Moving Where The Spirit Invites

I think I am nearly done shifting the Holy Spirit’s guidance into the American dream and ready to do the opposite. To be used for the glory of Christ. To go where he sends, empowered as he equips. Sure it will be costly, but only as the world sees it. It is the most worthwhile endeavor.

This from Jim Eliot who gave his life to bring the gospel to the unreached.

“Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own loves to share in the expression of His. Consider the call from the Throne above, “Go ye,” and from round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.” Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”

And this from Jesus to our weary hearts.

“And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matthew 19:23–30 (ESV)

Shalom

Christmas infiltrates the mess of human brokenness and hurt in order to unravel it, to bring healing and wholeness. This is the peace Christ brings, this is the peace Christ is.

As those that believe in Jesus, this is what we give our lives to, bringing the peace of Christ to every broken place. To every hurt. That there would be healing and wholeness.

How will you bring Shalom?

Another great “peace” of creative work from the Bible Project.

Acts for You

Tomorrow we begin a series on the sermons in the book of Acts at our young adult gathering. The goal is to realize the truth that is preached by the Apostles and apply their methods to our context today. The preaching of the gospel to our world, broken and very much in need of the liberating message of the kingdom of God.

The introductory sermon, “Kingdom Expansion,” will evaluate Jesus’ final words promising empowerment and making the commission to be witnesses to the end of the earth.

It is far too easy for us today to think Acts presents simply a historical account of the early church, and while that is true, it is also for us today. It is a model for enlivening our churches and reclaiming our mission. R. Kent Hughes says this of Acts:

“In our day one of the nicer things said of about the institutional church is that it is “irrelevant.” The book of Acts carries the remedy. Whether you are young and virile with Superman-like energy or restless with what you have seen of a dull, ho-hum, business-as-usual Christianity, or at the age where you are receiving birthday cards that say things like “When it’s time for a dental checkup, do you send our your teeth?” the message of Acts is for you!”

It’s true. The message of Acts, the empowerment to be witnesses of Christ and see the kingdom expand, is for you.