Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Tag

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.1

Making Things New 1

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/05-29-16-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-1-acts-1-2-tah1.mp3”

In part one of this new series on God’s Good News at New Life Baltimore, walk with a congregation preparing to participate and go with Jesus more “Outside The Walls” of the Church by asking the three most important questions of Christianity:

Who is Jesus Christ?

Where is Jesus Christ today?

What am I to do as a Christian?

Check it out!

 

*picture courtesy of pinterest.com

The Triune God Whose Plan Involves Suffering

Genesis 37-39 The Suffering God

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/04-17-16-the-triune-god-whose-plan-involves-suffering-genesis-37-39-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: God is sovereign over our lives, and He uses suffering and injustice to accomplish His plans in and through us.

Christ Connection: Joseph suffered unjustly and was later exalted to a place of prominence. In a similar manner, Jesus suffered unjustly and was later raised from the dead and exalted as Lord of the world.

Missional Application: God calls us to trust Him to fulfill His promises because when obstacles appear to thwart His mission, God is faithful to use even the obstacles as part of His plan to bring glory to His Son.

God The Trinity Slows Evil’s Spread!

Genesis 11 - Consequences

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/16-02-28-god-the-trinity-slows-evils-spread-gen-11-1-9-tah.mp3”

God, Father, Son and Spirit confused the language of those who sought to make known the greatness of their own name. Thousands of years later, at Pentecost, God tore down the language barrier so that His people would scatter across the world and make known the great name of His Son. God calls us to give up our personal kingdom-building and to devote our lives to love Him and others and make known the great name of His Son, Jesus!

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!, pt.3

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/15-12-27-lets-get-two-gether-with-jesus-and-go-pt-3-matt-9-10-tah.mp3”

In this last and year-end message in a series about discerning God’s vision for His congregation at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD., we continue asking “How is Jesus speaking to us RIGHT NOW through these scriptures and directing us in His mission locally?”

This message of God’s Good News continues to get very specific about what participation with Christ looks like for us in this world! It asks and discerns: Where and with whom do we begin? How do we address healing in our day as we proclaim Jesus? How should we steward Jesus’ money, and how will we live in Jesus’ peace – on mission with him – as sinners in THIS broken world?

The message can be summarized in this quote:

“There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture, and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security… To look for guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying down the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1934 [Renate Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Brief Life]

Come check it out and walk with us!

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!, pt.2

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/15-12-13-lets-get-two-gether-with-jesus-and-go-pt-2-matt-9-10-tah.mp3”

In this vision message of God’s Good News at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD., we continue asking “How is Jesus speaking to us through these scriptures and directing us in His mission for our congregation, locally, today?”

This message gets way more specific about HOW we will participate with Christ in light of these insights:

1.) Sin is primarily personal and relational and, therefore, so is its repair!

2.) Isaac WAS Abraham’s special child but he did not drop down from heaven! He came through the cooperation and participation of both Abraham and Sarah. God will do the work,  BUT with New Life’s cooperation and participation!

3.) We haven’t witnessed to those we don’t know until we have witnessed to those we don’t know!

You’re invited, and encouraged, to listen in! Maybe Jesus is talking to you and your congregation in similar ways too!

 

Christmas: God’s Plan and Response For Man!

God With Us

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/15-12-20-christmas-gods-plan-and-response-for-man-matt-1-2-9-10-tah.mp3”

In this Message on the 4th week of Advent, and heading toward Christmas, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to those gathered in worship at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. The special emphasis of this message is that just as the Head, Jesus, was born into this world 2000 years ago as God’s Plan and Response for humanity, His Body, the Church, follows Him today, participating with Him in his ongoing work of redemption in this present world!

Check it out and be assured and unafraid as you GO with Jesus into our world, proclaiming Him in word and deed!

 

picture courtesy of ad-ne.org

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/15-12-06-lets-get-two-gether-with-jesus-and-go-luke-9-10-tah.mp3”

In this message of God’s Good News New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD. is being moved in the Spirit to hear from Jesus as He sends forth His disciples to live and share the Good News with as many people as possible. Specifically we are reading Matthew 10, Mark 6, and Luke 9-10, and asking “How is Jesus speaking to us through these scriptures and directing us in His mission for our congregation, today?”

You’re invited, and encouraged, to listen in! Maybe He’s talking to you and your congregation in this way too!

You and Time

Have you ever thought much at all about what we call Eternal Life? Do you really want to live forever? I was once asked whether I wanted to live forever by a well-meaning street evangelist. I replied, “Depends on what the life will be like.” That is a factor to consider is it not. I think most of us would answer, “Yes,” when asked the same question assuming that our eternal existence will be a happy and pleasant one.

But have you ever considered how this is possible? In his book, Space, Time, and Resurrection, T. F. Torrance reminds us that time is in creation… creation is not in time. In other words, time is a created thing and the Father, Son, and Spirit are not limited to nor confined to time. We often hear rightly that God is outside of time. That is true but we must also keep in mind that He has also entered into our space and time in the person of Jesus Christ.Time

Therefore, that brings me to the main and final point. In the Incarnation, humanity has been brought into full and objective union with the Triune God of Grace in Jesus. Jesus became a human just like us! Therefore, if God, who is outside of space and time, truly entered into the contingent world of creaturely being as a human, then necessarily all of humanity is taken up into his unbounded freedom from limitation in space and time.

You see, you and I will live forever, not because something magical will be done to make our bodies immune to disease, resistant to aging and wear and tear.

