Archive for the ‘participate’ Tag

Becoming An Ethically Responsible Christian Disciple! Part 4 (Our Christian/ Biblical Worldview)

Part 4A:

Part 4B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians (various scriptures)


Introduction:

In Jesus, God’s Elect One, you and every other person you know have been elected/chosen to be at the highest place of honor and privilege possible for a human being, participating with Jesus in his union and relationship with His Father, in the Holy Spirit. In fact, all of what it means to be truly and fully human is seated, truly and mysteriously, with the Father, and in Jesus who share in our humanity. Jesus represents and substitutes for each and all of us human beings before the Father not so we don’t have to participate but so that we can, with him!

Theological Theme:

Because of the Reality of Jesus in our humanity, now glorified, we are invited and urged to share more deeply in in the humanity of Christ by the Spirit Christ than in the divided humanity of those who reject God! In the worshipful and relational way of Jesus, we who trust and believe in him, prioritize and live out the Great Command to love God with our all, first, and then, at His direction and lead in the Spirit, to love our neighbors as ourselves.

As the late George MacDonald has written: “God can no more than an earthly parent be content to have only children: he must have sons and daughters—children of his soul, of his spirit, of his love—not merely in the sense that he loves them, or even that they love him, but in the sense that they love like him, love as he loves. For this he does not adopt them; he dies to give them himself, thereby to raise his own to his heart; he gives them a birth from above; they are born again out of himself and into himself.” ― George MacDonald

Christ Connection:

There is a call from the Father for us to be different and to be transformed in Christ in the Holy Spirit; to begin and keep becoming and growing up in Him, right here and right now! To keep sharing in the mind of Christ about our world, that we are forever going to be relating with and oversee with Jesus in a larger more fulfilling way! We’re not in a pretend mode right now just because everything here on earth will one day be transformed! In believers, and by the Holy Spirit, Jesus has an earthly body that still resides in our present history, interacting with his Father and our neighbors in love. Obeying Jesus right now is as vital as it was vital when he actually walked the earth in his distinct human body because he is the Risen Lord and still has an ongoing and present ministry!

Missional Application:

Jesus, being our Great Ethic, has pointed out what it means to participate with him in relation to God and our neighbor:

A lawyer asked [Jesus] a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:35-40, NRSV)

As Dr. Gary Deddo points out in his article “Theological Ethics”:

“When we love God with all we are and have, there shines forth a reflection of it towards those who are not God. We love God because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our love for God is a response, the right and appropriate response, to God’s love for us. We first receive God’s love and we first love God. When we love the neighbor in the way God would have us, then like Jesus, we are passing on to others what we have received from God. Think of the offering of the Lord’s Supper and Paul’s words: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you” (1 Cor. 11:23). In God’s economy, we can pass on only what we have first received. First things must remain first, otherwise, as C.S. Lewis reminds us, we will lose both the first and the second things.”

Photo Compliments: https://www.quoteslyfe.com

BEing.

I like to play golf. I’m not very good at it. I’m fairly good at it, just not very good. My best friend is very good at it. I, however, just enjoy being outside, fellowshipping with others, and the occasional score under 90.

Last summer I began to believe that I possessed the physical, mental, and emotional abilities necessary to improve my game. One of the things I have done is take golf lessons. I have a coach named Adam who is very knowledgeable and helpful.

A few Saturdays ago, in lieu of a lesson, we went out and played a few holes together. The idea was for Adam to be able to take a look at my whole game. Instead of just working on short irons, driver, chipping, or putting he was going to evaluate a variety of my shots on every hole.

When I arrived that day on the course Adam said, “Hey do you want a lesson today or do you want to go play a few?” “No contest.”, I thought. So we headed over to the first tee. When we stepped onto the tee box Adam informed me that he was going to hit all of my shots for me. I would just stand by and watch.

Ha ha! No, that last bit isn’t true at all. Adam did not hit all my shots for me. What kind of instructor would he be if he just did it all for me? I had to participate in my learning to be

Par 3 11th

Brookwoods G.C.  Hole 11, Par 3, 173 yards. (yep… I made the birdie putt)

a golfer. While it is very exciting to see a good golfer hit the ball a foot from the cup from 180 yards away, it is even more exciting when, through hours of practice and thousands of range balls, you do it yourself. (See pic)

The Father, Son, and Spirit have included the human race in their life of love, fellowship, goodness, mercy, justice, laughter, dancing, and mutual other-centeredness and love us so much that we are called to believe and respond to that inclusion. Peter said, that because our sins have been forgiven we are called to respond.

