Archive for the ‘new life fellowship’ Tag

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

Making Things New 1”

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

How Should You Respond, Properly, To Today’s Troubling Times?

Response in Troubled Times

And there is a proper response! It was proclaimed and lived by Jesus Christ as He stepped into the troubling events of this world in His day. And, through His Body, the Church, He continues to proclaim this same message:

“Re-Think-Act and Believe the Good News!” Mark 1:15 (And for immediate clarity, Mark has already written in Mark 1:1 that the Good News is a Person or, in his words, the “beginning of the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…”

Yes, that is still the message of Jesus and His people to you, and everyone, in our world, right in the middle of our current and troubling events! Jesus is God’s basic and fundamental response to the political lies and insanity, murder of innocent victims, bombings, and human trafficking – God’s response to everything! He is the proper response because He is GOD’s response shared with us in our humanity to all sin, evil and rebellion within creation! It is the response of Him Who created all things and of the One in Whom we all live and move and have our being. The One in, and through, and by, and for Whom all things are created and sustained (as my brother Baxter Kruger likes to say!)

If you’ve already misheard and think this sounds too simple, or too unrealistic, or too cognitive to address problems compared to the “hands-on solutions” needed in our complex world, then you’ve already misheard what’s been stated, so let me make it a little plainer!

How could it be too simple when it has something to do with trusting the Relational God Revealed in Jesus?:

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.” – Romans 11:33 The Msg.

The Solution is simply stated, yes, but simple, NO! ONLY Jesus could, and can, and is, and will pull off helping you to trust Him that He really is your, OUR, only Good News in the face of all troubles!

How could this response be unrealistic when Jesus tells us that our response of peace and reconciliation with each other has been pulled off by and given to us by HIM, God Himself?! That HE has responded for us and acted in our place and on our behalf, in our fallen humanity, as our Good News????

How could this be too cognitive or something just “up in your head” when it clearly addresses the foremost way in which you receive and process troubling events – tossing, turning and dealing with them in your mind, right?! Isn’t it also addressing the problem behind most poor and evil events – NOT thinking along with Jesus about Who He is, and who He says our neighbors and we are in Him? He says we are all reconciled to Him and, in Him, to each other! Check it out:

1But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. –Ephesians 2

How could it be too cognitive when Jesus loved His Father, and commands us to do the same, with all of His heart, soul, MIND, and strength? A response from our whole humanity matters and is given to us from our Father, through Jesus and by the Spirit! Responding in Christ’s love to God and our neighbor:

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Luke 10:27

OF COURSE all of this means participating in some kind of real everyday, human action – to RETHINKACT in relationship! RE-THINK-ACTING in the Light of Who Jesus is as our Good News in flesh, which means:

1.) Your first and primary response to today’s troubles is Jesus Himself, Who has responded properly to His Father in word and deed, on humanity’s behalf, in the Spirit, and Who has “overcame the world” (today’s troubles!) as He puts it! Yes, you are reading me right, JESUS HIMSELF is your proper response to trouble, coming to you and to me freely and graciously, as a pure gift! God is with us and for us IN FLESH! Whew! Wow!

It’s the next few things that become more COSTLY to you because Jesus also shares Himself with us as the One Who “became poor that we might become rich” and Who said “whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves, pick up their cross daily, and follow Me”. Starting to see the cost yet??? Haha

Here are other costly things you can participate in with Jesus as a proper response to today’s troubles:

2.) Place your single-minded faith and trust in Jesus Christ, given to you as a gracious gift, and relate with Him in union and fellowship! Ask Him, personally, how you might respond to any given situation! He knows exactly what to do – but be prepared for plenty of mysterious surprises because His variety of responses to people in situations is as varied as there are people and situations to respond to!

The high cost of trusting Jesus is that you can no longer trust anyone or anything else, including yourself, like you trust Him! In the Light of His Lordship, you understand yourself to be a dependent creature whose entire outlook and motives apart from Him are now called into question and found lacking! If you could have responded properly to your troubles then there was no need for Him to come and do it! You can’t trust what things look like, feel like, or sound like – you can trust ONLY Him despite those things or outcomes! You no longer trust in your own ideas of independence and freedom, your own pride, smarts, things, race, nation, guns, policies, votes, gender, economic status, good works or anything else! You trust ONLY IN JESUS and identify ONLY in and with Him!

