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Showing posts from July, 2012

STORY TIME WITH JESUS

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EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY

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PRAYING FOR A BIGGER FAMILY

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Jesus still wants to agitate His tribe, the one that we have been adopted into. The gospel calls us to enlarge our vision of family, church and community. We have been called to work in the ‘Father’s Business’.

When Paul was called by Jesus to be a messenger to the Gentiles, he described his part in God’s work this way:

Ephesians 3:7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.

Paul was humble in his realization that his own adoption into God’s family was a gift that he did not earn. It was God’s initiative that saved him and God’s empowerment enabling him to go to those outside the tribe.
We need that same humility and recognition of God’s heart to see a larger family than our own.
To the end that God’s desire be accomplished, I leave you with one of Paul’s prayers for the church at Ephes…

BEYOND 'US AND THEM'

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The ‘us and them’ mindset is pervasive and requires one to choose their own tribe or family over all others. In the example of his own family, Jesus demonstrated that His family was not just the biological relatives. The Father in Heaven is aggressively adopting all who will enter His House.
The ‘Us and them’ philosophy teaches us that our church is better than the others. ‘We good – they bad.’
The mindset is applicable to race, culture, socio-economic status, religion, political ideology, sport teams and choice of consumer goods.
What does God think of our tribalism? He creates tribes, but not as an end in themselves. His chosen nation was called to be a blessing to the whole earth.  Everyone is in line to be saved and reconciled to God. If we focus on that potential, we are able to see all people as God sees them. While many will reject their invitation to belong, it does not change the heart of God to adopt, benefit and restore.
In the end, God will take ‘no’ for an answer and also i…

JOINING GOD'S NOMADIC FAMILY

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As we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, we find a man who lived at home and entered his father Joseph’s carpentry business. Then at age thirty, he left the woodworking and began a nomadic quest to meet people and promote the Kingdom of God.
Even as a young man of twelve years, Jesus wandered from the security of mom and dad to visit the Temple where he made conversation with the priests. 
From an early age He was driven to think about the Heavenly Father’s business.
There is no evidence that Jesus ever married, but evidently some of the disciples did so. As Jesus understood His mission, there would not be a wife in his thirties or any little boys and girls growing up in his house.
Instead, He found other men and called them away from their pre-occupation with work. Away from the fishing trade, the tax collector’s table and political activism—they were called to follow God’s nomad through the wilderness. They were called from pre-occupation to a higher occupation.
Once a woman was im…

BOOK REVIEW: THE WAY (NLT)

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Just last week a man at my church asked me if there is a book or something he can read that would help him understand the Bible better. He is a newbie to the Book and expecting it to be understandable at the first pass.

He is not alone in wanting some 'Bible For Dummies' notes. He enjoys listening to me preach because I'm a slightly more experienced 'Dummie' who helps him get into the larger story, the historical background and the real world context of what it means for him today.

I think I'll recommend 'The Way' New Living Translation to him.




Remember The 70's?


The Living Bible version of 'The Way' appeared under the arms of Jesus people and youth groups during the 1970's. That version exposed a generation of 16 - 30 year olds to the riches of Scripture, but in a language and packaging that said, "This book is for now."


And it was. Insightful accompaniment notes, personal stories and intriguing photographs helped us get past …

MEN ARE LIKE DOGS

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