Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bringing Me to My Knees and to Baby Girl

Even thinking of this title makes me want to cry.  To say this has been a long journey is quite an understatement.  The rollercoaster that our little family has been on in the last year and a half is nothing other than the sovereignty of God and proof that He does answer prayers…all in His timing and definitely not ours!

As most of you know, Wes and I were married in October 2010.  About a year later, we decided it was time to start a family.  No sooner after making that decision, we were pregnant in December 2011.  With much joy, we shared the news with a couple of close friends while thinking of a clever way to surprise our families with the news at Christmas.  A week after the positive test, we suffered something that I can honestly say is the most suffering I've ever experience in my life.  What we thought would be a new and beautiful life, God took away from us.  On December 19, 2011 we had a miscarriage.  I was at work and I can only remember crying as my boss hugged me and cried with me.  I called Wes and then immediately drove home in a fog where he then took me in his arms and cried with me.  I kept telling myself that God is good and He did this because the pregnancy was not healthy.  The next few weeks my only response to people was, "I'm just sad."

Weeks turned into months, which then turned into many doctor appointments.  My body had not gone back to its normal "female functioning" and my oBGYN sent me to a specialist.  The specialist confirmed that I had PCoS (Polycystic ovary Syndrome).  There are of course many different levels of this condition, but it basically makes it difficult and for some, impossible, to get pregnant.  With my hope still in the doctor's wisdom, she put me on a medication that she said would cure my condition. 
So, my hope for the next 6 months was in this medication.  I took it everyday, at the exact time I was supposed to, I ate healthy, I exercised and kept waiting for it to work.  The medicine made me so sick, I lost weight, never felt well and after being so sick from it on our 2-year anniversary vacation, I threw the pills away.  I spent all my time waiting for it to kick in and watched so many other women around me get pregnant.  Being so consumed in myself, my heart began to grow bitter.  Bitterness led to anger, which led to just not caring about anyone's happiness but my own.  The only happiness I thought I needed was a precious little baby to call my own. 

Again, months went by with no medicine, no change in my "feminine functioning", and stale bitterness in my heart for anyone else that was getting pregnant other than me.  I shared how "sad" my heart was for this longing and I got so sick of hearing it myself that I just stopped talking to people about it.  Finally, one night after church, Wes and I had gotten in a huge fight about it and how badly I had been treating others.  I can't exactly remember the context of it, but I remember it ended up with me on the bathroom floor, cradled in his arms like a child and crying that I did not love God and that my heart was so angry.  It was a long, emotional night, but that was definitely that first time that God brought me to my knees with me asking that He would forgive me.

I know He started to change my heart after that and I was even able to share about it at a Ladies Night for our church on how much He had been changing my heart.  However, there was so much more, deep inside that He hadn't revealed to me yet.  A year had passed since the miscarriage and it was now 2013.  Early in January, I found out that one of my best friends who I love so much, I found out was pregnant with baby #2.  I got the phone call and I know that was one of the hardest phone calls she's ever had to make because she knew all of the junk Wes and I had been through.  I was of course happy, but still so sad that it was someone else instead of me. 

This is the point that is my favorite, not because it was fun, but because this was the second time God brought me to my knees and showed me my unbelief in His promises.  After crying for 2 days straight (Gosh, I sound like an emotional cry-baby and if you know me, you know that that is definitely not me), I laid on my bed, opened up to our church reading plan for the day and it took me to Psalm 4.  All I had to do was read the first verse and I was done.  Psalm 4:1 "Answer me when I call, o God of my righteousness!  You have given me relief when I was in distress.  Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!"  I read that and cried out loud to God, "Ya right!  These promises aren't for me."  I really believed that God was not giving me relief when I was in distress and that He was not answering my prayers because He just didn't want to hear this one.  Needless to say, after coming to that realization, confessing it to Him and having a long talk with Wes, God changed my heart so much.

