Esther is meaningful to us because it reminds us that God works in and through human being throughout every period of history to bring about His will. The LORD worked through Mordecai and Esther in this account to save His people and preserve His promise to send a Savior. The book emphasizes the doctrine of vocation, which points to how God is active in the work and lives of human beings as they use their God-given gifts and position in the service of their neighbor. Our summary verse is from Esther 4:14: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” – (NIV)
Zechariah portrayed the Messiah so often that he falls second only to the prophet Isaiah in the number of Messianic prophecies mentioned. These Messianic prophecies are so clear that Luther called Zechariah, “One of the most comforting of all the prophets.” Our summary verse is from Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” – (NKJV)
The church remembers the Apostle John on December 27th. John was one of the most famous disciples and we know a great deal about him from the New Testament. Join us as we review the life of this important follower of Jesus, look at the New Testament writings he left behind and what message he leaves us with. We will also look into his later life after Jesus’ ascension as he serves the Lord into old age, and some of the traditions that surround the “one whom Jesus loved.” We will be motivated by his zeal and encouraged by his faithfulness as we too strive to “be faithful unto death, and the Lord will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
During the season of Christmas we hear many empty “Christmas” songs that have nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas, or even songs with false historical information about the events of the Savior’s birth. This hymn is different. Written by the Church Father, St. Ambrose, this hymn is rich in Scripture, in theology, and in comfort. Join Pastors Ben Libby and Nathanael Mayhew as they delve into this hymn that is truly worthy of the title “Christmas”!
Haggai was sent to minister to the people who were discouraged because the building of the temple had stopped. Encouraged, the people rallied and began rebuilding. He pointed to God Who is the Savior and ruler of all things, who is gracious to save and powerful to sustain the seemingly impossible work of rebuilding which lay ahead. Our summary verse is from Haggai 1:13: “Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.” – (NKJV)
On December 21st the church remembers the Apostle Thomas. Thomas has received the unfortunate nickname “Doubting Thomas” because of his reaction to the word of Christ’s resurrection. Join us in this episode as we dig into the Bible and the deeper character of Thomas, which reveals one who was not a faithless doubter, but one who was honest in his faith. We will consider the proper relationship between evidence and faith and look at what that faith moved Thomas to do out of love for His Savior and in concern for his fellow man. Truly, a wonderful example for us all!
Is God just? So often He gives exactly what the unbelievers ask for… life or death without Him. So often when we give Him the backseat, He takes it! Ezekiel is a message of judgment against the Jewish nation, as he pointed out that the city of Jerusalem and the temple would not be preserved. He encouraged the people to recognize their sin and turn to the LORD in repentance. Our summary verse is from Ezekiel 33:11: “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'” – (NKJV)
How do you envision the shepherds hearing the message of the Angels given to the shepherds in the Judean countryside? How exactly did they make haste to find the baby in the manager? How did they make widely known the saying which was told them concerning this child? Join Pastors Neal Radichel and Ben Libby as we review the episode “The Shepherd” from the Chosen video series. This episode depicts the events of Luke 2. Is it helpful or does it take away from the Christmas account? Is it truthful to scripture and does it give glory to God? The pastors give their thoughts on these topics. We look forward to the day when we see the full glory of God in the highest, and we can worship the Savior as the shepherds did.
The book of Daniel spans the 70 years of the Babylonian Captivity. In has two parts: The first is historical and second is apocalyptic and full of visions. The entirety of the book shows the faithfulness of the LORD, and of Daniel who trusted in the LORD. Why did Daniel continue to trust in the LORD? How about us today? Our summary verse is from Daniel 7:18: “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” – (NKJV)
This book was written by Jeremiah during a very dark period in Judah’s history. Jerusalem was destroyed, people killed or carried off to Babylon. All because of their sin. But in the midst of tragedy and sin God remains faithful! Mercy begins with the LORD fresh each day. He has been faithful even when we have been unfaithful! There is always hope! Our summary verse is from Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” – (HCSB)