Growth Project Radio

By Robert Houghton

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Growing Disciples By Soundly Rooting Them In God's Word. We discuss everything from Theology to Current events all through a Biblical Worldview. Weekly LIVE Bible Q&A

Episode Date
David, Warts and All
Did you know that when God replaced Saul as king of Israel with David that He referred to David as “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14)? Did you also know that later David would also be known as liar, adulterer and murderer? Stick around and we’ll talk about it here on 5 minutes of truth. Most Believers and indeed some non-believers are at least a little familiar with the life and times of Israel’s second King…King David. We are familiar with his being the youngest son Jesse and as such would have been the least likely of his children to be selected to follow Saul to the throne of Israel. We are familiar with David’s exploits in the Israelite’s war with the Philistines and his unlikely victory over Goliath who stood over nine feet tall…though David himself was merely a boy in his mid-teens. We are familiar with his undying loyalty to King Saul despite the fact that Saul sought numerous times to kill David. In fact, in one instance as Saul was alone and in the most vulnerable position imaginable, David had means and opportunity to kill Saul himself. When David’s warriors pointed out this fact and alluded to the idea that God had delivered “your enemy into your hand”, David did not act on the opportunity.  Instead, David responded by saying, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing…seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” (1 Sam. 24:6). His allegiance to God and His sovereignty were so strong that David was not even willing to take the life of the man who was trying to unjustly kill him. David’s honor, faith, strength and courage are clearly seen throughout God’s Word. It is then no wonder why God referred to David as a man after His own heart. But as Paul Harvey used to say…here is the rest of the story. Once David succeeded Saul as king, Israel experienced an extended time of hope and prosperity. David won battles; reclaimed Jerusalem; and even showed kindness to Saul’s remaining family. Unfortunately it was not to last. While his soldiers were at battle, David, while taking a walk on his balcony spied a young woman named Bathsheba bathing. After inquiring about her, David discovered that she was the wife of one of his own soldiers, a man named Uriah, who at that moment was out in the field defending his homeland. Not willing to simply walk away, David had Bathsheba escorted to his home where they embarked in an adulterous relationship. Soon after, it was to become obvious that it was going to be difficult to hide the relationship when Bathsheba announced that she was pregnant. In a panic, David decided on a course of action that, if successful, would hide his sin. He sent for Uriah to come home from the battle. The idea would be that Uriah would consequently sleep with his wife and the pregnancy could be easily explained. Problem solved. The one thing that David did not count on was that Uriah would act more honorably than the man after God’s own heart. Upon arrival, Uriah refused to sleep at his home because he didn’t think it right…when his fellow soldiers could not do the same. Even more panicked, David sought a more conclusive solution. He sent a letter with Uriah back to the front alerting David’s commander that in the battle to follow, Uriah should be placed at the front. Just in case the location would not ensure Uriah’s death, David ordered his commander to “retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die” (2 Sam. 11:15b). David had gone from a man after God’s own heart…to adulterer; liar; and murderer. Here’s the thing though. God knows everything. Everything that has happened; that is happening; and more importantly…everything that will happen. So let’s take a moment and let this reality sink in. God chose David, used David, blessed David, and called David a man after His own heart…all while knowing David would lie, cheat and kill. That is what grace is all about. God doesn’t bestow grace on us because of what we do…He does it in spite of what we do. He doesn’t bestow grace on us because we love Him…He does so despite the fact that we don’t love Him. He doesn’t bestow grace on us because we deserve it…but because we don’t deserve it. If we deserved it…it wouldn’t be grace. If there is one reality in all of life it is that we will fall short…we will fail…we will sin. Even as Believers, we will sin. Paul himself said: The good that I want to do…I don’t do. The bad things I don’t want to do…that’s what I end up doing (Romans 7:19). Yet despite all of that, God loves us…and even more…we are useful to Him. Our sin will not stop Him from using us. When Jesus confronted Peter with his impending sin of denial, Jesus focused on Peter’s restoration…not his sin. He said: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and when you have returned to ME…strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). God does not need our ability…He has all of the ability in the universe. He wants our availability. He does not need us at all…He wants us. Warts and all. We could be a liar, adulterer and yes even a murderer…and still be a person after God’s own heart. Why?  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). How cool is that? On behalf of myself, Robert Houghton and all of us here at Growth Project…keep reading God’s Word.   