I can't say to this day that I am 100% trustworthy in God and all of His timing or that I perfectly understand my wicked, unbelieving heart, but I do know that He is daily changing my heart and it is a long beautiful process.  And as most of you know, we are expecting our very first Baby Van Fleet.  I don't believe that God gave us a baby because it's exactly what I wanted or even because he finally showed me where my heart was unbelieving.  I do believe that he allowed this miracle to happen though in His timing because that was His plan.  What I truly needed was not a baby, but to see that the nearness of God was my deepest need.  The extent He went to allow me to be near to Him was graciously giving His only son for my unbelief.  Praise be to God for not just meeting our desires here on this earth, but showing that He, himself was the satisfaction that I needed. 

Lastly, happy to announce that God will be bringing Baby GIRL Van Fleet into our lives this October.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Letter to Jenn

Today is Valentine’s Day. Many women will be at their jobs and a large bouquet of flowers will be delivered to them. Perhaps it will be accompanied by a stuffed animal and some candy. Everyone in the office will make a fuss over those women. My wife works in an office as well. She doesn’t like flowers and she’s not big on large boxes of chocolate. So this is my delivery to her. I want everyone to know that she means the world to me. This is an open letter to my bride for Valentine’s Day.
 I met a young woman in 2006 that would change my life forever. Describing her in words is unnecessary, because she is most beautiful through my eyes. Certainly there are those that see and recognize her for who she is. She is radiant, intelligent, passionate and kind. She is an amazing wife to me. But I see her as so much more. It is as if the Lord has given me a special grace to behold her in a way in which no other person can.
I find myself drawn to her in an unexplainable way. My marriage to her is not something I simply endure. I enjoy her. To be honest, she is what I look forward to every day. She brings joy to my soul. She inspires me. She challenges me. Presently we have been married for over 2 years. During these years, at times we have had to be apart. Recently we were apart for 5 days. But there has hardly been a moment that she has not been the subject of my thoughts. I would have to say that throughout the last 2 years my thoughts have been saturated with Jesus and my wife. I know that we often say we are “attracted to someone”. But it is more than that with her. There is something about her that draws me. I certainly do not think it is anything she does intentionally. I am simply taken aback, intrigued by her as a person. I am drawn to her as a collector of fine art might be drawn to a masterpiece hanging on the wall of a museum. Can you see the collector as he draws near to the work of art? He is all alone as he looks intently at the work. He inspects it. He is mesmerized by it. Others walk by, recognize the beauty and move on. But something about the work keeps this man’s attention, his affections even. He ignores the rest of the museum and spends his day beholding the beauty of this particular piece. It is clear that others recognize the beauty of my sweet wife. But they do not recognize it as I do. There is no other piece of God’s handiwork that can bring me the pleasure that she does. I have stood before her for over 2 years gazing at her beauty. I find I have not even begun to see all the beauty that lies within her. I am certain that a lifetime will not be long enough.    
I hesitate to simply say “I love my wife.” That phrase has become so cliché. I certainly do love her. But I don’t think that phrase fully expresses what I think of her. I long for her. She amazes me. I find delight in her. She is my beloved and my friend. I am perplexed when I try and understand how her small hands can have such a grasp on my heart. I can only explain the love I have for her by the grace of God. The Lord has enabled me to love her in a very unique way. I must also add that her love toward me is an extremely humbling reality. To love her is a privilege, but to be loved by her is an even greater privilege. I believe in a different kind of love than the cultural love we celebrate this day. I cling tightly to a covenantal love that is not defined by feelings or emotions, but rather, a love committed to the promises we made on our wedding day. Yet, that covenantal love is but a mere reflection of Christ's covenantal love for his bride. Not only has Christ perfectly loved his bride (the church), he lays himself down for her treason against him. Yet he holds no wrongs against her, but forgives her daily and lavishes her with his love because he is committed to his vows and promises he made to her. Jenn knows I am not her Savior, she knows I break promises, but most of all she loves her Savior more than she loves me. That fact alone is the intrinsic factor in why I treasure her. She is a reflection of the objective love of God and points me to the one who truly is committed to me, my true treasure Christ Jesus. 
I love you Jenny-bear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The True Bridegroom

It has been over a year since I have blogged, not because I haven't had many things to say but because of busyness. I concluded another semester at Westminster Seminary California, started a full-time job in Carlsbad, and am still overseeing 25-30 people in my missional community at Kaleo Church in El Cajon. Amongst the busyness, one thing has continued to overwhelm me with wife.

