God’s Promise Prevails through Conflict: Genesis 35

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(This message was recently preached at Warrenville Bible Chapel in Warrenville, IL.)

Working in the construction world for ten years one of the skills that I picked up over time was the ability to read a blueprint. Reading a blueprint for a residential home is one thing, but reading a print for a large scale commercial project is another thing entirely. There are special instructions and specifications that are spelled out on multiple pages, and if you’re not careful to follow the instructions the architect’s design can quickly change into something it was not intended to be. Continue reading

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Not by Might nor by Power (Pt. 2)

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(Continued from previous post. This is the second half of an EBC Chapel message that was omitted for time.) We are not to rely on our own ability as we live as Christians from day to day, but to trust fully in and depend upon the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives, and to assist in His work rather than seek to accomplish our own. Continue reading

Not by Might nor by Power (Pt. 1)

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If I had only one final sermon to preach, I would preach from a much neglected and often misunderstood book of the Old Testament, the book of Zechariah.

Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, “What are these, my lord?” So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”  (Zechariah 4:1-7, NASB)

I want you to imagine that you, as a young child, were kidnapped, taken from your family, your country, the city that you loved and the only one you ever knew, into a strange and scary land. Forced to work for the ruler of that land you became enslaved and stayed that way for the vast majority of your life. A life of oppression and injustice in a land of brutality and cruelty—this was your life. Continue reading