The Genius of Genealogy

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written by Ray Fung

When you see the word genealogy, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some, the only time we ever read it is in Matthew and Luke when we read the genealogy of Christ. For others, genealogies are just the times in our devotions where we zone out. There are even some who simply ignore genealogies completely.

Lately, I have been trying to build up a habit of reading through large portions of Scripture within a month (Torah, History, Poetry, Prophecy, Major/Minor Prophets, New Testament). For the past month, I have been going through the history portions of Scripture (Joshua-Esther) and I just finished 1 Chronicles. I noticed that the first 9 or so chapters are almost completely devoted to genealogy. I wasn’t reading through this hoping to find out how to be a better evangelist (although it did test my sanctification in terms of not being lazy). I am sure that my readers are all exceptionally godly and don’t feel this way, but I do find myself dreading these portions of Scripture and wanting to get to the good stuff.

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Testimony of the Week: Tim Huang

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Tim was a part of GOC during college where he met his wife Jaime. They returned to serve on staff in 2009. He is currently fascinated with historical non-fiction, fountain pens, and Peppa Pig. Tim would love to meet you!

Sophomore year, winter quarter, eighth week, Tuesday night, I was waiting in the Ackerman turnaround to be picked up. A beige Toyota Camry pulled up and I crammed in with four other guys; we drove to Enzo’s pizza in Westwood. Over dinner, conversation shifted in and out of Sunday sermons in Luke 8, 1 John, and Rick’s relationship series. The conversation also rabbit-trailed into school, girls and Bruin basketball. We shared prayer requests and drove back to the apartments.  That was my first GOC small group.

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Joyful Obedience

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Friday Night Devotional by David Chow, 10/23/15

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say?”

The verses immediately following in Luke 6:47-49 provide a contrasting story of two men building their houses. The first is a man who builds his house where the foundation is deep and built on the rock. When a flood of water crashes against his house it remains upright and sturdy. The second is a man who builds his house where there is no foundation and is built upon the ground. When the flood crashes against this house it immediately falls and the debris is great.

What’s the connection between the verse above and the story of the two men? Jesus explains in verse 47 when he states that everyone who comes to Him, hears His words and obeys them is like the man who built his house upon the rock. When trials and tribulation come his faith remains strong and his life intact. But the one who hears Jesus’ words and does not obey is like the man who built his house on the ground with no foundation. When trials and tribulation come his faith falls apart and his life is a great mess.

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Testimony of the Week: Shannon Armstrong

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Shannon is a first-year staffer and attended UCLA GOC for 4 years as a student. She can’t wait to meet everyone and hopes that people aren’t shy and come talk to her about what God is doing in their lives at UCLA, post-college plans, sports, Disneyland, etc.!

Both my parents attended UCLA which is when they started attending Grace Community Church and have been attending ever since. Growing up at Grace, I grew up on strong, biblical teaching. My parents faithfully took me to Sunday school, signed me up for Cubbies/Awana and enrolled me in Christian schools. I had all the Scripture memorization badges, was the first one to raise my hand to answer questions at Sunday school, had good grades, was obedient to those over me and was overall a good kid. And it is at this point in my testimony if you had asked me a while ago that I would have said that I prayed the prayer and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 5 years old and my small understanding at that point grew and expanded as I grew older. But after re-examining my childhood years and comparing that to what I know now about how a life that is committed to Christ looks like, I don’t believe I had a genuine love and understanding of the Gospel and was saved until my last year in high school.

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Jesus Christ: Hated, Persecuted and Killed

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Friday night devotional by Stanley Lin, 10/16/15

If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20)

Pastor John has been leading us through John 15:18-25 where Jesus Christ warns His disciples that they would be hated and persecuted because He was hated, persecuted and eventually killed. Jesus was righteous and sinless and did not deserve to die but did so as a substitution for sinners. Christ took the punishment we deserved so that whoever believes in Him will be forgiven of sins and have eternal life. Life with Christ far outweighs persecution, death, and eternal separation from God.

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Testimony of the Week: Chris Gee

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I believe that I was born dead in my trespasses and sins. Growing up, though, it really didn’t feel like it.

I grew up in a Christian home. I’ve attended church since I was in the womb, and I went to a Christian school for thirteen years hanging around Christian friends who also grew up in Christian homes. If someone were to tell me when I was a child that I was a desperate, lost sinner, I would have responded in ignorance, “No, I’m not. I’m a Christian.”

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Humility in Sanctification

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Friday night devotional by Jeremy Birch, 10/9/15

Week 2 of Fall Quarter is already past, but it’s still very much the beginning of the year. It’s an exciting time: our annual evangelistic Fall BBQ is approaching, small groups are forming and getting ready to go, and we have a whole year of ministry, learning, and sanctification ahead of us. There’s a common question that you’ll hear around GOC at this juncture in time, sounding something like, “How do you want to grow this year?” Some want to grow in diligently reading their Bibles. Others hope to cultivate a greater heart to evangelize their classmates or families. Still others desire growth in teaching Scripture, or discipling others, or prayer. Making these kinds of goals is a good practice. We remember well Paul’s instruction to the Philippians: “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” (Php 2:12). Disciplined work toward growth in holiness is commanded of us, and identifying goals for that growth can be helpful.

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