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The Teaching Series with Brad Gray
12 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
#132 - The Journey Pt 5: Goal is to Roll
The Hebrew language of Psalm 37:5 offers an interesting visual for how we’re meant to live our lives. It says, “Roll onto the LORD your path, trust on him, and he will act.” The problem is most of us try to walk God’s path our way. We prefer our comforts, decisions, and preferences to determine how we walk, but that’s not what the Psalm is inviting us into. In this episode, we’ll explore what it looks like to relinquish our own comforts so that God’s path shapes ours and not the other way around.
23 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
#131 – The Journey Pt 4: It’s Not Safe
Following Jesus isn’t safe. It was never intended to be. And yet, many of us make decisions based on what’s safe, comfortable, and predictable. Paul understood that following Jesus didn’t come with those guarantees. And he accepted that because he knew Jesus wasn’t interested in safety; he was interested in faithfulness. Like Paul, we’re called to be faithful whatever the cost. Until we can identify what keeps us from following Jesus to this extent, we’ll struggle to live as faithful disciples on this journey of life.
20 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
#130 - The Journey Pt 3: Give God Something to Bless
One of the classic dilemmas we all face in life is this: What does it look like to live faithfully when we’re stuck and not sure what to do? Exodus 13 and 14 perfectly capture the conundrum many of us encounter. Trapped between the Sea and the Egyptian army, Moses tells the people, “God will help you! You only need to be still!” God’s response to Moses is like something out of a standup comedy routine. “Uh, Moses? Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” When we’re stuck, many of us do nothing as we wait on God. But maybe God doesn’t want us to do nothing. There are times when we need to be still. And there are times when we need to get moving in order to give God something to bless. This episode will help you figure out how to do just that.
22 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
#129 - The Journey Pt 2: The Next Right Step
If God is a God of the journey, and not the destination, then how do journey well when there aren’t any manifests or roadmaps? That’s precisely the content of this episode. By examining Paul’s first two missionary journeys in greater detail, we get an idea of how to navigates life’s path when we don’t have the luxury of an itinerary, and don’t know what to do. By the end of this episode, you’ll see how a willingness to take the next right step is a crucial component to relinquishing our false sense of control and journeying well with God.
20 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
#128 - The Journey Pt 1: It's Not About the Destination
Abraham is often held up as a model of faithfulness because when God told him to go, he went. No questions. No “yeah buts.” He didn’t even know where he was going. But he started moving anyways. Abraham understood something about God many of us miss: God is the God of the journey, not the destination. And trusting God as we walk into the unknown is challenging for so many of us because we crave clarity. But when we bring that mentality to life with God, things don’t go so well. By the end of this new series, The Journey, you’ll understand how to adopt a journey mindset, what it looks like to journey well with God, and how to spot the things holding you back from moving forward in faith in the midst of the unknown.
19 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
#127 - Ask, Seek, Knock
What does Jesus mean when he says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you?” When we look carefully at where and when he says these words, it becomes clear that he’s not giving us a blank check to pursue whatever it is our heart’s desire. God is many things, but a genie in a bottle isn’t one of them. Instead, Jesus is offering us a helpful way of approaching God with our requests. But prayer is more than just asking. It’s also about listening to God and discerning what we truly need, and then practicing consistent, radical dependence on the Father whose extravagant, generous love is just waiting to meet us in our place of need.
23 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
#126 - Easter at Emmaus
Easter isn’t a day we celebrate. It’s a way of being in the world. It’s a posture of heart that announces, “What Jesus accomplished at the cross and empty tomb changes everything!” In this resurrection episode, we’ll look at the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus—a story only Luke records in vivid detail—and see how Luke’s subtle use of Scripture makes the bold claim that, in Jesus, everything that had been torn apart was finally being put back together. This episode will help you see connections from the resurrection story that are often overlooked. But, more importantly, Jesus’s actions at Emmaus remind us that in a world of shattered hope, we can live as people who have burning hearts of hope because He is risen!
