The Campus House Podcast is our collection of Sunday teachings, meant to encourage and equip you in your relationship with Jesus. Campus House invites you to listen, dive deeper into the Word, and catch a glimpse of God’s ongoing work in your life and in our ministry.
The great value of the Book of Kings in the Old Testament is that it presents us with a short history of what it was like for godly people to live in a time when many of their national leaders and their neighbors had rejected God. We see that God remains in control of the course of history even during the reigns of the worst political leaders and darkest realities. He confronts humanity’s sinfulness, keeps his promises. and stands ready to forgive those who turn back to him. In 1 Kings 19 we see one of God’s great Old Testament stars, Elijah, coming off victory after victory yet struggling with feelings of despair and defeat. He has come to the end of himself, burned out emotionally and spiritually, feeling his ministry has failed because the people haven’t turned back to God despite seeing the power of God. He begins to wonder whether God is really working for the good of the world. In his despair, though, Elijah experiences God’s tender care and we see that God has tender care for all his people who feel their hope is in jeopardy. God strengthens us, speaks to us, and assures us that he does not fail. Ultimately we know this because God’s sovereign plan culminates in Jesus, who brings justice against evil and gives mercy to the broken.
1 Kings 18 is the amazing story of Elijah on Mount Carmel. After 3 years of no rain and famine due to the disobedience, evil, and idolatry of the Israelites, God sends Elijah to King Ahab to arrange a showdown between God and Baal. There is a lot packed into this chapter, but in it we see God’s work, promises, power, and grace in various forms. Sometimes God upends evil in a powerful, dramatic fire bombs like what happened through Elijah on Mount Carmel, and sometimes subversively through these unnoticed ‘insiders’ like Obadiah, Ahab’s chief administrator who hid 100 prophets from the evil queen. He answers prayer, sometimes immediately (like the prayer for fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice) and sometimes incrementally (like the seven-part prayer for rain). He works His justice (the killing of the prophets of Baal because of their idolatry and evil) and extends His grace (the acceptance of the atoning sacrifice and even a ‘road to repentance’ for Ahab. In the displays of justice and grace we see how it all points to Jesus and, specifically, the cross - the intersection of justice and mercy.
Elijah & Elisha
The naturally supernatural work of God
This week we launched into our summer sermon series, using 1 & 2 Kings as a backdrop to the lives, words, and work of two prophets (Elijah and Elisha); work which actually highlights the patience, power, and promises of God and how everything in the Old Testament points towards Christ. The whole of the book of Kings is one tragedy after another; from the demise of the splendor of Solomon to the split of the kingdom to multi-generational idol worship and, eventually, the destruction of Jerusalem and exile. Elijah enters the scene in chapter 17 during the reign of the especially evil Ahab and his wife, Jezebel. Elijah’s sudden appearance reminds the people of God that, even though evil is prevalent and disheartening, we don’t need to despair or, in Peter’s and Isaiah’s words, ‘fear what they fear…’ God’s counter-culture work is already in motion. The thread of Scripture is God’s tenacious pursuit of His people. Elijah proclaims the word of God; specifically that there would be no rain, a direct assault on the empty promises of Ahab and Jezebel’s god, Baal. During the famine, we see God’s creative provision through the daily delivery of (unclean) ravens and the care of an (unlikely) Gentile widow. Through it all we see (and will continue to see) God’s unshakable promises being kept throughout the tragic and inconsistent storyline of the Israelites; all paving the way for the King of Kings to redeem, restore, and enact His eternal Kingdom.
Does forgiveness feel like something you are supposed to do but not necessarily something you want to do? What if the practice of forgiveness actually leads to our freedom, joy and peace?
In this sermon, we look into the reality that we reflect the image of God as emotional beings, and our emotions help us to understand and interpret our experiences. Emotions, rather than being bad or wrong, help in our sanctification process by the Spirit into the image of Christ. Furthermore, we dive deeper into the emotion of anger in order to understand its connection to justice and leave you with a practical tool for forgiveness.
Who wants to experience more of God’s Love? Today we will explore one way of experiencing (not earning) more of God’s Love is through his obedience. We will see how our obedience is actually about residing in and experiencing his Love. We will see this through Sweet Gum Trees, the first two chapters of Acts and the some teachings of Jesus.
What does it mean to live a life pleasing to God? Especially during this time of transition in our community — as students graduate, make plans for the future, and all of us transition to summer rhythms — we want to keep before us what God has said is of greatest significance. The Bible has a summary phrase to describe a life pleasing to God: “the fear of the LORD.” In our sermon today we take a brief systematic overview of this phrase in the Bible to discover what it is, how we lost it, and how we can grow in “the fear of the LORD.” What we find is that though God is due our reverence and honor and has called us to a good life rooted in his love for us, we tend to reject him and his love in favor of ourselves. We are far more afraid that we won’t be pleased with our lives than we are with pleasing God with our lives. Yet even then by God’s grace in the Gospel Jesus feared God when we would not so that we might grow in “the fear of the LORD” — which is the only way we gain happiness, life, rest and satisfaction in all things.
Inevitable. Intentional. Incremental.
The question is not whether we will change, it’s how we will change.
Who are we becoming?
What is the impetus?
What is the goal?
The message of the Gospel is that Jesus transforms us by His grace, through His Spirit, in the context of a faith community, and for His hope and glory. There are no shortcuts to this kind of change; it is an ongoing obedience and participation with the Spirit in every area of our inner and outer life. Through it all, we are anchored to the One who doesn’t change; who consistently and lovingly sanctifies us bit by bit to be conformed to the image of Jesus.