Blog

Overview of this Week’s Reading Week of February 16, 2015 – February 23, 2015

Revelation – Psalms 20-37

 Overview of Psalms

 The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

 

Psalm 20-40

 Psalm 15-24 – They ask the question, “Who can access the temple of Yahweh?” The answer is, “Those who keep His righteous law.” These Psalms extol Yahweh the loving, divine warrior and offer pray and praise for His deliverance.

Psalm 25-33 – These Psalms offer hymns of prayer and praise that extol Yahweh.

Psalm 34-37 – Instruction in Godly wisdom and appeals to God against the wicked.

Overview of this Week’s Reading Week of February 9, 2014 – February 15, 2014

Revelation – Psalms 1-19

 Overview of Revelation

Written by the Apostle John in 95 AD (though there is disagreement) to the churches in Asia. It was written during a time of severe persecution of the church and John is shown more suffering is yet to come. The book of Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy that reminds us God is ultimately in control of history and “the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.” Chapters 2-3 give instruction for the churches. Some scholars point to over 250 echoes or illusions from the Hebrew Scripture in the book. In the end the curse is reversed and Eden is restored, as Heaven and the new earth are united.

 

Overview of Psalms

The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

 

Psalm 1-19

Psalm 1-2 – They introduce the Psalter. Psalm 1 the primary purpose and Psalm 2 the chief concerns.

Psalm 3-7 – Psalms of Lament and cries for help.

Psalm 8 – Echoes Genesis 1-2 as it extols Yahweh the God of creation who cares for mankind.

Psalm 9-13 – Laments for deliverance. Psalm 9 and 10 are an acrostic pray for deliverance, using the different letters of the Hebrew alphabet to start each successive line.

Psalm 14 – The folly and wickedness of humanity

Psalm 15-24 – They ask the question, “Who can access the temple of Yahweh?” The answer is, “Those who keep His righteous law.” These Psalms extol Yahweh the loving, divine warrior and offer pray and praise for His deliverance.

Overview of this Week’s Reading February 2, 2015 – February 8, 2015

1 John – Revelation

  Overview of 1 John

The author of the book is the Apostle John, probably written to the church in Ephesus, around 90 AD. John is dealing with false teachers and false prophets. God is love, Jesus came as God in the flesh to demonstrate that love and we are to love God and love one another. The incarnation and loving one another are John’s main focus. He also explains that though God’s children do not continue in sin, neither have we been perfected but we have an advocate, in Jesus, who we can turn to for forgiveness and cleansing.

 

Overview of 2 John

 Written by the Apostle John about 90 AD to “the elect lady” – either a woman who hosts a house church or a congregation that has been given that designation – and the congregation of “the elect lady.” John is writing to warn of traveling false teachers/prophets. John again emphasizes the incarnation of Christ and the necessity of Christian love.

 

Overview of 3 John

 Written by the Apostle John about 90 AD to Gaius asking him to welcome Demetrius, who Diotrephes rejected. The letter urges Christian hospitality, particularly to genuine ministers of the Gospel. 3 John is the shortest book of the Bible.

 

Overview of Jude

 Written by the Jude (the half brother of the Lord Jesus) sometime after 70 to Jewish Christians warning them of itinerant false ministers who are turning grace into license and immorality. Judes warns of the judgment to those who live carelessly, the importance of holiness and God’s faithfulness to those who persevere.

 

Overview of Revelation

 Written by the Apostle John in 95 AD (though there is disagreement) to the churches in Asia. It was written during a time of severe persecution of the church and John is shown more suffering is yet to come. The book of Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy that reminds us God is ultimately in control of history and “the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.” Chapters 2-3 give instruction for the churches. Some scholars point to over 250 echoes or illusions from the Hebrew Scripture in the book. In the end the curse is reversed and Eden is restored, as Heaven and the new earth are united.

Overview of this Week’s Reading Week of January 27, 2015 – February 1, 2015

 James – 1 and 2 Peter

Overview of James

Written by James, the half-brother of our Lord (Gal. 1:19) and the long time pastor of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15, Gal 2:1-13). There is a wide diversity of opinion on when it was written – likely the early 50’s. It was written to followers of Christ living among the Jewish Diaspora. James challenges believers to endure hardship with joy and patience, as well as to live responsibly, authentically and in harmony. It is a book encouraging a very practical faith lived out in a church community. James has some powerful and vivid words concerning the use of our words, caring for the poor and the power of effectual prayer. The message is that our faith is demonstrated by the way we live.

