The Simply Beautiful Gospel

Hello friends, supporters, family, partners, and possibly just curious folks! 

It’s been 3 to 4 months since my last blog and I imagine that many of you might understand as to why it’s taken me so long to sit down and write out what we’ve been up to over the past few months or so; being that our family has expanded since late May and we have been adjusting to life as parents of 2 beautiful boys! 

What a joy it is to be a father; it really is one of the biggest blessings of my life. To know that God has given me the opportunity and great responsibility to model Jesus for my boys each and every day is something that I understand and most seriously embrace with my whole heart; knowing that the Gospel-life should be most evident in my home with how I love and serve my family and in the community in which we live. 

Daily life, the Gospel-life, for me, begins long before I interact with others throughout my day; it is my desire that the gift of each new day would begin in the early morning as I arise and look to find His face before I look into the face of another. 

That when I wake up each morning I would awake with a longing to hear His voice before any other voice, and that it would be that same sweet and calming voice that daily leads me to rest in Him and His love and care for me.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength."

- Isaiah 30:15 -

Each day I need Him; in every moment I look to Him. 

There is no me without Him; we are one and there is no separating us.  There isn’t one day that passes by that I fail to understand that if it weren’t for the Lord and His Gospel, I would in no way be the man, husband, and father that I am today.  Long ago, I would have destroyed the blessing of life and quite possibly would not even be alive today. Knowing this as a personal truth in my life is what birthed and sustains a gratefulness in my soul that perseveres through any and all circumstances.  

Lately, maybe over the last year or so I have really been drawn back once again to gaze and meditate upon the beauty of the simple Gospel.  I can’t get away from it and do not wish to. Over my almost 14 years as a Christian, I have come across many versions, distortions, presentations, and interpretations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be honest with you, it is quite sad to see the mess we have made of it. 

Something so simple, so beautiful, yet so profound and we have twisted it, removed parts of it to fit our liking, added things to make it more palpable to others, and yet I still find that same pure Gospel message of laying our lives down for others as He laid His life down for us so powerful.  In the Bible it is written that where the true Gospel is shared, miracles, signs, and wonders will abound, yet these things are not the heart of the Gospel in themselves. 

Over the last month or so I have been reading the works of John G. Lake and it has deeply blessed my heart and soul.  Listen to what he says man has done to the simple Gospel message:.

Men have mystified and philosophized the Gospel of Jesus, but the Gospel is as simple as can be. Just as God lived and operated through the body of the man, Jesus, so Jesus, the Man on the throne, operated in and through the Christian, also through His body, the Church, in the world. Just as Jesus was the representative of God the Father, so the Church is the representative of Christ. And as Jesus yielded Himself unto all righteousness, so the Church should yield herself to do all the will of God.

- John G. Lake

(March 18, 1870 – September 16, 1935)

When I reflect upon the life of Jesus I see unconditional love and complete surrender to a Father’s will.  I see a God-man longing to be with His Father but at the same time desiring to see others He loves come into relationship with Him as well. 

This Gospel is meant to be shared, but before it can be shared and produce fruit it must be lived.

In my own life I never began to really see lasting fruit birthed out of the Gospel I believed until I began to live it out myself unconditionally.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me,
you will find it.

- Matthew 10:39 -

This is the Gospel.

This is the simply beautiful Gospel that leaves me speechless and usually in a mess of tears and thankfulness each time my heart rests upon the remembrance of all that He’s done for me.

Jesus came to serve among the lowly and He can still be found there.

Those that choose to put others in front of themselves and to live not for their own benefit are not far from the heart of God. 

Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

- Luke 22:27 -

As a believer in the Good News for almost 14 years now, I can tell you that although my life was forever changed when I met Jesus and His overwhelming love for the 1st time, there is most certainly still a decision to make each and every day. 

I have to regularly remind and ask myself of things like…

“What will be my reason for living today? To serve myself and my needs, or to live loving and serving my fellow man in the image of Christ and for His great name?”

“What’s the worst that can happen today? Even if it all goes horribly wrong and I lose everything and everyone I’m still His, still loved, still clean by His blood and grace.”

I want to learn from Him, not just receive gifts and blessings. 

So many of us prove that we are only following Him for what He does for us; and we evidence this when our circumstances change for the worse and things get dodgy in our lives and we lose our hunger for righteousness, our peace goes, and our joy wanes . . . what a tragedy.

Are we good soil or have we received the Seed of Truth in vain?

Surely I have been guilty of letting circumstances affect me at times in my life as well, but the desire of my heart is to have that fiery gaze of one who has his eyes fixed on the prize and will not be moved no matter what comes my way. 

That everything in me would find its purpose in unconditional love, gospel love; the type of love that inspires someone to lay down their rights, opinions, offense, frustrations, anger, resentments and life . . . and live each day to be a blessing rather than to receive one.  

Ultimately I want my life to make a difference in someone else’s. I want the fact that I woke up today to matter to someone because He is the reason I am awake and truly alive today.

I think this beautiful prayer by John G. Lake prayed over a 100 years ago voices what has been the longing of my heart for some time now…

O God, let that deep, true, holy, unselfish working of the Holy Ghost in our lives be so pure and true and real, that, my God, there shall not be left a superficial thing in us, Lord, but that our character shall be opened wide, opened to the living God, and wide open to one another.

O God, we pray Thee then, that the great virtue of Jesus Christ shall be so inwrought in us that, my God and Father, we shall look with love into the face of every other man. That, O God, our Father, we will have the eyes of Jesus in us and the heart of Jesus in us in such a way that we will not see things that are evil, but O God, we will see the good in the man. We will see the purity, Lord, we will think of the things that are lovely, Lord, and are true, Lord. We will be so pure and clean before God that the light of God and the life of God shall shine in us and flow through us so that mankind will be blessed.

- John G. Lake

(March 18, 1870 – September 16, 1935)

This is what we’re after at the Isaiah Ministry, this is our heart. 

Living a life so pure and holy, so filled with God, that wherever we go we bring with us and leave behind us the sweet fragrance of sacrificial love, Gospel Love.  Let us not overcomplicate this Simply Beautiful Gospel!

If we truly lay it all down; if we truly believe that when we were baptized into Jesus Christ we were baptized into His death and His victory over our sin, then going back and picking back up what we laid down and died to is not an option any longer. 

Freedom is inevitable for those who have died to this world and to themselves.

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

- John 8:36 -

Thank you for hearing my heart-cry once again and taking the time to join us in prayer for our kids, staff, families and all to whom we minister and serve here at The Isaiah Ministry.

We are humbled to be given the life that we live and the many opportunities that we have each day to bless this community and shine the light of Christ that burns in our hearts and yearns to see others receive Christ’s invitation into relationship with Him.  

Whether it be through your partnering with us through supporting out tutoring programs, feeding programs, Bible studies, or sewing programs, all of them exist for one primary reason and that is to share the love and hope of Jesus to the lost.

So thank you for sowing into the Isaiah Ministry, truly, thank you!

Bless you in Jesus name!  We love and appreciate you all!

- Michael

To partner with The Isaiah Ministry in our efforts to BE LOVE and share the HOPE of the Good News, you can do so in various ways.

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