their promises, God continues to be faithful.  However, the God of Second Chances not only seeks relationship with humans, but eagerly desires to celebrate this covenant through sacrifice, meals, and fellowship. This is also reflected in Jesus' last meal with his disciples and communion with us today.
13:52
August 23, 2019
A New Identity
Often, the 10 commandments are remembered as "Commandments." However the Hebrew Bible didn't use "command" but "words" or "things" or "affairs/concepts." The 10 ideas or things were guides for this new community. While in the wilderness the Hebrews were "camping out" and needed structure, like all of us do. Yet these ideas or guidelines were designed to identify who all of us are to be in our community and walk with God.
16:56
August 23, 2019
A New Song
As the Hebrew people fled Egypt and crossed the mighty Red Sea, they sang a song of praise to Yahweh. This is the only artifact we have from this mighty act of God. While some struggle to find remnants from the sunken Egyptian army, others seek to find the exact location of the massive crossing. Yet the one undeniable artifact from the event is a simple song. Had Israel not written this song we would not know the joy they felt when they became free. Each day people throw off the shackles of sin, oppression, slavery, guilt, and shame. What song or poem have we written to celebrate this mighty act of God? Songs and poems remind us of how happy we were or are, and sometimes God's people forget to write a new song for the new chapter in their lives. This new song can guide us as we grow in our faith and move forward in our healing.
17:02
August 23, 2019
The Pissing Match
Author, Speaker, and Rabbi Burton Visotzky wrote that the battle with Pharaoh was not simply Moses and a king--it was a "pissing match" between two powers. One, was the creator of the world. The other thought he was a god. Pharaoh and Yahweh go head to head because the earthly ruler believed he was all powerful. Due to his reckless behavior his nation suffered, soldiers died, and citizens lost what was most precious to them. Are there times when we believe we know better than the God of Second Chances? Yet this same God, reached out to protect the nation of Israel as well as other Egyptians who decided to trust the true ruler of all.
16:54
August 23, 2019
Living Under a Tyrant
Decades have passed...a new Pharaoh rules. This one was not friendly to the Jewish people and began a campaign of oppression, terror, and violence because he was afraid of those who had become his best citizens. As with so many rulers he oppressed those whom he was to protect. During this oppression God's people did what they had to do to survive. Like so many today, survival forces us to protect and care for the vulnerable. Yahweh was not blind--and their cries ascended to the throne of heaven like smoke from the fire. It was not time to act yet--God allowed the people to find a way. Sometimes we believe God is silent--yet it is simply a time for those of us who believe to find a way until our Lord intervenes. How do we live and act through faith during times of oppression, violence, and fear?
15:33
July 1, 2019
Meeting Yahweh God
Yahweh was not blind or deaf to the cries and oppression of the people. Moses had tried it his way---it was now time to try it God's way. Yahweh's leadership style was illustrated through a personal relationship, message, and show of concern for those suffering. They had done it their way and survived; now Yahweh would intervene. In our own personal times of darkness how do we see God intervening, leading, and showing care and concern for our suffering?
18:05
July 1, 2019
Jacob In Egypt
The moment Jacob wept for his son, Joseph was sold into Egypt. The two reunite and both found a way to live in hope through their God, in the midst of a family filled with lies, treachery, violence, pride, jealousy, and shame. If God can work in this family--can we find this same hope, trust, love, and peace in communities also filled with this same dysfunction?
13:58
July 1, 2019
Joseph In Egypt
Jacob has fathered many sons, struggled with his faith, and found a level of stability in his walk with Yahweh. Out of his 12 sons he began to show his love for Rachel through Joseph and, in some way, played favorites. However, Joseph's brothers resented not only his status with his father (he had a special garment made for him by Jacob), but his dreams that they would bow down to him. Their jealousy grew until they plotted to murder--then sell--him to Egypt. While there Joseph found a way to survive. He like Jacob wrestled to survive and he, like many of us, found a way to succeed. Can we still believe in a God who allows evil to reign and yet offers us a way to come out on top? Is the second chance from God simply for us alone, or others?
