“Come thy fount of every blessing tune my heart to sing thy praise!”
“They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He (Jesus) saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” They began laughing at Him.” Mark 5:38-40
Neal Cole said, “ Preach a message, and keep preaching the same message until your congregation obeys it before preaching another message.” Andy Stanley said, “Tell them your vision, then tell it to them again.” I am going to begin my blog this year reflecting on the same message and speaking into the same vision I spoke of at the beginning of last year.
If I were to ask you, ask those in the church the question, "How many believe that God can raise the dead?” I think most if not all hands would go up. If I asked the question, “How many expect to see God raise the dead today?” I believe many fewer, if not all hands would remain at people’s sides. Having a belief, the “head knowledge” that God can raise the dead is a very different thing than the expecting faith that God will and is raising the dead.
Our belief for many in the church that God can raise the dead comes out of our cognitive brain. It is a fact or data we hold to be true. It is like our belief in the fact that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the USA. Yet what possible impact does your belief in the fact that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president have on your live today? None. What impact does your simple, cognitive belief that God can raise the dead have on your life today? None. The churches simple, factual-based belief in the fact or truth that God can raise the dead has not and cannot have an impact on our daily life today without an expectancy and faith that God will and is raising the dead today.
In Matthew 9:18-26 is the story of Jesus raising a young girl back to life. When Jesus tells them he was going to raise her back to life the crowd around him did not believe or support him but they laughed at him. If a stranger in a hospital you were in told you after the death of someone that they were going to pray and see if God could raise them from the dead, and if they asked you to come pray as well, would you join them in prayer over the dead person or would your thoughts be similar to those of the crowds? And if your thoughts would be similar to those of the crowd, how can you believe that Jesus can raise the dead?
In the same way the Church is the place that professes Jesus is Lord, but it does not do “Jesus is Lord” well. Can I say that? It is because we say Jesus is Lord the same way we say Lincoln was the 16th president. We say it absent for the most part of any expectancy of power and presence of the Lordship of Jesus in our lives. So our profession that Jesus is Lord does not impact our day-to-day life anymore than our profession that Abraham was the 16th President. If a non-believer were to ask you, “What difference does it make in your day-to-day life that Jesus is Lord? What would you answer them?
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism in which I am an ordained clergy said before he died looking into the future of the church, “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.”
Read Matthew chapters 8 and 9 and see the expectancy and power of Jesus. Then I am asking you to enter into a discipleship covenant with me in 2018 of I.R.C.O. 111.1
Immediate: Do not delay on what you hear God calling you to do. “Luther said, “Delay is the sharpest arrow in the enemies quiver.”
Radical: Rooted in Christ and imitating him and him alone.
Costly: No matter what the price or requirements
Obedience: In every area of your life, Jesus is Lord. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” John 14:15
1: Commit to fast one day a week in prayer over your indwelling of the Holy Spirit, your ministry, and that of the church.
1: Commit to spend at least one solid hour a week in un-interrupted prayer.
1: Meet one time a week in a Band with 1 or two other same gendered people for true accountability.
.1: Tithe at least 10% to the ministry of Christ and The Church.
The next few days I will expand on this discipleship covenant of IRCO 111.1. I want to encourage and awaken a movement of God in your life to move from a community with the knowledge that Jesus is Lord to a community full of the power and expectancy that is experiencing Jesus is Lord!
My family, I pray today you will reflect on this question, “What difference does my belief that Jesus is Lord make in my day-to-day life?” and more specifically, “What impact or difference do I expect my belief that Jesus is Lord will have on my life today?” In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.
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Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
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