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Choices-Consequences

  WHEN FACED WITH MAJOR DECISIONS HOW DO WE RESPOND? Life is filled with choices – small or big, short-term or long term. AND with those choices come benefits and/or consequences. That’s Life!  In making decisions and determining the success or failure of each choice, the beginning step in the process is the key. Where do we begin?  AND with Whom? Do we look to “self” or do we turn to God for direction? A recurring theme in the Scriptures is the contrast between the Way of the Righteous and the Way of the World.  As we review the story …

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Operating on God’s Time Table

    We are introduced to Noah in when he is 500 years old as God shared with him his intentions and his instructions. Genesis 6:13-14 “I have decided to put an end to every creature, for the earth is filled with wickedness … Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.”  (CSB) Notice in Genesis 6 – 8, Noah must operate on God’s time table. God gives verbal commands “Build,” “Enter,” and “Exit.”  Noah must wait on God for further instructions. Perhaps the construction project took 100 years!  They entered the ark and waited 7 days before the rain started. …

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Discovering God in Genesis

God made a covenant with Noah and with us. Genesis 9:8-15 (CSB) “8 Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, 9 “Understand that I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you—birds, livestock, and all wildlife of the earth that are with you—all the animals of the earth that came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by floodwaters; there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”  12 …

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Seeking Jesus in Genesis

  Someone suggested that when studying books of the Bible, we should look for Jesus.  Can we find Jesus in Genesis?  How are we introduced to Jesus? (Just some examples as we have studied Genesis this month) Example #1 Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” Genesis 1:28 We can use the creation …

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The Tower of Babel

      When we study the Tower of Babel Genesis 11 account, we emphasize the wrong motives of the people.  We can easily list them:  pride, arrogance, selfishness, rebellion, distrust, and seekers of fame.  Building their reputation was just as important as being united in building a city and a tower. Also, just as important as motives, are their fears.  They were disobeying God’s instructions, “But you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out over the earth and multiply on it.” Genesis 9:7 Were they afraid of being separated, disconnected? Were they afraid of losing security and comfort?  Were they …

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God Still Offers Grace

      Recently, during a Genesis Bible Study, the group was asked to identify key characteristics of those who walked with God.  Since we had just come through the Christmas season, the answers came readily as we could see similarities among the key individuals from the Christmas story. Luke 1:6 (Zechariah and Elizabeth)  “Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord.” (CSB) Luke 1:28-30 (Mary) “And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you. But she was deeply troubled by this …

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The Story of Jonah

“The Lord threw a great wind onto the sea, and such a great storm arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break apart. The sailors were afraid, and each cried out to his god.”  (Jonah 1:4-5) Talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time!  These poor, innocent sailors on the ship with the runaway prophet Jonah were definitely afraid.  Fear is defined by the dictionary as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” The sailors confronted Jonah as he was singled out …

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Jonah and the Sailors

Jonah Chapter 1   Contrast “Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence.”  (Jonah 1:3) If we were to write a description of Jonah from Chapter 1, we would surely include such terms/phrases as: (1) a reluctant prophet – stubborn and rebellious (2) one refusing to extend love to his enemies (3) Jonah – the prophet of God – guilty and disobedient. Yet God showed compassion and spared Jonah, the unrepentant prophet. While Jonah withdrew from both God and fellow man and went to sleep in the bottom of the ship. “What should we do to you (Jonah) …

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Message of God

    “The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. “Get up! go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.” Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command…Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!”    (Jonah 3: 1-4) Both the man of God and God’s chosen people had forgotten the reason God had chosen them to be His treasured people.  (Isaiah 42:6-7) “I am the Lord. I have called you for a …

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Anger Blinds

We see a lot of bitterness and anger in the story of Jonah.  We see it in Jonah’s countenance, his actions, and his heart. He has contempt for the Ninevites; he is angry toward God; and he is even angry toward a plant and a worm. (Jonah 4:4)  The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?’ (Jonah 4:9)  “Then God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “Yes, it’s right,” Jonah replied, “I’m angry enough to die!” Jonah’s Response: When God showed compassion to the ones Jonah hated – Rage.  When …

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Jonah’s Nature in Us

  Be careful – there is a lot of Jonah’s nature in us. We see what Jonah values –  self.  He expresses joy when God shows him compassion in providing comfort, but expresses anger when God shows compassion for citizens of Nineveh. Jonah is all about self-comforts and worldly values. God Values  Life. “So the Lord said, ” You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people …

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Ending of Jonah’s Story

The full ending of Jonah’s story is not written down in the scripture.  Therefore, we have an open ended story.  What do you think happened? Our personal story may be very similiar to that of Jonah.  I’m sure we’ve had our instances of reluctance and disobedience.  We’ve been angry, rebellious, defensive, selfish, and arrogant – all in one day!  Yet, God extends His Grace to us so that He can include us in His Love Story. (Jonah 2:2)  “I called to the Lord in my distress, and he answered me.” (Jonah 2:9)  “Salvation belongs to the Lord.” “For all have …