The Second Half of the Gospel
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, Philippians 1:3-7
“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” Philippians 2:12
Maxie Dunnam, President Emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary said “The first step on the road to the second half of the gospel is holy discontent.” Hmm, let that sink in and make you pause for a moment to ponder. What is the second half of the gospel and why would discontent be needed to walk that road?
Discontent is not what most of us strive for in our walks with Jesus. I think most of us would rather seek the peace spoken of by King David as “still waters and green pastures.” Certainly there is a peace that is only found in a relationship with Christ. Discontent on the other hand, seems rather like a place that is dry and parched with the requirement of added work. This doesn’t sound like the gospel.
As I consider spent some time on the word discontent, I realized that discontent is not malcontent. Malcontent is being upset or angered due to the context of our soundings. It boarders on malice. To be malcontent means someone is having a difficult time keeping their personal emotions in their proper context. The malcontent overflows into other areas of our lives and often to the lives of others. This is not what I think Maxie Dunnam was at all talking about.
The way I would define Holy discontent is “a righteous stirring” within our spirits that creates tension, yet does not upset our peace. It causes us to know there is more…more to discover, more to take hold of, more to give away to others. It desires for righteousness to be honored our lives and land so that the dry and parched can drink of the overflow of God’s grace.
I think it is because this righteous discontent creates tension in our lives that many retreat from it good work in our lives. I know for me personally, I don’t like being uncomfortable, yet the longing to know that there must be more of God and his kingdom here on earth than what we are presently experiencing is the discontent that I think is healthy.
JD. Walt said “holy discontent is the distance between the truth one knows and the reality one experiences. If the first half of the gospel is, “Lord you took me out of Egypt,” the second half is, “Now take Egypt out of me.” If the first half of the gospel is believing in Jesus, the second half is becoming like Jesus. If the first half of the gospel is justification by grace through faith, the second half is sanctification by faith through the outworking of grace. If the first half of the gospel is forgiveness of sin, the second half is freedom from sin. If the first half of the gospel is coming to faith in Jesus Christ, the second half is growing in the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.
Holy discontent is coming to the place where we realize there is more to the gospel than just attending church and having our families or our businesses in order. It is a deep desire to see others benefit from the grace and blessings that have been poured into our lives. It is the deep desire to share the abundance of grace we have enjoyed our lives so that others might be able to share in both the saving knowledge of gospel as well as the refining purifying second half of the gospel.
May there be a holy discontent in God’s people during this season. A discontent that produces a generosity toward others and a graciousness that is worthy of the calling we have received as children of God.
Lord may we embrace a season of holy discontent. May we use it to press into prayer for others and actions that spring forth in new and good works prepared for us by your Spirit. Help us recognize the discontent and use it to move us into new areas of loving and serving our fellow man. Amen!
We have a new August giving challenge for missions. The HLC church in Nepal that used our relief funds to help so many have another challenge before them. Next year they loose their lease on the land where they built their church. They are looking for a new piece of land locally to purchase land so that they can dis-assemble the existing church and re-build it again on the new property. If they do not, they loose the building. HLC family of 120 are desperately looking as their lease is going to expire in a year. Church has 50% budget at hand right now and we are praying for 50%, which is about $30,000.They are hoping to raise some more funds from couple of Nepalese Bhutanese Churches.
August Challenge: We have a $4000.00 matching fund available for this project, but I’d love to raise $10,000 for this wonderful family of believers. If you can give, go to mbridge.global/give and help us build the church in Nepal.