__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

INAUGURAL ISSUE VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2019


LETTER FROM THE PASTOR

Building Kingdom People for Kingdom Living

GREETINGS FRIENDS!

G

od is preparing tremendous blessings for all of us. I cannot tell you how excited I am about the possibility of the many spiritual blessings for the entire Body of Christ. It is my prayer that you will join me as we, here at Greater Cooper, venture to tell and share our narrative of faith through publishing the Kingdom Magazine. The Kingdom Magazine will be a monthly publication highlighting the community of faith through articles and information that uplift and inform the faith community. In this magazine, please enjoy the articles that celebrate our mission and vision of Building Kingdom People for Kingdom Living through Prayer, Praise, Service and Sacrifice. The work of ministry is made lively by the concerted prayers of you our friends in the faith. Thank you in advance for your support! Rev. Jawwad J. Love Pastor

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

2


C O NTEN T S

4

FEATURE: Not Just Anything Tammi Love

7

PRAYER: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Pastor Ben Morris

Kingdom Magazine 1420 Myrtle Street Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 444-2719

11

PRAISE: Hallelujah Rev. Paul Atlas

Editor Tammi Love

12

Hymns

15

SERVICE: Doing What Needs to Be Done Daniel E. Moore

16

Order of Worship

17

FEATURE: Journey of Faith Pastor Jawwad J. Love

19

Preaching & Teaching Schedule

21

FEATURE: Beautiful are the Feet?! Rev. Yolanda Norton

22

SACRIFICE: Kingdom Sacrifice Rev. Marlyn Bussey Front & Back Covers: Entrance to Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA. Photographed by Tammi Love

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

3

Greater Cooper AME Zion Church 1420 Myrtle Street Oakland, CA 94607 office@greatercooper.org www.greatercooper.org Pastor Rev. Jawwad J. Love

Facebook, Twitter: @GreaterCooper Instagram: @greatercooperamez


FEATURE

NOT JUST ANYTHING “God didn’t promise me a duplication of someone else’s story or the residuals of someone else’s shine. He promised me a future and hope, designed just for me!” TAMMI LOVE - EDITOR

I

don’t want just anything. I don’t want it because God didn’t promise me just anything. He didn’t promise me a duplication of someone else’s story or the residuals of someone else’s shine. He promised me a future. He promised me hope. Both designed just for me, for an appointed purpose! God’s vision for my life continues to be eloquently written, in permanent ink, throughout the tattered pages of my life’s journey. God’s vision for your life is written as well. God’s vision and strategic work in our lives withstands the temporal trends of the day and the deeds of selfish men. God is everlasting! We, who surrender to God’s bidding and His power are soon caught up in His Majesty and might. We can recognize His moving and His miracles, not distracted by meaningless things. We can proclaim His goodness even when the physical eye cannot see it or the mind cannot fathom it. We are God’s vision carriers and criers and we aren’t shy about it. We walk His vision in our lives. We speak truth that brings glory to God’s name. We reach out to the looked over to share God’s love. We practice grace and we proclaim God to be the Beginning and the End. We see you God! And we only want what You have designed specifically for our purpose! God, You are the visionary of life. You are worthy of all our praise!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

4


HONORING OUR HISTORY MEANS INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Since 1948, the San Francisco Foundation has invested in a brighter Bay Area where everyone can prosper. sff.org Photo courtesy of East Oakland Youth Development Center, a foundation grantee.

FAITH IN ACTION For the last quarter century, the San Francisco Foundation’s Foundation Alliance with Interfaith to Heal Society (FAITHS) Program has partnered with Bay Area faith-based institutions to address pressing needs in the community. In recent years, FAITHS has become increasingly involved in advocating for equitable policies. In 2016, for example, as the Bay Area’s housing crisis was deepening, FAITHS focused its efforts on passing Measure A1, an Alameda County bond measure that would issue $580 million in bonds to provide affordable housing and prevent displacement throughout the county. In the end, FAITHS’ organizing efforts helped convince 73 percent of the county’s voters to pass the measure.

“It’s part of my calling as a person of faith and a community organizer to work within the faith community on social justice and equity issues.”

