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OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!

Peter and John running to the Tomb  George Burnard 1898
Peter and John running to the Tomb George Burnard 1898

HE IS RISEN!

WHAT A DAY THAT WAS — WE MUST NEVER FORGET!

God chose women to be at the empty tomb first, and they believed. When they ran out to tell the men, “They did not believe the women, for the words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:11)

Luke the physician is actually using a medical term to describe the women. It is “hapax legomenon” and means the delirious talk of the very ill! Still, a quickening arose in the hearts of Peter and John, and the race began!

Yes – the grave was empty! Yes – Jesus had risen from the dead! Our God is an awesome God. This scene at a Michael W. Smith concert moved me, for God’s people were so eager they began singing before he did – and when he stopped playing the piano, they kept singing. OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD. Here is that link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38V8jnN1Kpw

untitledSome of us are quicker to believe than others – some of us, like Thomas, want more evidence. Caravaggio did this painting of Doubting Thomas, but I love how he shows that it isn’t just Thomas wanting to see the wounds the nails left – the others are looking too.

It is easy to be slow to believe, yet Jesus is patient with us. Perhaps my favorite account is the walk to Emmaus at the close of Luke, when “a stranger” joins two disciples who are grieving the crucifixion.

untitled2As He walks with them, He begins to show them how the Old Testament taught that Christ had to come and suffer and be raised from the dead. When He broke break with them at dinner, their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.

At The Gospel Coalition, the theme was “Christ in the Old Testament” and many powerful speakers opened our eyes to see him, causing our hearts to “burn within us.” Tim Keller made the parallel between the Exodus out of slavery in Egypt to our exodus out of Slavery. Perhaps you know the song The Horse and Rider Fell Into The Sea – the last verse is The Grave is Empty Won’t You ComThe Passover Lamb pointed to a Better Lamb, Moses to a Better Moses. No doubt many of you already knew this, but Keller took us deeper. What I’d like you to do this week is listen to Keller’s message and while listening or afterwards, answer the questions in the Bible study part. You’ll want to have your Bible open to Exodus 14. Here is the link which you can listen to immediately on your computer or download and put on your Ipod. If you cannot figure out how to do this, you still will be able to answer some of the questions in the Bible study.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/a/getting_out

Bible Study

1.  Tell us how God met you this holy week or Easter Sunday.

2.  Keller says there are innumberable references  to the Red Sea crossing in the New Testament, paralleling our exodus with theirs. What was one he mentioned that impact you and why?

3.  OUR BONDAGE HAS LAYERS.

untitled3

A)  As Eustace, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had layers, so do we. Sara Groves sings, “I’ve got layers of lies…” What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?

B)  What did they really say in Exodus 4:29

C)  When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?

D)  Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?

E)  What else stood out to you from this section?

4.  HOW DO WE GET OUT?

untitled4

A)  What does Exodus 14:15 say?

B)How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol?

C)  The object, not the strength of the faith is what matters. This was probably may favorite part of Keller’s message – and I hope they video stream it so you can see him. But he contrasted two kinds of people going through the Red Sea – one with very strong faith and another with weak. Listen and describe what he said:

D)  Why did they both get through? What does this teach you?

E)  Brilliantly, Keller shows how water in Scripture portrays the Gospel. It can symbolize creation and God’s mercy or de-creation and God’s wrath. Listen and find examples of each:

i.  Creation and God’s mercy

ii.  De-creation and God’s wrath

5.  What else stood out to you from this message?

6.  What is your take-a-way this week?

7.  Do you have a Resurrection Song you’d like to share? (We’ve learned that sometimes when you give a link we have to approve the comment, so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately.)

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169 comments

  1. 1. This morning, again while taking the dog out:)I thought about this week and what a tremendous struggle it has been. I read the Luke’s account of Resurrection morning. The last thing Jesus did before ascending into heaven was to bless them. I believe we have each wrestled with God this week and won His blessing. Our names have been changed and we are each more like Jesus as Jacob was. He went from supplanter(Jacob) to a man of valor(Israel). I hope this makes sense. I wanted to get it down before I am off to church.

    1. Your right, Anne, so right.

      1. Dee, I experienced exactly the same thing. I visited again my Maundy Thursday church. They had an orchestra. They invited people from the congregation to come up and sing the Hallelujah chorus with the choir. It was so moving.

        I just listened to the sermon for the 2nd time. Thank You Lord for Tim Keller.

        I’m back to work tomorrow after a whole week off.

        1. I love that you saw racial integration at Moody Church. I love this and I think we will see more and more of it as we draw nearer to our Lord’s 2nd advent.

    2. Anne, So true!

    3. amen.

  2. You might have seen this video from last Easter. http://youtu.be/i5dSIL358NM Here is another victory dance for our Lord’s resurrection. http://youtu.be/8KX2-J6uS-o
    I love it.

  3. I was blessed Easter morning, too. My husband knew I planned on going to church with my daughter and I hadn’t asked him if he would go, nor my boys (my oldest was home this weekend from college), I was kind of afraid to ask only to be let down.
    Husband got up and got the boys up and we all went to church together. I kept thinking of the “Stonecutter”, hoping He was chipping away some at my husband’s heart.

    I’d like to ask for prayer today for my husband, Jeff, and my son, Ryan. They’re flying this morning from OHio to Tulsa, OK so Ryan can visit Tulsa University and they’ll be going to Norman, OK and then from Tulsa to Texas to visit Texas A&M later in the week. They’ll be gone all week until Saturday.
    I’m a little anxious about Oklahoma and its storms and tornadoes!
    Please pray for their safety this week, but also for some really good father and son bonding. This is the first time they’ve gone away together like this.

    1. Susan,

      So glad to hear this! I will pray for your husband and son..God is good. As you know His word will not come back void. I know your husband and your son see your love for them despite their weakness’ and frailty and even despite how they have confronted you in regard to your faith, and I think that speaks loud of the power of Christ to them. God is at work!

      1. I’m ptaying also, Susan

    2. praying for this. May God richly bless their fellowship and keep them safe. May He go before them to prepare their way and be their rear guard.

  4. We sang this song at church on Sunday – it’s one of my favorites -so moving and stirring! Found a good version of it:

    http://youtu.be/RwZqhx8eSN4.

    I’m trying out Anne’s instructions of pasting the link here – it’s not coming up underlined? Hope I’m doing this right!
    The song is called “Jesus Saves” (Easter Song).

  5. Okay – once I submitted my comment I see the link came up underlined now – thanks Anne, you taught me something new!

  6. Got up at 4:30, just finished listening to Keller’s sermon. Took notes, and had to rewind an re-listen a few times over some of the things he said. I wanted to get it all down. Really rich!

    2. Keller says there are innumberable references to the Red Sea crossing in the New Testament, paralleling our exodus with theirs. What was one he mentioned that impact you and why?

    * All of it impacted me. I think the over arching truth of the parallel of the Israelites crossing over and being free objectively from the bondage of their sin yet subjectively they weren’t free. God freed them but they still had layers of bondage, as we do. When we cross over via our mediator Jesus He frees us from condemnation, from God’s wrath, yet we need to keep going back to His well of salvation (or sanctification) to be freed from the layers of bondage.

  7. I forgot to put ‘why’ it impacted me. 🙂

    It freed me knowing that it is normal for me to still have layers of bondage, yet the beauty is that Jesus, who is God, and without sin is our mediator, not Moses who was only a man of God, rebuked for sin and merely a vehicle of God’s saving power. Jesus can truly take those layers one by one and set us free from that bondage.

    1. Sounds amazing to me, I have been so blessed by how He leads you Dee…”where you go, I will go” 😉

      1. I feel the same as Elizabeth, even tho I do my study on paper and can’t get the computor enough to post it.

    2. Dee, I like that direction. As we cope with idols this is a great next step. I am still struggling with the enemy of our souls but slowly gaining victory. It will help me so much to fill this void with His presence.

