Lifted Up & Genesis Intro

"...And He will lift you up." - Philippians 4:10

The Christian life is a paradox. We die to ourselves to live. We give to receive. The first shall be last. We can only be lifted up if we willingly step down. And we can’t do any of the first steps with the sole intention and motive of receiving the second part of the paradox.

We are called to abandon ourselves to faith–but not to be stupid just for the sake of testing God and getting what we want.

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it, “ Jesus said, explaining how this works (Matthew 16:25).

Jesus stepped down from Glory–and was ultimately lifted up. 

His resurrection was prophesied and promised. “...because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (Psalm 16:10).

Jesus went from Glory to Glory–but in between, there was the Cross.

The Lord will not abandon us to a grave of despair or failure, nor will He allow our lives to be decayed by sin. He died for us, that that we might live in victory, in the abundant life He longs for us to live. First comes brokenness, vulnerability, humility —then the tender mercy of God as He lifts us up to live in the comfort of His grace and love.

[Photo: Jeremy Binns, Creation Swap]

Genesis Intro:

“In the beginning…”  What better way to start the New Year than right at the beginning of everything?

In December 2012, I finished twenty years of teaching through the entire Bible with our church—and now we are starting 2013 with the book of Genesis. The dawn of Creation, the beginning of the human race, not to mention the cast of characters whom God used to form His chosen people, to launch the nation of Israel, and to begin the story of redemption for the human race—all this in what might be my “favorite book of the Bible”

(Anyone who knows me knows that whatever book I’m teaching is my favorite!)

In addition to numerous commentaries from learned pastors and teachers, I’ve also been delving into the Jewish Bible and Hebrew commentaries on the Torah, where I’ve discovered a rich opportunity to learn more about the original language of God’s people.

In some cases I’ve discovered the accurate meanings of certain words, and the power of these words. In the Hebrew mindset, words do things. When God said,

“Let there be light,”

He created physical, natural light—and revealed spiritual light.

It’s going to be a fascinating time.

Studying the Bible never gets old.

I feel like I’ve struck a vein of gold as I glean from what the ancient rabbis knew, study the insights of Christian teachers and commentaries, and ask the Holy Spirit to grant me wisdom and insight. I am thankful for the privilege of teaching and can’t wait to share it all with you!