This Sunday we will close our sermon series The Purpose and Promises of God from Genesis 12-36. I must say this has been a most impactful study for me. God has reinforced a number of truths as well as brought new insights to mind. In short, I’ve been changed by our investment in Genesis. I trust it is the same for you because the Spirit of God always uses the Word of God to change the people of God.
For the blog this week, a few from the Kossuth Elder Team have shared what they are taking away from this study as we close up. I’m pleased to include those thoughts below in an effort to encourage you today.
Insights and Takeaways:
A flawed expression of faith is still an expression of faith. God used imperfect people. Even when God grew those imperfect people, their responses to him were still often imperfect. The imperfect responses didn’t mean they weren’t loved by God and being used by him. In fact, it meant they still had much to learn and were still being grown by him. – Mikel Berger
Two themes have struck me the most. The first is God’s initiative. I was reminded again and again that it is God himself who makes the first move. This move was designed before time even began and is set in motion in the first book of the Bible. Even as God’s covenant people fail multiple times, God continues to take the initiative in moving his purpose and promises forward. The second is the messiness of God’s covenant people. We often position the patriarchs as heroes, but they were not. They were a mess. They would be embarrassed to know we were reading their stories. But these are the kinds of people that God loves and involves in his purpose. I’m messy, too, which gives me hope that God loves me still and will involve me in his plan as well. – Abraham Cremeens
I think what most stands out to me from this series is how God works in ways we would never expect. He chooses people we would have overlooked. He permits failures we would have prevented. He allows his people to suffer in ways that feel confusing and frustrating. He makes promises that seem—no, that actually are—impossible. And he weaves it all together to bring about his purpose in this world. – Will Peycke
This is a big point from this series that has been impressed upon me: that we see ourselves in the lives of the patriarchs and that it is the mercy and grace of God which keeps drawing our attention to our Savior and King! Before we get too self-righteous in our view of Jacob...let’s quickly remind ourselves that the Bible, a marvelous mirror for us to gaze into while learning about God and His ways, shows us the people that God chooses to use, short-comings and all, so we will see ourselves. Whether you have realized this yet or not, we are more like Jacob and his sons than we would care to admit. – Paul Briggs
A Final Thought
I’m sure you have a key thought or two you are leaving with as well. (If you care to share, please email those thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org). As we close up this Sunday, my hope is that we won’t leave any of these lessons behind but take them along with us as we continue the legacy of God’s covenant people in this world. In that sense, the narrative of Genesis never came to a close. We continue to be a part of God’s purpose in this world as we continue to hold on to his promises. We may be messy, but God is doing something in us and through us. Enjoy the narrative that God is writing for you. It is a good one.