Jun 21, 2018
GPR 024: Job week 3.5 & 4 - Good intentions but Bad Theology | Job and his freinds
Job's friends had the best of intentions but bad theology. Job's theology wasn't much better. This was a topic we didn't get to discuss last episode. Plus more fun and theology in this episode of Growth Project Radio. Job 2 and 3. Outro Music KB - No Chains © Reach Record
Jun 20, 2018
Joseph and God's Will
In order to see how we can be within God’s will while feeling like we are way outside of it…we need to go back to a familiar story…the story of Joseph and his brothers as relayed to us in Genesis chapters 37-50. As we know, Joseph was the next to youngest son of Jacob…and one of his 12 sons who would later go on to become the 12 Tribes of Israel. That’s not all we know of Joseph. We know two other very important things. First, that God would put Joseph into such a place of power that eventually his brothers would all bow down in front of him in supplication. We know this because God showed Joseph this inevitability in a dream. Second, we know that God wanted Joseph in Egypt so that he could prophesy about and take precautions to avoid…a 7 year famine that would devastate much of the Middle East. And though this information is not explicitly written in Genesis…we can be sure of it nonetheless. And while we know that Joseph was favored by his father…we also know that his brothers did not share the same enthusiasm for their sibling. In fact, upon telling them about this dream of his eventual authority over them…they planned to kill Joseph. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed…and they decided simply to sell Joseph into slavery to a group of traders headed to…Egypt. Here the story begs for further investigation. Remember, God told Joseph that he would be in a supreme position of authority…and yet Joseph found himself sold as a slave…by the very people God had told him would bow down to him. To say he must have been confused is an understatement. After reaching Egypt and being sold to an Egyptian captain of the guard…a man named Potiphar…Joseph’s plight seemed a bit more manageable. Finding favor with Potiphar, Joseph found himself in charge of Potiphar’s entire house. Maybe this would be the path God used to place Joseph in power over large things…by proving himself loyal over small things. Maybe that’s what Joseph was thinking. Until…after doing the right thing and fleeing temptation when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, Joseph found himself in prison. And there he sat…for two years…for doing the right thing. A long way away from his brothers bowing down…a long way away from God’s will…or so it seemed. After successfully interpreting the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s servants who were also in prison with Joseph, one of these servants mentioned to Pharaoh Joseph’s unique gift because he knew his Pharaoh was being plagued by dreams he could not understand. Desperate, Pharaoh called on Joseph and told this Hebrew slave his dream. Without missing a beat…Joseph interpreted the dream and warned Pharaoh that a severe famine would strike the land in just 7 years…and that the famine would last 7 years. That news ended up saving millions of lives…and as a result?...Pharaoh placed Joseph as his second in charge over all of Egypt. Here is where the story gets more interesting. Upon hearing that Egypt had food in the midst of the famine, Jacob sends his sons there to trade with the Egyptians for the precious food. Which found the brothers…in the presence of Joseph…whom they did not recognize…and they “bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground” (42:7). God told Joseph that it was His will that Joseph rise to a level of power and that his brothers would bow before him. It was also His will that Joseph be betrayed by those brothers…sold into slavery…end up in Potiphar’s house…flee temptation…be rewarded for his honor by being thrown into prison…for two years. All the while…remaining in God’s will. Despite how Joseph must have felt at the time. How do we know that? How do we know that was all God’s will? How do we know that God wanted to use Joseph to save lives during a devastating famine…how do we know any of this was God’s doing? Joseph himself said to his brothers, “what you meant for evil, God meant for good…to bring about that many people should be kept alive” (50:20). There will be times where God’s Will will seem confusing to us…strange…hurtful…and that’s ok. It all goes back to the ultimate question: Is God Who He says He is and will He do what He says He will do? Regardless of how it feels at the time. Do I trust Him…when every cell in my body is screaming out against trusting Him? Do I believe Him when He says: I will never leave you nor forsake you…and I am with you always…even unto the end of the age. How cool is that? I am Dr. Danny Purvis…and on behalf of myself, Robert Houghton and all of us here at The Growth Project…keep reading God’s Word.
