NORTH MINNEAPOLIS PRAYER BLOG FOR 11/07/17: THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST

Issue: God’s Will-The Lordship of Christ

When we began praying the Lord’s Prayer for North Minneapolis, we began with some needs. That was out of order, but relevant. Need drive us to seek help outside of ourselves. Jesus often took care of needs that were driving men and women to seek a greater help than what was available. Others had needs, but didn’t see a source of help until they met Christ. Needs point us to our smallness, our helplessness, our weakness, and ultimately point us to Christ. The greatest need we have is to be freed from slavery to anything other than Christ. At the heart of that bondage is sin. Sin separates us from God and others. Guilt and shame that come from the law can literally kill you. We find out later we were spiritually dead the whole time. God’s revealed will tells us that God has done a work from eternity past for the purpose of uniting all things under Christ.

Let’s see it in Scripture: “And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.”[1]

But there is a deeper purpose than bringing, or uniting, all things under the authority of Christ and God makes this clear a few verses down: “He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”[2] I hate picking a few verses out to explain something so please read all of the good news in Ephesians 1:3-14. There is a lot! The point is this: Christ’s supremacy is the purpose of all that is and that supremacy comes as we enjoy Him and pour out praise and worship (glorify Him).

So how does that unity happen? How do we become people who pour out praise and worship? Colossians 1 gives a pretty good summary: “This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” Let me break this down. The problem we face, the thing that keeps us from praising and worshipping God is our evil thoughts and actions which has separated us from God. Sin has broken fellowship with our good God. Something had to be done to bring us to Him. Jesus, God in the flesh, had to come to earth and die on a cross for our sins. The physical death of Christ makes spiritual life available to those who put their faith in Him. We are now able to stand before God without blame or a single fault.

But how do we learn our need or about the help that is available? By the preaching of the gospel. The gospel simply means “good news”. Somebody has to bring that news and speak it to us. Then we have to hear it and believe it is true for us that we need help and help is available in Jesus. We then must abandon all of the things we hoped in. We trust in Christ Jesus alone. His work has done it all. If anyone receives our message with faith, they will be free. Praise and worship will begin to flow out. This glorifies God. Taking that message is not so easy. If you’ve ever attempted evangelism, you likely know how hard it is to share this message with others where it does not lead to personal attacks by word and deed. We are so sick before Christ, that it is impossible to believe that message unless God has prepared the heart to receive it. And He does prepare hearts. His grace is irresistible to those whom He has called and prepared. His sheep hear His voice and react with faith.

This gospel message was sent from the beginning of time, but a major turn came after Christ had died and rose from the grave. He sent His disciples out with instructions to make disciples baptizing them in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all the commands I have given you (the disciples). He sent them by first telling them the Father had given Him all authority at that time. That is what drove the request. The risen Lord Jesus is in power over everything. There is nothing He does not have power over. And He gave them a promise that fuels faith: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”[3]

Those promises are true for us as well. Jesus is still reigning on the throne. No enemy, power, situation, or any other thing can stand between us and the accomplishment of Jesus’ will. Success is guaranteed. And He is with us in the work. That power is not far away from us or unattached to us. It goes with us wherever we go. We are all called to go in some way, shape, or form. We must take the message of the gospel out. If we were to be taught to obey all that the disciples were commanded, we join in this command as well. Go make disciples. This is a glorious work. To bring freedom and healing from sin’s power is nothing short of joining the miraculous work of Jesus. And it comes by a message, a message we have personally experienced the power of as we were also told of the good news of Jesus. So we seek out brothers and sisters who are still trapped and lost. We call them back home.

This is why we are in North Minneapolis. This is where we are at the moment. We plan on sharing the same hope that we have. And our hope is that those who believe will enjoy God and worship Him. Part of that enjoyment comes in transformed lives that follow Jesus wherever He calls them. We hope to pass down the same call as part of the greater call of freedom in Christ. Please pray for gospel boldness. Pray for the promise of God’s presence and power to hold us and propel us forward. Pray that we will find brothers and sisters. Pray for partners in this work. We look forward to enjoying fellowship in all that comes with ministry and life as a believer. Pray that North Minneapolis would be transformed forever for the glory of God and the joy of all peoples.

Thanks for your prayers,

Mike



[1] Ephesians 1:10

[2] Ephesians 1:14b

[3] Matthew 28:20