current bible studies

Do You Fear God For Nothing? (Job 1:6-22)

In the first five verses of the book, we are introduced to a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz, who was blameless, upright, feared God, and turned away from evil. He is richly blessed by God in terms of his possessions as well as his family. The scene turns away from the earth and directs our attention toward heavenly realms and, in particular, into the presence of God.

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Choose! (Matthew 7:13-29)

Jesus brings his marvelous sermon that we call the Sermon on the Mount to end with a call for the people who are listening to him to choose. Jesus gives us a number of pictures as he ends his sermon for us to decide between the two choices that lie before us. Let us notice the first picture Jesus gives.

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Getting To Know Job (Job 1:1-5)

Today we begin our study of the book of Job. The book of Job is a fairly neglected book. I should clarify what I mean by that. Chapters 1,2, and 42 are frequently read but the other 39 chapters are regularly ignored. I know I have personally made this mistake. We know there is a reason why these 38 chapters are in the book. We deeply shortchange the book when we summarize the book as simply Job losing everything but getting it all back at the end. This is truly not the message of the book at all. There is a reason why this is a long book. Any summary study of just three chapters is completely insufficient. At minimum, the size of the book of Job is showing us that answers are not fast nor easy when it comes to the topic of suffering and God’s authority over these things. It is a long book because it invites the audience to reflect on the answers it gives. The issue of suffering and the questions that suffering raises about God cannot be resolved with cliche answers or a postcard summary. Trying to take such shortcuts defeats the purpose of a deliberately long book like Job. The book does not arrive at simple conclusions or easy answers, which you notice when you read through the book. Rather, the book explores the process of loss and grief, the reworking of faith, and the transformation of Job in the process. This gives us our first lens for the book. We need to read the book truthfully, honestly, and fully with the expectation that our faith will be torn down and built back up. Our easy answers to suffering and God will be dismantled by this book. We need to be ready to be made uncomfortable by what the book teaches. We need to be ready to change our thinking about suffering and God as we read this book. We do not need to defend God but must listen to what God is telling us…

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The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:7-12)

Jesus is bringing the Sermon on the Mount to its conclusion. In doing so, Jesus is describing the standards for living in his kingdom. In the first six verses of Matthew 7 Jesus given a summary of how we are to not treat others. We are not to use false standards of judgment. We are not to judge others differently than we would judge ourselves. We are not to judge hypocritically. In verses 7-12 Jesus is going to give us a beautiful picture of love. The first six verses tell us how not to act toward others and verses 7-12 tell us how to act toward others.

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