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Groundwork: Biblical Foundations for Life

Christian Talk

Groundwork is a half-hour conversation that digs deeply into Scripture, the foundation for our lives. Each week, pastors Dave Bast (president of Words of Hope) and Scott Hoezee (director of CEP at Calvin Seminary) cultivate our understanding of God's Word by unpacking the richness of the Bible and applying it with insight to today's world.


Holland, MI


Groundwork is a half-hour conversation that digs deeply into Scripture, the foundation for our lives. Each week, pastors Dave Bast (president of Words of Hope) and Scott Hoezee (director of CEP at Calvin Seminary) cultivate our understanding of God's Word by unpacking the richness of the Bible and applying it with insight to today's world.




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Encouragement as We Wait for Christ's Return

Waiting for Jesus Christ’s second coming can feel discouraging as we continue to witness the pain and brokenness of this world. It’s not unusual to cry, like the Psalmist, “How long, Lord?” Exiled to Patmos, John knew what it felt like to long for God’s promised coming while enduring injustice and watching evil, grief, and pain continue to weigh heavily on a weary world. But as Revelation closes, John shares an encouraging vision of a restored heaven—a beautiful, life-filled city whose light...


A Look at the New Heaven and Earth

In difficult seasons of life, we often find hope and encouragement by thinking about what we have to look forward to: upcoming celebrations, kids or grandkids, vacations, promotions, or anything else that motivates us. Yet, all of these things provide only short-term motivation or encouragement—they don’t address the bigger feelings of pain, sorrow, or injustice we encounter in our lives. As Christians, we know that the promise of a new heaven and new earth provides the eternal hope and...


Heavenly Visions to Encourage Our Faith

Seeing a situation or experience from another perspective typically expands our understanding. It provides us with a perspective we cannot achieve when we only consider the situation from our own perspective. When John was exiled on Patmos, he found comfort in God's cosmic perspective. In Revelation chapters 7-14, John shares his heavenly visions of life as a spiritual battle between God and evil—a battle God has already won. Christians today can continue to find comfort in the eternal...


Worshiping Christ, the Lamb Who is Worthy

When the world tries to squash our faith and it seems like evil is winning, Christians can find encouragement through their participation in and reflection on worship. Studying John’s visions of heavenly worship in Revelation can still be a source of great encouragement and comfort for believers today. These visions paint a picture of the worship happening right now in heaven, remind us of who sits on the throne, and confirm that there is an end to the spiritual battles we face. Join...


Learning from the Seven Churches of Revelation

Every believer must discern what it means to live out their Christian faith in the midst of the larger culture, and every church must figure out how to live this kind of faith together. The first Christians discovered just how tempting it was to compromise their new faith in order to fit in. The book of Revelation records Jesus’ assessment of how seven of those early churches did. Dr. Jeff Weima joins our Groundwork conversation to unpack the seven letters or sermons to the seven churches in...


Seeing Jesus Christ in Heaven

How do you react when you hear the word “apocalypse”? Do you automatically think of the “End Times”? Does it frighten you? Or do you get excited to talk about it? Revelation is an apocalyptic book of the Bible. Knowing what exactly that means provides us the right foundation on which to understand the meaning of Revelation’s content. As we study the opening chapter, John states clearly who he is, who God is, who has given him the visions, and to whom he’s writing. He reminds followers of...


Stay Faithful to God, Serve the Lord

Joshua was a successful and God-fearing leader. He led the Israelites in following and obeying God, and under his leadership, they experienced God’s provision and the fulfillment of his promises. We long to hear the advice of successful leaders like Joshua and learn from the secrets of their success. The book of Joshua concludes with Joshua’s farewell speech to the Israelites. In it, he recalls that all his strength, all his victories, and all his successful leadership is God’s doing and he...


God is in Control

The Bible is clear that God is always providing for and preparing the way for us. However, it can be easy in times of trouble to question that truth, and in times of prosperity, to think too highly of our own strength or skill. These temptations can be a slippery slope for our faith, however, the stories in Joshua that retell the final victories in Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land can help remind us of God’s providence and care. Just like the Israelites needed to trust God to provide...


God's Unconventional Ways

As God led the Israelites into the Promised Land, all they needed to do was obey him. As we study the fall of Jericho in Joshua, we learn that obedience is not always easy or even logical to us. But trusting God’s unconventional ways will always honor him, and when we obey, he provides for us better than we could ever provide for ourselves. After the fall of Jericho, the story about Achan demonstrates the risk we take when we depend on ourselves instead of God, and the impact our choices can...


Look at What God Has Done

Change and transitions are unavoidable parts of life. We all experience seasons of transition as we grow and simply get older. Sometimes we choose to make changes in our lives and other times changes feel thrust upon us. Regardless of whether changes are welcome or unwelcome, they are often emotionally and spiritually challenging. During these seasons, studying the transition of the Israelites from slaves to wanderers to soldiers in Joshua can help us find assurance of God’s presence with us...


God is Still Working

Sometimes the circumstances of our life can feel overwhelming and impossible to navigate. Is there something from your past that causes you to feel trapped or unlovable? Or does a current trial seem insurmountable and make you feel like you don’t belong? During life’s difficult seasons, it can feel like God has given up on you. But at times like these, the story of Rahab and the Israelite spies can encourage and challenge our faith. This story reminds us that God is not limited by our past,...


God Keeps His Promises and Offers Us Rest

No matter how many times we make mistakes or fail, God stays true to his Word and keeps his promises. As the book of Joshua opens, we witness God acting to keep his promises to Abraham and his descendants, the Israelites. As we study God’s work in Joshua, we’ll consider what promises he’s working to keep in our own time and lives. We’ll examine how God works through his people and the importance of community. Joshua prefigures the work of Jesus Christ, the keeper of God’s promise of...


Jesus, Shepherds, and Angels: A Savior is Born

Nativity scenes are iconic throughout the Christmas season. The story of baby Jesus is wonderfully familiar. But slowing down to read and study it again brings comfort and renewed hope. Join us as we reflect on the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth and the magnificent message the angels delivered to the shepherds. Together, we’ll discuss the important message Luke communicates in his account of Jesus’ birth and what we learn about how God works in our lives from the intentional and specific...


Joseph: The Virgin Birth and Prophecies Fulfilled

It isn’t until Joseph receives angelic confirmation that he believes in the miracle of Jesus’ divine conception. Studying Joseph’s experience reveals the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and gives us the confidence to trust God’s continued presence and faithfulness in our lives. Joseph’s story also provides us clarity about God’s understanding of righteousness and the importance of our obedience. Through Joseph, we receive the opportunity to align our understanding of what it means to...


Mary: The Angel Gabriel Foretells Jesus' Birth

Advent is a time to reflect on and ponder the miracle of Jesus’ virgin birth. And this story begins with the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and announcing Jesus’ coming birth, an event the Church calls the Annunciation. Studying Mary’s role and response to Gabriel offers us valuable reminders for our faith and helps us better understand our place in God’s story. As we continue to prepare our hearts for Christmas let’s learn from Mary’s strong example of faith—what it means to wholly trust...


Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist: Preparing the Way for Jesus

Every year many of us spend the weeks leading up to Christmas preparing. We put up festive decorations, plan menus, buy presents, and orchestrate schedules. Many occasions in life, from big to small, require preparation for what’s to come. And just like we set aside time to prepare for life’s events, God set aside time and sent people ahead to prepare the world for salvation. Join Groundwork as we continue our way through the Christmas story by studying the story of Zechariah’s encounter...


The Magi: A Reminder that Jesus Came for All Nations

Studying the Magi may seem like an odd place to start reflecting on the Christmas story. It’s true, the Magi weren’t even present at the birth of Jesus—even though they are commonly included in most nativity displays and church Christmas pageants. But the inclusion of the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew is no mistake. In fact, it’s strategic and intentional. Looking at the story of the Magi reveals a valuable theme in the Gospel of Matthew: that Jesus Christ came to be Savior for all....


Dry Bones and God's Promises of Restoration

Have you ever felt so hopeless that the idea of experiencing or attaining anything remotely good seemed impossible and out of reach? It’s during similar moments of hopelessness in the book of Ezekiel that God interrupts his messages of judgment with powerful images of restoration. In Ezekiel, God famously depicts Israel’s sinful condition as a valley of dry bones. But in this vision, the bones amazingly do not stay dead. Slowly, death is reversed and beyond all reason and logic, the dry,...


Understanding God's Judgment

Judgment and consequences can feel unfair. They can even feel mean, especially when we don’t understand why they’re occurring. The prophet Ezekiel received many messages of judgment for Israel—so many that, at times, when reading the book of Ezekiel it can feel like God’s judgment is relentless. But by studying these judgments, we can learn about the character of God and better understand where God’s judgment comes from, what it means, why it’s necessary, and why it’s also a source of...


God's Presence with His People

God delights in dwelling among his people, but in a vision, God shows Ezekiel one of the most painful consequences of Israel’s unholy ways: God’s glory must depart from Israel’s midst. Studying this vision gives us the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between our behavior and God’s reputation. It also reminds us that God does not leave us without hope. Even as God grieved and gave Ezekiel a painful message about consequences, he promised his glory would one day return and dwell...