by Dave Miller
Chapter 2: The Glory of God in Jesus
I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. – Jesus
What would happen if fame was only for Jesus. What if the stories we tell recount the life, death, burial, resurrection, and return of Jesus? I believe nothing less than an ancient story of the early church retold, the story of Jesus Christ and his church turning the world upside down in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God in all the earth!
Never has this thought been more real in my mind than the first time I stood on a hill overlooking Thessaloniki, Greece in 2008. We had just walked through Paul’s gate and looked at a city filled with Roman ruins, Byzantine chapels, Ottoman walls, modern seaports, and Greek Orthodox churches scattered among 1 million+ people. The site was inspiring and overwhelming. The men in the movement Jesus began had traveled the Egnatia (Roman Road) where we walked, encountered a man named Jason who believed, started a church who would ring the gospel out throughout all of Asia, only to be ran out of town three Saturdays later. Yet few in this city were followers of Jesus today. Religious actions and traditions have deceived the hearts of men.
Eric, a great friend and partner in the gospel, read the account of Paul’s first visit to the ancient city of Thessalonica from Acts 17 as we stood at the gate where tradition says Paul entered the city:
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”
And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.
And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside downhave come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
Jesus is King and this King is turning the world upside down. You and I both long for a movement of disciple-making disciples that births a movement of church-planting churches to the ends of the earth until there is #NoPlaceLeft. But before practices, models, methods, and movements, stands the Glory of our God. In fact, the Glory of God stands before and above all else; and taking center stage is the radiance of God’s glory, the God-Man Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1).
If we were to witness a church planting movement that supposedly accomplished the Great Commission and the earth were not filled with men and women desperate for the glory of God in Jesus Christ above all else, we have failed. To understand the glory of God most clearly we must focus on Jesus.
Up Next: To Live Is Christ
Until there's #NoPlaceLeft...
Sentergy: When Jesus, People, Practice and Theology Collide
Chapter 1: The Glory of God
Chapter 2: The Glory of God in Jesus
Chapter 3: The Glory of God in the Gospel
Chapter 4: The Glory of God in Disciple Making
Chapter 5: If You Love Me You Will Obey What I Command
Chapter 6: Monday Morning Disciple Making
Chapter 7: Monday Morning Disciple Making Part 2
Interlude: The Father's Heart
Conclusion: The Lump In Your Throat