24 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
#125 - Who's the GOAT? Jesus vs. Caesar
The New Testament uses all kinds of words and phrases to describe Jesus and his kingdom. Savior. Son of God. Gospel. Forgiveness of sins. But these aren’t just poetic, flowery phrases. They’re actually concrete ideas everyone in Jesus’s world was familiar with. But not because of Jesus. They were familiar with those ideas because of Caesar. What the New Testament, and especially Paul’s writings, do is they show us two competing narratives: The gospel of Caesar in which peace is imposed by a sword, and the gospel of Jesus in which peace is offered through a cross. One is strong. The other is weak. One dominates. The other is gentle. Which narrative will you allow to order your world? By the end of this episode, you’re going to hear all those poetic, flowery titles for Jesus through a completely new lens.
25 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
#124 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 8: Jesus's Yoke
One of the biggest problems we have when reading the Bible is familiarity. When we’re too familiar with a passage, we start believing we already know what it means. In doing so, we forget there’s so much more it has to teach us, and we rob it of its explosive power to transform our lives. In this final episode in our series, Rabbis and Disciples, we set Jesus’s famous words about “his yoke” in their historical and cultural context, and discover Jesus making a shocking claim that no other rabbi ever made. By understanding this passage anew, you’ll experience the depth, the audacious challenge, and the compelling nature of Jesus’s invitation to life in him!
23 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
#123 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 7: A Difficult Lifestyle
We all want to live fully and deeply, but in order to do that we’ve got to live as Jesus lived. The problem is we don’t always understand what Jesus’s life looked like. In this episode, we dig into the details of the itinerant rabbinic lifestyle and quickly realize that Jesus’s life as a traveling rabbi wasn’t glorious or easy. It was actually really, really difficult. It came with a cost. But according to Jesus and the rabbis of the day, it was worth it – costly, but worth it. It’s a message we all need to hear or be reminded of, as we seek to faithfully follow Jesus and experience life that is truly life.
23 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
#122 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 6: Jesus's Occupation
In the culture of Jesus’s day, one was forbidden to receive payment for the teaching of God’s Word. Which is why every rabbi had a trade or occupation. Jesus had one, but the term “carpenter” doesn’t nearly do it justice. In fact, Jesus’s occupation is filled with surprises that perfectly explain how his trade prepared him for his ministry. Speaking of which, the Text implies that once Jesus launches his ministry, he devotes himself entirely to his disciples and teachings. If he wasn’t working and rabbis couldn’t receive payment for teaching God’s Word, how did Jesus and the disciples pay the bills? Let’s find out, and in doing so, let’s gain a deeper appreciation for the way God uses the details to bring about His purposes in our lives.
24 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
#121 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 5: Having Authority
In the Gospels, people were always commenting on Jesus’s authority. It was clear to everyone that he had it. Some marveled at it, while others scoffed at it. The Scribes and Pharisees even questioned it. But what exactly did they mean by authority? How did Jesus understand it? And does that enhance our understanding of what happens with the Great Commission in Matthew 28? Without question! Welcome to an explosive episode where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’s biblical authority and how discipleship with Jesus’s authority leads to the life that God desires for us all.
22 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
#120 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 4: Walking On Water
Jesus walking on water is one of the best-known stories in the entire Bible. But we often miss the point because we fail to see the discipleship component at play. When we see it, we learn that the story has less to do with Jesus walking on water and more to do with Peter’s actions and Jesus’s response. But the story isn’t just about Peter. It’s about you and me, and all of the ways we doubt ourselves. By the end of this episode, you’ll have deeper confidence because you’ll know God is with you. You’ll be more willing to face your fears and take holy risks because you know God believes in you. And you’ll grow in your trust that God won’t call you to something and then fail to equip you for it.
