HAVE A HEART
A Series by Kymone Hinds
Start with Why is the bestselling book by Simon Sinek. In it he shares that great leaders inspire action not by beginning with the how and the what of the activity or plan. Great leaders, he says, get people to buy into the “why” - the reason behind the mission. Why you do what you do. It is fascinating to study people in whatever field of life and see what drives them and makes them get out of bed in the morning and pursue their goals. This is the heart of who they are.
Have you ever wondered what the heart of the church is? What is the why behind this body of Christ, that is powered by the Spirit of God? What should be the motivating factor behind our actions and our plans? What is at the heart of the church?
Although at times we may have various motives as churches for our activity such as paying the bills, increasing our membership roll and giving the appearance of success, the Bible seems to give a different “why” behind what we do. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, the author, Paul shares a compelling why and that is the GOSPEL. The reason he gives for all the gathering and sharing and serving and helping is the gospel.
Now what is the gospel? I’m glad you asked. The gospel simply is “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.” (2 Cor 5:19).
The Bible starts off in Genesis with the story of a perfect God making a perfect man to live in a perfect world in a perfect relationship with Him. But then into this perfection comes this strange, mysterious alien concept called sin. Sin separates man from God. It breaks the connection and the story of humanity is the story of humans trying to deal with that disconnection.
Some try to ignore it and pretend there’s nothing missing. But that doesn’t deal with the emptiness that is there because of the broken relationship. Some try to reconnect it by bringing God down to their level. Making God just like them. Making God so low that they can reach Him. But that doesn’t fix the broken relationship.
Then some try to reconnect by their own efforts. Some try to work real hard, and do a lot of ceremonies and symbols and live so good that their good deeds serve as rungs on a ladder. A ladder they use to climb up to reconnect them back to God. But everyone who has tried that realizes that our ladders are too short and they are leaning against an imaginary wall. Our good works and good deeds don’t reconnect a broken relationship.
So since there needs to be a perfect person needed to reconnect man back to God and no man was ever and could ever be good enough, God became man. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Jesus came down and holding the live wire that had been cut. God through Christ connects God to man holding the live wire and the connection was restored. God becomes a man so that He could do for man what man could never do for himself - He restores a broken relationship.
Because sin was the thing that caused the separation, how does God deal with the separating agent? Sin has to be dealt with. There is a wage for sin called death. The gospel says it in 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Christ reconnects man back to God. The broken relationship is restored. God puts the punishment on Christ and we get the benefits he has earned. That’s the GOSPEL.
So how does that relate to the church? What does that story of reconnection of a broken relationship have to do with the church? Everything!
The gospel is the heart of the church. It’s the reason we do what we do.
2 Corinthians 5:14, 15 says it so well.
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this:
That one has died for all, therefore all have died and He died for all,
that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him
who for their sake died and was raised.”
The love of Christ is what makes us do what we do. Because of what He did for us, we live for Him. What we do isn’t about what we want, it’s about what He wants. The reason why we the church do what we do is because of what God has done in us. The church is reconciled people living out the freedom of that reconciliation.
We do everything because of what He did. The reason we as a church worship, is because of what Christ did. The reason we serve one another is because of what Christ did. The reason we give our time, our talent and our treasure, is because of what Christ did. The reason we do all we do, give all we give, go where we go, is because of what Jesus did. The love of Christ is our why!
It’s dangerous for us as to be motivated by anything else. If we make anything else the primary motivation for doing what we are doing it will fail. If we try to make fear the reason we try to make the church move it may work for a while, but it doesn’t change our heart and it will eventually stop working. If we are motivated by guilt people, it will only work for a while. Even being driven by some blessing we want to acquire may work, but only for a while. All of these lead to misery instead of joy in service. The only motivation that changes the heart is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
They tell us that what’s inside your heart will come out. It will come out in what you say, in your expressions. If something has made a deep, lasting impact on you, it will flow out of you. The gospel will flow out of the church, you and me, to those we come in contact with. We will tell it and show it by our words and our actions. We can’t help but live out 2 Corinthians 5:20.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself. When we get an understanding of that and it rocks our heart and it fires us up as a church then we ‘run tell dat.’ Our job is to be agents of reconciliation and tell the world that reconciliation has happened.
We carry one message to the world. That message is BE reconciled to God. That’s different from the message people hear all around them. It’s different than anything they’ve ever believed before because all of life says, GET reconciled to God.
Everything says, you’ve got issues and God is angry with you because of your issues and so you have got to get it right before you come to God. And in the midst of a world that says “Get” reconciled to God, He has sent the church with the message “BE” reconciled to God. It’s not something you work to achieve. It’s not something you have to earn. It’s a new reality that has been worked out for you. The reconciliation has already taken place between God and man. And God is inviting people to live out that new reality.
God isn’t out to get you. Reconciliation has taken place. Now come accept it. Come live like it.
Come receive it. That’s our why - THE GOSPEL!
Kymone Hinds, his wife and their three energetic children live in Memphis, TN.
He pastors two churches - Overton Park SDA and Journey Fellowship.
Hinds also speaks and writes regularly on different life issues.
You can connect with Kymone via twitter (@kymonehinds) or on his blog at kymonehinds.com