Have you heard?  The world is ending September 23.  Nibiru, or infamous Planet X, is coming.  All humanity shall perish.  Okay, Nibiru was also supposed to come in 1995, 2003, and 2012.  But…

I like to say that Jesus is coming tomorrow.  One of these days I’m going to be right!

We just experienced an eclipse.  Totality happened right above me.  I honestly was not that interested with the upcoming eclipse because people seemed far more excited about that than talking about Jesus.  But totality was a spectacle far beyond my expectations.

In the days leading up to the eclipse, a number of people said it would be a sign from an angry God who wants people to repent.  I don’t want to debate that.  To me, everything can be a sign from God as his Spirit speaks to us.

My concern is whether saying that the eclipse was an angry sign brought anyone closer to God.  Humans are drawn to bad news.  We complain about all the bad news on television, but evidently we’re watching.  They wouldn’t broadcast it if we weren’t supporting it.

So we are drawn to wild conspiracies of a rogue planet bearing down on us.  We are titillated by an angry God.  But are we representing God correctly?  Or are we transferring our own anger onto God?

It’s a frustrating time to be a church leader.  So many people don’t seem interested in being disciples who follow Jesus without distraction.  In our discouragement, we can forget that we are making disciples of the One defined as Love; that this God is driven by grace.

The total eclipse was one of the most profound natural experiences of my life, as it was for those around me.  It actually was a sign from God to me.  It was a positive sign of God’s majesty and power in setting up an event where the moon and sun appear to us earthlings as the same size.  Then the moon blocks out the sun bathing us in an extraordinary display of light from the corona.  (Note my photo that accompanies this blog.)

Human nature is drawn to laws and bad news.  They align with our desire to carve out our own salvation, to somehow convince God with our “good” works, to build ourselves up to God in a contemporary Tower of Babel.

Jesus gets very serious when he talks about whether church leaders point people to him or, heaven forbid, get in the way of the work of the Spirit.

We talk these days about so many strategies for how to make disciples.  Rightly so, as long as we have the story straight.  Our salvation is discovered in the great cost of Jesus.  As a result, the grace of God affords us a life of joy and peace which begins now and continues forever.

Might God send signs of judgment?  Of course.  But let’s not assume that’s all God says or it’s even the majority.  We live in a world that’s totally messed up in so many ways.  Into such a world, we follow the Prince of Peace.  Whatever steps you use to make disciples, make sure you’re leading people to the God who creates amazing signs of beauty, hope, and promise.

If you would benefit from some assistance in making faithful disciples, check out these resources from The Effective Church Group.