When we look at the big picture, Joseph played a pivotal role in God’s plan. The descendants of Abraham would serve in a foreign land 400 years (per Genesis 15) then return to claim the land of Canaan. But Joseph was too close to the events of his own life to see the big picture. His story looks like a hard luck case, a series of events of bad things that happened to him. God was near in Potipher’s house, in prison, and on the throne of Egypt. Joseph prospered in every situation because God’s Spirit was on him. And in the long run it was all part of God’s design, like a large puzzle of which Joseph was an important piece.
I would not ordinarily interrupt a sermon series to do anything for Valentine’s Day. But last week in our current series we ended at Genesis 28. It just so happens (tongue in cheek) that Genesis 29 is about Jacob and his labor of love. And I literally mean labor, as in manual labor. Hard work. What would you do for love?
Over the past few weeks we’ve had several services cancelled due to weather concerns and multiple illnesses. Others have had a small handful of people present. For the month of February we are suspending evening church services. From now until March 4th we will be having Sunday School at 10 am and Sunday morning worship service at 11 am only.
Pray for our church family. If you need anything don’t hesitate to call, text or email.
Peace and God Bless,
Clark J Bunch
Last week we began with the God of Abraham, in Genesis chapters 12 and 15. In this sermon we will expand our field of view and see why future generations would identify God by his relationship with this family.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be a bit much for a single sermon. Today we will meet Abraham, actually just Abram at this point, and consider the covenant God made with him. Next week we will bring Isaac and Jacob into the picture, as well as the patriarchs of the 12 tribes. One thing is certain: God is near.
I very badly wanted to title this sermon “God in the Boat” but that’s technically not true.
Last week, in God in the Garden, we began a series on the biblical truth that God is near. The Great Flood is an example of God’s judgement. The world and everything in it was made by God and he was disappointed by what he had made. Judgement is God’s divine right. But Noah’s Ark is a story about mercy and grace. Noah found favor with God and by following all of God’s instructions his family and life and on earth was saved. Some folks want to focus on the God of the Old Testament being filled with wrath and smiting people. Genesis 6, 7 and 8 is about something else.
The Garden of Eden, in the perfect world God made, was home to Adam and Eve. After sin and the curse, they were driven from the Garden to keep them from eating of the tree of life. We often say they were driven from God’s presence but I suggest it’s not as simple as that. God has always been near.
This is the first sermon is a series that outlines all the ways God has been near to his people. Through divine revelation, the Prophets, miraculous events, manifestations of smoke, fire and cloud, Old Testament appearances of Jesus, the incarnation and the indwelling Holy Spirit, God has always made his presence known.
I enjoy starting open ended series that do not have a set number of entries or a deadline to finish by. On Sunday, January 14th, I will begin preaching a series of sermons broadly titled “God is Near.” I have often said that the Bible, from one end to the other, is about the way a Holy God deals with people that are sinful, fallen and broken. At the center of that story is Jesus. Beginning with the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2, I plan to walk through the entire Bible, hitting just the high points, and demonstrate that statement to be true. We will deal with Old Testament covenant relationships, such as with Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses and go from there. In time I will preach on the establishment of Israel as a nation; King Saul, David and Solomon; the purpose and work of the Prophets; the incarnation of Jesus in the Gospels; the earthly ministry of Jesus; the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; the coming of The Holy Spirit; the growth and spread of the New Testament Church; the epistles (letters) of the New Testament; and finally how God’s promises at the beginning of the biblical narrative are realized in the coming Kingdom as foretold in Revelation.
In 2018 we will survey the Bible. Sunday evenings and the Wednesday night Bible study will help to fill in the blanks and put Sunday morning sermons into context, as well as give us time for questions, answers and discussion. God is near to the brokenhearted and God inhabits the praise of his saints are true statements but do not tell the whole story. God desires to be in the presence of the people made in his image; the Father wants to love and be loved by his children. Join us at Unity Baptist as we step back and -prayerfully, thoughtfully – take a look at the big picture. Consider this your personal invitation.