We live in a culture that conditions us to value our lives by how much we can produce. The hustle and bustle of life continue to gain speed, moving faster and faster each day, producing a claustrophobic atmosphere that seems inescapable. It's easy to forget to rest and take the time needed to slow down, moving into a rhythm that includes stopping and ceasing from working, producing, and rushing. This is the Sabbath. The Sabbath is introduced to us in Genesis 2 when God Himself rested as King over creation. When God gave the ten commandments to Israel, God gave them the Sabbath to remember that they have been freed from a life of slavery. In His redemption act, they find rest. Because of this, one day a week they were to cease their labors, their stress, and their production and be still.
What is radical faith? How is it established in our lives as believers? Where do we find it exemplified in scripture? How does it practically flesh out in our lives and the lives of others through our surrender and obedience? How does our willingness to move in radical faith bear witness to our image-bearer status? How does our obedience to walk in radical faith usher in the miraculous move of God through the power of the Holy Spirit made manifest in our lives as we walk it?
This week we dive into the story told in the Torah and how it is easy to miss the themes of grace that were intentionally structured into the first five books of the Bible, specifically in Deuteronomy. Many make the assumption that the Torah, also known as the Law, is simply a piece of legislation literature that has no benefit for daily living, active worship, or the life of a Christian. Unfortunately, this has led to many simply ignoring the narrative at the beginning of the Bible and missing out on the intentional placement of key texts that reveal something much larger than a book of commandments. It reveals the goodness of God's grace and the revelation of the Messianic King. So, if you have never seen the Grace as it is revealed in the Torah, join us in this message as we look at the structure of the law, how the "second law" called Deuteronomy was crafted with themes, and what this has to do with us as believers in Jesus.
God is depicted as many things through metaphors found in the Bible. From being a rock, a castle, and a shield, to a shepherd, potter, and a father. The authors of the Bible use different descriptions based on their diverse experiences with God. One poetic expression of God's character that is often missed is within the scope of having female characteristics, especially ones associated with maternal love and nurturing. In this message, we explore the approach the prophets in the Bible take in expressing God's compassion as a mother who nurses and cares for the covenant people of Israel. When God is described as a female in the Bible, it was not meant to define literal boundaries on God, just as when God is described as a male. Although bold, God's description of having female and maternal attributes is a necessary part of discovering just how intimate YHVH is when it comes to times of struggle, chaos, and uncertainty. Like a mother bird shrouding her young in her wings or a mother bear, claws extended, chasing those who have taken her young captive, these diverse images should change the way we view how God works in the world and in our lives. We hope this teaching on God being portrayed as a mother will be helpful in learning more about the Biblical expressions of metaphor and a better understanding of the Bible itself.
In Leviticus 11, YHVH gives a distinction of which animals Israel can eat and must refrain from eating based on a scale known as "clean" and "unclean," How do we navigate this topic as believers today, and what can we learn about God and what He wants on "His table"? We will also be discussing verses that have to do with clean and unclean animals in the bible, such as Mark 7:15 and Acts 10. If you want to learn more about the connection between unclean food and the gospel, you'll want to check this video out. We hope this message about unclean foods in the bible will be informative and applicable and be a motivator in diving into the Bible to learn more about Leviticus unclean food and Jesus and unclean foods.
As Passover quickly approaches, we explore the narrative in the Book of Exodus and discover a much larger story than Babies in baskets, blood on doorposts, and seas splitting. The Book of Exodus sets the foundation for the rest of the Bible creating a theme that is cyclical throughout the story of Israel. Join us as we discover connections to the creation story as well as elements of a cosmic battle that takes place when Moses faces off against Pharoah. This is the story that sets the tone of a coming messiah that will fulfill the Passover and enact the greater exodus. An exodus not from Pharoah or Egypt, but from sin and death. If you are a Christian and have wanted to learn more about Passover and the Exodus, this will be great teaching as it explores the prophecies of a prophet likened to Moses and shows how Jesus fulfilled them. Christians are parking in Passover seders more and more as a way to strengthen the Hebrew Roots of their Christian faith.
As we enter into the Passover and the week of Unleavened bread, it's important to remember the climactic event of the last supper. From the cup to the bread to the radical redefining of what Passover was always meant to bring about, Yeshua shows us that He is the lamb that is slain that frees us from slavery. In this special message, we remind ourselves of his words when offering the wine and the bread to His followers and reflect on what it means to partake in the Last Supper. In this message, Pastor Matthew Vander Els walks us through a 1-st century Passover Seder, highlighting what Jesus did at the Last Supper with His disciples. Passover is a major theme in the gospel accounts and truly points to Yeshua being the true Passover land that grants true freedom from slavery. 
Join us as we continue our study of the Book of Revelation. This week we dive into the culmination of John's vision which is the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the cosmic portrayal of heaven on earth where God dwells intimately with mankind. Inside, the tree of life blossoms, providing healing and restoration while outside, those who have distanced themselves from citizenship. What can we learn from these chapters and how do they apply to us today?
The Book of Esther. In anticipation of Purim this week, we take a look at the story of Esther, Mordechai, Haman, and King Ahasuerus. The story of Esther has an incredibly controversial past due to the secular and explicit scenes, gruesome violence, and themes of farce humor. God is never mentioned directly or indirectly in the entire narrative, or is there a focus on religious elements? Join us as we take another look at this mysterious book and discover not only the presence of God but hidden parallels to the temple, Israel, and exile.