Friday, July 9, 2010

The power of the Gospel

It is always such a thrill to get to go to Africa and work with the ministry of Morris and Aida because everything being done has been bathed in prayer long before you ever arrive. You are never sure what God is going to do to you and through you, but with much prayer in Africa you can rest assured God is going to definitely move. And move he did!!

There was an illustration I had seen before, that put a light under a broken pot that had been put back together. The only places that the light shines through is where the pot has been broken. The same thing happens with Christ in our lives, the only area that the light of Christ shines through us is where we have been broken! Often times areas of our lives that we have tried to cover up get exposed in Africa. It happens every year and it happens to every person on the trip. It is amazing! When you go out hut to hut, God lines up person after person that is the perfect person for you to share with. He wants to shine through these broken areas of our lives.

I wondered, "what crack did God want to shine through in my life?" It came as a surprise, but the more I shared the gospel each day the more I was broken by it. How could something so familiar be my area of brokenness? I will tell you how, on this trip I had the privilege to share the gospel a lot of times. And each time it was like a tiny little rock thrown at the glass wall around my heart. Each time I shared and saw the power of the gospel grip and impact a person's life it was as if the rock hitting my glass wall became a little bigger.

I was daily watching the power of God working through the message of the gospel to impact men and women's hearts. I didn't notice it at first, but as the week progressed, the message began to burn inside me. Each day was an attempt to find release of the "heart" burn inside me. I related it to an experience of trying to get a live coal out of your stomach. It burns inside of you and on the way out, and anyone who touches it feels the heat as well. Getting to share the gospel was like fanning a coal that was lit inside of me, but was not burning as hot as it could. Each day I became more broken by not being affected by the gospel, and in so doing it created a bigger crack for the light of Christ to shine through. It also seemed to allow the coal to be fanned hotter and hotter inside me.

The goal of the gospel is that we would be humbled to the point of brokenness by what Christ has done, so much so that we would lay our lives down in response to Him. Yet we so often become hardened to the familiar story of the gospel. If there was an attempt on your life and someone jumped in front of the bullet to save your life, I promise you that you wouldn't ever pass that spot where you saw their blood spilled out on the ground, without being gripped by the sacrifice that was made to save your life. If it was a loved one that sacrificed their life to save yours, your eyes would fill with tears in remembrance of the sacrifice they made for you and the depth of love they showed you. It seemed that I had just traveled away from that spot too far to be gripped the way I would by standing in that place again.

As I shared what Christ did for us, it brought me closer and closer to the place where Christ laid down His life for me. The closer I got, the more I was forced to consider anew what had been done for me. The more I shared the more I was gripped by the reality of the event. On the last morning I preached, I was sharing how we needed to see Christ on the cross in our place. That the Holy Son of God, had been beaten, whipped, tortured, and nailed on the cross for me. That if I was looking up at Christ on the cross in my place, I would have been pleading for Him to let me be the one on the cross. That I did not deserve for Him to take my sin and to face the death that I deserved. The image of Christ on the cross breathing His last breath, burned in my mind and nearly burst my heart! I could not speak the words that now burned in my heart in a way that would convey the intensity that I felt. I pleaded with the audience to look upon the cross and see their need for the forgiveness that Christ purchased for them, and to embrace the brokenness that comes from seeing just how devastating our sin is, while seeing how much greater is the grace of God.

If I struggle to have joy in my day, I need to return to the gospel.
If I struggle with becoming prideful, I need to return to the gospel.
If I struggle to share the gospel, I have great need to return to the gospel. That Jesus Christ left the right hand of God and all of His glory, to come to earth and live as a man. Where he lived a perfect life without sin. Saying and doing everything that God had given Him to do and say, living only to glorify His Father. And evil men having their sin exposed hated Him, because they fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus Christ allowed them to whip, beat, and mutilate Him and nail Him on the cross to pay for your and my sin. He died that we might live. On the third day God raised Him from the dead, that all who trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins will have forgiveness of sins, will have the spirit of God come and dwell in them, and will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ at the end of this life.

Does it burn inside you???? Pray that God would give you the chance today to share with someone what Christ has done for you and fan the flames of the gospel in your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts