Impressed with Jesus!
Jesus Announces the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
No matter where Jesus went during His ministry in the region of the Sea of Galilee, He caused a stir. But most important, He led people to action. Those who observed Him firsthand were moved to do something. Notice how the people responded:
1. Obedience. The fishermen followed Jesus (Mark 1:18).
2. Amazement. The people marveled at His power over demons (Mark 1:27).
3. Service. Peter’s mother-in-law served the Lord (Mark 1:31).
4. Proclamation. Those who saw Jesus in action told others what He had done (Mark 1:45).
We have heard about Jesus so often that we sometimes fail to sense the excitement that the Galilean folks showed. They were genuinely touched by Jesus’ presence, so much so that no matter where He went, there was a crowd.
Jesus has done some remarkable things in our lives. He has transformed us from death to life. He has given us the Holy Spirit. He is at God’s right hand praying for us. He is getting our eternal home ready.
We can respond to Jesus by taking a cue from the people He visited in person. Obey Him. Be amazed by Him. Serve Him. Proclaim His name. Remember, there are still other people who need to be impressed with Jesus.
At the end if the day when you think of all that Christ has done for each of us, surely we will want to do our best for Him.
Raphael Molnar and Tony Anthony head into Rüdesheim for an early start to the day to do some street evangelism at the local Christmas markets. It was partly a training exercise as well as an opportunity to spread and proclaim then Gospel. The time was fruitful distributing tracts utilising various creative methods and having some key one to one conversations.
After a working lunch discussing Avanti Germany, they both set off for Christliche Gemeinde Weitefeld. The team were hosted by local Christian leader / elder, Hans-Herbert and Jorg Thielmann. Tony and Christina (a very gifted local interpreter) spoke at a packed out event where local believers reported that over 70% of those in attendance were visitors attending for the first time. Several extra rooms had to be set up (with a video link in one) as there were so many extra people. The preaching of the Gospel was effective, and many responded to Christ.
Please continue to pray for the spiritual climate in Germany to be transformed by the Gospel, and for the many plans in motion that Avanti Germany have in hand for 2012!!!!
On Friday, 2nd December Avanti Director for Germany, Raphael Molnar arranged a wonderful opportunity for Tony to share his testimony and the Gospel in the Wiesbaden area at Freie Christengemeinde Wiesbaden. The venue was packed out and Tony and (German interpreter) Nikki delivered an effective evangelistic message. There were many responses to the Gospel at the end of the evening when people were given the opportunity to do so, with a significant number walking forward at the altar call. It was sensed that a large number of these were people recommitting their lives to Christ – however the feedback that was given was that there were quite a few first time decisions made as well. Please continue to pray for the Gospel to spread across Germany.
It was encouraging to take time-out to see my mentor, George Verwer at his home in West Wycombe earlier today. Scheduling this date has taken some doing as both our preaching and ministry schedules are packed full, months ahead of time – however this time together was crucial.
George carries over 60 years of solid ministry experience with him of matters both good and bad, happy and sad, rich and poor, saved and unsaved from across the world – and so even if I disagreed with some of his advice for any reason then I would be such a fool not to take heed of it. As it happens, and yet again, everything that he had to say was all so relevant and inspired!
A key word that George used that I had to take note of was “Messyology”. Hinting to the strange way the Lord is indeed able to work through the messy complicated things that we humans come up with. The word may not be found in the Bible, however the theme may be identified in the lives of virtually every character in the Bible – where virtually every one of them messed up in one way or another! I shared with George a lot of the challenges and battles that the ministry has been faced with over the past months from the news of one of our Directors having a moral fall, disagreements and criticism, financial struggles, personal family issues, how things could have been done better, to the latest colossal projects that we are about to embark upon. George spoke about Messyology! If I have understood him properly, he was saying that every Christian that has ever lived has messed up, some have fallen really badly, some have endeavoured to serve the Lord through the most complicated, back-to-front and shoddy ways and yet the Lord is so powerful that He is still able to utilise our worst efforts to glorify His own name! Nothing is wasted in God’s eyes. Many may all start off well, however as time goes on things can get awfully complicated and messy along the way, some even lose their way as they go – and yet the Lord remains Sovereign!!! Christians are tremendously good at shooting their wounded, but God is a God of second chances!!! It is quite a science, and it would be perhaps rather unwise to spell it out in black and white – it is indeed “Messyology”!
It was very good to reassess the situation of global evangelism today. There is such a vicious and horrific battle ahead of us all, and there are still a great many unreached peoples groups of the world like the Dalits in India as one example that must be reached for Christ. Let’s press on…