24 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
#119 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 3: Being Like Jesus
Most of us love the idea of Jesus as savior. We’re usually less enthusiastic about him being our teacher and reorienting our lives around his. But that’s precisely what it meant to be a disciple. The goal wasn’t to know what the rabbi knew. It was to become who the rabbi was. It meant journeying with him and observing how he spoke, what he noticed, and how he interacted with others. It meant understanding how he made sense of life and then learning to do the same. It’s not the kind of learning that takes place in a classroom. Instead, it takes place on the road and in the experiences of everyday life. By the end of this episode of our Rabbis and Disciples series, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what it means to truly follow Jesus, and you’ll be inspired to follow him more closely in the coming year.
15 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
#118 - Christmas Hope in 2020
Christmas is a season of hope. 2020 has been a season of grief. How do we hold hope and grief in creative tension? Because when things get hard, we feel overwhelmed. And when we’re overwhelmed, our tendency is to check out, numb out, and wish the moments or seasons away. But in our confusion, heartache, and disorientation, God is working in subtle and often unseen ways. By the end of this episode, you’ll be inspired to hold the gratitude and grief of 2020 in tension so that you don’t numb out, but instead embrace this season and the God who is with us in it.
26 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
#117 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 2: Jewish Educational System
The Jewish educational system in Jesus’s day was astounding. Growing up in that culture was about total immersion in the Scriptures. It was about learning and memorizing God’s Word so that it shaped everything you did. It was also about learning to ask really great questions and debating with your teachers. But much like professional sports, only the best of the best got to keep going and eventually become disciples. Which raises some fascinating questions: What might the Jewish educational system of Jesus’s day reveal to us about his disciples? What might it teach us about God’s intentions for our discipleship? By the end of this episode, you’ll recognize the subtle hints in the Scriptures you’d missed all along and have a deeper appreciation for Jesus’s explosive words, “Come, follow me.” Note: This is a jam-packed 25-min episode. There’s a lot of information in this one. With that said, our goal was to provide you with the single, best resource for understanding the Jewish educational system in Jesus’s day in its entirety. We think we did it. Enjoy!
24 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
#116 - Rabbis and Disciples Pt 1: Laying the Foundation
Being intentional with God’s Word is essential to living a deep and meaningful life. In the biblical period, God’s people were called to not only dig into the Scriptures but also to have an ongoing discussion with their friends and family about them. Formany of us, our time with God’s Word often stops with reading it and we miss out on the critical responsibility of discussion. In this episode, we explore why it’s so crucial to be intentional about our relationship with the Bible so that it permeates every facet of our lives.
17 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
#115 - Placing God's Word Upon Your Heart
Sometimes the Bible speaks right to our hearts by encouraging or challenging us in just the right way. Other times, we walk away uninspired and discouraged, feeling like we didn’t get anything out of it. What do we do in those moments? In this episode, we explore the practice of placing God’s Word upon our hearts, so that when the time is right, and our hearts are ready, they will be available to us. Because the Bible wants to do something in us. It wants to challenge us. It wants to confront us. It wants to help us. But if we get discouraged and disengage, we will miss out on what God’s Word wants to do in our lives. And none of us want that to happen.
19 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
#114 - Being Intentional With God's Word
Being intentional with God’s Word is essential to living a deep and meaningful life. In the biblical period, God’s people were called to not only dig into the Scriptures but also to have an ongoing discussion with their friends and family about them. For many of us, our time with God’s Word often stops with reading it and we miss out on the critical responsibility of discussion. In this episode, we explore why it’s so crucial to be intentional about our relationship with the Bible so that it permeates every facet of our lives.
14 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
#113 - Storms Reveal Your Foundation
Storms are a guarantee in life. We lose jobs. Relationships end. Money gets tight. All of this can leave us feeling anxious and fearful. Therefore, the reason we feel those things is because storms expose what we really trust. We may say we trust God, but a crisis here and a pandemic there, and we’re confronted with the hard truth that our trust lies elsewhere. Which is why Jesus addresses this with a brilliant metaphor in the Sermon on the Mount that will help you diagnose what you really trust in and how to start building on a firmer, more trustworthy foundation.
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