Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Jesus’ model of the message of the kingdom
Christy Wimber, daughter-in-law of Vineyard founder John Wimber, is the present leader of the Anaheim Vineyard, in California. One of the three main guest speakers at this years New Wine Central South and West, this is the message she brought in the Tuesday morning main celebration.
WHEN WE GIVE PEOPLE A MIXED MESSAGE
Jesus came and loved people. Love is the hallmark of disciples. So why doesn’t church – the greatest grouping with the greatest message – have a greater influence?
A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And [Jesus] said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
John 13:12-15 shows us Jesus’ model of leadership:
When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
Love is foundational. Ministry without love is meaningless. Of course, Jesus could have healed thousands, instantly. However, we see Him healing individuals, always in the context of relationship where He can demonstrate the Father’s love behind the action.
– Have we taken taken servanthood out of the equation?
SACRIFICE THAT OVERCOMES
It’s a great frustration that we give yourselves for others and they throw it away. That is sacrifice. But sacrifice without love is just sacrifice – it doesn’t amount to anything. Sacrifice in the cause of God’s love is different.
What overcomes, often by sacrifice, is the power of God’s love in us. So this is about not living our lives according to other people’s choices, and not losing sight of the kingdom.
The kingdom dimension is about living in risk, never knowing what God is going to do next. On the other hand, the “what if” factor is what often keeps us from ministering. What is that? The “what if” is really fear + pride. We are called to be comfortable with living uncomfortably – making a choice to be vulnerable, even though others around us will probably abuse that.
The greatest miracle is accompanied by the greatest risk, which is simply to love people. What does this look like?
• Giving our lives to people who will never give back
• Always fighting self – the kingdom of God is not our kingdom! This sorts out the servants from the showmen.
• Being found doing the things that Jesus did – not celebrating the gifts of the king more than the king Himself. Not if we really want heaven to come down, and the kingdom to break in. Rather, living out the life of Jesus in a way which is real to others.
Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver – not a big sum. Why did he betray Jesus so cheaply? Because the need in him for some significance was so great. When you face up to your need for significance, ask yourself: How many things we have will be around in 10, 15 or 20 years? However if we who are ‘insignificant’ do the things of the kingdom, God surely sees that.
For that to happen, something in us needs to die. As we see what the acts of Jesus really look like, they will always reveal parts of us which are not dead yet and which don’t want to die!
SERVANTHOOD IS THE WAY
These are the key questions:
– Who has God entrusted to you?
– Where are you being called to be faithful?
– What is the foundation of this call, this trust? Is it founded on love?