The Power of the Message

the gospel,Jesus Christ, salvationI have had the great privilege of hearing some wonderful preaching and singing recently.  Both the preaching and the singing were inspired messages from God about His great love, redeeming power and coming judgment.

Even though one was spoken and one was sung, they were both forms of the gospel message presented in such a way that all who heard it were blessed and challenged.  The message was consistent even though the delivery and the messengers were very different.  And that brings us to an important point about the gospel:  no matter who we are, where we come from or what our talents might be, we are all called to share the gospel.

The gospel message is the good news, the very best news that there has ever been.  It simply says that God loved us so much that he sent His only Son to die for us, taking the penalty for sin in our place and providing a way in which we might have eternal life.

This world is a fallen one and we are fallen creatures.  We inherited a sinful nature from the very first humans and have been making wrong choices ever since.  But God was not content to allow His most beloved creation to die in their sins and has provided a way for us to be redeemed.  By admitting that we are sinners and confessing our faith in Jesus Christ and asking Him to be our Lord forevermore we can be freed from the power of sin and the certainty of eternal damnation.

And make no mistake, without Jesus, we are eternally lost.  The penalty for our sin and rebellion against God is eternal separation in a place that God designed for the devil and his followers.  Hell was not created for man, but man may choose hell by the way in which he lives his life.  This is the truth that we must never forget.  Although we are now living in a period of grace in which all who call on the name of the Lord may be saved, judgment day is coming.  And on that day we will all be called to give an account of how we lived our lives and what we did with God’s son; whether we accepted Him or rejected Him.

The power of the message has not diminished although it is thousands of years old.  The power of the message is as fresh and real today as it was on that morning that God rolled the stone away from the tomb and Jesus walked out, alive and reborn.  The power of the message continues because it is God’s message to His creation and because He still desires all people to come to repentance.

Commit to being a messenger for the One who still has the power to save men’s souls.  Share the gospel with those you know, both in what you say and in what you do.

Whose Footprints Are These?

Live for God not the WorldWe live in a world that enjoys unprecedented ease of access to information.  At a moment’s notice, we can summon forth the entirety of The Gettysburg Address on a smartphone or Tablet PC also while catching up on the latest news and weather.  The internet savvy person can accomplish in a day’s time what would have taken his or her ancestor months or years to accomplish, and we are so accustomed to this that we often times don’t even realize the speed at which we are living.

With this kind of access to information and ideas, we often find ourselves more confused and less clear about what’s really important instead of the other way around.  Everyone has an opinion and with the explosion of social media, all of our opinions and ideas can be readily seen and heard (the irony of this statement is not lost on me, I assure you) be they good, bad or indifferent.

The problem is, no matter how politically incorrect it is to say it, there is a lot of garbage and noise out there from a lot of well meaning people.  I’m reasonably certain that most of the people that promote self-help, coaching and therapy would not tell us that their advice is going to send people to hell but in many cases, that’s exactly what it’s doing.

We all have a sin problem.  I don’t care who you are or where come from.  If you were born into the race of Adam (the human race) then you have inherited a fallible, self-driven, sin prone nature.  This sin problem is a death sentence.  Not just physically but spiritually as well.  Without a solution to the problem of sin, no amount of therapy, self-help or coaching is going to ultimately reclaim your life.

Only one person can do that.  There’s only been one human being who had the capability to defeat sin and death and reclaim humanity for God the Father.  That person was Jesus Christ, and until we submit our lost, sinful selves to His precious redeeming blood we are without hope.

I want you to look down, right now.  Look at your feet and where they are taking you in the life that you are leading.  Whose footprints are you following?  Who made the path that you now find yourself on?  Is it a Godly path, trod by our Savior and leading to Glory?  Or is it the road to hell, paved with good intentions and good advice?

By all means, improve yourself.  Learn all you can and gain as much knowledge and wisdom as you possibly can.  Be wise and not foolish.  But in doing so, make sure that you have the assurance that you have come under the blood of Jesus Christ.  Make sure that you know Him in a personal way and are daily walking in His footsteps and only His footsteps.

He is the Master Carpenter, the only true builder of people*.  We provide the material (ourselves) and He does the construction.  Let Him build you as you walk His path.  Remember friend, all other roads lead to destruction.

 

*I have to credit Pastor Alan Daniels for the idea of Jesus Christ as a Carpenter of human beings.  What a fantastic viewpoint.