If you were part of the Multiply Gathering in Austin last month, you may remember an analogy that Francis used to illustrate what happens when we add to the gospel. What he ended up with was the drink pictured blow.
It’s an ugly concoction that’s hard to look at and even harder to drink. It used to be juice, made solely of fruits and vegetables. But simply by adding stuff that we find appealing – whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and Skittles – what began as healthy and refreshing quickly became unappetizing and impure. The juice in the picture to the left is now unrecognizable, if it even qualifies as juice at all.
This is what becomes of the gospel when we try to spice it up with our own “words of eloquent wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 1:17 tells us that when we do this, we can actually empty the cross of its power. That’s why, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul resolved to preach nothing but the simple gospel: Jesus’ death on the cross.
The death of Jesus hardly seems appealing to fleshly eyes. In fact, reading 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 makes it clear that, like a child who hates healthy vegetable juice, the lost will naturally see our gospel message as foolishness. So it’s okay if preaching it makes us feel uncomfortable. But we must preach it. And though people may like Skittles, throwing some in a glass of vegetable juice actually ruins the once healthy and refreshing drink. Likewise, adding to the gospel in an attempt to make the cross more appealing actually serves to empty the cross of its inherent power. For we know that this gospel, and this gospel alone, is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rm 1:16).
To watch this illustration from the November Gathering, begin listening here at time marker 1:14:33.
From our friends at Shattered Magazine comes the story of Jim Warren, the executive director of David Platt’s resource ministry, Radical.
Jim has the same story as all believers – he once was lost but now is found. And though this basic template of redemption in Christ remains constant, each “found” person fills it in with their own unique, providential journey. Check out Jim’s story and see God’s glory on display in the life of a man whose success shifted from being worldly to being heavenly, from being temporal to being eternal.
In the words of article writer Mitch Eubank, “When we hear a story like Jim Warren’s, let us not only be encouraged by his truly radical steps of faith, but more importantly, let us be drawn into the worship of our great God; the same God who chooses to use helpless sinners in His great plan of redeeming a people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.”
Read the entire story HERE.
Ladies, if you are looking for a good additional resource to help you has you make disciples, check out Lisa Chan’s True Beauty, a series of films in which biblical teaching is woven together with the personal testimonies of women. In “Not of This World,” as you hear about having an eternal perspective on things, you’ll get a glimpse of how Shawn’s wife, Carolyn, learned to do this through her struggles as a wife and mother. You may remember Shawn from the most recent Multiply Gathering (the man Francis discipled).
The first video below gives you a look behind the scenes of the short film and includes Shawn telling his side of the story. The second is a short “Not of This World” trailer.
If you haven’t already seen these videos, there are 5 more on the Vision page of the Multiply website. Get a glimpse into Francis and David’s heart for making disciples as you listen in to their extended conversation.
On one hand, we were created by God to enjoy his grace. Apart from everything else God created, we were made in his image. We alone have the capacity to enjoy God in intimate relationship with him. The first word the Bible uses to describe that relationship is blessing. God blessed the human race not because of any merit or inherent worth in in us, but simply out of pure, unadulterated grace. God created humankind to enjoy his grace.
But that was not the end of the story, because on the other hand, God immediately followed his blessing with a command. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’ ” God gave his people his image for a reason – so that they might multiply his image throughout the world. He created human beings, not only to enjoy his grace in relationship with him, but also to extend his glory to the ends of the earth.
Simple enough. Enjoy his grace and extend his glory. This is the twofold purpose behind the creation of the human race in Genesis 1, and it sets the stage for an entire Book that revolves around the same purpose. In every genre of biblical literature and every stage of biblical history, God is seen pouring out his grace on his people for the sake of his glory among all peoples.
- David Platt, Radical, p.65
Are you new to the Multiply Movement? Was the recent live stream your first real call to biblical disciple-making? Are you unsure about where to begin if you were to disciple someone starting today? Then this post is for you!
You can find all of the Multiply material on our website for free by going here. Not only do you have access to this material, but we have provided leader videos by Francis Chan and David Platt to assist you in the process!
The video below is the first of the Leader Videos that accompany the free Multiply discipleship material. Each of the 24 lessons contains a video with David Platt and Francis Chan aimed at helping you lead someone else (or a small group) through this material in the discipleship process.
In order to get to the videos, simply go to the Multiply website, click on the “Materials” tab, find the specific lesson you want, and then click on the “Read More” option to see the video and the lesson appear on the screen.
Read through the week’s lesson and then watch the corresponding video. Hopefully, you’ll find some questions answered and be encouraged along the way.
In addition to Multiply resources, videos, and updates, you may have noticed that the free Multiply app (as well as the new website) has a prayer request feature. Many of you have already taken advantage of this by posting prayer requests and by indicating that you are praying for others.
Our goal with the prayer request feature is to provide an avenue to connect with others for prayer and encouragement as you seek to make disciples. All prayer requests are important because they represent real hurts, concerns, and anxieties (as well as praises). However, our vision for this particular feature is for followers of Christ to lift one another up in prayer as we engage others with the gospel of Christ. All you have to do is set up an account, and it’s free!
To interact, post questions, or leave comments, follow Multiply on Facebook, the blog, or contact us at email@example.com.
We’re grateful that so many of you have already begun praying for one another in this sometimes difficult, yet glorious task of bearing witness to Christ and His Word.