Hi friends. Pardon the length of this one. Just back from State Youth Games. As I reflect on the weekend I think for me it was a mixture of greatly encouraging, slightly disturbing and deeply enlightening. I have come back motivated more than ever, focussed on just one thing: enabling and equipping people with the powerful word of God. We have such riches in people at our church. Such great hearts of love, such open hearts to God,such committed hearts to each other. And that is such a massively wonderful privilege to be part of. The sense of nurture, belonging, acceptance, community- there is nothing else like it, the family of God.
But that is not enough, if we are to fulfil our purpose in the world, our commission under the guidance of the saviour and master we serve. We must take in his word as it has been delivered to us, for “the gospel is the power of God for salvation ” (Romans 1:16). And we must learn to handle that word correctly, just as Jesus taught his disciples to do . Once we allow His gospel- the whole gospel- to inform and direct and equip is, with the help of the Holy Spirit, then we can truly live and act as His powerful agents and ambassadors to change the world we live in. And it only really happens one person at a time- that’s right, one – to – one. Discipleship that moves a person in a relationship with the Lord , from awakening to rejoicing to fellowship, from a thirst for learning to a desire for serving, until we each in due time reach maturity- fully equipped, fully faithful, United in purpose, power, Spirit and Word (Eph 4:1-16). Discipleship is the name of the game. We have the pattern laid out for us in the Gospels. We have the power laid on for us in the gospel. But we must become serious learners if we are to become the productive people of God, who see and understand and act upon the harvest that’s been laid out before us.
Alas, too often we are on the bus of tourists who enjoy the ride past the fields , having fun together as we pass through rather than the bus of labourers who go into the fields with vital purpose and get their hands dirty, who handle the equipment correctly and follow the directions of the Master Gardener, to feed the world on the true food that nourishes for eternity- the gospel of God. This is the bus load that saves starving people all around us. The bus of sacrifice rather than selfies, full of deep joy rather than fleeting fun.
There is much to be learned in the 2 or 3 year journey of discipleship from spiritual teenager to spiritual adult. And this means advancing in our spiritual diet from baby food to solid food (Hebrews 5:11 – 6:2).
Everything we need is open and available, right in our hands, no longer hidden away in secret like in ages gone past, but now shining out in brilliant light, full of grace and glory and truth (John 1). The gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Blessings, from Paul