Jun 13, 2018
GPR 23 Job week 3 - Fiction | Contradictions | Gone with the Wind
WEEK THREE Reading- Supplementary Reading- Questions to ponder: 1. Why did God basically ask Satan the same questions He asked in chapter 1 (a)? 2. What was God trying to say to Satan by emphasizing Job’s perseverance? 3. What did God say about the idea that He had allowed these things to happen to Job as punishment for sin on Job’s part (b)? 4. What are we to make of Satan’s continued desire to bargain with the only omniscient Being in the universe ()? 5. What prohibition did God place on Satan regarding his continued attack on Job ()? 6. Again, what does this say about whether God causes or allows pain and suffering? And is there a difference? 7. What is Job’s wife actually trying to infer here by her fatalistic statement ()? 8. What correlation does Job’s answer () have with . What does this say about the idea that there are things about God that will always be a mystery to us? 9. What are we supposed to do with the idea of “secret things” and unfathomable ways that God moves in relation to pain and suffering? 10. What laudable actions can we take from Job’s friends and their reaction to Job’s horrific tragedies ()?
Jun 13, 2018
Something God Cannot Do?
Contrary to popular belief…God cannot do anything? That idea is a consistent misunderstanding among a great number of both Believers and non-believers. It is not uncommon at all to hear many people say: You know…God can do just about anything. And though I believe that most people understand the crux of the statement when it is made, it is not, biblically speaking, completely accurate. And with most things…being almost right nearly always leads to being significantly wrong. What do we mean, though, when we say that God cannon do just anything. Well…think of it this way. He cannot sin. He cannot be untrue to His own nature. He cannot be imperfect. He cannot make a square a circle or a circle a square because He has already deemed that a circle is what it is and a square is what it is. And here’s the big one…God cannot be unjust. It is not in His nature. God is perfect in everything that He does. He is perfect in His love. He is perfect in His Grace…He is perfect in His mercy…and He is perfect in His justice. He is the perfect judge. Then how is it that we often times want Him to be the imperfect judge for us…when we are not willing to tolerate that in any other aspect of our lives? Some time back there was a horrible crime that was committed that enraged the nation. You may remember this. A college student…from a seemingly good family…and enrolled at a top flight university…was actually caught in the act of sexually assaulting an unconscious coed. There was no doubt of his guilt…he was 100% culpable for this horrible crime. At sentencing, the judge on the case did the unthinkable. He sentenced this obviously guilty young man to a grand total of six months in jail. The national outrage was palpable and justified. Every reader, pundit and legal expert came to the same conclusion…that this was not justice…and the judge in question was not a good judge. What does this have to do with God? Many times people ask: If sin is real…and that bad…and God is so good…why doesn’t He just ignore and forgive everyone’s sin? Just act as if it ever happened? Because if we were holding God to the same standard as the judge in the assault case…we would have to come to the conclusion that God was not a good judge. After all if we are asking God to ignore sin…to not hold us accountable to the standards He set…if we are asking Him to show mercy to us for the things we have done that are considered sin…and we think that would be a good thing… Then why didn’t we think that of the judge in the assault case? He looked the other way at the seriousness of the act…he did not hold the perpetrator accountable…he, in fact,…showed the young man mercy…did he not? Yet we label him…and rightfully so…a bad judge. God cannot be a bad judge. It is not in His nature. That is why He cannot ignore sin…or arbitrarily look the other way at it…or just say…its no big deal…forget it and move on. He is the perfect judge. And a perfect judge judges perfectly. But God’s Word tells us that there is another way. While God does judge sin…in the case of Believers…His judgment was directed at Jesus on our behalf. Who suffered judgment so that all who call on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior…would never have to. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. How cool is that? I’m Dr. Danny Purvis. On behalf of myself…Robert Houghton…and all of us here at Growth Project and Harmony Community church…keep reading God’s Word. :
Jun 06, 2018
GPR 22: Job Study - Chastening vs Punishment | God vs Satan | Questions
