Journey Through the Story of God

As we journey together on this 31 week series through The Story, this page is intended to be a resource site where you can revisit past weeks topics, watch related videos, and stay up to date on where we are at in the Story. Check back here every Monday to see the scripture readings that coincide with the chapter. Finally, if you want a calendar of the topics, click here.

To order a copy of The Story, click here

Chapter 1 - Creation

     Chapter 1 of The Story (Genesis ch. 1-11) focuses on the beginning of all things. This is the foundation of our entire existence. There is a good, benevolent and loving Creator who made all things out of sheer joy. He is the cause, the source of light, of an ever expanding universe, and planet earth where he put humans so that they might be in relationship with him, reflect his goodness toward one another, and the rest of creation. God made us creatures of free-will, able to choose between love or rejection of God's ideal. Sin entered the world and plagues the human heart to this day as we choose to be our own gods. Through sin, fellowship with God is disrupted and our relationships with our neighbors and creation around us is strained. Our hearts need to be rescued and renewed from sin and death, thus begins the story of God's rescue to win back our hearts.

     The subject of creation is one that spurs on debate within the Christian community, specifically about how old the earth is. Is the creation story in Genesis to be taken literally or is it to be read more poetic and thus gives room to the possibility of an older earth? One of the slogans that we live by at Bastrop Christian is, "In opinions, liberty. In essentials, unity. In all things, love." It is possible to get so enamored in the HOW of creation, that we miss the WHO. For those who wish to dive into this a bit deeper, here are some resources for further study. Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or if you would like to discuss thoughts on creation.

* Answers in Genesis

* BioLogos

Check out these fantastic videos from The Bible Project to aid in your understanding of the book of Genesis.

Chapter 2 - A New Nation

     Chapter 2 (Genesis ch. 12-36) begins as the world is increasingly becoming populated. God's desire to be in relationship with humanity must start somewhere, thus he sets out to create for himself a new nation that would be a blessing to all other nations of the earth. The primary characters, are the heavy-hitters, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God makes a promise to them, or in other words, make a covenant with them (see the video below), that from their family line would come a great nation, with descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore or the stars in the sky. This new nation was created for more than just being another tribe amongst the other tribes of the world. Their formation would be the vehicle through God would ultimately save the world. Stay tuned, to find out how!

Check out these fantastic videos from The Bible Project to aid in your understanding of the book of Genesis.

Chapter 3 - Joseph: From slave to deputy Pharoah

     We are in the beginning stages of the formation of the Nation of Israel. Abraham and Isaac are gone, Jacob is elderly and gets a taste of his own deceiving-medicine. His sons deceive him by selling their little brother Joseph into slavery in Egypt and make him think he is dead by putting animal blood on Joseph's multi-colored coat. Joseph is only 17 years old when he is betrayed by his own flesh and blood, nevertheless God is with Joseph. 

     It's an up and down journey for Joseph as he goes from slave to head of Potiphar's household, to the dungeon and then 2nd in command of all Egypt. The story ends with a chance for Joseph to get revenge on his brothers, but instead he chooses the route of forgiveness because he understands that what has happened to him, even though intended for evil, God was able to turn around and use for good. Through Joseph's suffering, God will save an entire nation by bringing them to Egypt in the middle of a severe famine where they will thrive and grow into great numbers. But the story will take a turn this happily ever after. Stay tuned!

Chapter 4 - Deliverance

Sunday September 24, 2017

Read Chapter 4 of the Story

Bible References: Exodus ch. 1-7; 10-17

     The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph found refuge in Egypt during a great famine. As the Israelites grew in number, they were viewed as a threat by the Egyptian Pharaoh's and made to be slaves. For 400 hard years, the Israelites were the backbone of the Egyptian economy, making mud bricks and doing endless building projects. 

     God never forgot about his people. He saw their plight and showed them mercy by raising up a man named Moses, who was born an Israelite and grew up in Pharaoh's palace, adopted by his daughter. Moses' heart was moved by his people's distress and God used him to confront Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of slavery and on their way to inherit the land promised to their ancestors.

