Archive for the ‘healing’ Tag

The Godly Meaning Of The Bronze Serpent

Numbers 21 Serpent - Jesus

Part 1, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-part-1-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Part 2, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-part-2-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Full Message:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: God our Father sent His Son Jesus to become sin in order to conquer sin.

Christ Connection: Just as the Israelites looked upon the bronze serpent lifted high on the pole and were healed, so also we look with faith upon Jesus Christ, who was lifted high on the cross, and experience Salvation from our sin.

Missional Application: Because Christ has become sin for us, getting rid of it, God the Holy Spirit empowers us to share with others that they, too, can and should look upon Jesus, receiving his love shown deepest on the cross, and receive spiritual healing.

*picture courtesy of markglogg.eu

 

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!

Is Torrance opposed to healing ministries?

Is miraculous healing a nice thing that happens once in a great while when we ask God to do it, or is it central to the Church’s daily work in embodying the union of God and man in Christ? I enjoyed Ken Blue’s Authority to Heal, for example, but I’ve had long stretches of my life where I’m really not into that stuff.  I have gone back and forth on this more times than I’d like to admit.

So anyway, I was recently doing some T. F. Torrance reading, and I came upon this in his Atonement:

With the withdrawal of the resurrected body of Christ from visible and physical contact with us in this world, there is no appointed programme of anything like ‘faith healing’ or miraculous activity of a kindred sort. (Atonement, p. 306).

And then another in Incarnation.

To transmute the gift of healing from the strenuous domain of petitionary prayer to the sacramental domain as through we could have a sacrament of healing, or any programme of healing here and now is to deny the sacrament of the eucharist that we must take up our cross daily, die daily, and constantly communicate in the body and blood of Christ. It is to heal the hurt of God’s people too lightly, and to evade the fact that the cross must be inserted into the conditions of time, into the heart of our struggles and conflicts, redeeming the time. It is to deny that although we are redeemed, we wait for the redemption of the purchased possession. (Incarnation, p. 341).

I bring this up because this surprised me a bit, since most Torrancial people I know are rather INTO the healing thing.

What do you think?

“God Is His Amazing Grace!” (SPECIAL CONFERENCE AUDIO)

Grace John 1.14

 Understand the meaning of God’s Grace better in this two-part audio of a conference message of God’s Good New given by Timothy Brassell at the Myrtle Beach Fall Harvest Festival 2014!

In this message Pastor Tim explores Hebrews 10 as we are met by the God Revealed in Jesus, and poses the significant question:

“Will you continue to understand yourself, and life, in terms of [your] idolatry, rebellion and sin? OR will you begin, as the scriptures do, by looking at the Revelation of God in Jesus Christ [to understand yourself]?”

Thank God He Is His Amazing Grace!

 amazing grace2

 https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/14-11-23-thank-god-he-is-his-amazing-grace-hebrews-10-tah.mp3

 In this 24th  Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore proclaims the GOOD NEWS that God is His Grace in this riveting Gospel Message entitled “Thank God He Is His Amazing Grace!”

Pastor Tim explores Hebrews 10 and poses the question:

Will you continue to understand yourself and life in terms of man’s idolatry, rebellion and sin or will you begin, as the scriptures do, by looking at the revelation of God in Jesus Christ? After All, it can only be idolatry to trust in anything other than God, anything other than the One Who made and sustains you!

In this gospel Message we learn that:

~Jesus is the Light of the world, and our idolatry, rebellion and sin are NOT, therefore understanding “Who Jesus is?” is the ONLY Way to begin understanding all of scripture. The Context of Jesus, Himself, must fundamentally guide all of our interpretations of the biblical text!

~Jesus is God as Man,  and therefore, in Him God the Father and Spirit have also taken up the cause of humanity forever, determined that we will not perish!

~Some of our sufferings, though not caused by God, He works in and allows so we can come to the end of ourselves and trust only in Him!

~Grace isn’t something that stands apart from or beside God. GOD IS HIMSELF HIS BENEVOLENCE AND KINDNESS! Grace isn’t something we manipulate, or a magic symbol that we make – God is himself HIS GRACE and He is the one Who ultimately acts and delivers us. He, personally, is your REST!

~We are often looking for God to give us something primarily other than himself when God says in Christ “I AM YOUR RESPONSE TO ME! The one who stands in for YOU! Work to believe and trust that! I Am your reward!”

