May 24 2019

Jesus is worthy of every sacrifice

Five or six years ago, I heard someone say that part of our mission as followers of Jesus is to “get Jesus everything he paid for.” I was thinking about that statement this week and it reminded me of the statement made by the Moravian missionaries who, as they left on a ship headed for an island full of slaves, they shouted out “may the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His sufferings!” What a great perspective. Having a desire to sacrifice everything so that Jesus can receive what he paid for and being willing to do whatever it takes to introduce people to Jesus is the perspective we all need to have. This will look a little different for all of us. Some are called to be part of the five-fold ministry we see in Ephesians 4, while others are called to work in different spheres of society, but we all have a responsibility to share the amazing story of Jesus. Many years ago, I heard a pastor tell the congregation that their job was to get people into the church and his job was to get them saved. That sounded like a nice idea on the surface, but really, it’s not an accurate picture of the mandate Jesus has give us. I think we can sometimes get caught up in the notion that evangelism is too hard or too risky, but when we look at it from the perspective of the Moravians, it should shift our own perspectives to recognize that we have the exciting opportunity to bring people into the Kingdom of God. We don’t need to concern ourselves about what people may think, or how they may react. None of that really matters. What matters is that the direction of an eternal soul can be changed with one simple conversation, and that a person can never fulfill their true potential or purpose on earth without Jesus. The building of His Kingdom is more important to me than anything else, because the simple reality is this: Jesus is worthy of every sacrifice.

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May 10 2019

The devil doesn’t get to win

My heart has been stirring for the past few months around the idea of a greater need for salvation accompanied with deliverance. The chief goal of the gospel of Jesus is for people to give their lives to Jesus, to be saved from their sins, to enter into the greatest relationship that they can ever experience, and to know the incredible love of God. It’s like we have this secret, and if we just share it with them, they can have encounters with God. We encounter people every week who are looking to every other possible pleasure or form of escape to avoid their problems or make themselves feel better in the moment. But we know those pursuits only lead to addiction and spiritual bondage. Our job as believers is to pull them up out of that place; Psalm 40:2 testifies to the power of God pulling us out of a pit of despair, out of sticky mud, and placing us onto solid ground. We all have a roll to play in this process. We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s not enough to feed the homeless and go home. It’s not even enough to pray for healing and see miracles happen. It’s bigger. We have to bring people an encounter with God so that they can be radically transformed, step into the fullness of their true identity, and fulfill the purpose for which they were created. Someone I know refers to this as robbing hell; I like that description. We can literally rob hell and destroy a piece of the enemy’s kingdom by leading one person to Jesus. But we have experienced situations where people have fallen into such a state of addiction that they can’t even think clearly enough to know that they need Jesus. And on the other side of the coin we have people battling mental illness who tend to have the same problem of not knowing how to receive the freedom and healing that they so desperately need. My prayer this week is that God would show up in such a powerful way in every one of these encounters that there would be instantaneous deliverance like we see in the pages of the Bible! I want to see the Kingdom of God violently dispossess the territory of the enemy and firmly shift the reality of individuals, communities, cities, and nations. I refuse to let the enemy win!

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