I’m hungry for grace, ravenous. Each week I sit in church practically salivating for the good news.
Jesus, gives me Jesus, my inner self pleads, but the pastor cannot read minds.
Smiling, I nod my head. Yes there’s Paul. I love his words. Then comes the faith pep talk. We need to get more of that. Pastor sprinkles in some good advice for Christian living, and I listen.
Wisdom always opens my ears.
But later, on the car ride home, hunger pangs return. This soul wants to feast on Jesus, to weep at His feet.
Well-meaning churches often dole out a self-help gospel. I’ve preached it. I’ve lived it, and I don’t want to visit there again—not even on the outskirts.
What would happen if we heard less teaching on how to become a better Christian, and more teaching on who Jesus was, who He helped—people like us?
We need Grace, and we need to know His name is Jesus.
Forgetfulness plagues us. It’s a remnant of the fall, part of the human condition. The old heresy stalks us, always whispering works equals salvation.
We must remind ourselves of the true gospel. We must be RE-minded, by the Word who became flesh.
How can we forget this deep love and grace once it saturates us?
Oh we can, and we do. We can become inoculated by grace, unable to hear and see the miracle. We have to unstop our ears. God knew about our forgetting, and he knew we would need preachers.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news” (Romans 10:15 NIV).
Paul even had to remind the churches to “preach Christ, and Him crucified.”
God knew we would need the reminder. He knew we could get caught up in our own clever ideas and thought-provoking sermons. But the gospel is the main point. It always has been.
There are many valuable things to be said from a church’s pulpit, but they will never trump the gospel in terms of need and effectiveness.
We cannot tire of preaching Jesus Sunday after Sunday. He is not dull. He doesn’t grow boring.
Only an experience with Jesus—the true gospel— will satisfy our soul-hunger. And only an experience with Jesus will teach us how to serve and love the way we ought.
If you’re a leader or a pastor, weave these words of Christ through your messages. Someone on your pew, like me, needs to hear them.