Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Tag

The God Who Deserves Our Allegiance!

Daniel and Fiery Furnace

Part 1: 24 mins

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/17-11-26-the-god-who-deserves-our-allegiance-part-1-daniel-3-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Part 2: 23 mins

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/17-11-26-the-god-who-deserves-our-allegiance-part-2-daniel-3-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Full Message: 47 mins

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/17-11-26-the-god-who-deserves-our-allegiance-full-message-daniel-3-tah-guest-marra.mp3”


Main Passage: Daniel 3


Theological Theme: God – Father, Son and Spirit alone deserves our ultimate allegiance.

Christ Connection: The same God who was faithful and present with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the flames will also deliver us through His Son, Jesus the Christ, who is with us in the fiery trial and who saves us from sin and its consequences.

Missional Application: God the Holy Spirit calls us to embrace a countercultural lifestyle with full confidence in His power, regardless of what the immediate outcome may be.

*Picture Courtesy of livingmyfaith.blogspot.com

Worthy Of Praise

Exodus 13-14 Red Sea

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/06-26-16-worthy-of-praise-exodus-13-14-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Theological Theme: God Father, Son and Spirit magnifies His glory through His faithfulness to lead and save His people while bringing judgment upon those who oppose Him.

Christ Connection: God  the Trinity parted the Red Sea in order to make a way of salvation for His people. In a similar manner, God made a way of salvation for us by sending His Son.

Missional Application: The Relational and Triune God calls us to praise Him for His glory in salvation and judgment so that others will see and be compelled to join us in giving praise to Him.

*Photo courtesy of pinterest.com

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

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/06-22-16-the-redeemer-reveals-his-glory-exodus-5-7-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

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.

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.

Merry Chaotic and Disturbance-filled Christmas?!

Killing babies

Matthew 2:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod…[Herod] was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to run from Christmas chaos! I hate the thought of everything from the slowed up, jammed up traffic, to the packed out gas stations, highways, and stores of frenzied people pushing and shoving, literally, to get “deals” (or NOT because of getting punched by other people who snatch the “deals” right out of their greedy – oops – grubby little hands! HaHa!) Yikes!

But, as much as I hate all of that, I have to admit this atmosphere seems more true to the context in which Jesus was actually born 2000 years ago; only chaotic danger and disturbance when God enters the room in flesh, as one of us! I’m even thinking that maybe its sort of indictment against Christ’s Body, the Church, that there is not more chaos and crisis at Christmastime in our world at the proclamation of this Jesus Christ Who has entered it?

As I read Mathew’s story of Jesus’ birth, I am especially struck at how disturbing it is for the Son of God to come into the ordinariness and horrors of our broken world as man; how chaotic it really is (how disturbing it should be till everyone knows and trusts Him?! ) Everyone and everything disturbed at the entrance of the Son of God coming in flesh – “God With Us!” A marital engagement is disturbed by embarrassment and shame, and then met with the prospect of divorce before the wedding can happen! A king is disturbed enough about Jesus’ birth to lie, hunt for and cross regional lines to kill babies and toddlers hoping he killed Jesus! A family is on the run from an evil father and his ruthless ruling son!….hmmm…

Maybe Christmas isn’t really about encouraging a cute religious experience after all. Not about a nice teaching that will make people nicer and more peaceful. Maybe it’s not even about making people confident in going to heaven after “death by trampling” at the mall.

Maybe Christmas is about the Kingdom of the Father, Son and Spirit rumbling in like a jumbo jet and, through His Body the Church, fostering airwaves and noises of disturbance, prompting crises, as the Church excitedly and urgently encourages and warns its brothers and sisters of the need to get ready for the return of the Christ in “Christ”-mas???

As much as I’d like to know NOW the peace that is promised in Christ’s coming, I have to admit that because the God the Father sends His Son, in the Spirit, into the chaos of this world to be with it and see it saved, that’s the way he is still moving on earth in his Church Body till he returns bodily again! How could there not be chaos and crisis with God breaking into our world?; against evil and our broken human nature, to redeem what He has already redeemed in the glorified humanity of Jesus???

As N.T. Wright has written, for Jesus there is “No point in arriving in comfort, when the world is in misery; no point having an easy life, when the world suffers violence and injustice! If he is to be Emmanuel, God-with-us, he must be with us where the pain is.” Where the Head, Jesus, is, so must his Body, we, be, right?

