From standing before a burning bush in confusion and fear, asking God to send someone else, we now find Moses fighting on behalf of the Israelites and knowing God intimately enough to be certain that He will respond in love. As we hear from Brian Sumner, it is out of God's good pleasure toward Moses and Moses' desire for the people that God agrees to re-engage and be present with them as they make their way to the Promised Land. This level of intimacy speaks of God's nature and His desire for relationship with us - that if we abide in Him we will be rewarded with an even deeper friendship with our Father.
This weekend, Andrew Schey reflected on the sin of the Israelites in the golden calf episode and the motivations behind their activity in Exodus 32, drawing connections to the ugly side of our human nature. The nature of God is also displayed in this passage, revealing the emotional reality of God in the face of sin and His capacity to be hurt. As such, our relationship with God is a REAL relationship - one with the capacity for great hurt as well as perfect joy and peace.
Echoing the creation account, the details of the tabernacle are beautiful and immersive - a place where heaven literally meets earth. In this place of concentrated beauty, God communicated both His nearness and His otherness. Andrew Schey walks us through the key items of the tabernacle before applying the truth that we are now a tabernacle for God's Spirit. As the place where God's Holy Spirit now dwells, you are a creation being recreated from the inside out - if only you will let Him in.
In this teaching from Brian Sumner, we continue our I AM series in Exodus 20-24:11 where God meets Moses atop Mount Sinai and establishes the laws and commandments for His covenant with the nation of Israel. More than just displaying His mighty power, God pours out His heart through the laws and commandments, revealing His jealous disposition for their hearts, His holiness above anyone or anything else in all of creation, and the practical examples and details of what it looks like to be in a healthy relationship with Him. Like the Israelites, we have the choice to either follow His commandments in loving obedience or follow our own path instead.
In this passage, God previews the covenant He's making with the Israelites and gives them a vision of why He saved them from Egypt to be set apart as a Holy Nation. The God we worship today is the same God who came down on a mountain shaking with fire that would destroy anyone who touched it - and yet many of us get sidetracked and forget where we have come from and where we're going. By pairing the verses from Exodus with the New Testament realities alongside them, Andrew Schey connects us to our past, present, and future, thereby reminding us of God's call on our lives to declare His love across the globe.
This weekend, Andrew Schey shared a pragmatic message on Jethro's advice to Moses and how that relates to our church culture. How do we process our dissatisfaction with church and what does that mean for you personally? This teaching addresses leaders who are worn out, as well as capable people on the sidelines and those who need to step toward spiritual maturity and personal responsibility.
Despite some technical difficulties during our park service, we heard an impactful message from Andrew Schey on Exodus 15:22-17:16. Merely three days after they experienced God in amazing ways, the Israelites still got caught up in their needs and circumstances. This "grumbling" speaks to the human condition in which we immediately forget our blessings as soon as we encounter hardship. Although we may test God on a pass/fail system, God tests us in an entirely different way: to grow and mature our relationship with Him.
In this teaching, Andrew Barris focuses on Exodus 13:17-14:31 in a God-centered message on the ways God puts His characteristics on display to redeem humanity. Using His creation as a stage, God demonstrates that He has the might to deliver His people - even in impossible circumstances. From parting the Red Sea for the Israelites to sending His son as our redeemer, God affirms that there is no one like Him in all of the universe.
Sometimes when we follow the will of God, our circumstances actually get worse. As Andrew Schey points out, even though Moses is told what's going to happen, the experience of Pharaoh's rejection is hard to take, causing disillusionment for not only Moses but also the Israelites. Moses' experience parallels Jesus' teaching that in this life we will experience hardship. Although we are told what to expect, it is much harder to accept experientially. As a result, circumstantial hardship often shakes the foundation of our faith and leaves us feeling like God over-promised and under-delivered. But by pairing glory and suffering, we acknowledge hardship as part and parcel to our development as followers of Jesus and point to the promise of glory that we cling to in faith.
Appearing as flames within a bush, God calls upon Moses to bring the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt - but such a call is quickly met with resistance. Rather than listing out all of the reasons why He chose Moses, God instead responds with a personal declaration of might and power beyond human limitations. As Andrew Schey explains, natural ability isn't the justification or qualification for our calling. Instead, God's presence enables us to do what we normally cannot do, thereby using our empty vessel to do something phenomenal.