Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not everything is Gospel.

Not everything in God's Word is gospel; there are a lot of exhortations, commands, and imperatives. They are to be followed. However, they are not the gospel. Not everything that we need is gospel. We also need to be directed. We need to know God's commands so we will come clean, acknowledge our sins, and flee to Christ and also so they can direct us in grateful obedience.

Michael Horton. Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (p. 109). Kindle Edition.

We need to be directed. I agree. But direction without destination is futile. Some focus on the direction, but lack the destination. Or some confuse the destination. I read a quote today, and it sounds so good. It was on a preacher's Facebook page.

"There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles, and fulfilling dreams. All he is waiting on...for us to ask. Dream big, PRAY big."*

I want to believe this. Trouble is, the Bible doesn't bear this out. David's son died. John the Baptist was beheaded. Jonah's shade was withered. Stephen was stoned. Paul was imprisoned. Jesus asked that the cup be taken from Him. I could go on. If God is all about fulfilling our dreams, didn't some of these men have a place at the front of the line?

There is nothing God loves more than His Son. Yet God allowed Him to suffer to keep His promise to Abram and to us. He has answered the prayers of the suffering, by giving them a vision that their suffering will not be eternal as they call out to Him. His greatest joy is to see that His Son's sacrifice was not in vain. That is the miracle of miracles. That is the fulfillment of the greatest dream ever, not to avoid the certainty of Hell, but to spend eternity in the presence of God.

I m not saying don't pray. Yes, pray your guts out. Like David, lay everything on the floor before God and leave nothing out. Share your pain and struggles, your frustrations and your joys. Expect miracles. Trust in Him completely. But remember the destination. The destination is eternity with God. It means that we love Him above all else and whatever we have to endure down here, we do faithfully.

*Upon doing some checking, I found that this quote is from a book by Mark Batterson.

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