Jenn and I have been married for 640 days now. We came into the marriage with a passion for Christ, his Gospel, and his Church. We understood that marriage was created and instituted by God to show the marvelous mystery of the Gospel to the world. In fact, we understood that our sole purpose in the marriage was the glory of God alone. As I was counting the days we have been in union together I asked myself, "How well have we done at glorifying our great God in our marriage?" We have passionately shepherded and loved those we oversee. We have served our community by pouring ourselves out for them. We have learned to communicate in ways that help keep unity in our marriage when the enemy whispers lies of deceit. Above all we have relentlessly pursued one another with grace and love.

But you see, the question still lingered in my mind, "Have we glorified our God with our marriage?" Yes, we love each other massively but has our God been glorified? To help answer this question I want to look at John 2:1-12. In the first sign in John's Gospel, we have a wedding party that runs out of wine. Now, in this context it was the bridegroom's responsibility to provide the wine. Imagine all your family and friends who have traveled to come be a part of this extravagant affair. Imagine in the middle of the celebration when you realize the wine is out. What will people think?

Jesus comes to the rescue and turns six stone jars full of water, holding 20-30 gallons each, into the finest wine. Imagine the shock the bridegroom would be feeling. Would he be thankful? Of course! Yet, does he glorify God in such a miraculous sign? Nope. If we look at v.9-10 the master comes and praises the bridegroom for saving the best wine for last and the bridegroom doesn't say a thing, at least as far as John records.

The point of this text is that Jesus is showing his first sign. The first sign the King shows to the world is at a wedding, has to do with wine, and is about our joy. When we realize our God is for our joy, we can glorify him. The sign was not the end purpose though, every sign in John's Gospel points to a reality. The reality this is meant to show us is that the stone jars that were used for ritual cleansing are filled with wine. This is ultimately pointing to the true cleansing which is by Christ's blood, not ritual washing. The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34) is about bridegrooms like this and like me who are about their own glory, being washed in the blood of the True Bridegroom Jesus Christ. When we have been cleansed by his relentless love, we then can be about manifesting his glory (v.12) and not our own.

So, have Jenn and I glorified God with our marriage? I believe yes and no. When I do things out of selfishness while using Jesus as a way to coerce Jenn into "Godly behavior" of course not. But when we are honest about our sin, confessing them to one another and God, and ultimately reminding one another of the Gospel we can then point at his grace and give him the glory. I can say one thing with all assurance, I adore my wife like no other. She often has my attention more than my Savior does. Her beauty, her love for me, her being a place of safety, the list can go on and on. My beloved bride often is where all my attention and desires rest. Yet, it is in the times where I realize that if I love her as much as I do than God's love for his children is far too large for me to comprehend. It is when I realize that he loves her far more, is pursuing her perfectly, and that he will one day stand at the wedding feast and present her as a perfect spotless bride that I will stand in gratitude and glorify him for loving her better than I ever could.

Thank you King Jesus for being the perfect husband. Thank you God for giving me a wife I adore and showing me that your love for us is an unleashed beast that will transform us into the image of your Son. I praise you and glorify you when I look into the beautiful green eyes of my bride and know that you will one day look into our eyes and welcome us into the New Heavens and New Earth. Thank you Lord for taking the sins of your people upon your body and cleansing us. Thank you for rising from the dead to proclaim your victory over your bride. Until the wedding feast my King teach us how to glorify you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What Do You Worship? Idols Exposed

In John 7:37-39, Jesus calls people to believe and worship him. What is so sweet is that he does this after a week long party of eating and drinking the best food and wine. After all of this, most people would be satisfied right? Wrong! Jesus knows that created things can only give temporary joy and satisfaction. So, he stands up at the end of the party and says, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink." Jesus is promising that he is the way, the truth , and the life (John 14:6). He is the single way to eternal joy, joy that starts the minute you trust him for your righteousness and payment for sins. Joy that sustains you through suffering.

