Monthly Archives: July 2014

Giving Class Recap: Giving Before the Law of Moses

In our recent series on giving Sandy made a great point about giving before the law: In Genesis you see Abel giving the “first fruits” (4:4) and Abraham and Issac tithing (14:20, 28:22).  Sandy also shared that the ideas of “first fruits” and a “tenth” were known among Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks!

This challenges the idea that we should dismiss tithing because it was a part of the now defunct law of Moses.


Question: How did Abel learn to give his “firstfruits”?  Where did Abraham and Issac get the idea of tithing? Where did the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks get the idea of giving a tenth?

You can hear the classes on giving at

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Are We Made Perfect By The Flesh?

Recently, to help us prepare for the Lord’s Supper, we looked at Galatians 3:3 which reads, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”.

Other versions say something like, “How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort” (NLT).

Clearly, our hope for being right with God is not in our fleshly human strength but in the forgiveness offered through Christ.

Paul uses the word “foolish” to describe one who would think otherwise. Question:  What is so foolish about thinking we can be made perfect by the flesh, or by our own human effort”?”



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Wednesday Recap: Esther And The Pageant To Find A New Queen

Last night we looked at Esther 2. The Persian king Ahasuerus begins his search for a new queen. Young virgins from throughout the empire come to be pampered for a year before spending a night with the King.  Esther is also a part of this, and will of course be the eventual “winner”.

We spent considerable time last night on the question: What was the attitude of Esther (and Mordecai her uncle) regarding her participation in this pageant to become queen to the King of Persia? Was she excited at the prospect of possibly being chosen?  Was her participation against her will?  Is it like the story or Cinderella or the TV series “The Bachelor” where the participants are hoping to be chosen, or is she a scared Jewish slave girl who resents having to be a part of this?  Perhaps something in between or a combination of those two views?

It seems like an important question because it reflects on the spiritual mindedness of Esther and Mordecai.   A side question would be, was it wrong for her to marry the King of Persia?  (A Jew marrying a foreigner).

What do you think were Esther and Mordecai’s attitudes and ambitions toward her participation in this pageant?


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