20:05
July 1, 2019
Jacob Wrestles with God
In this second lesson concerning Jacob, wrestling with humans and enduring leads is to a spiritual struggle. To walk with God, endure in faith, and grow spiritually sometimes leads us to wrestle with God. Even more, the disciple “refuses to let go of God” in the journey. Can we endure I. This journey with the God of Second Chances?
16:25
June 3, 2019
Jacob: Wrestling With Humans
Jacob, whose name means “heel grabber,” lived much of his life wrestling to survive. Here he wrestles with humans and endures in his walk with the creator. In the end survival, endurance, and courage are major themes in the life of discipleship. Who/what are the ones we wrestle in order to endure our journey with God?
13:13
June 3, 2019
A Parentified Family
Isaac and Rebekah's relationship had become unhealthy. Keeping secrets, throwing each other under the bus, and "parentification" all played a role in creating distance between the couple as well as their children. Families today can strengthen bonds and relationships through communication, working together with adults, and encouraging children to resolve conflict in healthy manners. Even though we may leave a dysfunctional family, God offers hope and healing by becoming a faithful parent in the life of Jacob, and the many others who have had to wrestle with family for peace, healing, and love. 
27:05
April 26, 2019
A Son and His Father's Faith
What is it like to the son of "The Great Abraham"? What is it like to live with the memory of a dad who was ready to sacrifice you to a God, you barely know? What was it like to live with your father when your mom dies, leaving you in grief? What is it like to find a wife, find your faith, and try to develop a relationship with the God of your family?
19:26
April 26, 2019
God Sees and Provides
The famous story of Abraham's call to sacrifice his son Isaac is one that challenges parents in their faith and obedience to God. It also has turned many to suggest that God was a horribly monster to require such a sacrifice. The media portrays Abraham as a father who struggles to obey, while wrestling with emotions over sacrificing his son whom he loved. Yet the story tells us more about Yahweh as one who rises above the gods in the ancient world while calling parents today to examine our child sacrifices.
17:14
April 26, 2019
Bargaining With God
Prayer is more than simply "telling God" what we want. Sometimes prayer, based on a relationship with God, can involve bargaining, persuading, and standing firm to argue with God. Abraham displays his solid relationship as he bargains with Yahweh over the fate of Sodom, while showing hospitality and love toward the God who was "a stranger" in his midst.
18:07
April 26, 2019
Smoking Pot
Yahweh initiates a relationship with Abram, and does so with a powerful ceremony. The smoking pot and the animal pieces not only describe God's faithfulness, but call us to step among the pieces and pledge our loyalty as well. Jesus' breaking the bread and sharing the juice--also remind us that God continues to hold out hope for a relationship, while offering loyalty and faithfulness
20:45
April 26, 2019
A Call To A Journey
Abraham began his great journey with a call from a God claiming to be the one and only. To leave an advanced civilization and follow Yahweh, who claimed to be the only God, and live as a nomad not only required faith and obedience, but it required a call and blessing. God calls us on a journey, but first offers a blessing and promise. Can we trust one who claims to be the only one to care for us?
26:23
April 26, 2019
Go Forth and Scatter…
We have been discussing the book of Genesis, also known as the book of Creation in the Hebrew Bible. God, as creator, began all life as an act of love, care, nurturing, and design. God created order out of chaos, humans in the image of their divine creator, and offered humans the potential to choose good and live forever. Since humans have free choice, as opposed to creation which obeys the voice of God, we also have the potential to rebel, disobey, or choose that which is not good. This episode will discuss the famous “Tower of Babel…” Since the flood the population of people has once again spread throughout the earth. In Genesis 10 there are lists of Noah’s descendants and their various tribes and languages. They had responded to the command that God had given both Adam and Noah—“Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth…”They were doing well but something stopped the movement. A tower, a people, and fear stopped the movement briefly—yet God intervened so that the people could continue to grow, as they had in Genesis 10. Scattering, growing, and moving forward often are hindered when fear takes over. As it was in the ancient world, so it seems to be today. Fear hinders growth and causes us to struggle to be who God has called us to be. Let's open Genesis 11 and let’s search this ancient story and find hope through the God of Second Chances.
20:00
March 2, 2019
Water, Water, Everywhere!
