I am…You are…We are… NOT ALONE

“What’s your favorite card?” is a question often asked amongst fellow Redemption players. For some, it’s the card they use most often in their decks. For others, it’s a card from their favorite Bible story or a card that has their favorite verse as the reference. Still yet others might have a favorite card based on the card’s ability or artwork.

The Faith of Ebed-Melech

I was just reading in Jeremiah 38-39 of Ebed-Melech, who I don’t remember ever reading of or learning about but he’s such a great example of a faithful follower of the Lord. He doesn’t currently have a Redemption card, but I think it’d be great to have a card for him!

The Christian-Likeness of Peter

Peter is one of my favorite people from the Bible. I feel like I can relate to him a lot as a Christian. His life illustrates the “paradox of grace”: how we are far worse than we ever dare to believe, yet far more loved than we ever hoped to imagine!

The Christ-Likeness of Mary

This devotion using The Redemption Bible focuses on Mary, the “mother” of Jesus (humanly speaking – in actuality he preexisted her as he is God!). Mary was a sinful human being like all people (Romans 3:23), but she also was very Christ-like at times. Let’s see how!

The Christian-Likeness of David

David is, after Jesus, my favorite Biblical person. I am fascinated by the dynamics of his life, his heart, and his relationship with the Lord. David seems to have the highest highs and the lowest lows of anyone else in Scripture and yet God’s summarizing statement of him both before he is first introduced as a young teenager (1 Samuel 13:14) as well as long after he had passed away (Acts 13:22) is “a man after God’s own heart.” Let’s examine how David is “Christian-Like” using The Redemption Bible!

The Christ-Likeness of Joseph

In both his character and his life, Joseph is one of the most Christ-like figures in all history, at least that God has told us about in His Word. One of the 12 sons of Jacob, and one of the two sons of Rachel along with Benjamin, Joseph was specially favored by his father. Not only did he receive a Coat of Many Colors as a gift from Jacob, but his Brothers’ Envy boiled over after he shared a few dreams that the Lord gave him showing that he would be in authority over them one day. Joseph’s Brothers’ Scheme was originally to kill him, but Reuben and Judah convinced the others to have Joseph cast into a Pit, the Pit of Dothan, and Sold Into Slavery.

Got a Counter? King David

A consistent challenge for many decks including royalty Evil Characters has been blocking King David.  I’ve seen many players single handedly lose games due to King David keeping the Evil Characters sitting helplessly in territories due to King David’s ignore ability.  What can royalty defenses due to counters this threat?

The “Christian-Likeness” of Jacob

Jacob is an enigma, of sorts. His life seemed to be filled with deception (indeed, one meaning for his name is “he cheats”!), and yet God blessed him, and the very nation and people of Israel are his namesake! Jacob was cunning and shrewd, but Jesus tells us to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16), which Jacob certainly did as he sought God’s blessing. In fact, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I hated” is a repeated phrase in the Bible (Malachi 1:2-3, Romans 9:13) expressing God’s choice to fulfill His grand Covenant of Abraham through Jacob’s line and not through Esau, despite Esau being the firstborn son, as Jacob desired it.

Armed and Dangerous

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devilʼs schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:10-12

My childhood preacher always reminded us when a passage says “finally” or “therefore”, we should probably see what itʼs there for. Paul has been building a case for the importance of unity and Christ-like living. With this in mind, he now wants to warn them about what will come next. When we draw near to God, and to the body of Christ, we become a serious threat to Satan.

The “Christian-Likeness” of Abraham

Abram/Abraham, renamed by God from the former to the latter name, was born about 4000 years ago – about 400-500 years after The Flood. Even though God had started the world’s civilization anew with the righteous family of Noah, in just a few hundred years darkness was again spreading over the earth. The rebellion at Babel displayed the Bad Intentions of humanity to worship themselves instead of the One True God, and The Lord responded by causing Confused Languages amongst the people so that they would be frustrated in this evil desire and spread out to fill the Earth, as He had commanded.

The Christ-Likeness of Noah

About 1500 years after the creation, so about 4500 years ago, The Fall had reached terrible depths of evil. “Wickedness Abounds” is certainly an accurate description – the Lord tells us in Genesis 6:5 that “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” In His perfect justice and righteousness, God determined that he would judge the evil Disobedience of the world and start afresh with the one man who was found righteous in his sight, who walked with God blamelessly: Noah.

