Archive for the ‘The Dance and Dream of the Trinity’ Category

The King Who Fights For His People

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Main Passages: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13, 1 Samuel 17: 20-26, 33-37, 45-51

Part 1a: 31min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-12-the-king-who-fights-for-his-people-part1a-1samuel16-17-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

Part 1b: 36min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-12-the-king-who-fights-for-his-people-part1b-1samuel16-17-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

Full Message: 1hr

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-12-the-king-who-fights-for-his-people-1samuel16-17-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

“In the story of David, we see that God does not judge people based on worldly expectations. David’s battle against Goliath is an example of a king’s trust in the Lord’s deliverance and of God’s faithfulness to accomplish a decisive victory for His people. God’s people needed a warrior-king to defeat the enemy on their behalf, and in the story of David, we see glimpses of the promised king we need, as well as an example of obeying God from a heart on fire for Him.” – the Gospel Project

Theological Theme: God – Father, Son and Spirit’s people need a warrior-king who will defeat the enemy on their behalf.

Christ Connection: In David, we see a picture of courageous faith in God’s power. We also catch a glimpse of the bigger story of the Bible and the coming King- Jesus Christ – whom no one would have expected or picked to win the victory, but through His death and resurrection, He is mighty to save.

Missional Application:  As God’s people who have been forgiven through the power of the cross and by the Holy Spirit, we don’t pursue the nations in judgment but with the message of grace, that all may hear the good news and be swept up into the glorious love and grace of God.

“What is required—what Jesus Christ continually requires—are rocks like this who are certainly not perfectly untainted people, who are perhaps seriously objectionable in many ways and will have much to answer for, but are nevertheless ready to do something quite specific, to render obedience to a specific word by undertaking a specific service. In the church of Jesus Christ, there is not only waiting, there must also be those individuals who are continually hastening, watching, rising where they are called to, with all the perils that entails. The church could not do without them, and the church cannot do without them today either. And now in this hour, the text puts this question to each and every one of us: And you, are you not also called to obey in a specific way? To be sure, we must examine ourselves to see whether we are ready to obey the orders of Jesus Christ, or whether the appeal we are now hearing might not come from some chimera within our hearts. But equally, let us examine ourselves to see whether it is not the result of our cowardice and unbelief if we not assume this specific task, this specific act of obedience to which we are summoned! (55)” – Karl Barth – Reading Karl Barth: The “Bremen” Sermon

Photo Compliments: http://www.lds.org

 

How Jesus Transforms The Downfall Of Israel’s First King

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Part 1a – 26min:

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-05-how-jesus-transforms-the-downfall-of-israels-first-king-part1a-1samuel-15-10-31-tah.mp3”

Part 1b – 31min:

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-05-how-jesus-transforms-the-downfall-of-israels-first-king-part1b-1samuel-15-10-31-tah.mp3”

Full Message – 57min:

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-05-how-jesus-transforms-the-downfall-of-israels-first-king-1samuel-15-10-31-tah.mp3”

Main Passage: 1Samuel 15: 10-31NIV

Theological Theme: God- Father, Son, and Spirit, requires total obedience to all of His commands. “In King Saul’s story, we see the failure to obey God completely leads us to rationalize and justify our obedience, a sin that is compounded by the desire for human approval rather than divine grace. Halfhearted obedience is just another form of disobedience, and so, God-Father, Son and Spirit calls us to renounce our hypocritical displays of righteousness and to submit fully to his purpose and plan.” The Gospel Project

Christ Connection: Saul’s kingship could not last because he rejected God’s word. Israel needed a lasting kingdom ruled by Someone who would obey God fully. Through the perfect obedience of Jesus, God would establish His rule over His humanity forever. “Jesus is standing in for you representing you as one before God even when you’re not obeying. One who is making a great and awesome decision for God even when you are not making a great and awesome decision for God”…..”In light of who Jesus is – The Vicarious Man – and who we are in Him, we can see that the downfall of man (and sometimes YOUR downfall in life) is your failure to obey God COMPLETELY!” TJBrassell

Missional Application: God the Holy Spirit calls and empowers us to renounce our hypocritical displays of righteousness and to submit fully to His purpose and plan in Jesus so that the world will see God’s redemption. “The gracious call of Jesus now becomes a stern command: Do this! Give up that! Leave the ship and come to me! When a man says he cannot obey the call of Jesus because he believes, or because he does not believe, Jesus says: “First obey, perform the external work, renounce your attachments, give up the obstacles which separate you from the will of God. Do not say you have not got faith. You will not have it so long as you persist in disobedience and refuse to take the first step.  Neither must you say that you have faith, and therefore there is no need for you to take the first step. You have not got faith so long as and because you will not take the first step but become hardened in your unbelief under the guise of humble faith.” It is…malicious…to argue like this, a sure sign of lack of faith, which leads in its turn to a lack of obedience. This is the disobedience of the “believers”; when they are asked to obey, they simply confess their unbelief and leave it at that (Mark 9.24). You are trifling with the subject. If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 73-74

