now now now, baptism doesn’t save us … it’s just an outward demonstration of an inward transformation! romans 6! identifying with Christ’s burial & resurrection! let’s go!
get her in the water quick! lol.
lol hey nina!
that. just. happened. congrats nina!
the infamous baptism get-up.
on june 26th, 2011, chika nwachukwu, kathryn simmons, nina imo and 2 other women (i don’t have the list or clear pics forgive me lol smh) demonstrated their faith in Jesus Christ via baptism! the city @ good hope is excited to say “congratulations!”
do you see that? look a litter closer. it’s on his right bicep. yes, that’s the larry o’brien trophy that is awarded to the nba franchise that wins the nba finals. and no, he didn’t scramble to the nearest tattoo parlor in miami directly after the game 6, championship-clinching victory over the heat to get inked up. jason “the jet” terry got that tattoo before the start of the 2010-2011 season. in full faith, the jet basically guaranteed that the mavericks would be the 2011 nba world champions.
don’t miss this. jason terry believed the mavericks were going to win the championship. he then got a permanent tattoo of the prime tangible reward on the inside of his arm (the same arm responsible for lighting lebron up). and then after the job was done, inherited the reward.
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee  of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,  to the praise of his glory.
when we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ as it pertains to our salvation (that God created us all good, then we sinned and were separated from an all good God, then bad/corruption ensued but immediately after we sinned God, being good, promised a good savior through Jesus Christ despite the bad/corruption of mankind and the world to come, then God being good came down as Christ and was good for life but died for our bad selves and whosoever believes in Him shall obtain eternal life – #quick) – by grace it sinks into the depths of our wretched souls, only to liberate us from death, to life, upon belief. if we reject that, well, hell – no pitchfork.
after liberation comes permeation, in which the Holy Spirit of God literally takes residence inside of us, giving us life, just as it did for the one-time-virgin mary. this Holy Ghost not only powers us to be Christ-like, He seals us for everything that God has promised to us, including Himself! but this is no ordinary lick-the-envelope seal. this is a “once saved, always saved” type of seal …
sphragizofrom sphragis = seal, engraved object used to make a mark – denoting ownership, approval, or closure of something normally done by pressing into heated wax usually attached to a document or letter) means to set a seal upon or to mark with a seal. To mark so as to certify that something is so. Seals were used to make something secure, to serve as a guarantee of the correctness of the contents, to indicate authenticity, to indicate ownership. Sacrificial animals were examined and sealed if perfect. Jars, sacks of fruit or grain were sealed. To mark with a seal as a means of identification in Greek secular writings was used to mark all kinds of animals, so that the mark denoting ownership also carries with it the protection of the owner. – (http://preceptaustin.org)
i hope you didn’t miss that! those of us in Christ are permanently stamped, in a tattoo manner, with the promised Spirit of God, who is our owner (God that is). we are secure in Him and will inherit what He has for us, and this is not of our doing, but simply because of Christ winning, for us, the game of life that we couldn’t win! even believing in the Him of the gospel is by grace!
are you “tatted?” if not, just believe! after liberation and permeation comes celebration! thank you Jesus!
there’s been a lot of “cyphers” droppin’ this semester at various schools around texas, but this cypher is distinctively different. this cypher isn’t promoting self or bragging on possessions, but it is promoting Jesus Christ, who is our possession (and we are his) – and that’s who we boast in!
so sit back and enjoy 10 minutes of God-glorifying hip hop by a bold fellowship of believers at UNT (the DisCyphers) who decide to enter into culture and reconcile what we know as, the cypher!
I decided to tackle this because i know it’s a tough and popular topic that will warrant discussion and edify the body, all while illuminating God’s justice, Christ’s death, & His grace.
Photo by Getty Images.
how should we respond to the death of osama bin laden? honestly, i can’t answer that question with a definite action, but i feel comfortable in answering the question, “before i react, what should i think of in response to the death of osama bin laden?“
@2live4him tweets, “Osama got what he deserved, but before you start shouting, what if you got what you deserved?”
