Gems from Genesis: God Speaks to Our Hearts

Gems from Genesis: God Speaks to Our Hearts Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 28:10-19

When we’re children, we get excited during Christmas or birthdays because we can receive gifts. But as we grow older, we learn that sometimes it’s more fun to GIVE a gift than to receive one. Imagine how excited God must be to give us the gifts He has in store for us!

How Does God Show Us He Loves Us?

God Has Plans For Us ~ Genesis 28:10-15

  • 10/14 reminder: this is a specific story FOR JACOB; we’re not him. These are specific promises that God gives to Jacob
  • 15 This specific reminder to Jacob can ALSO be a reminder of God’s character for us. God is with Jacob; God is with US.

God’s Plans Change Us ~ Genesis 28:16-19

  • 16 “I was not aware” we don’t always see when God is at work… but He’s working in us!
  • 17 afraid=not scared, but WHOA, this is AWESOME
  • 18/19 Jacob sets apart this rock as a reminder that HE has been set apart by God

God Brings Us Into His Family ~ Romans 8:14-16

God chooses US, just like He chose Jacob. He calls us His own, and we get to be a part of God’s family. We belong to God, and there’s nothing we can do to break God’s promise to us.

Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Attitudes

Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Attitudes Sermon Audio Here

Gen. 25:19-34; Rom. 8:9-11

I’ve had a pretty significant wobble in my car at 50+mph; Auto place EXAMINED car, found two problems- worn tire, alignment issue. Fixed both issues, drives like new!

Learning What God Already Knows: We Are

Short Sighted By Sinful Nature ~ Genesis 25:29-34

  • 19-28 SETUP: Isaac & Rebekah have twins, Esau and Jacob; Esau is daddy’s boy / Jacob is mamma’s boy
  • 29/30 Esau driven by hunger for food
  • 31 Jacob driven by hunger for status
  • 32 Esau ignores long term consequences
  • 33 Jacob manipulates Esau
  • 34 notice Biblical warning against Esau, but NOT Jacob; BOTH guys are making decisions according to their flesh. Esau doesn’t care about his family position; Jacob is a trickster.

Stable When We Stay In The Spirit ~ Romans 8:9-11

  • 9 controlled by spirit IF THIS CONDITION IS MET: RESIDE in the Spirit
  • 10 because=DIA, by means of, through: the Spirit works THROUGH us for righteousness
  • 11 “My house, my rules” The Spirit lives IN you: do you allow Him to be the master of the house?

God works with us IN SPITE of our attitudes in the flesh; but He’d rather we COOPERATE with the Spirit as we move through life.

Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Need

Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Need Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 24:42-49

I saw a news report a while ago about exoskeletons: powered robotic suits that enable the body to do what it cannot do on its own. Medical uses include physical therapy and helping the paralyzed to walk again, while military uses focus more on enhancing already present abilities. But for these to be effective, one thing is most important: to determine the actual NEED that the exoskeleton would fulfill…

If God Knows Our Need, What’s OUR Part?

We Look For The Lord At Work ~
Genesis 24:1-41

  • SETUP: 1-9: Abraham charges his servant to go back to the old country to get a wife for Isaac
  • 10-14 How to choose? Lord, let the right girl do THIS…
  • 15-28 She did!
  • 29-41 She takes servant to meet the family and he tells his story, which is where we pick up the text:

Genesis 24:42-44

  • 42 “if you will” – remember GOD’s agenda
  • 43/44 rely on GOD’s GUIDANCE (Gideon’s fleece: Judges 6)

We Act WITHIN God’s Work ~ Genesis 24:45-49

  • 45/46 God knows our need (often before we do)
  • 47/48 Thank God AS He provides (right in the middle of occurrence)
  • 49 Involve others in God’s work (“this is what I think God is doing, what do you think?)

Romans 7:22-25a: For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God– through Jesus Christ our Lord!

We have to remember that our flesh wants to go its own way; we can WANT to be Godly in our hearts, but our lives are stuck in a sinful world. God knows this; the Lord knows we want to be better than we are, and has provided a way to make that happen: Jesus Christ our Lord! As we submit to His Lordship and let Him lead us, His righteousness is placed on us, like a exoskeleton, enabling us to do with Him what we couldn’t do alone.

