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Promise Kept - Week One:

Before beginning your study this week, take some time to stand (or more appropriately, to kneel) before the cross of Jesus. Read through John chapter 19. Picture yourself there - at the foot of the cross, looking unto Jesus, "the Author and Finisher of our faith." Day One: 1) What are your reactions to the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf?

2) Go back and take note of the words Jesus spoke from the cross. What did He say?

3) In verse 30, Jesus spoke His last words from the cross. In His dying, what was completed?

4) Take a look at John 3:16. What if all you had of Scripture was this verse and John chapter 19, would you understand the gift God gave us in Jesus? Have you accepted God's gift and received salvation? If your answer is yes, Amen! If it is no, why not accept this gift today? Why not turn away from your sin, turn to Jesus and ask God to forgive you and save you from an eternity separated from Him? Jesus is the greatest gift any of us could ever receive. I promise.

5) Let's stop here and spend some time praising God in prayer, thanking Him for His indescribable gift of Jesus.

Day Two: Today, we'll follow the body of Jesus into the garden tomb where we'll witness the most amazing miracle of all time.

1) Let's read John 19:38-42. Who took care of the body of Jesus?

2) What seems unusual about the place where Jesus was crucified? (Verse 41)

3) What do you discover about the timing of Jesus' burial? (Verse 42) Oh! This fact is going to be so huge when we journey through the Passover in Exodus. Tuck it away in your memory.

John 20:1-20 describe six major happenings. Read through these verses and underline the following events:

- Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb. - Mary tells Peter and John about the tomb. - Peter and John run to the tomb, discover the graveclothes and believe. - Jesus appears to Mary in the garden. - Mary tells the disciples she has seen Jesus. - Jesus appears to the disciples who were hiding in a locked upper room. He shows them His hands and feet - they believe and rejoice.

Many emotional reactions are recorded in this passage. The unexpected often brings out an emotional response. But this was something more, something deeper. The recognition of Jesus as the Messiah, the understanding of His resurrection fills many with emotion. Think about when you understood for the very first time that Jesus was and is the Savior, sent to save you from your sin and an eternity in hell. Still gets me every. single. time... How about you?

Day Two: (continued) 4) Of course, we know emotion doesn't equal belief, but emotion often accompanies belief. As a matter of fact, just after the women told the disciples about the empty tomb, and just before He appeared in the upper room, Jesus took a walk beside two very emotional disciples who were on their way to a town called Emmaus. He began to ask them about their sadness. They did not recognize the stranger beside them to be the resurrected Jesus. (Luke 24:16 says their eyes were "restrained, so that they did not know Him.") They were shocked that the stranger would not know about the crucifixion of Jesus. After all, it had been three days and all of Jerusalem knew about it. The two shared how they had hoped Jesus was the One Who "was going to redeem Israel." They went on to explain that His body was missing from the tomb, but they had not seen Him. Little did they know...Can you imagine?

5) Verses 25-27 of Luke 24 are astounding. Run over there and take a look... Did you see that?! Jesus started at Moses and went through the Prophets of the Old Testament (including John the Baptist) explaining how they all told about HimThe Redeemer of Israel! Jesus preached His own Messianic sermon, and from the Old Testament! Verse 32 explains the disciples' reaction to the teaching of Jesus. After their eyes were opened; they recalled their feelings as Jesus spoke to them. What happened in their hearts as Jesus spoke?

The Holman Christian Standard version says, "Our hearts were ablaze..." I pray our hearts are set ablaze as we continue our study together of God's grand redemption plan.

Day Three: Today, we will take a trip all the way back to the beginning. From the Garden Tomb to the Garden of Eden. Let's jump right to the miraculous creation of our world.

1) Read Genesis 1 in one sitting. Then go back and make a simple chart showing each day of creation and what our God created on that day.

2) What was different about the way God created Adam? (Verse 26)

3) God uses the word "seed" ___________ times in this chapter. This word, along with its deeper meaning is going to become very important to Adam, Eve and to us when we see it in chapter three.

4) What responsibilities did God give man? (Verse 28)

5) God built into creation signs that point to His character. What do the following occurrences in nature teach us about God? ex. The Light (v. 3) - God is the Light. He is greater than the sun. - The division of light from darkness (v. 4) ___________________________ - The routine of day and night, signs and seasons, days and years (v. 14) ____________________________________________________________ - The firmament filled with stars (v. 16) _____________________________ - The birds of the air (Think of how He cares for them.) (v. 20) ____________ ____________________________________________________________ - Great sea creatures (v. 21) ______________________________________ Praise God for His amazing power, fascinating creativity and desire to have us made in His image! 4

Day Four: Today, we'll read Genesis chapter 2 and discover how God completes His work of creation with a day of rest. Then, we'll learn some finer details about His marvelous work.