@pngwolo tweets, “According to God, I and Bin Laden deserve to be bunk buddies in Hell’s Oven. Rom. 3:10-19.”
proverb 28:5 reads “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.”
proverb 24:17 reads “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad … ”
proverb 11:10 reads “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.”
@2live4him prompts us to, before shouting over osama bin laden’s death, think of how it would be if we got what we deserved. Nat, knowingly or unknowingly, is addressing someone already in the wrong, for they are rejoicing at the sole fact that osama is dead, and from a vengeful view. the only person’s death we should rejoice over is Jesus (because He died for us), and that doesn’t break proverbs 24:17, because Jesus (who we were once enemies of) is not in a position of failure anymore; He is at the right hand of God (hebrews 1).
@pngwolo prompts us to look at the sinful state of osama bin laden and ourselves – which are the same. in God’s eyes, the only true eyes, eric michael ward and osama bin laden deserve to be bunk buddies in hell. sidenote: hell is such a lonely place (since we’ll be without God forever) that osama bin laden and i can be bunk buddies and not even know it because there is no community outside of God. PT’s tweets prompt me and others to see that we are no better than osama bin laden, and that we have sinned against God and deserve to be sniped by a bullet of eternal proportion from God’s golden gun (2 Thess 1). God’s righteous judgment is only right because His justice is just.
now, i don’t think we should be mad at someone not responding like us. the issue is deeper than celebration, but of the heart. some believe they are rejoicing in justice, but could be rejoicing in vengeance, which i agree is “contrary to the gospel.” see, most of us (christian or not), rejoice in the fact that bin laden has been killed, but not at the fact that it points to justice – which should ultimately point back to God, the justifier (it sounds like we can’t separate the two, but we can and do), being just and sniping Jesus instead of us. it sounds small when first read but that’s a ginormous [sic] problem. why? see, death & justice are conjoined twins, but some of us want to focus on just 1 head and ignore the other, which leads to either hyper-_____________ (insert view) or a mind controlled by vengeance.
i believe the gospel of Jesus Christ demands we focus on both death & justice, in addition to grace, not either or. those in Christ understand justice, we understand death (we’ll continue to grow in that understanding), and we view the two through a lens of grace. Christ’s death on the cross is something we rejoice over. why? because it should have been us on the cross! and because He rose! that’s grace! now, we rejoice in this because God’s plate of justice which was specifically prepared for you and i … Christ ate it … while He was on the cross! that’s grace by justice!
how should we respond? we should think of Jesus in all things before we react in anything, and that hopefully results in worshipping God. i rejoice at the fact that justice was served once and for all for me because Jesus became my due justice for me on the cross (2 cor 5:21). i can’t rejoice in Osama bin laden’s death, well, because he isn’t Christ and his death wasn’t for my atonement. i can’t rejoice in any man dying and not knowing Christ – because it seems by his lifestyle and devout belief that osama bin laden is away from God’s goodness: hell. that is no reason to rejoice. ever. bin laden’s death actually reminds me of the urgency to exalt Christ’s finished work since there are people dying without Christ as you read this blog. @2live4him & @pngwolo’s tweets prompt me to rejoice in the grace poured on my sinful self, as well as the death and the justice demanded by God, that I escaped because of Jesus. God the Son’s gracious death saved me (all grace). it’s weird i know, but i simultaneously rejoice in the picture of God’s justice, Christ’s death, and the subsequent grace – simultaneously. honestly, i can’t think of 1 and not the other.
what matters more? how someone responds to the death of osama bin laden, or how someone responds to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? let’s not eliminate either side because they both matter, but which really matters more – if one indeed matters more? can we view them apart from each other? i think the latter will effect the former. you? let’s talk.
