Blessings to you and yours. I want to remind you to pray for everyone who receives this email – for their vocations, relationships, households, childrearing and above all – their faith.
God has graciously provided you with co-belligerents in your war on sin and so we are not without comrades, friends and confidants. Lift one another up. Remember we are made members of Christ’s BODY. And when one part of the body is working well, none of us are.
Blessings! See you Friday!!
Filling up the edges
Jesus was intent upon fundamentally reshaping the people of God, and when that reshaping proved to be impossible within the existing structures of Judaism, Jesus created new ones.
The appointment of the Twelve follows Jesus’ rejection of the synagogues and precedes the description of the enormous crowds that came from all the surrounding areas, some of which were outside the historical boundaries of Israel and Judah.
Their appointment symbolizes a fundamental reshaping of the people of God. Mark has crafted this material to cast Jesus’ death against the backdrop of the formation of a new nation. He implies a connection between Jesus’ death and the formation of a new nation without specifying yet what the connection is. At this point Mark is content to imply that the death of Jesus is connected to the formation of a new people.
Jesus treated religious institutions not only as centers of spiritual life, but also as centers of power. When it became clear that the synagogues would not embrace the gospel, he turned away from them and created a new center of power: he appointed twelve people to be with him and share his authority. His standard of judgment was not the success or vitality of the institution. It was whether the synagogues would embrace the good news of the kingdom of God.
In v. 14 Jesus “appoints,” the twelve. This is the form of a verb that could also mean “to create.” God did not appoint the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1. He created them. Jesus is the one in whom and through whom and for whom all things are made.
Jesus called 12 men to follow Him, not because of what they were in themselves when He met them for the first time, but because of what, under His direction and by His power they would become. Like a sculptor, Jesus could see the form buried in the marble and proceeds doing the difficult work of a sculptor of granite.
The whole world came to know what the example and leadership of Jesus made these 12 men – twelve of the strongest, noblest, and most fearless and serviceable men who have appeared in human history.
The transformation of the twelve was not the least, it was almost the greatest of Christ’s miracles though – look at Peter.
The application for our hearts in all this is that it is not what we are, in ourselves, when we hear and respond to Christ’s call, but what by His grace and power He can make us as we accompany him.
Jesus said in Mark 1:17, “Follow me, and I will make you…” so there are no self-made Christians in His service; they are all christ-made. Self made men are usually not made of good material, and they can be wrapped up in a very small parcel.
But those whom the Lord wants and wins, are those He is able to fashion into human books to tells the story of His love and grace.
As did those He gathered around Him in the days of His flesh, disciples today begin their apprenticeship by following Christ, daily learning of, and from, Him (Matt. 11:29). Then, as they grow in grace and knowledge, they become more fitted to represent the savior in a world of sin and need.
You are all gentiles. Born under the OT system it would have taken generations after you first believed, for your descendants, to enter the temple. And you, sons of Adam are made sons of Abraham. You, Sons of Adam, are made sons of God.
1 Peter 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
What identity – your surname, your nation, your profession, your beauty, your prestige, your wealth, your knowledge – could compare to being made one with God?
Why do you hang back? Why are you afraid to draw near to throne of grace? What other treasure can a man possibly possess that is of greater worth?
Hebrews 12:18–24 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Repent and believe.
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A Prayer to My Redeemer ROMANS 8:33
Almighty, Eternal God of Truth,
I confess, and I am deeply sorry, that I am sinful and have so often sinned against you. I implore you to forgive me all my sins, be gracious to me, and justify me for the sake of your beloved Son, whom you have made my Redeemer. With your Holy Spirit purify my heart and guide my soul that I may truly know, adore, and be obedient you, O God of Truth, Eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY
Friday, December 14, 7PM at the church. Dinner and drinks included. Bring a white elephant gift – one per couple.
PARENT CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EVENT
Saturday, December 15, from 10AM-2PM at the church. Volunteers welcome; Lunch provided.
TRINITY CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE: LESSONS AND CAROLS
Monday, December 24, 7-8PM at Trinity Church; 6400 108th Ave NE, Kirkland.