Have you ever thought, “What is Life really about”? I’ve thought about it before, but probably not as much of with such real questioning as I have since Julia died. For so many people the good life consist of a good job, good food and a nice family. They wind up spending much of their life just trying to keep up. They want the best schools for their kids, and good health. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of that. But is that Kingdom? Is that bringing the Kingdom of God into our neighborhoods? Is that what life is all about? To use the title of an old song,:“Is that all there is?” I’m really sad to say that for probably the majority of Americans, even Christians, the answer is yes.
I really wish that everyone that I know could have been with us this afternoon. We went to an area down in the southwest metro area of Atlanta. We had about 45 of us from RiverStone. We joined with ministries from many other churches for an event called Maximum Impact. There were probably hundreds of people involved, and we ministered to hundreds. The people who came were the homeless, prostitutes, single parents with addiction problems. There were grandmothers with their grandchildren that they were raising. There were people who were already high on alcohol, drugs or both. They were there to get food, clothes, and groceries. They came to get haircuts, medical screening. They were there to get help finding jobs. All these services were there for them today. I’m sure that the services were helpful but what really stood out to me as I talked and prayed with many of them was this. They really just wanted to know someone cared. They wanted to know that someone else cared enough to spend the day listening, talking, praying, hugging or whatever else. They needed Jesus with skin on. Isn’t that what we all need? Most of us are fortunate enough to have community to be there in the hard times. But what if you don’t have a loving community?
I know that I am pretty strong in my relationship with God, and this past four months that bond has strengthened. But could I have done it alone? Without loving friends, where would I be right now? You see, we take so much for granted. God has used all of my friends and family to reach out and be “Jesus with skin on”. I love the children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit”. It shows the necessity to be real. Most of the people that I talked with and prayed with today just need someone to love on them. That doesn’t solve all of their problems, but if they had a loving caring community, if the Kingdom of God invaded that space, they would have a much better chance to walk out their healing.
I prayed for a big guy today. His name was “Big O”. Big O had an addiction problem that was ruining his relationship, probably with his wife. He is a believer, but couldn’t shake the addiction. But the addiction isn’t the root issue. Through the Holy Spirit, one of the root issues was revealed to be unforgiveness. I explained how that kept him in prison. You could see the light bulb come on in his spirit. He got it and we readily walked him through the many issues that he needed to release forgiveness in. You could see his exterior manner break down as he began to weep. As we prayed for his relationship to be restored and for addiction to be broken off, you could just feel him getting lighter. It was as if a heavy burden was being lifted off him. This is jus one of many people we prayed for. Jesus spent most of his time with sinners. Tax collectors and prostitutes, the two most despised groups in His day were always around Him. I need to allow myself to be stretched more. We all need to spend more time in the areas where there is no hope without Him. We are the ambassadors of hope. We bring His presence into the room when we walk in. We have to begin to believe that. We still have no clue as to who we are or the authority that we carry. Identity is a BIG DEAL. But just as big of a deal is our knowing the goodness of God.
I’m preaching at the 6PM service at RiverStone tomorrow night. It’s the last evening service for the summer. Their won’t be many people there, but that doesn’t matter. The words have to go out into the atmosphere. We have to understand who we are, we have to know the goodness of God. If the Kingdom is going to be released in our midst, these have to be so strong in us that there is no doubt. I don’t know what my focus will be. I’m sure Holy Spirit will show that to me later tonight or tomorrow. It’s inside me, so I know it will come out. You see, I am His Son, and He wants to use me. All I have to do is prepare the best I can and trust in His goodness. Today was a good day. Today was a Kingdom day. We need more days like today. Show us Papa; teach us how to do your stuff.