more branches = more people =
more fruit = more glory to God
Col 1.13 we ARE CURRENTLY in the kingdom Jesus preached in MT 4.17
Jesus victorious in the cross, vindicated in the resurrection, sanctifying His kingdom citizens today, coming for them soon in His return, our glorious resurrection, His region fulfilling the David Covenant, and finally, bringing to God all of creation – all of this in Jesus. In Jesus ALL THINGS are reconciled, the separation in Genesis 2 (and all that follows) is resolved in Jesus.
Col 1.19 God’s Will for His creation, us, everything, is resolved and dwelling in His Son Jesus
Our church began in 1916, in the midst of village and its mill. Our bell rung out to sound the call to worship and its echoes reminded the people of the gospel. God has preserved us for 98 years. We are called to serve in His kingdom today, just as Paul served in his time. The kingdom is not just a future glorious hope – it is before us today. The kingdom is not just a spiritual kingdom inside of us. Jesus healed real people who were blind, lame, and stricken. We are called to our world today. What we do here and now matters – our service is in the service of our village and His Kingdom.
We are to be the feet to carry the gospel, we are to be the lips that speak comfort and truth, we are to be the hands of compassion – in our time, in our village, where He has placed us in His Kingdom!
If our purpose is to minister to our church through prayer – this is one important measure of our success.
If we are not careful, we distort what prayer is like. That is why it is worth looking at how Jesus prayed. Here are 4 words, that challenge the conventional depiction of prayer. We always here about prayer being either some kind of intense struggle, or exploding with emotion, and most of all centered on us.
Jesus prayed this short prayer about His Father. Too short to match the examples above. It wasn’t a night spent supplication, or a walk under the sky entreating, or even closet where He wrestled with God. It was short, simple, and focused right on His Father.
God responded. Not just to Jesus – everyone around Him heard. There is nothing wrong with the prayers that get held up as examples to us. But, they are unfair – because these are not the prayers of everyday life. And if we are not careful, we end up assuming that these grand prayers are THE model, and other prayers are somehow not good prayers. Let’s watch Jesus pray. Listen to Jesus pray. In His prayers let us find the true model of our prayers.
|brotherhood – May 2014ministering through prayer|
God will work
As we wait for God to work in our church and our lives, let’s find assurance in His Word that He will work
Now matters, We matter
Psa 8:3-6 KJV –
… 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet:
God’s good creation is given to us…He will work in our lives because v6 is the answer to the question of what God thinks of man (v4)
Trust God to work
Jhn 17:23-26 KJV – 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
God will work because He is in our lives and is bringing us closer to Him each day
Continuity with Eternity
1Co 15:54-58 KJV –
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Paul’s great passage on our bodily resurrection ends with the point that now matters into eternity & we are working with God today toward a purpose that we will see completed (Rev 21.2)
Brotherhood – Apr 2014
(MT 21 / Zec 9.9)
(MT 26.26-29 / Ex 12.1-13)
(MT 27.35-37 / IS 53.1-12)
(MT 28.17-18 / EZ 37.1-28 /
1Cor 15.53-57, Rev 21.1-5)
Brotherhood – Feb 2014
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed
Jesus announced his ministry as a healing of the spirit
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
first act after preaching the beatitudes – healed one person whom no one else would want to heal
And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
HORIZONTAL ⏪ ⏩
Each year, we struggle to make sense of Christmas. To “do it right” – that is to say, to ensure its real and authentic. As opposed to superficial and commercialized. And, for Christians who see that the world around us does not necessarily share our beliefs, we feel a burden to ensure we don’t get pulled away from the true meaning and we struggle to show others that there is indeed a real truth to be told.
Sometimes, the meaning of Christmas is too big. There’s so much at stake for us to experience what it means, share it, and ensure we focus on the real meaning. Looking back at the bible, I realized this year that while it’s neatly packaged up in Luke 2, the reality is that for Joseph, Mary, and the others who actually were there, who actually LIVED through these events, it must have been a very different experience that anything we strive to have each year.
To boil it down to the most basic parts, Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14, 9:7, and Daniel 9:25 all had to occur. Now, if you read the events in Matthew 1:16-20 and Luke 1 and 2, and consider how they were experienced, it almost seems like a miracle that all these things could have happened. For the Messiah to come, we needed Mary and Joseph, in the right place, at the right time.
It starts off promising, Mary and Joseph to be married (we have the right people), but they are in the wrong place. Young Mary then is told something that no one could properly understand – she was going to give birth to the Messiah. How could she even process something so miraculous? Then, Mary goes goes to vista Elisabeth – for 3 months! When she returns, she is pregnant – how would Joseph understand? Can you imagine how scared she was? And Joseph, the good man whose heart must have been broken – what else is he supposed to think other than the love of his life had betrayed him? How was God going pull all this mess back together into the plan we know so well? But God does – He tells Joseph the plan, and Joseph, being the good man he was, followed God. Of course, Mary and Joseph are still not in the right place (Bethlehem) – but God takes care of that too by orchestrating a census and taxing through the occupying Roman government. Then, on the night that marked the fullness of times, God sends the announcement to shepherds that His Son is born. Of all the ways to get the message out to the world, He chooses the lowly shepherd to be the first ones to tell the world that the Messiah is come!
Can you imagine having these prophecies in your hand, and watching these events unfold? Knowing what was supposed to happen, where it was supposed to happen, when it was supposed to happen. How you assume it be neat and tidy, but what you saw seemed more like chaos? God works, not how we expect, but His plan is perfect. Anyone watching these events would have likely been scared and confused and perhaps even doubting. So this Christmas, maybe looking at the events of the birth of Jesus as if we lived through them as Joseph and Mary did, we can remember that God is in control, even if we don’t think so, even if all we see and hear tells us differently, God is in control.
Thank you God for being more than we can understand! Thank you God for sending us Your Son – Jesus our Immanuel!