~We need to THANK GOD HE IS HIS AMAZING GRACE and not divide Him too strictly from the great Works HE does. IT IS HIM at work when His works are being done, NOT a substance or a commodity called “grace”!

~If we don’t understand and proclaim God as his own Grace then we will subtly allow a “works based” and legal orientation into our lives. We will think that it is our prayer or religious things that are getting the job done when it is actually GOD IN AND AS HIS AMAZING GRACE getting the job done, many times in and through those things!

~God’s judgment and destruction doesn’t mean the end of us as men and women, but the end of what seeks to destroy us as men and women! Threats in scripture don’t always mean that the bad consequences are actually going to happen because, as the writer of Hebrews wrote,  “we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

Listen, Enjoy, be Encouraged, and find rest in the GOOD NEWS of God as His Amazing Grace!

Jesus’ Compassion On The Harassed And Helpless!

jesus' compassion

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/14-11-16-jesus-compassion-on-the-harassed-and-helpless-matt-9-35-10-8-tah.mp3

Have YOU ever felt harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd? Not without clothing, food or water but, in the midst of plenty, still feeling LOST, despite knowing there is a Shepherd????

Of course you have, and do!!!

In this 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore proclaims a Gospel Message entitled ” Jesus’ Compassion On The Harassed And Helpless!”. In this Gospel he explores Matthew 9: 35 through Matthew 10: 1-8 proclaiming The GOOD NEWS of God’s compassion revealed and active in Jesus! Observing the literal Body of Jesus Christ in Mission reveals God: Father, Son and Spirit does all kinds of interesting and redemptive things with “foolish” participation, people, preaching and pausing!

In this message we hear that:

1~ God in Jesus begins a radical form of calling people to Himself in a gathered and scattered way that transforms their lives and the lives of others as he reaches out in compassion to His world and humanity. God in Christ DOES have an agenda and He DOES care to make himself known to people even as He does good works. He is even willing to become broken to reach out in His compassion and see humanity healed!

2~ Even with money in the bank, food to eat, shelter, we can still find ourselves harassed and helpless, but WHY??? Pastor Tim gives one compelling reason this may be so in our times, considering the present mission of God revealed in Jesus and His determination not to be Himself without us!

3~ We have not understood the “foolishness” of God in Jesus Christ and why we need to be willing to RECEIVE His foolishness as He works in this world to compassionately SAVE people!

4~ Jesus Christ is not only GOD’S GOOD NEWS, He is GOD’S GOOD NEWS in LOVING MOTION: in Gospel Mission and Ministry action, in and through His special believers! In and by the Spirit, believers become THE BODY OF CHRIST – JOINING in what GOD is DOING as He calls and gathers even more disciples and sends them with HIMSELF in MISSION. From the Father, in Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit, believers are the compassion of God, helping to heal His harassed and helpless humanity.

Listen and ask yourself: DO I SEE THE COMPASSION OF GOD REVEALED EVEN IN THE BROKEN HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST? AND AM I, THROUGH JESUS AND BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WILLING TO RESPOND TO GOD’S CALLING TO BE HIS BODY AND COMPASSION RIGHT NOW, AS HE WORKS OUT HOPE AND HEALING IN AND THROUGH MY BROKEN HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS?!

“When You Know Better…”

  I have been an avid watcher of Oprah’s Lifeclass, and I have enjoyed the lessons she’s shared from 25 years of interviewing people.  One episode particularly piqued my interest, which was called “When you know better, you do better.”  This quote came from Oprah’s mentor Maya Angelou, who said this to Oprah when she was recounting all the mistakes she made when she was younger.

I think this quote rings true for all of us because I think we understand that many of the mistakes we make are the result of not understanding the true consequences of our actions at the time.   Once we learn better, we do better, if for no other reason than we don’t want the same negative consequence again.

It was obvious, though, that this truism fell short as Oprah revealed the story of  a former prostitute who still felt as if she was “all used up,” despite having broken her addiction to drugs and working the streets.   Oprah tried to assure her that she was not “all used up,” but the former prostitute seemed unconvinced that she could ever be made fully whole from her previous life.

What this illustrates, I think, is that our human wisdom is good, but not good enough.  This woman needed assurance from her Heavenly Father that, despite her sin, she was treasured, valued, and loved beyond measure.  Our human wisdom points out the obvious, that after getting hit with a brick on the head, we learn not to walk under the ladder.  But what we’re missing is that even after we know better, we still need the healing that only the Triune God can give us, namely, the assurance that in spite of our screw-ups, we are still beloved children.

