“I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:43
The Christian life is not me living for Jesus…the Christian life is Jesus living His life in and through me! And let me just say that the difference between the two realities is radical. It was this very difference that the Holy Spirit of God was dealing with in my heart one morning when I came across this statement by Jesus in the gospel of Luke.
Did you see it? Do you hear His passion? Jesus said, “I must.” That simple phrase jumped off the page. I realized that I was reading something that is expressing the passion of Jesus’ life. It was not something that He might do; it was something He must do. The word “must” in the Greek language speaks of that which is necessary or absolutely has to be done. In this text, Jesus reveals something in His life that absolutely has to be done! But what is it? Simply to preach? No. His passion was proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God to “other cities.”
In that moment, I felt deep conviction. Jesus was passionate about God’s kingdom impacting cities and, to be totally honest, I’m not sure I was passionate about that at all. Don’t get me wrong -- I loved being in ministry. I loved serving in a local church. But, that morning, I saw something in Jesus that wasn’t in me — a passion for cities to be impacted by the kingdom of God. Through that simple reality, God called my family to Las Vegas -- a city where 92% of the 2 million people who live here declare no relationship with Jesus. A city in the heart of the Western U.S., where 40% of the unchurched population of America lives. A city over which Jesus’ heart is broken. A city where He is at work!
Will you ask the Lord today how He desires to use you to engage this city?
by Vance Pittman, Pastor of Hope Church in Las Vegas