On Saturday evening, I was among five volunteers from Kinship Radio who helped at the merchandise table for We The Kingdom concert at the Freeborn County Fair. It was a high-energy, glorious, excellent concert.
On Sunday evening, my lovely wife and I attended a Crowder concert hosted by GoServ Global and Sukup Manufacturing. I had helped erect a display Sukup Saf-T-Home with volunteers from GoServ on Saturday at the Crowder venue. (You can read more here: https://goservglobal.org/safe-t-home/)
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Crowder and his ministry and I really enjoy his music. (At least one Kinship staff member believes my enthusiasm for the song “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” borders on the excessive.)
But it was something Crowder said during his concert that’s still sticking with me and I want to share with you.
He said the church doesn’t exist to make bad people good, the purpose of the church is to make dead people alive.
Now, I think I’ve probably heard that before and maybe you have too, but that thought in the middle of seeing so many people singing and praising and dancing and ministering to others and just being so very much ALIVE this weekend really struck a chord.
Because as soon as those words came out of Crowder’s mouth, I could not help thinking of the father in the parable of the prodigal sons saying in Luke 15:12:
“We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” (NLT)
He’s ALIVE! Kill the fatted calf, put a robe on him, sandals on his feet, a ring on his finger and let us celebrate! Let’s dance and sing and invite absolutely anybody and everybody to come and celebrate with us!
If we preach that the Good News is a deal where we slog through this life of misery and woe until we finally get to throw off this veil of tears when we die and enter glory, we’re missing the glory Jesus intended for us and Himself in this life. As He said in John 10:10:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV)
Not long ago, I heard Dr. Tony Evans on Kinship Radio telling about a little girl who asked her daddy for a nickel. The father, so much in love with his daughter, took out his wallet and said, “I tell you what, my darlin’ beloved daughter, I love you so much –here’s a twenty dollar bill!”
The little girl looked down at the twenty dollar bill in her hands and back up into her father’s loving face and said,
“But Daddy, I wanted a nickel!”
The father said, “No, no. You don’t understand. See, there’s TWENTY nickels in every dollar and you have TWENTY dollars!”
“But Daddy, I wanted a nickel!” said the daughter.
The point, of course, is that we, like the little girl, often don’t realize how much we have. We don’t see the glorious abundance of the blessings He pours out on us each and every day and how great and marvelous and abundant the blessings we could have and that He is able to provide.
And that brings me to what the good father said to the older brother when he complained that he never got a party with a fatted calf and all the trimmings:
“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.” (NLT)
Beth Siebrands, Mary Doyen, Doug Johnson, Tracy Jones, and the author at the merchandise table for We The Kingdom at the Freeborn County Fair.