what on earth??

I have written very little over the past year. This makes me sad. I love to write but my former experiences blogging have left me feeling sour. I find that I was not writing as much for myself and for the Lord as I was writing for those who might read my words. Having a slightly different perspective, and being in a different place in life, I find that I need to write for many reasons. Whoever may find this blog and read my words may find my posts to be repetitive. My hope is that I would be saturated with the words of God and that any who read what I write would receive grace upon grace: not because my words are gracious or eloquent, but rather because my words reflect the word of God.

Today I find myself sitting alone at home feeling quite drowsy, having taken some strong allergy medication. (In fact, it may be a result of the medication that caused me to actually begin this blog!) I have spent the past couple of days helping my wife rearrange the house. Usually, this keeps me in the doldrums since I am typically averse to change. However, I think I really like what my beloved wife has conjured up for our humble abode this time. My “office space” has now completely moved into the living room. Before, my desk and files were in the bedroom, while my library sits in the living room. But, with some clever maneuvering, the desk now sits in the living room. I think this is brilliant! It makes me quite happy!

As I sit and contemplate the work I put in to make this living room transformation take place, I turn to thinking of my internal living space and wonder at what little effort I put in to set things right. Moving bookshelves and desks, I sweat profusely and my muscles feel tired afterward. How much sweat and energy do I expend in fighting my own sin? Not enough…

I have said before that I am here to make Christ look good. In truth, Christ looks good in and of himself; I cannot do anything that would make him look good or cause him to be beautiful. Christ is beautiful. I am here to help people see the beauty of Christ. As the risen Jesus sent Paul, likewise he sends me (and all believers in various ways) “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me (Acts 26:18).” I have been given the task of opening the eyes of the blind, a miracle which only God can perform. Therefore, I know that whatever success I have in opening people’s eyes so that they are able to see the beauty of Jesus Christ, it is not I, but the grace of God that is with me (see 1 Cor. 15:10). Someone once said (probably John Piper, to whom I listen with great joy) that the Judaism of the Old Testament was a “come and see” kind of religion, in that the people were called to come and worship God at the temple, which was magnificent in its splendor. Christianity, on the other hand, is a “show and tell” kind of religion whose preachers announce with all their might the coming of the great King Jesus. Fundamentally, however, what preachers are called to be doing is to show people the beauty and splendor of Jesus Christ and telling or explaining why he is beautiful. We must take the Scriptures that we have been graciously given, open them to people who really are uninterested in what we have to say, and show them why Jesus is the most beautiful person in the universe, why he is the most valuable person in the universe, and why the things that he has done are the most wonderful things in the universe. We must show them; we must tell them. Until God himself breaks into their hearts and gives life to their dead, sin-enslaved hearts, they will remain uninterested, viewing Jesus and his work as either foolishness or a stumbling block (see 1 Cor. 1:23). But, at the moment that God does break into their hearts, he will open their eyes and they will see Jesus as the most beautiful reality in the universe and they will trust him for their life (see 2 Cor. 4:6)! This is the message, the only message we have been commissioned to preach, and we shall preach it to everybody, and as many as have been appointed for eternal life will be saved through our preaching (see Acts 13:48).

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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