Perhaps the real peace I long for, and you long for, at Christmas is where Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it was when he wrote, “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.”

Merry Cross-mas to You as We Enter the Chaos and Participate with Christ in His Loving Disturbance,

– tjbrassell

 

Photo courtesy of: http://www.muchoburrito.com

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

Always Be Prepared To Give An Answer!

 

Be Ready Always

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/15-11-29-always-be-prepared-to-give-an-answer-1-peter-3-2-peter-3-tah.mp3”

In this message of Good News we are reminded of the Good News that because your story is included, graciously, in the Story of God, Father, Son and Spirit, you get to participate with Him by sharing your story (even some of the good, bad, and ugly!) with your family, friends and neighbors to God’s glory!

God is not just the One Being and Relationship of God, Father, Son and Spirit in Deed. God also Communicates in Word or Story! In fact, God commands us to be ready to share our story with others! Plus, after participating in all those good deeds toward others in Christ’s name, you don’t want to be “totally quiet” and let others mistake you for Jesus do you??? hahaha

Feel free to prepare and practice your story, even as we did in this worship gathering, by downloading your practice sheet here: YourFaithStory , and happy Story-telling God’s Good News!

 

picture courtesy of: centralbaptistanthony.org

How To Share God’s Good News With Others! pt.6

Sent by God 4

In the POWERFUL conclusion to this series, where it is proclaimed that you are CALLED, EMPOWERED and SENT by the FATHER, through JESUS THE SON, and IN THE SPIRIT, understand:

  • How to be a faithful steward of time in this hectic world to which you are sent!
  • How to be the best steward of gifts and talents and experience God’s best even through discouraging personal weaknesses that can distract you!
  • How to organize money and maximize its impact in participation with Christ in this world that’s trying to consume it all!

You won’t have time to sleep on this one cause you’ll be either glad or mad! hahaha

Then:

1.) get this NEW and UPDATED WORKSHEET you’ll want to keep for review: goroncy-a-theology-of-mission-share-God’s-good-news copy 2 , and…

2.) grab a pencil or pen

3.) fill-in-the-blanks as you prepare to share with others what you are learning to others who can share what their learning to others!

 

Here is part 1 if you are wondering: https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/09/14/some-things-jesus-come-before-other-things/

Here is part 2 https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/09/21/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-2/

Here is part 3 https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/09/28/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-3/

Here is part 4  https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/10/05/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-4/

Here is part 5 https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/10/19/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-5/

 

Photo courtesy of: http://www.lifeway.com

 

How To Share God’s Good News With Others! pt.5

9-21-2015 Putting Faith into Words 7-04-39 PM15.10.18 How To Share God’s Good News With Others, pt.5 (1 Cor 15, Rev 21.22-26) – TAH

As the saying goes, you can live one minute without air but not one second without hope! Could you use some hope and clarity about your present purpose and destiny?; hope about life even in this present evil age? If you answered YES then this is a message for you! In this message of God’s Good News get good Christian responses to your questions like:

Why am I working so hard and long on the job and in the home? Why am I hanging in there in my marriage and relationships? Why am I attending this particular school of higher learning? Why should I take time off from work and rest, or take a vacation! Why am I learning to be so patient, peaceful, and persevering in traffic, and even in tragedy?! Why am I learning to be so prickly, perturbing, and provoking even though I am by nature more meek, shy and non-disturbing?

Bottom line: Understand the importance of sharing Jesus’ Hope with others in word and deed as we participate with Him, presently, in the Spirit!

1.) grab a pen or pencil,

2.) download this worksheet: How To Share God’s Good News With Others- TAH (fill in the blank),  (or use the one you have already printed out), and,

3.) fill-in-the-blanks as you prepare to teach what you are learning to others who can teach what their learning to others!

Here is part 1 if you are wondering: https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/09/14/some-things-jesus-come-before-other-things/

Here is part 2 https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/09/21/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-2/

Here is part 3 https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/09/28/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-3/

Here is part 4  https://trinityandhumanity.com/2015/10/05/how-to-share-gods-good-news-with-others-pt-4/

 

Photo courtesy of: http://www.k180.org

 

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