Meeting Your Destiny

Meeting Your Destiny
Written by Jim Staley

Vayishlach: And He Went

In this week's portion, I would like to focus on a couple different topics. At first they may seem disconnected, but I believe the connections will be made the deeper we dive into them. 

The story starts off with Jacob leaving his uncle Laban's household. He had worked over 20 years for his two wives and all his livestock, all of it predicated on the fact that Jacob chose to deceive his brother Esau as well as his father for both the inheritance and the firstborn blessing. It was this deception that caused him to have to flee for his life to Laban's house to begin with. But while there, Jacob himself gets deceived. On his wedding night, after working for Rachel for seven years, he ends up receiving Leah instead. The old adage "what goes around comes around" is definitely appropriate for Jacob. But the story goes much deeper than that. And in order for Yahweh to use Jacob in the way He desired, Jacob would have to be purged of his sin once and for all.

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The Gaze of Faith

The Gaze of Faith
Written by Jim Staley
If you know your Bible, then when I say the word "faith" you will most likely think of the fifteen-word definition found in Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." But what does that mean exactly? There really is no other definition of faith given in the entire Bible. This cryptic statement from the author of Hebrews is all we get. But the reality of faith is so much deeper than its theological definition.
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The Position of the Creator and the Creature

The Position of the Creator and the Creature
Written by Jim Staley

In order for there to be proper harmony in a relationship, religious or otherwise, there must be a correct order in it. Any time the proper order is challenged or gets out of balance, the relationship is in jeopardy. In the same way, if we do not understand the difference between who the Creator is and who the created is in both real and experiential terms, our entire relationship with Him is at risk of spiritual cancer. If we truly want to have a dynamic and spirit-filled life we must first understand how our relationship is supposed to work.
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The Voice

The Voice
Written by Jim Staley
There are many who read the Bible from cover to cover each and every year. They know the stories and can even tell you chapter and verse of many of the most famous scriptures. But is the Bible just an ancient document that contains words and historical data from times past? Or is it a living, breathing, dynamic portal to connect each and every generation to the Divine? Some say 'yes' and others say 'no.' There's only one difference between the former and the latter: The Voice.
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Going Behind the Veil

Going Behind the Veil
Written by Jim Staley
The picture of the temple grounds of ancient Israel is really the picture of our spiritual journeys. There are some who spend their time as Levitical worker bees, making constant sacrifices for God. Then there are some who spend all their time looking into the water of the Word (the Brazen Laver), increasing their knowledge of the Bible daily. And then there are others who are barely seen anywhere in the courtyard; they're behind the veil in the temple itself. The question is: which one are you?
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