Embracing God’s Plan
This week’s sermon, “Embracing God’s Pan for His Church” is available to watch or listen to right here.
This week we heard from a special guest, Gil Odendaal, Vice President of Integral Mission at World Relief. It was an honour to have Gil come speak to us and share his heart for mission and the church!
World Relief is one of our GCC partner in Rwanda. In Nyamasheke, Rwanda, World Relief focuses on capacity building and utilizing volunteers so that the Rwandan community leaders are strengthened to encourage and equip their churches and communities. To learn more about what we’re doing with our partners in Rwanda, visit our Global Compassion page or our newly updated missions kiosk in the foyer on Sundays!
Gil reminded us of the importance of both preaching the gospel of Jesus’ salvation from sins, while also being people who are concerned with the physical needs of others. Gil mentioned that sometimes Christians tend to separate the physical from the spiritual world. People might be solely concerned with social justice–we feed the hungry and clothe those in need, but never share the message of Jesus, the one who saves our souls. Others focus solely on the Gospel message but don’t seem to be concerned with the physical needs of people. But the two don’t have to be separated. What we see in the Bible is a God who is concerned and cares for both the spiritual and the physical. Gil pointed out numerous verses about Jesus’ ministry that tell us that He preached the good news of the kingdom and healed the sick. We see Jesus healing spiritually and physically. We see the disciples doing the same thing after Jesus went back to Heaven.
I love the passage from Isaiah 61 and Luke 4 that Gil read to us. Jesus came to declare the year of Jubilee — God’s favor was here when Jesus arrived:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Notice all of the results of the year of the Lord’s favor — good news, freedom from prison, sight for the blind, the oppressed go free! These are spiritual and physical results of what God has done and is doing. And He invites us to be a part of it!
Lastly, Gil asked which version of the Lion of Judah we worship. Are we worshipping the strong One, the One who is worthy and able to do all things? This is the Jesus we are invited to repent to, to celebrate, and to walk with as He brings healing into our world.
What an encouraging and convicting message! I was reminded to pray often, to remember that the mission field is all around us, and to trust in the Jesus who is victorious! We are grateful to partner with World Relief and the amazing work of the kingdom they are doing in Rwanda!