  8. Dee,

    So far you have been right on in listening to the Lord in regard to direction and I trust if God is leading you to continue then I think you should.

    I just know that in this season of my life with kids, a husband working two jobs and me not being able to deeply study like I used to, God is using this blog in a mighty way..He has opened my eyes to how Satan has been at work taking advantage of this season in my life and tempting me to go back to Egypt-the battle is real and I need His word- the truth to peel back these lying layers..I need to go to the well every day.

    I am CONFIDENT God is here in the midst of this blog and has opened my eyes.

    Prior to coming on here I was kind of in a desert..How long have I been on here? I can’t recall, but these past six or more months, He is truly washing me and I am looking to Him..I am changing..my husband even said something yesterday..I don’t want to stop. I do want to delve deeper.

    1. sweet Rebecca I feel like I am at the same place as you in life. I love this too. I see God here and love the depth I can get from this and here on my timeline because of impending home duties.

  9. 1. Tell us how God met you this holy week or Easter Sunday.
    There were so many sweet moments with my husband and kids (it’s just us, all our extended family is over 1000 miles away—but it was kind of nice that way). But I would say what keeps coming to my mind when I read this question sounds strange, but it’s true, God met me with rest, literally. Around 5 on Sunday I was overcome with a severe fatigue, to the point I felt sick and light headed. I have never been one who can nap (wish I could) but I had no choice but to go get in my bed. I lay down for an hour, by myself, in quiet peace, and everyone was OK, no one ran in to ask me anything. I can’t tell you what a rare thing that was! And I just felt Him holding me. I got up and felt renewed, ready to finish the Easter devotional we were doing.

    I don’t want to spiel here, but I’ve been thinking on why this rest is SO hard for me. Keller says an idol is anything more important to my self image than what God says of me. I made a quick list in the carpool line this morning. I want to be organized, efficient, frugal, hyper-planned…the goal/idol is to prevent any chaos. And when anything gets in the way…some examples–this weekend I lost an important paper and I’m still not over it, the kids got dressed (on their own) before breakfast on Sunday and I made them change so they wouldn’t chance getting church clothes dirty at breakfast (I’m scaring myself here!) I’m a control freak, fearful of chaos in my world, and of being less than a perfect wife, mother, household manager. So I think you can see why for me to stop in the midst of Easter and lie down to rest, not only had the kids asking me if I was sick, but it was where He met me. He is telling me to lay it down. I’m still struggling to get there though.

    2. Jesus death—the ultimate exodus, “ultimate getting out”. That’s what it is all about—getting OUT. I can remember as a kid having an accident in the rapids when I was 3, trapped under water. I don’t know if there is any connection but all my life I have feared being trapped. I have always needed to know there is a way out. I have entrapped myself so much with all I mentioned above. I am surviving my way, but barely. I feel I could break sometimes. He wants to get me OUT! I love that.

    3. A) Exodus 14:12?
    ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’

    B) Exodus 4:29-32 “Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.”

    C) When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?

    That whatever I am doing is not that bad, that I have a good reason for it, it’s not as bad as…., there is justification for it

    D) The truth, the cross, has objectively set us free, we are no longer under the wrath of the Law. But subjectively, in our hearts and mind, we are still in bondage. We naturally go back to our works righteousness.

    1. love this Elizabeth. I too can be a control freak. Praying for and glad God did give you rest. hugs

  10. Ladies, This is a link of me singing a song at church a few years ago. (It is on my channel on you tube under rivka.) Anyway, I thought I would share it again. I haven’t listened to it in a long time, but it has much more meaning to me now that He is freeing me. Since doing this study and then reading Dee’s book, God has really made Psalm 18 come alive to me again but in a deeper way: http://youtu.be/corqRijNzxo

    1. That’s YOU singing?!!! Oh my goodness Rebecca, that’s amazing! Honestly, do you have a CD? I really would LOVE to buy it! You truly are very gifted–that is beautiful.

      1. Elizabeth, Thanks! No, I don’t have a CD, but if you are inclined you can click on that blue ‘rivka4′ and there are two or three other songs I posted. One is a re-make of going home I did in the studio back in 2005..Anyway, hope the music encourages you today sister!! 🙂

        Actually, that was wrong..Click on the thing that says ’14 videos’ by the blue ‘rivka4’

        1. Dee, Thanks you don’t know how much of a balm that is to me today.

          You speak of Psalm 18 in your book and it brought this song to memory..Then God led me to listen to it again, then He reminded me that at the time I sang this I was unknowingly enslaved by these idols, then I reflected on His rescue in my life via our idol study. I don’t know, I am amazed..He amazes me that He would rescue me by saving me from His wrath and condemnation, and yet He continues to rescue me from myself, from these idols…(Hand is over my mouth!) OH, and I say this because i know how completely degenerately ugly my sin is and how Holy He is..

        2. okay, I will, click on that, Rebecca, as I would love to hear some more songs sung by you!

        3. Joyce, I just love you..I certainly hope they bring you encouragement somehow! You are such a sweet sister.

    2. Rebecca, that song you sing never gets old to me…I have kept it in my favorites to listen to often. God truly blessed you with the gift of singing:)

    3. Oh Rebecca what a beautiful voice you have!!! I am sharing this one on FB. 🙂 What a blessing. You have an amazing gift.

  11. God met me this month in a way I would have never expected. I was comfortable with my non-perfection, with the fact that I mess up some times, that I can not fix the world, and that I will never raise perfect kids…..AND THATS OK!!!
    I have been able to laugh at myself more and really feel like its OK to not know everything, and to be wrong and to RELAX.
    I feel my sweet Jesus pulling off all the layers of pride and replacing them with a humility that does not feel “lesser” but feels “submitted”.
    the funny thing is the more i get comfortable with my own stuff the more I am able to love my family where they are at. I would have never told you I was prideful 3 months ago but as the layers have been stripped away the tender skin of humility has been unearthed and I am amazed at how much I expected from everyone around me.
    2) I love when he talks about the fact that if the isrealites who were in the middle of two huge walls of water where dancing and looking on in awe or if they were cowering in fear they still made it through, a little faith worked as well as a lot to “save” them…..BUT the joy in the journey was WAY different. isn’t that how we are???? we can trust Jesus path for us and walk it in joy or we can cower in fear and miss all the blessings…….we all end up in heaven but WOW is the journey there a lot different!

      1. You’ve given me hope Cyndi!

        I was just cleaning (still looking for the important paper I lost!) and I came across my old prayer journals–read an entry from exactly 10 years ago. At first I was encouraged thinking wow–I do not struggle with that anymore AT ALL! But then I remembered how I have sort of replaced old idols with new ones.

        This line was so good Cyndi: “I have been able to laugh at myself more and really feel like its OK to not know everything, and to be wrong and to RELAX.”

        I have seen glimpses of that in myself, only since starting this study–but I long to be fully free.

        Dee, I can’t wait for this to be in book form so I can just keep reading and re-reading…seems to be a life long process for me!

        1. Lord, please help Elizabeth find her papers that she needs!! I know how hard it is to loose something like that and feel like an idiot:) and I know thats how you feel because i would be beating myself up all day about it too:)
          I was reading an old journal the other day and was so sad at how i thought I was being so humble and yet i can see the pride seaping through every word! Im sure I will look back at my entrys now and think the same thing:) we are all a work in process:)
          Love how i read you entry’s and laugh, I am SO like you:) I can just see us going around behind each other and “fixing” what the other has just done..heeheehee putting the plates or cups away in the “right” place, reloading the dishwasher in the “right” way:)
          we would laugh at each other but we would still do it:) lol

        2. ok, no running off to the mountains without internet for you this week–I need you around to keep me laughing at myself 😉

        3. of course its not hard to be humble when i look at my spelling:)

    1. love this Cyndi
      isn’t that how we are???? we can trust Jesus path for us and walk it in joy or we can cower in fear and miss all the blessings

      It really spoke to me. So true

  12. 3)kinda already answered this one and Bob books are waiting to be read so i will start with 4 tomorrow:)

  13. http://youtu.be/AhfUzodLRvk
    this is sooooo good. perfect for this week,couldn’t help but think of the dragon scene in voyage when i watched it!!!