We love our community and we love Jesus and we desperately want both our loves to meet each other! We are believing that just as Jesus sent 70 people to share the Good News and heal the sick, He will also send out 70 of us (or more) into the Cuney Homes community to share the gospel and meet the needs of our community.
We will meet at the Center for Hope (3015 North Macgregor Houston, Texas) at 11:30 at the Security Desk. We will be both sharing the Gospel and finding out the needs of the community. No experience is necessary, just a love for people and a desire to be used by God. PLUS, ITS FREE! LOL. If you know some folk who are interested in coming out with us — please share.
Want to make a video like everyone has already? Yes! It’s never too late! Peep the instructions below!
“WHO TOLD YOU?” CONTEST…
Answer 1 or both of these questions in your video: When did you first hear the Gospel? When did you first share the Gospel? Share your story & experience in a short, 1-2 minute video.
(1) Upload your video to youtube.
(2) Tag it #sendingtheseventy
(3) Send the video link to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get this thang viral! Check out the videos here and spread them on all of your social networks! Be sure to add #SendingTheSeventy! Let’s go!
where was God when the earth decided to quake, subsequently putting a bloody red dot on a nation who has the 3rd-largest economy – giving life to an astronomical tsunami to further showcase everyone’s greatest fear: death?
where was God when the faults in Port-au-prince, Haiti decided to quiver, leaving thousands of Haitians dead while some lay on the street – while some cry on the streets – even while more live on the streets?
where is God now in this sick world? today, countless diseases disperse without our permission. to name a few: cancer, cholera, lupus, alzheimer’s, asthma, diabetes, ebola, polio, aids/hiv – all of which have no outright cure.
where is God in the family that is falling apart? where is God in the life of the individuals who are being raped, beaten, solicited, abused, trafficked for sex, neglected, ignored, taken advantage of, misunderstood, silenced, and most of all … unloved?
most will look around and observe the obvious sufferings of the world and quickly reason within themselves, “there is no God.” but some look around and see the sufferings of the world and say, “i can’t believe God suffered with us.”
the answer to the question, “if there is a God, where is He during all of this suffering?,” isn’t automatically, “since there is suffering there cant be a God.” the answer is simply Jesus Christ.
the answer is that God saw the world suffering because of our sin, and stepped out of His heavenly habitat and became flesh in the likes of a man named Jesus Christ. to suffer. for us.
the answer is that God in a “skin suit” (eric mason), Jesus Christ, left his realm of absolute perfection, where no suffering nor natural factors of this fallen world exist, and pitched a tent down here on earth for 33 years, and yet did not sin, so that he could rightly suffer. for us.
He not only remained perfect while suffering was all around Him, but Jesus Christ suffered himself, sufferingthe greatest punishment of all time; suffering the death we should have died while bearing all of the sins of those who believe – for those who caused Him to suffer, us. Christ suffered through our shame, guilt, wrongdoing and emptiness. for us.
the Creator has suffered greater than anyone in creation. so the next time it is asked, “if there is a God, where is He during all of this suffering?” the tense-transcending answer is, “He was on the cross. suffering. for us.”
Romans 5:3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
what are some things God does not want to see in His ministry?
keep this in mind before you buzz in:
5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
some things God does not want to see in His ministry …
the proclamation of rules. hence “what,” “Jesus Christ as Lord.” webster defines lord as: a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due. oh my goodness! check this out, we are to proclaim the ruler: Jesus Christ as Lord! please get that! Jesus Christ AS Lord! God doesn’t want us to proclaim the rules, He’s done that enough! God proclaimed the rules back in the gap with pure grace, in order that we humans could see that we can’t hold to ’em, that we’ll break ’em, and that we’ll need to place faith in a savior in the likes of the 1 and only Jesus Christ! don’t take my word for it, peep galatians 3. why proclaim rules that no one can live by when the ruler that anyone can place faith in is alive, well and “ret” to save!?