Gems from Genesis: God Sees Our Sacrifice

Gems from Genesis: God Sees Our Sacrifice Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 22:1-14

I have a friend who is extremely sensitive to light; too much exposure leaves them bedridden in great pain. But this friend is willing to come into bright situations to help others, knowing in advance how much it will hurt. How do we face these faith challenges?

Respond To Faith Challenges With

Strategy for Sacrifice ~ Genesis 22:1-8

  • 1/3 Abraham is faced with a terrible choice: obey God or kill your child. How to make that choice? GO
  • 4/5 “we will come back” I choose to interpret this as a statement of faith: “I don’t know how God is going to fix this problem, but I know He will.” GO IN FAITH
  • 6/8 God gives the problem; God gives the solution: GO IN FAITH TOGETHER

Preparation For Provision ~ <a title="Genesis 22:9-14<" href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 22:9-14Genesis 22:9-14

  • 9/10 at THIS point, Abraham does NOT KNOW what God will do; OBEY GOD IN THE DARK
  • 11/12 God already knew, but now both Abraham and Isaac knew, too. God knows that they know that God knows LISTEN FOR GOD IN THE DARK
  • 13/14 “ahar-behind him” LOOK AROUND FOR GOD’S PROVISION

Romans 6:13, 19 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

We sacrifice our SELVES: we give up our rights to call our own shots. We can’t do this in our own strength; God provides what we need so we can follow His way.

Gems from Genesis: God Hears Our Laughter

Gems from Genesis: God Hears Our Laughter Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 18:1-15

Long-time actress and comedienne Gracie Allen once received a small, live alligator as a gag. Not knowing what to do with it, Gracie placed it in the bathtub and then left for an appointment. When she returned home, she found this note from her maid: “Dear Miss Allen: Sorry, but I have quit. I don’t work in houses where there is an alligator. I’d a told you this when I took on, but I never thought it would come up.

What Happens When God Shows Up On Your Doorstep?

D.A.D. (Do what Abraham Did) ~ Genesis 18:1-8

  • v1/2 identify God’s presence (who are the three men? Trinity? [no – vs 22, 2:13 shows the LORD+2 angels])
  • v3 invitation to stay (we invite God to stay with us)
  • v4 inducement to rest (we interact with God in HIS terms)
  • v5 insistence of service (we offer real-world benefits to God – feed the poor)
  • v6/7 inclusion of others [wife, servant] (our spirituality isn’t intended to be private and singular; involve others in serving God)
  • v8 wait on the Lord

Be Ready For The Unexpected ~ Genesis 18:9-15

  • v9/10 God prepares us for the unexpected
  • v11/12 unexpected can cause disbelief
  • v13/14 disbelief opportunity for reminder: God CAN
  • v15 God knows our fear; works with us anyway

Romans 5:1-2 ~ Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Trinity Sunday: An Ocean of Mystery

Trinity Sunday: An Ocean of Mystery Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 1:1-5

Today in the Christian Year, we are celebrating Trinity Sunday. I read this quote, editied for brevity: “My favorite definition of the Trinity—is that God is, in God’s fundamental essence, a community of persons. God’s very identity is communal.” It’s been said that you can’t talk about the Trinity for more than a few moments without falling into heresy, so I’ll try to be brief. Just as I couldn’t comprehend the full content and nature of the ocean, I can’t fully grasp God’s nature either. Both are too deep for me. But I can appreciate what glimpses I can get…

When I walk on the beach and look out at the ocean, I’m always struck at the immensity of the thing: it’s just SO HUGE. I’m very aware of how small I am in comparison. It’s like that with God; the first thing that comes to mind with this Ocean of Mystery is that it’s bigger than I am! To Fathom This Ocean of Mystery, Ask

WHO IS WORKING? ~ Genesis 1:1-5
Instead of walking through the process of creation (as is often done when reading Genesis 1), notice WHO is at work: God mentioned generically, Spirit of God mentioned specifically; ELOHIM, word for God in Genesis 1 is a PLURAL WORD (‘im) that describes a SINGULAR ENTITY. So, Spirit of God is RUACH ELOHIM, the wind/breath of God – another way to describe God’s creative aspect