    1. Cyndi, I got alot out of that, Thanks!

    2. Love that skit Cyndi.

  14. I just found this quote that reminded me of the sermon above–in The Reason for God, Keller wrote: “Recall the ‘sickness unto death,’ the spiritual deep nausea we experience when we fail to build our identity on God. We struggle for a sense of worth, purpose, and distinctiveness, but it is based on conditions that we can never achieve or maintain, and that are always slipping away from us.

  15. 1. Easter morning I woke up under attack. (later I remembered that an attack is actually a test) I had such a wave of discouragement come over me that tears streamed down my face. I got up, took my shower (sang praise song from Woman of Worship I Was Made To Praise You) and realized this was a real attack from the enemy trying to rob God of praise. I got to church on time for warm-up session with choir. One of the songs we sang was Chris Tomlin’s I Will Rise. When we got to the refrain and began singing Worthy is the Lamb I sensed His Presence and my mouth literally stopped after I realized what was happening. I just shut my eyes and worshipped. The same thing happened as we sang the song to the congregation yet that time I was able to continue singing. I thought of the words from a Spurgeon sermon ‘courtier of praise’ and realized that was my Resurrection Day gift from my Heavenly King. It seems I was allowed to enter (in spirit) the inner court of my King. What a foretaste of what is to come!!!

    1. Tammy, thank you so much for posting this. I am more under attack than ever. Why do I have so much trouble applying what I know in my head? Praise and thanksgiving. They are the first things to go out the window when the heat is on.

    2. Tammy, I learned something in BSF tonight, which is surprising considering my state as I sat in that lecture. I went tonight like a drowning person looking for life jacket. It was not until I read your post that I realized I had it right here in my notes. In Isaiah 63:15-64:12 there is an awesome prayer from which the leader extracted some great tips for prayer. Some of them we have learned already like remembering His kindness, goodness, great works and past deliverance. Isaiah asks God to glorify His name (rather than bringing his own list of requests) and pleads with Him on the basis of his relationship as child to God the Father. In my opinion the crown of the whole prayer is Isaiah asking for God’s presence rather than the things on his list. His presence is what so lifted you up Sunday morning and this is what will change our world. Tonight I am composing my prayer off of those verses.

      1. Anne
        Thanks for sharing the verses from Isaiah. I’m going to write the reference down in my journal and keep them before me.

        I just listened to Keller’s sermon and plan to go back again. I have the day free from outside responsibilities so I get to be Mary for awhile.

        Keller’s sermon has helped me come to the understanding that I do not understand the freedom in which I live. I can identify with what Lloyd-Jones said about emancipated slaves because I parallel my spiritual reality with my former physical reality-oppression by emotional abuse. There came a point after the annulment of my marriage that I realized I could live without my former husband. Now if I can get it deep in my soul that I can live without my comfort idol I will then be able to become all of the woman God created me to be.

    3. Love that Tammy. I love how our King always comes to the rescue!!

  16. 4) stop your whining and move on!!! Oh how I have heard my heavenly father tell me this so many times…I read this and think “how stupid can you be” about the isrealites and then I look at my “stuff” and how easy it is to go back to it for comfort, its not good but its so comfy. comfy is not what we are called do…darn it all!!!
    I look at my idol of wanting approval from people AND God, of my pride and my control. they are so “good” looking. and if my heart is matching my actions then it IS pleasing to my Jesus!!! But only when I am serving for the right reasons.
    As I spend more time with HIM HE changes me into the person HE wants me to be and I don’t need to work so hard at being “good” HIS fruits are peace patience, GOODNESS, KINDNESS….they are HIS fruits, NOT MINE!!! trying so hard just wares me out and hardens my heart to my Jesus…I do not have to stop serving HIM, I just need to do it in HIS strength and not my own

  17. I have been thinking about some of the things Keller said all day today but this is what really has been burning into my heart today: (These are the notes I took)

    “The more I see what He has done the more I see the flood waters go over His head, the more holy I will be. No one that understands the grace of God takes sin lightly.

    Our salvation has nothing to do with how we behave. The more I see the free grace of God, the more I understand my salvation has nothing to do with how I behave, the more my behavior will change.

    Why do I sin? We sin because it is the easiest way. Let the gratitude I have for God fill me with joy that I say I am not going to do that. A lot of times it is our idols, because we are afraid, and are being controlled by these things but the grace of God frees us from these things.”

      1. Dee, That IS something to ponder on. 🙂

        I think God is leading me in this direction this week to ponder on and really use to combat the lies I know I have when things happen that cause me to think His love changes with what I do. Here are my thoughts so far:

        His love that is Grace isn’t dependent on what I do that is good or what I do that is bad. His love doesn’t increase or decrease based on what I do. His love is fully there even when I sin..His Grace amazes me. Yes, I may grieve Him, but His love is unchanged which leads me to desire NOT to want to grieve Him. It causes me to say no to temptation and yes to obeying Him. It also leads me to repentance when I do yield to temptation.

        That said, I do still have layers of lies and this is really going to help me to remember the truth so that when the lie comes up that what I have done has lessened his love for me, or the lie of pride that what I have done has increased His love for me, I can combat it and perhaps repentance will come quicker for the stubborn soul that I am.

  18. Ever since Keller mentioned it, And Can it Be has been running through my head–here are the lyrics:
    http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/a/c/acanitbe.htm

  19. I finally just finished the last 20 minutes of the Keller sermon. I had similar notes to Rebecca’s as far as what stood out most to me.

    I also liked when he said “deal with the flea bites by seeing what He has already done for you” I love that–flea bites, boy do I make a lot out of what are just flea bite! And the part about the slaves who were freed but still react to a white man as if they are still in bondage.

    I loved the part about water representing chaos and God bringing order to chaos–I needed that picture as I have let a fear of chaos keep me in chains. But it is the turning away from my Creator that brings chaos.

    And then the very end when he again said simply: Be still and see the salvation of the Lord…all my salvation is in Him. Look at Him and that will make you holy.

    I am hesitant to say it but I do see my layers more clearly than ever before. I had a very honest conversation with my husband after finishing the sermon together–asking him to hold me accountable to let it go.

  20. 1.  Tell us how God met you this holy week or Easter Sunday.

    God met my spirit with so much joy this Easter and Holy Week because all is possible in Him due to His dying for our sins.

    2.  Keller says there are innumberable references  to the Red Sea crossing in the New Testament, paralleling our exodus with theirs. What was one he mentioned that impact you and why?

    I liked when he talked about the Transfiguration referring to an exodus, I’d never heard that.

    3.  OUR BONDAGE HAS LAYERS.

    A)  As Eustace, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had layers, so do we. Sara Groves sings, “I’ve got layers of lies…” What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?
     
    12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

    B)  What did they really say in Exodus 4:29 

     29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

    C)  When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?

    It won’t hurt anything and I will feel better. I have earned self indulgence.

    D)  Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?

    the old slavish part of still is at work, putting us back in traps.  

    E)  What else stood out to you from this section?

    Keller related so well to how I still wrestle with slavish feelings.

    4.  HOW DO WE GET OUT?

    A)  What does Exodus 14:15 say?

     15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.

    B)How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol?

    I am now  free in Christ to move forward!!!!!!!

