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Life Before the Face of God

 David is a Coram Deo man.  He interprets life—circumstances and relationships—before the face of God.  David is a Coram Deo man in every circumstance:  When offered the opportunity to defend himself from Saul’s threats by taking Saul’s life, he responds: “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed . . . (1 Samuel 24:5-6). David surrenders that role instead to the LORD. Those who live before the fa... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, April 19, 2019

Have It Your Way!

Years ago a national hamburger chain branded themselves as the burger place where eaters could design their own burger, “Have it your way. Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us. Have it your way.” That successful marketing merely reflected a culture that demanded independence, even in their burger preparation. Soon, other fast food establishments modified their menu options to incorporate this freedom of choice.  Since the Fall, all of humani... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, April 12, 2019

Co-opting Culture

The Judges Era is characterized by three-hundred years of tribe-on-tribe violence, corruption within the priesthood, rampant idolatry and sexual immorality, oppression, and child sacrifice. The author of the book of Judges does not sanitize his report; rather, he exposes the under-belly of Israel’s culture. And it is not pretty. Judges begins by describing the terrible result of Israel’s failure to evict the Canaanites from the land and to destroy their culture and their intermar... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Saturday, April 6, 2019

Tracing Generational Failure

 After the initial conquest of the land of Canaan, God commanded Joshua to designate forty-eight cities throughout Israel as centers of Bible literacy. The Levites who lived in these cities were to teach the Book of the Law. Their failure to teach the Book of the Law and the people’s failure to obey God led to at least seven cycles of sin lasting over three hundred years.  Ravi Zacharias captures the importance of Bible literacy when he declares, “If we don’t give... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Sunday, March 31, 2019

God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility

God’s promises obligate His activity on man’s behalf; they also obligate man to walk in faith that produces obedience.  The tension between the sovereignty of God and man’s response in obedience is expressed initially before the Fall when God verbalizes His purpose for man, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing” (Gen. 1:28). The following instru... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, March 22, 2019

You Are Whose You Are

Confusion characterizes those who don’t know whose they are.   In 2005 W. Bradford Wilcox wrote an insightful article about donor conception for The Weekly Standard called “Who’s Your Daddy? (There’s more to fatherhood than donating DNA)” where he associates confusion with fatherlessness: But there are good reasons to worry about this latest manifestation of fatherlessness. Listening directly to the voices of donor-conceived children should give us pause. ... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, March 15, 2019

Good Government and A Major Problem

Good government sounds like an oxymoron.  Since the Fall men have sought unsuccessfully to govern themselves. Everything created by fallen man, including systems of government, is tainted with sin (pride, selfishness, greed, prejudices, etc.). Human governments promise lift without redemption, justice without covenant, and end up exploiting the masses while enriching those who govern. Power always attracts exploitation.  Therefore, good governance must come from outside of man&mda... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, March 8, 2019

The Baby Steps of a Nation

The land of Canaan provides the womb in which the patriarchs of Israel were born while Egypt provides an incubator, physically, morally, and racially, for the newborn nation to grow. Noted theologian Paul Benware describes this Egyptian incubator: “First, it protected Israel physically. Although the Egyptian army was unaware of it, they were guarding Israel against countless kings and robber bands that could have wiped out this young nation in a matter of hours. Second, Egypt shielded ... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Thursday, February 28, 2019

God's Care For Women

God is for women. Period. Throughout Leviticus God gives Moses rules that reveal His care for and protection of women.  Chapter twelve, verses 1-8 highlight the regulations regarding childbirth. If a woman has a son, she must undergo a time of purification that lasts forty days. If a woman has a daughter, that time is doubled. The days of purification permit physical healing and require sexual abstinence; therefore, the husband must practice self-control during this time. Certainly, th... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, February 22, 2019

The Divine Presence, A Living Reality

God embeds Himself within the community of Israel through the Tent of Meeting. And, like the hub of a wheel, the Tent of Meeting is located at the very center of Hebrew life. God with us.  The Tent of Meeting accomplishes four tasks:  The design for the Tent of Meeting is revealed to Moses from heaven and dispenses a link to the eternal counsel of God. All religions are man’s futile attempts to ascend to God. The God of the Hebrews, however, crosses the eternal divide and ... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, February 15, 2019