The first commandment, and most important in the Bible, is God calling his people to worship him and him alone (Exodus 20:3; Matt 22:37). In the very next verse (Exodus 20:4), God calls his people to not make any carved images or idols in his place. You see, this is the condition of the human heart, we run to created things for temporary joy instead of running to the Creator who holds all things together (Colossians 1:15-20). As John Calvin said, "Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.11.8)."

The question is, whether we are Christians or not, what is it that we truly worship? What is it that our hearts truly desire? Christians will often say God because it's the "right answer," but God searches the heart of man and knows what we truly desire (Psalm 139:23-24). God woos us and draws us to himself (John 6:44), so we should be aware and fighting to love us him as he has loved us (Rom. 5:8).

Lastly, idols are often good things we have turned to for our ultimate joy instead of God. They are gifts from God meant to draw us to him for thankfulness, for the Giver is always better than the gift. These idols can be spouses, our kids, or our jobs. Deeper down they can also be our image, our self-righteousness, etc.

Below are a series of questions from David Powlison's book Seeing with New Eyes. He calls them 'X-Ray Questions' because they are useful in exposing your true desires deep down inside of you. Go through these, take your time, and above all...BE HONEST! Somehow Christianity has become people who think they have to be good and perfect, but the truth is we are still sinners drawn to worship false idols. So, enjoy this and I would love to hear anything the Spirit exposes in your heart. When idols are exposed and we find our joy, identity, and righteousness in Christ is then that we are seen by God as good, right and perfect.

X-Ray Questions

David Powlison, Seeing with New Eyes (pg. 132-40)

1. What do you love? Hate?

2. What do you want, desire, crave, lust, and wish for? What desires do you serve and obey?

3. What do you seek, aim for, and pursue?

4. Where do you bank your hopes?

5. What do you fear? What do you not want? What do you tend to worry about?

6. What do you feel like doing?

7. What do you think you need? What are your 'felt needs'?

8. What are your plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions designed to accomplish?

9. What makes you tick? What sun does your planet revolve around? What do you organize your life around?

10. Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, escape, pleasure, security?

11. What or whom do you trust?

12. Whose performance matters? On whose shoulders does the well-being of your world rest? Who can make it better, make it work, make it safe, make it successful?

13. Whom must you please? Whose opinion of you counts? From whom do you desire approval and fear rejection? Whose value system do you measure yourself against? In whose eyes are you living? Whose love and approval do you need?

14. Who are your role models? What kind of person do you think you ought to be or want to be?

15. On your deathbed, what would sum up your life as worthwhile? What gives your life meaning?

16. How do you define and weigh success and failure, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, in any particular situation?

17. What would make you feel rich, secure, prosperous? What must you get to make life sing?

18. What would bring you the greatest pleasure, happiness, and delight? The greatest pain or misery?

19. Whose coming into political power would make everything better? 20. Whose victory or success would make your life happy? How do you define victory and success? 21. What do you see as your rights? What do you feel entitled to?22. In what situations do you feel pressured or tense? Confident and relaxed? When you are pressured, where do you turn? What do you think about? What are your escapes? What do you escape from?

23. What do you want to get out of life? What payoff do you seek out of the things you do?

24. What do you pray for?

25. What do you think about most often? What preoccupies or obsesses you? In the morning, to what does your mind drift instinctively?

26. What do you talk about? What is important to you? What attitudes do you communicate?

27. How do you spend your time? What are your priorities?

28. What are your characteristic fantasies, either pleasurable or fearful? Daydreams? What do your night dreams revolve around?

29. What are the functional beliefs that control how you interpret your life and determine how you act?

30. What are your idols and false gods? In what do you place your trust, or set your hopes? What do you turn to or seek? Where do you take refuge?

31. How do you live for yourself?

32. How do you live as a slave of the devil?

33. How do you implicitly say, “If only...” (to get what you want, avoid what you don't want, keep what you have)?

34. What instinctively seems and feels right to you? What are your opinions, the things you feel true?

35. Where do you find your identity? How do you define who you are?

Other helpful sources:

Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Counterfeit gods by Tim Keller

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rant on the Attractional Church

I would love to write a ton more on this, but just have a rant to pass on:

For the past two years now, my view of the church has massively changed. First, I must state something very clearly. In 2005 I started attending church, in 2007 started Bible school and helped plant a church, and in 2008 came to the realization that I was the best law-keeping moralist I knew. I preached at church, led Bible studies, but in 2008 I was confronted with the truth of the cross and the Gospel. This may seem shocking, but I was not a believer in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. My view up until then was that Christians are people who might have said a "sinner prayer," didn't cuss, didn't drink, and was basically a really good person. However, that all changed when I was confronted with what the Bible really said about my sin, about Jesus, and even more, my identity in Christ.