    C)  The object, not the strength of the faith is what matters. This was probably may favorite part of Keller’s message – and I hope they video stream it so you can see him. But he contrasted two kinds of people going through the Red Sea – one with very strong faith and another with weak. Listen and describe what he said:

    D)  Why did they both get through? What does this teach you?

    Both got free because of the object of their faith, be it faith weak or strong. This part made my heart song! <3

    E)  Brilliantly, Keller shows how water in Scripture portrays the Gospel. It can symbolize creation and God’s mercy or de-creation and God’s wrath. Listen and find examples of each:

    i.  Creation and God’s mercy

    GOD used water to make order of chaos, which is what water symbolized .

    ii.  De-creation and God’s wrath

    The flood was accurate punishment because when people turn from God they also do so from the goodness of Creation, so in this case water decreated.

    5.  What else stood out to you from this message?

    The ultimate gift of Christ realizing the plagues and punishments that were literal on His case — all for my soul. Wow. 

    6.  What is your take-a-way this week?

    What I wrote above.

    7.  Do you have a Resurrection Song you’d like to share? 

    Christ the Lord Has Risen Today

      1. Thank you for these kind words, Dee! They are a blessing to me. <3

  21. 4. A) Exodus 14:15 “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

    B)How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol?
    Stop justifying, rationalizing, over-analyzing. I was once a slave I am now free. Accept the Truth and LIVE out of it!

    C) The object, not the strength of the faith is what matters. This was probably may favorite part of Keller’s message – and I hope they video stream it so you can see him. But he contrasted two kinds of people going through the Red Sea – one with very strong faith and another with weak. Listen and describe what he said:

    D) Why did they both get through? What does this teach you?
    I really liked that part. It didn’t matter if they were confident of their freedom or still weak in their faith—they were equally saved because it wasn’t about them! It is the object of our faith, Christ , not the quality of our faith that saves. I remember thinking some on this idea a few years ago and letting it really sink in that He cares as much for me, I am equally saved, as Charles Spurgeon and Billy Graham. They are not somehow at the front of the line and I’m off forgotten in the back ground. We are all His sheep, saved by grace.

    E) i. Creation and God’s mercy-the separation of land and sea; baptism
    ii. De-creation and God’s wrath-the flood
    5. What else stood out to you from this message? (guess I said all that in my previous post!)

    6. What is your take-a-way this week?
    The more I look on Him, the more I will be made holy. My salvation has nothing to do with my behavior. All these acts I spend SO much energy doing—“good things” even…when I find myself angry because something is thwarting my plans or my reputation, then I have made it an idol and have returned to works righteousness.
    Remind myself moment by moment I am FREE. I do not have to prove myself or earn my way or try to look good. Nothing is more important than His view of me. And His view is that I was worth the price—amazing.
    7. Do you have a Resurrection Song you’d like to share? (We’ve learned that sometimes when you give a link we have to approve the comment, so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately.)
    Now I have And can it Be in my head!—so I’ll stick with that for now 

  22. This study is SO timely! And I have long responses for several questions–including how God met me this past week, but the responses are still in my brain – and my notes. Keller’s preaching is so helpful in terms of understanding Scripture and practical freedom from sin. And he also is funny!

    Will get back to this after work (maybe at work!) tomorrow.

    Article about Bell’s book in New York Times today –interesting point about existence of hell necessary for our humanity/freedom of choice, but comments after the article were kinda depressing. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/opinion/25douthat.html

  23. 3. A) As Eustace, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had layers, so do we. Sara Groves sings, “I’ve got layers of lies…” What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?

    * To leave them alone, they would rather serve the Egyptians than be killed by the Egyptians in the desert.

    B) What did they really say in Exodus 4:29
    * They believed what Moses told them about God seeing their affliction and wanting to deliver them and they bowed down and worshiped God.

    C) When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?

    * Some of the lies I tell myself, well the main one is that God is aloof and He isn’t listening to me. He won’t fill the need at the moment so I must go to other things to fill the need.

    D) Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?

    * objectively they were free from bondage but subjectively they were still enslaved. They still had layers of bondage.

    * This means that I have been saved from the bondage of my sin, from God’s wrath, from condemnation. I am no longer under law but under grace. Subjectively, I still have layers of bondage. I still have my sin nature to deal with. One of the layers is my sin nature and another is idols.

    E) What else stood out to you from this section?

    * I liked it when Keller said this: “God has freed you from things you are still a slave to and you just haven’t worked it out yet. We are free, we are getting free from the power of sin, and we will be free finally in the end..That is abstract, but in the Exodus we have a picture of where we are.”

  24. This is a really important point Keller made. I didn’t get all of it written down, but these are my notes:

    “There is also bondage to the law subjectively. Galatians were about people who were objectively free from guilt, they believed but were going back into a form of works/righteousness….We all know that deep down we should be perfect, so the natural default mode is that we go back to works/righteousness.”

  25. I was re-reading ex. 14 and “BE STILL the LORD will fight for you” just jumped out of the page!
    I love “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph. 3:17
    being QUIET is just not my thing….and that has caused me a lot of issues! when I fight for myself, try to make things happen on my own, I step out of the PEACE that GOD has promised to give me if i would just REST!
    How fun to watch GOD fight for me as I sit back and trust HIM more. Don’t get me wrong, Im still an armchair quarterback….telling HIM just what I think the next play should be:) BUT Im trying to step out of the “quarter back trying to run the game” and sit on the bench until the COACH puts me in to game.
    Im trying to be OK with being a linebacker or a kicker or a special teams player, whereever he wants me is where I want to be.
    soooooo anyone ready for football season:)
    Well, Im off to be the team bus driver:) have a great day girls!!!!

      1. so glad to be your comic relief:) *lol* I WANT it to be my thing!!!! I am trying…. well not trying….but trying to be still….uggggggg being still just does not come easy in my own strength….back to my knees I go, well after i let my 15 year old drive to the dentist, make dinner, put the little ones to bed and help the older ones with school:) quiet heart, busy hands:)

  26. I keep reviewing my notes and I feel stuck in the layers. As Keller said “you know, but you don’t know”. I know in my head, and in my heart, that my works does not save. But my sin nature–I am still caught in performing well, for my own reputation/pride. I know that Christ loves me, I know He does not require anything but repentance and faith. And I know eternally, none of this matters. But it’s ME. I am the one who cares how I perform–in relationships, at work. And I go along fine and not thinking much about it, I have a routine and I’m not totally over-the-top about (most) things! But then when I hit a snag, when I mess up, or forget to do something…I just get frustrated with myself or find someone to blame. It’s usually the small things, the “flea bites”. The big things seem easier to fall to my knees—there is no getting around it. I realize I am still basing my own self-worth on how I perform and not on how He sees me, on what He has done.

    But the more I see what He has done, sit with it, let it work into my heart, it will change my behavior. I will stop trying so hard, or getting so annoyed with the flea bites. I want it to change me.

    This just came to mind—“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor 5:17”
    As Keller said, we have crossed over. There is no in-between. I love the slave image, I want to hold onto that.

  27. LOVE Michael W Smith what a gift of a voice he has. That video moved me too. I found a desire to be there. 🙂

    Listening to the other audio now. Excited to have the free time to do it. Hope it lasts. 🙂

  28. WOW! Such a great message. I so love the Old Testament and how it all points to Jesus. Have you ever heard of the Jesus Storybook Bible? The best children’s storybook Bible of all time! Every story in it points to Jesus. Love when people do that in their teaching and preaching because really that is what is about.

    What stood out to me:
    loved he talked about our layers. I battled this knowing I am perfect in HIM but knowing my actions are far from it. This helped put that to words. Especially the example of the slave knowing he was free but still listening to the accusations of the white man. We often listen to the accusations of the evil one. We must rest deeply assured in our hearts who we are in Christ. Period. We are free and working it out.

