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“Chosen: How 神 Works to Rescue the World”
October 12, 2014Posted by on
Right from the very beginning, 神 has had a plan, a “dream,” a picture in His mind of something truly wonderful, that He wants to create. Everything He does is moving us, and His creation, toward this truly wonderful creation – coming soon to a world near you. Everyone who is ever born will see it – and 神 is working to bring as many people as possible into it.
“Choosing people” is part of 神’s work to bring about this new creation. In His “choosing,” 神 gives special “assignments, tasks, functions, a place” in His plan. Sometimes, in His “choosing,” He gives “assignments” to individual people, with great consequences for the future. Other times, in “choosing,” He gives a special “place” to a group of people. This is where we get our expression “Chosen People.”
What does it mean for us to be 神’s Chosen People in this age? How can we receive our “chosen-ness” and live it out, taking our place in 神’s work?
In this series, we’ll explore these ideas – especially by looking at the stories of people 神 “chose,” how He defined their “assignment,” how He helped them do it.
As followers of Jesus, right here, right now: we’re here because those whom 神 “chose” in the past were faithful to their assignment! If you’re an inquirer, not yet a follower, you’re here for the same reason!
What kind of future, not yet visible to us but still in 神’s heart, will unfold if we find our “assignment” as His Chosen People, and faithfully follow it?! Stay tuned!
Click on the links to hear audio of the lectures shared each week.
September 14, 2014: “Chosen: How 神 Places People.” Right from the very beginning 神 has had a plan, and a way to accomplish it. Even after the creation was severely injured, when humans were tricked into joining the rebellion, 神 still had a way to begin redeeming it. In this session we’ll read some of the earliest stories about how 神 responds to what humans do, to redeem and help us: He chooses!
September 21, 2014: “Chosen: How Being Chosen Changes Us.” It’s interesting to see what happens to people when they begin to grasp 神’s “choosing.” We’ll look at stories of two people in the Old Covenant who experienced being “chosen,” and how it affected them. In making us “chosen,” He gives us something to do with our past, a future promise and hope, and from that, power for our lives in the here and now. This changes our character, and helps us in very deep ways!
September 28, 2014: “Chosen: Making Sense of Our Lives.” We’re looking at the stories of what happens when 神 chooses people and helps them: not only are they set free, but others are blessed, too! Our lives are not a trackless, senseless desert: in being “chosen” by 神, everything that happens to us begins to make a new kind of sense: the things that happen to us find new meaning and purpose – way beyond what we would ever expect!
October 5, 2014: “Chosen: What Happened to 神’s People.” In the “Old Covenant” stories of what happens when 神 chooses people and helps them: He blesses them and helps them – and their experience of joy is a picture to the rest of the world who don’t know 神: “He is good! He makes promises and keeps them! He’s completely unlike any of the gods of our fathers!” Yet 神’s people had trouble keeping their balance, and they were often in trouble. What happened? How can we learn from them?
October 12, 2014: “Chosen: More of What Happened to 神’s People.” In these “Old Covenant” stories 神 tries to help his people be faithful, like he is. He puts two paths in front of them, and tries to help them choose the right path, the right destination. But darkness and evil are serious problems, and His people got themselves into serious trouble. Today we look at some of the stories of how He stays faithful to them, how He helps them find their way back to Him. This has a lot to do with how we get to live every day!
October 19, 2014: “Chosen: the Community of Vision.” In these “Old Covenant” stories 神’s people have encountered disaster and become completely lost. Some of them give up altogether and turn away from Him. Others of them are trying to understand and find their way forward into a new way of life. 神 sends special teachers to help people find a new reason to live, a new way to hope: and they discover a very special way of life.
October 26, 2014: “Chosen: Living in Overflow.” 神’s people in exile heard the best news imaginable: “We can go home!” But home wasn’t what it used to be, and the new “stage 4” restoration was harder than they expected. 神 sent Ezra and Nehemiah to give His people new vision and hope – but over time that hope was tangled up in confusion: in their dedication to the Law of 神, they forgot the heart of 神! There’s a powerful difference between living your faith out of thirst, fear, guilt – and living out of the overflow of knowing God’s goodness & generosity to you! Jesus leads us back to 神’s heart, fills us with His Spirit – so that Chosen, for us, means what 神 wants it to mean!
November 2, 2014: “Chosen: Call Him by Name!” In these stories from both the “Old Covenant” and the “New Covenant” 神 gives a beautiful gift to help His people be faithful, like He is: He gives them a Name by which they can call on Him, and always know that He will hear them. But their difficult experience in life caused them to misunderstand Him, and they actually forgot how to say the Name! Today we look at what 神 has done to help us find our way back to Him: a new Name! A new Spirit!
November 9, 2014: “Chosen: 神’s Vision for Our Life!” Isaiah’s writing speaks 神’s vision for His Chosen people in beautiful, powerful ways: not just our place in His plan, but the power of His faithfulness to us, and the power of His reach to the nations. Jesus brings this right into our experience as a community of faith-friends, and Paul spells this out in some very interesting, down-to-earth ways. What does it look like when we live out our “community of vision” together? This is the key that holds us together, that keeps us in our mission and purpose.