“Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven?" Acts 1:11a NIV
The Great Debate
There happens to be a great debate whether the universe has a Maker with a grand design or it's held together by the laws of nature such as gravity, space, time and matter. Stephen Hawking wrote a book along with Leonard Mlodinow titled The Grand Design in 2010. Discovery Chanel produced a documentary that created a visual example to help us comprehend what's going on within the minds of these great scientists and thinkers. I think it's quite fascinating. Stephen Hawking is a gentle man with such amazing capacity few of us will ever truly understand but many of us can appreciate. I suspect he investigates the greater questions of the universe because he is driven by a motive greater than himself. I think Stephen is not only satisfied with the question with 'how' the universe was created. But, I think down deep, Stephen asks the question 'why' was the universe created.
Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore, I am)
The French philosopher René Descartes in his Discourse on Method (1637) took a first step in demonstrating the attainability of certain knowledge. Almost 400 years ago, Descartes released this 'Twitter post,' cogito-ergo-sum. Descartes revolutionized the way human beings think about the way we think. Descartes identified our human desire to find meaning and purpose by revealing the center of our desire to know and think, therefore exist. So, if we can think, we can imagine. If we can imagine, we can become. If we can become, we can become a positive force for good or bad. Ultimately, if we think we can change anything--we can actually change anything.
Science and faith combine?
Our scientific brothers have done much to help us understand the complex and undeniably magnificent megacosms of the ever-expanding universe and the limitless-potential of the human mind. Kevin Harney, of Organic Outreach fame, captured our attention as he capitalized on the aforementioned discoveries. Harney believes the potential for change and meaning is found in the church. Organic outreach is what happens when evangelistic vision and action become the domain of every ministry in a church and the commitment of every member of the congregation.* Harney re-minds us that our thinking shapes our actions. Sometimes a simple adjustment in our thinking can have far-reaching repercussions. Effective and world-changing outreach will not just happen spontaneously. It will take planning, strategic goal-setting, lots of prayer, and the effort of a congregation committed to sharing the good news of Jesus in creative and innovative ways. We can learn from the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, that effective ministry requires consistent support and clear accountability.
So, why are so many Christians standing around looking toward heaven?
Sadly, many followers of Jesus are content to stand and look toward heaven. Believers in Jesus can have little or no effect for the Kingdom of God. They can live committed to Jesus without consideration to what each believer is expected to accomplish while living on earth. We are saved for more than ourselves. We are saved to help others.We are God’s strategic plan to change the world. A church that loves people with the passionate heart of God will ultimately help others come to know the ever-expanding, limitless potential of God working in and through us to reach a lost and dying world. But, we all have to do our part. Join us this weekend for the second episode of our Faith Promise series GO! We ask Wheatland mission teams where they saw God at work.
"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8b NIV
*Organic Outreach for Churches: Infusing Evangelistic Passion in your Local Congregation. Kevin Harney, Zondervan. 2011