 Overview of 1 Peter

The author of the book is the Apostle Peter. 1 Peter is a letter of encouragement to Christians enduring suffering. The letter was written in 64-65 AD in Rome (Babylon). It was written to Gentile believers in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Peter deals with the reality that suffering for the sake of righteousness should not come as a surprise. Followers of Jesus should respond to unjust suffering the way Jesus did. Peter calls his readers to a holy life. In a Pagan world we can be a witness as we submit to Pagan authorities, though we will be required to endure suffering in doing so (the Bible also makes it clear you can submit without necessarily being obedient to unbiblical requirements). God has a redemptive purpose in our suffering. Peter constantly reminds his reader that we are strangers, pilgrims and aliens in this world. The modern reader needs to remember (as in every book of the Bible) that the author is speaking into situations in the context of the culture of that day. Chapter five provides some helpful and practical instruction to pastors.

Overview of 2 Peter

 The author of the book of 2 Peter is again the Apostle Peter and was written in 64 AD. This is a farewell address by Peter before his martyrdom. He urges Christians to continue to grow in Christ, to live a godly life and to endure in the face of false teaching. 2 Peter is set upon the backdrop of false teaching that the Lord is not returning. Peter strongly argues and proclaims that Jesus is coming back and believers must be prepared. Despite opposition, followers of Christ are to grow in godliness. God will judge those who have rejected Him. Their rejection of Christ is witnessed by their ungodly living. 

 

Overview of this Week’s Reading Week of January 19-26, 2015

 Titus – Hebrews

 Overview of Titus

Written by the Apostle Paul in about 62 AD to Titus (and the church in Crete) instructing him on setting the new churches of the area in order. He gives important instruction on the qualifications of church leaders. In Titus, Paul is again forced to oppose false teachers. The book emphasizes how believers are to live in the grace of God and do good.

 

Overview of Philemon

Written by the Apostle Paul about 60 AD to a Gentile believer name Philemon for the purposes of securing forgiveness and restoration for his runaway slave Onesimus. Onesimus has received conversion and is serving Paul while the apostle is in a Roman prison. He is carrying Paul’s letter back to Philemon in Colosse. Paul appeals to Philemon on the basis of Christian love. He points out that Onesimus has been serving Philemon by serving Paul and is Onesimus is returning as a brother in Christ. In reading the book it is important to understand the clear difference between First Century Roman slavery and Pre-Civil War New World slavery. A person was likely a slave, not due to kidnapping (slave trade) or race, but due to indebtedness (indentured servants), captured in military conquest or birth into a slave family. Church tradition tells us Philemon did partner Onesimus and the former slave went on to become a church bishop.

 

Overview of Hebrews

The author of the book of Hebrews is unknown and the date of writing is uncertain but likely before 70 AD. Hebrews is an exhortation, encouraging a Jewish Christian community to faithfully persevere in the faith despite suffering. The key word in Hebrews it the word better. Jesus is better than anything in their former Jewish religion. Jesus is a better word (expression) of God than anything provided by the Hebrew prophets. He is better than angels. He is better than Moses. He is a better High Priest and a better sacrifice for sin. In light of Christ’s superiority the Hebrew Christians must continue following Him despite all persecution and all pressure to turn away.

Invoking God’s Name

 

Invoking God’s Name

 

“May the LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” 

Numbers 6:24-26

 

May you know Elohim’s sovereign rule in your life. When you don’t understand what’s going on, may He grant you the grace to still trust Him. May you know He is at work, even when you can’t see it.

May El Shaddai be more than enough for You. May you find your fulfillment and contentment in Him.

May Adonai be your Lord, Master and Ruler. May you love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

May Yahweh reveal Himself to you, so that everyday you come to know Him better and come to love Him more.

May Jehovah Tsidkenu be your righteousness. May you experience the fullest joy in knowing your sins have been wiped away and you stand before God as if you had never sinned. May you know you are accepted by God, as if you were Jesus.

