Friday, September 27, 2013

Gospel-Centered Thinking

"I can see in the near future hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of people in my city of Sacramento, CA longing for God, his truth, his love, his gospel, and his mission.

I can see it.

It's beautiful ... it's authentic ... it's bold ... it's real ... it's raw ... it's risky ... it's costly ... it's breathtaking. It's big ... it's humble ... it's ingloriously glorious ... it's more grand than the grand canyon.

I can see people voraciously content to live on a different course of life, and entirely unashamed of the gospel of Jesus.

Could you imagine a group of people standing together in clear, anthemic, powerful, truthful, and truth-filled praise to God just like warriors on a battlefield bursting forth in excitement because of victory over the enemy?

They are not fools. They are not brainwashed. They are not mystics. They are not emotionalized energizer bunnies, mindlessly bouncing around others. They are not arrogant vikings. They are not disillusioned into loving princess bunnies on stages. They are not a clique of cool, hip, wealthy, poor, or anything else that is niche-centric. They are focused, clear, and confident in who they are, who God is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do. They are unswayed by tradition, culture, chaos, or comforts. They long to be made alive in Jesus instead of being made alive by music, concert, cool band, or motivational speech.

Could you also imagine that same group of people well beyond a Sunday gathering, on their knees, in quiet, and in their own homes praying fervently for their neighbors, relatives, co-workers, their city, and the nations to know, believe, and follow the Christ of Christianity?

Could you also imagine that same group of people honestly, boldly, and courageously loving each other? Could you also imagine them living not hypocritically but humbly? Could you imagine them covenanting with their spouses in word and deed, committed for the long haul of life, parenting, finances, and conviction of the gospel?

Could you imagine the young growing up in those households and maturing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus? Could you imagine the steadfastness, clarity, and drive of the young trained by gospel-centered parents? Could you imagine the young men raised by the older, gospel-centered, wise men who are willing to give up their life for Jesus?

Could you also image that same group of people standing around a funeral of one of our own who was unashamed of the gospel, and confidently grieve the loss but have deep seeded joy in knowing they are with God the Son Jesus as well as God the Father and God the Spirit?

Could you imagine that same group of people fervently studying scripture individually and corporately in order to love the author of the book and love those who have yet to know about the book of the Bible?

Could you imagine that same group of people unconcerned and unashamed to speak of the gospel? Speaking not in a weird, forced, or contrived way, but speaking sincerely out of love and rhythm of life. Speaking as if something is cooking in the heart ready to be served by the tongue to another.

Could you imagine that group of people unconcerned for the decor of a building, society, or people and able to worship the Lord with their life and not just with their mouth?

Could you also imagine that same group of people unconcerned for publicity or glory?

Could you imagine that same group of people becoming larger and larger because of one primary thing - the gospel?

We want to keep the primary thing the primary thing..."

-Pastor Nathan Gunter
How I long to see us all keep the primary thing - the Gospel - the primary focus of our lives. My prayers, my hope, my heart, is to see the Church, once again, fall in love with the Gospel. How I long to see us love to hear it, love to read it, love to speak it, and love to live it. I long to see us never tire of hearing it, but always hungering to hear it just one more time. I long to see us not being able to contain it within ourselves, but being painfully compelled to plead with the lost to repent and believe in Christ. I long to see it radically transform lives, maintain lives, and drastically turn the lives of Christians upside down. I long to see it drive our prayers and even make us mourners, because our suffering will be the haunting thoughts of the millions of souls who will eternally suffer. Still yet, I long to see it drastically increase our happiness because it will ever draw us into a closer, life-reviving, eternal relationship with Christ. I just long to see souls saved. I long to see the very way we think be entirely Gospel-centered. How I long, how I yearn in my prayers, alongside my friends Nate & Abby, to see this in Sacramento. Oh, to Him be all the glory in the Church forevermore.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." 
Romans 1:16