Sunday Worship Service 5 pm

Friday, May 25, 2012


Do you, like me, have family members who do not believe in Jesus? If so, we are in good company. So did Jesus. And I think this is meant to give us hope. 
According to the Apostle John, “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5). That’s incredible. Those who had lived with Jesus for 30 years really did not know him. Not one of Jesus’ brothers is mentioned as a disciple during his pre-crucifixion ministry. But after his resurrection and ascension, there they are in the upper room worshiping him as God (Acts 1:14).
Why didn’t they believe? And what made them change?
The Bible doesn’t answer the first question. But I’ll bet it was difficult to have Jesus for a brother.
First, Jesus would have been without peer in intellect and wisdom. He was astounding temple rabbis by age 12 (Luke 2:42, 47). A sinful, fallen, gifted sibling can be a hard act to follow. Imagine a perfect, gifted sibling.
Second, Jesus’ consistent and extraordinary moral character must have made him odd and unnerving to be around. His siblings would have grown increasingly self-conscious around him, aware of their own sinful, self-obsessed motives and behavior, while noting that Jesus didn’t seem to exhibit any himself. For sinners, that could be hard to live with.
Third, Jesus was deeply and uniquely loved by Mary and Joseph. How could they not have treated him differently? They knew he was the Lord. Imagine their extraordinary trust in and deference to Jesus as he grew older. No doubt the siblings would have perceived a dimension to the relationship between the oldest child and their parents that was different from what they experienced.
And when swapping family stories it would have been hard to match a star appearing at your brother’s birth.
Jesus out-classed his siblings in every category. How could anyone with an active sin nature not resent being eclipsed by such a phenom-brother? Familiarity breeds contemptwhen pride rules the heart.
More pain than we know must have been behind Jesus’ words, “a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household” (Matthew 13:57).
So as we assess the role our weak, stumbling witness plays in our family members’ unbelief, let’s remember Jesus — not even a perfect witness guarantees that loved ones will see and embrace the gospel. We must humble ourselves and repent when we sin. But let’s remember that the god of this world and indwelling sin is what blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The story of Jesus’ brothers can actually give us hope for our loved ones. At the time his brothers claimed that Jesus was “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21), it must have appeared very unlikely that they would ever become his disciples. But eventually they did! And not only followers, but leaders and martyrs in the early church.
The God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” shone in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of their brother, Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:6).
So take heart! Don’t give up praying for unbelieving family members. Don’t take their resistance as the final word. They may yet believe, and be used significantly in the kingdom!
And while they resist, or if they have died apparently unbelieving, we can trust them to the Judge of all the earth who will be perfectly just (Genesis 18:25). Jesus does not promise that every parent, sibling, or child of a Christian will believe, but does painfully promise that some families will divide over him (Matthew 10:34-39). We can trust him when it happens.
It is moving to hear James refer to his brother as “our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (James 2:1). Can you imagine what this phrase meant for James? The Lord of glory had once slept beside him, ate at his dinner table, played with his friends, spoke to him like a brother, endured his unbelief, paid the debt of his sin, and then brought him to faith.
It may have taken 20-30 years of faithful, prayerful witness by the Son of God, but the miracle occurred: his brothers believed. May the Lord of glory grant the same grace to our beloved unbelievers.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Bill Wilson & Metro Ministries reach over 30,000 kids a week

Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson

"You wait here" is a typical instruction given by parents to countless children every day, but this time it was different. The 12 year old boy followed his mother's instruction and continued to sit on the side of the road in the hot Florida sun. He sat there for three days and nights remembering the last words his mother said, "I can't do this anymore. You wait here."
Bill Wilson, founder of Metro Ministries, continues, "My mom never came back. That's the beginning of my story and it's the same one we hear in the inner city of New York over and over again. It's about thousands of kids who have been abandoned by society. That's why we've been working in the city for so long. They need more. They need to be safe and well fed. They need a family. And they need something more . . . they need God."
2005 marked the 25th year that the once-abandoned boy, Bill Wilson, has been on the same corner in Brooklyn, NY reaching out to rescue the children left behind in this battleground of drugs, violence, abuse, filth and neglect. Through the Sidewalk and Saturday Sunday School programs pioneered by Bill, during a typical week, over 20,000 NY children and 11,000 in the Philippines and Africa will learn that; they are special; they have value; that God loves them. In a personal way.
Today, Bill and his staff of over 160 and army of over 420 volunteers have one thing in common; they know that one person can make a difference. But how do the over 140 weekly Sunday School sessions translate into a personal experience? With weekly visits to the children where they live.
Personal visitation in the homes is the key to the relationships shared between the families, volunteers and staff at Metro. "There's no intrusion, no pressure," Bill says. "The children just know we care for them and love them." These consistent visits build rapport with the families and in the community. When a tragedy hits, a family's first phone call is to Metro.
People from across the world have also become directly involved in the lives of individual children through the Won-by-One program. This active partnership between the sponsor and a specific child has a proven track record of changing lives. While the Metro staff and volunteers make weekly visits to the children in their homes, it is often difficult to get past the front door. This is where the sponsors really make a difference.
Armed with a letter or package from a sponsor, the staff person is often invited inside. During the time with them to help the child write a thank you note, they can see the home environment and share with the parent. This lets both the child and parent know that Metro and people outside of NY love them and are praying for them. Time and again, this simple act has been an effective tool for breaking down barriers that keep the adults away from church.
As Pastor Bill often repeats, "It is easier to build boys and girls than to repair men and women." The focus is on the children. The vision includes families. The heartbeat is Jesus.
Look for the Bill Wilson's program In the Crosshairs airing on Revelation Television and at the Issachar Institue in Brentwood February 23-25, 2006, where he will be teaching about how to organize, start and grow a successful Sunday School (Kids Club) program.
For more information on Bill Wilson, Metro Ministries or becoming a Won-By-One sponsor, visit their website."

