This week I attended a conference on Theology, Church and City…
We went on a journey of discovery, begining with a look at the NEW season of BEING church. What stood out the most for me was the joy and celebration that is missing in the people of God today!
This is a unique season of Change filled with opportunities to make a difference and to Celebrate!
This journey should be about the meaning and purpose of our celebration: to be empowered by discovering the heart of God, the characteristics and the opportunities of this new season, to know THE NEED and THE HOW, becoming the gift of God in this specific situation/season (Martiens Swart).
The joy of our celebration should be the call to the Nations.
dream out loud in high volume!
What is our / your Image of Jesus Christ?
Ask your selves: Who am I?
We need to be renewed to the truth of Jesus Christ. We so easily allow believes and culture to dictate our view on life. The fact is, Jesus did bring an alternative way of Life (Francois Smit).
What is this alternative vision Jesus had?
Who is my Jesus? He belongs to all, but who is He?
In order to touch/reach those around you, you need Identity!
What are there images of Jesus Christ?
What is the message of these images?
You need to come to a place where you know Jesus / Mirror Jesus
Jesus who knows me personally, who sees me who I really am, and shows me who I really am!
YOU NEED TO FIND YOURSELVES IN THIS, UNDERSTANDING THE IMAGES OF JESUS CHRIST OUT THERE – remembering that EVERY BODY NEEDS A SAVIOUR!!!
And remember to make Jesus your own in every aspect of your life!
This Conference was only a wake up call for me…
For I do not care what your Jesus looks like – is it a white Jesus, black Jesus, goth Jesus, smoking Jesus, beer drinking Jesus…
Rather ask ‘What is His message?”
Jesus did not die for the Jews, He did not die for the Blacks, he did not die for the Whites…
JESUS DIED FOR THE WORLD!!!
We need to Become REAL Church!!!
The greatest threat to the church of today is not deception, heresy, division or even apostasy, but rather a love of God that grows cold…
Lip serves as Isaiah called it! We still go through the motions religiously, but we are cold and dead, our works cold and dead…
The one thing we cannot afford is a cold, impotent, apathetic, dead works, moralistic, religious relationship with a passionate Bridegroom… a God that does not want us to do the right thing, but rather to LOVE HIM with all our hearts, minds and lives – for He is worthy of our all!
David wrote in the Psalms:
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
And with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.
yet I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
God’s word echoes the invitation to return to Him that our joy may be full, that we may have an everlasting joy!!! Jesus said that one commandment do I give to you and that is to LOVE!!! – that your joy may be full…
Lets look again at what Martiens Swart said at the conference:
The joy of our celebration should be the call to the Nations…
I DARE NOW TO INVITE YOU TO EMBARK ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
COME WITH ME AND LET US DISCOVER THE TRUTH IN RETURNING TO GOD AND BE FILLED WITH JOY!!!
Your relationship with this only true, living and passionate God is more important to Him than anything else – for its reality will echo righteousness, mercy, truth and joy as a call to the nations.
THE PROMISE IS CLEAR. The promise is great. Light will replace deep darkness. Vision will replace blindness. Radiant hearts will rejoice — hearts that had been weighed down by darkness and exile. This [Isaiah lectionary] passage is about coming home — coming home to God, coming home to salvation, coming home to joy. Isaiah wrote these words to the people of Israel during a very dark time, the time of their exile in Babylon. These words from God carried the promise and hope to Israel in its time of desperate need.
Where in your life do you need to hear God’s words of light and promise? What dark places in the world need the witness of God’s light? How are you called to be a bearer of light and promise to others?
– Helen Neinast
The Upper Room Disciplines 2003
Come now people of God let us REJOICE in the truth of Jesus Christ!
Rejoice in His sacrifice, death and life, for salvation is from Him and Him alone! This is why there are so many images of Christ out there – everybody needs and seeks a saviour…
It is not the image of Christ that is important but the message… If His message is true and embraced by those who needs and seeks Him, His image is restored within them. We first want to change the image of Christ or the image of man that we may bring salvation, but the TRUTH of HIS MESSAGE should restore HIS image in man whereby man’s image is restored also – this is SALVATION.
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Behold a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners! (Luke 7:34).
He came to set the captive free – free from abuse, drug-abuse, prostitution, alcohol, fear, rejection, guilt…
He came not to abuse man, life, alcohol or anything but came to those chained to destruction by there addiction, to love and care for them and to set them free…
HIS MESSAGE is LOVE – He died because he love, He commanded because He love… What then is this message and commandment we have received from Him – TO LOVE!!!
If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy might remain in you and your joy might be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
LOVE is the commandment and the restorer of joy and life – Love is the truth and the message of Christ!
My we all discover this LOVE and live a life filled with joy!