Today, the interfaith network includes more than 600 congregations, faith-based agencies, and community organizations, all working to create a more equitable Bay Area where everyone can thrive.

– Michelle Myles Chambers, FAITHS program manager and 22-year staff member of the San Francisco Foundation

To learn more about FAITHS, visit sff.org/faiths or e-mail faiths@sff.org. KINGDOM MAGAZINE

5


KINGDOM PEOPLE

Pray KINGDOM MAGAZINE

6


PRAYER

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I

n the closing greeting of his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul imparts practical instruction about life in the church and for Christian living. Rejoice. Pray. Give Thanks. But of all of these words, perhaps the most important is “always”- the Christ follower should continually delight and dwell in the presence of the Lord. Pray without ceasing. In this season we are living in I find it more and more challenging to cling to absolutes like “always.” As a culture we have become so polarized and chosen sides because of what we claim is “right or wrong.” A word like “always” does not leave us much room to see shades of gray in our complex world. And yet the Christ follower is called into a prayerful attitude “always.” Prayer is not just used as a life vest or sending up prayers of thanks when we receive earthly blessings. “For this is the will of God for Christ Jesus for you.” Paul instructs the church that prayer is an “always,” because that is how we better connect ourselves with God’s will. It’s the same example that Christ showed us in the Lords prayer, instructing us to pray “Thy will be done.” So prayer must be an “always,” especially in this time when we as people continue to divide ourselves. It is only through prayer that we can connect ourselves to God’s intentions instead of our own. Rifts between neighbors will always be easily found. But prayer is essential, always, because it bonds us to God’s continuous intentions of grace. CONTRIBUTOR Pastor Ben Morris, Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Appleton, Wisconsin

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

7


ALL ARE WELCOME

Greater Cooper

GREATER PRAYER GREATERThursdays

PRAYER CALL

THURSDAYS 7 PM (PST)

(510) 982-1165

(712) 775-8901 Access Code #621775

MON-FRI 7 AM (PST)

Submit Prayer Request to: ncbprayerrequest@gmail.com

MORNING GLORY PRAYER CALL Bishop Staccato Powell

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

8


(510)638-2782 bigprintingonline@gmail.com www.bigprintingonline.com 2110 Adams Ave, San Leandro, CA 94577 KINGDOM MAGAZINE

9


KINGDOM PEOPLE

Praise KINGDOM MAGAZINE

10


PRAISE

Hallelujah:

WHO? HOW? WHY? Who: Psalm 150 begins and ends with the Hebrew word “hallelujah.” The English translation of hallelujah is “Praise ye the Lord.” It seems that rather than a mere exclamation, hallelujah is the second person, plural, imperative form of the verb hallel, which means to praise. “Hallelu” means “you praise,” while “jah” identifies the object of our praise, the Lord. In other words, hallelujah, more than just an exclamation, is a command for all who have breath, including you, to erupt in praise to the Lord. How: The Psalmist did not stop with a simple command to praise. The writer explicitly explains how the listener is to praise. He demands praise with wind instruments, string instruments, percussive instruments and even dance - everything at their disposal. Interestingly, in 1 Samuel 21:13, the Hebrew word used to describe David as having “feigned himself mad,” is also “hallel!” Don’t you see it? Our hallel, or praise, can often be viewed by others as mad, unseemly behavior. There are times in our lives when we might need to, like David, break out into an unseemly, uncouth, unsophisticated, foolishly mad praise. That type of praise confuses the enemy! Why: Why, you might ask, would anyone want to do all of that? Well, the Psalmist makes sure that we understand. He commands us to praise the Lord for His mighty acts and His excellent greatness. I implore you to reflect on the Lord’s mighty acts, not only in the Bible, but in your own life as well. You will soon discover that God’s mighty acts reflect God’s character and “excellent greatness! He heals, because it is in His character to heal. He delivers because it is in His character to deliver. He saves, because it is His character to save. That ought to be enough reason to praise. So the next time you hear the word “hallelujah,” you ought to erupt in a mad praise to the Lord as a result of His excellent character and mighty acts towards you! CONTRIBUTOR Rev. Paul Atlas, pastor, Amanah AME Zion Church, Knightdale, North Carolina KINGDOM MAGAZINE

