Go to his website for more details of Chick – http://www.anvilding.com
Colossians 3:12f You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. And over all of those good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one. Let the peace that Christ gives rule in your hearts. As parts of one body, you were appointed to live in peace. And be thankful.
Let Christ’s word live in you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct each other wisely. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing with thanks in your hearts to God. Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ.
Wives, follow the lead of your husbands. That’s what the Lord wants you to do.
Husbands, love your wives. Don’t be mean to them.
Children, obey your parents in everything. That pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, don’t make your children bitter. If you do, they will lose hope.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything. Don’t do it just to please them when they are watching you. Obey them with an honest heart. Do it out of respect for the Lord.
23 Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters. 24 Work because you know that you will finally receive as a reward what the Lord wants you to have. You are serving the Lord Christ.
1. Jesus is Lord over ALL things.
Even to slaves, with the worst possible circumstances – do it as unto the Lord.
What got people into trouble in C1st? Not saying, ‘Jesus is God.’ That was just one belief along the millions.
What got them in trouble was them saying, ‘Jesus is LORD.’
More even than god.
You could believe anything was god.
But Caesar was LORD.
And they were (as instructed) – good citizens.
But they knew; Jesus is Lord. So if there was a clash between Jesus and the government, or in any area, it was a no brainer. There was no, ‘no go area.’
It’s the same for us.
We accept that we live in a multi-cultural society, we don’t force our faith but we demand our right to voice and live it.
Cites the example of Ruth Kelly. Said her faith was private. No, it’s personal – but affects all areas.
One day, Jesus’ Lordship will be exerted everywhere.
2. We are the missional people of God.
Chris Wright, ‘The whole Bible renders us the story of God’s mission….Mission is not just one thing the Bible talks about – It is what it’s all about.’
GK Chesterton, ‘The Sun rises every morning because God says, ‘get up and do it again.’
But we want to be the centre. That knocks everything out of kilter. Distorts and twists it. God chose a holy people to be a light to the world. That’s the OT. And again and again they fail. The NT? Christ comes, and because of his work the Spirit is poured out on us – the missional people of God. Called to share in his mission of transforming the whole creation. Because the day will come, the consummation of all things.
So we are meant to bring that future kingdom present, now.
That means –
1) We need to affirm the importance of people’s every day lives. We’ve heard it said, ‘the church needs to get out there.’
The good news?
The church IS out there.
The challenging news?
It’s US! Me and you.
There are 168 hrs a week. Take out 48 hrs to sleep. For most people, the most time they can be involved in church type activities = 10 hrs. All the other hours… what happens with them?
Where do you spend the bulk of your time? (Easy to answer)
What might God be doing there? (Harder to answer – but we have to get better at asking it).
What’s God up to, where you usually are? If he’s not up to much, maybe Dawkins is right, or maybe he’s only interested in church stuff, or the devils’ stronger than him…
None of those are the correct answer! God’s definitely up to something! He’s doing all kinds of things all the time, and we are so busy we miss a lot of it. Even lots of good church stuff. Let’s affirm all the great stuff the church is doing, sometimes they are the only caring agency left in some places. But the bulk of mission will not be done by our programs but by our people.
If I touch someone, I leave a trace – DNA.
So what am I going to do?
- There’s a vital relationship between the gathered the church and scattered church. If we have ten hrs to form someone in church for all the other hours, that AFFIRMS how important those hours are. But we’re not just about recruiting people for programs, we’re releasing them for ministry.
Yes we need to get people in the band, but we need to affirm and equip in the land.
3) We need to affirm the importance of discipleship making.
Imagine the government said, ‘This church can only do 3 things now’ what would they be? Most Pastors say,
- The church Sunday experience.
- Midweek prayer/ Bible study
- Youth/ Kids work.
OK – Please sum up the purpose of those activities.
Hardly anyone says, ‘To make disciples.’
The word Christian hardly ever appears in the Bible. Twice possibly as an insult!
The word disciple occurs 250 times. It means someone who hears the call to follow Jesus and lays down their lives to follow him.
We have all heard of churches that have a great TEACHING ministry.
But never of a church having a great LEARNING ministry.
Ordinary people becoming more like Jesus.
A Pastor can’t do that for hundreds. We ALL have to be discipled and discipling. To create encounters intentionally where that happens. What the world needs to see is people who are more like Jesus.
Illustration he used:
One afternoon in the spring of 1928, 26-year old Louis Armstrong was strolling through his South Side Chicago neighborhood with a young admirer, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, when they came upon a group of street musicians. They were playing “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” a tune written by Armstrong’s wife, Lil, and recently recorded by Armstrong’s Hot Five, and the trumpet player was laboring his way through Armstrong’s own solo, note for note.
When the man finished, Freeman remembered, Armstrong clapped politely, then stepped closer, not wanting to embarrass him, and murmured, “Man, you’re playing that too slow.”
“How would you know?” asked the trumpet player, indignant.
“I’m Louis Armstrong. That’s my chorus you’re playing.”
When he and Freeman passed by the next day, the musicians had put out a hand-lettered sign next to their tin cup: “PUPILS OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG“.
Maybe we need to pull down the signs that say, ‘Methodist’ or ‘Evangelical’ and just be known as PUPILS OF JESUS CHRIST.
Prophetic word from Chick – too long and too good for me to get it all, but he may put it on his blog?:
I dream of a church which declares and demonstrates the love of God. Valued for who we are and graced to know all we can be. A church that makes people say, ‘I’ll have what they’re having.’ Where changes of lifestyle are not mandated by law but modeled by love. Where we all learn that we’re a work in progress but God is gradually and painstakingly restoring us. Where we’re less concerned about what will happen in hell or who’ll be there and more concerned about lose living in the earthly hell of poverty and malnutrition. I dream of a church absolutely committed to Jesus Christ. Where prayer, passion and practice mesh together.
That will cost us everything – but be the best bargain we ever made.
Don’t give up – don’t settle for less
hold your nerve and repeat
that Jesus cannot fail
trust his word
Jesus always wins.