Personal Identity is Community-based

Most introductions demonstrate this truth: “I am mother of . . . spouse of . . . sibling of . . . member of (PETA, AA, Democrat or Republican party, GLAAD, religious institution, sport team affiliation, etc.).” Since the Fall, every person is born with a need to belong to a community and will find that need met somewhere. No greater community exists (except the church) than that group who has the Living God as its originator and sustainer—Israel. The Ten Commandments given ... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, February 8, 2019

God Works Generationally

Three primary promises given by God in Genesis drive His activity in Exodus: Genesis 3:15 - “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis12:3 - “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Genesis 15:13-14 - “Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that you... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Friday, February 1, 2019

Suffering and Hope

God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-14 provides the context for the trajectory of Joseph’s suffering, “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them for four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” The rest of the story answers the question, “How will that promise come to pass?” God work... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Wednesday, January 23, 2019

God Relates to Man Outside of Eden

God walks with Adam and Eve in the “cool of the day” in Eden. He gives them an instruction to follow which requires faith in Him. After they eat the forbidden fruit He comes to the couple, confronts them regarding their insurrection, slays an animal to cover their nakedness, and promises redemption. His presence in Eden is conspicuous. His presence outside of Eden, however, is less conspicuous (though quite real) and appropriated by faith.  Though the sun lights the day and ... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Saturday, January 19, 2019

Brokenness and Providence

God’s activity during the six days of creation differs from His divine providence or under the radar work outside of Eden. Nahum M. Sarna wrote, “One of the most characteristic qualities of biblical man was a profound and pervasive conviction about the role of divine providence in human affairs.” God is always active outside of Eden, even if His working is unseen—and that’s a good thing, since life outside of Eden is populated with spiritually blind and broken pe... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Saturday, January 12, 2019

Life Outside of Eden

In the beginning, when God creates man and woman, He lives in relationship with them, even walking with them in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. He does so, that is, until man doubts God’s goodness, disbelieves His Word, eats the fruit from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and is deported from the Garden. Instead of walking with God in faith and exercising God’s gift of dominion (see Genesis 1:28) over every creeping thing in Eden (including the ser... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Saturday, January 5, 2019

Happy (Maybe, Maybe Not) Holidays!

Annual celebrations or holidays reveal brokenness within families and their need of redemption. Hannah’s story is such a story.  Early in Israel’s forty-year tenure in the wilderness, God instructs the community to set aside a number of days in their annual calendar to commemorate His activity on their behalf. Three of those feasts (holidays) require all of Israel to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He shall choose” (Deuteronomy 16:16). Later, ... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Doctrine of Satan in Job

The Bible doesn’t give us a great deal of information about the devil. He appears in the first book of the Bible (Genesis 3), but we only know that it is he from the last book of the Bible (Rev. 12:9). He is the Serpent, the Tempter of Christ (Matthew 4:1, 3), and the leader of the forces that will marshal against God in the end of time (Rev. 20:8). The book that gives us the most information about the devil in the Old Testament, however, is the book of Job. Job gives us insights into h... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Friday, February 23, 2018

Reading Leviticus And Dry Toast

Reading Leviticus is like eating dry toast. Boring and seemingly useless to 21st readers. Or not. Our youngest son is a trend eater. Years ago when he was around eight years old he only wanted four slices of dry toast for breakfast. Without jam. Without butter. For six months. Needless to say, I worried about the quality of his nutritional intake. Until one morning when I removed four slices of bread to place in the toaster and noticed these words on the plastic bag, "Fortified with eig... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Friday, February 16, 2018


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Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Recommended Bible Literacy Resources

Alexander, T. D. From Paradise to the Promised Land. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002. Beale, G. K. The Temple and the Church's Mission: A biblical theology of the dwelling place of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press,  2004. Benware, Paul N. Survey of the New Testament. Chicago: Moody, 2003. ------. Survey of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody, 2003. Chatham, James O. Creation to Revelation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006. Chronological Guide to the Bible: Explore God’s Word in ... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017


All chronological Bibles are not created equal! Why do publishers produce chronological Bibles that differ in their chronology? Each publisher has its own team of theologians who construct the timeline of the Bible according to their scholarship. The chronology that they develop is considered intellectual property of the publisher. How do I choose which chronological Bible to read? Tyndale offers three translations in their The ONE YEAR® Chronological Bible (NLT, NIV, and NKJV). The N... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Why Know God's Story