1) Let's read all 25 verses straight through. Read it as if you are reading the most fantastic story ever written. You are, you know. It's the real-life story of God introducing us to Himself. In this chapter, God created and completed, blessed and rested. In His creating, He brought man to life with His very own breath, planted a garden and put man in it. Describe the garden as God designed it.

2) God put man in the garden, giving him everything he needed. There was one restriction within this garden paradise. What was it? Write out God's command and warning, word for word here:

3) Have you ever wondered why God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden in the first place? I have. I read one scholar who said God put the tree there to remind Adam and Eve that although they were created to have dominion over the earth, they were still in submission to God. In other words, the tree was a daily reminder that they were not God. Even in our day, especially in our day, we would do well to remember that Truth. Every morning we should repeat to ourselves: "I am God's...I am not God."

4) God explains His creation of woman and her role as a helper to man. This position shows the vital role of a woman in the completion of human creation. God's design was for man and woman to be comparable in all God gave them to accomplish. In what ways did God's creation of Eve differ from His creation of Adam?

Day Four: (continued) 5) God performed the first wedding and ordained the institution of marriage right there in the garden. Verse 25 describes how pure and innocent Adam and Eve were. They were the perfect couple in the perfect setting. All was right with the world. Apart from the one thing Adam and Eve could not have, ponder everything they could have. Jot down some of your thoughts about living in Eden:

Day Five: Our hearts are going to be broken today. As we watch all of humanity fall with one single act of rebellion, our soul will long for redemption. Because our God is a God of love, mercy and grace, there will be hope. Don't miss it! Let's read all of chapter 3 at once and then we'll take it by sections as we study. 1) In verses 1-7, we are immediately placed into the middle of Satan's tempting of Eve. The most critical move for our enemy to make was to make Eve doubt the Word of God. How did he do this?

2) After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, everything changed for them. Everything changed for us. According to verses 8-13, where were they when God came to their regular meeting place and called out to them? How does His presence in the Garden speak of God's faithfulness? How does their absence speak of their unfaithfulness?

-Guilt and shame are some of Satan's favorite daggers. After he entices with temptation, and we fall to his lure, he plunges them with both hands...And in our pain, we hide. Sadly, we choose to hide from the only One Who can truly see and heal our pain...Remember God walking in the garden, calling out to His beloved the next time you are tempted to hide from Him. He loves you with an everlasting love. He seeks you. He forgives you. He offers you Redemption. He offers you Himself.-

Day Five: (continued) 3) Verses 14-16 are huge! First, God is speaking to the physical serpent in verse 14. There is a curse that affects all animals; but the serpent is cursed more than any other animal. Verse 15 is directed at the "spiritual serpent," Satan himself. Look closely and remember the creation of the plants with the seeds inside. What seems unusual about the wording of this verse? There will be a struggle between Satan and woman. (And make no mistake, my friend, Satan hates us and wants to destroy us.) But there will be an even greater struggle between her "Seed," or offspring and Satan. Take a look at Galatians 3:16 to make this title a little more clear. Who is God speaking of in this verse?

4) According to the end of Genesis 3:15, Who will be victorious? This is the first Gospel message ever spoken. Redemption is set in motion on earth. There will be a Messiah. He will come. He will defeat the enemy. He will make all things right. How does Galatians 4:4 reveal the process of God's Promise?

5) Adam and Eve (as well as all mankind) face the curse of their sin. The earth is cursed because of their sin. Yet, there is mercy. There is grace. There is hope. Adam and Eve witness the first physical death - an animal sacrificed to provide a covering for their shame. God takes an animal, and using the skin, makes a covering for them. Oh! Such a beautiful picture of the sacrifice and covering to come! Isaiah speaks of this covering in chapter 61:10. Copy this verse here:

Try to memorize it. Thank God for the covering that Jesus provides over the shame of your sin. Remember, through Him you are not only covered; your sin is washed away! It is through Jesus that God sees the believer. Jesus is our covering, our sacrifice, our Redeemer. Rejoice in that Truth today. I rejoice right along with you!