Matthew 2:1-12

Pastor Beau Floyd of Emmaus Road Church in Idaho Falls taught this passage yesterday on Mother’s Day.

My questions related to the text . . . Continue reading

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Matthew 1:18-25

My questions related to the text . . .

Observation (questions for the head)

  1. Which other Person of the Trinity is connected with the birth of Jesus?
  2. What did Joseph want to do with the Mary when he found out she was pregnant?
  3. What is Joseph’s family lineage?
  4. What does the name, Jesus, mean?
  5. The birth of Jesus fulfills what Old Testament prophecy?
  6. What does the name, Immanuel, mean?

Interpretation (questions for the head and heart)

  1. What were the cultural parameters of Jewish betrothal?
  2. What would happen to a betrothed girl caught in sexual immorality?
  3. Did Mary’s sinful nature pass on to the baby within her womb?
  4. What do you think of the Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception?
  5. How would you explain the birth of Jesus?
  6. God became a baby.  What are your thoughts on this?
  7. Did God have to become a human?
  8. Jesus had a divine nature and a human nature.  Have you heard the phrase coined by theologians, hypostatic union?
  9. Do you consider the virgin birth of Jesus Christ a fundamental doctrine of evangelical Christianity?
  10. The name of Jesus is rooted in what Old Testament name?
  11. If Jesus saves believers from their sins, why do believers still sin?

Application (questions for the heart and hands)

  1. What would you do with your spouse caught in adultery?
  2. Has an angel from the Lord ever appeared to you in a dream?
  3. Do you have a relationship with Jesus?  Is He saving you from your sins?  To what extent, is He saving you?
  4. Are you in bondage to any dominating human desires?  How can Jesus help you?
  5. What do you fear presently as you pursue God’s will?  Do you need His assurance?
  6. How will you trust and obey God this week, knowing that He is with you?  What is He calling you to do?
  7. What would your life be like today without God with you?
  8. How do you know that God is with you?
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Matthew 1:1-17

On Sunday, April 23, Pastor Beau Floyd of Emmaus Road Church in Idaho Falls introduced to the church family a new study in the book of Matthew.  My intent is to join Pastor Beau in sharing this good news all over the city over the upcoming months with the desire for making disciples of Jesus Christ.  For is this not the command given to us by King Jesus in Matthew 28?  Walk with us in this journey of repentance and grace.

In reading the opening seventeen verses of Matthew 1, I am convinced that Jesus is the long awaited Messianic King.  I am also persuaded that no matter how big the scandals and black the stains, Jesus is able to triumph in any family.  There is great grace displayed in our genealogies.

My questions related to the text . . .

Observation (questions for your head)

  1. List the names of the women that you see in this genealogy.
  2. Who is the “wife of Uriah”?
  3. Name the good, the bad, and the ugly among the Jewish kings.

Interpretation (questions for your head and heart)

  1. What is the significance of “the son of David, the son of Abraham”?
  2. What is the reason for listing “Zerah by Tamar”?
  3. Was there hope given in the Jewish deportation?
  4. What you do say about the genealogy gaps in the text?
  5. Numerology is important in Jewish belief.  What does the sequence of “fourteen generations” teach?
  6. “The Christ” is a title for what?
  7. How does this genealogy prove that Jesus is the rightful Messiah?

Application (questions for your heart and hands)

  1. Are you able to trace the providence of God in your family genealogy?
  2. How you wondered if anything good can come from the messes in your family?
  3. Have you given up on your family?
  4. When other families are in the midst of sinful struggles, do you give gospel hope or judge?



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Mercy in the Margins (May – 2017)

Greetings to you all!

As a missionary chaplain for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, our passion is to give Jesus to the least.  The last.  And the lost.

Thanks so much for your desire to pray and partner with us.  Your prayers and giving are making a difference.

Some quick highlights from the trenches

  • This past month, I have been the case manager for fourteen men at the ARK.
  • Every Monday, I get together with men to discuss what they have learned in Sunday services among the local church communities.  We have named this the “Jesus Family Life” group.
  • On Tuesdays, it has been a joy to be reading through the Bible with some of the men. We call it the “Jesus in the Bible” Group.  Currently, we are in the book of I Chronicles.
  • On Thursdays, I lead a “Roots by the River” Bible study in Ephesians.
  • Early this Thursday morning, I lead the National Day of Prayer event downtown at the First Presbyterian Church.
  • Today, I opened up the Word and shared Jesus at the men’s breakfast for Berean Baptist Church.
  • And I am thankful for being given the opportunity to share the gospel hope and power of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection when I recently officiated in a funeral and graveside service.

On the home front

  • Our oldest son is heading to India, May 10, for a short trip and then on to Hong Kong for an international business internship, May 17.  Please pray for his safety.
  • Our oldest daughter is flying from South Carolina back to Idaho today, May 6.  We look forward to seeing her!
  • Our youngest daughter is finishing her junior year at Skyline High School and plans  this summer on delving into some research for her senior project on human trafficking.
  • The Skyline freshmen class voted in our youngest son as next year’s Sophomore historian.  Also, we like to say that he is second in the state among 9th graders for throwing the shot put in track.