May Jehovah Maccaddesh be your sanctifier. May you know that you are set apart for His purpose and be sanctified spirit, soul and body. May you experience a reverential fear of God and have a holy hatred for sin. May God be at work in you both to will and do of His good pleasure. May you walk in holiness, purity and wholeness.

May Jehovah Shalom be your peace. May you intimately know the God of peace, experience peace with God and walk in the peace of God that passes human understanding. May you have peace like a river in your mind, your emotions and your relationships.

May Jehovah Shammah be with you. May you be a person of the presence who knows, moment by moment, intimate fellowship with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Even when you are unable to sense God’s presence may you know to the core of your being that He will never leave you and never forsake you. May His hand be with you and upon you in all you do for His glory.

May Jehovah Rapha be your healer. May you experience His healing and wholeness in your mind, will, emotions and in every cell of your body. May you be made whole and made well from sickness and disease. May you lay hands on the sick and see them recover.

May Jehovah Jireh meet your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. May you always look to Him as Your provider. May you prize Him above every material possession and may you experience a contentment that doesn’t require more to be satisfied. May you know a heart of generosity and have more than enough to meet your needs and to supply the needs of others.

May Jehovah Roi be your Shepherd. May you follow His guidance and His leadership in every area of your life. May you know His good and perfect will for Your life. May His Word be a light unto your path and a lamp unto your feet.

May Jehovah Nissi be your victory. May you always know that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. May you be more than a conqueror in every situation of life through Him who loves you. May you walk out into life with an expectation of God’s blessing and favor in all that you do for the glory of God.

Now may you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. In the name above all names, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Prayers of Blessing by a Father and a Mother

A father’s blessing:

 

Lord, I come before You today to call down a blessing on my son and my daughter.

 

I thank You for blessing me with this son and daughter.  I know that they are a gift from You to me and their mother — but that ultimately they belong to You and You love them far more than I ever could.  But today I come before You in my position as the spiritual head of this home, to seek Your blessing on them and to impart my blessing upon them.

 

My son, my precious son, I am so proud of the person you are becoming.  You are so special to me, and I know God has a marvelous plan for your life.

 

So as your earthly father, I speak a blessing over you.  By faith, I call into being those things which are not yet seen.  By faith, I call forth all that God has gifted you with and called you to be and to do.

 

By faith, I speak peace and prosperity into your life.  By faith, I claim divine protection over you and divine provision for you all the days of your life.

 

My daughter, my beautiful, lovely daughter.  You are precious in God’s eyes and precious to me.  You are such a delight and joy to me.  I am so grateful that God brought you into my life, but I know He has an even greater purpose for your life.

 

So as your earthly father, I speak a special blessing over you tonight.  By faith, I call forth all the potential that God has placed in you and all the promises and plans He had for you from the time you were in your mother’s womb. 

 

By faith, I claim – and proclaim – the peace of God in your life, the love of God to you and through you, and the protection of Almighty God upon you all the days of your life.

 

Though you will always be my precious little girl, I release you into the care of Your heavenly father and into His plans and purposes for your life.

 

Father God, take my dear son and my precious daughter and lead them on the unique paths You have laid out for them.  Bless them and protect them until they see you face to face.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

A mother’s blessing

 

 

Father God, I come before You tonight to call down a blessing on my son and my daughter.

 

I thank You for entrusting these precious treasures to me and for giving me the opportunity to provide them with nurture, comfort and teaching in their formative years.

 

Though they will always have a special place in my heart, I know they belong to You and that You have plans for them that are so much greater than what I could ever imagine.

 

And so, I come before You tonday in my God-given position as their mother to seek Your blessing on them and to impart my blessing upon them as well.  Father God, from my mother’s heart I cry out to You on behalf of my son and daughter.

 

My son, my precious son.  I am so proud of the man you are becoming, and I can’t wait to see all that God is going to accomplish, in you and through you.  You are a special person, a one-of-a-kind, and I know you’re going to change the world.

 

And so, as your earthly mother, I speak a special blessing over you tonight.  By faith, I call forth a mighty enabling and a mighty anointing in your life. 

 

By faith, I call forth physical strength, strength of character, Godly wisdom and Godly direction in all your pursuits. By faith, I speak success and prosperity into your life.   May all that your hand touches be blessed of the Lord.

