Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 3: Counsel from Job’s Friends

Intro We now explore the counsel of three friends of Job. As a backdrop, realizing that Job comes to us in to form of poetry, and also as a story, we should ask, “Why are three friends, not two or four, giving their counsel to Job?” If we look at job as “history,” we would […]

Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 1: Introduction

The Big Picture Events in the Old-Testament book of Job take place in two realms. Amid Job’s suffering, we can see a conflict occurring between Job and Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. The “friends” of Job assert that righteous people enjoy earthly blessings and prosperity, but the wicked suffer. In their worldview, Job must then be […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 9: God Opens the Heart

Paul and Timothy just appealed to the Corinthian congregation, quoting Isaiah 49:8. They then say, “Now is a [not “the”] favorable time, now is a [not “the”] day of salvation.” Every time God’s grace comes to someone, that day, that time, is one of salvation. This shows the continuing nature of God coming to us […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 7: The Resurrection Encourages Us, even in Our Suffering

Paul and Timothy said that what was happening to them, their suffering and being brought closer to death, made them outwardly seem fragile, like jars of clay. People considered such earthen containers of little value because they held garbage or excrement. Although Paul and Timothy looked like they were of little value, what they brought […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 1: Introduction

2 Corinthians among the letters that Paul had written to Corinth Paul’s first visited Corinth in 50-51 AD, when he was brought before Gallio, the Roman proconsul (Acts 18:12-17). Because of that, we can date that first visit accurately. It was during that time that the Corinthian congregation formed (covered in 1 Corinthians, Lesson 1, […]

Isaiah 53:4-5, Wisdom 2:17-24, Matthew 27:41-43: Jesus eternally heals us

During these Lenten midweek services, we have pondered passages from the Prophet Isaiah. We considered the startling contrast between what Christ physically looked like in His suffering and how beautiful He is based on what He did, and does, to save us. Jesus had no stately form or majesty that we should look at Him, […]

Acts, Lesson 9: Simon, Philip, and Saul

In the last lesson, we saw God choosing to act in ways He has not promised to do so. In particular, we saw God the Holy Spirit coming to a new group of people only through the hands of the Apostles. It’s almost as if God was chastising the Apostles for not leading the way […]

1 Peter 2:21-24: To This You Were Called: Suffering

Last week, I preached that we often wrongly prefer Jesus to serve as an example for us instead of hearing the message of Christ crucified.  And maybe part of you thought, “Yeah, but I remember reading somewhere in the Bible where it tells us to imitate Jesus.”  And if you thought that, you were right.  […]

Revelation, Lesson 12: The Two Interludes after the 6th Seal

After the Apostle John observed heavenly worship, he saw Jesus, represented as a wounded but victorious lamb, receive a double-sided scroll with seven seals.  Revelation then moved into four successive visions of each seal as Jesus breaks each one.  And, for the most part, we also see a fairly linear chronology.  Seal 1: Mary gives […]

Christian Suffering: Ephesians 3:13-21

Times exist in the life of every Christian where it seems that sorrow will overwhelm the life of faith.  Perhaps, death has visited and laid you low.  Now, we know from Scripture that we’re not supposed to base our faith on our feelings.  For our feelings change from day and day and can even deceive […]