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The reality of trials and struggle in life is a "when" not "if" reality. And James tells us that only way to sustain ourselves in them is to fight for a stabilizing joy that comes from our hope in the gospel. Single-minded maturity is the product of seeking and acting on God's wisdom. And in this race of life, single-minded means to fix our eyes on…
 
James is a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem writing to a scattered group of believers on the heels of great persecution. In this difficult season, he is calling them away from arrogant self-dependence and to single-minded maturity that comes from a dependence on God and his wisdom.Pastor Adam による
 
At Christmas we celebrate that Jesus Brings God; Emmanuel, God with us...in our flesh and in our struggles. Jesus is full life and brings light into our lives. When we make room in our hearts, he and the Father come and make their home in us, giving us light and life now and forever.Pastor Jim Entwistle による
 
Sometimes the idyllic nature of the Christmas story, distracts us from seeing what is actually happening. A king is arriving to inaugurate his kingdom and that is a threat to many. When we see Jesus for who he really is, we are left with two choices: either we kill him or we crown him. Herod shows us what those gripping to power are inclined to do,…
 
To a people who were looking for a shepherd of peace to rescue them from a scattered identity, Jesus arrived ending God's silence. And in him, God graciously gave peace to the world. Reversing the results of sin and death, Jesus brings peace with God, peace with each other and peace with ourselves.Pastor Adam による
 
When Jesus concludes his paradigm for prayer, he is showing us our desperate need to pray for heart direction. In this wilderness journey called life, just like our forefathers, we all have God's direction, but we have hearts that embrace unforgiveness, wander into temptation and are gripped by evil. Prayer and the intimacy with God it facilitates …
 
When Jesus tells his disciples to pray for daily bread, he is invoking the great Exodus story of their past. In so doing, he calls them to pray for provision and contentment. And as they will go on to see, he is ultimately telling them to pray for more of him. It's in Jesus that we realized the ultimate Exodus, meet God's provision and find true co…
 
The context of prayer is a holy God who comes down the mountain to engage with us - how miraculous! Our prayer then is in many ways a divine negotiation. We make our requests known while seeking God's kingdom and will. Likewise prayer prepares us to act. God's will and kingdom advance on earth as his people embody them in the particularities of the…
 
Prayer is not a means of coercing God. Instead, prayer is a posture of sincerity that comes to God in the context of a relationship with real desire and real needs. And our Father already knows what we need and stands ready to meet us with his covenant faithfulness and love.Pastor Adam による
 
Prayer is not a performance and God is not an audience. He is a loving Father who desires an intimate relationship with us. Prayer is the means by which we engage our Father and cultivate this relationship. And when we do, we gain the true reward of prayer - the very presence of God with us.Pastor Adam による
 
Our world and our flesh are constantly telling us that we need to prove ourselves. But just like the rich young ruler who met Jesus, the questions "what do I have to do" and "what do I lack" typically leave us exhausted. True life comes when we believe that God is good, so I don't have to prove myself. When we tase the grace of God and come to him …
 
God is good so I don't have to look elsewhere for satisfaction. The story of the woman at the well and her interaction with Jesus demonstrates God goodness in his pursuit of people, his restoring power, his offer of full life and even his willingness to expose our brokenness. It in those moments of seeing our brokenness that we realize we haven't b…
 
The Bible warns us that the fear of man is a snare aiming to catch and devour us. We fear others when we revere them to the point of granting them control over us. In a word, we worship them. But the good news of the gospel is that we don't have to fear others because God is glorious. It is when we live deeply into this truth that we find real peac…
 
The gospel is the true declaration that Jesus is the victorious, rightful and eternal King who has brought peace to earth through his incarnation, death and resurrection. We access this peace through repentance and belief - deposing the would be kings of our lives and turning in active faith to the rule and reign of Jesus.…
 
Followers of Jesus should be known by their love of their neighbors. This has always been God's design - that his people would be a blessing to the world. In order to be intentional about loving our neighbors - we want to BLESS them through prayer, listening, eating together, serving and sharing our stories.…
 
