Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Decisions that Define Us - Graham Cooke

All credit to ministry leader and prophet, Graham Cooke, for this inspiring challenge:

We have decided, that teaching the Gospel without demonstrating the Gospel is not enough,
good preaching, good doctrine, being good people — it’s not enough
We’ve decided that having a good church club is not enough good fellowship — it’s not enough
just being a member of that club is not enough

We’ve decided that having good bible studies is good, but not good enough.
That just making it to heaven is not our goal
and that knowing about God without truly knowing Him and experiencing God is meaningless
We’ve decided that having good programs is not enough,
That change without transformation is intolerable
And that staying the same is not an option
We’ve decided that gifting without character is futile
We’ve decided that singing songs without worshipping is hollow
Having meetings without God showing up is pointless
We’ve decided that faith without works is not enough
And having works without love is not acceptable
That our function comes out of our relationship first, with our father and second, with each other
We have that decided that reading about the book of Acts without living the book of acts is unthinkable

We’ve decided that confident faith is good, bold faith is better
We’ve decided that hearing about the Holy Spirit without experiencing Him is silly
That believing in His presence without seeing it manifested in signs and wonders is hypocrisy
That believing in healing without seeing people healed is absurd
and that believing in deliverance without people being delivered is absolutely ridiculous
We’ve decided to be Holy Spirit filled, Holy Spirit led, and Holy Spirit empowered
Anything less doesn’t work for us

We have decided to be the ones telling the stories of God’s power, not the ones hearing about God
We have decided that living saved, but not supernatural, is living below our privilege and short of what Christ died for.

We have decided that we’re a battleship, not a cruise ship
an army, not an audience
special forces, not spectators
missionaries, not club members

We have decided to value both pioneers and settlers
pioneers to expand our territory and settlers to build on those territories
but we are not squatters — people who take up space others have fought for without improving it
We have decided to be infectious instead of innocuous
contagious instead of quarantined
deadly instead of benign

We have decided to be radical lovers and outrageous givers
We have decided that we’re a mission station, not a museum
Therefore, we honor the past, but we don’t live in it.
We live in the present with our eyes on the future
We see past events, success and failures as stepping stones, not stop signs
We pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know

We are people of engagement, not observation
We focus on what could be, not what is or has been
We are not limited to the 4 walls of this building
Our influence is not restricted by location
Not even the nations are ‘out of bounds’
We are more concerned about how many we send out into the world,
Than how many we convince to come into the building
This building is meant to be filled, and it will be
but it will not be the measure of who we are, or the measure of our effectiveness

We raise up world-changers, not tour-guides

We train commandos, not committers
We are people of our destiny, not our history
We have decided that it’s better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for us than succeed in settling for less
We have decided that nothing short of His kingdom come, and His will be done in our world as it is in heaven will satisfy
We have decided we will not be satisfied until our world freaks out, and cries out “those who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (acts 17:6)

These are some of the decisions that define who we are as a community and how we live our lives
These decisions are not destinations but rather journeys
Journeys along an ancient path, we’ve not found some new way
but rather we’ve discovered the path as old as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
The same path followed by Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Paul, John, and Peter
A path followed by the first century church
A church that revolutionized the culture of the 1st century and beyond

It’s a path that will impact the world we live in today
It’s a path of bold faith
believing that what God says is really true and acting on it
It’s a path of outrageous generosity
Giving our life away in order to demonstrate his kingdom
It’s a path of radical love
Loving God with everything in us
and our neighbors as ourselves

It’s a path of liberty freedom and healing
On this path, you will find significance purpose and destiny
It’s a path less traveled, however
It’s not a path only available to a select few
but to whosoever will may come
It’s for people of every nation tribe and tongue
for those in any occupation or vocation
No matter where you are on this life journey, there’s room on this path for you.

- Graham Cooke

This piece was written by Graham Cooke, as much as I would like to take credit for it!

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