Summary: #4 in a series. "As communities of the King, we should model what the Kingdom looks like when God has His way with a group of people." John Wimber
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This week...we’ll be looking @ some of the material in Gary Bests book, Naturally Supernatural Chapter One: Joining God in His Work
Here is our main premise: Jesus’s mission & ministry is a FULLY TRANSFERABLE MINISTRY. His TORCH ...being PASSED! We are called to DO HIS WORKS & SAY HIS WORDS. Joining God in HIS WORK today...literally.
Let me start with a very intriguing scripture...
John 14: 6-12 Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him. 8 Philip said, Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. 9 Jesus answered: Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ˜Show us the Father? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
If Jesus’ ministry is indeed fully transferable...we will certainly need to have a better handle on WHAT that might sound like and look like in our lives....as His torch gets passed to us??? Do you agree?
Well let’s start with His Words..His Message...
What exactly did Jesus preach?
Mk 1:14-15 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come, He said. The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!
The Message Bible reads....After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God:  "Time’s up! God’s Kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message."
Gary Best in his first chapter asks this inportant question...Just how Good is the Good News?
(Good News = Gospel, the Message of God)
How about if we answer that question as it applies to Jesus’ ministry... Let’s list a few things that happen when Jesus & His followers come to town proclaiming & demonstrating the GOOD NEWS?
1. Blind eyes are opened. Lame people walk.
2. People are delivered from darkness & demons.
3. People are forgiven of their sins.
4. Sinners are embraced. Losers are invited to dinner parties.
5. The dis-enfranchised are brought back into community.
6. Women & children are given great value.
7. Empty religion is confronted.
8. Justice becomes high-value. A level playing field is offered to all.
9. Mercy & compassion are not only preached but demonstrated.
10. The word ’repent’ means ’heads-up’ not ’turn or burn’.
WOW! What a list of powerfully impacting ministry!
Now, it might be good to ask, what kind of things DIDN’T happen when Jesus & His disciples come to town proclaiming & demonstrating Good News?
1. No new do’s & don’t lists to obey.
2. No new ’ten-step sin management programs’ to follow.
3. No accusing fingers pointed at sinners.
4. No ’turn or burn’ demonstrations in the public square.
5. No ’us versus them’ attitude that stirs up dissension.
6. No suggestions of rebellion or ’holy war’.
7. No behind-the-scenes back-stabbing in the name of religion.
8. No teary-eyed, high-pressured demands for money.
9. No ’eye for eye’ or ’tooth for tooth’ get-even teachings.
10. No bickering for position or prominence.
Now...unfortunately I need to ask this question...Which list to you think best represents what people in our society perceive of the Good News (The Gospel) in America today? What a huge difference!
I’m gonna make a very bold statement, friends...
There’s lots of talk now-a-days about high-jacking of religion. We hear how a world religion like Islam has been high-jacked by a group of radical, terror-oriented Muslims. I wonder if true biblical Christianity has being high-jacked by well meaning people (myself included) who would rather make our American Christianity work for our own selfish benefits than the other way around??? Minimally, there is something seriously wrong with this picture! Agree?
Friends, maybe it’s time for us to change?? So...what are we truly expecting of the GOOD NEWS today???
As Gary Best says...Maybe part of the problem is that we are expecting way too little of the good news?