Archive for January, 2012

I want to see the wonders of God’s great love.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

During my regular quiet time today I read the first half of Psalm 17. In this prayer David comes to the Lord and asks to see the “wonders of his great love” (Psalm 17:7a NIV). Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t all of us that believe there is a God want to see the “wonders of his great love?” I know I do. That’s why I moved my family to Ann Arbor to launch Agape Ann Arbor. I want to see God’s love manifested in this city. I want to see my friends, and neighbors experience God’s love. I want to have a deeper, fuller experience of God’s love. I want to experience God like Jesus did when he was here.

If we all want to see the wonders of God’s great love, why don’t we here more stories of people seeing it? Is God hiding it from us? Is life some cosmic game of hot and cold with the prize an experience of God’s love?

No. God’s not hiding his love. I think we’re just looking for it in the wrong places and the wrong way. I think a clue to seeing the wonders of God’s great love can be found in Matthew 9:35-38:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus experienced the wonders of the Father’s great love because he loved the same things the Father loved. When’s the last time you looked at the people walking down the streets of your town and felt compassion for the ones who don’t know Jesus? When’s the last time you tried to show someone the Jesus’ love them? If we want to see the wonders of God’s great love, we will see it when we express it to those he loves around us. As we express God’s love to the people he loves we will experience the wonder’s of his great love.

What’s one thing you can do today to express God’s love to someone you live near or work with?

The Missional/Incarnational Cycle

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

In the past several weeks I’ve had many opportunities to describe what we’re doing at Agape Ann Arbor. It’s been a fun a challenging experience to try to explain this idea that we have. Fundamentally our goal is to live the Jesus-life in Ann Arbor and invite other’s to do the same. In so doing, we will build a community experiencing and expressing God’s love.

But how does that work? What does that look like?

It starts with individuals intentionally living the Jesus-life in whatever context in which we find ourselves. We focus on getting out into the community, building relationships and loving people. As we build these relationships we invite people to spend time with us.

Mostly, this means we have parties. And truthfully, what’s more Christlike than having a party? Don’t believe me? Take some time to read the four stories of Jesus life, the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament. You’ll find that Jesus loves a good party.

As people connect together socially with us and our friends and start showing some interest in Jesus, or Agape Ann Arbor, or just express curiosity about religions, we invite them into our community. At these gatherings focus on learning who Jesus is and what it means to live the Jesus life. The goal of our community gatherings is to encourage, equip, exhort, and empower people to live the Jesus life.

The people in our community then go out and live the Jesus-life in whatever context in which they find themselves, and the missional/incarnational cycle starts over again.