Shadows of Redemption

cross-shadowGod’s story begins with the creation of all things.  God completes His work in six days found in chapter 1 of Genesis and chapter 2 is marked by God resting from His work and finally creating woman as a helper suitable for the man.  All is well.

If you’re familiar with the story, you know how quickly this changes because the next chapter brings “the serpent” and his temptation into the story.  Satan came to wreck the beautiful creation God had made, and he succeeded.  As a result, God’s perfect fellowship with His creation was lost, and His perfect rescue plan was put in motion. It is in these first chapters of God’s Word that we get our first shadow of redemption. Continue reading

Chronological Bible Reading – January 24 – What Determines Your Present?

Today’s Reading: Genesis 25-30, 36 and 1 Chronicles 1:32-54

In Genesis 25 we see two nations born of the same womb.  Esau, the first-born twin, would be the beginning of the Edomites.  Jacob, born second, would be the one through whom Israel comes.  Knowing what God has declared about these brothers makes the story of their lives read like a daytime soap opera.  It is full of deceit, lies, and betrayal.  But through it all, God’s purposes are fulfilled.

There is a great teaching point found in Genesis 25:29-34.  Esau sells his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, for a bowl of stew.  Though this seems like the stupidest exchange ever, we can learn something from this account.  Esau gives up his entire future to feed the present desires of his flesh.

Esau has a dismissive attitude toward his birthright.  So dismissive that he sells it for soup.  He does not grasp the significance of the future promise that has been made by God through the line of his grandfather Abraham.  Esau was the natural heir through which this promise would come, but it was not God’s plan. Esau’s present circumstance of hunger caused him to forsake his future as heir of promise.  This brings us to the reality that there are three ways we can approach our present circumstances.

Your Past Determines Your Present

For many, their past determines their present.  People find themselves bound by past mistakes, failures, or pains.  They cannot embrace the forgiveness, grace, and healing that God offers through Jesus Christ.

Your Present Determines Your Present

For others, their present determines their present.  They live for the moment alone.  They are consumed with pride, lust, and selfish gain.  their mindset is “feed me!” There is no consideration for how present decisions may affect the future.  Esau is a prime example of this mindset.

Your Future Determines Your Present

Instead of these first two approaches to our present circumstances, we should allow our future to determine our present.  this is the mindset of the Christ follower.  Our future holds an inheritance of being a joint heir with Jesus where we will receive heaven and the presence of our King.  Paul understood this reality in the face of a very difficult present when he declared,

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, – 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)

When people look at your life, what do they see determining your present?  Do they look at you and say, “all they’re living for is this earth” or do your priorities, and the way you live your life, lead them to say, “that person is living for heaven?”

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 4 – The Tower

Today’s Reading: Genesis 10-11, 1 Chronicles 1:1-27

In the middle of some lengthy genealogies we find the account of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). God’s intent following the flood was that man would multiply and spread over all the earth.  However, in this account we have a clear sign of the sinfulness of the heart of man.  Remember, though Noah “walked with God,” he and his family were still descendants of Adam, infected with a sinful nature as a result of the Fall. (See Romans 5:12). Therefore, as we’ll see throughout Scripture, man has a bent toward sin and rebellion. Continue reading