Monday, December 7, 2015

Jesus as the True House of Bread

It’s hard to talk about the Christmas story without mentioning the city of Jesus’ birth – Bethlehem. 
I find it very fitting that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Not only was it prophesied to be the place of Messiah’s birth, but it also completes a biblical narrative that began back in Genesis. It is of interest to note that the name “Bethlehem” literally means in Hebrew “the house of bread.” I say this is fitting that Jesus is born in the house of bread because certainly, Jesus offers us the bread of life. He is the spiritual manna which saves us from our spiritual hunger and sustains us along our spiritual journey. His body was beaten and broken and offered as a sacrifice for our sins. And Jesus, who is himself born in the house of bread, offers his body, which is the new spiritual house of God, as broken for us. He symbolizes this profound reality with the Lord’s Supper and bread that is broken and given to his people. As we partake of communion and celebrate the broken body of Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem the house of bread, let us not forget Jesus, in his sacrifice on the cross, has become the true house of bread. He is the true and better Bethlehem, house of bread, and if anyone eats from him, he will never hunger again.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Conflict in God's Glory Story

Sin is pervasive. It is the recurring enemy throughout the story of Scripture. After the setting of creation is in place, the conflict of the story bombards the reader of God’s glory story in Genesis 3–11. Sin after sin, rebellion after rebellion, and utter wickedness and depravity are recounted from the very first sin in the Garden of Eden to the climax of the sin at the Tower of Babel.

Adam and Eve’s transgression is not one of simple disobedience. It is a willful refusal not to participate in God’s glory story. Rather, they prefer to make a glory story of their own. Certainly they ate from the tree God said not to eat. But there is much more going on.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Setting of God's Glory Story

God's Glory Story
Here is the story from God's Glory Story Part 1:

In the beginning God, the I AM, created everything. Before there was anything (like water, plants, people), before there was space or planets, and before there was even time, there was the Great I AM. In His perfect wisdom, He devised a plan that would accomplish the sharing of His glory. You see, I AM was and is perfect. He is supreme, sovereign, and holy. His glory was the goal of creation. It was why He did it. His glory, although beyond compare, can be likened to the greatest painting ever brushed on a canvas. The painting is so majestic that it must be shared with the world. What good would it be to keep it hidden and secret? And I AM’s glory was and is infinitely greater than any painting. And so, He orchestrated a plan for a world (a canvas) to display His glory and a people to behold it. I AM created a place and people for the ultimate purpose of His glory. His plan was to fill the entire earth with His glory.

The Tree of Life - Lord's Supper Meditation

In the story of creation, there are 2 trees mentioned. We aren’t told much about them, and perhaps the most elusive is the “tree of life”. After Adam & Eve sin, they are removed from the Garden of Eden and out of the presence of God. But Gen. 3 explains that this exile is in part so that they will not also eat from the tree of life and live forever in a perpetual state of sin and removal from God’s presence.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What is "Into the Valley"?

The purpose of this blog is to be a forum for me, Tim Decker, pastor of Craig Valley Baptist Church, to share reflections on life, theology, and the Bible; recap or announce sermons and series; and just generally encourage the body that Jesus has charged me to shepherd.

The title for the blog, "Into the Valley," comes from Ezekiel 3:22–23a:
And the hand of the LORD was upon me there. And he said to me, "Arise, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you." So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there...
Just as Ezekiel had a message from God for the people of God, I too have a message for those not just at Craig Valley Baptist but also the valley region of Virginia and beyond. I want to share the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ with you.