“Two Pictures of Discipleship”

 

 

 

 


December 2016

The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament witnesses say that on a dark night, in the middle of nowhere, Bethlehem in the 1st century, Jesus happens. The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament witnesses describe His birth like this, that all of a sudden in the middle of darkness, the light was born, that light entered into the world. You don’t even have to be religious in or have any kind of relationship with God, you can be agnostic, you can be atheist. But here’s what you can’t deny – there was a shift in the world that night. There was a shift in the world unlike anything else we’ve seen up until this point. In the middle of Bethlehem, in the middle of nowhere, a man whose mother was basically a peasant girl and whose dad was a carpenter, who had no kind of lineage or power to speak of in the 1st century world, He lives His life and He’s crucified and died. So within 200 years of the birth of Christ, almost every urban area in Rome has a dominant Christian presence. The light spread and it spread and it spread and it spread, and – it continues to spread. There have been all kinds of things to try to knock it out. You can study history, and not just Christian history. There are those that see Christianity as the greatest threat to mankind ever, and they’ve tried to quell it. Early on in Rome, we were thrown to the lions and crucified by the thousands. You can just move through history and witness this kind of thing. Governments have tried to hard press it and kill it out, even in a society like ours that is overtly materialistic and has more to do than notice God. In fact, one of the big problems that’s happening with Evangelicalism in the states is most people have just enough of Jesus to be inoculated to the rest of Him. Often the case is, “Hey, it’s okay to like Jesus; you had just better not love Him because that’s a little uncomfortable for all of us.” Yet, the light continues to spread. Is it perfect? Well, Jesus is, but that’s about where perfection ends. But we pray that people just finally get to the place where they can’t discredit God because of imperfect people. The Scriptures say it will continue to spread until there is a visible presence among every tribe, every tongue, every nation, every people group on the planet. It’s just not going to stop. And after 2000 years, it’s like He really was God and He knew what He was saying. I pray this is the year that He kind of draws you unto Himself, that this is the year He calls you, this is the year justification takes root, and you take Him at His Word.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:12-14

 


October 2016