Tag

Acts

Powerful and Relevant

By Envision, Equip

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

This call to repentance comes from the end of Peter’s message to thousands in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. The crowds have seen the flames from the Holy Spirit touching upon the apostles and heard their words in their own tongues. Those with spiritual sensitivity have understood, as Peter explained, that this very day is the fulfillment of prophecy from hundreds of years earlier authenticating the Gospel of the resurrected Christ.

Salvation is in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. We can understand this amazing truth, yet fail to communicate the reality of transformation when we share the Gospel. We do a disservice to the Kingdom when our proclamation is weak and feeble. We say things like:

  • Jesus will come into your heart
  • God will bring you peace and purpose
  • One day you’ll be in heaven
  • Of course these things are true, but why are we so mundane about truth? Jesus doesn’t simply enter your life, He becomes King. He transforms you! He rescues you from the domain of darkness! We don’t sit idly by awaiting death so that we may experience heaven – no, the Kingdom is ours right now.

    Do you understand that the Gospel saves us in the present, not just the future? The same Holy Spirit of the Acts of the Apostles indwells a believer immediately upon saving faith. (Are we promised every manifestation listed in Acts? No, that is not promised – but most of us do not live as if He ever plans to show up.)

    Picking up your cross and following Jesus is not an easy road. But let’s not drag our feet as we approach Him, babbling about trying to be good people. This life is corrupted, but the Holy Spirit provides the power to live the life we’re meant to live. Right now, not one day far off after our mortal bodies have been buried.

    Are you living that truth today? You can be! And please, each time you share the Amazing News of salvation, remember that forgiveness of sins means we enter into intimate fellowship with the King and that He gives us His Spirit enabling us to live out a powerful life of faith. The Spirit of Jesus will bring His resurrection power into your life, and though circumstances might be overwhelmingly against us, we are more than conquerors! Oh, and yes, even when they kill us, we won’t die!

    We are the Gospel

    By Envision

    Powerful words. An amazing concept. That the incarnate Son as the one true God took on human flesh and walked among us. And upon death, resurrection and then ascent into heaven sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and use our flesh to bring His love to the world.

    Sometimes, from a lack of faith and understanding, I want to ask Jesus what He was thinking. That He would use me to show His love to others. Flawed, failing, imperfect me. And in doing so would bring Himself glory. It is truly awesome.

    Today, we went into one of the most dangerous cities in the world, because we knew that Christ was leading us there. This is what I shared with our Haitian brothers who came with us: courage isn’t the absence of fear – it’s following God despite it. Because honestly, we’d be stupid not to be afraid. But I’d rather be afraid while following Jesus than safe, but not following Him. So, strengthened with courage and equipped with the Gospel, we followed Christ into Cité Soleil. After all, Jesus commanded us to go into all the nations – and this tremendously impoverished community is definitely another nation.

    We eventually left with three deputies of the zone commander from one of 34 districts and spent the afternoon asking them about their community, their struggles, their needs and their dreams. We shared our testimony and the Gospel with them. No promises were made, because we had no desire to join the ranks of those who have betrayed them. But our hearts were broken for them, their children, their people. Echoing in my mind, yet almost too fragile to escape my lips were my words, “I don’t want to fail them. Jesus, please help me not to fail them.”

    We're all in this together

    God has positioned us incredibly for reaching out to them and their community. We’ve been offered an invitation to return and bring help. I can’t specify details publicly yet because it would be presumptuous and disrespectful to our trust, but I am astonished at the platform we are being given to reach out. We are the Gospel – the living hands and feet of Jesus to bring hope and peace and love to those desperate for Him and His touch and His power.

    Those words were spoken today by one of our amazing allies in Haiti, a man who shakes me more each time I am with him: We are the Gospel. This friend speaks little English but communicates his great love without needing to. He is poor and yet he gives everything away. He has needs, yet he introduces us to others whose needs are greater than his own. When we told him today that his lack of selfishness is inspiring, he replied simply that Jesus chose him to serve the people of the street.

    Today, it is no exaggeration to say that I have been in the company of men and angels. It feels as though we’re living like those listed in the Acts of the Apostles, and I can’t wait to turn every page and read the next chapter. The mighty Risen One is actually sharing Himself with the nations through us! Truly, that is incarnational ministry: we are the Gospel.