Friday, October 7, 2011

Proclamation and Demonstration

Hey there all our dear and fantastic Awake and Alive readers,

We have some GOOD stuff for ya today!

I want ya'll the meet Yemi, or {Yemmers as I like to call him.}

This awesome guy is on the board for Awake and Alive!

He just ran a marathon!!

And apparently he has picked up a modeling career!! JK ;)

Pretty cool guy huh?!?!

We are so thrilled to finally get Yemi on here blogging because this guy has some great stuff to say! So here he is to take the floor! {Or post, or page...or whatever you want to call it.}

In a recent missional conference (SENTralized) that I attended in Kansas City, I was encouraged to hear one of my heroes, teacher, writer, and missiologist, Michael Frost, speak on the kingdom reign of God. Using Isaiah 61:1 (read it, it is powerful) as a platform, Frosty argued that the purpose of the church is to alert the world of the reign of God through announcement and demonstration. This statement strikes multiple chords within me as I have been wrestling over the last three years with these same truths.

Consider the writings by Saint Luke in Luke 4:18-19 where Jesus begins his ministry in the synagogue in Nazareth by reading the words prophet Isaiah prophesied about him: "the Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Kudos to Saint Luke

for capturing this powerful moment

in the life of the ministry of Jesus

as Jesus reminds everyone (as the prophet Isaiah stated)

the beautiful reality of the reign of God that was about to take place.

"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (v. 21).

I'd like to point out three major kingdom implications to you and I, from Luke 4:18-19.

(I) Anointing: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me." Similar to Jesus, we have been anointed, given power and the authority to alert the world to the reign of God. Just like Jesus was anointed, we have been anointed in a similar fashion. Consider the following statements from our Lord and teacher: "I have given you authority" (Luke 10:19), "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore go make disciples" (Matthew 28:18-19), "as the father has sent me, so I am sending you" (John 20:21), "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21), "I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one one on me. And from our role model Apostle Paul, "Christ in you" (Colossians 1:27), "Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20), "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16), "the spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you" (Romans 8:11). And from Saint Peter "you are... a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9). This is the beautiful reality, that you and I have God-given authority and power to alert the world of the reign of God through announcement and demonstration.

(II) Proclamation: we alert the world to the reign of God through proclamation. Frosty calls this announcement but I prefer the word proclamation. Proclamation is the starting point of the biblical idea of the good news. That is, to speak hope and encouragement to the broken and marginalized broken. As well as speak on behalf of the exploited and speak against injustice. Isaiah 52:7 states, "how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "your God reigns!" Yes! Woohoo! How awesome is that! Going back to the original text, Luke 4 Jesus stated, His mission is to:

· preach good news to the poor = hope and encouragement

· Proclaim freedom for the prisoners = speak on behalf of the exploited and speak against injustice.

· Proclaim the year of the Lord's favor = let's party!

(III) Demonstration: demonstration and proclamation go hand-in-hand and both are essential to alert the world to the reign of God. No one exemplifies this practice better than the King himself in flesh. People need to hear the good news as well as experience the good news. This is the gospel. Some believe salvation comes through hearing alone (preach the gospel and make converts) without demonstration and that is all they are responsible for. If this is you, I would love to reveal more to you my rabbi Yeshua and I encourage you to study the life of Christ more deeply. In fact you don’t have to go to far from where Jesus originally declared his intentions in the synagogue (Luke 4:18-19), to find an example of his first demonstration in Luke 4:31. Saint James in James 1:27 supports the mission work and life of Christ, stating that “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Compare this truth with God commanded to his people through the prophet Isaiah, “is not this kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Going back to the original text, Luke 4 Jesus stated, His mission is:

· recovery of sight for blind = healing

· to release the oppressed = setting free

I will end with John 10:1-21 where Jesus was proclaim the good news of the kingdom using shepherding metaphors to convey the message. Many of the Jews challenged his word accusing him of being demon-possessed. But it verse 21 that is so perfect when others sated: "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by demon. Can a demon ope the eyes of a blind?" Jesus constant demonstration of the kingdom confirmed his proclamation so much so that the people couldn't accuse him.

The church has taught for the last 200 years for us to focus on proclamation.

Maybe it's time that we concentrate on demonstration

and lets our "good works" match our "good words".

Talk the talk and not just walk the walk as some will.

Gospels depict our Lord, beautifully modeling both. When we preach and proclaim we bring hope and encouragement in as much as when we recover sight and release the oppressed, we bring healing. Proclamation and demonstration must go hand in hand. For too long we have been speaking. Maybe it's time we demonstrate God's presence in the lives of our fellow imago Dei. To loose the chains of injustice etc. Awake and Alive is committed to demonstrate the good news of the Kingdom in the lives of African's locally and globally.

"In the same way let your light shine before people in such a way they see your good works and glorify your father in heaven" - Matthew 5:16

That's some good stuff!! Thank you so much Yemi for taking time to be part of Awake and Alive! If you like what you read from Yemi click the link to follow Yemi's Journey.

Blessings and enjoy your beautiful weekend!

Danielle and Jolene

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