Prayer requests: May Jesus reign as King in Idaho Falls!

My four main ministry objectives: 1) Partner IFRM with local churches 2) Disciple IFRM staff, volunteers, and residents 3) Provide pastoral prayer, encouragement, counsel, and Biblical preaching and teaching 4) Help facilitate discipleship components for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission and the future Renewed Life Recovery Program

Thanks for the prayers.  God bless you all.

roots by the river,

Todd Wood

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Mercy in the Margins (April – 2017)

Hi all,

My sister lost her husband to cancer last July, leaving her behind with four children.  When I visited her at the end of March in Canada, we started talking about loss and grief.  She told me that in our western culture we have a great difficulty in handling our heartache.  We don’t properly express our sorrow, and we run to various addictions to escape it.

On my drive home from Canada, my yearly Bible reading schedule placed me in the book of Ruth.  It is always remarkable how the Spirit of God can take a simple Bible reading schedule and make it so relevant to what I am facing daily in my life.  God speaks directly to us.  He knows where we are struggling and searching. And He has the answers.  It is up to us to seek and hear His voice, to search out His glory in the heart of a matter, and to trust His loving wisdom and care.

The book of Ruth starts off with three women losing their husbands.  Utter. Devastating. Loss.  Yet one of the ladies, Ruth, ends up clinging to her bitter mother-in-law, Naomi, and leaving her own country of Moab.  Of course, this was a courageous act of trust on her part.  How was she going to survive financially?  She was destitute.

Thankfully, the ancient country of Israel had a plan for helping those in poverty.  Farmers would leave portions of their fields for the poor to harvest so that they could eat and survive. In application, I am thankful for business owners in Idaho Falls who provide working opportunities for the poor to glean from their business abundance.

So in her poverty, Ruth ended up gleaning in the fields.  This started a chain reaction of God’s powerful redemptive care.  Boaz, the owner of the fields, noticed her and ended up marrying her.  Yet the story does not end here.  In the family line of Boaz and Ruth, there will come King David and eventually King Jesus.

For my sister and all the ladies who have suffered loss and find their way at the door of the women’s shelter named the Ruth House in Idaho Falls, I like this note in the Gospel Transformation Bible.

But death of loved ones is ultimately the result of living in a fallen world; it comes to all.  Far from being against her, the Lord is working through Naomi’s grievous circumstances to bring into the world One who ultimately will redeem her and all his people from death forever.

 In our loss, Jesus triumphs!

Some quick highlights from the trenches

  • Currently, I case manage seventeen men.
  • I am leading a half dozen weekly Bible studies and devotionals in small groups.  One of those Bible studies involves getting together with teenagers after school.  I am delighted to provide a pastoral reference for one of the young men as he desires to attend Jackson Hole Bible College in the future.
  • Recently, CrossPoint Community Church celebrated in the baptisms of two residents living at the ARK.
  • I had the privilege to preach the Word at Berean Baptist Church on Sunday, March 19, and Emmanuel Bible Church on Sunday, April 2.
  • Very thankful for Eagle Rock Baptist Church initiating new ministry to the ladies and children at the Ruth House.
  • I am excited to teach on the humanity of Jesus in the upcoming Emmaus Road Church Men’s Retreat at the Sleepy J Cabins in Swan Valley, April 21-22.  Also, I will be leading the community prayer breakfast at First Presbyterian Church on the National Day of Prayer, May 4.

On the home front

  • This summer, our oldest boy is heading off to China for a business internship.  Please pray for his safety.
  • And in four weeks, our oldest daughter is flying back to Idaho after completing her first year of college.  She is excited that she has been officially accepted into the clinical nursing program.  Please pray for her in the search for a summer job in Idaho Falls.

My Prayer Requests

  • Would you please consider having me share in one of your ministry groups?
  • I am seeking to gain monthly financial support as a missionary chaplain to the poor in downtown Idaho Falls.
  • Pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will be lifted up during Passion Week in Idaho Falls.

My four main ministry objectives

  • Partner IFRM with local churches
  • Ongoing discipleship among IFRM staff, volunteers, and residents
  • Provide pastoral prayer, encouragement, counsel, and Biblical preaching and teaching
  • Help facilitate discipleship components for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission and the future Renewed Life Recovery Program

Thanks for the prayers.  God bless you all.

roots by the river,

Todd Wood

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Succeeding and Reading

Two Sundays ago with Emmaus Road Church along the river in Idaho Falls . . .

Pastor Beau taught from the text, Deuteronomy 31:1-13.

His talking points:  God is With You

  • God Goes With His People
  • God Goes With His Leaders
  • God is Present Through His Word

He introduced the Bible passage with a question somewhat to this effect:  “Have you ever been in a situation that was impossible?” He shared one of his own stories while in the military.  Others from the church family shared some of their personal experiences of how God helped them through the trials.  God is our strength in the midst of impossible situations.

