2WordStory, 27 March 2011

Big Idea

The upcoming E.A.C.H. campaign is about God’s story...and yours!


“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. - 1 Peter 3:15-16

Always be prepared to share your story. Can you share it in an hour? 30 minutes? 3 minutes? Two words?

Now is the time to order our gear and prepare our story. Beginning on Easter Sunday, billboards, bus signs, coffee sleeves, and other tools will promote 2WordStory. When someone sees you with your 2WordStory t-shirt, mug, or other gear, they will likely ask about it and then, BOOM!, you have an opportunity to share your story...and ask them about their story.

The E.A.C.H. strategy which focuses on your 2WordStory. If you missed it, I urge you to watch this video and/or listen to the podcast in order to prepare for this historic 40-day campaign that begins on Easter Sunday. You can get your 2WordStory gear here.

April 16, is the E.A.C.H. Prayer Walk. It starts at 9 AM at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

You can listen to the podcast here.

The Biggest Party Ever! 20 March 2011

Big Idea

God is preparing the greatest party ever! We are not only invited, we are to distribute invitations to everyone around us.


On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. - Isaiah 25:6-8

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

But they paid no attention and went off — one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. - Matthew 22:1-10

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
- 2 Peter 3:8-13


For the past several week’s we’ve seen how God lost something, and He wants it back. That’s the theme from Genesis to Revelation. People think the Bible is a complicated book. Not really. It’s a deep book with a simple plot. It’s a straight-up love story. It’s a romance. The Father created a Bride for the Son. In Eden, that bride was seduced away by a deceiver. But the Son came into that Garden and vowed to fight to win back His precious bride. You’re no throw away. You’re worth fighting for. And that’s what the whole Bible is: The story of the Son’s fight to recapture His bride. When that battle is over, when every last person who will come back to the Son has come back, the Father will throw the biggest party ever – a wedding party.

When this party happens, death is dead. Tears are gone. Sadness and mourning have no place at the table. It will be time to celebrate, because the search and rescue mission has been completed. People from every tribe and tongue and nation will party with God!

The whole Bible is a romance story. God lost something . . . and He wants it back. But what we learn when we examine the plot more closely is that what was lost was the bride for the Son. The King wanted a bride for His Son. We, humanity, were supposed to be that bride. We were not just “made for God.” We were “made for Jesus,” to be His very own possession, His bride. When the serpent came into the Garden of Eden, he stole away the heart of the bride from the Bridegroom. But the Bridegroom has been fighting ever since to win us back. Right now, the Father is sending out invitations to fill up the wedding hall for His Son. People everywhere are being invited into a relationship with God that gives them a ticket to the greatest party ever.

You know what E.A.C.H. really is?
It’s the King’s servants going to the streets to invite people to come to the wedding banquet of the Son. That‟s what we‟re doing. Handing out invitations to the greatest party ever. Many people will come. And many others will find excuses as to why they don‟t want to come to the Son‟s party. But our job is to be the inviters. The wedding hall will be filled with guests. God will see to that. Our job is to hand out the invitations: COME TO THE WEDDING BANQUET!

This explains why the entire story of the Bible ends with the biggest party ever – the wedding party for the Son and His bride. All of human history is moving toward this event – this massive wedding party. The Father will see to it that the Son WILL have His wedding day. He WILL have His bride. Everything in history is driving toward the fulfillment of this plan. The Son WILL be united with His bride, forever. That‟s what the last book of the Bible is about. The wedding of the Son and His bride.

When you read through Revelation, you can feel the anticipation building toward the wedding party of the Son. In fact, the actual title of this last book is: The Revelation of Jesus Christ. This last book is The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. The end of human history, as we now know it, is The Presentation of the Bridegroom.

Where is God right now? He’s waiting for more to come, for more to be found. And He wants to use US to do that finding. This is our job. This is what Jesus told the church to do. (Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:1-8).

And then, when He sees fit, the time will be over. The day of salvation will have ended.


You can listen to the podcast here.

Asleep In The Light: Shine! 13 March 2011

Big Idea

Jesus is the light of the world. He told us that we are now the light of the world, reflecting His light to our dark world as the moon shines at night.


What in the world is the Church?

- Body
- Bride
- Spiritual Temple
- Family

The “church” is a movement of changed lives.

I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. - Matthew 16:18b

The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
- Revelation 1:20

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:14-16

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20

So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. - Acts 1:6-9

Your business is not the end times; your business is the now times—the mission to seek and save the lost.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. - Isaiah 9:2

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life — in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. - Philippians 2:14-16

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. - Revelation 2:4-5

You can listen to the podcast here.

Lost and Found, 6 March 2011

Big Idea

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stores: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. God rejoices when one lost child is found, and we are privileged to be able to be a part of His search and rescue mission.


God lost something…and He wants it back.

God uses people to reach people.

Jesus was a trouble-maker. The religious leaders were offended that He cared for the lost and even partied with them. He said,

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- Matthew 9:12-13

Jesus’ entire ministry can be summed up in Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

When we don’t understand God’s heart for people, our ‘religion’ can get pretty messed up.

The Pharisees grumbled over the very thing that heaven celebrates—the lost being found.

In the story of the lost son, the older brother didn’t have the heart of the father for the lost brother.

Those who think that they are close to God can, in fact, be as far from God as the irreligious, just in a different way.


You can listen to the podcast here.

For Further Study

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller