Feast on the Word, don’t just read it! | with Kristi McLelland | episode 255

Nov 14, 2023

Welcome back to Gospel Spice, the podcast that adds a little spice to your everyday walk with Jesus! I'm your host, Stephanie Rousselle, and I am beyond excited for today's episode featuring the delightful Kristi McLelland. She is a well-known and loved Bible teacher, frequent Israel traveler, and Professor at Williamson College where she focuses on teacing the Bible from its historical, cultural, geographic and linguistic contexts. Needless to say, I love her work, focus, and mission! She is known for her outstanding Bible study, Jesus and Women. But now, she also just released one of my favorite books of 2023, Rediscovering Israel. If you like history and want to understand Israel in general, and Jesus in particular, through the lens of history, geography, language and culture, then this is the book for you! May I even suggest, it would be the perfect Christmas gift for someone you know!

Listen here: https://www.podcastics.com/episode/263931/link/ 
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This conversation invites you into a powerful prayer journey. Learn how to embody the word of God, not just know it, as Kristi shares her deep insights from her study in Egypt and Israel. Discover the communal nature of Scripture and why it's important to be feasting saints, embodying and feasting on the word of God. Kristi and I also discuss the significance of the intertestamental period, and Jesus' celebration of Hanukkah.

We explore the Jewish roots of the scriptures and the transformative power of prayer and embracing abundance. I love how Kristi McLelland appreciates the Jewish roots of the Scriptures. The intertestamental period between Malachi and Matthew is a focal point of our conversation. Kristi brilliantly compares it to preparing a nursery for Jesus' birth. It's all about setting the stage for Jesus' arrival.  Kristi McLelland's study of scripture in Egypt and Israel was a life-changing experience. She emphasizes the importance of embodying the Word rather than just knowing it.

We must be "feasting saints" rather than just "reading saints." The communal nature of Scripture for the Jewish people teaches us the importance of embodying and feasting on the Word of God. As the conversation progresses, I get to connect my love for Jewish culture and food, highlighting the connection between the French language and the delightfulness of God. It's all about the senses and embracing the abundant goodness of our Creator!

The imminence of God for the Jewish people is awe-inspiring. He's present in their history, in the temple, and in every aspect of their lives. Such a powerful reminder of His intimacy and closeness. In the same way, prayer is not just a passive act; it's an invitation to participate in God's restoration and renewal. Our prayers should have hands and feet, actively engaged in transforming the world around us.

The Western culture's scarcity mindset is challenged in this conversation. There's an alternative philosophy of abundance that allows us to be generous and give our lives away. We have a heavenly Father who is abundantly generous to us! Living in abundance instead of scarcity allows us to move freely and lightly through the world. It's a powerful witness to those around us. We have been saved into a family and community that thrives on abundance. The resurrection is the ultimate proof of abundance. It opens the door to endless possibilities and invites us to embrace the fullness of life in Christ. What a game-changer!

Jesus often surprises us and does things differently than expected, but His transformative power remains unmatched. “Tikkun Olam,” the repair of the world, is an invitation for us to actively participate in God's work. Prayer is more than just a conversation; it's a partnership with God's plans, actively contending and co-laboring with Him. The Lord's Prayer is an open invitation to actively participate in the ushering of God's kingdom here on Earth. Let's not settle for passive prayers; let's engage in bringing heaven down to earth!

Kristi shares a powerful message about how walking closely with Jesus can lead to a transformation from scarcity to abundance. We discuss the importance of prayer and getting involved in repairing the world. Prayer is not just about words but an invitation to actively participate in restoration and renewal. Kristi emphasizes the philosophy of abundance and how it allows us to live freely and generously, shining as lights in a world of scarcity. We'll learn about the concept of yada, intimate knowing, and how it can deepen our relationship with God. We'll also explore the cyclical nature of time in Middle Eastern culture and how God reaches back in time to heal and restore broken things.

This conversation is a reminder that our prayers are not limited to mere words. They're an embodiment of our desire to be involved in what we're praying for. Let's pray with intention and act with conviction.

Join us as we journey together through the pages of Scripture, uncovering hidden treasures and expanding our knowledge and experience of God. Get ready to be challenged, inspired, and equipped to live out your faith with hands and feet firmly rooted in the abundance of God's love.

So grab your favorite beverage, get cozy, and get ready for an episode that will ignite a fire in your heart and draw you closer to the heart of Jesus. Don't forget to follow us on social media, because trust me, you won't want to miss out on the Christ-centered content we'll be sharing :) So, let's get started with the delightful Kristi McLelland on today's episode of Gospel Spice!


Key takeaways from this conversation

1️⃣ Embodying the Word: Kristi emphasizes the importance of not just knowing Scripture, but embodying it. She draws upon biblical figures like Deborah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, who spoke about eating and embodying the Word of God. As Christians, we are called to be feasting saints, not just reading saints.

2️⃣ Prayer as Partnership: Prayer is not simply a request to God, but an opportunity to actively partner with Him in the restoration of the world. Kristi highlights the Jewish perspective on prayer, viewing it as contending with God and actively participating in bringing prayers to pass. Prayer should have hands and feet, actively engaging in the fulfillment of what is prayed for.

3️⃣ Abundance over Scarcity: Western culture often operates from a mindset of scarcity, resulting in competition and disunity. However, Kristi presents an alternative philosophy of abundance, rooted in the understanding of God's generosity. Living in abundance allows us to move through the world with sufficiency, generosity, and a powerful witness to others.


Professor. Teacher. Biblical Culturalist. Kristi is a professor at Williamson College and serves as a biblical culturalist. She has a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and has dedicated her life to teaching people how to study the Bible.

After studying in Israel and Egypt in 2007 and discovering that God is better than she ever knew, Kristi has been teaching the Bible through a Middle Eastern lens, in its historical, geographical, cultural and linguistic context. Kristi encourages believers to be postured to receive what God is saying, which is best done through communally experiencing Scripture. Kristi teaches about the goodness of God, experienced through table fellowship, practicing hospitality and collaborative wisdom.​

During her years as a professor at Williamson College and Director of Christian Education and Women’s Ministry at local churches, Kristi has taught and shepherded thousands. Since 2008 she has led biblical studies trips to Israel and studied and trained under Dr. Jim Martin, Rabbi Ken Alpren and world-renowned Israeli archaeologist Dr. Gabi Barkay.​

Kristi’s trips to Israel, Turkey, Greece and Italy, along with her Middle Eastern Lens classes, help Westerners study and appreciate the Bible as it was written by Middle Easterners in a Middle Eastern context. This lens offers a deeper look into what the biblical characters meant in what they did, said and wrote. This enhanced understanding of the biblical framework positions us to better open our eyes, ears and hearts to the Living God who is constantly pursuing us.​

Kristi is available to assist churches, colleges, organizations and other groups in discovering the Bible through a Middle Eastern lens.


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