    God is freed you from things you are still enslaved to. Liked this statement.

    Getting out of bondage but bondage has layers… Liked how he put this too.

    Loved how he talked about crossing over by grace. So stirring in my heart. I love that we are perfect but working out the layers little by little just like we are studying here.

    PRAISE. Listened to the whole thing uninterrupted. Kids playing so well together. So precious to have that time. I feel refreshed. Will answer rest soon. Probably need to check on kids. 🙂

    1. Angela, Praise God! I can relate to that praise! It is a gift when we can listen to sermons and do bible study uninterrupted. 🙂

      1. i can not find the one with the CD on amamzon…what is it called. is it the delux?

      2. I fully agree about the Storybook Bible! We had had SO many people recommend it, including our pastor and I kept thinking, oh we have a million kids Bibles how much different can it be…then a few years ago my practical frugal self broke down and bought it, and it is the ONLY one we use! It moves me to tears nearly every time–so well done!

        1. yes the girls listen every night when they are going to sleep. My youngest memorizes so much of it. I just love it. She quoted the 23 psalm as it is said on there. Loved it. The audio is great as well. We got our audio at lifeway this month and it came with another Bible.

        2. I can’t wait!!! Im ordering it today!!!!

      3. Kendra and I love that book also ,(Jesus storybook Bible) Dee:)

  29. 2. Like Dee and Tracy I too was drawn to Luke 9 until I listened to the sermon a second time and then was led to do a word study on a few words from 1 Cor 10:1-6.

    I know the word cloud refers to the pillar of cloud in the desert which accompanied supernatural events, i.e. the parting of the Red Sea. God was literally in front leading the people and watching their back by keeping the Egyptians at bay.

    I discovered the word sea in 1 Cor 10 refers to the actual expanse of sea and was referenced by Stephen in his sermon (Acts 7:36)
    AS I have shared before I love going to the Atlantic Ocean and just sitting, staring at the horizon knowing there’s a whole nother part of the world beyond the water I see.

    ‘…baptized into Moses’ got my curiousity up so of course I had to study the word baptized. Did you know that there are two kinds of baptism in scripture-wet and dry? This particular scripture references dry baptism. Here the greek word ‘baptizo’ (strong’s 907) means “identified with what the name of that one stands for”. Moses means ‘drawn out’ and I think its amazing that God pursued and wooed me so he could draw me away from sin in order to make me his bride.

    1. Wow, Tammy, that is so neat!!

  30. I wanted to quickly hop on this morning and share something God is using. I don’t have a lot of time, so I can’t edit like I usually do, so here it is, sorry if my thoughts are scattered.

    I have been enslaved by what others think of me, but mostly spiritually and ministry speaking. I have been afraid in the past to share what God is teaching me and how he is freeing me and especially so if it goes against the grain of some of my more legalistic friends and the friends I have who have strayed from the foundational truths of the Gospel.

    ANYWAY..That said, this morning I had three friends all in a row e-mail me with responses to a book I recommended. Then I had someone e-mail me in regard to something else unrelated. In the past I would have been upset about it and would have had a nervous stomach, but God gave me true compassion for her and helped me to be gracious because I am reminded that I am loved by God, but I am a sinner.” I too can struggle with enslavement issues and struggled with gods without even knowing it. Well, so does this friend..I was there I should have compassion, not judgment.

    Anyway, God also gave me confidence that He is the one who I care most about as to approval of the things He is showing me. I mean, I have all kinds of awesome friends, but with varying degrees of faith and I am by far not ‘there’ yet either..

    My point is that I heard Keller say if what other people say to build you up or tear you down make or break your day then you are still enslaved in that area..He is right and God is showing me after this morning that He is freeing me..I am almost to the other side!!! I am SO EXCITED..I really am free and the layer of that lie God has peeled off.

    Something I read that keller said in a recent article was also something that God used to help me as I responded to one of the e-mails I received this morning. I found it on Piper’s site and it is another thing God is using as I work through this enslavement which I think I am just about on the other side of.

    Here is the link. It is mostly regarding Keller’s feelings about the church and political discussion which I agree with now..another area God has changed me in. What I drew out of it could be applied in general to everything..Anyway, this is what I needed to hear as I work through this:
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/tim-keller-mushy-middle-in-religion-is-disappearing-49983/

    Here is what impacted me that Keller said: “The Gospel creates people who say, ‘I’m loved by God but I’m a sinner.’ So there should be a certain humility and graciousness about the way in which you talk to everybody,” said Keller.

    I don’t have time to link all of this together as to how God has used all of this to reveal to me this morning how He is freeing me, but hopefully you can sift through all the words! Love you ladies!!

    1. Thanks for the interview with Tim Keller, Rebecca, he has so many wonderful insights…I could listen to him for hours.

  31. 1. Tell us how God met you this holy week or Easter Sunday.
    I knew it would be difficult at church because my youngest has problems with sound, too many people, etc. Easter is a time that even more people are there so I prayed and gave that to God. My child did not make it through the entire service but we got to sit in a non crowded area where she could move around and still listen. We were both happy and heard a great message. God met me here.
    I did not feel sorry for myself having to serve my child in this way.

    3.
    A) As Eustace, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had layers, so do we. Sara Groves sings, “I’ve got layers of lies…” What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?
    “It is better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness.” Oh how they easily forgot what God had done.

    B) What did they really say in Exodus 4:29
    They were crying out for freedom

    C) When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?
    Oh it is not a big deal, I have to do this if I want it to happen.

    D) Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?
    Really liked this. Sometimes I know in my heart I am free and trust God to work His will in a situation but when it comes to my family I step in the way so much and act before waiting to watch God work.

    E) What else stood out to you from this section?
    I just really am glad that it is a process of dying lately. I get discouraged because I see the sin in my heart and I so desperately want it gone. But I am free from it and I just need to be patient as the Holy Spirit works it out with me. He does it in His timing as I learn and grow and become more Christ like

    4. HOW DO WE GET OUT?
    A) What does Exodus 14:15 say?
    Get moving!

    B)How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol?
    Just have to actively trust and move in prayer. Trust God is working.

    D) Why did they both get through? What does this teach you?
    Must have faith/belief in God…A solid trust. I must trust Him. I am His and He will take care of me. Others will try to sneak through in their own strength but will get swallowed up. God is the only one who can make a secure path through anything.

    E) Brilliantly, Keller shows how water in Scripture portrays the Gospel. It can symbolize creation and God’s mercy or de-creation and God’s wrath. Listen and find examples of each:

    i. Creation and God’s mercy
    How in the beginning the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters/NOahs family was saved through the flood while the others all died. Noah believed others did not/Israelites passed through the sea/Joshua took them through parted waters too to reach their promised land

    ii. De-creation and God’s wrath
    The waters killed the egyptians who tried to cross/all but Noahs family died in flood

    5. What else stood out to you from this message?
    Wrote that all above in the comments

    6. What is your take-a-way this week?
    That I can trust no matter what. God takes care of the rest. I must be obedient and trust. I am free no matter what any other people or powers may speak to me. God is working out the layers of it. Gives me peace.

    7. Do you have a Resurrection Song you’d like to share? (We’ve learned that sometimes when you give a link we have to approve the comment, so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AdYnFY_bZ0&feature=share Stomp Kirk Franklin. 🙂 Good one.

    1. I like this Angela: “I am free no matter what any other people or powers may speak to me. God is working out the layers of it.”
      Such wisdom–I need that reminder!

    2. This touched me so much because it’s exactly how I have felt lately.

      “I just really am glad that it is a process of dying lately. I get discouraged because I see the sin in my heart and I so desperately want it gone. But I am free from it and I just need to be patient as the Holy Spirit works it out with me. He does it in His timing as I learn and grow and become more Christ like”

  32. 3.A.”Moses, we told you we wanted to stay in Egypt and serve our wonderful Egyptian covenant masters.”

