Cary Cox, from Psalm 90. This psalm puts two giant truths in front of us: the ‘bigness’ or eternity of God, and the ‘smallness’ or finiteness of man. We are called to live our lives in light of these 2 truths. Our time on earth is short, and our days are numbered. But God transcends time itself! He is our help and our hope! Think on this, and get a heart of wisdom.
Hope in the Heartache
Cary Cox, from Genesis 35:16-29 and ch36. God has revived Jacob, who is now leading his family and walking with God again. But, even though Jacob is doing what is right, he still faces wave after wave of sorrow. God leads his beloved people along the path of suffering because he loves us. He teaches us and transforms us, drawing us close to him. There is still blessing in the brokenness, and there is always hope in our heartache!
God Revives His People
Cary Cox, from Genesis 35:1-15. In spite of Jacob’s fears and failures, God revives him through his word! Jacob shows us in this passage what spiritual leadership looks like. He proclaims God’s word to his household and leads them in repentance and preparation for worship!
In My Sorrow I Cry to God
Cary Cox, from Psalm 88. The saddest psalm in the Bible instructs God’s people who are discouraged, depressed, or suffering. What do believers do when faced with extreme sorrow? There is hope in God!
In This Broken World
Cary Cox, from Genesis 34. When Jacob’s daughter is abused, his sons get revenge. As God continues to unfold his plan through this flawed family, we learn two big truths about life in this broken world: God’s people can still suffer, and God’s people can still sin. But in it all, Christ is our hope!
Jacob Faces Esau
Cary Cox, from Genesis 32 and 33. As Jacob prepares to reunite with his brother, Esau, God continues to both bless and break Jacob. God is teaching him to lean on God in faith, rather than self-reliance. This is the heart of Christian discipleship. Not us, but Christ in us!
The Invisible Hand of Providence
Cary Cox, from Genesis 31. At the end of his 20 years in Haran with Laban, Jacob looks on that time and interprets what God was doing in his life. With eyes of faith, he saw the invisible hand of God’s providence in his life. We must learn to interpret reality rightly, viewing the world through the lens of God’s word!
Blessing and Brokenness
Cary Cox, from Genesis 29-30. Jacob is far away from home for 20 years. During this time, God is blessing Jacob and God is breaking Jacob. God is prospering him to become the nation of Israel, and God is purifying him, dealing with his character. God’s blessings come in the context of brokenness, and through Christ’s brokenness on the cross, the greatest blessing of all is ours!
The Ladder to Heaven
Cary Cox, from Genesis 28:10-22. Jacob is on the run for his life! He has sinned. Failed. But in his weakness, God appears to him in great grace, and gives to him the promise of the blessing of Abraham! Christ is the ladder to heaven Jacob saw in his dream!
Sin and Sovereignty-The Blessing of Jacob
Cary Cox, from Genesis 26:34-28:9. Isaac’s family has disintegrated into sin and chaos! But God is at work in spite of them, and even through their sins, to unfold his sovereign plan of salvation for the world.
Like Father Like Son
Cary Cox, from Genesis 26. The text presents Isaac’s life as a parallel with Abraham’s. Isaac is walking in the footsteps of his father’s faith. He is like his dad, even in his father’s sins and mistakes. But he also enjoys the same grace of his father’s God! Christ also shows us his Father!
Through the Struggle Part 2
Cary Cox, from Genesis 25:24-34. Isaac and Rebekah struggled, but now the struggle continues in the lives of their boys. Jacob and Esau portray the struggle between the serpent’s line and the offspring of the woman. Esau shows himself to be blind to the things of God. He despises what God loves.
Through the Struggle
Cary Cox, from Genesis 25:1-26. As Abraham dies, God continues to work out his plan of blessing and salvation through Isaac and Rebekah. They must have faith in God through their struggles. God wants us to know that he will bring salvation, not us. He will do it his way, in his power, in his timing, for his glory!
