IBC Berlin Jelka Missions Project

missions

We have a great team of people assembled to go to Jelka, Slovakia in support of Oto Sipos–Indigenous Missionary Partner–and the Romany/Gypsy church plant just east of Bratislava during their “football tournament and family fun day” outreach event.

Here’s our missions team:  Calvin Tan, Chong Hiu Pun, Craig Huggins, Ben Huggins, Ulrike Stednitz, Katie Corwin, Ruth Beltran, Laurie Corwin, Scott Corwin, and IBC Berlin.

Yes, you as IBCB Church Family are also an important part of the team through prayer and partner support!

Here is how you can pray:

➡        Give the team spiritual, emotional, and physical strength.

➡        Grant the team courage to share the gospel and humility to serve the people.

➡        Provide opportunities to connect with non-believers while distributing invitations, supporting the football tournament, and sponsoring activities for the families.

➡        Encourage Oto Sipos – church planter – and the Romany Church Jelka through our testimonies and sermon during Sunday worship.

➡       Safety while traveling and deepening fellowship while together

Here’s how you can partner:  Make your donation and designate it “Jelka Missions” by electronic transfer (see details here) or by cash in an envelope (available from the ushers).

 

Resurrection and Discipleship

Take up your crossThen he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (NIV)

I don’t know about you, but I live life in two opposite directions. On the one hand, I find myself pursuing Jesus and following him faithfully, but on the other hand, I find myself dragging all of my shortcomings and faults that hold me back.

This two-sided struggle is — for me — captured in the paradoxical phrase “living the cross life.” The cross…a symbol of death…calls me to a new kind of life…the life of The One who was crucified on the cross. So, both “death” and “living” are bound up together in this “cross life.”

Jesus’ call to discipleship (see above) binds the two together as well saying that the disciple-life is a life of dying. Notice the focus–it’s on life, one that is characterized by dying. Dietrich Bonhöffer recognized this focus when he said that Jesus calls us to die to our own self and values, but that the call to discipleship is also about a new life.

Unfortunately, most of us didn’t get the memo; we don’t hear Jesus’ discipleship call clearly, so, we miss Bonhöffer’s point and make the Christian life all about dying. To put it another way, we are so focused on our shortcomings and faults that they become our preoccupation to the neglect of our living the Christ life.  We’re stuck on our sin instead of experiencing the newness of life lived in the power of the spirit of the risen Jesus Christ.

We fix our eyes on the “crucifix” — a cross with the body of Jesus nailed to it — instead of the “cross” — a cross without the body of Jesus nailed to it.   A dead Jesus on the cross demonstrates that God’s grace and forgiveness are now available, but it’s only through the resurrection — God’s “yes” to Jesus’ death on the cross — that we experience freedom from the power of sin and empowerment for living the Christ life.

Jesus’ resurrection makes available to us God’s forgiveness provided on the cross and empowers us to live our new life — the life of the indwelling Jesus Christ.  So, our focus should be on the “living” and not the “dying”…the “following” and not simple the “denying.”  Our focus should be on the resurrection and not the cross.  In so doing we experience not only freedom from the penalty of sin, but also freedom from the power of sin.