You see, after a person has changed his or her life and no longer participates in self-destructive and demeaning behavior, other people haven’t forgotten and are sometimes quick to remind them.  The beautiful thing is that our Triune God doesn’t condemn us, doesn’t keep an accounting of our rights and wrongs.   When the Pharisees were going to stone a woman who had made a big mistake, Jesus showed the Father’s heart toward us when we sin:

                “‘…Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery.  Moses, in the law, gives order to stone such persons.  What do you say?’

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt… (then) he straightened up and said, ‘The sinless one among you, go first:  Throw the stone…’

Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest.  The woman was left alone.  Jesus stood up and spoke to her.  ‘Woman, where are they?  Does no one condemn you?’

‘No one, Master.”

‘Neither do I,’ said Jesus.  ‘Go on your way.  From now on, don’t sin.'” (John 8:3-11, The Message).

When Jesus said, “From now on, don’t sin,” he was not asking the woman to quit adultery because it was on the list of rules the Israelites (and the rest of us) were supposed to keep.  He was concerned that her behavior was keeping her from achieving her best and fullest potential, and her shame was keeping her from accepting love and healing from the Triune God.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do not condemn us but seek to restore and heal us.  Maya Angelou’s advice is good, but it only treats part of the problem.  The deepest part is our need to be healed of our shame for making the mistake in the first place, and only the love of the Triune God can fix that.  Maybe we should add a caveat to Oprah’s life lesson:

“When you know better, you do better.  And when you know God’s love better, your heart is healed and restored.”

~by Nan Kuhlman

~photos courtesy of Oprah.com

Do Our Prayers Really Matter?

On the ABC news program “Primetime:  Beyond Belief,” reporter Bob Woodruff discussed what happens after death by sharing his own near-death experience and interviewing others who had died and come back to life .  One of those interviewed was Don Piper, a Baptist minister who died during a car/truck crash in Texas in 1989.  After being declared dead for 90 minutes by paramedics, Piper came back to life and later wrote about what he saw in the bestselling book, “90 Minutes in Heaven” (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/beyondbelief/describing-heaven-pastor-don-piper-pronounced-dead/story?id=14214140).

While what Piper reported he saw in heaven is inspiring, I’m more interested in the way he came back to life.  Dick Onarecker and his wife were driving by the wreckage when he felt the urgent need to pray for whoever was in the car.  He and his wife stopped, began praying, then started singing the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”  Soon a voice from the wreckage, that of Don Piper, began singing along with them.

Did the prayers of the Onareckers change God’s mind?  Or had God decided that Don Piper would live, and simply allowed a passerby and his wife to participate with him in raising the dead?  Why didn’t God do the same for Dick Onarecker, rather than letting him die in 1996 at a relatively young age of 52?

To understand better our part in prayer, let’s consider the Canaanite woman who had a demon-possessed daughter in Matthew 15:

             Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment (Matt 15:21-28 NIV).

What can we learn from these two examples where people prayed in what seemed to be hopeless situations?  First, we have to be willing to try.  It would have been easy for Dick Onarecker to look at the terrible wreckage and decide that no one could survive.    It would have been understandable for the Canaanite woman to give up since it was unlikely that she had ever seen anyone healed of a demon-possession.  Yet these people were willing to pray and ask for help despite the overwhelming circumstances they saw.

Next, healing power does not come from us and is not dependent on our personal righteousness or faith.    The power to heal comes from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who move as they lovingly see fit for each situation.  The Triune God chooses to work incarnationally through the requests of regular human beings just like us.

Lastly, we have to accept that the situation we pray about may or may not be resolved in the way we think is best.  As parents, we understand that even though our children ask us for many things, sometimes what they want would not be in their best interests.  The perspective the Triune God has over our lives is infinitely bigger and better than ours is, so we need to understand that sometimes our prayers will not be answered with a “yes.” Yet the possibility of a “no” should not hinder our willingness to ask.

The examples of Dick Onarecker and the Canaanite mother can inspire us to step out boldly in prayer, knowing that our loving God is always listening.

~by Nan Kuhlman

~photos courtesy of ABC News.com;

Baker Publishing Group; Don Piper

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