Reading- JOB 1:1-22 Supplementary Reading- John 5:1-9 Questions to Covered: 1. If God is omniscient, why did God ask Satan where he had come from ()? 2. What was the real meaning behind Satan’s answer (see )? 3. Why did God mention Job after Satan’s answer ()? 4. In , Satan gives us his philosophy of humanity as it relates to God. What in essence is Satan saying about humanity’s relationship with God? 5. What prohibition did God place on Satan with regards to what Satan could do to Job ()? 6. Does this mean that Satan can only do what God allows him to do? 7. What appears to be the elapsed time period between the first person to bring Job bad news and the last one (notice the phrase “while he was still speaking”)? 8. What was Job’s reaction to God concerning the tragedy that had just befallen him ()? 9. In , we are told that there were a multitude of infirmed people huddled around the pool at Bethesda. Why did Jesus heal just the one person ()? :
Jun 06, 2018
The Garden and God's Grace
When God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden…it was not to administer punishment…but to bestow grace? We are all very familiar with the story of Adam and Eve. After God created them in perfect circumstances under perfect conditions, it was not long before a serious problem arose. In fact, it was the most serious problem the world ever had or ever will encounter. God provided a literal paradise for Adam and Eve full of anything and everything they could have possibly wanted or needed. Perhaps the most precious thing God provided them was a relationship with Him that is the envy of all who read these amazing passages. There is a fascinating aspect of this even that escapes a large number of people. After Adam and Eve’s sin, Genesis 3:8 states that: “they heard the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day”. What an amazing statement that suggests that this was not a one time event but something that happened pretty regularly…perhaps every day at the same time. This is the relationship Adam and Eve had with the almighty God of the universe…that He would walk with them in the cool of the day. But we know…even from this passage…this relationship would soon be devastatingly changed. Despite the fact that Adam and Eve had this extraordinary relationship with God…despite the fact that they had access to the most incredible world that had ever been created…despite the fact that they lacked for nothing…it seemed not to be enough. The story is familiar…God grants Adam and Eve amazing freedom and access with one important exception. Though they could eat from any tree in the garden..they were absolutely forbidden to eat from one particular tree…the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. But like most children (they were children of God) they simply could not avoid the temptation. After being lied to by Satan who promised them they would be “like God” if they ate of the forbidden tree…they unfortunately for all us…did just that. Immediately after…things began to quickly unravel. God clearly began to explain to them the horrible consequences for their actions. He told Adam that the ground he worked with such ease beforehand would now yield mostly thorns and weeds. He told Eve that the blessing of childbirth would be cloaked in enhanced pain…and that there would be conflict not only between she and her husband…but between husbands and wives from that point forward. But the worst was yet to come. Though they had enjoyed a perfect and unfettered relationship with the God of their creation, they (along with every single human being form that time on) would now be separated from God. One of the saddest verses in all of the Bible is found in verse 24 of Genesis 3. It reads in part… “so he drove out the man” and of course by implication Eve as well. He not only drove them out of their home…Eden…but God placed and angel armed with a flaming sword to keep them from re-entering. This is of course The Fall. The point at which sin, which began with Adam and Eve…would be passed on to every single human being on the planet from that time on. And since it is contained within the part of the Bible that clearly outlines punishment for this sin, it would be easy for us to conclude that their expulsion from Eden was also a part of this divine punishment. But that’s not the case. For just two verses before the one describing Adam and Eve as being ejected from the Garden…God tells us why he did that in the first place. The answer has to do with a tree…but not the tree you may be expecting. Genesis 3:22 states that the reason God removes Adam and Eve from the Garden is so that they will not eat from the Tree of Life. And what is the tree of life? It is the tree that would have caused Adam and Eve to live forever. In God’s own words…He says: “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. Now, lest he put out his hand and eat from the tree of life and live forever….”. Then God goes on to banish them from the garden so that this does not happen. Do you see what is going on here? If Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of life…they would have become immortal. In other words…they would live forever in their sinful state…with no possibility of salvation. So what is actually going on here is that when Adam and Eve engaged in what is arguably the worst sin to ever be perpetrated…when they disobeyed their God…and saddled us with sin from this point evermore…God was already thinking about their salvation. He was already thinking about Jesus…the Cross…and the empty tomb. He cast them out of the garden because He loved them…and because He loves us. How cool is that?