Moses is at the end of his life, and Pastor Beau suggested that he was a little bitter.

Even with me the LORD was angry on your account and said, “You shall not go in there” (Deuteronomy 1:37).

And I pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, “O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand.  For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.  But the LORD was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me.  And the LORD said to me, “Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again” (Deuteronomy 3:23-26).

The problem is that the people took out their frustration on their leader through severe complaining, and he angrily took out his frustration on them.  Both the people and the leader left God out of the picture.

Pastor Beau urged us first to take our problems to the Lord.  We ought to sit before the Lord and share our issues with Him.  Take it first to the King of Heaven!  Believe that God is with you.

Second, when sheep bite, shepherds need to take their hurts to the Lord.  Pray for your leaders.  Frustrated pastors need prayer.  Usually, a church member does not know all what the leaders are thinking or knowing.  They often experience opposition.  Beau shared the hostile responses by hecklers given to a chaplain in a recent town hall meeting.

Third, leaders do come and go.  But God’s Word remains constant.  You can trust God’s Word fully.  Beau said that he was a Torah guy, but he urged all the brothers and sisters in regularly hearing and reading all of God’s Word, whether it is a one year, three year, or seven year plan, etc.   And then he told us how important it is for the little ones to hear it all, too.  He cried when he read the first chapter of The Jesus Storybook Bible to his boy.

For the kids, I would also recommend:

My questions related to the text . . .


  1. How old was Moses?
  2. Who goes first into the promised land?
  3. Who is with you?
  4. What are some of the examples of past victories?
  5. How come the people don’t have to be afraid?
  6. Who will succeed Moses?
  7. When is Israel to read the law?
  8. Who is in the assembly to hear the law?
  9. What are three responses to God’s law (v. 12)?


  1. What is significant about the seventh year among Jewish people?
  2. What is the Feast of Booths?
  3. Why was there the need for a transition from Moses to Joshua?
  4. Can you think of an instance in the New Testament where Moses actually stepped foot into the Promised Land?


  1. Do you feel like there was a dream that God has kept you from entering?
  2. What gives you hope for the future by thinking about what God has done for you in the past?
  3. Israel did not have to be afraid in following the massive command of God to conquer and inherit the land because of what central truth?  How does this parallel the massive command given to the Church to make disciples in all the world?
  4. How may you intentionally hear God’s law?  Do you have a systematic plan?
  5. What about your children?  How will you help them hear?


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Mercy in the Margins (March – 2017)

I share greetings of the Lord’s grace and peace to you all.  This is the first of my monthly updates, entitled “Mercy in the Margins”.  My life passage in the Bible is Isaiah 61:1-3.  It’s fitting because my first name, Elon, is in this Hebrew text.  Secondly, for a year and half now, I have been ministering as a servant of Jesus among those who are homeless; those who have had very difficult backgrounds filled with personal heartache, and those who are held captive by addiction.  This is a big mission field in Idaho Falls.  When one considers men, women, and children in the Bonneville County Jail, the homeless shelters of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, and low-income housing, my desire is to see the miraculous gospel of Jesus Christ abound in the midst of this community and then to see them embraced by Christ’s Church and serving the King.

A little over three weeks ago, I approached the Executive Director of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission about my idea to launch out as a chaplain on missionary status.  My specific mission is partnering IFRM with Jesus’ Church in Idaho Falls and the Southeastern Idaho region to disciple the marginalized so that they, in turn, may disciple others for the glory of God.  And I break this down into four main objectives:

  • Partner IFRM with local churches
  • Ongoing discipleship among IFRM staff, volunteers, and residents
  • Provide pastoral prayer, encouragement, counsel, and Biblical preaching and teaching
  • Help facilitate discipleship components for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission and the future Renewed Life Recovery Program

My first church family to share this vision will be with those beloved to me in Idaho Falls, the Berean Baptist Church, on Sunday, March 19.  If your church family has questions on how to bring Jesus to those trapped in low income jobs on the verge of homelessness, fighting mental struggles, battling addiction, or deeply hurting, give me a call. I would love to partner with you.

Some quick highlights from the trenches

  • Currently, I case manage eighteen men.
  • I am leading a half dozen weekly Bible studies and devotionals in small groups.
  • We have seen four baptisms of residents in the local churches.
  • And I am delighted to be involved in a new church plant along the river in Idaho Falls, Emmaus Road Church.

On the home front

  • I have the gift of mercy, but my wife has twice the amount of this grace giftedness.
  • Our oldest son and daughter are attending colleges on the other side of the country, and our youngest daughter and son attend Skyline High School.

My Prayer Requests

  • In my observations, every homeless man and women needs a friend.
  • Every resident who lives in one of the IFRM shelters and worshiping with a church needs a spiritual mentor within that Christian family. We need much training on discipleship.
  • My first goal is to partner with ten churches.

roots by the river,

Todd Wood

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