The Restored Orchard

On a Personal Note – Deceived, but Redeemed

God redeems decisions made from a place of deception. Yes, Eve gets punished, because God is just. However, the sins are atoned for through her seed, Jesus Christ, and just beyond the verses that describe the discipline, “the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (v31). God provided for them. There are decisions that we’ve made out of the devil’s deception. Yes, there are consequences that we must live with as a result, but that does not stop God’s redemption, provision, and will for our lives.

Why the Bible is a Window, not a Mirror

The Bible is like a window. It gives us a view of the redemption story like this picturesque scene through a large window. Yet oftentimes, we read the Bible as if it was a mirror.

We look through the pages with the primary purpose of seeing ourselves. We approach the Word of God looking for answers about who we are and what we should do, instead of looking to see God. We have to remember that the Bible is about God for us. It gives us insight into God’s character and gives us glimpses into who we are in light of who He is. When we approach the Bible as a mirror, looking at it to see ourselves in the pages, we risk misinterpretation and misunderstanding the promises of God.

Deeper Roots – Genesis 43:1-15

There are seasons when we’re uncomfortable. All we can see are the ways that a situation can go wrong. We hesitate to move because at first glance neither situation looks like a sure thing. We’re torn by feelings of doubt and our faith feels shaky. We know that God is powerful, yet our minds can’t comprehend how the situation will come out for the good. Those are the exact moments to surrender. We have to yield to God’s will. We need to acknowledge that our soul is wavering, but our divided belief does not stop God from being who He is.

On a Personal Note – Praying in Expectation

We all pray in expectation. However, I’ve realized that the what of our expectations vary. Some believers are praying in expectation for God to do exactly what they asked for; while others are praying simply for God to respond.

Why We Should Keep God at the Center

By monitoring our distractions, we can evaluate where we are and take steps to shift God to the center of our lives (Proverbs 4:24). Romans 12:2 is a call to not be conformed to this world. Yet the only way we can do that is to know what the Word of God says and filter what we allow to pour into us. How often do we take inventory of the voices that speak into our lives, the places we frequent, and the content we consume on the internet?

Deeper Roots – Genesis 42:23-38

It’s only when we sit in the tension of difficult places that we find ourselves desperate for God’s intervention. Instead of rushing to get out, sit with it and ask God to give you context. Ask Him to help you see all the ways you can grow spiritually out of the situation. Don’t despise the tension, it’s providing the right pressure to be made perfect in God’s sight.

Theology Thursdays

We are so excited to be launching a new focus for Thursdays!

Studying the Bible can seem intimidating, especially when people start tossing around words and concepts that you’re unfamiliar with, but understanding certain Biblical terms and concepts can add so much depth to your regular Bible study. We understand that we all lead busy lives and referencing multiple commentaries and other works is not always feasible.

Starting next week, we will be diving deeper into Theology and dissecting terms, doctrines, and beliefs to help us give context to our Christian walk. Our prayer is to make some concepts less intimidating and more accessible for your own Bible time which makes studying more fruitful!

So be sure to check us out next week when we will be breaking down, Why We Should Keep God at the Center.

Deeper Roots – Genesis 42:1-22

The unfair accusations and imprisonment felt all too familiar for the brothers. As they faced punitive measures at the hand of their brother, they couldn’t help but reflect on their own guilt from years before. God used the imprisonment and accusations to evoke feelings of fear and guilt to push the brothers towards repentance.

On a Personal Note – Wallowing in Self-Pity

Have you ever met a person with a “poor pitiful me” attitude? They fail to embrace the promises of God, and so there is always something to complain about or some misfortune that they’re dealing with. Oftentimes, their perspective is limited and self-centered. Self-pity is a vicious little thing. Once you begin to focus on your own troubles, it sends you headed down a black hole of unnecessary suffering. Jeremiah teaches us that if you wallow in self-pity too long, it causes you to question the goodness of God.