I attribute most of my moralism (Jesus + my good works trying to please God) to the type of ministry I was in. I had never heard a text preached or shared with me about sin, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. I never heard that he lived a perfect life where I had failed and died the death I deserved for failing to live perfectly. I did hear 7 ways to a happy marriage, 4 ways to be a better evangelist, basically 777 ways to earn God's love, or at least make him happy.

This type of ministry is called attractional, or event driven. The heart of this type of ministry is good, but very wrong. These churches will do everything possible to get people in the doors, entertain them, and show them that God can be cool. The major downfall with this is that 1) Jesus commanded, after all authority on heaven and earth had been given to him, believers to GO! Make Disciples! Teach Them (Matt. 28:18-20)! Understanding discipleship is a whole other discussion 2) The people who are attracted to this ministry have to always give more entertainment, more fun things, more instant satisfaction of the senses.

Attractional churches have become a place, when the church is supposed to be a people. No one in this attractional church is committed to the ministry and the body, but uses what the church offers for themselves. These churches do not believe in church discipline because we "are all sinners" and don't want our weekly statistics to drop.

So how did this happen? The Church (the people of God) from 33 A.D. on were committed to one another (Acts 2:42-47), proclaiming Christ in everyday life (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 1:16-17; Phil. 3:7-11), and on mission to the world (Acts 1:8). In the late 1900's through the beginning 2000's, especially with Billy Graham and Greg Laurie starting the Crusades (terrible reminder to the Muslim world), the Gospel began to get watered down to a prayer you say to get your ticket to heaven. No discipleship followed, just a high emphasis on church attendance, serving in the church, and tithing.

I once approached a pastor and told him I was concerned about eldership in the church, finances, and a clear preaching of the Gospel and the cross. I was told that I needed to pray more, read my Bible more, etc. and Jesus would be happy with me. This view comes from the medieval ages heresy of the Roman Catholic Church, that we are justified by our sanctification, not justified by faith in the life and death of Christ. People who attend these churches, like I did for years, have identity issues. They are not happy with God and the Gospel. They always feel they need to serve more, have a husband or wife, read their Bibles more, etc. Their identity is not in Christ, which now I know, is the most beautiful freeing thing, wanting me to serve, read, pray, etc. out of joy!!!

Life together is non-existent in this type of ministry. Other than a weekly service, one might join a small group, Bible study, home group, etc. This is a time of Bible study, which is good, but is never played out (James 1:22-27. This creates a dichotomy where you have your family life, church life, work life, when the Scripture call us to live these out together. We cannot come together once a week to surround ourselves around the Bible, but are called to live our everyday lives according to the Bible, reminding one another of it's truths.

The most pressing issue here is the Gospel. The Gospel is not something that saves us and we are free to live as we were before, or if you are really good, you study end times and the rapture. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16-17). Salvation is a past tense Ephesians 2:8, Present tense: 1 Cor. 15:2; Phil. 2:12-13 and Future tense: Acts 15:11; 1 Peter 1:3-5. This means that we use the Gospel to call one another (believers) from sin unto repentance, with the purpose that they would believe their identity in the Gospel. All sin is unbelief (read Hebrews 3-4), so we must remind each other of the Gospel. Attractional churches will either say to be more disciplined in reading or praying (which can be good), or even preach sermons calling the people of God to "just be like your favorite Bible character). The truth is we are like our favorite Bible characters, sinners in need of a Savior. We need to be reminded of how the Law condemns us, just as it did everyone in the Scriptures, but Jesus perfectly fulfilled it, was killed for our failure, and was risen 3 days later to give us life.