Jun 01, 2018
Mephibosheth a Picture of Grace
One of the most precious and important pictures of God’s grace, mercy and salvation involves a man that most people…including most Believers…have never heard of. The man I am referring to is named Mephibosheth…and if you know who he is…give yourself extra credit. Most folks have never heard of him and as such…have never heard how much he…is very much like us. Mephibosheth is first introduced to us in the Book of 2nd Samuel. It is an interesting introduction. We are told a few very important facts about this man. He was grandson to the first King of Israel, Saul. This fact, of course, put him in the direct line of succession to the throne of Israel…a very important point to remember. Another important point is that the Bible goes to great lengths to tell us not only that Mephibosheth was cripple…but also how he became crippled. Upon hearing that both Saul and Saul’s son (and Mephibosheth’s father) Jonathan had been killed…Mephibosheth’s nurse was in such a hurry to whisk him away from danger that she dropped him and crippled him. But this is not the last we hear of Mephibosheth. Sometime after David succeeded Saul as King of Israel, he made an interesting but not altogether unusual request. He asked if there were any of Saul’s relatives still alive. If you know anything about royal succession as it has been portrayed throughout history, you know that it was not uncommon for Kings to seek out and remove anyone who might have a legitimate claim to throne upon which they sat. So it would be easy to assume that this was the aim of David when he sought any of Saul’s heirs. After all…Mephibosheth had a legitimate claim to the throne. He was the former King’s only living male heir. And David was not related to Saul at all. But securing his power was not on David’s mind…at all. The reason for David’s search for Saul’s heir? “I want to show him kindness” is the answer we get in 2nd Samuel chapter 9. As a result, messengers are sent out to seek for relatives of Saul…and they are led to…Mephibosheth. After the messengers summon him to the palace…Mephibosheth goes willingly…but not unafraid. And why should he not be afraid? He was the only living heir to the King…the only person left with a legitimate claim to the throne. On top of that he was a cripple…and many people in that time period were considered outcasts for that reason alone. And so…he arrives at the palace…falls on his face before David…and braced himself for the worse. David’s first three words? “Do not fear”. He then tells Mephibosheth “I will show you kindness…I will restore all of Saul’s land to you…and you shall eat at my table from now on.” Mephibosheth is floored: “Who am I…a dead dog…that you would look on me this way”? He didn’t deserve any of this… so, why? Mephibosheth was an enemy of David’s…simply by virtue of being born. He was a nobody…an outcast…a cripple. Does any of this sound familiar? Mephibosheth is us. We are born into sin…and as a result the Bible says we are “enemies” of God…we are not His friends. We are cripples…we are crippled by the sin that impacts and controls every aspect of our lives. And though we should be rightfully afraid…as Mephibosheth was afraid…in being called in front of the King…we too, if we are His children, will hear the words: Do not fear. He will show us kindness…He will show us love…He will show us grace…and He won’t stop there. He will invite us to His table. Think about that…He will invite His enemy…one who does not deserve to be there…one who is an outcast cripple…to eat at His table…as His child. “In My Father’s house are many mansions…if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself. That where I am…you may be also.” How cool is that? I am Dr. Danny Purvis, on behalf of myself, Robert Houghton and all of us here at The Growth Project…keep reading God’s Word.
Jun 01, 2018
When God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden…it was not to administer punishment…but to bestow grace. We are all very familiar with the story of Adam and Eve. After God created them in perfect circumstances under perfect conditions, it was not long before a serious problem arose. In fact, it was the most serious problem the world ever had or ever will encounter. God provided a literal paradise for Adam and Eve full of anything and everything they could have possibly wanted or needed. Perhaps the most precious thing God provided them was a relationship with Him that is the envy of all who read these amazing passages. There is a fascinating aspect of this even that escapes a large number of people. After Adam and Eve’s sin, Genesis 3:8 states that: “they heard the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day”. What an amazing statement that suggests that this was not a one time event but something that happened pretty regularly…perhaps every day at the same time. This is the relationship Adam and Eve had with the almighty God of the universe…that He would walk with them in the cool of the day. But we know…even from this passage…this relationship would soon be devastatingly changed. Despite the fact that Adam and Eve had this extraordinary relationship with God…despite the fact that they had access to the most incredible world that had ever been created…despite the fact that they lacked for nothing…it seemed not to be enough. The story is familiar…God grants Adam and Eve amazing freedom and access with one important exception. Though they could eat from any tree in the garden..they were absolutely forbidden to eat from one particular tree…the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.   