As I write one week prior we had the opportunity to see a great many come out in support of our youth ministry at the incredible Pancake Supper put on by the small group of Creston and Amy Groover. Tomorrow we will be having 22 of our youth participate in the potentially life-changing Disciple Now 2017. Summer is soon to be under way with all of its activity and excitement. All of these things point to the incredible opportunity we have here at FBC to invest in the lives of young people throughout Jesup and Wayne County. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have been given to serve here and be a part of what is happening.
In the midst of all of this, what has been most exciting to me is the chance to help open the eyes of students to the glory of the gospel. Over the past several weeks we have looked at six areas where the unique message the gospel offers us triumphs over all of the weak stuff of this world. Like a steak dinner is better than a pb&j, the gospel puts the world’s perspective on hope, meaning, morality, identity, satisfaction, and freedom to shame. Nothing is sweeter, more satisfying, and more powerful than the gospel we have been given.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 speaks of the apostles as those who have been “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.” We have been entrusted now with that same gospel. It is now our incredible privilege to share that same sweet gospel with those around us. That Christ calls us to Himself in spite of our sin, and that we can fulfill the purpose for which we were designed because of His grace as those in His kingdom, is sweeter than life.
So, then, if we have been entrusted with so sweet a gospel, what stands in the way of sharing it? There are a vast number of responses we could make to that question, but I think the ultimate reason is this: our experience of the sweetness of this gospel has not made its way from our heads to our hearts. An intellectual proposition is no substitute for an experiential acquisition of that taste. It is, as one theologian put it, the difference between knowing that honey tastes sweet because you have been told so by reliable sources, and actually tasting the honey for yourself. So how do we move from one to the other?
The answer is the subject of many books, but what it boils down to is primarily this: prayer. Prayer, in all its forms, but especially as a meditation upon the word of God and the beauty of the gospel, works the taste into our experience much as yeast is worked into bread, eventually leavening the whole loaf. I need to be better at this. I need my intellectual assent to become experiential reality. I need to be better at prayer. What about you?