This week we start studying the book of Exodus. The theme of redemption will unify our lessons as we watch our great God win a people for Himself.
Our first session brings us to the call of Moses. With all that occurs around Moses’ interaction with God at the burning bush, our focus must remain solidly on the nature of the God who reveals himself through his personal, covenant name. YHWH…I AM that I AM (Exodus 3:14).
May God teach us much about His power as it was seen through the redemption of Israel out of Egypt and through the redemption He gives to us through Christ.
We come to the end of the beginning this week. Session 13 is our final lesson in the book of Genesis. Next week we will embark on our journey through Exodus.
As we come to the conclusion of this unit we are confronted with a most difficult reality of the human heart: the inability to forgive others. How much additional pain has been introduced into our lives because we have not been able to forgive those who have hurt us? How freeing it would be if we could trust our God and feel no burden to exact vengeance upon our enemies?
We will watch as Joseph becomes “one who forgets” and is enables to be “one who is fruitful.” As we watch his life, may our hearts move quickly to Christ who makes all forgiveness possible.
None of us really look forward to pain. We may act all tough and stoic and steadfast, but in reality we don’t want to feel the burn, the sting, or the punch.
And yet, God is content to allow suffering in our lives to bring about his purposes and plans. In fact, it seems as if he even ordains suffering to serve his ends.
While this is hard for us to grasp conceptually, we can see it happen on the page before us as we look at the Scriptures. This week we will watch God use suffering in Joseph’s life to accomplish His glorious plan.
When we lived in Egypt, an easy way to get into spiritual conversations with Muslims was to talk about the meaning of their names. I had one friend named Mo’men. In Arabic, this means, “believer.” As my Arabic ability increased over time, I was able to speak with this friend about what it means to be a true believer and that Jesus wanted him to live up to his name’s sake.
When my friends would ask me about the meaning of my name, all I could say was, “It means, ‘Eric’.” They would say, “Why did your parents give you that name?” I would reply, “Because they liked ‘Eric’.”
While American culture doesn’t always put a whole lot of weight on the meaning of names, many cultures around the world do. Names are important. They convey the hopes and dreams of parents. They may even help to shape the direction of a young person’s life.
This week, we will watch the moment when God changes Jacob’s name to “Israel.” He goes from being known as a deceiver, to one who struggles with God. As we walk through the lesson this week, let’s help our people see that as Christians, God has changed our names. He has given us the name of Christ. We are “little Christ ones.” May we seek to live up to our name’s sake and make much of Jesus in the world.
Below the video you will find thirty-one things that happen to us at salvation. I reference this list in the video. Our new names give us new identities. This list helps us to remember just what that new identity grants us.
31 Things that Happen at Salvation
- You are redeemed from slavery to sin (Rom. 3:24; 8:23)
- You are reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18-20)
- You are forgiven for all your sins (Col. 2:13)
- You are freed from the law of sin and death (Rom. 6:14; 8:1-4; Gal. 5:1-4)
- You are adopted by God (Gal. 3:26-4:7; Eph 1:4-5)
- You become a child of God (Jhn 3:3, 7)
- You are accepted by God (Eph. 1:6)
- You are justified by Jesus Christ (Rom. 4; 5:1)
- You are glorified with Jesus (Rom. 4:16-17; 8:30; Col 3:4)
- You are united to Jesus (Col 2:9-10)
- You possess every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3)
- You are brought close to God (Eph. 2:13)
- You are delivered from the power of darkness (2 Cor. 4:3-4; Col 1:13)
- You are transferred from Satan’s domain to the kingdom of God (Col 1:13; 1 Thess 2:12)
- You are given as a gift (John 17)
- You are circumcised in Christ (Col. 2:11)
- You join the priesthood of believers (1 Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6)
- You join the people of God (1 Pet 2:9)
- You receive citizenship in heaven (Eph 2:19; Phil 3:20)
- You are a member to the family of God (Gal 6:10; Eph 2:19)
- You take up the fellowship of the saints (John 17:11-23; Eph 4:1-3)
- You are granted access to God (Heb 4:16; 10:10-20)
- You become an inheritance (Eph 1:6, 18)
- You receive an inheritance (Eph 1:14; Col 3:24; 1 Pet 1:4; Heb 9:15)
- You become as light to the world (Eph 5:8)
- You are in God (1 Thess 1:1)
- God the Father is in you (Eph 4:6)
- You are in the Son (Rom 8:1)
- The Son is in you (John 14:20)
- You are in the Spirit (Rom 8:9)
- The Spirit is in you (1 Cor 2:12)
We all have them.
We never want others to know about them.
They always seem to show up at the worst times.
The skeletons in the closet. We work hard to make sure people don’t become aware of those things that cause us to blush and squirm. Often, those skeletons have to do with our families.
It might be that distant uncle that no one invites to family picnic. Maybe it is the scandal from a few generations back. Maybe it’s you!
In all seriousness, we do experience circumstance in our families that can cause great pain and heartache. We know of broken homes, hurting relationships, and deep emotional scars. Families can be very dysfunctional.
In this week’s lesson we are going to see that the dysfunction in our homes does not thwart God’s purposes. He remains trustworthy in spite of brokenness and failures.