 

Though a part of me will always see you as my little boy, I want more than anything to see you as a mighty man of God.   And so I release you into the will of God, and the hands of God.    Go forth and do great exploits for the Lord.

 

My daughter, my darling daughter.   You have been my joy and my delight.  I have loved being your mother, and now I hope that I can be your friend for the rest of your life.  Though I love you with all my heart, I can never be a friend to you like Jesus.  I know He has a marvelous plan for your life.

 

But as your earthly mother, I will never stop praying for you and praying blessings over you.  And so as your mother, I speak a special blessing over you tonight.

 

By faith, I call forth all the plans and promises of God for your life.  May you become the mighty woman of God that He has called you and gifted you to be.   May you delight His heart as you have brought delight to me.

 

May you continually know the peace of God in your heart and the power of God in your life.  May you sow peace in the lives of others.  May you always know the prosperity and provision of Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our provider. Go forth, my daughter, and make a difference in this world.

 

Father God, I release my precious son and my darling daughter into Your loving hands. Post Your mighty guardian angels around them.  Keep them safe from physical harm and safe from the evil one.  

 

Oh God, bless my son and daughter.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

 

Overview of Proverbs 21-31

Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of April 14, 2014 – April 20, 2014

Proverbs 21-31

 

 

Overview of Proverbs

 

The book of Proverbs is Hebrew poetry and is made up of six collections of wisdom sayings on living wisely in this world. Wisdom is not less than moral goodness but it is more. Proverbs takes a broad view of life. Throughout the Proverbs the reader is encouraged to embrace wisdom (righteousness) and reject folly (wickedness). Yet, wisdom only truly profits when it operates on the foundation of the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7. 9:10). The book was originally written to young men to teach them godly wisdom. The Proverbs are not ironclad guarantees but explain how life generally works. Proverbs should be taken as a whole, as many of the proverbs will bring a counter balance to one another, in unison revealing the whole truth.

 

 

Proverbs

 

This section includes more Proverbs from Solomon (20-29) and a saying from Agur in chapter 30. Proverbs chapter 31 is one of the most well known proverbs. The author identifies himself as Lemuel but many believe it is a pen name for Solomon. It is an acrostic with each verse beginning with a succeeding letter of the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet. The woman described exemplifies the virtues taught throughout the book of Proverbs.

Overview of Proverbs 8-20

Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of April 7, 2014 – April 13, 2014

Proverbs 8-20

Overview of Proverbs

 

The book of Proverbs is Hebrew poetry and made up of six collections of wisdom sayings on living wisely in this world. Wisdom is not less than moral goodness but it is more. Proverbs takes a broad view of life. Throughout the Proverbs the reader is encouraged to embrace wisdom (righteousness) and reject folly (wickedness). Yet, wisdom only truly profits when it operates on the foundation of the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7. 9:10). The book was originally written to young men to teach them godly wisdom. The Proverbs are not ironclad guarantees but explain how life generally works. Proverbs should be taken as a whole, as many of the proverbs will bring a counter balance to one another, in unison revealing the whole truth.

 

 

Proverbs 8-20

 

Wisdom is personified in chapter 8 and invites people to her feast in chapter 9.  Chapters 10-15 are proverbs of Solomon where wisdom and folly along with righteousness and wickedness are compared and contrasted. Throughout these proverbs there is also basic instruction on wealth accumulation, work, words, relationships and emotions.

Overview of Psalms 140-Proverbs 7


Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of March 31, 2014 – April 6, 2014

Psalms 140-Proverbs 7

 

Psalm 140-150

 

138-145 – These Psalms are a final collection attributed to King David. They are wonderful Psalms of praise and worship.

 

146-150 – God is to be praised! He is the Helper of the helpless (146), the Creator and Restorer (147) and is to be praised from heaven above and earth beneath (148), with dancing with our voice, in our actions (149); and with music and dancing (150).

 

 

Overview of Proverbs

 

The book of Proverbs is Hebrew poetry and made up of six collections of wisdom sayings on living wisely in this world. Wisdom is not less than moral goodness but it is more. Proverbs takes a broad view of life. Throughout the Proverbs the reader is encouraged to embrace wisdom (righteousness) and reject folly (wickedness). Yet, wisdom only truly profits when it operates on the foundation of the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7. 9:10). The book was originally written to young men to teach them godly wisdom. The Proverbs are not ironclad guarantees but explain how life generally works. Proverbs should be taken as a whole, as many of the proverbs will bring a counter balance to one another, in unison revealing the whole truth.

