God created man in his image to reflect him in the world.  He gave man work and also set the example of taking rest for refreshment and re-orientation.  God created man for a close relationship with God, not because of some need or lack on God's part but out of his extravagant love and grace.

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Genesis 1-3 can be viewed as the introduction to the rest of the Bible.  In it we learn about the main characters and the conflict that is the focus of the rest of the book.  Ken talks through Gen 1:1-25 and what we learn about God in it.  We learn that God existed before the physical world was made and therefore exists in a realm outside of our world.  He is creative, immensely powerful, extravagant and extremely intelligent.  The focus of his creative energy is the earth and more specifically man whom he loves and has created to enjoy God forever.

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"Rejoice in the Lord" is more than just Christian niceity.  In Phil 3, Paul discusses what it looks like to rejoice in the Lord and descibes how it is a matter of safety for the follower of Christ.

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Joshua Mohn discussed John 21:1-19.  In the midst of confusion and lack of direction following the crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples when back to fishing, an activity they knew and were good at.  However, they caught no fish until Jesus helped them.  We often don't recognize how much we are dependent on God for our success.  When Peter was broken and aware of his dependence on the Lord, he was able to be raised up to lead the new church. 

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Press On

Salvation through Jesus Christ results in us being adopted into God's new family.  Like human infants, we have a lot to learn and we will make many mistakes along the way.  Jesus is the one driving our maturation process and he promises to bring it to completion but it involves our active participation in his training program.  He gives us a variety of resources including scripture, teachers and other believers to help us grow.

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Expectation is the foundation for our reaction.  Thomas did not expect that Jesus would really rise so he found it difficult to believe the eyewitness accounts of the others.  God gives us enough evidence to believe but rarely enought to convince a skeptic.  We have expectations of God that shape our reaction to his work in our lives.  

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In John 20:19-23, Jesus greets his disciples for the first time after his crucifixion - after they had failed him in numerous ways.  His response, which mirrors the response of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, extends tremendous grace, restores them with renewed vision and invites them to extend the mercy to others the same mercy they received. He responds to us in the same way when we sin.

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