Sunday, July 14, 2013

If you could only describe Jesus in a word....

.....what would it be? Grace, Sacrifice, Lord? All right answers. I would choose "love". Here's why. Time and words are valuable commodities these days, especially for the Christian messenger. Let's get honest...... in our Information "Overload" Age no one takes much anything at face value. I think we're generally beyond the days of handing out a gospel tract, or whatever other trick ways to share the gospel. Of course, truth is that more has always been required; work of the Holy Spirit in a person primarily, and genuine, authentic involvement from the Christian. Nothing inherently wrong with the trick ways, per se. Just used up for the most part. This worn-out cliche is true.... People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Reading through Jesus' interaction with Nicodemus in the gospel of John. Nicodemus was intrigued with "how" Jesus did what He did. I think he was curious as to what authority Jesus did "things" (e.g. Miracles). Jesus threw what, at first glance / human glance, seems to be a curve-ball for a response. He told Nic...... Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God! In today's culture we would rebuke Jesus and demand "straight talk please sir!" And we would miss the straightest talk of all. Jesus "knows" mankind. Read the end of John chapter 2; just prior to Jesus' response here. He heard Nicodemus' inquiry but loved him enough to give him the answer he really needed to hear.

Be respectful to people, always. We are NOT Jesus, so we cannot presume to know a man's heart, intentions, or motivations outside him telling us. So handle Christian "challenges" with kid gloves. Don't be defensive when challenged. This may mean you get a little run over. Lie down and take it. Keep the main thing the main thing. If you miss all else, if you've no opportunity to share the numerous biblical truths of what it means to be saved, of "how" to be saved, don't miss "love". "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Make this "Step #1" in your gospel presentation. If you strike out in demonstrating the reality that we are all sinners, fallen short of God's glory (c'mon, most of us know that already, whether we admit it or not) NOT miss the opportunity to express God's love. Not hippy love, not liberal, progressive, post-modern culture love, but God's perfect, righteous, decisive love. The love that "chose" life eternal fir us. Push back the trees to see the forest we / people live in. People "do" need a Savior. Show them! God chose you to show them. It won't always be touchy-feely. Sometimes tough-love, but always love ....the greatest of these.