Week 3 (April 19-25) —Focus our listening
We find ourselves in the third week after Easter… Let’s take a few minutes and ponder, “The disciples and followers of Jesus found themselves in a time of learning to wait!”
All of us who have been in seasons of waiting. This time can bring forth transformation. For the disciples on their 50 day journey, many of them for the most part would be passed the initial despair of the reality of the crucifixion and Jesus not being “with them daily”. In the midst of the waiting, things were definitely different. While they had enjoyed times of joy when they were able to experience seeing and being with Jesus in His resurrected state, this was a different time for them individually and as a group. We know from the accounts in the Scriptures that Jesus continued to teach and prepare them for what was to come in His visits. They were in a time of transition, moving from “where they had been” to “what was to come.” For those who were counting off the days since Jesus death, burial and resurrection, certainly they were becoming a different group of men and women. Along the way they were picking up the “Next Generation” — students and young adults believers that were drawn to run with those who had been with Jesus.
Can we envision the disciples dreaming and asking each other about visions and aspiration of what it was going to look like into the future? Under the surface was the new reality of the movement of the Church. Can we imagine what was happening as they saw how the media-ization — “getting the Story out” was happening? Many were being drawn to the Story of the Risen One. Getting the Story out, was just happening for the most part. The disciples must have been amazed! Just as He told them, after His death He would come to them, He was preparing them to stand and be all of who they were called to be… Before he ascended, He gave them the Great Commission, “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.” Jesus also told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the gift the Father would send. Jesus had told His disciples about this gift in the past. He knew that the disciples could not carry out their task without help. They needed the power of God living in them to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world. They needed the Holy Spirit! As they waited they must have felt impatience, confusion even fear. They continued to be a people of the Word and a people in prayer.
Can we envision what it might be like for us as the ION family to be dreaming and asking each other about visions and aspiration of what it is going to look like into the future?
That is what we are asking in this Week 3, let us, Really focus on hearing the dreams, visions and aspirations you and others have for the movement.
In the story from John 21 of Jesus appearance to the disciples after the resurrection, Jesus appeared again to his disciples.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
As Jesus performs his last recorded miracle, the disciples were overwhelmed. Shortly afterward is the moving story of Peter’s reinstatement. Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times during is questioned by Jesus… three times. It is during this questioning that Jesus gives Peter the famous charge to “Feed my sheep.” What was it going to take to ‘Feed my sheep’? Now in the days after all this happened, the reality was upon them. Their path was set to GO and their global positioning was forever changed. It did take more than just them to carry out the directions Jesus had given. So what might that mean for us today? What might that mean for ION?
During these 50 days from Easter to Pentecost let us…
REMEMBER Easter: The Story
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here.”
Easter: The Story –Listen again to the 9-minute dramatized audio production (from Bible.is) taken word-for-word from the New Testament book of Mark (chapters 15 & 16). The lifelike recording was made using multiple character voices, music, and sound effects to maximize the excitement and emotion of the Scriptures.
The Easter Story is a story for each of us today as well. He is risen, just as He said… go quickly now… we area a people of prayer and in the Word daily…
Let us pray:
Hear us when we call, O Lord, You will enlarge us when we are in distress; have mercy on us and hear our prayer. We seek the Lord, and His strength and seek His face continually. You Lord, promise to be near all who call upon Your name, to all who call upon Your truth. Lord we ask for good gifts, gifts that will bring You glory. We cry out to You day and night during these 50 days from all around the globe. We look to You, the God of Angel Armies, The Most High. May it come to pass in these days that we might really focus on hearing the dreams, visions and aspirations that You have given.
We pray and do not faint; We call upon the Spirit. We continue in prayer, We pray without ceasing in our hearts for You to work in taking us to where we need to be in the days ahead.
Lord, give us a fresh, historic outpouring of the Holy Spirit, upon the International Orality Network and ION Partners, so that we might fulfill our call to Influence the body of Christ to make disciples of all oral learners. We are asking for a new anointing as we seek to influence the body of Christ to bring the Gospel to those oral peoples, unengaged unreached people groups, and oral Bible-less who still wait to hear the saving message of Jesus Christ in a way that they can really understand and receive. Amen
1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalms 4:1, Psalms 145:18, Matthew 7:11, Luke 6:12, Luke 18:1, Romans 8:26, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:17
· The disciples were in prayer. Let us be people of the Word in prayer.