Sometimes, the hardest message that a pastor, lay minister, or lay speaker has to give is one of salvation…people desperately want to hear about the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, but they don’t want to accept the forgiveness that He offers freely; they want an easy way out of their troubles and woes in life without having to give up anything of themselves.
Hey, I’ve been there and done that–even got the t-shirt that says, “I used to be a total jerk in life; now I’m just a fool for Christ.” Seventeen years ago, I gave my heart and life to the Lord, and there was something inside me that changed. My walk became less of “what I wanted” and more of what GOD wanted out of me, and how I could serve Him.
It hasn’t been easy, mind you. There’s always bumps and speed traps that the enemy lays out for me; I am in a constant learning process on how to identify those wayward elements and stay clear of them. Yet, I know that each day and each lesson learned just takes me that much further along the path that will one day lead to an eternity…with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
So, as I prepare for the sermon this Sunday, and how to preach Christ and the glorious salvation He offers to everyone…I will keep it as simple as John 3:16 and related passages. For, you see, God’s message of redemption IS that simple. If we look at the message through child-like eyes, and with a simple, uncluttered faith…God tells us that He loves us…enough to give us a Savior who died for our sins and who offers us a way out from our wretched, sinful lives.
It’s as easy as letting go of ourselves; accepting Jesus is our Lord and Savior and accepting the fact that He died to set the world free from sin…it’s as easy as knowing, by faith, that He rose again on the third day to conquer death for all of us…and it’s as easy as taking up our own crosses…and following Him.
Please pray for me this Sunday…that through this humble servant those at First Christian Church would see Christ the Savior glorified and lifted up…and that a lost soul would come to know Him through His unconditional love for us.