It is my humble opinion that much of the church in America has stepped away from the proclamation and demonstration of the works of Jesus. We have exchanged our mission of Kingdom expansion by and through the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit for a cerebral, classroom, intellectual and rational, academic approach to the Christian life. The bottom line has unfortunately become knowing the Bible rather than carrying on the ministry of Jesus which the Bible proclaims.
God the Father’s work in reconciling us to Himself and showering upon us His grace and love was done to achieve more than just to secure a blessed future for us. Our reconciliation was not just for our enjoyment and pleasure. God drew us to Himself so that He would have a people, filled with His Spirit, who would represent Him and bring about His will for the people of this earth. We are a people who are called not to just bask in God’s grace and live apart from sin. We are, as Jesus followers, a people set apart to execute His mission and to achieve victory in the war he began 2,000 years ago in defeating Satan’s grip on humanity.
1 John 3:8 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
The word “destroy” from Vine’s Expository Dictionary is a Greek word that means: To loose, dissolve, sever, break, demolish, and destroy. We see in the works of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels, One who lived His final 3 years of life filled with and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus loosed people from demonic influence, blind eyes, and wounded souls. Jesus dissolved leprous, diseased skin and religious condemnation. Jesus severed Satan’s grip on people whom God loved. He shattered the effects of guilt and condemnation, set people free from sin and drew people into the unconditional love of God.
Jesus was sent here with a mission. He came to destroy the works of the devil. As we look at Jesus’ prayer just before He is nailed to the Cross, we see His plan for us, his followers. I would encourage you to read the entire prayer in John 17 because it is a prayer for you. But I want to call your attention to one small sentence that is filled with profound implication.
John 17:16 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
Look at this verse carefully. The “them” He is speaking of are His disciples. And not just the original twelve but those who would believe after them. Jesus’ desire was that as He came to this earth with a mission, so now, He is sending us into the world with the very same mission. As He lived His life in total and utter dependency upon His Father and looked to the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit to supply His life with power and supernatural ability, so we too are called to live a life of being naturally supernatural.
And this is where leadership becomes vital. Leadership, from the Lead Pastor on down are to keep Heartland Vineyard pointed in the direction of being a worshipping missional church. This becomes the most important function of our church’s leadership. They are to teach and model what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus on a mission. Grace brings us into intimacy with Jesus. Intimacy with Jesus allows us to capture His heart for the least, the last and the lost. This must be sustained throughout the decades and a fight must be waged not only against Satan but against an attitude of passivity and apathy leading to a form of Christianity which is weak and ineffective.
I am committed to working with our Lead Pastor, Pastoral Team and Teaching Team to help ensure that we are positioned for many years of fruitful ministry. I’m so blessed to be able to serve Heartland VIneyard Church in this way!
To God be the Glory!