The whole of humanity are the children of God and we are called to believe that we are the children of God and so grow into the fullness of what it means to be His children. We are called to participate, not in any way that creates our reconciliation or redemption, but we are called to participate as children of God so that (as Dr. C. Baxter Kruger says), “the way of our being aligns with the truth of our being.”

Every analogy concocted fails the greatness and profound mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but in my limited capacity let me say this. Jesus is the great I AM who believes perfectly on our behalf so that in him we might have our own true personhood and distinction. This is why he sends the Spirit. We are not him and he is not us, but by the Spirit we get to participate in His humanity! We are really us! We matter and God will have us truly be his children in love, in laughter, in relationships, in giving, in sharing, in altruistic action, in faithfulness, and in every aspect of our lives!

In the very Person and Being of Jesus, your humanity is saved, adopted, included, and you are God’s beloved child. Therefor; in his grace, and by the Spirit, will you be His saved, adopted and included child, responding in relationship to Him; responding to other human beings the way he does?

~Bill Winn

When Small(s) is Huge!

It’s exciting to see the redemptive genius of the Father, Son, and Spirit in our daily lives and it is equally, if not more exciting to peer into human history and see them at work in the lives of extraordinary individuals whose participation in the Shared Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit literally helps change the world.
Robert Smalls is one who stands out!
Robert was born into slavery 5 April, 1839 in Beaufort, South Carolina. When he was a young man he was hired out to work in Charleston for the city and the wharf. He loved the sea and working hard, he rose from the lowly position of sail mender and rigger to pilot. As a “wheelman” on small vessels, Robert learned the Charleston Harbor quite well. He navigated the Charleston Harbor and surrounding waterways well enough to have complete control over the navigation of a ship. A skill that would serve him well later in life. At the age of 17 Robert fell in love with Hannah Jones and married her. Together they would raise two children after enduring the unspeakable tragedy of their son dying at age two.
During the American Civil War Smalls was forced to pilot the vessel, CSS Planter, for the Confederate Navy out of Charleston Harbor- a decision that would prove strategically unwise for the Confederacy.

Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls (Image used under Section 107 (Fair Use) Copyright Act 1976

On May 12, 1862 Smalls and a few other slaves aboard the Planter executed a long-planned escape. They waited for the officers and other crewmen to take their leave ashore and quietly sailed out of the harbor. They used the Confederate Navy’s codebook to signal the fortifications they passed (including the infamous Fort Sumter) so that no one would be wise to their escape.
A man of integrity Smalls would not escape alone… he and his band of courageous freedom-fighters stopped at a pre-planned dock to pick his family and the families of the crewmen who were also escaping the oppression of slavery.
After securing their families on board Robert Smalls and his crewmen hoisted the white flag of surrender and sailed to the Union Fleet.
Upon surrendering the Confederate Vessel Smalls hoisted to the mast an American flag and delivered to the Union Navy the ship, its canons, and the most valuable prize- the Confederate Navy’s code book that the Union would later use to intercept and defeat Confederate Naval vessels.
The courage and fortitude to execute such a daring plan, risking life and limb for the cause of freedom has only one source… this sort of other-centered bravery and strength is found only in the life of the Triune God.
Robert Smalls went on to great fame as a member of the Union Navy and after the war achieved the rank of Major General in the South Carolina Militia.
After the Civil War Smalls moved back home to Beaufort, S.C. and purchased his former master’s home and cared for his master’s wife in the home through her elder years until her death.
Smalls went on to become a South Carolina State Congressman and a State Senator then in 1874 he was elected, on the Republican ticket, to the United States Congress. He helped pass civil rights legislation and the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
His home in Beaufort, S.C. is now a National Historical Monument. A Godly and patriotic American, Robert Smalls, gives us all inspiration to reach above our station, to dream despite our situation, and to act with courage and conviction to right the world around us in whatever way we might.
It is not enough for the Father, Son, and Spirit to accomplish their mission alone. Jesus did not convert water to wine alone… the servants were invited to participate. The Lord did not raise the daughter of the High Priest in solitude… he allowed Peter, James, and John to see and experience his miracle. Even so the Triune God would not overcome the inhumanity of slavery without the extraordinary men and women like Robert Smalls.
Today you may feel insignificant. You may feel like the troubles of the world around you are too large for you to make a difference. It is my prayer that in the face of such giants you would feel Small(s)!

 

 

 

 

~Bill Winn

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