The Lord Provides the Bride
Cary Cox, from Genesis 24. In Abraham’s old age, he secures a bride for Isaac, that the promised line of offspring may continue. We see people living their lives before God in faith – seeking his will and leading, obeying his guidance. And we see the God of providence – guiding, leading, providing, and orchestrating all things according to his will!
A Healthy Fear
Mickey McCall, from Luke 12:1-12. The Bible speaks over and over again about our responsibility to fear God. What is the fear of God? Why should we fear him? How does a healthy fear of the Lord affect our fear of man?
Finishing with Faith
Cary Cox, from Genesis 22:20-24 and 23:1-20. Abraham suffers the loss of his wife, Sarah, but acts with faith in the promise of God. A call to finish in faith, and to point the next generation to our hope in the Lord and his word!
The Sacrifice of the Son
Cary Cox, from Genesis 22:1-19. God tests Abraham and asks him to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. Worship is costly, and walking with God is a life of increasing surrender! We see glimpses of the gospel here – the Father did not withhold his only Son from us! He has provided the Lamb who takes away our sins!
The Goodness and Grace of God
Cary Cox, from Genesis 21:13-34. God shows his common grace and goodness to Hagar and Ishmael, and he shows his covenant grace and kindness to Abraham. What is the difference between God’s common grace and his covenant grace?
Only God’s Way
Cary Cox, from Genesis 21:1-12. After 25 years of waiting, Isaac was born! God is faithful, and he will do what he promises. But in God’s choice of Isaac over Ishmael, we learn that God will do things his way, not ours. He will accept no help from us in his plan of redemption. We must approach him to be saved, and to live each day, by faith in his promise, not according to our flesh, our strength, or our way.
The Protecting Providence of God
Cary Cox, from Genesis 20 (Gen Study 39). Abraham’s falls into old patterns of sin, but God is still faithful! He comes to the rescue. We see God’s commitment to his salvation plan, his seriousness about his sexual boundaries, and his sovereign restraint of human sin.
God Judges and God Saves
Cary Cox, from Genesis 19. God absolutely destroys Sodom and Gomorrah for their great sins, but he rescues Lot in his great mercy. We are shocked into understanding just how wicked sin is in the sight of God. We see Lot’s failure to lead his family spiritually, or to exercise wisdom and spiritual discernment. God’s people are warned against loving this world, and reminded that judgment is coming. Our salvation and our treasure are in Christ!
God of Mercy and Judgment
Cary Cox, from Genesis 18 (Genesis Study 37). God appears to Abraham and they share a covenant meal. The Lord brings two announcements: An announcement of promise concerning Sarah, which displays his great and wonderful mercy! And an announcement of judgment for Sodom, which displays his great wrath and justice! God is, at the same time, the glorious God of mercy and judgment! Both his mercy and wrath are displayed at the cross in Christ, who rescues us from judgment and brings us into the enjoyment of God’s mercy!
Psalm 73 – Seeing Things Clearly
Cary Cox, from Psalm 73. Asaph tells us the story of his crisis of faith – how he almost walked away from serving the Lord – and how the Lord intervened. This psalm is a rare jewel for hurting Christians. It gives hope and encouragement, fresh perspective, and a call to see God himself as the most valuable treasure in life!
The Covenant God
Cary Cox, from Genesis 17 (Genesis Study 36). God appears to Abram and enters into full covenant with him. New names for he and Sarai, and new promises that are amazing – Sarah will have a son! God is able – he is El Shadai, God Almighty! And we who believe are his covenant people, marked off from the world to live for his glory!
5 Observations from the Christmas Story
Cary Cox, from Luke 1-2. It’s easy to get so familiar with the Christmas story that it becomes reduced in our minds to mere tradition, nostalgia, entertainment, or fantasy. But the story of Christ’s birth is more than this – it is Scripture – the word of God to us! Here are 5 observations from the Christmas story, as the word of God.