     The story of the Exodus is the primary story of salvation in the Old Testament and could be seen as a foreshadowing of what was to come thousands of years later when Jesus of Nazareth would lead an exodus of sorts for all who were enslaved in sin. 

Check out these fantastic videos from The Bible Project to aid in your understanding of the book of Genesis.

Chapter 5 - New Commands and a New Covenant

Sunday October 1, 2017

Read chapter 5 of the The Story

Bible References: Exodus ch. 19-20; 24-25; 32-34; 40

Chapter 6 - Wandering

Sunday October 8, 2017

Read chapter 6 of The Story

Bible References: Numbers ch. 10-14; 20-21; 25; 27; Deuteronomy ch. 1-2; 4; 6; 8-9; 29-34

Chapter 7 - The Battle Begins

Sunday October 15, 2017

Read chapter 7 in The Story

Bible References: Joshua chapters 1-2; 6; 8; 10-11; 23-24

Chapter 8 - A Few Good Men...And Women

Sunday October 22, 2017

Read chapter 8 in The Story

Bible References: Judges chapters 2-4; 6-8; 13-16

     As this narrative continues and the Israelites are in the Promised Land, before Joshua died, he reminded the people, just as Moses did before he died, to be sure to obey all of the commands that the Lord had given them so that they would be blessed and live long in the land. The repeated story thus far has been the failure of God's people to do just that. Sadly they reap the consequences for their actions. 

     As we read the names of the different judges who ruled and tried their best to bring order to the scattered tribes, we see cycles of obedience and disobedience and that the judges themselves screw up just as bad as the people they are trying to lead. The book of judges is very much, the blind leading the blind. But despite the imperfection of the judges, God still desired to use them and worked through them despite themselves. Even the book of Judges ends on a bleak note, the Story of God is not over. All is not lost. God is still working through imperfect people and he is heading somewhere in all of this. 

Chapter 9 - The Faith of a Foreign Woman

Sunday October 29, 2017

Read chapter 9 in The Story

Bible References: Ruth chapters 1-4

     Chapter 9 takes us from a bird's eye view of the time period of the Judges and up close and personal into the lives of a family living in Bethlehem. Elimelek and Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Kilion, moved from Bethlehem to Moab during a famine. While there, Naomi's husband died. Her sons married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. After 10 years of living in Moab, Mahlon and Kilian passed away. Leaving Naomi as a vulnerable widow in a foreign land, she had no choice but to return to her hometown in Bethlehem. She tried to convince Orpah and Ruth to go back to their families in Moab but Ruth insisted on going with Noami where ever she went.

     Naomi and Ruth returned Bethlehem after losing everything. They were powerless to change their situations. They would have no choice but to sell the family land so they would have enough money to live on. While Ruth was out picking grain, she met a man named Boaz, who was the owner of the field. Boaz was extremely generous and gave Ruth more than she needed and he told her to come back as often as she desired and to take as much as she needed. When Ruth told Naomi about Boaz, she exclaimed that Boaz happened to be her family's kinsman redeemer. 

     The kinsman redeemer according to Jewish law was the closest male relative to the deceased male. If he chose, he could purchase the land of the deceased and then deed it to the son in the name of the deceased, thereby keeping the family's inheritance intact. Since Naomi's sons had passed away, when Boaz married Ruth and they had a son, Boaz would deed the land to their son in Elimelek's name. This provided for Naomi in her old age and provided an inheritance for Ruth's offspring. 

     God used a foreigner, a woman from Moab, a despised tribe who warred often against the Israelites, to help save Naomi. Boaz's title as a kinsman redeemer foreshadows the ministry of Jesus to be the redeemer of humanity. Ruth is included in the genealogy of Jesus. Their son is named Obed, the father of Jesse, and the grandfather of King David. From the line of David would come the Messiah, the Redeemer. Jesus of Nazareth.

Chapter 10 - Standing Tall, Falling Hard

Sunday November, 2017

Read chapter 10 in The Story

Bible References: 1 Samuel chapters 1-4; 8-13; 15