One of the first realities we see of disciples of Jesus is that they are inviting other people. Specifically they are telling their friends and even those throughout their village to "come and see." Most of us are not evangelists or apologists, but we are all witnesses. And disciples of Jesus are always asking others to "come and see."…
 
At Hope we are committed to making disciples to the glory of God. To be intentional about this, we embrace a simply Jesus identity and a multi-congregational structure that desires to see the gospel within reach of every single person in the Lehigh Valley (and beyond).Pastor Adam による
 
Jesus said that we bring glory to God by finishing the work he gave us to do. What is the work of the church? To make disciples. This means introducing people to Jesus, helping them embrace the gospel and enabling them to grow in their faith. To glorify God we need to make more disciples and mature disciples.…
 
As the book of Numbers concludes, once again the character of God is on full display, namely in his gracious care for his people. He shows his care for the insignificant, for those carrying a special calling or burden and for those in dire circumstances. This care points directly to Jesus, the ultimate manifestation of the care of God for his peopl…
 
The Israelites were called to engage the Canaanite enemy and lay claim to the entire land of promise on the basis of God's faithfulness. Though they fell short, Jesus came and announced the defeat of the actual enemy - sin and death. And on the basis of our union with him, he calls us to engage in the battle against sin. This fight is largely fough…
 
Just as the nation is ready to lay hold to the land God has promised, two tribes express their desire to settle east of the Jordan River. Moses' response shows us their folly. In settling down, they are actually settling for less than God has offered. Just like them, we tend to get bogged down by our stuff, weary from the journey and comfortable wh…
 
In Numbers 31 God brings judgement on the Midianites for their opposition to His kingdom advancement. In His providence He has mercy on Israel but condemns Midian. When we really analyze God's judgement, we find that we can either die to self because of His love or die in our sin because of our guilt.…
 
With a new census, we once again see the faithfulness and the goodness of God. And both of these are even more apparent when God resounds to the daughters of Zelophehad. Though their father's sin had led to their deprivation, God welcomed them into an inheritance that legally wasn't theirs to share. In the same way, God has welcomed us into the inh…
 
Failing to realize God's promises, the Israelites on the precious of entering the land fall into temptation. Sexual immorality for sure, but at its core cheating on God with other gods. Into this mess steps a man named Phinehas with zeal for God who stops the downward spiral. On an ever greater scale, Jesus stepped into the downward spiral of this …
 
The narrative of Balak gives the reader of Numbers an important question to ponder: what kind of king do I want to serve? One who provokes, tempts and is destined to defeat. Or one who blesses by by walking among his people and fighting for them til ultimate victory. The king we need is divine, not human. Our king is God, who himself became the hum…
 
In that day, Balaam was clearly the go to guy if you found yourself in a tough spot. But this famous story of Balaam and his donkey shows us that his broken humanity makes him an incapable rescuer. It is God who shows perfect power, vision and loyalty. And it is ultimately Jesus, our servant rescuer, who demonstrates this rescuing power for the wor…
 
A new generation is on the move toward the land of promise. But this new generation is just as corruptible as the last one. And their impatience and ingratitude, rooted in a desire for self-rule and slavery, invite deadly snakes into their midst. It is only through the grace of God that the serpents that bring death are defeated. And it is only thr…
 
With the Israelites still ungrateful and grumbling, Moses has a very public meltdown. His self-righteousness has caused him to become impatient with God's patient redemptive plan. And we see that Moses is neither the hero of this story, nor the rescuer that God's people ultimately need. God is the hero and he sends Jesus as our ultimate rescuer who…
 
The new creation work of Jesus means that peace can be in bloom in our world. More than just a feeling or experience, peace is a culture of healing, security and prosperity enabled by the just and righteous rule of Jesus. In a world pulled apart by anxiety, this peace protects our hearts and minds and sends us boldly into the world as ambassadors.…
 