Our story today provides an example of how God’s order, can return to chaos. As we mentioned in the very first episode, Genesis 1 explained that God created order out of chaos. Chaos, or in the Hebrew Tohu vaBohu, represented the darkness, deep, and formless void before Creation. It also represented the depths of the ocean. In the ancient world, chaos was often a monster from the sea, the depths or a pit, a serpent, or a god who ruled the underworld. In the Hebrew Bible God controls the deep, the sea monster, the ocean, the pit, or the serpent. These forces are constantly battling with Yahweh, but God controls, overpowers, and forces them to submit. The story of the Bible is that God establishes order, structure, and beauty out of chaos. As we read in the last episode, sin and rebellion began to grow within the people created in the image of their God. While all nature obeys the voice of God, humans struggle—yet we still are given free will. The first man and woman, along with their son Cain made wrong choices, which in turn began to affect the earth. The land was cursed due to Adam and Eve’s sin, continued to be cursed when Cain murdered his brother Abel, and cities became the norm. Sin harms not only human relationships, but the earth.  This culminated in a story of the flood. The flood was more than a destruction by water, it represented the return of chaos. However, as always, God had another plan. In the midst of water—hope, peace, and salvation. Let’s turn to Genesis 6 and find the hope offered by the God of Second Chances.
24:56
March 2, 2019
Hidden Sin: Crouching Lion
God, as creator, began all life as an act of love, care, nurturing, and design. God created order out of chaos, humans in the image of their divine creator, and offered humans the potential to choose good and live forever. Since humans have free choice, as opposed to creation which obeys the voice of God, we also have the potential to rebel, disobey, or choose that which is not good. Last time males and females, who were to complement each other, were divided and resisted the choice to do good.  Today, that story continues with the sons Cain and Abel, who also live in tension and against each other. This story, in Genesis 4, reminds us, once again, that all of us have the potential to do good. Open your Bibles, turn to Genesis 4, and let’s explore the God of Second Chances, as we Search for Hope in this Ancient Biblical Story.
19:15
March 2, 2019
Sins, Mistakes, and Silence
  In this Episode we discuss what is commonly known as “The Fall of Humans.” In this story, Genesis 3, we read about Adam, Eve, and the dreaded Serpent or Snake also known as the devil. Humans were created in the image of God and allowed to live in the garden, also known as paradise. They were allowed to eat of any tree they wished except one—the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they ate from this tree, God said that they would die.  Imagine all the good trees in this garden. I am sure if we thought for a few minutes we could name many fruit, nut, or other trees that would we would enjoy eating from. We don’t know how many trees were there, but we know that they could have ALL of them—except one.  Why was this one tree so enticing? Why would humans ignore the good and choose that which was bad? Will we continue to live this way forever? Let’s take some time today to discuss Genesis 3 as we explore the God of Second Chances: Searching for Hope in Ancient Biblical Stories.
17:13
March 2, 2019
In Gods Image?
In our episode today we discuss Genesis 1:26-31.God creates human beings in the image of our Lord and offers us a ministry and role in this creation. This not only elevates us above the earth, the skies, and animals, but provides us with a responsibility to reflect the love and power of our Creator. What does it mean to be created in God’s image? What does it mean to guard and protect the earth? What does it mean to be “very good”? Let’s open our Bibles and journey together to witness The God of Second Chances: Searching for Hope in the Ancient Bible Stores.
17:37
March 2, 2019
From Chaos To Order
In this book there are many creations. We might remember that this book tells us of the creation of the cosmos, the universe, the world, animals, plants, creatures, and humans. However, there are many “creations” in this first book. God creates covenants, or relationships, with various characters, the earth, and families. The Jewish nation found it’s “creation” in this book while many other ancient civilizations have their origins in this book. Genesis truly is a book of creation and it is this book, that begins with the phrase, “In the creation, God created” Berushit Bara Elohim.  This is a powerful phrase. “In the Creation God Created,” tells us that God is always creating, always active, and in the process of new beginnings—God is working. In the midst of life, of newness, of activity—we find God making something new, something active, something fresh. That is why this book is the book of creation—it tells us that God creates something from nothing. So turn to your Bibles and let’s read what God is creating…
15:12
March 1, 2019