We will live forever because we have been brought into permanent and full union with He who is outside of time. There is no time for us now. Sure, the overlap between our present selves and our glorified selves needs time to function and relate to the world around us but someday time will be but a memory.

Here’s to living forever and getting to know each of you in eternity!

~Bill

More Found than Lost

boy in curtains courtesy of 123rf.com

Twenty years ago today, we lost our oldest son. Luckily, it was only for a very short time, and it happened to be at my youngest brother’s wedding reception (Happy 20th anniversary, Matt and Beth!).

We were enjoying ourselves at the reception, as much as the parents of two toddlers can in a large, crowded, open room. My husband was holding the younger son, and the older one was by his side as he chatted with some friends. This was my opportunity to eat (as any mother of a toddler knows), so I wolfed down my hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed some adult conversation at a table nearby.

Shortly after I was finished, my husband came over, still holding the two-year-old, and said, “Where’s Quentin?”

“I thought you had him,” I said accusingly.

“Well, I thought you had him,” he retorted back, as if our oldest son was a hot potato we were tossing back and forth.

Panic set in immediately as we combed the large reception hall which was located on a college campus.  Did he wander outside? Did someone abduct him? The worst case scenarios swirled in my head, bringing tears to my eyes.

My brother Tim went outside to check out the perimeter of the building, and I saw him through a large window nearby. He stopped, and then he pointed at the window. I rushed over, and there was our oldest son, standing just inside the long drapes and looking out the window.

That feeling of losing someone I love (even for a short time) has not left me, and when I read about how Jesus responded to the tax collector Zacchaeus, saying, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10 NIV), I understand at least a little about the love and passion that the Father, Son, and Spirit have for humanity.

This seeking and saving of the lost through the story of Zacchaeus offers us a broader view of how we are lost and saved, rather than just the saving grace of the cross. In Zacchaeus’s case, he was “lost” by being a tax collector, despised by his own people and community of faith, but Jesus’s acceptance of him ultimately began the reconciliation of Zacchaeus with his people. Jesus’s love transformed Zacchaeus and made him want to change, giving back the monies he unfairly took. His “repentance,” in this case, meant he was found and restored to himself and to his people.

Jesus didn’t wait until Zacchaeus changed to eat with him, to show him love. When Jesus “found” Zacchaeus, he welcomed him. Just as in the other parables about losing and finding, we can see that even in our “lostness,” we are as precious as a lost sheep, a lost coin, or a lost son. Though some may think the Father is looking to punish those who have erred, Jesus says the truth is “There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents [or is found and restored] than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent [or who never wandered off in the first place]” (Luke 15:7). For the Father, Son, and Spirit, fellowship and reconciliation between God and humanity, as well as among humanity itself, is the primary goal, not retribution.

Even as my husband, my brothers, and my entire family rejoiced when we found our lost son, so do God and the angels in heaven celebrate when a person who has forgotten his or her true self as a beloved child of God suddenly “remembers.” We are a special treasure, and when we live loved (like we are), we are transformed into our best and truest selves.

~by Nan Kuhlman

Bring Me a Coin

Since the dawn of time there have been those who have wanted to assert their authority and power over others and if they had no authority or power to assert many have worked diligently to acquire some.

One of the fasted ways to get on the bad side of the powerful is to threaten their authority or legitimacy. This is why some presidents, prime ministers, dictators, and religious leaders hide what they are doing from public scrutiny, lock out the press, and make their deals and bargains in secret. It is often a hallmark of wrong-doing. Power structures do not like to be challenged.Perichoresis Coin

The Pharisees and religious leaders of the early first century were no different and they resented Jesus for many reasons. For one… he did not announce himself to them first when he became a human being and for another he persistently worked to rip down the hierarchical power structures they had created for their own benefit.

Well as you might know, the Pharisees often attempted to trip Jesus up with questions and scenarios that seemed to have no safe way of answering. One of those occasions is found in Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20. The scene sets up like this… a tax was owed for going to the Temple and Jesus was asked by the Pharisees whether it should be paid. They knew the tax was unpopular with the Jews so he could not come out in favor of the tax without enlisting the ire of the people and on the other hand he could not oppose the tax publically without being in jeopardy from the Roman rulers. They had him… or so they thought.

When asked about the tax Jesus asked them to bring him the coin used for the tax and inquired, “Whose image is this on the coin?” Their answer was, “Cesar’s.” Jesus replied, “Then give to Cesar that which is his and give to God what is God’s.” WOW… do you see it? How amazing is Jesus’ answer?!? Can you say, “Checkmate?”

I do not believe that Jesus was, in this encounter, validating the system of Roman taxes where money was extracted under the threat of violence or imprisonment. I do not believe Jesus would ever endorse a system where the powerful confiscate wealth by the sword.

Nope, what Jesus was doing here was speaking to the logic of these people’s being. Those listening were Hebrews and would have been very familiar with the creation narrative in which Triune God proclaims, “Let us make mankind in our image… so male and female he made them.”

When Jesus implies that the way we know who the coin belongs to is to look at whose image is on the coin he is deflecting the intent of their question and using it as an opportunity to let them know that, because they each bear the image of God as human beings, they belong to God and should give themselves wholly to him.

Do you see that? You are created in the image of the Triune God… you bear the image of the Father, Son, and Spirit… Jesus wants you to know that no matter what… you belong to him!

You belong to the Father, Son, and Spirit. You always have. You always will. The Father loves you and likes you. You are his beloved child. Amen!

~Bill Winn

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