Are You Walking in God’s Great Adventure for Your Life?

by | Jun 4, 2019 | Man

As I sipped the golden-brown foam off the top of the most delicious cappuccino I’ve ever tasted—my wife, Michelle, and I looked out from the crowded coffeehouse, across the cobblestone streets, to the Pantheon, one of the wonders of ancient Rome. Once used for the worship of various gods, the Pantheon eventually became a worship hall for Christians, and now, two thousand years later, it overflows with tourists for it still captivates the imagination with awe and wonder. It is an architectural masterpiece in the heart of Rome, just blocks from the Vatican, and a 20-minute walk from the Colosseum. So much history has unfolded in these streets. My taste buds—as well as my mind—were exploding with sensory overload and bliss.

I’d long wanted to visit the nation of my Italian grandmother Longiotti’s roots. The opportunity finally came after Michelle and I had been married a few years, and we decided to visit Milan, Florence and Rome. Milan had the feel of a global city, with a lot of high-end shopping. Florence had the air of old Italy. And Rome, once the epicenter of the earth, is the eternal city, home to not only the Vatican but countless ancient wonders. There you find the modernity of today’s world, but you can also get lost in the cobblestone streets and artifacts, not to mention the pizza, spaghetti and coffee of a past world.

Rome was breathtaking. Aside from getting lost on cobblestone walkways, admiring the architecture, and savoring the food, we visited many ancient sites, including the Colosseum. This is where countless gladiators were forced to do battle in front of thousands of onlookers who jeered and cheered the warriors to their death. It’s hard to believe that any culture could be so callous as to make sport out of something like this, but it’s part of our human story.

Christians have always been at odds with the culture around them, and the first Christians were no exception. At times, the Roman Empire persecuted Christians for worshipping Jesus rather than the emperor. Christians claimed to be part of a different kingdom, and for that they were perceived as a threat. Much of this persecution happened right there in the Colosseum. We paid to gain entrance and wound down the ancient stairwells and peered into the underground halls and closures that housed both victims and animals.

It was here that ancient Christians knelt and cried out to God for deliverance before being fed to the beasts in front of the mocking crowds. There are no words to express the horror of what took place. The savagery that Christians have endured throughout history, including being persecuted around the world today, reminds us of the mind-boggling value of our faith. Those Christians could have simply denied Jesus and been set free, but they valued what Christ meant to them more than their own lives.

After our tour, we visited a few other ancient buildings and then wound our way back around the Colosseum in search of lunch. After a quick bite, we continued down the street and stumbled upon an old church. Its underground passages seemed to take us further and further back in history until, at the bottom of the site, we entered rooms and halls where some of the very first Christians worshipped and prayed. Most likely, they prayed for some of their own who were being taken to the Colosseum to their deaths. They prayed for their communities and their city and the world that the message of Jesus would be carried far and wide through their witness. They prayed for, and possibly along with, the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter before both of those men were martyred in the city. We were breathing the air of legends!

As we wound down those stairs, deeper and deeper into the roots of our collective Christian faith, we couldn’t help but sense the magnitude of what we’ve inherited today in Christ, in the church. This isn’t some newfound faith, where we get to make up the rules as we go. We stand on the shoulders of all those who have gone before us, with their abiding faith and unforgettable impact on the world. Their faith helps us grasp the gravity of our faith today. Jesus, the hope of the world, has worked in countless lives through the centuries, including our own.

But sometimes it can feel as if we’re doing pitifully little compared to those Christians who gave their lives in the Colosseum or those on whose shoulders of prayers and sacrifice the first churches were built. The gospel spread at breakneck speed long before internet was ever invented. Those early Christians knew that the message had transformed their lives, and they showed it in everything from their passion to spread the gospel to the very act of martyrdom—giving their lives rather than denying the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God has a place and a purpose for us today as well. He wants to build His beautiful kingdom on our shoulders too. He is working in and through us to help us follow Him. He created us and saved us for good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do. We are part of this great adventure of representing God to our world. {eoa}

Taken from Truth Plus Love by Matt Brown. Copyright © 2019 by Matt Brown. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.TruthPlusLoveBook.com

Matt Brown is an evangelist, author, and founder of Think Eternity, a ministry dedicated to amplifying the gospel every day to millions through devotionals, videos, live events, and more. Matt and his wife Michelle and their two sons live in Minnesota. You can follow Matt on social media at @evangelistmatt and at thinke.org

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]