Christian Leaders, What's Your Greatest Challenge? How Can You Make the Most Impact For God?
Relationship with Jesus is grounded in and deepened through prayer and Bible reading, but because every person is made in the image and likeness of Christ, everything we think, say or do is an opportunity to grow in relationship with Jesus. Do you see Jesus in others? In yourself? Do you see God's hand at work in even the worst situations? I ask because whether you see Christ's image, likeness or presence strongly affects your effectiveness as a Christian leader.
Jesus heals our hearts, minds, bodies and souls in so many various and wonderful ways. How do you reach out and extend the healing power of Jesus Christ to others? How effectively do you mirror Christ?
Every person experiences hurt, pain, failure and rejection but not everyone deals with it the same, and how we deal with it changes over time. Negative experiences, thoughts and feelings tend to accumulate and leave an empty hole inside. This is the dark hole that Jesus heals and the emptiness He fills. What can you do to spark the process that opens the gate for the light and grace of Christ to flow into the hole inside each person?
Jesus was different, radically different. Lets dare to be more radical, more different, more like Christ! Sure, it takes courage, grace, and strong support, but I bet your heart and your faith community long for the radical love of Christ and to be a thriving, passionate, faith-filled people that move mountains. So what can we do that's radically different?
The answer sounds hum-drum but putting into practice is the real challenge and the results are far-reaching. It's a radical focus on Jesus Christ, a focus that is so intense that it requires tremendous support through prayer, grace, Scripture and community. It's really just a matter of living the Gospel but it's so contrary to the way we think and live today that it's radical and extremely difficult to do. In fact, it's impossible to do without God's grace because each of us has a hole inside too. God's grace and the Bible are the dynamic duo for authentic Gospel living of the Christian faith.
The Bible is the most amazing Book because it is written by human hands but every part is inspired by the Holy Spirit. God and man worked together but since God is God and man is man, man didn't know all that God was doing and incorporating as man wrote. I'm convinced that God will open the Scriptures to us in heaven and we'll see astonishing wonders that will fill us with awe and praise for God. When Jesus opened the Scriptures to the two men on the road to Emmaus, He showed them the tip of the iceberg, a glimpse of what we'll see in heaven.
Do you believe in God's Providence? I do. The New Testament tells us what to do, but to gain the how and why , we need to go deeper in Scripture. At a time in history when Christianity is in decline and persecution is on the rise, the Providence of God brings back the method of interpreting Scripture that Jesus showed the two men on the road to Emmaus, and later that evening, to the Apostles. This method is extremely powerful for several reasons, one of which is it shows us how and why to put into practice the radical love of Christ. It helps us raise our sights to God and see life's daily and often difficult experiences in a new light from a Christ-focused perspective.
Id love to share with you an incredible, awesome Bible tool I found and dusted off Its not something new, but very ancient, something given to us by Jesus Himself. The two men on the road to Emmaus we're disciples that literally sat at Jesus feet and, like you , knew the Scriptures. What did Jesus show them on the Day of His Resurrection that filled them with awe, made their heart burn with the Holy Spirit, and moved them to boldly proclaim the Gospel? What if your faith community saw what the two men on the road to Emmaus saw? Imagine what would happen if they we're filled with awe, their hearts burned, and they we're moved to boldly proclaim the Gospel!
This powerful means of looking at Scripture was set aside in favor of the historical method about 150 years ago. However, one method doesn't replace the other, the two complete each other by giving us the earthly and the spiritual meaning of Gods Word. The profound meaning that this brings out is so stunning and amazing, it's hard to describe. It opens your eyes to many layers of Gods marvelous works in Scripture, history, creation, and in our lives today. It reinforces and strengthens your faith. Even after more than 15 years of working with this method, it fills me with awe and my eyes with tears, and makes my heart burn.
When we talk we can discuss ways to share Christ so as to draw people in and increase their sense of safety, belonging and mattering and heal the hole inside caused by negative experiences, encounters, thoughts and emotions. I call the process Mirroring Christ. Its an authentic and biblical way touch people's hearts, let people know you care, build community and experience dynamic growth. Imagine the transformation if your congregation or ministry more effectively mirrored Christ!
Posted in Churches/Faith/Religion Post Date 05/15/2017