THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST IN YOU
A Timeless Gospel
My plane lands just as dawn breaks over the beautiful Wellington harbour. I am excited. I feel pregnant with revelation that is not completely known to me yet. I can’t wait to start ministering, to see what the Lord is going to disclose for His people…for me…for our nation.
As I rise up to address the first group, I sense a change of gears. I step out of my weariness from an early morning flight and step into what the Lord has prepared in that place and space for that morning.
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable. - Isaiah 40: 28
The gospel is about a timeless God. He exists outside the dimension of time therefore His gospel is also timeless.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, - Romans 1: 16
Therefore the power of the gospel is also everlasting. It is still powerful today!
Your Time in the Gospel
Anything not centred on Christ is temporal. It will fade away. It is important that our lives, our message, our careers, our relationships etc. be centred on He who is everlasting. Christ. When we are centred on Christ, all that we do, build and become – is everlasting. It can last for generations.
I think God created time so that he could have a space to place us. He knew we couldn’t co-exist with Him in His space. He placed us in a specific period on the timeline. A period that we are to impact with the power of the gospel.
A Timeless Power
The power and the message of the gospel has not changed, but the culture of every generation is different so we must ensure we are presenting the Gospel in a way that is real and relevant for the culture that we are in.
The humble telephone has come a long way since Alexander Bell first used it in 1876. Despite the many changes throughout time, the primary function of the phone is still the same. To audibly communicate with people who are far away from you. The phone is continuously evolving to meet the needs of the current culture.
If we are to declare the gospel to each generation, we must do it in a way that enables the current generation to hear, to see and to believe. Like the telephone, the function of the gospel remains the same and we need to ensure we don’t lose its power through outdated presentation based on our outdated methods, increasing the disconnection between the “church” and “those yet to believe”.
We must understand that the gospel is God’s power to save for those who “believe”.
So firstly, do you “believe”?
Do you believe that you are saved? Do you believe you are righteous through Christ? How about healed? Set free? A new creation? Forgiven? – If not. You can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t declare or demonstrate what you don’t know to be true. So step 1: BELIEVE!
HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR GOSPEL
1. Position yourselft in a place that requires skill, wisdom, and/or resources beyond your ability.
Challenge yourself. God said He will be our strength when we are weak so instead of running from our weaknesses, run into them. Face them and watch God give you strength, wisdom, and/or ability to do what needs to be done.
Apply for a job or a role you want. Make a new friend. If you’re single, ask someone out on a date. Pray healing for a sick person. Give a word of encouragement to at least one person a day. Give a gift for no reason other than to bless. Do something different.
You will then have an updated testimony of God’s goodness to share to everyone. The more you do this, the more your testimony grows and remains current and fresh, for the encouragement of today’s generation.
2. Look for Jesus everywhere.
Some of the most defining moments of my life and ministry have happened over coffee with friends. Some of my most fun messages have come from movies I’ve seen or songs I’ve heard. I have had profound keys drop into my thoughts as I people watch at the mall or airport.
Wake up and look for Him everywhere. Learn to see Him and hear Him in everything and finally, learn to recognise Him.
Be prepared to look into the mouths of fishes for gold coins. Expect to find Him because you’re looking for Him.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
-Jeremiah 29: 13
3. Express the Gospel to reach the current culture
Many use social media to show the best version of themselves. We need to know that Jesus is the best version of us. All He is doing in us and through us is a demonstration of who He is. People don’t really need to see another picture of our duck lips or read another rant about Trump. People want to know how to navigate through life’s difficulties. They want hope, healing, love and freedom. They don’t know it yet, but they need Jesus.
They need to hear and see the gospel in full power. They need to hear and see it at work through you!
Simple stories of courage and faith. Stories from step 1 on how you moved from fear and found the courage to enter into a meaningful relationship again after your divorce. Or how you stepped out in faith and started a business with lots of hard work and prayer.
Stories from step 2 of how God spoke to you, how He gave you a thought while you were driving. How you heard him in a conversation or through a movie. How you got a prompting to go somewhere or visit someone and it was clear that God was in it.
Take photos, find pictures and look for platforms and avenues to share your thoughts, feelings and findings.
Share the journey not just the outcome. Tell us what was going on in your thoughts and feelings. Tell us how you pushed through. Tell us how God gave you strength and/or wisdom. Use spoken art, drawings, paintings, drama, music, write a play and make ways for others to experience it.
Approach church, group, school leaders – local community groups – write an article for the newspaper – come out from behind the pulpit or get off the pew and move the gospel into the world around you. This is why I am so excited about #GiG outreaches and pop up #GiG cafes.
At the November meetings I asked people to recall when they first gave their lives to Jesus. Not many remembered anything the preacher said but everyone remembered how they felt and how they knew they had to respond to the altar call.
Instead of working on preparing a sermon, let your life speak! Let your life display God's love, grace, mercy, healing and hope - and move others into their eternal destiny with Him.
Look for others who have been through the same experiences as you and form a coffee group where you can meet and share and pray for each other. Let’s be mobile vehicles of the gospel.
Demonstrate the ever working and increasing gospel of power from your life so that you may affect this generation and the generation to come!
17 O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
- Psalm 71: 17-18
As we prepare for Christmas, let’s prepare ourselves as a powerful gift of hope, life and love for others.