This means that despite your daily troubles, and even in the middle of them, you can, and should, cast all of your care upon Jesus for He cares for you! It is the reason so many of us pray to Jesus, and read the bible, and congregate together as His Church (believers) regularly – to meet Jesus there and have Him remind us of Who He is, and who we are in Him, and what He has accomplished and made of the word despite our sin, and the kind of good works He does in the middle of everyday troubles in flesh till He returns!

To conclude, this is both encouragement and a warning because, as Karl Barth has rightly stated: “No neutrality with God is possible. We [YOU] must choose between the true God and idolatry.”

And because God has been Revealed in Jesus, what He gives us as a response will look more like God the Trinity in character. More like self-giving than selfishness. More like other-centeredness than self-centeredness. More like self-sacrificing and forgiveness than living at the expense of others. More like being social and relational than being totally closed and hiding from others. As my friend Rodeen Williams wrote recently “Made in their image, genuine freedom is best realized and enjoyed in the consciousness of our union with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

As the Holy Spirit encounters you, WILL YOU RESPOND PROPERLY by receiving Jesus and this God Revealed in Him – this God Who has already received you? Will you “Re-Think-Act and Believe the Good News!”? Mark 1:15

The Redeemer Reveals His Glory

The Redeemer Reveals His Glory”

Theological Theme: God is God alone, and He demonstrates His glory by comforting His people and confronting those who oppose Him.

Christ Connection: Jesus Christ is the sovereign King who promises to return, rescue His people, and put an end to all suffering and oppression.

Missional Application: God calls us to war against the principalities and powers of this world that keep people in bondage to sin and suffering.

Gospel Intensive: Spirituality, Last Things, and The Kingdom of God!


Jesus tells to seek the kingdom of God before anything else. That sounds exciting and meaningful. But what does that mean? How do we go about it? Pursuing those questions requires exploring the question: Who is Jesus Christ in relationship to the world and its history? If Jesus Christ is Lord of time and space, and all of history, then out of that center our whole understanding of spirituality and eschatology [last things] is transformed and renewed!

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Audio Part 5 Questions and Responses: “”

The Redeemer Responds

Jesus Is Redeemer (Exodus 1-3)”

Theological Theme: God is good and just. He sees the suffering of the oppressed and promises redemption.

Christ Connection: God told Moses His name “I AM” as a revelation of His good and righteous character. Jesus is the great “I AM” who gave us an even greater revelation of God’s goodness and righteousness.

Missional Application: God calls us to be conscious of the plight of the oppressed and, in response, to show and share the love of God.

*picture courtesy of

God Is Faithful To His Covenant

God is faithful to his covenant (Gen 41-50)”

Theological Theme: God is sovereign and He will bring good out of evil circumstances.

Christ Connection: God took the evil deeds of Joseph’s brothers and used them for His greater plan of providing salvation from the famine. In the same way, God used the evil injustice of those who put His Son, Jesus, on the cross to bring about His master plan of providing salvation from sin and death.

Missional Application: God calls us to forgive those who sin against us because we recognize that God is working everything for the good of those who love Him.

The Triune God Whose Plan Involves Suffering

Genesis 37-39 The Suffering God”

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.

The Triune God Who Gives New Names!

Genesis 32 The Triune God Who Gives New Names”

Theological Theme: Encountering God leads to a fundamental change of identity and purpose.

Christ Connection: God’s renaming of individuals in the Old Testament reflects both privilege and responsibility. As Christians, we bear the name of Christ. We receive both the privilege of salvation and the responsibility of mission.

Missional Application: God calls us to live in a manner worthy of the name we have received so that others may praise God for His transforming power.

God The Trinity Reaffirms The Covenant

God is Faithful (Genesis 25-28)”

Theological Theme: God promises the blessing of His presence to His people, even when they show themselves to be unworthy of His love.

Christ Connection: God’s promise to be with His people is most clearly fulfilled in Jesus Christ, “God with us.”

Missional Application: We can boldly share and show the love of Christ, not because we are perfect but because we know that God uses unusual and unworthy people to accomplish His purposes.

God The Trinity’s Dysfunctional, Covenant Family!

God's Dysfunctional Family Genesis 27”

Theological Theme: God is sovereign over all of life, and He will work out His plan of redemption despite and sometimes through our dysfunction.

Christ Connection: Jacob’s story is a good example of why humanity needs a Savior. Like Jacob, we seek a blessing that is not ours, but we cannot lie, deceive, or trick to receive it. Instead, Jesus shared His blessing with us when He took the judgment we deserve so that we might receive the blessing He deserved.

Missional Application: Because God specializes in showing mercy to unworthy people, we should look for ways God can make visible His grace through our struggle with ongoing flaws and dysfunction.

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