The resurrection means that love is in bloom in the new creation of Jesus. Love is volitional -gracious, self-giving, restorative actions toward others. When we encounter God's love regularly, it moves us to worship and on the basis of worship into love toward others. This love not only gives us a deeper knowledge of God, but makes an invisible God…
 
More than an emotion or experience, joy is a deep assurance of victory found in the gospel. When we lean into the gospel in obedience our experience of joy increases and works to transform our perspective and counteract our pain. The new creation announced in the resurrection of Jesus means that joy is in bloom in our lives and in our world.…
 
The gospel of John reminds us that the resurrection isn't just factually true, but also the climax of God's grand narrative of creation. And so its no surprise we find Jesus in a garden being mistaken for a gardener where he has just defeated sin and death and the curse they brought. And in their place has cultivated the soil for new creation to bl…
 
God continues to respond to the rebellion of the Israelites with grace. In this case, he graciously reaffirms the role and responsibilities of the Levites and the role and function of the priests to protect the people. Moreover, he gives them a readymade source of cleansing when the encounter death. In Jesus, the ultimate high priest, God brings us…
 
Korah leads a rebellion assuming that his standing means he can assert himself as a priest. But God reminds all of Israel that he has chosen rightly with Aaron. Whereas Korah attempted to elevate himself and in so doing put the people at risk, the true high priest puts his own life at risk in order to rescue the people. How much more is this true o…
 
The story of the 12 spies shows us that is entirely possible to be presented with the same facts on the ground and come to entirely different conclusions. That is, as people of God, we can either view the world through the lens of his promises or our perspective. If we are going to follow God in faith, even amidst significant struggle, we must look…
 
As grumbling overtakes Israel, Moses is overwhelmed and Miriam and Aaron are envious - two emotions that are common amongst us! To each of them God demonstrates his grace, just in different ways. God raises us leaders to help Moses carry the burden. And God gives Miriam and Aaron an important reminder about their true identity. It is identity that …
 
Three days into the journey and the Israelites are grumbling. How does this happen? The same way it regularly happens in our lives. We cling to a sense of entitlement that shifts our perspective off of God's glory, presence and mission and onto our cravings and comfort. Rather than going to God in lament about the reality of our struggle we point o…
 
The cloud not only demonstrated God's purpose, but it would lead God's people on their journey. And in his kindness he provided two silver trumpets to help clarify this leading. Just like the Israelites, we are called to follow God in this life we are living, but it can be overwhelming and difficult at times. Praise God in his kindness he has provi…
 
Passover was a mandatory celebration for God's people because it helped them remember and embrace their identity. But Passover was always pointing to something greater. In Jesus, we have the ultimate Passover - a rescue from slavery and welcome into the family of God. So then, Jesus becomes a mandatory feast for all who desire to come to God.…
 
Israel was God's people. He had adopted them, literally placing his name on them. And in so doing he promised to bless them. Blessing meant keeping and protecting them, taking delight in them, extending grace toward them and giving them peace. We see this ancient blessing find its ultimate meaning in the person and work of Jesus, through whom we ha…
 
Impurity amongst the people of God is a big deal in the face of a holy God. And as God is about to depart with his people on a journey he wants to know if they are going to be faithful. The book of Numbers will show us that they aren't and in fact that they can't be. Here we see the true nature of God, who pursues his people relentlessly and ultima…
 
The role of the Levites was critical to the function of the people of God. They protected, assisted with and transported the tabernacle in the wilderness. Through Jesus the presence of God is once again on the move in our world. And it is the job of the church to help transport this tabernacle as they go in their spheres of influence.…
 
Why start a book with a census? To demonstrate the faithfulness of God to his people. What started as a promise of a great nation had played out before their eyes. What's more, God not only keeps his promises, but keeps his presence amongst his people. And he shows them that the only proper response is a life ordered around him.…
 
Gabriel's final statement to Mary is the closing argument to his plea to not be afraid. Nothing is impossible with God. This no doubt brought to mind the power of God in creation and in keeping his covenant. Moreover, he empowered Mary's faith through the ministry of the Spirit and the testimony of Elizabeth.…
 
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