Are you interested ? 
On a much smaller level, but still very intense and with big impact, you could join us in our local Kids´ ministry among immigrant children here in Göttingen. 
Contact us:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From Lydia Brownback's new book, A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything (Crossway, 2012), pages 170–171:
The way we use our time is always going to be shaped by how we view our time. Do we see it as a gift or as a right?
Those who view time as a gift can echo the psalmist who said, “Teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). They realize that their time is actually a God-given asset that they are to invest for God’s glory. They are cognizant of the fact that an hour gone by can never be relived.
Conversely, those who view time as a right tend to hoard their hours for selfish pleasure and often resent having to invest energy serving others — including God.
I wept with remorse some time ago when I realized what a guilty time-hoarder I can be. I’d been living through an exceptionally busy speaking season, and on top of this a book deadline loomed. Additionally, I had growing responsibilities at my place of full-time employment. I felt utterly overwhelmed. But rather than casting myself upon Christ and resting in the strength he so willingly supplies, I began to grumble. Grumbling led me to where it always leads — straight into a brick wall.
I was paralyzed by the volume of projects on my plate and found myself unable to make headway with any of it. I came home one day and cast myself onto my bed and cried out to God, “I just can’t do this anymore, Lord!”
Over the next day or so he answered my cry with the conviction that my trouble had more to do with my attitude than with my workload. It wasn’t his enabling that I’d really wanted. It was free time. In my desire to fill up more hours with relaxation and personal comforts, I had ceased to see that the work on my plate was a gift, as all kingdom work is. In writing and speaking, I’m not doing God any favors; he is blessing me with the privilege of getting to do it.

Personal comment: I firmly believe, though, that at the same time as we should view our work as a gift, as an opportunity, and as a challange to both serve God and to draw strength from God to be able to serve Him, rest and leisure time are God´s clearly declared will for us, as a part of our weekly life: Sabbath rest and Holy Days ...
- theremustbemore - 

Monday, May 14, 2012

As Mother's Day comes to an end, the tides of shame recede for millions of women.
Being a mother (or father) doesn't depend on whether your children are living. And that includes adults behind the nearly 55 million abortions reported in the United States since 1973. The second Sunday of May can be a painful reminder.
Jesus hates abortion. But there's something about him we must understand: he didn't come to this world mainly to stop abortion. He came to die. John Piper explains,
God is not only a God of terrible holiness and wrath; he is also a God rich in mercy. And so he sent his Son into the world, not condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him from God’s own wrath (John 3:17). He came not to be served but to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). To lay down his life for the sheep (John 10:15). To bear our sins in his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). To provide us with a righteousness that comes, not from our law-keeping, but through faith (Philippians 3:9). And to reconcile us to God (2 Corinthians 5:181 Peter 3:18).
All the children of wrath may become children of the Father through Jesus Christ. An aging abortionist, a few blocks from our church, after 3,000 abortions, can become a child of God. She could hear Jesus say, on her death bed, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” The same is true for the mother of five aborted children. And for the selfish, responsibility-shirking boyfriend. And for the secretive, shame-fearing, overbearing parent. And for the desperate 14-year-old girl.
Jesus did not mainly come to stop abortions in this world. He came mainly to die for abortion-committing sinners. “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
There is one way to know God as your Father. And it’s the same for the people at Planned Parenthood, and the people at Pro-life Action, and the people at Bethlehem Baptist Church — Come to Jesus.
Your day of shameful pain could become the day of mercy's triumph. Come to Jesus.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Praying "in Jesus' name" is more than attaching the phrase to the end of each prayer. So what types of prayers are prayed "in Jesus' name"? In this three-minute clip from his latest sermon, Pastor John says it has more to do with our prayer’s content than in its closing. He provides us with four prayer-filters.