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.
In the context of a college campus, it can be especially tempting to view scripture as just a problem to solve. Academic study of scripture is incredibly valuable, but we can’t stop there. Scripture is ultimately a story! And it’s a story that all points to Jesus. So when we examine a passage like 2 Kings 6:8-23, we want to see how it fits into the grander story of Jesus. Then, prayerfully, the result is that we find ourselves caught up in that same grand story.
2 Kings 5 tells the story of an unexpected healing of Naaman the Aramean and the disobedience of Gehazi, Elisha’s Israelite servant. Both characters carry expectations of what they think they deserve. Ultimately, Naaman humbles himself and encounters God’s grace through the miraculous healing of his leprosy; his response all-in worship and devotion. Gehazi, however, becomes distracted by the pursuit of wealth, leading to deception. Through this passage, we explore the weight of our own expectations. At what point does expectation become entitlement? What do we grasp onto for satisfaction and joy? How might God want to recapture our awe of Him? The theme of God disrupting and moving beyond our expectations is echoed all throughout Scripture, culminating in Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is only in Him that we have abundant life and true hope that will not disappoint.
1 Corinthians 13:12; Luke 4:23-30; 1 Peter 1:3-4, 13; Ephesians 3:20-21
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.