Have you ever bought a new novel, ripped out the chapters, reordered them, and then tried to read the novel as a story? Could you imagine the frustration? Such an approach makes no sense with a novel, but we have adopted this very method when we study the Bible. It is no surprise, then, that many become discouraged when reading the Bible. What if there was a different way to read Scripture—a way that brought order and understanding? What if you could know the storyline of the Bible an... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Three-Year Wonders

The year is 930 BC. Forty years of relative stability have ended with a total collapse of government, as over 500 years of resentment and tribal differences have taken their toll on a fractured people. The nation of Israel has divided across lines of loyalty between Jeroboam in the north, and Rehoboam in the south. After a near miss in which Shemaiah the man of God kept Rehoboam from carrying an army northward to take back his kingdom, both kings have settled down to establish their bases of ... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017


More than two billion people on planet earth call themselves Christians in some form or another. Evangelicals specifically claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and rest their faith in Him; they believe that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died as a substitute for sinners on a Roman cross outside the city of Jerusalem, was buried, and was raised to life the third day. These truths—and faith in them—bring salvation to all who trust in Jesus as their Substitute. He is... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017


A common complaint that non-Western cultures voice about Americans is that, if they want to make plans with us, they have to schedule everything two weeks in advance. With pressing work schedules, short vacations, a plethora of extracurricular activities, and the overriding sense of urgency, our lives leave no room for the lingering moment. We value the short, quick, and expedient. Sound-bytes dominate the airwaves, offering less and less while stealing more and more time, and the world moves... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Where I live in Mexico, “redeemer” is a common word, and the phrase “Christ the Redeemer” sounds completely familiar. Because of this, when I was teaching through Genesis with a family this past year, I broke one of the cardinal rules of communication: I assumed they knew what “redemption” meant. One of my friends interrupted me as I chattered blithely about God’s redeeming actions in Jacob’s life to say, “Excuse me, but what does it mean,... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LEADERSHIP WORLDVIEW: Should You Change Yours?

Leadership. The word itself conjures up martial and business images of take-charge, no-nonsense people who fight their way to the top even if they have to climb over the littered bodies of friends and co-workers. In fact, this mindset seems to epitomize the "American way." Is it possible, however, that we are wrong about the word? Does it really mean what we think it means? Three stories from the life of Jesus challenge our paradigm of leadership; rejecting the world’s model, ... Read More
Posted by Joel Strahan at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Leadership Lessons from a Rejected Leader

One of the great values of reading through the Bible every year is the insight God gives over time. Each year new light shines on the pages of the Word, and each year God exposes some truth—there all along—that He holds in hand for the one who “listens daily to [Him], watching daily at [His] gates, waiting at the posts of [His] doors” (Prov. 8:34). Saul’s life offers lessons on leadership for those who learn by example and precept. Saul had the honor of reigning... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How Do I Change My Worldview?

Simon Peter is a wonderful disciple for many reasons, not least of which is his ordinariness. Peter had neither fame, riches, nor advanced educational opportunities. Peter made his living as a fisherman, an occupation that wasn’t at the bottom of the food chain but at the same time was certainly not at the top. He excelled at what he did, and his livelihood provided a house large enough to care for his extended family (Luke 4:38). He knew his business well and would have stayed with it ... Read More
Posted by Blog Archive at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How To Begin, Maintain & Wrap-up 52 Week Discussion Group

This document provides a quick overview of 4 elements to consider when starting a Chronological Bible group based on the materials provided through Chronological Bible Teaching (W3: Women, Worldview and the Word; M3: Men, Mindset and Message; and S3: Story-Shaped Students) It is not meant to be an exhaustive checklist, but rather a starting point. The best way to know how to begin a group is to see it in action. If someone is doing a CBT small group in your area, ask if you can attend one ses... Read More
Posted by Kristy at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Boundaries Exist For Man’s Good

The world and her people weren’t always broken. Adam and Eve had a “before and after” experience unknown by any other man. They walked with God in the cool of the day, naked and unashamed; they enjoyed the presence of the glory of God. Their environment was perfect, their Father was wholly good, and their knowledge was as extensive as their need. Even with all the positives—environment, heritage, and education—they still failed God’s grace and lost the glor... Read More
Posted by Iva May at Wednesday, December 13, 2017