11


HYMNS

FOR WORSHIP SERVICES IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let February 3, 2019 WE’VE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH the people rejoice! O come to the Father through Jesus Hymn #259 the Son, and give him the glory, great things Chorus he hath done. We’ve come this far by faith Leaning on the Lord; Verse 2 Trusting in His Holy Word, O perfect redemption, the purchase He’s never failed me yet. of blood, Oh, can’t turn around to every believer the promise of God; We’ve come this far by faith. the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon Verse 1 receives. [Refrain] Don’t be discouraged with trouble in your life Verse 3 He’ll bear your burdens Great things he hath taught us, And move all misery and strife. great things he hath done, That’s why we’ve and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; Chorus but purer, and higher and greater will be Verse 2 our wonder, our transport, when Just the other day I heard a man say Jesus we see. [Refrain] He didn’t believe in God’s Word; I can say God has made a way, February 17, 2019 He’s never failed me yet, I WILL TRUST IN THE LORD Thank God, we’ve Chorus February 10, 2019 TO GOD BE THE GLORY Hymn #50

Verse 1 To God be the glory, great things he hath done; so loved he the world that he gave us his Son, who yielded his life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. Refrain: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice!

Hymn #75

Verse 1 I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord till I die. I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord till I die. Verse 2 I’m gonna treat everybody right, I’m gonna treat everybody right, I’m gonna treat everybody right till I die. I’m gonna treat everybody right, I’m gonna treat everybody right, I’m gonna treat everybody right till I die. KINGDOM MAGAZINE

12

Verse 3 I’m gonna stay on bended knee, I’m gonna stay on bended knee, I’m gonna stay on bended knee till I die. I’m gonna stay on bended knee, I’m gonna stay on bended knee, I’m gonna stay on bended knee till I die. February 24, 2019 LIFT EV’RY VOICE AND SING Black National Anthem Hymn #653

Verse 1 Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty; let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won. Verse 2 Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, felt in the days when hope unborn had died; yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet come to the place for which our people sighed? We have come over a way that with tears has been watered; we have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.


Verse 3 God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who hast brought us thus far on the way; thou who hast, by thy might, led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee; shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand, true to our God, true to our native land.

New York Life Insurance Co. Greater Cooper

Ms. Shurvone Wright

SAVE THE DATES

Agent

510-435-3649

March 6, 2019 ASH WEDNESDAY

Mr. Raymond Robinson Agent

March 30, 2019 COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER

707-480-4650

April 14, 2019 PALM SUNDAY April 18, 2019 MAUNDY THURSDAY April 19, 2019 GOOD FRIDAY April 21, 2019 EASTER SUNDAY www.greatercooper.org KINGDOM MAGAZINE

13


KINGDOM PEOPLE

Serve KINGDOM MAGAZINE

14


SERVICE

DOING WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

T

he event recorded in Exodus 36:2-6 seems to glorify people with special skills and talents. Nevertheless a deeper look at this passage reveals God’s true attitude towards service. Bezalel and Oholiab were skilled builders, but they could do nothing without the faithful contributions of those who were willing to freely support the work. If the tabernacle in the wilderness was going to be completed it was going to take the joint efforts of people who were just willing to serve on any level; someone had to donate financially, cut down trees for lumber, bring tools and nails, and donate their time to do the grunt work that the skilled craftsmen did not have time to do. Therefore this text is a firm reminder that the success of any great movement, any great business, or any great ministry, is contingent upon the loyalty and faithfulness of people who are willing to just do what needs to be done. God calls us to serve on many different levels. Some will stand at the pulpit podium proclaiming the gospel to attentive listeners, while others will stand at the greeter’s podium welcoming people who may or may not respond in a friendly manner. Some will serve the visible offices of deacon, choir director, or church administrator, while others will clean the church, cook food, drive the church bus, or provide maintenance services to the building. Nevertheless, if the church is to be a caring community, operate in a sound business manner, and stay beautiful in the process, someone has to be willing to just do what has to be done. God is a whole lot more interested in our availability than he is our ability. If we just make ourselves available to God, we will find out that God blesses the person who is willing to just do what needs to be done! CONTRIBUTOR Daniel E. Moore, Sr., pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Flint, Michigan