    B. They really said, “Get us out of here. NOW!!!

    C. The lie I tell myself is I can’t live without this. I need this.

    D. Objectively they were free form God’s wrath toward evil and sin.
    Subjectively they thought they had to be perfect and thought behavior proved how holy they were.

    Sometimes I think if I would get my act together and live doing everything just right, then I’ll be the Christian I should be. I know that’s not right thinking but it gets to swirling around in my head from time to time.

    I like Shedd’s definition of sin-‘the suicidal action of the human will against itself.” I also like what Keller said about the idols coming back and rattling their sabres.

  33. Dee, I want to listen to the sermon again but it says ‘file not found’. Was it only available for a limited time?

    1. I went to the Gospel Coalition site and got it.

      1. Thanks Anne, I was looking for it also and seen that “file not found”.

        1. Same happened to me tonite – I went to their website and watched the video. Here’s the link: http://vimeo.com/22669720

  34. I was reminded of this verse today and how it applies to where we are in this journey–it gave me renewed hope!

    “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ” Philippians 1:6

    I love the reminder that it is HE who began it, and He will complete it! It’s a promise!

    1. That is so true! I’m so glad not to have to rely on myself but HIM!!! Thanks for sharing this encouraging verse!!

    2. AMEN.

  35. 2. Keller says there are innumberable references to the Red Sea crossing in the New Testament, paralleling our exodus with theirs. What was one he mentioned that impact you and why? The quote from Jesus about being a greater Jonah I have never understood, until now. I always thought it was a reference to 3 days in the whale/3 days in the tomb. I never saw the connection with the Jonah being thrown in the sea to stop God’s wrath. Jesus’ death absorbed God’s wrath.
    3. OUR BONDAGE HAS LAYERS.

    A) As Eustace, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had layers, so do we. Sara Groves sings, “I’ve got layers of lies…” What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?
    They said that they were happy serving the Egyptians
    B) What did they really say in Exodus 4:29
    They believed in the Lord and worshiped Him when they knew that He had seen their misery as slaves in Egypt.
    C) When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself? Oh, there are so many. How about: “You deserve ____. You have worked hard.” Or “You need to rest so you can keep up your strength.” Or “That is not what I meant. She misunderstood me.”
    I make excuses for myself, refusing to see the truth and many times honestly believing the lies. In psychology this is called a ‘defense mechanism’. I was in my early 20’s when I learned this and have seen it over and over, in myself and others. It is a very nice sounding term for LIES, in layers.
    D) Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?
    Somewhere I heard a story about how elephants are contained even though strong enough to break any bonds. When they are young they are chained by one back leg to a stake in the ground. Because they are small they are not able to pull free. After a while they give up and never pull again. The largest land animal held captive by a measly little rope.
    Here is the biggest lie I believe “You have always been this way, you will never change. You can’t change a leopard’s spots.” That is living like a slave. Positionally I am free, but I just give up and refuse to believe God for change.
    Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Heb 11:6
    4. HOW DO WE GET OUT?

    A) What does Exodus 14:15 say? The Lord answers Moses with a question. “Why are you crying out to me?” Tell the Israelites to break camp.
    B) How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol? Since God so often answers us with a question, maybe I should question myself. What am I upset about? What do I want? What am I afraid of? Then I should take my concerned to the Lord in prayer or lament but not complaint because complaining is a lack of faith. I must respond in faith because He will show me what to do or if I should just stand still.
    C) The object, not the strength of the faith is what matters. This was probably my favorite part of Keller’s message – and I hope they video stream it so you can see him. But he contrasted two kinds of people going through the Red Sea – one with very strong faith and another with weak. Listen and describe what he said: He described what it must have been like to see these great walls of water on either side and how some responded in great faith and others were very afraid-but kept walking.
    D) Why did they both get through? What does this teach you? They both got through because they kept walking. God had told them to go and they went. Keller makes the point that it was not the quality of their faith but the object of their faith that got them through.
    E) Brilliantly, Keller shows how water in Scripture portrays the Gospel. It can symbolize creation and God’s mercy or de-creation and God’s wrath. Listen and find examples of each:
    i. Creation and God’s mercy. I love his description of how God’s Spirit moved over the surface of the water and it obeyed Him. The waters separated and dry land appeared. How glorious creation is. Today I sat under the pecan trees and thought about the nuts. Who did God create them for? Aside from for His glory, I think probably us and my friends the squirrels (inside joke around here). It is just a tiny part of creation but what a gift to me when the harvest comes. I don’t know if that can really be called mercy but it is blessing. The mercy comes to light when even though humans sin, He loves them and pours out His wrath on His son to redeem them from death.
    ii. De-creation and God’s wrath. Example of de-creation involving water was the flood. God’s wrath was poured out on earth and death came to all but those on the ark.
    5. What else stood out to you from this message? I love the way he frequently talked about being still and how unnatural that is to us. I thought it a paradox in light of the command to move out in 14:15 but really, I don’t think it is. We move only after hearing the command and we can’t hear from Him if we don’t ‘be still’.
    6. What is your take-a-way this week? My take away is the command to be still and listen. When I find myself not doing this it should be a red flag to me and I should begin to ask myself the questions.
    7. Do you have a Resurrection Song you’d like to share? Yes. It is not deep theologically but I love it because it makes me think of the wonder of His resurrection. I have been focused the last few years on how God’s creation responds to Him. We have no idea. To me that is what this song celebrates. http://youtu.be/HxATO1YrNaQ I love the last line. “Was it a morning like this, when my Lord looked out on Jerusalem?” From death to life on that morning. It makes me think of a Passover question for Easter/Resurrection Morning. Why is this morning different from all others?

    1. Anne,
      Reading your “elephant example” – the strongest animal held by a measly little rope.
      Here we are, with the Spirit of the Living God in us – and who is our God but The Awesome, Magnificent, All Powerful, King of Kings, Creator, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, that Resurrection Power living in us and available to us – and we say all that is held by the measly little rope of our sin?!
      The grave could not hold Jesus! Sin and death were powerless before Him – He crushed them – and He says His victory is ours! And yet we walk around with the rope around our ankle and trip and stumble and are pulled back.

    2. Loved that song, Anne

  36. Something that really stood out to me is how people have no idea of their need for salvation from sin. They can live their lives and apart from the grace of God never know where their path is taking them. But Jesus came and accomplished salvation for us in spite of all human ideas of what a Messiah should be and do. Keller said that when we realize the enormity of what has been done for us, our problems go from huge to small potatoes. I love that. Gotta REMEMBER that!

  37. 2. Keller says there are innumerable references to the Red Sea Crossing in the New Testament, paralleling our exodus with theirs. What was one he mentioned that impacted you and why?

    Oh Dee, thank you so much for this sermon link! I went to the gospel coalition site and actually watched the video of Keller giving this sermon. It literally transfixed me, every word.
    I was in alot of emotional turmoil earlier this evening from a family situation that just left me in knots. To hear the truth of God’s Word – I just fed, and fed, and fed on it. I so needed to hear truth tonite, and I did.

    The one example that impacted me was the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus in Luke 9. I had studied that in the book I’m reading, The Incomparable Christ; there’s a chapter on this in there. Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were discussing Jesus’ “departure” – yes, the Hebrew word is “exodus”. I had learned that the death of Christ would be used by God – it is through His death God would bring liberation to people who all their lives had been slaves to sin. The New Testament exodus is the death of Christ.
    The Cross is the central point of God’s story and the pivotal point in all of human history.
    I love this!
    I know and understand why people say this (those who are unbelievers); but I cringe when I hear people say “God has never done anything for me!”
    They say this usually because of their circumstances and pain in their lives; the heartache, grief, sorrow, things gone wrong – and those things are real and they do hurt.
    But the truth is look at what God has accomplished for us!

