This week we got to hear from Matt Reynolds, lead pastor at Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta. Matt graduated from Clemson a couple years back, and it was such a gift to have him back and see all the Lord is doing in and through him.
Matt’s message focused around the beginning chapters of the book of Acts so go ahead and flip to it if you’ve got a Bible handy (it’s kinda in the back half of the Bible, right after John and before Romans). Acts sets the stage for what it looks like to be a Christian post-ascension (after Jesus died and went to heaven), and therefore sets the stage for what the call our lives is now (still post-ascension). It begins by saying that the author, Luke, wrote all about what Jesus did and taught from the beginning. Matt asked the question “What is the message that Jesus teaches from the very beginning?” The answer is in Luke 4:8 when Jesus says that “The spirit of the Lord is on me, to heal and remake the world.”
So, Jesus came to heal and remake that world. Right after saying this, Luke writes in Acts 1:8 that Jesus now says that this power, this spirit of the Lord, is now passed from His life to our lives. This means that the this same call, to heal and remake the world, is now on us. It is being passed from His life to ours. Matt then asked
Question to ask: “How is God on you to heal and remake the world?”
When we are Christians, we become anointed (which means to be smeared) with the Holy Spirit. Matt wants us to ask ourselves and God “God, what do you want to anoint me to do?”.
There is now this idea that God is making all things new, continually healing and remaking this world. Acts is just the beginning of that, the “first fruits”. In Acts 3, Peter and John heal a crippled beggar, through the power of Jesus, not any power that they have of their own. This is the power and ability we now have in Christ, to be more than merely spectators of the Gospel, but rather participants in it!
Matt wrapped up by looking to Acts 4 where in verse 11, Jesus is called a cornerstone.
Cornerstone: the first stone set in the construction of a masonry stone, which is important because all stones will be set in reference to this first stone to build the whole entire building.
He used the image below to explain that because we were created in the image of God, we are by nature builders.
So,the questions isn’t “Will you build?”, but rather “What are you going to build your life on”?
It’s not that the outer things God doesn’t care about the outer parts of our lives. He loves and created those things. It all counts and matters to God, but He is at the center. It from there that He can flood into all the outer parts.
He said we have to be very careful not to build our life in the cornerstone that is Christ. We are all builders. He calls us to go build! But be careful of the foundation on which you are building. If anything is at the center other than Him, it is an idol, and it cannot sustain the weight of your life and expectation. We are not the center of our life.
In Acts 4:13 it says “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus”. These two men, when they let go of all outer parts of their life and simply looked to the character of Christ, poured out the fragrance of the Son. These two ordinary, unschooled guys were able to live fully in the calling Christ has placed on our lives to “heal and remake the world”.
How sweet it is to be called to heal and remake the world, alongside Christ. And it is not anything we posses of ourselves (like 2nd Corinthians 3 and 4 talk about), but simply the anointing of our lives by Christ, that He may be the center, that His creation may know Him by His children.