What is our picture of Jesus?

We must examine the picture of Jesus that we have in our minds.

Many times, we have a sentimentalized picture of Jesus. It is a hallmark picture of Jesus that is not reflective of the Jesus of the Gospels. We idealize and romanticize the person and work of Jesus to the point where He is no longer connected with the real world in which we live.

Jesus is the eternal Son of God, but He was also the incarnate Messiah of God. He was a middle-eastern man who did not have a place to lay His head. He walked dusty roads. He ate, He grew tired, and He slept. He spent time with people, both the socially important and the socially unimportant. He loved parties and He loved upsetting peoples’ expectations.

And Jesus loved children. Not just sentimentalized children at their best, but everyday children at their worst and in the worst positions possible.

Jesus went to the blank spaces and invites His people to enter into the blank spaces of children with Him.

God does not need to call us to the comfortable spaces because we naturally go there. God does not need to call us into peace because that is the natural desire of every human heart. But God calls us into the uncomfortable, distressed blank spaces because His love cannot hold back.

I love the words of South African missiologist David Bosch: “Mission has its origin in the heart of God. God is a fountain of sending love. This is the deepest source of mission. It is impossible to penetrate deeper still; there is mission because God loves people.”[1]

So, because of God’s love, we are called into love.

Because God goes, we too must go.

Because God enters into blank spaces, so we too must enter into blank spaces.

[For more on this theme, access my message “God of the Little Ones.”]

—-

[1] David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991), 392.

God of the Little Ones

This past weekend, we continued our series, “God in Blank Spaces,” at Eastbrook Church by looking at Matthew 19:13-15 on Jesus and the little children.  In a world where 353,00 babies are born every day and one new child is born every 8 seconds in our country, how is God at work?

In Jesus’ day and time, children were one of the most uncounted and unvalued people in society, yet Jesus did not treat them this way.  Because the love of God is at the heart of who He is, Jesus shows us the heart of God for children, even children living in the midst of the blank spaces of our world.

Here is the video and sermon outline of the first message of this series, “God of the Little Ones.”

You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

 

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The Triune God is Self-Giving in His Love

The Triune God, who is eternally in reciprocal, self-giving relationship, is a sending God.

The Father sends the Son at the incarnation. The Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit at the impartation of Pentecost. The Father and the Son and the Spirit send the church from Pentecost to this very day.

As the Triune God is irrepressible in His love, He is a sending God who cannot hold back. He is by His very nature a missionary God.

God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is ahead of us on mission. He is beyond us and inviting us into this work with Him.

If we know Him, we move toward Him…and He is in the blank spaces of the world inviting us to join Him where He already is.

God is at work in the blank spaces.


 

God of the Lost Ones

Two weekends ago, I began a new series entitled “God in Blank Spaces.” The idea of this series is to connect our thinking about who God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with what God does in our world. One question I pondered quite a bit is this: if God is who we say He is, then what does that mean for the world in which we live?

There are places in our world where it seems like God is absent. There are peripheral places and marginal spaces where people are often forgotten, even by us. But they are not forgotten by God. In fact, the Scripture tells us again and again that God shows up in the blank spaces, the margins and the periphery. Because the love of God is at the heart of who He is, God is already standing in the midst of the blank spaces of our world. And He is inviting His people to join Him there.

Here is the video and sermon outline of the first message of this series, “God of the Lost Ones.”

You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

 

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