    3. OUR BONDAGE HAS LAYERS

    A. What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?

    They claimed that they told Moses, while back in Egypt, “Leave us alone so we can serve the Egyptians!

    B. What did they really say in Exodus 4:29?

    After they heard that the Lord was concerned about their affliction in Egypt, the people believed, and bowed and worshiped.
    Truth: they didn’t tell Moses to leave them be – they wanted to be part of this.

    C. When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?

    The lies are; “It’s hopeless”, “things will never change”, “this person doesn’t really love you”, “even God doesn’t really like you” – the idol beckons me to come to it, turn to it for relief, comfort.
    I like how Keller put it -“Serve me or die!” The idol tells me I can’t make it without it; God can’t meet this need.

    I like Anne’s comment about making excuses for myself. I do it, too. I make excuses for my behavior instead of facing the truth.
    Even if my husband acts in an ugly way or says something in anger or harshness, I will often lash back at him, wanting to hurt him back and then feel justified because, after all, he provoked me. In reality, my idol of power/control or comfort/security was threatened, or maybe my need to be affirmed and approved of was threatened. The truth is that I sinned, and I need to repent.

    D. Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?

    I think Keller said it best with “You can take the people out of slavery but you can’t take the slave out of the people”.

    I so identified with this part of his message. I have struggled for so long with this; knowing in my head that my sins are forgiven and there is no condemnation but it’s not getting into my heart and I’m not living like I really believe it!
    It’s that subjective feeling that deep down I know I should be perfect, but I’m not, and just not quite believing that objectively, God sees me as perfect.
    On Easter, our pastor said “If you really believe what’s in this Book, you’re going to live differently”, and he went on to say that we do believe it, in our heads, but we really don’t believe it in the way we live.

    E. What else stood out to you from this section?

    That we are free, released from bondage, but that bondage has many layers. There is the bondage to the sin nature and sinful habits, and the bondage to idols.
    The idea that everytime you sin, you destroy your ability to resist sin; that sin is likened to a “suicidal action”.

    1. Susan, I can relate to your family situation leaving you in knots. That is well put. I have had to think a lot about what the Lord meant by the ‘broken road’ in my life. At first I took it to mean my past before I came back to Him, when I got married. Then I though perhaps He meant my future road which is what got me all torn up about the dementia thing. But now I think He meant my married life and raising my kids. Even though I was a practicing Christian, there are so many things I wish I could change and if I could the outcome would be so different. But He, in His immeasurable grace has promised to bless my mess. Sorry about the pun, can’t help it. I don’t mean to imply that it is things you have done that have caused your family situation. I just know that for me much of it was. As we seek first His kingdom all these things will be added unto us no matter where we have come from.

    1. Dee, is it Luke 9:31? I found it in the NIV. I googled to find it. I need to listen to Keller again because I don’t recall when he said that and how it relates to Exodus. How did he say it equates? Does it have to do with the future?

      1. Dee-I did some follow up just now and i am not sure about my resource but it says the word ‘departure’ refers to two things- Jesus departing to go to Galilee which he did but also to His departure from this world by crucifixion, burial, resurrection and his departure to heaven via His ascension. So His ‘departure’ refers to his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

        1. Dee, That is AWESOME!! First time I have heard that Exodus means departure and then relating it to Jesus death and resurrection..The parallels Keller sees in regard to the water too are stellar..I never thought of how it all relates before.

  38. 4. A) What does Exodus 14:15 say?

    * Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.

    B)How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol?

    * God wants me to cry out to Him but I can’t stop there, I must move forward holding His hand, walking in faith regardless of the strength of my faith. My eyes need to be on the object of my faith-Jesus Christ, not whether I am strong enough to trust or not.

    C) The object, not the strength of the faith is what matters. This was probably may favorite part of Keller’s message – and I hope they video stream it so you can see him. But he contrasted two kinds of people going through the Red Sea – one with very strong faith and another with weak. Listen and describe what he said: (These are my notes)

    * “When they walked through, the waters were divided and they went through on dry ground with a wall of water on their right and left. They were most likely walking through looking at the walls scared, saying “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die!” I am sure there were varying responses as they walked through, some even said “Look, they are going to die, we got it made!”.. They had different qualities of faith but they were equally saved. Why, because you aren’t saved because of your quality of your faith you are saved because of the object of your faith, the redeemer-the God who is fighting for you.”

    D) Why did they both get through? What does this teach you?

    * They weren’t saved because of their quality of faith, but saved because of the object of their faith-Jesus Christ-the redeemer-the one who is fighting for them.

    * This is true both when we come to know Him and after as He ‘sanctifies’ us or as we are being ‘saved’ or redeemed from these layers of lies left over. After we come to know Him we aren’t loved more or less or paid attention to by God more or less dependent upon the strength of our faith. Jesus is fighting for me in regard to these layers of bondage or lies and it isn’t dependent on the strength of my faith.

    E) Brilliantly, Keller shows how water in Scripture portrays the Gospel. It can symbolize creation and God’s mercy or de-creation and God’s wrath. Listen and find examples of each:

    i. Creation and God’s mercy

    * I wanted to listen again but like with Anne it said, “File not found” so I will go by my notes and add to it what I think as well. 🙂

    * Water represents chaos and when God’s face hovered over the waters he brought order to the waters so he brought order out of chaos and created the world and the universe and He made it good-that is His mercy and He put man on it so man could enjoy and live on it and walk with God. It was perfect.

    * I see the same thing with what Jesus did for us. Sin brought on death, chaos and de-creation and Jesus reversed all of that by taking on those waters and pouring His mercy on us..He received the reality that the flood waters pointed to. He plunged himself in it to bring out order to bring about re-creation.

    ii. De-creation and God’s wrath

    *God unleashed the forces of chaos in the flood as the people faced His wrath.

  39. Sisters, I think it is time I shared what has been going on with me. I have not really been able to see or put it together until now.

    Joyce, my concern is that you may regret sharing about Mary Kay. Please don’t hold back and know that what Satan has meant for evil, God used for good.

    Pick’s Disease is the closest diagnosis we ever had for the dementia that took my mother. Satan never knows what we are thinking but after reading about Mary Kay he started to turn his wheels. All the fear came back. I withdrew in fear that people would think I am crazy because that is exactly how this looks as it comes on. It is gradual and insidious. Sometimes the things I see and think about are insignificant to other people and I hold back in sharing them for fear of seeming crazy. Now I see how my approval idol was operating.

    I had opportunity to talk to my friend about it. It was hard because it is so scary and hard for me to put into words. She helped me to get my perspective back. There is no guarantee I will not get dementia, but if I do God will be with me. Period. That’s all I need to know. In the mean time the worst, worst, worst thing I can do is to withdraw in fear. So if I get out there sisters, please rein me in.

    The yard was beautiful this morning. Wet, cool and breezy between April showers. I decided to ask myself questions and never got past the first one. What do I want? The answer came quickly. A new name.

    1. oh Anne, I would give anything to hug you–but I am praying you sense His arms surrounding you. I love your open, vulnerable heart. You have such wisdom, yes, He will always be with you..and I do understand as best I can some of your fear. I haven’t shared this but my sister is mentally ill and it was only diagnosed 12 years ago, when she was in her mid 30’s. I used to have a lot of fear that it would take me too.

      I love how you said Satan cannot know our thoughts…and your truth here “but if I do God will be with me. Period. That’s all I need to know. In the mean time the worst, worst, worst thing I can do is to withdraw in fear.”

      He holds you Anne.

