E100: 009 | Dysfunctional Family

"A permissive father, a controlling mother, an errant older son and a deceptive younger son. Today’s passage sounds like a reality TV show. But Isaac’s family is one of the most important in the Bible because God used it to build the nation of Israel. Despite intense family tension, we encounter God’s grace through his continued promise to build the nation which was to become his treasured possession." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 27:1-28:22 | (ESV)

Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 'Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die. 'Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies."

Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing." (Genesis 27:5-12)
Overt favoritism among their children. Scheming. Calculated deception. Threats. Trickery. Cheating. What a dysfunctional family Isaac and Rebekah had created.

Through his question to his mother we can tell Jacob knew this was wrong and went along with it anyway. I am sure he did not count this as his highest moment in life. I can't imagine he shared this with to many people. I am sure he was ashamed of what he did.

Actually, it makes me ask the question why would God include in his Word, in Scripture, these embarrassing and

E100: 008 | God Will Provide

"In this passage, God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac and Abraham wasted no time obeying. As the tension mounts in front of the altar, Abraham unwittingly prophesies God’s plan of salvation when he says “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.” Not only did God provide the lamb for Abraham, he also provided the Lamb, his only son Jesus Christ as the once and for all sacrifice for our sins." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 21:1-22:19 | (ESV)

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"

"Here I am," he replied.

Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you." (Genesis 22:1-2)
I can't imagine ever being able to pass this test. Why would God ask him to do this?

E100: 007 | God Has the Power

"In today’s readings, we see how God’s amazing promise to build a nation had become the source of emotional pain for Abram and Sarai. It seemed impossible! God knew Abram needed encouragement so he gave him a peek at the master plan. That master plan culminated in the birth of the Saviour—a descendant of Abram." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 15:1-21 | (ESV)

...the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."

But Abram said, "Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."

Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6)
Abram (later Abraham) is bold as he confesses his doubts to God. He doesn't seem to fear that God will strike him down for

E100: 006 | The God Initiated Risk

"We’re introduced in today’s readings to one of the great biblical characters: Abram, later changed to Abraham. During his seventy–five years Abram had cultivated the habit of listening for God’s voice and obeying it. Also, Abram frequently took time to remember what God had done and to deepen his relationship with him. So when God said leave, Abram left even when the destination was unknown." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 12:1-20 | (ESV)

The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.

"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. (Genesis 12:1-4)
God created a great nation through Abram (Israel) not through the people's effort in building a tower (Babel). Abram will be a blessing to all people on earth, not only Israel. But for this to happen

E100: 005 | Arrogant Motives

"Ever since the Fall, humans had increasingly chosen to go their own way instead of God’s. We see in today’s passage how the Tower of Babel became a defiant expression of pride. And it’s this pride that led God to confuse and scatter the people of Babel." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 11:1-9 | (ESV)

"...Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4)
I like the way Tom Wright sums this up.
"We read of the Tower of Babel, whose builders arrogantly imagined they had united the world under their rule. God stops work on the tower by scattering the builders across the earth. In its place, God calls Abraham to start the family of faith through whom the nations would be blessed in God’s time and manner rather than by their own arrogance."
It was not the one language, the tower, or the city that was the problem. It was the

E100: 004 | The Rainbow and the Cross

"Noah and his family were free from the smelly ark, but were they free from the stench of sin? Unfortunately the answer is no. Even though God knows human beings are hopeless sinners, never again will he consider completely destroying them. At this point, a rainbow would be the symbol of his love." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 8:1-9:17 | (ESV)

God continued, "My covenant is between me and you and every living thing with you. It is a covenant for all time to come. Here is the sign of the covenant I am making. I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living thing. The waters will never become a flood to destroy all life again." (Genesis 9:12-15, New International Reader's Version)
The rainbow is a sign from God reminding us that he has promised never again to flood the entire earth destroying all life. God saved Noah, his family, and the other incredible animal life he had created. The flood was

E100: 003 | Only Evil All The Time

"Sin brought horrible consequences which eventually forced God to act, as we see today in the account of Noah. God was pleased with Noah because he was willing to listen to and obey. Even as God unleashed the flood as judgment on sin, he promised a new beginning." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 6:5-7:24 | (ESV)

"... every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5)
Imagine a world where every human thought was evil, only evil,

E100: 002 | The Dream Shattered

"After a great beginning to the world, we come quickly in today’s readings to the fall of humankind into sin. The original sin was to question, challenge and then disobey God’s definition of right and wrong. Both Adam and Eve made that tragic mistake and it had immediate consequences. But the Good News is that God had a plan to solve the sin problem—a plan that would culminate in Jesus Christ." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Genesis 3:1-3:24 | (ESV)

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:8-9)
God created the garden as a place where the Creator and his people could live together and have a direct and close relationship. I liked the way Bruce Carter described the beginning and the garden before the fall in his message The Dream Begins "God's dream begins in a garden. In a garden where there is peace and harmony, where Adam and Eve enjoy a natural, intimate friendship with God. ... It's the place where God enjoys sweet communion with his creation. The garden is where heaven and earth intersect" but "something happened that shattered the dream and turned it into a nightmare."

E100: 001 | The Very Beginning

"Right from the start, the Bible introduces us to its main character, God. The rest of this unique and wonderful book is all about him. Today’s passage describes how God created his world and also gives special attention to a key part of the story—the creation of humankind, with both men and women being made in his image." (More at NZ's Rhema)

Read Genesis 1:1-2:25 | (ESV)

Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26)
God refers to himself in both the singular and plural form. The first hint of

Essential 100 (E100) Bible Reading Challenge Redux

What to start a journey? Develop a new habit? A habit that will give you insight on life from the very Creator of it?
There are many great Bible reading plans out there. Some read straight through in manageable bites while others mix a passage of the Old Testament with a passage from the New Testament. Still more divide scriptures into various themes or topics.

Enjoy a walk through the Bible with Scripture Union's Essential 100 plan. The E100 Challenge is a great way to go through the bible picking up the big picture of God's plan.
"The E100 is a carefully selected list of short Bible passages--50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament. The passages are usually one to two chapters in length and can easily be read in 10 minutes or less."

"The Bible Reading Plan People Love to Complete!"
(from the Essential 100 website)
I have to admit much of my life I have

What is your reaction to the Resurrection of Jesus?

Easter is about the resurrection and a reaction. Your reaction to the resurrection of Jesus. How do you react?

Take notice of the reactions and emotions of those close to Jesus as they discovered the tomb was empty.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. (John 20:11-12)

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.... Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:5,8)

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground... (Luke 24:5)

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (John 20:8)

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:8-9)
...crying, fright,

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