But like most children (they were children of God) they simply could not avoid the temptation. After being lied to by Satan who promised them they would be “like God” if they ate of the forbidden tree…they unfortunately for all us…did just that. Immediately after…things began to quickly unravel. God clearly began to explain to them the horrible consequences for their actions. He told Adam that the ground he worked with such ease beforehand would now yield mostly thorns and weeds. He told Eve that the blessing of childbirth would be cloaked in enhanced pain…and that there would be conflict not only between she and her husband…but between husbands and wives from that point forward. But the worst was yet to come. Though they had enjoyed a perfect and unfettered relationship with the God of their creation, they (along with every single human being form that time on) would now be separated from God. One of the saddest verses in all of the Bible is found in verse 24 of Genesis 3. It reads in part… “so he drove out the man” and of course by implication Eve as well. He not only drove them out of their home…Eden…but God placed and angel armed with a flaming sword to keep them from re-entering. This is of course The Fall. The point at which sin, which began with Adam and Eve…would be passed on to every single human being on the planet from that time on. And since it is contained within the part of the Bible that clearly outlines punishment for this sin, it would be easy for us to conclude that their expulsion from Eden was also a part of this divine punishment. But that’s not the case. For just two verses before the one describing Adam and Eve as being ejected from the Garden…God tells us why he did that in the first place. The answer has to do with a tree…but not the tree you may be expecting. Genesis 3:22 states that the reason God removes Adam and Eve from the Garden is so that they will not eat from the Tree of Life. And what is the tree of life? It is the tree that would have caused Adam and Eve to live forever. In God’s own words…He says: “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. Now, lest he put out his hand and eat from the tree of life and live forever….”. Then God goes on to banish them from the garden so that this does not happen. Do you see what is going on here? If Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of life…they would have become immortal. In other words…they would live forever in their sinful state…with no possibility of salvation. So what is actually going on here is that when Adam and Eve engaged in what is arguably the worst sin to ever be perpetrated…when they disobeyed their God…and saddled us with sin from this point evermore…God was already thinking about their salvation. He was already thinking about Jesus…the Cross…and the empty tomb. He cast them out of the garden because He loved them…and because He loves us. How cool is that?
Jun 01, 2018
GPR 021: Job Study Intro | Presuppositions | Questions
WEEK ONE Reading: Supplementary Reading: , . Questions discussed 1. Why do you think God went into such detail about Job’s character? 2. How does God portray Job as a father? 3. Why does God tell us how wealthy Job is? 4. In, why does Jesus answer the Rich Young Ruler’s question with a question? 5. What is the significance of the question Jesus asks the Ruler? 6. What incorrect presupposition did the Ruler have that Jesus had to correct? 7. In the passage, what errant presupposition did the Disciples have in their opening question? 8. What was the Disciple’s theology of suffering based on their question? 9. How did Jesus correct their errant presupposition concerning the purpose of pain and suffering?   Get your free copy of our JOb Reading guide http://www.growthproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Job-Six-Week-Reading-Guide-Growth-Project-Radio.pdf
May 30, 2018
GPR 020: A Failed View of God's Word | Dangerous Spouse
In this final episode of our Mile Wide and an Inch Deep series, we discuss the how an erroneous view of God's word will lead to an improper view of salvation. Followed by a discussion about marriage stemming from the question, "Is your wife the most Dangerous person on the planet"?
May 23, 2018
Lazarus and Jesus the reluctant miracle worker.