Just as we’re aware of the immensity of the ocean, we’re aware of its complexity: all the life it contains, all the respect we must have for it (or else we’re in danger). How much more the Mystery of God? We can gain more insight when we consider…

WHAT IS DONE? ~ Genesis 1:31-2:4a
Next, we notice WHAT was done; God has created all, has determined it to be good, and then rested and blessed

Growing up on the coast of Puget Sound, I learned lots of ways in which we benefit from the ocean. Over time, we’ve learned that the ocean can sustain, provide, nurture, and shape a culture. And yet, God created all these oceans on this one planet, and uncounted millions of planets in the vast ocean of space. That vast complexity points to the idea that we’re not alone…

HOW DO WE ACT? ~ Matthew 28:16-20
Finally, we notice HOW we are to interact with God: as plural AND singular at the same time; God is community within Godself; God is in community with us; WE are in community with each other

The church that is living out God’s mission in the world does so in God’s image: as a community of persons.” We know Who is at work; we know What He has done; and we can know How we fit into it all.

Pentecost: The Breath of God

Pentecost: The Breath of God Sermon Audio Here

1 Cor. 12:3-13

I recently heard an advertisement for hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment: sit in a pressurized tank and breathe oxygen. Studies show mixed results… but what about a SPIRITUAL hyperbaric experience?

What Difference Did Pentecost Make?

We Are “Christ-Crafted” ~ 1 Cor. 12:3-6

  • v3 truth is truth, but spiritual truth is from the Spirit about Christ
  • v4 The Spirit gives as HE chooses, not us
  • v5 Lots of ways to serve the Lord; not all the same
  • v6 working=the effect of God’s energizing action in us; our outcomes won’t all look the same, but they’ll be spiritual, and they’ll point to Jesus in us
You Are Carefully Crafted By God; Remember Your Worth!

We Are “Air-Powered” ~ 1 Cor. 12:7-11

  • v7 2 things: EVERYONE is gifted; EVERYONE benefits
  • v8 wisdom: knows just what to say;
    • knowledge: insight from the Spirit down to us (God’s viewpoint)
  • v9 faith: trusting faith (by context, more than just saving faith);
    • gifts of healings: isolated incidents (not “the power to heal”, but the healings themselves)
      NOTE: these gifts are not RESIDENT SUPERPOWERS; more like sunlight reflecting from a mirror; the SPIRIT is at work, and uses US to make that work available;
      CHARISMATA =”the presence of that which is given”
  • v10 miraculous: ENERGEMATA=”the presence of the power that is sent”; WE don’t do miracles; GOD does miracles, and sometimes uses people;
    • prophecy helps us understand: a prophet receives a specific message from the Lord and delivers it;
    • a miracle worker receives a specific ability to do a task from the Lord and does it;
    • distinguishing: God gives the insight if something is HIS or not; varieties of speech (like Pentecost),
    • the ability to understand them tied to the presence of the Spirit, not the person through whom the language happens
  • v11 The Spirit chooses; we don’t (this means the Spirit isn’t some impersonal “force”
You Are Powered By the Spirit; Remember Your Charge!

We Are “Fire-Welded” ~ 1 Cor. 12:12-13

  • v12 Trinitarian nod; cf. Gen 1:1,2; Deut 6:4 God is ONE COMMUNITY; we belong together to God
  • v13 our origins are different, our circumstances are different, but our connection and destination are the same: we are ONE in the Spirit
You Are Connected to Christ; Remember Your Identity!

Pastor Ed Backell

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Pastoral Tweets

  • Check out this photo of Pho Yelm Restaurant on #Yelp yelp.com/biz_photos/pho… 1 day ago
  • How Does God Show Us He Loves Us? God Brings Us Into His Family (Romans 8:14-16) 2 days ago
  • God chooses US, just like He chose Jacob. He calls us His own; we belong to God, and there’s nothing we can do to break God’s promise to us. 2 days ago
  • How Does God Show Us He Loves Us? God’s Plans Change Us (Genesis 28:16-19) 2 days ago
  • How Does God Show Us He Loves Us? God Has Plans For Us (Genesis 28:10-15) 2 days ago

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