One of the elements that we sometimes find confusing or even confronting in our Christian walk, is the idea that we are a part of God’s grand plan. For many of us it can be a huge relief to finally appreciate where we fit in God’s overall purposes. The mission of God is demonstrated in the first followers of Jesus who lived at what Jesus had called them to be.
Our Twenty20 special guest, Steve Addison says that when Jesus rose from the dead, he encountered a band of defeated, disillusioned and divided followers. And he suggests that many of us today are a little like that. So how do we see ourselves in the 21st century in light of God’s purposes?
Steve joined Neil Johnson to talk about his new book, “Your Part in God’s Story: 40 days from Genesis to Revelation.” He lives in Melbourne where he and his wife Michelle lead a mission agency called Move. He’s devoted to training and deploying workers who multiply disciples and churches.
Steve believes that the resurrection story is so important for us today. “When Jesus rises from the dead, where are the leaders? They ran away and were terrified. They failed him. And so he goes to the women and now they have a story of the resurrection.”
“Then Jesus gathers back together not just the 12, but the men and women who had let him down. Just ordinary folks like you and I, and over a period of 40 days He restores them.”
“Then Jesus gathers back together not just the 12, but the men and women who had let him down. Just ordinary folks like you and I, and over a period of 40 days He restores them.”, Steve continues. “He gets them back on their feet and then he prepares them for a worldwide mission. And when the spirit comes at Pentecost it’s really clear that it’s for everyone, men and women, young and old, wealthy and poor. It’s nice that the whole story begins with people just like us, who had struggles, who have let the Lord down. But He’s the one who restores us and gets us ready and shows us what God’s purposes are.”
Steve believes that Jesus takes us all on a journey from Genesis to Revelation because this is what He did with the disciples. “Jesus said, okay guys, the Spirit’s coming. And then you’re going to the ends of the earth. Here’s what I want you to do. Over these 40 days before I return to the father, I want to take you from Genesis to Malachi and teach you about God’s purposes, about the why the Messiah had to come, why he suffered and died and rose again, and why this good news is got to go to the world.
That was Jesus’ agenda. And now we can go from Genesis to Revelation which gives us a glimpse of the purposes of God. There is one story that unites all the stories together.”
Steve points out that there is also a heart to this story. In Genesis 1-3 we see the entry of sin and rebellion into the world, but then comes God’s mercy and His promise that one day a descendant of the woman would come and crush the serpent, and restore things to how they should be. “You know His story is the story of spreading the glory of His name over all the earth. That was the original intention for the man and woman in the garden. Now Jesus has won the victory and his glory is spread, not just over the earth, but over the universe. We know the end of the story. That’s the great thing.”
In Steve’s new book, he has a 40-day challenge for readers. “Well, the first thing is to be encouraged,” Steve explains. “This is what Jesus did with his early disciples. He rose from the dead. He’s given us the Word and the Spirit. We can go on this journey with him, and then we can do that as an individual. Each day read a passage and write a bit of a reflection. And there are some questions that help you chew on what God’s saying through the scriptures. Like what does this teach us about God and his purposes? How does God shape the people that he calls to play a part in His story? What is God’s saying to you through this story and what do you need to do next?”
If you would like to buy Steve’s book, get more information or sign up for the 40-day challenge, go to the Movements website. To listen to the rest of Steve’s discussion with Neil, click here…
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