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

15


Worship Order of

Praise and Worship Welcome & Opening Prayer Hymn of Praise Scripture Reading Pastoral Prayer Worship through Song The Message Invitation to Christian Discipleship Offering Announcements and Recognition of Guests Communion* Closing Prayer and Benediction Closing Song (“As You Go”) As you go tell the world (2x) Tell the world about Jesus, Jesus and His love (2x) *Occurs on First Sunday

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

16


FEATURE

JOURNEY OF

FAITH JAWWAD J. LOVE - PASTOR

A

s I reflect on my journey of faith my soul immediately shouts “hallelujah”. It has been a journey of valley lows and mountain highs but through it all God has been good. To think that I have had the opportunity to serve in the Armed Forces, attend college, marry, become a father, preach God’s word, serve God’s people is nothing short of a miracle, considering where I come from. I was born in 1971 on the northside of St. Louis, Missouri to a single mother in the midst of poverty, violence and despair. Despite those surroundings I was able to realize that in order to achieve anything in this world I needed a strong work ethic and dedication. I gained that insight about life from watching my mother work two jobs to make sure I was provided for. Unfortunately, as my mother worked to provide for and protect me, I was left to navigate the vices of the neighborhood by myself. I was quickly captivated by the street life I saw so vividly from the steps of our two-family flat. To make matters worse, I had uncles and cousins who were magnetized to the streets and that fascinated me beyond belief. At that point in my life I truly believed my calling was to be a “Master of the Streets”. I was once told if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans. I guess that day God was laughing hysterically. I felt I had to be a part of the activity of the streets, the hustle and bustle, and all the excitement. My grandfather, now deceased, provided me with my orientation and intake process one day. I was sitting on the front steps of the house and a man came by and said, “I need a nickel”. I ran into the house and yelled to my grandfather, “Daddy, this man said he wants a nickel”. My grandfather handed me a small manila key envelope and said, “Take this to him”. So I did and the man handed me back five one dollar bills. I took the bills to my grandfather and he gave me one of the dollar bills back and said, “Let me know if anybody comes by,” and patted me on the head. After that day I spent all my time on those steps. I was 12 years old. It was also during this time that I had a remarkable dream. I dreamt I was sitting at the top of the stairs in our apartment, looking down the dark and scary back stairwell. Suddenly, I saw what appeared to be a monster screaming and screeching the words, “I want your life! I want your life!” In the dream I waved a big red plastic baseball bat and shouted back, “You can’t have my life! You can’t have my life!” As I kept shouting the monster disappeared and I awoke feeling a kind of peace that was unexplainable. I went from selling nickel bags of marijuana for my grandfather to moving more cocaine through the streets of St. Louis than I care to mention. Somehow I always knew that something more was in store for me, that I was special. Even the older guys in the streets would ask, “What are you doing out here on these streets?” while I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X between pharmaceutical sales. I remember one of the older ladies in the neighborhood, Mrs. Williams, caught me coming out of the corner store one day and put a hex on me (so I thought). I came to later understand that she was speaking into my life. She told me (in a stern elderly voice) that I was KINGDOM MAGAZINE

