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"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
We believe that there is nothing more important to man than to be reconciled to God through His Son. We want to know Jesus more and more and to help others do likewise. We desire to be obedient and Christlike by being doers of the Word and not just hearers only (James 1:22). We want to be salt and light to the world by following the Luke 4 mandate where Jesus describes His ministry. We will seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit at all times as He leads us into the specifics of our ministry work. We will work from our Spiritual gifts and calling with a servant attitude doing all of this to bring glory to God and not ourselves. And we will be intentional in working to resolve spiritual, relational, and material poverty in our community and anywhere else where we may have influence.
Do you know what “holiness” is? I’m not really sure myself. I’ve always thought it meant being good or even trying to be “perfect.” Unfortunately, I’m usually not very “good” and never perfect.
So, maybe I’ve got it wrong.
Jesus was holy. And good. Even perfect. But He was also genuinely good. And genuine goodness is captivating.
You can tell a lot about someone by his or her effect on others. You know, “What’s he like to be around?” “How does she make you feel?” “Is this someone you’d like to take a road trip with?”
Let’s look at the effect Jesus had on some very “imperfect” people. Maybe we can see more of what holiness looks like.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. ”So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount. Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.” Luke 19:5-8
Wow! Jesus had the effect of changing old Zac immediately and forever!
One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. Luke 7:36-38 (The Message)
Not sure what I could add to this story.
Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. [...] One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” Luke 23:32-43 (The Message)
What is stunning here in these encounters is that people who KNEW themselves to be anything but holy found the holiness of Jesus easy, open-armed, and utterly compelling.
Is this how we have understood holiness? Is this how we present it to others?
Everything changes when we do.
We – you and I – and everyone else – is loved!
Over the next few weeks, I want to help you understand what 1Twenty2 Ministries is all about. Hopefully, as you become more informed, you will be encouraged to become a more intimate ally with us or that you will become more interested in being involved in Kingdom growth because of what you learn here.
See our Vision Statement to the left.
We began as an outreach Bible study for a group of people who were seeking fellowship and discipleship but were not "comfortable" in a church setting. These folks were unfamiliar with what many of us consider routine gatherings and were fearful and intimidated by what they considered a closed group.
So, we took our resources to them and created a group that was essentially theirs to develop. We eliminated many of the traditional "rules" and simply gathered together to eat, fellowship, get to know each other, study God's Word, and grow our relationship to God and to each other. In fact, we call this group "A Gathering of Friends."
Meeting each Sunday at 9AM, we are informal and at home with each other. (In fact, we are so informal that we usually have a dog, or several, join us.) We share our burdens and our joys. We share a meal and music. We pray for each other and others. And we learn together, what an abundant life is offered to us by our Lord.
This was and is the cornerstone of our ministry. All of our group has something to offer and we spend time discovering what that is and then helping each one live out his or her purpose.
This has been a special blessing, not only to those for whom it was intended to reach, but also for those of us who are now learning what real fellowship among believers can become. I have personally grown more in Christ in the past five years than I did in the previous "however many years" before that. It's simply been and continues to be an incredible adventure!
I know that many of you who receive and read this email are currently involved in ministry at your place of worship. I pray that you are serving where you are called and in the capacity that you were gifted and purposed for. We do not want to "steal sheep. But if you are curious to place yourself in a dynamic group of "discoverers," please know that you are always welcome to join with us.
Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some specific things we are doing and why we are doing them in a somewhat non-traditional way. Please stay tuned for more.
Dr. Bobby Haney