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In many of our Christian circles we have reduced the gospel to “Jesus died so I can go to heaven.” Most assuredly, the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus have made it possible for us to experience a restored relationship with God and spend eternity with Him. This is neither the totality of the good news that Jesus proclaimed, nor is this individualistic understanding of personal salvation the primary way in which Jesus presented the good news of the kingdom of God.

Jesus often makes mention of his commission to proclaim the good news (Mark 1:38). However, examining the way in which the gospel writers portray His ministry reveals an important aspect that we often miss. Matthew states that Jesus was “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matt 4:23). Likewise, Mark says Jesus was, “preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39). Typically, Jesus was preaching and serving. 

Imagine if Jesus traveled the countryside and verbally proclaimed a message that God was overcoming the curse and reconciling the fallen world to Himself, but never once cast out a demon, healed the sick, or fed the hungry. What reason would anyone have to believe Him? Why would people stake their lives on those seemingly hollow words? The crowds followed Him because He backed up what He said with concrete manifestations that it was true.

If we expect people to turn from the fallen world and embrace King Jesus, then we must manifest the good news of the kingdom which we proclaim. We at Living Bread Ministries believe our words must be supported with manifestations of their reality. If the good news of the kingdom is that, in Christ, God is overcoming the fall, then we must manifest that reality or our proclamation is hollow and will likely be rejected. This is why we invest in comprehensive ministry that leads with compassion. For example, we don’t view the feeding ministries run by our church plants as offering humanitarian aid separate from the gospel message, but we see it as an integral part of sharing the good news with the local community. We follow Jesus’ example by preaching and serving.

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When Patrick in Bárbara launched Living Bread Ministries in 2004 they had to embrace poverty. For several years their family lived well below the poverty level, diverting everything they could into sparking a church planting movement among the global poor. This is the encouraging story of how the Lord sustained them and ultimately established our comprehensive church planting ministries in South America and Southeast Asia.

Thank you!

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