48: What you need most
I sat with a couple of men this morning at breakfast. Men that are older than I am, which is 52. Men who have walked with God most of their lives, men who have been heavily involved in their church, men who I would consider mature in their walk with Jesus.
I asked them what it was that they needed spiritually in their stage of life. How did they want to be challenged and encouraged? Their answer was profoundly simple.
I don’t know what I was expecting to hear but I’m really glad about what I heard.
They said that what they needed most was to be consistently encouraged by the gospel as found in the Scriptures and applied to daily life.
As their pastor, this was music to my ears. They wanted more Bible study that led to life transformation. They have struggles and issues every day and they need an encouraging word that will not only comfort but will also challenge them.
Remember, I said that these were men who are mature in their faith. They’ve been in Bible studies their whole lives and yet they couldn’t get enough. They made it clear to me that they didn’t want to study the Bible in order to just gain head knowledge. They want heart transformation. They want to know HOW THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING!
Some of you know I just got back from a three-month sabbatical. I’ve spent some serious time thinking about my life and ministry. I’ve done some serious introspection. I’ve been in ministry for 25 years and I’m trying to figure out from the Lord what the next 25 years will look like. I spent two days with a spiritual mentor, I traveled to the Holy Land, I’ve journaled extensively and prayed fervently for God to show me how to best use the spiritual gifts He has given me for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
I’m convinced that after this morning and following my sabbatical I know exactly what God wants me to do with the next 25 years of my life. It’s to help people understand the gospel, as found in the Scriptures and apply it to their daily life.
I would encourage you to go back and listen to Episode 42: The Key to Life. In that episode I made this statement:
“The key to life is to understand and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ as is found in the Holy Scriptures.”
If we are going to get through each day with all of its troubles and hardships, joys and celebrations, anxieties and stress, wins and losses then we have to have something to anchor ourselves in. So, let’s anchor ourselves in the bedrock of the gospel.
Let’s deal with life the way God wants us to deal with it, by trusting in His Son Jesus to walk through it with us. We do this by saturating our minds and hearts with the Scriptures. As Charles Spurgeon said,
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
I’m super excited to continue in my calling to help people understand and apply the gospel. Are you as excited to respond to the gospel of grace? Are you ready to be blown away by God’s inexhaustible grace that’s found in the life, death, resurrection, and reign of Christ?
You will find that grace in the Bible. You will find it throughout the pages of Scripture as you read about God’s unfailing love to a rebellious people. You will find it as you study about the patience of God as He walks with the saints of the Old and New Testaments. You will find it as God uses shock and awe to reveal Himself and His power over all creation, over all rulers and authorities.
You will find it as you meditate on the promises of a Covenant God that never changes and always holds true to His character.
And as you find the grace of the gospel then boldly share it with others. As I found out this morning, they need it. The people around you and in your sphere of influence need you to help them understand and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ as is found in the Holy Scriptures.
Because after all, it’s the gospel that changes everything.
All for Jesus,
Photo by Nias Nyalada on Unsplash