I have lived both sides of this, so I am critical for a reason. My prayer is that we would stop being consumeristic, finding churches that best serve and entertain us, etc. Instead, let's get back to the Gospel. Numbers are not always souls. I was a leader in a church and was not saved, this is very dangerous. I now am free because of the Gospel. My identity is in Christ. I am part of a Christ-treasuring community, formed by the Gospel and sent on mission to the world through the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. If some of this offends you, I would ask that you don't get defensive because your church "is right" but to diligently search the Scriptures and compare and contrast.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Restoring Beauty

I read this today and thought it was definitely worth sharing:

"Let us suppose, in the manner of some romances, that a king was betrothed to a beautiful wife, whose picture was sent to him before he himself saw her. But when she set out on her journey to him, she fell sick of some loathsome disease, such as the smallpox or leprosy.

But suppose that he knew before she came to him that she should be restored to her first primitive beauty, and that even though he knew he would be troubled by her disaster, distemper, or disease, he easily quieted himself for that little space of time in which her infirmity, though greatly disfiguring her, was to continue. For he himself would be her physician, the only one who could cure her and restore her to her first perfect beauty, which he know he could and should do. Thus he would show all love and peace toward her, even though her disease was loathsome, in full hope of her recovery.

This is the case between Christ and the church."

A Habitual Sight of Him: The Christ-centered Piety of Thomas Goodwin

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


For the past year, I have been studying Christ in the Old Testament. As a newer Christian, I always saw the Old Testament as a compilation of some cool stories, some hard to understand stories, and a few scattered prophecies about Jesus. More often than not, most churches will only throw random prophecies into their sermons, but will not preach through an Old Testament book. Then, if lucky, you might get a sermon on a whole book of the OT, but without Christ as the center and climax of every sermon. Why does this matter? There is a nasty thing called moralism that will take place. Example: Your pastor preaches on David and Goliath. Your pastor builds up David as this hero of faith who takes down the big challenges in life. The application then becomes, whatever your "big challenge" in life is right now (financial problems, relational problems, loss of a loved one), just have faith like David and you will conquer your own Goliath. This is called moralism. Moralism calls you to add some of your own work to please God, denying that his atoning death on the cross was full payment for your sin, AND his perfect righteousness was transferred to you (2 Cor. 5:21).

The truth is when we are given commands in the New Testament (Work as you are working for Christ, love your wife like Christ loved the Church, etc.), we are bound to fail if we do not understand the indicatives. Throughout Scripture, there is a redemptive story of God being graceful to His people, promising that He would be our God and we would be His people. All of this can only be true in the person and work of Christ, because he alone was the one who lived a perfectly sinless obedient life, and the only one who could be the perfect substitute for us on the cross.

So, when reading the redemptive story, especially in the New Testament, we must look at what Jesus says in Luke 24. iN 24:13-48, after being resurrected from the dead, Jesus appears, first, to a couple dudes on the Road to Emmaus and beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scripture the things concerning himself (v.27). The passage goes on to say that because of this their eyes were opened (v.31) and their hearts burned within them (v.32). Later in Luke 24:44-48, Jesus does the same thing with the disciples.

Yesterday, I heard a lecture from pastors/authors Tim Keller and the late Edmund Clowney on this necessary topic of reading and preaching the Scriptures. The same day, I came across a quote from the lecture in Darrin Patrick's book called Church Planting. The quote is lengthy but is a sweet glimpse into the correct way of interpreting Scripture. Please read and enjoy:

"Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.
Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.
Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing whither he went to create a new people of God.
Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, "Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me," now we can look at God taking his Son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, "Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your Son, your only Son, whom you love from us."
Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.
Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.
Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.
Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of god's justice, now gives us water in the desert.
Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.
Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people's victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.
Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn't just risk leaving an earthly place but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn't just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.
Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.
Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will passover us. He's the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.
The Bible's really not about you, it's about him."

Here are a list of some good resources on Bible interpretation:

Brian Chappell's Christ-Centered Preaching
Tim Keller & Edmund Clowney Audio Class
Sidney Greidanus's Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
Graeme Goldsworthy's Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture
Graeme Goldsworthy's Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics
Darrin Patrick's Church Planter
Shai Linne