Where is the Space?

series: Rachab

title: Where is the Space?

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: September 3, 2017

scriptures: Genesis 26:12-25, Psalm 31:15

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Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” 
So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” 
From there he went up to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

Sometimes, we find ourselves lost in a sea of things that the world throws at us, and we get so distracted with all of the things that WE THINK THAT WE HAVE TO DO... that we never do the THINGS THAT WE ACTUALLY SHOULD DO. 

and time gets sucked away, leaving us feeling like there is no space for us to actually create the things that we believe we are supposed to make out of this life. 

But just like Isaac, I believe that the Lord has made room for you, here and now. He has made room for your dreams, he has made room for your gifts... 

But sometimes we can't see the things that are right in front of us... So lets ask ourselves a question... 

What is it for me? What is it for you?

What is it that is keeping you from your calling? What is keeping you living life as if you don’t actually have any.… What is keeping you living like you are already dead? 

What is taking up the space in your mind?

In your heart?

In your life? 

What is filling the space? 

What needs to be laid on the altar to create space in your life for what Jesus wants to do? 

What has you bound and maybe you don’t even know it?

Perhaps the best way to answer that, is to answer this question: 

What is taking your time? 

Psalm 31:15 says "my times are in your hand;" 

We need to be like David, and place our times into the hands of Jesus. Time is a most valuable asset, and we will waste it if we remain distracted and never create space for the spirit to move in our lives. 


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#2 a Family Narrative

series: The Narrative of Grace

title: a family narrative

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: November 22, 2015

scriptures: Luke 1:46-56, Matthew 1, Genesis 15:1-6, Genesis 18:1-8, Matthew 25, Hebrews 13:2, Galatians 3:28, Genesis 18:9-15, Deuteronomy 31:6, Revelation 3:20, Genesis 12, Genesis 20, Genesis 21:1, Genesis 21:6

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

“46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48  for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49  for he who is mighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

50  And his mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51  He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

52  he has brought down the mighty from their thrones

and exalted those of humble estate;

53  he has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

54  He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55  as he spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.”

We are in a series called “The Narrative of Grace” and the entire series is a look through the genealogy of Jesus Christ as recorded in the gospel of Matthew.

The reason that we started a message in a series based on Matthew 1, by looking at Luke 1, with  Mary’s song, “The Magnificat,” is because it is an incredibly important, often overlooked part of the Christmas story. One of the first things that she says, essentially, and its so powerful, is that God is doing something, and it is going to bring injustice to its knees. I love how it says “He will fill those we are hungry with good things, but the rich he will send away empty.” This is not because it is bad to be wealthy… It is just like we talked about last week, Jesus has come for the ones who are hungry. They know that they need him and so he feeds them. It is the ones who think that they have everything figured out all on their own, because of what they have gained in their own lives, and in their own strength, that God is literally unable to work through. But Mary’s song is saying that no matter what you think you have or don’t have, God is going to level the playing field. If you hold what you have, you will lose it. Because He is God. and he hates injustice.

We will look at this song a little more in depth later in this series, but the part we are going to focus on today is the last part of the song.

what Mary was saying was this: The promise that was passed down from generation to generation is finally coming to pass.

and that promise was made to Abraham, for the first time in Genesis 12 and affirmed through the next several chapters in Genesis. That promise said that from Abraham’s seed, all of the families of the earth will be blessed. He promised a man with no children that he would be the Father of a great nation.

But Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew recorded 42 generations between that promise and Jesus birth. That is a lot of waiting. A lot of stories from Father’s being passed down to their sons for generation after generation. A lot of people thinking that the savior would come in their generation, only to watch their fathers who believed the same thing, pass away, and realize that their time was coming next.

It was 42 generations of disappointment.

It probably was beginning to feel more like a fairy tale than a reality.

But what Mary’s song says is essentially that grace is about to break through the broken genealogy, and the promise to Abraham will finally be fulfilled.

But at the beginning of the genealogy, God had another promise to fulfill.

Because Abraham could never be the Father of a great nation if he wasn’t a Father at all.

#1 Beginning with Grace

Series: The Narrative of Grace
Title: Beginning with Grace
Date: November 15, 2015
Teacher: Jacob Bender

scriptures: Matthew 1:1-17, Genesis 12, Genesis 38, Joshua 2, Hosea 6:6, 1 John 3:18

Do you ever find yourself keeping score of failures? Or do you tend to assign a guilt you have to some current life circumstance?

I am alone because __________

I can’t go home because __________

I’ll never do that because __________

I don’t deserve grace because __________

But what if I were to tell you that the because doesn’t matter?

In fact, the only BECAUSE that does matter is That Jesus loves you BECAUSE you are his child. I try to tell my daughters that, as often as I can… Milly I love you…

“I know” she’ll say.

And I don’t do this every time, but sometimes, when I am at the top of my parenting game,  I will ask her “Do you know why I love you?


Because you are my daughter. You are my daughter…

I love her because she is my child.

Well you are children of God. And nothing can change that. The bible says that nothing separates us from the love of God. Not death nor life..

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)

The because does not matter. Because nothing can not separate us from the love of God any more than anything else.

You think you are jacked up? That God can’t use you anymore?

Look no further than the first of names on the list we read at the beginning… the names of those in JESUS’ family line…

Mathew one… The lineage… A genealogy was something that told people who you were… There was a sense of pride in where you came from, and the fact that God chose this particular family to be the one to birth Jesus into has great significance.

These people weren’t just jacked up like sometimes I think I am jacked up. These people were JACKED UP.

We invite you to join us as we explore this jacked up family for the six weeks leading up to Christmas. 

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