The Angel of the LORD
Cary Cox, from Genesis 16:7 (Genesis Study 35). Who is the angel of the LORD? He appears in Genesis 16, and we meet him all over the Old Testament. He is both a messenger sent from God, and he is also God. How can this be? And how does this prepare us to understand the coming of Jesus in the New Testament – the Word who became flesh, who was with God and who was God?
Cary Cox, from Genesis 16:7-16 (Genesis Study 34). We are encouraged by the tender and unexpected kindness God shows to Hagar in the desert. He hears her desperate cry! He sees her! Hagar is overwhelmed by the surprising grace of God. We serve the God who cares about outcasts and sinners – like us!
Setbacks in Faith
Cary Cox, from Genesis 16:1-6 (Genesis Study 33). Abram and Sarai have a setback in their faith. After years of waiting on God to give them a child as he promised, they take matters into their own hands, and try to help God out. But God doesn’t need our help, and we get into all kinds of trouble when we fail to wait on him and trust him. God is able, and God is faithful: wait on the Lord!
The Trustworthy God
Cary Cox, from Genesis 15:7-21 (Genesis Study 32). God makes a covenant with Abram and tells him what will happen to his offspring in the future. God is the faithful, covenant God who invites us to trust him!
Cary Cox, from Genesis 15:1-6 (Genesis Study 31). God speaks encouragement and promise to Abram. Abram believes God, and it is counted to him as righteousness!
Our Trust and Our Treasure
Cary Cox, from Genesis 14 (Genesis Study 30). Lot’s foolishness gets him in trouble, but Abram comes to the rescue. However, the real battle for Abraham is a test of spiritual discernment in his meeting of two kings. Melchizedek speaks God’s word to Abram, which helps him see through the temptation from the wicked king of Sodom. Our trust must be anchored in the Lord. Our treasure is in him alone!
By Faith or By Sight
Cary Cox, from Genesis 13 (Gen Study 29). Abram and Lot make choices that reveal the condition of their hearts. Abram is trusting and treasuring God. Lot is pursuing his own way and showing no spiritual discernment. What is our Treasure? Where is our Hope? Are we walking by faith or by sight?
The Mission – Steve Davis
Steve Davis, from Luke 24:44-49. The resurrected Jesus Christ opens the Scriptures to his disciples and sends them out on the mission: to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name to all nations!
Weak Faith – Strong Grace
Cary Cox, from Genesis 12:10-13:4 (Genesis study 28). Abram stumbles when his faith is tested, but God’s grace intervenes. The Lord will not give up on his promise or his people! Literary connections in this passage anticipate the Exodus of Israel, emphasizing God’s continued grace and faithfulness to all his people, for future generations!
The Obedience of Faith
Cary Cox, from Genesis 12:4-9 (Gen. Study 27). Abram responded to God’s call with the obedience of faith! Our faith in God must show itself visibly in our outward obedience to God’s word.
The Location of the Blessing
Cary Cox, from Genesis 11:10-12:3 (Genesis Study #26). After the Tower of Babel incident, God’s word goes straight to the genealogy of Shem in order to trace the family line of God’s promise and blessing all the way from Adam to Abraham. This is a treasure map, with clues pointing us to the location of God’s blessing. Christ will come through the family of Abraham. He is the Treasure!
The Tower of Babel
Cary Cox, from Genesis 11:1-9 (Genesis Study 25). Mankind unified themselves in rebellion against God at Babel, grasping for power and glory, in disobedience to God’s word. But God overruled and scattered the nations, for our good and for his glory. Now, through the gospel, God is gathering the scattered nations to himself in Jesus Christ!
The Surprising Mercy of Jesus
Benton Glass, from Luke 5:12-32. Jesus makes clean those who are unclean, meets our most desperate needs, and calls those who are far from him!
