Friends, this will be another short entry in the midst of a very busy week. Have a wonderful Thursday!
While the pastor brings the Word to the congregation on Sundays, all the saints need to be ready to preach the gospel to one another. We love and build up the church when we do not fear to remind one another of the gospel as we go about our daily lives.
The gospel -- that we are more sinful that we ever imagined but more deeply loved and forgiven that we ever dared hope -- does not always stay with us as much as we would like. The worries of life, our struggles and the accusations of our enemy all serve deaden the power of God's good news in our lives. Even while one moment we remember that Jesus has done it all for us, and that we have no righteousness of our own to defend, the very next moment we can edge toward despair that we'll ever improve, or pride that we are really not all that bad.
We need friends in our lives who will not be afraid to remind us that our hope does not rest in ourselves or in our accomplishments. Our hope is not in having a clean home, all the laundry done, and perfectly obedient children. Our hope does not rest in being socially active, politically savvy, getting perfect grades or in landing a boyfriend. Our hope rests in Christ, that he has chosen us in love to be his children, that he is perfectly delighted in us and that all our growth and even our salvation rests on him alone.
"For it is GOD who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13
To whom can you preach the gospel today? Do you have a friend who is depressed, who needs more of Jesus? Do you have a friend who is full of anxiety, trusting in his or her own goodness to win God over? Do you have the guts to preach the gospel to that friend? While you are at it, remember to preach the gospel to yourself. The church will grow and thrive as its members live and breathe in the gospel.
Let me preach to you before you go on your merry way:
Believer, you are a child of God. You have been adopted into God's family, and have all the rights of a son or daughter. A son or daughter does not have to beg for his or her daily bread. The Father longs for you to be near to him. When he looks at you, he does not see your sins. Because you are clothed in Christ, when God looks at you, he sees Jesus. All of Jesus' righteous deeds now apply to you; he has obeyed and fulfilled all of God's requirements on your behalf. You are free. You are free to obey, free to love, free to live with joy.
This is the 13th part in a series. Go here to read 31 Days of Loving the Church from the beginning. Go here to read over 700 other 31 day series.