Steve Jobs has become one of the great hero’s of a generation past through his uncanny ability to predict the next big thing. Whether it was the personal computer, mp3 music devices or the iPhone, Jobs seemed to be able to stay ahead of the curve in delivering culture shaping innovations. The thought for many today is that if like Jobs they could just figure out the next big thing, then they too might have a chance at shaping history.
Maybe a better way to ask the question would be to consider where the favour of God is now resting. After all, God is the only one who truely gets to shape history. But still, if we are able to determine what God is up to, where and in which ways He is moving, then we would be positioned to be part of what he is up to. So, where does the favour of God rest?
An Important Question
As much as we might set vision, plans, goals and directions for ourselves and others, if the favour of God does not rest with the pursuits we give ourselves to, they will ultimately all be in vain. This of one of the reasons this question is so important to ask.
At MAKE, since we began, we’ve pursued being a vibrant and growing, Bible-teaching church. We want to be vibrantly in love with God and one another. We deeply value relationships and enjoying relationships. Further, we want to continue to grow in being a community that doesn’t just look to it’s own needs, but is doing everything we can to make it easy and accesible for the younger emerging generations to connect with the spiritual power of Jesus and to discover that power as the way to get from stuck to unstoppable in life. Finally, we want to be a community that has Jesus Christ at it’s centre rather than religious rules and practices, so we give ourselves to the task of teaching the Bible as best as we possibly can.
We reckon it’s a great vision. But the question is: does the favour of God rest behind it? A Necessary And Related Question To state the obvious, we don’t all have the gifts and abilities of Steve Jobs. But that doesn’t mean we can’t participate in the next big thing, the place where the favour of God rests. As with all great movements of history, they involved many people, contributing in many and varied different ways. So, what is my part to play in the next big thing? An Important Moment The death of Jesus Christ on the cross is an incredibly important moment in history. As it is recorded in the New Testament gospels, things were changed forever. The curtain temple was torn in two, signifying an opening up of the possibility of relationship with God. The enemy of God’s people was forever silenced, as Jesus paid the price for our sins. But also the message of the gospel, which in Jesus life time was held back, was now suddenly released for the world to respond to. A gentile centurion, speaking more than he understood, declared, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God’ (Mark 15:39). A prominent member of the Jewish council which had stood opposed to Jesus, now goes and boldly asks for Jesus body from Pilate, so that he might honour Jesus with a fitting burial. This man Joseph, we’re told is eagerly waiting for the Kingdom of God to come (Mark 15:43). By the point of Jesus death it is clear: the King of God’s Kingdom has arrived. The next big thing is to wait for all nations to bow down to Him. An Important Movement The favour of God now rests with this movement of the Kingship of Jesus to the nations. Even as the women find the empty tomb, they are told by angels that Jesus has gone ahead - first to Galilee, but ultimately into all the world. Jesus has risen (!), he will soon ascend to sit at the right hand of His Father in heaven. In these times we now live, if you want to be where the favour of God rests, then you need to join in the effort to see the good news about the King going to the ends of the world. A Necessary Response The call upon the women (and upon us) is to now ‘Go, tell’ (Mark 16:7). Whereas earlier in the gospels Jesus told people to tell no-one, the instruction, now that Jesus has been elevated to his rightful throne, is to tell everyone. In an anti-climactic way, the gospel of Mark ends with the women failing to carry out this task. ‘Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.’ (Mark 16:8) Yet as dismal as this seems, it’s actually encouraging for us. Though the women did fail because of their fear, somewhere God must have shown up in their lives, because the message did get out there. In fact, today it has come all the way down the generations to us. Not only does God let us in on what he’s up to in this world, but he makes clear that the only way will be able to participate is if he helps us. So be excited, we have a task to carry out and we’re invited to participate by His strength and not our own. There’s good news to share and we’re invited to play our part in getting it out. Are you in on the next big thing?
About the Author
Jai Wright is a Christian Minister, who founded and leads MAKE Church in Mackay, Qld. He recently published the book, Life Plugged In: Connecting with the Source of Peace, Power and Purpose.
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