God of All Nations
Cary Cox, from Genesis 10 (Genesis Study 24). The table of nations shows us how the three sons of Noah grew to become all the nations of the world. God is sovereign over the nations, and he has a heart for the nations – to save people from all nations through the Messiah who comes from Shem, through Abraham, and through Israel. Trace the family line and see Jesus, the hope of the nations!
Cary Cox, from Genesis 9:18-29 (Genesis Study 23). An awkward and embarrassing text that powerfully points us to Christ, and helps explain the entire trajectory of the story of the Bible! In Noah’s sin we have a second fall of man, and another curse and blessing pronounced. This passage is a map that identifies the seed of the Serpent, and the location of the blessing of God!
Deacons and the Church
Cary Cox. An overview of the ministry and office of deacons in the church. Deacons show us the heart of God to save, and the humility of God to serve!
A Question for the Ages
Rick Bobbin, from Matthew 16:24-28. Rick Bobbin shares the story of how God called him to faith in Christ, and unpacks Jesus’ call to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
A New Beginning
Cary Cox, from Genesis 9:1-17 (Genesis Study 22). After Noah gets off the ark, God gives him the ‘house rules for Creation 2.0,’ what life will look like after the Flood. He is the God of new beginnings. The Lord also establishes a covenant with creation, giving precious promises! Creation and Covenant point to Jesus Christ! In Jesus, we relate to God in a new covenant while we wait on the new creation that is coming!
An Effective Sacrifice
Cary Cox, from Genesis 8:20-22 (Genesis Study 21). Noah’s sacrifice after he got off the ark moved God’s heart. What was it about animal sacrifices that were effective? It was never the animals that took away sin. God forgave – and still forgives – sin only and always on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross!
King Over the Flood
Cary Cox, from Genesis 7-8:19 (Genesis Study 20). The account of the Flood is written in a way to draw our attention to God himself. He is sovereign over all that is happening; he reigns as King over the Flood, Lord of the chaos, God over all! He is showcasing the glory of his wrath in judging sin, and he is displaying the glory of his mercy in saving his covenant people. We can trust him in the chaos and the storm.
God and Noah
Cary Cox, from Genesis 6:9-22 (Genesis Study 19). Apologize for Bad Audio. Noah is separated from the sinful world by his walk with God. God speaks to Noah to warn him about the coming flood. God’s warnings come with instructions. He instructs Noah to build the ark, God’s gracious provision for his salvation from judgment. God makes a covenant with Noah, so that Noah’s faith rests in the promise of God. All of this points to Jesus Christ, who is our rescue from the future judgment.
Freefall Part 2
Cary Cox, from Genesis 6:1-8 (Genesis Study 18). In part 1, we focused on man’s increasing sinfulness in the days before the flood (Gen 6:1-4). Now, we look at the response of God to man’s sin in verses 5-8. God’s word in this passage takes us to the very heart of God, and reveals him to us as the God of great wrath against sin, and also the God of surprising grace!
Freefall Part 1
Cary Cox, from Genesis 6:1-8 (Genesis Study 17). In the days before the Flood, mankind collapsed into a freefall of sexual sin and violence. God’s boundaries were crossed. Demonic influence prevailed. Sin increased. Until God brought judgment. God’s wrath comes on the sin of man, but there is rescue through his grace!
And He Died
Cary Cox, from Genesis 5 (Genesis Study 16). The genealogy of Adam through Seth shows us that Adam and Eve’s sin passed down to their children, along with the consequences of death and the curse. In Adam all die. And yet, this passage also gives us glimpses of great hope! Because of the work of Christ, who came through this family line, death is not the ultimate end for those who walk with God!
Cain and Seth – Two Family Lines Part 2
Cary Cox, from Genesis 4:17-26 (Genesis Study #15). The author of Genesis sets before us a vivid contrast between the family line of Cain and the family of Seth. Cain’s family had cultural advancements and cities, but no mention of God. A godless society that celebrated self and pride and sexual sin. But God gave Adam and Eve another offspring in the place of Abel, and their family had the Lord! Worldliness or worship – what does your family have?