November 2016

Honest to God

In our world, the line between truth and falsehood is a blurry one at best. Lies can be seen as necessary elements of relationships, truth is ‘what you make of it,’ and people champion all kinds of false messages and ideals. God’s people are to take a different route – that of being witnesses and truth-tellers, with our words and with our lives, as we testify to the God of all truth revealed in Jesus Christ.

You Shall Not Steal

God’s covenant people were about to enter the Promised Land. God proscribed laws to build a society with equitable distribution of the land, protection against exorbitant interest, guidelines to alleviate debt, resources for those who fell into poverty, etc. Now would they form a just society or scramble to horde the land? Would they honor each other or steal from each other? This 8th commandment against stealing challenges God’s people to honor each other, live as generous people, and shine God’s justice in the world.

October 2016

Don’t Even Think About Adultery!

Adultery is breaking a covenant. We’ll study God’s warnings throughout Scripture to protect against three forms of adultery: (1) Marital adultery that can destroy our marriage, damage our children, and distort our witness. (2) Spiritual adultery when we break our covenant with God by worshipping “idols” and indulging in sin. (3) Mental adultery when lust warps our minds and makes us vulnerable to commit adultery.

The God of Life

One of the few moral absolutes accepted by nearly every human society, the commandment against murder seems like the ultimate form of “it goes without saying.” However, what at first seems like a negation of killing, actually becomes an affirmation of life, particularly when we see the amazing way Jesus reinterprets this commandment.

Homes of Honor

We’ll explore the fifth commandment that expresses God’s passion for societies filled with honor. Imagine a world in which people, nations, corporations, laws, and more really honored God and honored each other. But how do we learn to honor? We’ll see how the family is a bedrock of society to learn how to honor.

What is the Sabbath?

We’ll explore fourfold the meaning of the Sabbath: (1) Sacred space for God’s people to refresh from work and reflect on God. (2) A witness of God’s loving care for his covenant people. (3) Social Justice to give Sabbath rest for workers, immigrants, animals, and land. (4) A sign pointing to the ultimate “Sabbath Rest” of eternal life. Come learn more about the Sabbath than we often assume.

God’s Name

The third commandment, not to take God’s name in vain, is often viewed as not using God’s name to swear. This is true but misses so much of the heart of this command. The third commandment defines God’s name, reveals a lot about God’s character, and instructs us how to relate with God. You might be surprised by a fresh look at an often misunderstood command.

September 2016

You Are What You Worship

Whatever “gods” or “idols” we worship shape our lives over time. God warns how damaging our “American Idols” like greed, power, control, sex, and so many other temptations can be to warp the Imagine of God within us. So God is jealous for our worship, not how we define jealously in our fallen world as the control of an insecure lover, but because God passionately desires for our lives to be shaped into the Image of God. We’ll also be challenged by how our lives can leave a legacy of blessing or curses to future generations.

The 10 Commandments

We often hear confusing references to the 10 Commandments in our culture. What do they really mean? How are they relevant today? We’ll study the 10 Commandments, recorded in Exodus 20, with three goals: (1) Learning Biblical interpretation skills about the Law in the Old Testament and relationship between the old covenant and the new covenant. (2) Study how Jesus redefined the 10 Commandments since they were misunderstood by many religious teachers in his generation and in our time. (3) Explore how the 10 Commandments apply in our lives today.

How God Changes Lives

What will this fall season and new school year bring for our lives? Will our hearts grow in affection for God or will our hearts wander astray into temptations? Will we make wise decisions or stupid choices that we will regret? Will we live in community building up each other or become vulnerable living our faith alone? We need to take intentional steps to grow! In 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10 the Apostle Paul reminds the church how God changed their lives with a challenge to continue being shaped more like Christ.