title: Church bells still ring in Brooklyn
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: December 25, 2016
scripture: Ephesians 2:19-22
series: The narrative of Grace
title: Grace in Exile
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: December 6, 2015
scriptures: Matthew 1, Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 41:41, Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah 29:4-6, Leviticus 25:3-4, 2 Chronicles 36:18-21, Jeremiah 29:7, 1 Corinthians 9:22, Jeremiah 29:8-10, Jeremiah 29:11-14
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
This is one of the most quoted verses in the entire bible. Everybody makes this verse their own.
They speak it over their life every time things get hard and suddenly the certain things begin to feel uncertain. They speak it over their friends every time someone feels like they are in a rut, or not where they should be, or not understanding why things are they way that they are in their life. So they say “I know the plans that I have for you…”
“maybe you don’t understand your circumstances, but God has a plan, and its good.”
That is the idea. And it is true. You should speak Jeremiah 29:11 over your life, but you should speak Jeremiah 29:4-10 over your life too. And you should speak Jeremiah 29:12-14 over your life too.
Because one verse sandwiched in the middle of an amazing set of scriptures says something incredible, but everything that it is nestled between is your guide for how you get verse 11. It is how you actually see that hope and that future that God has laid out for you.
It is your guide for how you, as a citizen of Detroit but ultimately as a citizen of the city of God, can claim your inheritance as an heir of the King.
But it may be different than you think.
Title: Thou Shall Covet
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Date: November 8, 2015
scriptures: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19:10, Psalm 68:16, Proverbs 5:18, Philippians 4:11-14, Romans 7, Hebrews 12:2
I have heard it put this way, it is an inward grasping for something… something that is not yours... It means you don’t have something, and you yearn for it. Maybe we think we are nothing without it. We hear that word, and right away we default to the Ten Commandments. Right away, we think, this is a bad word. This is something that we must not do. Ever. Under any circumstances. I think that the word we typically associate to it is the word jealousy. Or the word envy… and where the command as a whole may be getting at that, those things are not the same as coveting, in the way it was written on the tablets. Not at all.
I covet my children.
Honestly, you should covet (chamad) your friends. Your friends carry a lot of weight. They are very valuable. You should delight in the fact that you have them. You should delight in your relationships. They are gifts.
To say you chamad something does NOT mean you are jealous of it, it means that you delight IN IT.
What you should not do, is covet your friends house.
God has given you specific things in this life that are tailor made just for you.
For your life.
For your family.
and to not delight in those things would be a slap in the face to the God who gave them to you.
You see, the problem lies in when you covet what is not yours. The command does not say Thou shall not covet.