individualism. hence “we,” “ourselves,” “servants.” it plainly says that there isn’t just one promoter. you are on a team. a coalition. you are part of a city. God has called (don’t miss that) multiple cats to proclaim his Son, Jesus Christ as Lord! spoiler alert: “it’s not about you.” you didn’t choose to be on His team, so you have no right to boast and think you (or your church or young-adult ministry or campus ministry) are the only one “preaching the gospel” or doing His word! it’s not about what you do, or what you don’t do, or how much you do of whatever it is that you think is so awesome that you do – do. the glory and the work belongs to him who called us. i’m not lebron with the cavs trying to do it all by myself. remember how that ended right? if christianity were like the nba, then we’re not even one of the “superstars,” we’re riding the bench getting towels and gatorades for the starters during the timeouts. yes, that’s service, but the point is: we are not alone.
silent-evangelism. hence “proclaim.” God did not call us to walk around in silence and “be the only bible that people read.” yes we are set-apart by grace and should walk in a manner worthy of the gospel, but we are not to “preach the gospel and use words if necessary.” if that was the case, the only part of the bible most people would read in us is that romans 3:9-18 part. since that is the case, it is ALWAYS necessary for us to use words and tell about the sweetness of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. if i don’t tell of God’s grace despite my sin, yet only walk around in silence while i post on my facebook and twitter and tumblr and blogspot how “great” of a Christian i am, that would definitely make me a liar and a hypocrite. see, Jesus was the only one who can and who did and who ever will walk around as if He were the bible. because of another part of the bible, colossians 2:13-15, i can walk around and actually, with my mouth and walk, like Jesus did, proclaim how graceful God is, how perfect He is, how loving He is and how He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for most of my ” bible walk,” and how much we need Jesus daily! only “walking the walk” or only “talking the talk” leads to either legalism or hypocrisy. (that’s another blog for another day). submitting to the Spirit helps keep that perfect balance!
self-promotion. hence “not ourselves.” this ties with individualism, but isn’t exactly the same. self-promotion is literally marketing yourself (or the church body you belong too, or the ministry you help lead, etc.) instead of Jesus Christ. we do it all the time. remember that testimony you gave? the one that said, in a paraphrased-self-glorifying-nutshell, “my life was horrible but then i got on the right track and now i’m a champion that never does wrong. i’m #winning, word to charlie sheen.” sounds good on oprah but there was NO Jesus in there. it should really go like this, “i unknowingly but very knowingly put hip hop, sex, and popularity before God , thinking that those things were all there was to life while basking in my self-righteousness. crazy thing is, when i wasn’t even thinking about God, He sent people to show & tell me the love of Jesus Christ and what righteousness really is, and how much a filthy person like me needs Him daily. that message of love penetrated my heart and literally made me a new person. i still struggle with idolizing music, sex, and wanting to be seen on the scene and be ‘cool,’ but the love of God constantly tugs me back to Him and reminds me just that, HE loves me. i’m complete, but only in Christ.”
and the last thing that God does not want to see in His minstry is …
me-Christianity. hence “your servants for Jesus’ sake.” breaking news: Christianity doesn’t start nor end with us. it is not about you living your best life now, being all that you can be, being fearfully and wonderfully made, being a man after God’s own heart, doing all things through Christ, moving mountains or even getting your blessings. it’s about Jesus. it’s about Jesus living the life that we couldn’t and dying the death that we couldn’t afford. it’s about Jesus being all that we couldn’t be. it’s about Jesus whowas never made, never fearful, but always wonderful. it’s about Jesus who literally had the heart of God, completing the work of salvation on the cross for us – now that’s a blessing. it’s about God, being so indescribably set-apart and perfect (we just say holy), that He can’t stand to see the world in the mess that it’s in forever, so He’s going to reconcile all things unto Him, and has already began – through Jesus. it’s about the love of Jesus loving so hard that His love through the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of those like me who didn’t know what love is (and sometime i still act like i don’t know). it’s about Jesus initiating healed hearts to overcome hate – to love, and then by the power of the Holy Spirit new creatures are able to love on folk through service – like Jesus did. it’s not about us getting all the blessings in heaven and living eternally – that’s just a crazy silly OMG HALLELUJAH THANK YOU LAWD bonus that we do not deserve.
it’s not about us. it’s all about Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
i’ll be honest. i was confused as to what kanye meant when he first asked the question. i had that “what the heck did i just read?” look as the song faded out as if my headphones were shrinking.
and then it clicked. seat belt.
ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
that word “able” right there in verse 20 is dynamai in the original language of the new testament (greek). you see it? it’s where we get words like “dyn-o-mite” and “dynamic” from. as used in the bible, it holds the definition to have power, whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources. – thanks blue letter bible.
walk with me. walk with me.
God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think! this is great because we are only able to, at best, fall short and pay the price forever :/ but even though we don’t agree with what God says about how/what we should love, how we should live, and what our life should produce, the Father exhibited power and let power go, for us!
how? he, out of his own ability and resources, gave his Son for us! His most prized possession, His “bff,” His main dude, His only begotten Son – Jesus – was “let go” on a 33 year earthly mission to this scarred and broken world! Jesus came as a ransom to buy back those who didn’t love Him, live for Him, and those who sought life outside of Him: us. he completed the work on the cross, and then resurrected with ALL POWER!
i need this: God says that He is able to save you from your rebellious, misdirected, lonely, abusive, “what am i here for?” life! will you keep frontin’ like you can hold it all together, or will you, like He did, let go?
the breax. all powerful. (power remix) #reconciled.
imagine. the doctor tells you that you have 1 day to live. you know what is about to happen. you know you are about to die. your minor request is that your friends stay up with you and pray. you don’t ask for deeds, you just ask for presence. yet, your friends fall asleep on you while you are worried to death – to the point that you sweat blood. but your friends are sleeping like babies. that’s loneliness.
imagine. you’ve basically lived with someone for 3 years. you provide for them. you offer nothing but love to that person. then they betray you, with a kiss. a kiss. what was once one of the most precious signs of love is now once of the most recognizable signs of betrayal. the kiss of death. that’s betrayal.
imagine. being captured. seized. all of your “ride or die‘s” are with you. but they just ride out. and you, well, you are basically left to die. someone even runs away in so much fear that he’s naked. that’s abandonment.
imagine. being tried illegaly. being on trial when the court is supposed to be closed. the witnesses testifying against you collectively have false accounts that do not agree – yet, the death sentence is still demanded. you have already been beaten, slapped, punched, spat on, mocked, and flat out disrespected. unfairly. undeservedly. not guilty. innocent. that’s unfair.
imagine. you are stripped of your clothes. you are tied to a post. your entire back is exposed. you are being flogged by a leather whip with small bones and metal attached to such. in public. your skin is literally stripped off of you, as if it were mere velcro. because the whip. sticks. an extreme amount of blood is lost. most die after a flogging, but you are still alive. that’s humiliation.
imagine. you are then mocked. beaten even more. and a crown of thorns is shoved onto your skull. sarcastic symbols of royalty are given to you while you are being treated like a peasant. your beard is plucked, like that one strand of cotton hanging off of your shirt. ripped from your face. yet and still, you are getting beaten until you no longer even appear as a human. it seems as if they are trying to kill you. they are. that’s extreme.
imagine. after all of this. you walk. being alive is unfathomable at this point. walking is the last thing you can think of. but yet, you walk – with a 100+ pound cross on your back. the same back that has been ripped to shreds. you. walk. the road to glorydeath. that’s agony.
and this is all before Jesus died on the cross. these events are what preceded the cross. this all happened before Jesus even got on a cross. the loneliness, the betrayal, the unfairness, the humiliation, the extremity, the agony – before the cross, point to the loneliness, betrayal, unfairness, humiliation, extremity, and agony that Jesus would face on the cross.
imagine. the cross.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.