As readers of the Bible, we can become so fixated on God’s miracles that we often miss the important teachings related to those miracles? We all love a good miracle. The Bible is full of such events that show us both the all powerful command God has over everything…and the all powerful love He has for us. Even today, Jesus is probably best known in the world for the various miracles He performed while He walked on this earth. And what’s not to like? We see Jesus many times giving sight to the blind,  giving paralytics the ability to walk, providing healing to the broken hearted…and yes…raising people from the dead. But I maintain…and the Bible seems to support…that Jesus was a reluctant miracle worker. Not reluctant in the sense that He did not enjoy it or did not really want to do it…but that He seemed to understand that the miracles could actually get in the way of His actual mission. Remember, Jesus Himself said that His goal, according to was: “the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” Jesus did not come to earth to be the “miracle worker”…because He knew that miracles alone would not necessarily lead people to salvation. In fact, when Jesus healed 10 lepers of their horrifying disease, only one came back to thank Him with a desire to join Him.  The clearest indication that Jesus saw miracles not as an end but a means to an end is seen in Mark chapter 1. After an entire day of performing healing miracles…and after a well deserved night’s sleep…Jesus awoke the following day with His Disciples saying: “Everyone is looking for You” (b). The implication is clear…they were looking for Him to do more miracles. Jesus acknowledges this and His focus on the real mission by answering: “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth” (). The purpose was to preach the Gospel…not do miracles. Miracles were a way to lead people to the Gospel…but as I said…too many times we miss important truths because we are dazzled by the miracles. Such is the case with Lazarus. We all are familiar with this story. Lazarus…a dear friend of Jesus’…dies. Jesus, reaches the tomb and is deeply moved by the sorrow He sees. In fact, …the shortest verse in the Bible…reveals the depth of His sorrow with two words: Jesus wept. We know the rest of the story. Jesus speaks the now-famous words: Lazarus, come forth…and He actually raises Lazarus from the dead. The people are amazed…we are amazed…as we should be. But if you were to ask most believers to tell you what Jesus said in John chapter 11…you might get several answers. “Lazarus come forth” is a good one. “I am the resurrection and the life” is also one people most remember. But what about: “Loose him and let him go.” Do you even remember Jesus saying that? Jesus gave those instructions to the people standing around Lazarus after he emerged from his former tomb. You may say: Well...of course he would say that. After all Lazarus had been buried the traditional way…all wrapped from head to toe in gravecloths. Jesus was just stating the obvious. Until… We think about it a bit more. Jesus had just raised someone from the dead. Someone who had been dead for 4 days. He got all organs, tissues, and muscles working again immediately. If He could do that, doesn’t it seem likely that He could have caused the gravecloths to come off themselves…or disappeared…or something. After all, what are a few strips of cloth compared to reanimating a human brain? This is where we miss the forest for the trees in these miracle stories. Jesus told those around Lazarus to remove the gravecloths because Lazarus couldn’t do it himself. He was still bound by his grave clothes…if you will. This is exactly the point Jesus is making.  When we come to faith in Christ…redeemed…saved…whatever term you prefer, we come from death to life. Like Lazarus, we are still bound by our old grave clothes. Old ideas, philosophies, worldviews that kept us bound in the first place. We cannot remove them ourselves. Like Lazarus, we need fellow Believers to help us remove those old ideas and to adjust to a new, Biblical way of looking at things. We are in bondage while apart from Christ…we are freed when we come to Him. We need other Believers to help us with that. What we don’t see in this passage…because we don’t need it…is fellow Believers placing more bindings on us. The command was to set Lazarus free…not bind him. Though unfortunately there are plenty of folks who love to use their legalism to do just that. But remember…legalism binds people…it does not set them free. And Jesus…well…He wants us free. How cool is that? On Behalf of myself, Robert Houghton, and all of us here at the Growth Project…keep reading God’s Word. 
May 18, 2018
GPR 019: A Failed View Of Evangelism | New Toy
Continuing our series A Mile Wide And An Inch Deep Dr. Danny discusses "A failed view of evangelism" How the church has let the world influence the way it does evangelism. This book was mentioned by Danny. https://www.amazon.com/Out-Saltshaker-Into-World-Evangelism/dp/0830822208/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526436777&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+the+salt+shaker
May 16, 2018
GPR 018: Failed View Of Thinking | Mushrooms
Dr. Danny and Robert discuss the world's flawed thinking, Classic Cartoons, Mushroom believers and more "Crap the world teaches."   The Fallacy Detective book mentioned in the show https://www.amazon.com/Fallacy-Detective-Thirty-Eight-Recognize-Reasoning/dp/0974531537
May 09, 2018
GPR 017: A Failed View of Trust | Crap the world teaches about Marriage
- Dr. Danny Purvis and Robert Houghton discuss what it means to be a “mile wide and an inch deep” and how the "Seeker Sensitive Movement" reduced the average Christians depth of the knowledge of God. -"Crap" the world teaches about marriage! Check out our new blog series about marriage at www.growthproject.org Email us at Connect@growthproject.org
May 02, 2018
GPR 016: Special Guests from Renew The Arts, Boundaries of Christian Art and Consumption
Special guests Justus Stout and Michael Minkoff from Renew The Arts join us to discuss liberating Christian Art. Dr. Danny and Robert Discuss boundaries of creation and consumption of Christian art.  Specific questions about the Walking Dead and Disney. Visit www.renewthearts.org Micheal Minkoff's book According to His Excellent Greatness: The Practice of Aesthetics for Christians Today    
Apr 25, 2018
GPR 015: Favorite questions, Worry, Samaritan People, Bad Analogy using Oscar the Grouch
  Review of our favorite questions from our 90day Q/A series. A Biblical perspective on Worry. Who are the Samaritans? Danny rejects Robert analogy Shoutouts Giveaways Call and leave a voicemail at 407-494-2776 Giveaway: If you are a listener to the show send me an email to connect@growthproject.org to get free access to Right Now Media. Thousands of free video Bible studies for you! Free from us for the next week! More info at https://www.rightnowmedia.org The show had some technical difficulties in the last few minutes.
