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The book of Daniel explores what it means to be God’s people while living in a culture that is set against his values. How do God’s people remain faithful and confident in a situation like this? The strange dream in Daniel chapter 7 gives us some insight. In it we see there’s a kingdom ruled by the “Son of Man,” the one with all “authority, glory a…
 
What kind of person does God choose to work through most often? Can he work through me too? The book of Esther is a classic expression of the biblical idea that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. And God is still in the habit of elevating those who society has deemed unimportant. It might not always look as heroic as Esther’s stor…
 
Yahweh warned Israel not to tie themselves to foreign gods through marriage. But when those same foreigners left their gods to honor him, Yahweh welcomed them with open arms. Yahweh’s people were not as welcoming. Ezra and Nehemiah loved God, but they were misguided to exclude foreigners from joining God’s people. Since Ezra and Nehemiah weren’t ex…
 
God’s people fail over and over again. We’re so messed up. Will there ever be a day when we get it right? The prophet Ezekiel said that God would renew his covenant by renewing hearts, and he’d do this by giving his own Spirit to those who trusted in him. God fulfilled his promise through Jesus. Now as followers of Jesus, we are invited to practice…
 
The biblical authors of Lamentations and Psalms invite us to express our grief, anger, and sadness to God. But this is hard. It’s so much easier to either avoid pain with numbing distractions or vent out frustrations without ever bringing them to God. But he is patient. He understands how painful our situations are, and he cares and grieves with us…
 
The prophetic books are intense, so it’s easy to skip ahead to more comfortable portions of the Bible. But Jesus often used the prophets’ words to describe what he was all about. So if we want to know Jesus, we need to read the prophets. And as we do, we can learn that when God’s people reject him, they are rejecting life itself. The disorder, chao…
 
We all long to be truly seen, known, and loved by God and others. We want to fully give ourselves to these deep relationships. The Song of Songs is about that desire, that dream that imagines the unity of Heaven and Earth. One day this dream will be fully realized, but until then, we have access to unity with Jesus. He invites us into a real and in…
 
What does it mean to fear the Lord and be wise? The book of Proverbs helps us understand how to live by God’s wisdom. It teaches us that true wisdom isn’t just knowing the right thing to do––it’s about doing it. But how do we know what the right decisions are in every situation? The Scriptures show us that God understands what is good and bad in th…
 
Today we open the book of Job, a complex story about a good man who suffered the cosmic loss of everything. What did God want Job to know in the midst of his suffering? And what do we need to know in our own suffering? In this episode, we remember that we’re not alone in hardship and that God is trustworthy. Even when the pain is so intense that we…
 
How can we show God’s mercy to people who’ve hurt us? In this episode, we are reflecting on the final chapter of the book of Jonah. God doesn’t just want Jonah to preach to his enemies, he wants Jonah to share his compassionate heart toward them too. Will Jonah agree with God’s compassionate perspective? The book ends with a question to give us the…
 
What does God really want as he relates to us? In this episode, we are reflecting on the book of Hosea, where we’ll discover what God desires in a relationship. Here’s a quick overview. God promised to love Israel like a husband vows to love his bride. But Israel didn’t love him back––they cheated on him. This broke God’s heart but not his promise.…
 
How is God at work in the world today? Jesus read from Isaiah 61 to describe what it looks like when the good news of his kingdom is at work in the world: the ignored are honored, the poor are fed, and the sick receive care. This kind of stuff happens wherever followers of Jesus honor him as King. Bible Reading Isaiah 61:1-11 Reflection Questions W…
 
Who are the Hebrew prophets? What was the goal of their message? And how can their words bring hope to us today? God wants his people to flourish - to experience peace and joy in a community of love. But sin destroys a community. So God sends his prophets to warn his people, so they’ll turn from sin and its destruction. When Israel refuses to liste…
 
Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? And is he doing anything about it? The Bible doesn’t answer all of our questions about why God allows suffering. But it does tell us a story about how God responds to human suffering. We learn that God has chosen to partner with humans to deliver communities from suffering, and that he chose to ent…
 
Where is God when the people we look up to disappoint us? In this episode, we learn how Israel’s long line of disappointing kings is meant to point us to a greater King, Jesus. He is the true David and a better Solomon. He leads God’s people with wisdom, unites the nations, and makes a way for God’s presence to dwell among his people. Wherever peop…
 
How does God respond when we fail to represent his goodness in the world? Humanity’s failures never cancel God’s faithfulness to his promise. In fact, the God of Israel became human to fulfill the promise himself. Jesus, the long awaited King, faithfully completed everything we have left undone. Bible Reading 2 Samuel 7:8-17 Reflection Questions Wh…
 
What should we do when life is unfair and everything feels out of control? In this episode, we are reflecting on God’s powerful response to the cries of the powerless. If today you are feeling helpless before bullies and institutions, listen in. Today’s message will encourage and empower you. And if you are in a position of authority, stay tuned. T…
 
Where is God in the midst of impossible situations? In today’s episode, we’re reflecting on Ruth, a woman who came from a nation that violently opposed God’s people. Despite this, Ruth became an example of God’s loyal love even in the midst of impossibly difficult circumstances. We’ll also reflect on God’s impartial and merciful character and the h…
 
There’s a lot of violence in the Old Testament, but isn’t God loving? How do we make sense of all this? In this episode, we are exploring a few key things to keep in mind while looking at the topic of violence in the Bible. Note to parents: The terms genocide, child sacrifice, sexual fertility rituals, and sex slavery are used in this episode. Befo…
 
How can we understand the ancient laws in the Old Testament? And what’s the point of reading them today? In this episode, we are learning how to read the ancient laws that God gave to Israel and reflecting on how they can impact our choices today. Bible Reading Deuteronomy 30:15-18 Reflection Questions What is one specific choice you can make to lo…
 
Why did God give his people so many rules? In this episode, we’re reflecting on the wisdom and purpose of God's commands. Bible Reading Deuteronomy 4:5-9 Reflection Questions Wisdom and understanding is gained when we live out the knowledge we have received. Think of someone who is wise. Consider an example from the Bible or from someone in your li…
 
How does fear hold us back from experiencing God’s promises? In this episode, we reflect on God's trustworthy character and how he responds when his people fail to trust and follow him. Bible Reading Numbers 13:25-33 Reflection Questions What specific fears or doubts have held you back from trusting and obeying God? Instead of replaying your past o…
 
In today’s reflection, we are exploring the biblical theme of sacrifice and atonement. It can feel strange and uncomfortable at first, but as we learn more, we’ll discover just how life-giving and powerful this biblical theme is. Bible Reading Hebrews 10:11-22 Reflection Questions God is faithful and just to forgive us when we admit our sins. So le…
 
Last week, we explored how God rescues his people when they cry out to him. In today’s episode, we’re reflecting on why God rescues his people. He doesn’t only free us from corruption, he free us for restoration. His rescue is not just for us but for the restoration of the whole world. Bible Reading: Exodus 19:1-6 Reflection Questions: Choose one o…
 
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