 

 

Proverbs 1-9

 

The preamble of the book (1:1-7) tells us the Proverbs began with Solomon, and are given to teach the young to live a wise, righteous and just life. The books prologue is found in Proverbs 1:8-9:18. It is a father explaining to a son the general principles of how life works. The remainder of the book will explain exceptions to the rule.

Overview of Psalms 119-139

Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of March 24, 2014 – March 30, 2014

Psalms 119-139

 

Overview of Psalms

 

The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

 

Psalm 119

 

119 – The longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. It reflects the heart of the first Psalm, extolling God’s Word. It is an alphabet acrostic with the 8 lines of poetry for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

 

120-137 – Psalm 120-134 are a collection of Psalms called Song of Ascent in reference to the pilgrimage to Zion for the annual feasts. Psalm 135-137 are a response to the Ascent.

 

138-145 – These Psalms are a final collection attributed to King David. They are wonderful Psalms of praise and worship.

 

 

 

 

Psalms 103-118

Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of March 17, 2014 – March 23, 2014

Psalms 103-118

 

Overview of Psalms

 

The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

 

Psalm 107-118

 

Psalm 107 opens the final book of the Psalter with a Psalm of thanksgiving. This set of Psalms look forward to the renewal of the David Kingdom – which we now know has its fulfillment in Christ’s Kingdom.

 

107-109 – Praise God for rescuing His people and also provides laments for the current situation.

 

110-118 – This set is framed by Messianic Psalms that are prophecies of the ministry of Jesus and His church. Psalm 118 was the hymn Jesus sang with his disciples before his passion. Reading it with that in mind is moving and powerful.

Overview of Psalms 81-102

Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of March 10, 2014 – March 16, 2014

Psalms 81-102

 

Overview of Psalms

 

The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

 

Psalm 81-102

 

Psalm 84-89– As you read through the Psalms that Zion is more than a piece of real estate. It includes a way of approaching God in worship. The lament of “how long, O Lord” is prominent.

 

Psalm 90-106 – This group of Psalms begins book four and they are a response to the destruction of Jerusalem and the absence of the Davidic dynasty. Yahweh is praised as Israel’s dwelling place, king and restorer.

 

 

Earnest Pursuit

This is a great reminder for us all to be earnest in our pursuit of God. Matthew 11:12 (ESV) From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

“He that will take, get possession of the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and spiritual joy, must be in earnest: all hell will oppose him in every step he takes; and if a man be not absolutely determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and have his soul saved at all hazards, and at every expense, he will surely perish everlastingly. This requires a violent earnestness.” Clarks Commentary

Overview of Psalms 64-80

Overview of this Weeks Reading

Week of March 3, 2014 – March 10, 2014

Psalms 64-80

 

Overview of Psalms

 

The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

 

Psalm 64-80

 

Psalm 65-68– Giving thanks to God for His powerful presence and his awesome deeds. He is the God who reigns in Zion.

 

Psalm 69-72 – Three prayers for help. Then Psalm 72 is an enthronement psalm of King Solomon.

 

Psalm 73-80 – The 73rd begins book three of the Psalms. This group of psalms contains laments following the invasion and destruction of Jerusalem. In 79-80 there is the question of “how long?”

Revealing Identity with 5 W’s and an H

I counsel people regularly at the church and one thing that I have recognized that comes up time and time again is an issue with identity.  People don’t know who they are!  Many people wrap their identity up in what they do (or what they have done), in what others think about them, in how others have treated them, or some other earthly quality that is ever changing.  How can people live a life with meaning when they don’t even know who they are?

