RADIATE 2016

@jonacuff via instagram

@jonacuff via instagram

I’m sure you’re probably wondering why in the world a picture of a timer would stop me in my tracks and make me rethink the entire direction of my sermon. It’s subtle, I know. Here it is:

ONE SIMPLE WORD... RADIATE.

Here’s why the word grabbed my attention: During the process of redefining our mission and vision as a church, the word radiate come to refer to the third part of our church strategy. We Rally, Raise, and Radiate.

It’s also the most difficult part of our strategy.

Radiate is what we want you to do when you leave here. So when we Rally and Raise, our hope is that you will leave ready to Radiate the love of Christ in your families, your work place, and your community. That wherever you go, the light of Christ would shine through you. That the world would be brighter because you’re apart of it.

But we can’t force you to do that. Often times, we can’t even force ourselves to do that consistently. But if we are going to be people that lead others to new life and new possibilities, then we must be people who radiate the love of Christ into every arena of our life.

Exodus 34:29-35 - "When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord. So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord."

The radiance of Moses’ face served as a visual representation of God’s glory to the people of Israel, but this radiance faded apart from God’s presence.

The Apostle Paul in the New Testament makes an interesting comparison between followers of Christ today and Moses. In talking about the glory of the new covenant that Christ implemented by dying on the cross for you and I and paying the price for our sin, Paul says this:

2 Corinthians 3:12-13; 16-18 - "Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away... But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."

We don’t have a glory that fades. Instead, we have Spirit of the Lord living within us, making us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image, that removes the veil, so we can both see and reflect (RADIATE) the glory of God!

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 - "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
Colossians 3:1-4 - “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.”

AND SO HERE IS THE KEY TO BEING A PEOPLE THAT RADIATE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST:

“We turn our eyes upon Jesus.
We look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace."

When the world grows dark—turn your eyes upon Jesus.
When the doctor delivers bad news—turn your eyes upon Jesus.
When the promotion doesn’t come—turn your eyes upon Jesus.
When the relationship falls apart—turn your eyes upon Jesus.
When the mountain of debt continues to grow—turn your eyes upon Jesus.
When all hell is breaking loose—turn your eyes upon Jesus.

It’s in turning our eyes upon Jesus that the things of this world grow dim, allowing the light of Christ to shine ever brighter in our lives. And it’s in turning our eyes upon Jesus that we become more and more like Him.

And this is what the world so desperately needs! 

Hebrews 12:12-13 - “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

“Those” implies others. So this verse is essentially saying that the reason we take a new grip, the reason we strengthen our weak knees, the reason we mark out a straight path for our feet is so that others won’t fall.

The life you live affects those around you. Your life was meant to lead and inspire others. You are meant to radiate.

RADIATE 2016 ACTION PLAN »

  • Commit to spending time with God everyday.
    • #BibleBeforeTwitter / Bible in a Year / YouVersion / Prayer Journal / Don’t do it all. Do what fits.
  • Make it a priority to rally together with other believers each Sunday.
  • Join a Life Group (Saturday is the last day to join! ICU today, or online @ afreshwind.org)
  • Make a commitment to give consistently in 2016.
    • Set up scheduled giving online. Set up a pledge amount and track your progress.
  • Forgive someone you’ve held a grudge against.

If you choose to turn your eyes upon Jesus and allow your life to begin to radiate the light of Christ, this year can be the most meaningful year of your life. This can be the year you start leaving a legacy. The year you start to make a difference. To find purpose. The best is yet to come.