“The Redemption Bible” Devotions

This Bible devotional series, which I am using this summer with the students participating in our weekly Redemption group at our church, uses “The Redemption Bible” – the complete collection of all the unique Redemption cards in the game (not every version of every unique card, just at least one version) that I have acquired over the 2 years I have been playing. This collection, much of which I have purchased but a large portion due to the very generous donations of other Redemption players, is arranged in in Bible book and verse order! So you can “read” it just like an illustrated Bible, card by card from Genesis to Revelation! (Yes, I’m sure you’re now wondering “How long did that take?” and the answer is – you don’t want to know! But this project has been a long time coming, so don’t worry, I didn’t do it all at once! 🙂 )

Balaam Ep. 2: “Corrupted by Darkness”

Last week, we looked at Balaam being summoned by Balak, king of Moab. God allowed Balaam to travel to the plains of Moab with one condition: “do only what I tell you” (Numbers 22:20). The angel in the path got Balaam’s attention momentarily, but there was already a darkness settling upon his heart. It threatened to choke out his fear of the Lord, and his commitment to the God’s command.

Balaam Ep. 1: “A Troubled Path”

Warning: donkeys were definitely harmed in the making of this story.

Although Joshua would later lead Israel in Capturing Canaan, there were some wild encounters and adventures back in their time of wilderness wandering. Numbers 21 records several great victories by the hand of the Lord. Today we pick up in Numbers 22 with the trembling king of Moab. He wondered if he would be the next enemy to be trampled by these wandering worshippers of the Almighty God.

Sabbath Breaker – “Sticks or Sabbath?”

The book of Numbers records the events and travels of the Israelites. The first section records the events during the year in the wilderness of Sinai, following by the trails in the plains of Moab, and ending with preparations for conquering Canaan. Numbers can be a bit of a hard read because of the strange mix of information. In some sections we have armies and tribal counts, in others we have records of commands, offerings, and ceremonial law. However, there are several very interesting stories sprinkled throughout the book! For instance, the story of Balaamʼs disobedience, and the story of Phinehas, son of Eleazar (weʼll take a look at these stories in upcoming weeks!).

Apollos – Gentle Correction, Loving Companions

Today we’re going to jump forward to the New Testament to learn about a man named Apollos. But before we do, we need to meet some other folks. There are just some characters that you can’t dig into without first digging into the people that surround them.

In fact, just to get our brains in gear, let’s try out some examples. Take a minute and comment below with an answer for a couple of the blanks, but don’t hog them all (or as we might say in redemption, limit 3).

___ and Robin
___ and Tonto
___ and Chewbacca
___ and Dr. Watson
___ and Garfunkel
___, ___, ___, and the Human Torch
___ and Jerry
___ and Ernie
___ and Cher
___ and Lois Lane
___, ___, ___, and Donatello

These team-ups and duos exist in movies, in books, in cartoons, in music, and yes EVEN in the Bible…

Ehud – The Lord Uses Your Uniqueness

The book of judges can be summed up in a 4 word cycle – Sin, Slavery, Sorrow, Salvation. These 4 words sound great if they were a path to salvation… but they stink as a repeating cycle! Our story today is only one of a dozen similar stories in the book. Yet when God’s people turned to Him, He heard their cry and saved them.

Jael – She Has A Point

In the time of the Judges, there were many enemies that oppressed God’s people.

When Sisera was the commander of Canaan’s army, God raised up Deborah to be Israel’s deliverer. Not only did Deborah become Israel’s first female Judge, but a prophetess who shared the very words of God with the people. Let’s take a look at the unusual story that God would weave through this incredible woman.

Achan – My Precious

Today as we look at the Old Testament, the Israelites are under the direction of the leader and judge named Joshua. He is still famous today for the mighty battle of Jericho; whose unbreakable walls were brought down by obeying God’s cool, yet strange, plan. But we don’t hear much about the battle of Ai, have you heard of it? Well in order to understand why “Ai” doesn’t show up at the top of Joshua’s resume, we’ll need to look at Jericho’s great battle first.

Lifting the Curse

Lying. Cheating. Stealing. Murder. Lust. Addiction. Sin. Since the time when Adam and Eve fell into temptation back in the Garden of Eden, man had become victim to his own sinful nature. To be human was to sin, and there was no escape from the curse of sin and death. Atonement could be made through the blood of animals, but the atonement only covered past sins. Another sin meant another sacrifice would need to be made. Then, Jesus came to earth and gave himself as a perfect sacrifice to atone for all sin—past, present and future. He gave himself to lift the curse of sin that had gripped a broken humanity. Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The curse of sin can no longer hold those who are in Christ Jesus, who have confessed with their mouths that He is Lord.