17


going to speak to thousands of people one day but I would never get to see it if I didn’t stop selling poison. Soon after, I began having visions that I was at a podium on a platform in an auditorium setting, speaking to thousands of people. Things intensified on the streets of St. Louis with the introduction of Los Angeles gangs to our area. What was once thought of as fun and exciting, became treacherous and dangerous. Friends were being murdered, people were incarcerated, and I felt in my spirit that it was time to transition while I still had that option. I joined the U.S. Army in 1989 after graduating from high school and in 1991 was deployed to Iraq to fight in Operation Desert Storm. It was there that I was introduced to Orthodox Islam. I immediately fell in love with the faith and the true sense of brotherhood that it offered me at a time when I did not think it was possible, especially considering my childhood experience. I loved everything about it - the rules, culture, the push for knowledge. It was captivating; so much so I tried to find ways not to return to the United States. I almost went AWOL, had it not been for a friend encouraging me to come back to the States. I engrossed myself into learning everything about my new faith. By the time we returned to the United States, there were almost 25 converts in my company due to my efforts to spread this faith. Upon our arrival back in the United States we formed the Junction City Muslim Community Association, rented a place for the mosque and instantly a Muslim community was started. I was soon selected to serve as the Imam, the spiritual leader of the community. I gladly accepted. The community grew to nearly 50 families in just two years. I looked at Islam as my rescuer from a life of crime, but over time my spirit grew weary and I needed more. I just didn’t know what that more was or where to look for it. As the community began to grow, so did infighting, which upset my spirit and I withdrew from the community. During this time I entered college on the campus of Kansas State University. I immediately became active in campus life and eventually met my wife, Tammi, and got married. I thought Tammi was the more I was looking for, but she wasn’t; she was the love that I needed. Tammi was a Christian. In my efforts to show support to her and her beliefs, I began going to church with her and something happened. My life took a major turn with a plea from a preacher in a pulpit giving the Invitation to Discipleship. He said that Sunday morning, “If you have tried everything else in your life and have not given Jesus a try, try Him today”. Oh my God! I immediately felt overjoyed, convicted, happy, and excited. I was about to jump up from my seat and walk down the aisle, but I caught a glimpse of one of the judgmental ladies who knew me as a Muslim. I got puffed up with pride and didn’t go down. I didn’t want to give that mean old lady the satisfaction of thinking she won a soul for Christ Jesus. Needless to say, I didn’t accept Christ that day but did upon our arrival to St. Louis nearly six months later. I haven’t looked back since. I realized the more I was missing and yearning for was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I accepted Christ Jesus in my life in December 1999 at Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Islam rescued me but it was Jesus Christ who saved me and gave me life. I began studying God’s Word, attending Bible Study, attending Sunday School, and enjoying falling in love with Jesus. I eventually became a Class Leader in the church, then a Sunday School teacher, and youth leader. In a short time, I began having visions again of speaking in front of thousands of people. I had a meeting one day with Reverend Dr. Staccato Powell, my pastor at the time, and he shared with me his vision for the church. I listened intently and suddenly Rev. Powell said, “You have a calling on your life; you are a preacher. Hear me now.” I looked at him with bewilderment and thought this man was out of his mind. I was not called to anything but to be a good follower of Jesus Christ. Reverend Powell was reassigned later that year. I thought, “Praise the Lord. Maybe now this calling thing will be put to bed for good.” Then Reverend Anthony Witherspoon became pastor and the dreams and visions began again. So I went to talk with the new pastor about what was going on with me and he told me to go home, pray and read I Samuel 3. I went home, prayed and read the scripture. I wrestled with God and finally said, “Here I am Lord” and answered Him, “Yes”. After that communing KINGDOM MAGAZINE

18

“Islam rescued me but it was Jesus Christ who saved me and gave me life.”


experience with God, I dreamt another dream, this time I was standing in front of a pulpit with the Bible open and I was speaking. I began to weep. Throughout all I have experienced in life, I realize God was molding me into who He wanted me to be. God has used me to touch hundreds to confess Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. Even still God has revealed there is more to do and more people to touch. God continues to ignite my heart to reach the sin-sick, the broken, and the lost. “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

“I realize God was molding me into who He wanted me to be.”

GREATER COOPER

PREACHING & TEACHING SCHEDULE FEBRUARY 2019

February 3rd: Kingdom Living Scripture Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25 Preacher: Reverend Jawwad J. Love – Pastor February 10th: Kingdom Glory Scripture Reading: Haggai 2:1-9 Preacher: Reverend Jawwad J. Love – Pastor February 17th: Kingdom Victory Scripture Reading: John 14:12-15 Preacher: Reverend Jawwad J. Love – Pastor February 24th Heritage Sunday: The Confession Of A Runaway Slave Scripture Reading: John 8:31-36 Preacher: Reverend Jawwad J. Love – Pastor

