Advent - means “Visit” or “Coming”. It is a time for us to look back and reflect upon the birth of Christ, to consider that which God has done, “A Savior, Christ the Lord”. In Genesis and John we read:
Gen. 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and … All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In the beginning God created. In the beginning was the Word. In the beginning. Before time began, the Word was, God was, God created, God created thru the Word.
The Word, Jesus Christ, who came to reveal God to us, that we might believe, that we might believe and be saved, that we might believe, be saved and thus be adopted as Sons of the one true and living God.
Gal. 4:4 God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
1Tim. 1:15 The saying is trustworthy … that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
John 20:31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Christmas time is truly the most wonderful time of the Year, well Easter, what can one say about Easter. These two times we get the privilege of celebrating the birth of Christ, the hope and expectation of what God was going to do and has done. Easter the completion of God’s plan, the redemption of man and the gift of eternal life being offered to all who believe. .
Change is coming 2017. Can you imagine a world where there is no change? Most of us love change in most areas of our lives but resist change in others. We so appreciate that God does not change: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb. 13:8. We are greatly comforted when read or hear of Gods assurance to us “For I the Lord do not change” Mal. 3:6.
God does not change, for God is perfect. God is perfect but we are not. We are created by God and for God and thus our life is to reflect God, reflect our God who is perfect. God is to be reflected in and through you and I, imperfect people reflecting a perfect God. Because we are imperfect, God tells us that we need to change, our nature to reflect our perfect God. We need to change and we should look forward to the changes God is doing so we can better reflect the greatness of God to the world. God seeks to do a new thing in and thru us. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Is. 43:19.
Isn't this passage awesome? I love this passage in Isaiah for God speaks to us about His divine activity being changeless but He alters, He changes the shape of His actions with the changing needs of His people, of you and I. A simple way to look at this is, God had a plan, His perfect plan but because we are imperfect and we mess things up, we veer off and do something stupid God does not ignore us, instead God in His wisdom God reacts. Our dumb actions or decisions change God's perfect plan and thus God will step in and alter His plan to meet our needs at that time so we will continue to be His Witness with our lives, with out actions.
As a Church, we, like the Lord need to remain changeless as to the truth of the Gospel, as to the truth of God’s word, as to the truth of who God is, what God has done, what God is doing and what God will do. But we like the Lord need to change as to the needs of the people. Today the needs of the people are different then they were 10 years ago or 100 years ago.
Therefore we as a Church we need to be aware of these needs and make the appropriate changes that fit the needs of those in our community. 2017 will be different. We will change from “DBC to “Journey Church”.
A New Name
In the book of Isaiah God tells us we will be given a new name:
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. (Is. 62:2)
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are given a new name, “Christian”. The term “Christian” was a term used to describe a Christ follower. The term Christian is given to every person who trusts in Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.) (Acts 11:25,26)
Throughout this Reflection series “What’s in a Name”, we have discovered that a New Name describes our new identity in the Lord. A New Name identifies not only what the person has become, but what God will be doing through the person.
The meaning behind the term "Baptist" has changed, the name "Baptist" no longer is viewed in a positive way by many people. Because of this, we feel that the name “Baptist” has hindered our growth and has been a key factor for many from visiting our Church.
In discussing how to best to overcome this challenge, we feel it is best to put forth the following recommendation: the legal name of the church shall be called “Denison Baptist Church” dba (doing business as) “Journey Church”. This small change will allow those who desire to call our Church “Dension Baptist Church” can do so while freeing others to identify the church with a New name,
A New name = New Identity.
John 1:42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
The introduction of Peter to Jesus was brief but direct. The simple pronouncement “ ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas’ (which, when translated, is Peter)“ was really a diagnosis of Peter’s personality. Simon, or Simeon (cf. Acts 15:14), was the name of Jacob’s second oldest son (Gen 29:33), who, with his brother Levi (29:34), had ruthlessly avenged the violation of their sister by one of the Canaanite princes (Gen 34:25-31).
The rash and impulsive character of Simeon was mirrored in Simon, whose conduct as reported by all the Gospels that Simon reflects the same recklessness and tendency to violence (cf. John 18:10). Jesus accepted Simon as he was but promised that he should become Cephas, an Aramaic name, which, like the Greek “Peter,” means “a rock.” The development of Peter as recorded in this Gospel demonstrates the progress of that change. (Expositors Bible Commentary)
A new name means that a new identity, a new beginning.