God’s Pursuit, Punishment, & Promise…

Two of those words fall gently on our ears and hearts. We generally like the idea of a loving God who pursues us and promises his love to us. The idea that there is punishment in there, however, almost stands in contrast to the idea of unconditional love and acceptance.

 Photo by  Dominik Kuhn  on  Unsplash

Photo by Dominik Kuhn on Unsplash

Is the God of the Old Testament the same God in the New Testament? Is he angry, jealous, and vengeful, or loving, accepting, and merciful? 

Are these secrets or skeletons in God’s Old Testament closet? How do we approach the stories in the Bible that involve God’s punishment of his people? What does it mean for you and me today? 

It’s all in here this weekend. There is pursuit, punishment, setback, and the joy of a promise that leads to gratitude and a response of worship to God.

I am looking forward to a great weekend this weekend as we search, struggle, and learn together. 

God's Answer to Our Self-Destructive Tendencies

A recent episode of the Freakonomics Radio Podcast started like this:

 Photo by  Patrick Brinksma  on  Unsplash

"Several months ago, we introduced you to a pair of University of Pennsylvania professors. …They wanted to solve a problem…A problem that, if they fixed it, could truly solve every social problem we could think of.

The problem is: ourselves.

In other words, the problem with human beings is that they’re human beings and that they repeatedly make decisions that undermine their own long-term well-being."

So these two professors assembled a dream team of social scientists that includes Nobel prize winners to tackle the basic human problem, our self-destructive nature. And even this dream team admits the best social scientists have been able to figure out is how to help people develop healthy habits for the short-term. 

This weekend's passage actually takes on the same challenge—how to get people to make better, healthier decisions. 

It offers an amazing solution to this problem.

The solution is what the prophet Jeremiah calls “a new covenant.”

This new covenant is a really big deal in the story fo God, the Bible.

How big? Well, when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he took the cup and he said, “This is the new covenant in my blood.”

That big.

And when you understand what this new covenant is all about, you start to see how destructive habits can be broken and why we have hope for healing from the brokenness caused by our bad decisions and the bad decisions of others.

I hope to see you this weekend. Invite someone along to worship and hear and hear the message.