Good news in a bad world


Acts is a transition book. It’s a transition between the gospels and the epistles to the new churches. It’s a transition between the story of Christ and our story. It’s a transition between the Messiah and the mission field. It’s a transition between what was finished and what has just begun. It’s a transition between the coming of Christ and the going out of you and me. It’s a transition between what was and what will be — a transition between what happened and what’s happening. It’s a transition between hearing and doing. Acts is the transition between the Bible stories and our story. Acts is where faith becomes personal.

Last night I reminded my son, Chandler, about what my mother said to him on the only occasion that she met him when he was six months old and she had just come out of a 48-hour dementia-induced coma. With no acknowledged idea of who he was  — or who I was, for that matter — she said, as she took both of his hands in hers, “So what are you going to do?” That’s the book of Acts in a nutshell. “What are you going to do?” And when Chandler responded with some six-month-old gibberish, she said, as if she had understood every word, “Well I’m not surprised.” To this day, I hold that she did know what he said, and he knew what she said. I do know that he is already about doing it.

This was a prophetic encounter. My mother understood Chandler’s generation. She had one shot at him and she chose the right bullet: “What are you going to do?”

Chandler is on the coattails of the millennials and he is all about action. He believes he was sent here for a purpose. He was a purpose-driven baby, and he’s been purpose-driven all his life — much too serious for my liking, but I can’t change that. He has told me straight up that he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t know that God had chosen him to carry the message of salvation to many people. I am discovering that this is a common consciousness among millennials and I get it now. Once they find out how bad the world really is, they either have to do something about it or check out.

This is why the millennials are the transformation generation, because they have no choice. Look at the world they inherited. The world is going from bad to worse. Things have to change or we will be no more. But we as boomers get it, too. This has been our message all along. And everybody in between is getting it. We are all a part of the transformation generation. We have no choice. And it’s not just that things have to change, but we have to change.

Chandler has a girlfriend who doesn’t understand yet the importance of the spiritual transformation he feels she needs to go through, and it frustrates him no end. I keep trying to get him to realize he can’t change her and he has to have patience, but patience is not one of Chandler’s virtues. Nor is patience a virtue of the millennials. Millennials realize time is short. They’re either activists or they are checking out. Of the millennials we know, and whom you will be hearing from soon, Alex is going into politics and Tony and Chandler are going into the ministry. They believe they can make a difference. They believe they have to make a difference.

All the players in the book of Acts believed they could make a difference — and not only “could” but “had to” make a difference. Once they knew the truth about Jesus, they couldn’t sit on it. If you’ve got good news in a bad world, you’ve got a responsibility to get it out. You can’t just keep it to yourself.

That’s why Paul returned from ten years in the Arabian desert to immediately embark on three missionary journeys establishing churches in Greece, Asia and finally to the center of the Roman Empire itself — to Rome. Is there any surprise that the book immediately following Acts is Paul’s letter to the Romans?

We have so much to learn from this generation, and they have so much to learn from us. Jump in or get out of the way.

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Shar’i, wife of JJ, who have been leaders in our Prayer Warrior ministry. Shar’i made and sent out hundreds of prayer pillows that became tangible evidence of prayer support to so many in time of need. They have been such a strength and encouragement to us personally and she will be sorely missed. Pray for JJ as he seeks to cope without her.

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3 Responses to Good news in a bad world

  1. Very encouraging to hear…

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