“How have you seen God mature and strengthen you? To whom has He prepared you to share your story of Christ’s redemption?”
“In the beginning, God (ELOHIM) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2
“ELOHIM” is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it’s used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. Elohim comes from the Hebrew root meaning “strength” or “power” and has the unusual characteristic of being plural in form. Right from the start, this plural form for the name of God is used to describe the One God, a mystery that is uncovered throughout the rest of the Bible.
Do you enjoy studying? Have you ever thought about how God reveals his character and nature to us through the pages of Scripture? I’ll admit, I haven’t always appreciated the Bible in this way.
We have homeschooled all five children through high school. Many years were challenging, as we juggled children and ministry. When my oldest son was a teen, he would often try to engage want to have philosophical debates and discussions. These discussions were usually when I was cooking, feeding little ones, driving, or in some way occupied. I often struggled with my inability to fully answer him or even have the capability to form the questions he asked.
As our children grew and began to leave the nest, the Lord grew my desire to learn and study. When my youngest was in high school, I found myself helping to teach a philosophy class and studying Scripture like never before.
Last spring, while visiting my oldest daughter in Japan, I met a young man named Oliver who was a first time visitor to church. After church, Val and I shared our testimonies and he asked questions about faith and the Bible. He had spent time exploring philosophy and was a student of words. He had been eagerly reading the Bible and had connected Elohim in Genesis to Theos in John.
John 1:1-5- “In the beginning was the Word (Logos) and the Word was with God (Theos), and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
He had rightly concluded that Christ is the Savior based on a logical and thorough study of the Scripture and after studying all other religions and philosophies. All glory to our Father for the preparation He had done just for this moment!
Our Life Group here at PBC began praying for him and 13 days later he trusted Christ. Since then, his brother, mother, and sister-in-law, as well as other friends, have also trusted Christ!
How have you seen God mature and strengthen you? To whom has He prepared you to share your story of Christ’s redemption?