 

 

When We Demand A King

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Main Passage: 1 Samuel 8

Part 1a – 22 min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-01-29-when-we-demand-a-king-part1a-1samuel8-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Part 1b – 26min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-01-29-when-we-demand-a-king-part-1b-1samuel8-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Full Message – 48min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/01-2017-01-29-when-we-demand-a-king-1samuel8-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Theological Theme: Our Holiness is expressed in our dependence on God- Father, Son, and Spirit as the true King, not in our desire for substitutes. “As a church, we have to ask ourselves – Who is our King?……..  We live in a country where the majority of the population believes in God but how much authority does God have in their lives? Many seem to be ok with God as long he is just a spiritual uplifting thought or someone to turn to in hard times. But what about a God who dictates the purpose and the shape of your life? What about the notion of a God who is INCLUSIVE, who is INVOLVED and is the standard bearer of how we should be living our lives every day.” – Richard Andrews

Christ Connection: Israel’s demand for an earthly king, was a twisted form of a good desire- for God’s kingdom to come through His anointed leader – Jesus! God’s big plan incorporated Israel’s sinful desire and eventually led to the coming of Jesus, The King of kings.

“We want a God of predictability, a God of order, a God we can understand and figure out. Thus, it is profoundly disturbing to our theologies, well-honed beliefs, and carefully considered positions that God seldom does what we expect and even more rarely what we demand. He is a God of surprises, of true holiness, of great wisdom, power, and love. He is also God alone, and by nature of his being, position, holiness, and power, he is not required to respond to our every whim or demand for more information or better explanations!” –Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend, By Ravi Zacharias

Missional Application: God calls us to stand out from the world by showing, through His Holy Spirit, that true happiness and satisfaction can be found only in God. “Any challenge or hardship you are facing in your life, the battle is being fought by our King.” – Richard Andrews

Photo compliments http://valleybrookepc.com

When God- Father, Son and Spirit Speaks

 

God speaks

Part 1a 19min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-when-god-father-son-and-spirit-speaks-part1a-1samuel3-tah.mp3”

Part 1b 22min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-when-god-father-son-and-spirit-speaks-part1b-1samuel3-tah.mp3”

Full Message 41 min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-22-when-god-father-son-and-spirit-speaks-1samuel3-tah.mp3”

Main Passages:  1 Samuel 3,  1 Samuel 4:1

Theological Theme: The Holy Spirit illuminates the meaning of God the Father’s Word so that we can understand, trust, and obey God. “We are learning and we will hear in this message that God- Father, Son, and Spirit loves US and He wants to relate to us because God is himself a relationship….God speaks his love and acceptance over us. He is drawing near to relate with us.” – tjbrassell

Christ Connection: As a prophet to Israel, Samuel listened to God and used God’s words to tell the people what God is like. John 1:1 says that Jesus is the Word, sent by God to show the world what God is like. “In our day- this Word of God is all pointing to The Word- God the Son – becoming a fleshly human being and showing up as the Word in living flesh, so that anything we are misinterpreting about what God has to say will no longer be so misinterpreted……You should look for God’s living Word – Jesus- these days. If you’re going to know yourself and find your identity, you have to look outside yourself, and you’re going to have to look to Jesus Christ- The living Word”-tjbrassell

Missional Application: God through the Holy Spirit, calls us to be receptive to whatever He may have to say to us and then deliver the truth of God’s Word to others. “The first service one owes to others in a community involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for others is learning to listen to them. God’s love for us is shown by the fact that God not only gives God’s Word but also lends us God’s ear.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

A Glimpse Of God’s Love

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Part 1a, 21min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-01-15-a-glimpse-of-gods-love-pt1a-ruth-1-4-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Part 1b, 21 min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-01-15-a-glimpse-of-gods-love-pt1b-ruth-1-4-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Full Message, 42min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-01-15-a-glimpse-of-gods-love-ruth-1-4-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Main Passages

Ruth 1:1-9,16-18, Ruth 2:1-3,8-12, Ruth 4:13-17

Theological Theme

The steadfast love of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is seen in the love of Ruth for Naomi and in Boaz’s kindness to redeem his family.

Christ Connection

Boaz was a family redeemer who showed undeserved kindness to Ruth, a foreigner. In a similar manner, Jesus is our Redeemer who has shown unmerited kindness to us and adopted us into His family.

Missional Application

God, through The Holy Spirit in us, calls us to respond to His love toward us by extending the same kind of unyielding, welcoming and redeeming love to others.