As a father, I have recognized the importance of speaking identity into my children.  While both mother and father have a huge impact in this area, I believe that God designed the father to be the primary source for identity revelation.  Think about it…
Even before a child is born, the father is already speaking identity into this precious life.  (OK, here is my biology background kicking in).  It is the father, not the mother, who determines the gender of the child.  The sperm, not the egg, is the one that contributes either the x (girl) or y (boy) chromosome.  The egg can only contribute an x chromosome.  So even before birth, the father is speaking identity into what the gender of the child is.
This identity revelation is intended to continue throughout childhood until the child is confident of who they are in Christ and able to move forward on their own in their relationship with God.
Here is something that I regularly ask my children to help instill identity within them.  It is a common model found in information gathering and you are probably familiar with it.  I simply ask these questions to them: who, what, when, where, why, how.
Who are you?
-Try to get your children to understand that first and foremost they are children of God.  Their identity needs to be completely wrapped up in Him and Him alone.
What are you?
-Once again this is the Male/Female question.  Many children have sexual identity issues because their parents fail to show them the difference between the two and how wonderful each one is.
When are you?
-In other words, let them know of the special time in history that they are living.  They have been created to live in this world “for such a time as this.”
Where are you?
-Help them to see their significance in the place that God has placed them.  Start Big (world, nation, state) and move to the smaller (city, neighborhood, school, church, family)
Why are you?
-Your children need to know that they are here on this earth to bring glory to their heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally.
How are you?
-This gives great practical ideas of what all of this might look like when applied to their life.  It is usually a great time to share your own personal experiences (victories and failures).
Scott Fravel
Associate Pastor / Radiant Church / Colorado Springs, CO 

Overview of Revelation – Psalms 41-63

Overview of Psalms

The 150 Psalms are a picture of God’s revelation of Himself to Israel and their response to Him. The Psalter covers many centuries of history from the oldest Psalm, written by Moses (Ps. 90), to Psalms written during the Babylonian captivity (Ps. 137). It is the longest book of the Bible containing both the longest chapter (Ps. 119) and the shortest chapter (Ps. 117). There are Psalms of worship, praise, prayer and lament. They are grouped in a specific order that include collections from David, Asaph and the sons of Korah. The Psalms were written with the expectation that they would be sung. They have provided comfort, strength, wisdom and words of praise for worshipers of the One True God for thousands of years.

Psalm 42-63

Psalm 42-45– Psalm 42-43 are actually one Psalm divided in two and the psalmist is longing to join the pilgrimage to Zion. Psalm 44 is a lament for national defeat. Psalm 45 was written to celebrate the king’s wedding.

Psalm 46-48 – These three Psalms celebrate Zion and Yahweh as King over all.

Psalm 49-53 – How to approach God.

Psalm 54-59 – Prayers for help from slanderous enemies. 

Psalm 60-64– Prayers from the king for help and deliverance.

Dr. Todd Hudnall

Lead Pastor / Radiant Church / Colorado Springs, CO

This Week’s Overview of Radiant Word

Matthew 1-11

Background of Matthew – The book was written by the disciple Matthew (also called Levi). The focus audience is the Jews. Matthew’s emphasis is that Jesus is the Son of God, Israel’s Messiah and the King of the Jews. Yet the Gospel of the Kingdom is for both Jew and Gentile.

Overview – Matthew ties the New Testament to the Old Testament. He also ties the story of Jesus to the story of Israel and fulfilled prophecy. Matthew was the most often used Gospel in the early church. Within the narrative there are five major teaching blocks. Jesus is often seen confronting the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The Lord is portrayed as both the King of the Jews (Matt. 27:37) and Isaiah’s Suffering Servant (20:28). For Matthew Jesus is the center of everything and His followers are to live like Him (7:15-23) and proclaim His Kingdom, in His authority (28:18-20).

Matthew 1-11 – Jesus is the unique God-man (1:1-2:23). Jesus is introduced by John the Baptist, baptized in the river Jordan and led into the wilderness for 40-days to be tested (3:1-4:11). Jesus is a type of Israel who went through the water of the Red Sea and then was tested during 40-years of wilderness wanderings. Israel failed the test, while Jesus prevailed. Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God. His Sermon on the Mount is the Magna Carta of the Kingdom (4:12-7:29). Jesus carries out his Kingdom mission in the power of the God (8:1-10:42). There are a succession of 8 miracle stories and 9 miracles. Jesus sends out the twelve disciples to carry out His ministry in His authority.

 

–Dr. Todd Hudnall
Senior Pastor / Radiant Church / Colorado Springs, CO