Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Show and Tell

“Jesus said go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor.”
Matthew 11:4-6

When you go to church what do you hear and see? Do you hear good music or anointed worship? Do you receive a word from God or a sedative? Do you see the power of God demonstrated? Do you leave the same way you entered or are you transformed?

Jesus employed a simply ministry strategy, Show and Tell.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Matthew 9:35

Jesus introduced people to the Kingdom of God in word and action. As a result, lives were changed. Paul, the apostle, successfully copied this method.

“My message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Acts 28 relates Paul’s adventures on the island of Malta. En route to Rome and an audience with Caesar, Paul was shipwrecked. He, along with the other survivors, found shelter on Malta. While helping build a fire, Paul was bitten by a poisonous viper. Not one to panic, he shook it off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The impact on those who witnessed this was, “they changed their minds and said he (Paul) was a god”,
verse 6.

Paul attained celebrity status instantly. Publius, the island’s official, opened his home and entertained Paul and his traveling companions. Publius’ father was ill. Paul prayed for him and the man was healed. An island wide miracle crusade erupted and, “the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured”, verse 9. There isn’t any record of Paul preaching to anyone, although I believe it is safe to assume that he shared the gospel. “A picture is worth a thousand words” and the visible demonstrations of the power of God spoke volumes.

Do you think the pervasive negative attitude toward Christianity might shift if, in churches across the board, people entered sick and left healed? What if food, water, gas or whatever shortages were alleviated by believers partnering with God in miracles of multiplication? Could tangible demonstrations of Kingdom power lend credence to sermons preached? People would get the message even if the speaker couldn’t string two decent sentences together.

Modern society is fascinated with the supernatural. As spirit beings, this part of our nature finds the limits of our natural world boring and confining. We know there has to be more. Just because something is supernatural doesn’t mean it’s good or from God. Unfortunately the church has dropped the ball in this arena and the vacuum created has been filled with the demonic. This never produces positive results.

Christians have come up with some nifty excuses to explain away our powerlessness. Jesus made it clear that working miracles and manifestations of Kingdom power were hallmarks of all believers, not just a special group of “super Christians”.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I’ve been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask anything in my name and I will do it.” John 14:12-14 (emphasis mine)

We’ve got Jesus’ permission to imitate Him and do what He did. When we do this, God gets glory. In a culture captivated with the paranormal why not give people a healthy dose of the real thing? So, how do we do what Jesus did? Follow His example.

“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself, he can only do what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also. John 5:19

Jesus followed His Father’s lead and it required faith on His part as well as the people He ministered to. God uses unconventional methods to produce miraculous results; prepare your self to look foolish. It takes faith to pull this off, and faith is what pleases God.

“Talk’s cheap, takes money to buy land”; “Put you money where your mouth is”; “Put up or shut up”; these drive home the point that actions speak louder than words. Our nation and the whole world face problems on a scale beyond the scope of human intellect and wisdom. Demonstrations of the power of the Kingdom of God are desperately needed. These will go a long way to touch the lives and reach the hearts of those whose minds and ears are closed to the gospel. Keep it simple, Show and Tell, and watch God make the impossible possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment