Joining God

Re:Verse passage – Luke 19:1-10 (day four)

Henry Blackaby taught in Experiencing God, to watch and see where God is at work already, and join Him in that work.  He also taught that there were several things only God could do…so if you saw those things happening, you knew it was God’s handiwork.  One of those things God does is to cause people to seek after Him.  Jesus saw Zaccheus seeking after Him and knew it was God at work.  “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  Once again, Jesus is setting an example of how to live and to serve.

Many times we invest our witness in random places that have a very low potential for fruit to be produced.  Any witness is good, but learning to join God’s work in the life of another can produce a very rewarding crop of fruit.  Watch for the six things only God can do and orient your witness around God’s activity.  (Ask for the other five if you do not know them!)

Possible

Re:Verse passage – Luke 19:1-10 (day three)

“Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor.”

We’re not privy to their conversation, but it sure seems likely that Jesus gave Zacchaeus a picture of what life on earth could look like as Zacchaeus would leverage his financial acumen to address poverty. Jesus issues a high, holy calling to Zacchaeus to rise up and become an architect of a righteous and just society where the powerful advocate for the poor. That is a compelling invitation for someone of Zacchaeus’s particular skill set. There is no doubt whatsoever that Zacchaeus believed in Jesus for his salvation. But he believed by acting on the beautiful possibilities that Jesus held out before him. Evangelism like this gives people a glimpse of the beautiful world that’s coming, and lets them know that they can be a vital part of that beautiful world.

Seek and Find

Re:Verse passage – Luke 19:1-10 (day two) When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Vs 5

 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Much is made of Zaccheus’ size, and being a rather under-heighted individual (I made word up), I have always had a special place in my heart for this story. As I re-read it today I wondered what made Zaccheus stand out. Was it that fact that he was up in a tree? Much like the woman who touched the robe of Jesus in a large crowd, Jesus noticed when someone was desperately searching for him. Zaccheus was intent on being near the Lord, and the Lord came near. Are you searching with that kind of intensity? Do you seek after the savior without regard to what people might think? If you seek him, you will find him.

Re:Verse Blog – 7/25/22

Re:Verse passage – Luke 19:1-10 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Luke 19:1-10 in our Summer Re:Verse Series: “Better Together.”

Teaching

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day seven)

teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. vs 20a

As I sat in a subway car on my way out of Manhattan late Friday night, I began to think about this verse in light of what had transpired this week. I led a team of 11 high school student leaders and adults through New York as we aided a church planter in Brooklyn. We didn’t lead anyone to Christ this week. I didn’t preach at a service. Surely we didn’t come all this way just to have fun in the Big Apple? That is when it hit me; the great commission is less about going and more about teaching. This trip wasn’t about making converts, it was about making disciples. Our group was able to have some rich meaningful discussions about things we were seeing and hearing as we were traveling. We discipled each other. We taught each other. We also had several divine encounters where God led us to speak with people about why we were there. We pointed hundreds of people to the Borough Church as we served behind the scenes for an NYPD basketball tournament. We were able to help the Borough Church host their first ever youth outreach event at a bowling alley in Sunset Park. Though we may never see the fruit of our work, we were helping make disciples by planting seeds. Whether we were discipling our own group or planting seeds throughout New York, we were fulfilling the great commission!

Powerful and Personal

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20(day five)  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus’ last words on earth are mind blowing.  God’s Kingdom is to include disciples from all nations.  Outside the box. Different than first thought. Daunting. Intimidating. Revolutionary.  The largest vision and mission. What would you think?  What would you feel?  What questions would you have?

Jesus wants His disciples to know 2 things as they process His command. First, He wants them to know “How big He is” (authority). Only a powerful and sovereign God could make this demand. We will never be on mission in a location outside His authority. Second, He wants them to know “How close He will be” (intimacy). We will never be on this mission alone.  God won’t be just near us, He promises to be with us.  Only a personal and relational God could make this demand.

How Are We Doing?

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day four)

Our passage this week is a very familiar passage…the Great Commission.  As we have been studying this summer how we are Better Together, we have also been putting forth what our New Testament church should look like.  Evangelism, discipleship, baptism, and obedience to the Word of God…these are the characteristics that we need to be involved in until Jesus returns.  The beauty of Jesus’ final command to us on this earth is that we do not have to depend on ourselves to accomplish the assignments.  Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us…it is by His power that we are able to carry out such a huge command. (Acts 1:8)

Every time we read this passage, we should self-evaluate (or let God evaluate) how we are doing, personally, in these areas of our life.  Are we growing in our discipleship?  Are we discipling others?  Are we being obedient to God’s Word?  Are we leading others to faith in Christ?  Remember…we do the work, the Holy Spirit brings the results!

Shine

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day three)

“…even to the end of the age.”

During this Age of Men, that is, the age of the human race, one constant remains amid the tumult: the light of the presence of the Christ. But if we expect there to be any other source of light, the night — be it suffering or fear or loss or dreams dashed — will be very disappointing and very, very dark indeed. Perhaps it has seemed that way to you. Were you expecting more light, less darkness? Any sudden flare of physical light will disorient you (think of high beam headlights aimed straight at you in the thick of night on a narrow, unfamiliar mountain road). It’s no different in the spiritual realm. The light Christ gives now will be sufficient.

No need to be Alone

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day two)

I am with you always…

If you have been on this faith journey for long it is likely that there have been times you have felt alone. Whether it be a season of personal struggle, hurt, loss, or just isolation we all experience these periods of loneliness. How does this correspond to this great commission promise of the Lord to always be with us? The simple answer is that when we are ever in doubt we would be wise to trust scripture. If the Lord has promised to be with us always, and we feel alone, what have we put in the way of that relationship? It doesn’t matter if what we are doing is Kingdom-minded, if it impedes our relationship with Jesus we must refocus. You can always trust Jesus to be faithful. If you are feeling disconnected, do an inventory of your priorities. In the end you will find him right where he promised to be.

Re:Verse Blog – 7/18/22

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 28:18-20 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Matthew 28:18-20 in our Summer Re:Verse Series: “Better Together.”