All Of God’s Human Deliverers Need Deliverance Too

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Part 1a, 24min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah-part1a1.mp3”

Part 1b, 27min:“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah-part1b1.mp3”

Full Message: 51min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah.mp3”

Main Passages: Judges 14:1-9 – Judges 16:4-5,15-30

Theological Theme:

God – Father, Son, and Spirit, works even through the defeats of sinful leaders to bring about His plan. [“God Loves human beings. God Loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the grounds of unfathomable love.”] – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Christ Connection:

Samson’s downfall was the result of his own disobedience, and yet God – The Father used his death to begin the deliverance of His people. Jesus’ death was the result of His perfect obedience and our disobedience. God used His death to bring deliverance “once for all” for His people. [“The bible teaches that what matters isn’t what we think is right, but what GOD says is right and what GOD does in the person of JESUS”] – TJBrassell

Missional Application:

God – The Holy Spirit, calls people who feel defeated by sin and evil to put away their sins by turning back to God for deliverance. [“There is no sin that God cannot forgive and has not forgiven in Christ! There is no end to his mercy! But today YOU can choose to TRUST GOD in CHRIST and trust him to receive and forgive ALL of your sins and you can live the kind of life that we all need to, and that is, THE LIFE OF GRACE and THE LIFE OF WORSHIP!”] – TJBrassell

Photo Courtesy: http://www.greenvillegrace.org: http://www.crossmap.com

 

Only The Childlike Will Enter God’s Kingdom

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https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-31-only-the-childlike-will-enter-gods-kingdom-matthew-18-1-6-tah.mp3″

George MacDonald wrote, Do you think you love your children better than He who made them? Is not your love what it is because He put it into your heart first? Have you not often been cross with them? Sometimes unjust to them? Whence came the returning love that rose from unknown depths in your being, and swept away the anger and the injustice? You did not create that love. Probably you were not good enough to send for it by prayer. But it came. God sent it. He makes you love your children.”

This message of God’s Good News proclaims how God – Father, Son and Spirit – puts his love into us, growing us up into being childlike, so that we may share in it with him, and with others, in his Kingdom!

Check it out!

 

*Photo courtesy of perfectvisionofgodsway.blogspot.com

 

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.6

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Part 6a: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6a-john-13-tah.mp3”

Part 6b: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6b-john-13-tah.mp3”

Full Message: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6-john-13-tah.mp3”

This message asks along with author Tim Chester, “When will we introduce [the world] to the network of believing relationships of which are privileged to be a part? When will they see us participating in the trinitarian life. When will they see that we not only submit to God’s will, but actually know God as a Father through the Son and by the Spirit? When will they see our relationships with one another: not perfect relationships, but relationships that reflect our experience of triune grace? When will they see a supernatural community that reflects the sending by the Father of the Son in the power of the Spirit, and the glorification by the Spirit through the Son of the Father.

Only as they experience the reality of the work of the Trinity in the lives of believers, and our vibrant relationship with the triune God, will the doctrine of the Trinity cease to be an academic game and become their living Hope.”

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

Primary Function: What the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

Recently our church family began serving a newly-opened retirement community and we  are just getting to know some of the residents there. So far we are conducting a worship service that the residents are free to attend (or not attend), collecting large print books for their library, and I am visiting to eat lunch once a week.

So yesterday I was eating lunch with Rick (not his real name). He’s a retired father of 4 with fascinating stories to tell about the dozen or so states he’s lived in while he was a career man.

I noticed Rick sitting alone and decided to introduce myself. “I’m Billscrabble-included.”, I said. “May I join you for lunch?” He looked at me quizzically and replied, “Suit yourself. I’m not much of a conversationalist.” I sat down. I ordered a salad and the broccoli soup. The soup never came but the salad was amazing and huge so I didn’t miss the soup anyway.

During our conversation Rick asked me a question that vexed me so powerfully that I sidelined my prepared blog for today and am writing this now. Rick, I think, was having trouble believing that I was there without an agenda -other than to just love on and serve the fine folks in that community. Then he asked me the question. I might, in fact, describe his query as the throwing of a dart. His question caught me off guard and penetrated my heart.

He asked, “What would you say your primary function as a Pastor is?”

I was stunned. I gave him an adequate answer I hope, but last night lying awake at 2 AM I thought of a better answer. Isn’t that just the way it often happens?

My ministry as a Christian and as a Christ-centered Pastor is simply to participate in what the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

The Blessed Trinity has, as I see it, one primary goal and that is to see to it that the entire human race comes to know the Father with the Son in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. In the finished work of Jesus Christ humanity has been brought into eternal objective Union with God. The primary function of the Church is now to educate the human race, to declare their identity in Christ, and to work alongside the Holy Spirit to break the chains of brokenness and bondage.

So when Rick (again, not his real name) asked, “What would you say your primary responsibility as a Pastor is?”- a better answer would have been, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…” Isaiah 61

~Bill Winn

One Surprising Hope In Our Post U.S. Presidential Election 2016 Troubles!

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8 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. God’s Decree. 9 “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” – Isaiah 55:8,9 (The Msg)

No matter what outcome you expected in this year’s 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and the troubles going along with it, you have a reason for surprising hope! However, in the grace of God (and by God, I mean the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!), you are going to have to bear with a little counterintuitive thinking and acting to see and experience it.

I cited the bible verse above as a reminder of this counterintuitive difference between God’s thinking and ours. It might also be helpful to remember that one definition for “counterintuitive” is “something that doesn’t seem likely to be true when assessed using intuition, common sense, or gut feelings.” – Wikipedia

Another word for counterintuitive is “unreasonable”. I like that word because it really hits at the heart of our wrestling with God in troubling times. His talk and approaches just don’t seem reasonable from our (often painful and woefully blind!) vantage points! Understatement! Hmpf!

However, let me try to point you to a counterintuitive but surprisingly hopeful way of receiving this relational God – Father, Son and Spirit, revealed in Jesus:

God is pleased to be hidden and found in our human troubles!!!

THIS IS a central point in understanding God’s Good News as Good News! Right in the middle of mankind’s troubles, and when it seems all is lost, God so loves the world and sends his only Son into it (John 3:16-17), to save and not condemn it. He sends himself, personally, into our troubles! The Father then sends the Spirit through the Son, into our troubles, that we might participate in his kind of self-giving love along with him (Acts 2:33)!

You see, God IS love (and unconditional love at that!), so the God-logic is simple really! God loves us, humanity, despite our sinful condition, and therefore, in order to love us where we’re at, he comes to us where we’re at – in our troubles!

That is why there is no need to fear troubles, ULTIMATELY; rather we should seek and expect to find God in even the thorniest situations! In Jesus, God Reveals that he comes to fallen humanity exactly where it is: in our places of brokenness, poverty, homelessness, racism, misogyny, criminality (he died as a criminal even though he wasn’t one!), weakness, bondage, demon-possession, over-taxation, foreign occupation, sickness, failed political systems, and even death! REALLY! God, in Jesus DIED with, like, and for us, remember? John 19:30.

From Genesis to Revelation, in the bible, the great Revelation is this Relational God Who is with us in every kind of trouble, meeting us there to redeem and restore us from it in the most counterintuitive way possible – being with us in and through the mess! Ha! This is one reason why my bible reading is so awesome! God encounters me there as THIS God in OUR TROUBLES! Our fallen intuition, common sense and guts simply can’t get us where God actually is – with and for us unconditionally, even in our troubles! Yes, God is good and not intimidated by our troubles in any way! He goes where Unconditional Love goes when it Loves Unconditionally! 🙂

We tend to run from this “holy” God, or picture him running from us, neither of which is true holiness as it pertains to God. THIS is holiness: God, the Holy One, doing what he ACTUALLY DOES, coming to us where we’re at to love us, and taking our troubles up into himself in Christ, healing us of them! For clarity, this love isn’t a warm and fuzzy substance apart from God, like warm jelly in a bowl, where everything “feels good”! No! God is himself this love! This means that love is the up-close and personal being of God, Father, Son and Spirit! It is the whole God Revealed in the person of Jesus, determined to judge and discern our troubles AS trouble, and getting rid of them (ouch and “suffering succotash” as Sylvester the cartoon cat would say! haha)

God judges and discerns us in this way for the sake of saving US, and growing us up to be and become all he has made of us in the humanity of Christ, eventually, without any troubles at all! Rev 21:4

Yes, If you want to find God these days, you’re going to have to be open to finding him right in the middle of the troubles in this world, even troubling elections and other insufferable ills! Not because God is evil or because he initiates our troubles, or because he’s naturally there and likes trouble – No! – BUT because we are his children in trouble and in need of him, and he is pleased to show up and be for us where we are at, by grace!

(Haven’t you noticed more people alert, and in prayer, and awakened to God at this election time when, to many, he also appears to be hiding? Ha! See! He’s both hidden AND found in troubles! Heehee)

Please remember that God is not ultimately found in things that are “going right” (even though He is found there too, being good and righteous), or “going wrong”. He is found in himself! He is found wherever he wants to be found and not where you want to find him! He is found by grace, and as grace, and not by works, morality, or the Republic, or the democracy, or wherever else you want to box him in (Except evil! God can’t be found as evil, or creator of evil, but only as the one who opposes it, makes it work on our behalf, and gets rid of it from the INSIDE out as he did in Jesus!)

“15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself, the God and Savior of Israel.” – Isaiah 45:15

 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

– tjbrassell

*photo courtesy of testimoniesofhope.com

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