The last two (real) posts weren't exactly in a series. But if they were, this would be the third and final part. I can't leave those posts sitting there and then just move on to something else. It just seems wrong to do that.
The word Gospel is defined as "good news" or "good message". My last posts seemed filled with - what I deem - a necessary message, but they lacked the gospel.
We may sometimes be a sensitive little flock. We may sometimes forget that it's called spiritual warfare. We may rather go to church than to the mission field. The good news for me today starts with these two words: But God.
But God is alive.
But God knows our every weakness.
But God is working on us.
But God is changing us daily.
But God is calling us, equipping us, empowering us.
But God provided His Holy Spirit, the comforter, to get us through.
But God has already forgiven us should we fail to do His perfect will.
I road on a parade float this past Christmas, sitting with a live nativity scene and at the business end of a sheep. This sheep was mostly well behaved, but I will never forget the smear of dried goo I saw on his hindquarters. Some images just never go away.
The bible over and over again compares the servants of Christ as sheep. He doesn't do it because sheep are so noble an animal. But because the Shepherd takes such care. Because the Shepherd protects, provides, leads to food/water/shelter. Because the Shepherd makes sure each and every sheep is accounted for. Because the Shepherd will drop everything, to find a wayward sheep. And because the Shepherd will do anything necessary to prevent a sheep from going astray.
I'd like to think highly of myself. I'd like to say I'm empowered, I'm enabled, I'm called. Sometimes, I get blinded by my own ideas about spiritualism and Christianity and think that it has a whole lot to do with me. But the rock bottom truth of it is, the gospel isn't the good news of me. But the good news of the Shepherd.
It's somewhere along the route that my title changes from sheep, to heir. But only because of the Shepherd. I might want to say it's because this sheep did something good, or followed the Shepherd. But, even in that, I didn't follow the Shepherd because I'm good at following. I followed the Shepherd because He faithfully tended me and kept me from going astray. The many times that this sheeps heart has strayed, the Shepherd came and found me and brought me back.
That's the good news.
The good news/Gospel, isn't about me. It's for me. So whether I figure out the best theological views on the rapture, the trinity, water baptism, demonic forces, or church politics - I've still got good news.
I might not use big words, and I might be too naive, But I've got good news.
Whether I meet up to your standard of what a Christian should be or not: I've still got good news.
And given my judgemental/critical nature, I feel a need to throw in:
Whether you meet up to my standard of what a Christian should be or not: You've still got good news.
He's got all the power in the universe, and He loves us. He considers us His children. He wants us to access Him, His throne, and His mercies.
So maybe you're doing the best you can. Great. But expect better tomorrow. Grow. Challenge yourself - I don't care how old or young you are. Seek Him.
The good news is He lives, and promised He'd be found.