Summary: Jesus' Heart Beats to Change Our Story
A Heartbeat for Our change
March 4, 2012
How Does Jesus Heart beat for us?
Let me give you a few stories.
Here is C.S. Lewis: militant atheist, Oxford don. The last thing he wants is to be converted. God sneaks up on him, and Lewis is "surprised by joy," and he says, "I am dragged kicking and screaming--the most reluctant convert in all the world--into the Kingdom." Becomes one of the clearest sharpest minds defining 20th c Christianity.
Or here is John Wesley: fanatical son of a minister, a missionary to America, a great theological mind, but a total failure as a human being and a minister. One day he sits in the chapel in England, a failure as a missionary, and his "heart is strangely warmed." He becomes a great fountain for life. John Wesley becomes alive for God. He spear headed a huge Christian revival becomes instrumental in launching what became the United Methodist Church and l, once said:
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."
Or here's Bill Stringfellow in our generation, the most brilliant lawyer in his class at Yale Law School, who sits in his room quietly and reads the Bible. God gets ahold of him, and Bill Stringfellow begins his ministry in Harlem in New York. As a Christian, he viewed his vocation as a commitment, bestowed upon him in baptism, to a lifelong struggle against the "powers and principalities," as systemic evil is sometimes called in the New Testament, or "Power of Death." He proclaimed that being a faithful follower of Jesus means to declare oneself free from all spiritual forces of death and destruction and to submit onself single-heartedly to the power of life. He becomes a lifelong advocate for the lost the disenfranchised the broken.
A former a vice-president for McGraw-Hill, one of the great publishing firms of our land. He was a brilliant businessman. He was a senior vestryman in the Episcopal church, on the city council, respected, and loved by all, but empty. One weekend, he went off to a conference with a bunch of lay people who began praying with him and talking about Jesus. This beautiful man comes home transformed and says to his neighbors and friends, "I met Jesus."
"What happened to you?"
He says, "I don't know. I fell in love."
"He's always been a good man," his neighbors said, "but now he's a new man." You see, there's no single type that conversion happens to.
Or Saint Augustine, the monk with a mistress, who is struggling with his soul, sitting under a tree, saying, "O Lord, make me pure, but not yet." One day God gets him, and Augustine becomes Saint Augustine. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity
There's William Booth, a very unlikely, rough-cut man, who says over a hundred years ago, "Nobody in London cares about the poor, the drunks, the winos." He invented the Salvation Army. One day he said, "Lord, I give you everything there is in this man William Booth. Do with me what you will." A movement starts that changes the lives of tens and hundreds of thousands of people, because one man is changed.
Dr. David Thompson: Son of martyred missionaries Ed and Ruth Thompson and the son-in-law of kidnapped missionary Archie Mitchell. When God healed the hurt of the loss of his parents' deaths, he is spurred to become a missionary doctor in order to bring the gospel to the least-reached and hurting. When Thompson and his wife arrived in Gabon, Bongolo Hospital wasn't much of a hospital, at all. "We found lots of sick people coming, no equipment, hardly any medicine--two Gabonese nurses that had been partially trained, and that's what we started with," he says. In the years since, Thompson, his wife, and a team of medical colleagues transformed a small dispensary into a 150 bed, full-service hospital where tens of thousands of patients from all over the country have been helped. To date, more than 7,000 people have prayed to receive Jesus Christ while at the hospital.
Then there is you, me.
Jesus' Heart Beats to Change Our Story
Whatever word you wish to use, changed, transformed, alive, renewed, revived, sanctified, filled, . . .
Jesus' Heart Beats to Change Our Story
Last week we looked at Jesus as he enters the small synagogue in Nazareth and makes a declaration that was radically awakening. Good News, Freedom, Recovery, Favor.
When he leaves that place her travels town to town, village to village and begins to help people discover the reality of that radical awakening.