Gospel questions, part 3

Review: Questions part 1 and part 2.

So here we go, if the gospel is “good news” then what is contained about Jesus in these books called “Gospels” is the gospel. “Whoa, Jay. Slow down there Mr. Heresy!” I know. It felt strange and weird to say things like that at first too. Yet I have to confess, it also made a whole lot of sense to say it like that. What I knew to be the gospel never came out of Jesus’ mouth. I don’t remember Him standing on a mountain preaching and giving a jesus-teaches-the-twelve_1128355_inlpresentation anything like what pastors do at the end of sermons today. Never. He said some of those concepts like “leave your life of sin” and “anyone who wants God has to come through me.” And I don’t think He would have thought I was wrong “necessarily” in my gospel understanding, but I was just short-sighted in it. There was more. There wasn’t enough to what I was saying. There was room on my dinner plate for more food. There was other things that needed to be added.

When I started thinking this way I felt like I was forsaking the gospel I grew up on, and in a way, the history and heritage I came from. That being small town, conservative, Baptist, legalism. But I knew that what I knew the gospel to be wasn’t freeing, it was confining. And this new way seemed to actually bring about freedom.

When Jesus said that He came to “seek and save the lost” – that is good news. So that is part of the gospel. It is the gospel. When Jesus got down on the level of a prostitute drug out in the streets – that is good news. That is gospel. When Jesus confronted Peter’s doubts by referring to him as Satan, and saying to get behind Him – that is good news. That is gospel. When Jesus heals a leper – that is good news. That is gospel. When Jesus lets the children climb all over Him – that is good news. That is gospel. When Jesus calls the Pharisees white washed tombs – that is good news. That is gospel. Sometimes the gospel heals and helps, sometimes it cuts and burns. Either way it is good because it is truth that we see in the life of Jesus in these books called The Gospels. The realization of that seemed to be a gospel that full, expanding, filling, satisfying, and abundant. I like that gospel much more.

 

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coincide rhythms…

Yep. Still talking about rhythms for mission in life.

I want to share one more way, one more easy way, of establishing mission driven rhythms in your life.

This article will focus on hobbies and activities you are involved in.  Because let’s say  are wanting to know how God might be wanting you, to not necessarily add anything to your life, but maybe delete something so you can replace it with a new rhythm.

Let’s say this picture below is a snapshot of the rhythms you currently have. Image-1

And this second picture here is a snapshot of the rhythms that your friends have in their lives. Image-1-2

You can see that the two pictures don’t really match up all that well, right? So then maybe in order to get on mission with whom the Spirit already has in your life, this is type of re-orientation that you could do. Image-1-3

You simply drop fishing out of the picture and start asking Rick if you can tag along with him when he goes hunting. And who knows if one day he’ll end up wanting to go fishing with you instead of hunting. Next, you replace College Football with going to the movies in order to focus on Mike. You can figure out how to develop a connection with him there. And nothing too incredible has to happen with Ted because you both run. All that needs to happen is you to invite him into your current rhythm.

So adding a 6th activity to your life when you already have 5 going on doesn’t have to be the only option for missional rhythms. You can still have 5 rhythms, but you just have to swap 2 out for 2 new ones. And is that too much to ask if it allows you an opportunity to usher the Gospel into someone’s life? Be careful how you answer that one. :)

rhythms.again…

So, we have discussed the need for establishing rhythms and the importance of it. How to go about trying to start some rhythms. This time we’ll take a crack at the mindset we should have about our rhythms.

So, you are going to start a new rhythm.  Maybe it is hanging out with friends during happy hour on Wednesdays after work, going to the local tennis club, inviting neighbors over for dinner instead of eating by yourself. What types of things should you be thinking and processing while you are rhythm-ing?

Evangelism-oh-noThis is where, I believe, it can become over complicated if we let it. I was taught when I was younger that while I was “evangelizing” to be looking for a way to sneak in talk about the church, Jesus, and sin. It was up to me to be on guard to look for a way to pounce on them with Jesus once the opportunity presented itself.

Here is the problem with this method: Jesus rarely pounced. I can only think of a few times that He did. Almost all the time He just existed with people. He was present with them. He lived with them. He was their friend. And that type of lifestyle sounds much more inviting and attractive than having to be on guard every time you have a conversation with someone who you aren’t sure knows Jesus. And honestly, how genuine, authentic, and real (all words Christians love to use about themselves) it is to always have a loaded gun on you every time you have a conversation with someone? I understand that sometimes a conversation needs to be had about something, but every time? Come on, no.

What I’m getting at is that you should just be yourself when entering into these rhythms. Be truly genuine, authentic and real, but don’t be pounce-y, ya know? Don’t be pushy. Be present. Listen. Love. Invest. Dig in. Get messy. Ask the Spirit for help. Reorient. Die for these people.

And the comforting truth about the whole thing is that God is invested and loves the same people who you are trying to build relationships with. If He wants all to come to a knowledge of truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4), and loves and died for the whole world (John 3:16), then He is interested in the same people who you are. That means that the Spirit is already involved and at work in those people.* And if the Spirit is already at work with these people, then trust Him that this is where you are supposed to be. Make connections and dig into the lives of these people.

“Okay, but what if I try something and it fails?” Don’t worry about it. Now you know what God has not called you to, or at least, what He hasn’t called you to for this season, but maybe some other season in the future. Just keep looking for where God wants you at. Ask the Spirit and try to follow Him the best that you know how when it comes to where and who you feel called and sent to.

Lastly today, when it comes to where you are sent not many people ever think to themselves “This is exactly where I want to be called. This place makes so much sense and will be so easy for me.” It seems like every time someone talks about where God has called them it sounds a lot more like, “I never would have thought about this. It is so out of my comfort zone. It is crazy God called us here…but it makes total sense.” If God has called you somewhere and you believe that this is where the Spirit is leading, then believe it. Ignore the naysayers and keep listening to the Spirit.

I hope this all helps you figure out what to do with these rhythms we’ve been talking discussing.

*For more study on this idea look up the “Seven Realities” of the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby.