Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fellowship of Hope

A Christian fellowship exists to bring the Kingdom of God on earth.

This is a fellowship of hope because Jesus is our hope.

Jesus is in us and we in Him. Wherever we go, we can bring the manifest presence of Jesus with His life, love, light, liberty and lordship (five Ls).

This is how we are a fellowship of hope, being the Jesus in the world both individually and communally.

Being fully and inseparably united with Jesus means that we are also a people of hope. We are hopeful as long as Jesus, our hope, dwells in us.

How can we, who know Jesus, remain full of hope when things go wrong, when bad things happen, when we face trials and challenges because of our faith, when we fail, and when our prayers go unanswered?

There are many reasons. For one thing, we remain hopeful because we are destined and ordained to be conformed to the image of Christ, the perfect humanity. Nothing and no amount of failing can stop us from being changed, from one degree of glory to another, into who we are truly meant to be.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

In other words, we know the end. Indeed, all will be well in the end. Therefore our part is not to win every battle but to stay in the war till the end. This requires strength, determination, character, courage, for sure.

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again (Proverbs 24:16)

from Robin Hood (2010)

Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.

This is from the movie, Robin Hood (2010) with Russell Crowe and Kate Blanchett.

This is a powerful image. If we rose and rose again stronger and more fierce each time, this act alone would bring inspiring hope to the world.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fellowship

from The Hobbit An Expected Journey 

The Hobbit, the movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien's literary work of the same name, was released over the Christmas break in the States. The first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy that came out back in 2001 was The Fellowship of the Ring. It was about the formation of the band of nine companions.

A Biblical fellowship or koinonia is not unlike the Fellowship of the Ring. It is a community on a mission. Fellowship is far more than a social gathering over a meal! What brought dwarfs, elves, hobbits and men (humans) was the common mission, a critical mission that would seal the fate and the future of the Middle Earth. They were also fighting against the common enemy.

We. followers of Jesus, forming the body of Christ, come from all walks of life. We are of different nationalities, ethnic origins, language groups, socio-economic backgrounds, cultures and traditions. What unites us is the One King to whom we all pledge allegiance. What binds us is our King's commission. We have the common Enemy, Satan and his dark army. Our mission? The ultimate mission of the body of Christ here on earth? To glorify God by bringing the Kingdom of God or the rule and reign of Jesus.

Some would say that our mission is to love God. Yes, it is the Great Commandment which also includes the command to love our neighbors. If we keep the Great Commandment, we will bring the Kingdom wherever we are here on earth.

Some would say that our mission is the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Yes. If we fulfill His Great Commission, we will bring the Kingdom wherever we turn men and women into the devoted followers of Jesus.

A Christian fellowship exists to bring the Kingdom of God on earth.

Some might say that the perfect Kingdom of God will not be realized until the second return of Jesus.

I would agree, for this wold still lies under the power of the Dark Lord. But I would also argue that there is more! In fact, there is far more of the Kingdom that we can bring here and now than we are made to believe and settle for. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). Do we see the works of the devil in the world today? Then we need to bring the rule and reign of Jesus to destroy them. There is more of His life, His love, His light, His liberty to experience and bring to the world!

A Christian fellowship exists to bring the Kingdom of God on earth.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Our Identity

A few months back, I had an opportunity to listen to a missionary to Albania speak. He spoke on our identity in Christ.

Then a few weeks before Christmas, I spotted a book in my home. I am not sure where it came from or how long it's been sitting in the corner of my home office. It's titled Spiritual Identity Theft Exposed! by Doug Addison. I finally picked it up to see what the book was all about. It's about our true identity in Christ and how it's been stolen.

Discipleadership focuses on our identity in Christ. In fact, we have seen the transformational power of knowing and embracing who we truly are in Christ. Through Acts 8 Ministries, we teach, train, coach and mentor on understanding and living out of our identity.

So I get fired up whenever and wherever this topic comes up!

So who are we really?

We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

This is a good place to start the New Year.

We are a different breed of human being, a new species, if you have trusted Jesus. We are united with Jesus. He is in us and we in Him. We are forever inseparably united with Christ.

They may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us...that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one (John 17:21, 23)

Human beings were originally created to bear the image of God. A man and woman were and still are His highest creation. But now in Christ, we have become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We are sons and daughter of God the King (1 John 3:1).

We can imagine who we are like as sons and daughters when we look at Jesus the perfect human.

If you study the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the Bible, you will begin to see who Jesus was really like. Here are some character qualities of his: humility, courage, integrity, creativity, candor, discipline, humor, strength, peace, wisdom, goodness and faith.

Above all, Jesus was perfectly at ease with who he was. He knew himself. He was never fearful of being exposed. He was open, vulnerable, transparent. He was totally free!

Those in Christ can and are meant to live like Jesus in this world.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What If...

It is said that it required about 100,000 people to achieve gigantic and historic accomplishments like building the pyramids in Ancient Egypt, constructing the Panama Canal, and landing the first man on the moon.

What if 100,000 followers of Jesus from around the world joined together and offered unified, fervent prayers to the Lord of heavens for Ethiopia?

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. (James 5:16b-18)

If a single man's prayer stopped rain for three and a half years and then brought restoration to the land, would the unified prayers of 100,000 men and women restore an entire nation of 90 million people?

The deepest desires of the Ethiopian body of Christ are the same:

  1. To raise and mobilize Ethiopian believers for the worldwide fulfillment of the Great Commission
  2. To see the restoration and well-being of their country
One hundred thousand prayers. One voice for the healing of Ethiopia!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!


One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.