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

19


KINGDOM PEOPLE

Sacrifice KINGDOM MAGAZINE

20


FEATURE REV. YOLANDA NORTON

Assistant Professor, Old Testament San Francisco Theological Seminary

Beautiful are the Feet??!! ISAIAH 52:7-10

I

’m not sure if you’ve ever considered feet. Feet are funny. They are this often neglected, sometimes sweaty, oddly shaped part of us. There is a reason why most people cover them for most of the time. So, it is peculiar in Isaiah 52:7 when the author says, “beautiful are the feet.” Feet are not beautiful! Except that our feet literally carry us through life. Our feet physically propel us forward. In recent months I’ve given much consideration to the adage, “we must pray with our feet.” Maybe our feet can be an outward manifestation of an inward spiritual awakening. Isaiah 52 pronounces the end of Babylon’s reign. In verses one through six the author gives God words that suggest that Israel’s suffering at the hands of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon was not because of their indiscretion. These empires that Israel experienced as forces of destruction, desolation, and deportation were now no more. It did not mean that Israel’s problems were over, did not mean that life would be perfect, it did not mean that things would go back to the way that they had been. However, in this moment Zion is rejoicing that exile is coming to an end. God has looked upon their situation and deliverance is upon them. For people mired in the hopelessness of exile, beautiful were the feet of those who brought the message that God was with them. Some feet are beautiful. Beautiful are the feet of asylum seekers who have experienced trauma in their home countries and are determined to find a better life. Beautiful are the feet of peace and justice seeks who find their way from various parts of the United States to the borders to demand that our country treat migrants and immigrants with dignity. Beautiful are the feet of protestors who march and gather and demand that this nation takes seriously the reality that Black Lives Matter. Beautiful are the feet of those who are unrelenting in their pursuit to ensure peace and justice. As we begin 2019, I pray that God propel us forward, compel us to move our feet so that our actions shine God’s light into the world.

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

21


SACRIFICE

Kingdom

SACRIFICE Matthew 16: 24-27 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

T

here was a time in this country when decency, honor and integrity were important for many in society. A person’s word was their bond. A handshake was the equivalent of a written contract. The world was a kinder, gentler place or at least it appeared to be that way. It was the church age and families typically prayed together, ate dinner together and worshipped together. That was then. Today, we live in the post-church age. People shop for churches just like they shop for a home, a new pair of shoes, or any other commodity, looking for a ministry to be comfortable in. And those who are believers often seek the same: comfort. Yet, rather than looking for a church that offers conformability, Matthew 16: 24-27 calls us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and to follow Him. Denying ourselves is not about material things. It is about giving ourselves wholly to Jesus Christ, so that He is clearly our only priority in life. Taking up our cross doesn’t mean carrying burdens or having problems. It means to identify with Christ in His rejection, shame, suffering and death. Yet too often, people profess to believe in Jesus Christ but have no interest in the rejection, shame, suffering or death it might involve. If however, one wants the rewards the Son of Man has promised to those who do His work in the earth realm until He comes again, there must be the realization that simply calling ourselves by the name of Christ is not sufficient. Our works, though they don’t save us, are the fruit we bear for the kingdom because of our grateful for the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Those works must necessarily, require kingdom sacrifice. We have just begun a brand new year. We have an opportunity to make a commitment to living for Christ in a deeper, more meaningful way. Do we love Christ enough to engage in kingdom sacrifice? I pray so. CONTRIBUTOR Rev. Marlyn Bussey, pastor, St. James AME Zion Church, San Mateo, California

KINGDOM MAGAZINE

22


EPISCOPAL LEADERSHIP

BISHOP STACCATO POWELL Presiding Prelate, Western Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

MISSIONARY SUPERVISOR NICOLE POWELL Western Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

DISTRICT LEADERSHIP

PRESIDING ELDER EUGENE PARKER & MRS. SYLVIA PARKER Bay Cities District, California Conference KINGDOM MAGAZINE

23


24

Profile for greatercooper

Kingdom Magazine  

Inaugural Issue, Volume 1, Issue 1 - February 2019

Kingdom Magazine  

Inaugural Issue, Volume 1, Issue 1 - February 2019

Advertisement