You can view the message video and outline below. You can follow along with the entire series here and the devotional that accompanies the series here. You could always join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10)
Read Genesis 11:1-9 – the story of the Tower of Babel – and consider what was going on here. What do you think was at work within the hearts of humanity in this story? How does this story echo the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3?
If you want to dive deeper into Revelation 7:9-10, consider listening to or watching another preaching series from Eastbrook called “Becoming 7.”
Continue with our season of prayer and fasting. Find more info here.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44-45)
Lord, take my heart in Your hands and shape it to love those who do not love me and even work against me.
Help me not to return wrong with wrong, but to respond to wrong with care, love, prayer, and mercy.
Help me to know what it looks like to turn the other cheek while not enabling ongoing wrong or making it seem like wrong is right.
Give me boldness and discernment to walk as Your child even when my circumstances lead me to forget who I am and cause me to stumble in frustration, grief, and hurt.
What can I do but call to You? You are my God—my Father—and I am Your child—Your disciple.
Lead me in Your way of love and forgiveness that, even in wrong, people may see You in me.
You see the ruin
that we as human beings
so often bring upon ourselves,
individually and corporately.
We acknowledge that we have looked
to human strength instead of your strength
and to human leaders in place of your kingly rule.
We long for someone to set things right
and all our worry and efforts
seem sometimes to only make things worse.
Have mercy on us, O God,
that we might receive
Your severe mercy of correction,
and find the grace of restoration
through Jesus Christ,
the Promised Messiah foretold in Micah
and the only One who can truly save.
All this we pray, through Jesus Christ,
to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit
be honor and glory, now and forever.
One of the hardest tasks of the preacher is to take a well-known part of Scripture and make it fresh for people again. This past weekend at Eastbrook, I tried to do just that as I preached on Jonah in our series on the minor prophets, “God in the Ruins.”
Unlike all the other minor prophets, Jonah tells a story about the life of Jonah instead of collecting messages from that prophet.
The prophet Jonah is mentioned one other place in the Bible in 2 Kings 14:25 as a prophet in the northern kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam II. This tells us that, if taken at face value, Jonah’s story would have taken place chronologically during the 8th century BC, at a similar time as Amos, during the 40-year reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC).
Because the story of the book of Jonah is told so dramatically in the book of Jonah, there is a lot of debate about its genre: is it historical, is it a parable, is it a real story told in an imaginative style. Regardless of the outcome on those issues, the message of the book is clear:
We can run from it or we can receive it, but the mercy of God is greater than we understand.
You can watch my message from this past weekend and follow along with the message outline below. You can also engage with the entire series on the minor prophets here or download the Eastbrook mobile app for even more opportunities to connect.