Apr 18, 2018
GPR 014: Revelation, Popeye, Eschatology and more!
Dr. Purvis answers questions from the Book of Revelation. We also discuss Christianity, Popeye and Eschatological views.
Apr 11, 2018
GPR 013: Works or faith, Universalism, Big "but's", Assurance.
01:08:20
Dr. Danny and Robert discuss Faith vs works in James, Universalism in 2 Peter, Asurance of salvation. Recorded Live on Facebook LIVE.  Show Links:How to answer the Fool. Presuppositional Apologetics in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQKjUzotw_Y&feature=youtu.beThe Defense of the Faith, 4th Edition Van Til, Corneliushttps://www.wtsbooks.com/the-defense-of-the-faith-4th...Shirt available at www.righteouswretch.com
Apr 04, 2018
GPR 012: New Name, New Ministry, New goals.
01:09:23
We unveile our new ministry name and logo. We discuss the greater vision of the ministry. Followed by some awesome Q&A from our support group.
Mar 28, 2018
GPR 011: Questions and answers
01:22:01
Bible Support Group Weekly Live Q/A Session #11 Robert Houghton and Dr. Danny Purvis answer questions related to our 90day Bible reading program. This session covers questions from Hebrews and 2nd Timothy. Watch us LIVE every week at 8pm EST on our Facebook page. www.growthproject.org
Mar 25, 2018
GPR 010: Bible Support LIVE Q&A Show
01:12:22
WEEK TEN QUESTIONS 1. What in the world does Paul mean when he says women should be silent in the church? 1 Timothy 2:8-15. 2. Is that why some denomination do not have women deacons…and how does that fit with 1 Timothy 3:1-13? 3. How does Paul say that the Law is good…when he seems to say in other places the exact opposite 1 Tim. 1:8-11. 4. In Col. 2:20-23 Paul seems to point out the shortcoming of the Law…and legalism…why is this important? 5. Philippians 4:6-7…what does having this “peace” look like? Does this mean happiness?  
Mar 13, 2018
GPR 009: Bible Support LIVE Q&A Show
01:23:10
Mar 06, 2018
GPR 008: Bible Support LIVE Q&A Show #8
01:15:39
Feb 27, 2018
GPR 007: Bible Support LIVE Q&A Show The Book of Romans
01:26:16
1) Kelly: Did God initially send Jesus ONLY for the Jew's salvation? If the Jews had accepted Jesus right from the start, would the Gentiles have been lost forever with no hope of salvation? Cara: What exactly is the difference between a jew and a gentile? 2) Kelly: Regarding Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." These verses seem to be saying that God already has a list of who will be saved. Please shed some light on "the thing behind the thing" because it seems to contradict so many things. For instance, John 3:16 God so loved the world, he gave his only son, that WHOSOEVER believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. (Im guessing you'll get into the "Jacob I loved..." thing here? other wise I can add that as a question later on) How does one know if they are predestined or not? Why do evangelism?  (Maybe some other common objections here)     General / private Q&A Question 3: What does Paul mean in chapter 1 that people are “without excuse” (1:20)? What happens if people don’t ever hear the Gospel?   Question 4: What is the deal with that 25 dollar word in Romans 3 when it says that Jesus was the “propitiation by His blood” and how is that related to salvation       If you think we'll have time I have some Possible additional questions. Let me know if you like them and I'll add them to the show notes below   Chapter 5 -6 Sinners through Adam Righteous in christ? Imputation. Slave to sin? Sanctification?    Romans 7:7-25 The law brings the knowledge of sin? Why do we need to know we’re sinning? If there was no law would we not be guilty of sin
Feb 20, 2018