Everyone wants their voice to be heard.
Ever since Peter stood up in Jerusalem and declared, “thus sayeth the Lord” men and women of faith have spoken words of hope and transformation to a hurting world. In Acts 2 we read of Peter’s boldness to declare the truth of Christ. The Spirit moved in mighty ways and the scriptures say 3,000 were added to the Kingdom of God that day.
From that day forward the Kingdom of God was on the move in a new way. Men and women of faith shared their encounters with God and invited others to join them as they pursued a deepening relationship with God.
What made the invitation of those “evangelists” inviting was the way in which their words revealed the deeper transformation taking place in their lives. A life transformed is the greatest witness to the power and transformation of the gospel.
When the words of the church match our actions the Kingdom of God is unleashed in positive ways. When our words speak one message and our actions another we are in danger of losing our witness and doing damage to the Kingdom of God.
Our High Calling
The voice of the church is most effective and most powerful when it remains focused on issues related to the Kingdom of God. Jesus was clear. As he began his ministry he outlined his agenda…
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [Luke 4:18-19]
Jesus was clear about his purpose. If we are to truly be followers of Christ we must adopt and pursue the same purposes as we seek to build the Kingdom of God here on this earth.
Towards the end of his ministry Jesus was just as clear as to what he wanted His followers and His church to be about. He was very clear as he shared the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [Matthew 28]
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” [Matthew 22]
When Christ followers and the church focus on what they are called to be about God type things happen. Captives are set free. People are healed from all types of illness and struggles. The Poor are cared for and find hope and a future within a community that cares for the whole person. The message of Jesus is shared. People make decisions to pursue a deeper and growing spiritual journey. The fellowship that is church is healthy and the Kingdom of God is unleashed.
Power is Seductive
Over the past few decades the church has been enticed and seduced into focusing on areas that have little to do with the cause of Christ. Power is seductive. The battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world are never to be taken lightly. Pastors and other Spiritual leaders are human beings like all others. When the power brokers come calling the temptation is to tell them what they want to hear or to give the support they are looking for.
I have watched as pastors, evangelists, school presidents and others have taken their focus off their Kingdom calling and answered the call of this worlds power brokers time and time again. Now, hear me clearly…I think as men and women of faith we need to be active and involved in the affairs of this world…we just need to always remember where our primary allegiances truly lie.
I am concerned as I sit and watch what is going on during this election cycle. I am afraid the church in America is in danger of losing what voice we have left to speak grace, peace, love and transformation into a hurting world. [Read more…]