      Love and prayers to you~

      1. Elizabeth, thanks so much for the hug, the prayers and especially the verse below. I love it.

    2. Oh Anne, I also give you a huge hug!

    3. Hugs and prayers to you, Anne! I struggle with anxiety and I know how thoughts like that can really get away with you and then you feel hesitant to share them. I’m glad you did share with is, though, because now we can pray.

      I like what you said re: a new name. I need one too, and I’m
      Going to get one when I have the chance.

  40. Ladies, I just had a sweet sister e-mail me. Long story but we used to be cheer leaders together back in high school. She is a facebook friend. She is moving back to Kansas City and wants to get together with me for lunch and has asked if we could do a bible study together. I would love to take her through this study, but it won’t be out for a year-That said we could always get online and go back to the beginning of the idol study. 🙁

    Pray for discernment for me as far as a bible study with her. I want to listen to her when we meet for lunch..I am so excited at this possible opportunity and also feel SO BLESSED that my dear friend knows Him. I can’t wait to catch up with her and hear her testimony.

    This is also coupled with a remote possibility I could be working permanent at school rather than as a sub. If I work permanent I won’t have time, but I don’t have to go permanent, and meeting with her would be more important as we would both really grow and me too as I go through it again. I am SURE God will show me new things I missed before! Gotta run!

    1. Rebecca, this morning as songs run through my head, I think of you. Your singing is such a wonderful gift from God. I am praying that God will lead you. Also praying you will find time and the right study to do with your friend.

      1. Anne,

        You are so awesome! Thanks so much! I needed that encouragement, sister!

        I do know that God will arrange it if he wants me to keep singing. They will call and ask me if I would like to sing. That is how they do it. They haven’t so far, but I am REALLY learning to wait, although not perfect. 🙂

        God seems to be setting up the foundation again for me in the ministry I used to have with women when I was single..Not sure yet, but what is cool is that it is all in his time and He does the work. I am praying and am trusting Him to lead.

        As far as my friend, the God of all comfort came to mind today as I was driving to work. She is suffering through some major physical health issues which is why she has to be back home close to family. I think it might be a good study to mention to her. She might have some good ideas for a study too.. Still praying.

        THANKS for praying!!

        I was also thinking the idols study would be good because it doesn’t matter where you are at in your walk, whether you are new, mature, or even not a believer. It is a powerful, life changing study as you already know. 🙂

        1. Dee, THANKS! That REALLY helps! Heck, I would like to do either one of those studies you mentioned by Tim Keller and Harvest. Will pray for direction!

          I found out this morning from her that she would like to meet in the evening or on a weekend when she gets back. She isn’t moving back because of her physical needs. She is moving this weekend so I am not sure she can join in on the study but I can ask.

          The reason she is moving back home is because she has a dear friend who is dying and she committed to taking care of him every day. What an awesome sister! She said her friend doesn’t know the Lord and she doesn’t want him to go without telling him and wants me to pray. She is such a sweet sister. So, we can pray for her friend and for her as God leads. 🙂

        2. I LOVE Gospel Transformation–Before finding Dee’s studies here in January, Gospel Transformation had been my all-time favorite study (now of course I pick Dee!)
          It is very similar to Dee’s teaching, very convicting but also full of grace-giving Truth. What a blessing for your friend to have you in her life Rebecca! I will be praying for His blessing on your time with her.

  41. As I have read through todays’s posts–my favorite verse keeps coming to mind (hope y’all don’t mind–I just realize I keep doing this!) We sing a beautiful version of this at church.

    Isaiah 43:1-4
    “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
    I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cusha and Seba in your stead.
    Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you”

    1. Elizabeth, Thanks! This is a balm to my soul.

      1. It’s balm to my soul too — a lovely passage that is so calming. Just beautiful.

  42. Oh Anne, I am so sorry. I have been with Dennis and Mary Kay untill around 9:00 pm tonight. On beautiful days he will pick her up from the nursing home, in the car and pick Kendra and I up and go for a ride and get a ice cream. It help’s Dennis to talk and cry. He feeds her gently and kisses her head and holds her hand. She is expressionless and no words,no movement, but her eye’s say it all. When Dennis goes to take her back to the home, she looks at him. with desperation. He cry’s every night. My heart aches. I can’t hold back talking about them as they are in my prayers day and night and I sometimes have to spill my guts here, but I feel so bad about bringing you back so much fear in your life, Anne. I didn’t realize your mother died of that. I do remember you mentioning she did have dementia tho. You were even so kind to e-mail me about the pro’s and con’s of tube feeding. You are a dear friend and I applogize for hurting you. Your heart is so tender. Please forgive me.

    I have researched about Pick’s alot and it is not always heretitary. It depends on the family history. I worry about Dennis and Mary Kay’s three kids and their grandkids, too. Mary Kay’s only sibling, an older brother, died of Lou Garretts disease and there is a gene tying the two disease’s together. Their dad died in his 40’s from cancer,when Mary Kay was 12, so they don’t know if he would of had it, but their mother lived to be very old and never had dementia of any kind.
    Your family history before your mother, should help you know. I’m praying for you, Anne. You mean so much to me.

    I think Dennis has dedided to bring her home.

    1. Joyce, if you have hospice to help, Dennis could bring Mary Kay home. They have been so helpful, every time I have had any dealings with them. My friend Gloria came home from the hospital with home health followup and she was a miserable. They did not have the supplies nor were they willing to go out of their way. But hospice got her clean and comfortable and helped her family to be able to take care of her. The difference was night and day. End of life care is just different and they know how to do it.

      My mother’s autopsy was not conclusive for Pick’s disease but the symptoms are the most like what she had of anything I have seen. We took her to a neurologist who did genetic testing and she had both copies of a gene mutation that caused her dementia. I also have both copies but thank the Lord Joey only has one. I don’t know about Al yet but I think it unlikely that he has both because he doesn’t have ADD (part of the syndrome). The same doctor is treating me with certain nutrients. Apparently it is something like pernicious anemia which also causes dementia. It is all such a long story but God’s faithfulness is woven throughout it. We first brought Mom to Duke’s Memory Disorders clinic because I passed it every day on my way to work. At the time he said it was too late for him to help her but he thought he would be able to help us, her children. So, we will see. That was 15 years ago. I think I should have gone to him sooner than I did.

      1. I am still praying for you, Anne I’m so sorry

  43. I meant to type “Decided” above. Yes, he feels that is what she is trying to tell him with her eye’s. He can’t deal with her dying at home, but he can’t take her eye’s begging him, either. We are arranging for 24 hour care and hospice will also help, so he won’t be alone…plus he has family. I’m sorry to keep asking for prayer for them…and please pray for our sister, Anne, that God would take all her fears away.

    Anne, love how you said Satan cannot know our thoughts…and your truth here “but if I do God will be with me. Period. That’s all I need to know. In the mean time the worst, worst, worst thing I can do is to withdraw in fear.” I’m repeating your words again to remind yourself, Anne to believe them. God loves you so much…more than you can ever imagine and he knows how much you love him. You are loved here so much also and lifted in prayer.

    1. Yes, Dear Jesus, I lift them all up in prayer also. Please help all those hurting and for the one’s that have died, I pray for their families…how terrible for them.

      Rebecca, I’m praying for your friend and her friend that is dying. I pray he will give his heart to the Lord.

  44. Had some severe damage here in Ringgold Ga and Cleveland TN. Both a ways from us. Lots of people here had some wind damage and lots still without power. Hopefully by weekend everyone will have power. It was the scariest thing I have ever been through. THanks for the prayers as you see the devastation all over the news. Deaths are high as well. Keep praying. We are offering our home to anyone without power…so far only one person took us up on it to charge stuff and use a blow dryer. HA HA. SO we will see.

  45. We are fine. Just some strong winds yesterday. Tammy is in SC. I am just now catching up on the news. Everyone watched the wedding at work today. I had no idea. Angela, glad you are ok and I will pray.