Gospel of God

Final Gospel of God Challenge - What Does the Gospel Mean to You?

Posted on December 9, 2013

While it's true that we have a few more weeks of the Gospel of God series, this is our final challenge and we want to hear from YOU!

We began this series asking the question:

What does the Gospel mean to you?

... And many of you responded!

So now that we're near the end, we want to ask again:

What does the Gospel mean to you?

How has it changed because of this series?

Send us your thoughts at !

And as always, don't forget to send in your stories of what God has been doing throughout the Gospel of God series!

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The Gospel Expressed through Vineyard Urban Ministry

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Dan Franz

The Gospel is at the very heart of Vineyard Columbus Urban Ministry because the Gospel is not simply a message or a doctrine, it is a living expression of a real Person. In Deuteronomy 10:14 Scripture says, “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” God is King of all and all glory belongs to Him. And just four verses later we read, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.” The Good News (Gospel) of God reveals almighty God as humble, compassionate and fiercely committed in love to bringing His salvation and kingdom to vulnerable people.

In Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:18-19, He begins by stating that, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news, (the Gospel), to the poor.” God didn’t send us the Gospel as simply a written message, He sent His Son to embody it! And just as Almighty God is seen in Deuteronomy personally intervening to defend the widow and the fatherless, and to provide for the stranger in need, we see Jesus living among the poor and personally intervening in the lives of broken and vulnerable people.

In Matthew 8:1-3, Jesus befriends a leper, an outcast who society has pushed to the margins and written off. Jesus touches the leper, a scandal and an affront to organized religion. Over and over again Jesus crosses over society’s comfort zones to meet people at their point of deepest need – to affirm in mercy that they are of immeasurable value despite where they are or how they got there. And to speak God’s truth in love that empowers repentance and transformation and the hope of a new life beyond the chains of the past.

Vineyard Urban Ministry consists simply of  people who have experienced the mercy and grace of the Gospel of God and are willing to share what they’ve received with others in need. Mark 6:30-44 speaks of the story of Jesus feeding over five thousand men, women, and children. In this story Jesus has compassion on people in need, who are like sheep without a shepherd. The disciples ask Jesus to send the people away so that they can get something to eat in nearby villages. In verse 37 Jesus shocks them by saying, “You give them something to eat.”  All they could come up with was a small boy’s lunch – five loaves and two fishes. Have you ever noticed that Jesus never mocked the disciples for giving Him what little they had? God doesn’t ask us for what we don’t have, only for what we do have.  And it was Jesus’ blessing and breaking of the offering that transformed it into a provision of grace for needy persons.

Often times we might think in our hearts that we could not relate to a homeless person, a needy family at a food pantry, a sick and lonely person in a nursing home, or to a prisoner behind bars. We look at the five loaves and two fishes of our own inadequacy and fail to remember that, through our living Lord, there is a miracle of grace waiting to occur! In this we are invited by God, even in our weakness, to participate in His ministry. It is easy to see that the glory always belongs to God who alone can transform a life, but what a gift it is to walk with Jesus in His ministry with the poor!

There are many attributes that belong to God alone and His glory is one of these. There are some, however, that He has chosen to allow us to experience and to share. These include His mercy and His justice. We are following the only truly merciful and just Person who ever lived and we are invited to participate with Him in His ministry of mercy and justice to our broken and hurting world. In this we get to live in the Gospel of God as God is continuing to express it in us and through us to a suffering world.

Dan Franz, Pastor of Vineyard Urban Ministry

For more information on Vineyard Urban Ministry and how to volunteer, click here.

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Week 13 Challenge - Share Your Story With Your Family

Posted on November 25, 2013

The holidays are upon us, and for many, that means extra time with our family and close friends. Which can be exciting, draining, encouraging, and stressful. But this is also a great time of year when we have a little extra space to have some of those meaningful conversations that we don't always get to have through the rest of the year.

So here's your challenge for this week. In the midst of the turkey basting, stuffing making, house cleaning, and driving from home to home, take some time to share the story of how you met Jesus with a family member - especially a younger one. Whether that's one of your own children, or a nephew, niece, or grandchild, it's so incredibly important for you to share your own God-story with the younger generation.

And let's be honest - this group can be an intimidating bunch. But ask the Lord to give you the words to share in a way that makes sense to them at whatever age they are!

Need some ideas? Check out this great article!

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