Friday, February 23, 2007

Gospel foolishness

I don't think i'll ever come away from sharing the Gospel feeling it went well. There's always an objection that i haven't seen and an argument i can't deal with...even in my own head, let alone theirs. And thats hard because it hurts my pride, which i don't like.

One thing that i've really realised over the last couple of weeks is when Paul says the Gospel is a foolish message, he wasn't lying. I mean obviously he wasn't, but it's really really true. Just like everything in the Bible...anyway. Jews demanded a sign, Greeks demanded wisdom, Muslims seem to demand a God who didn't hang out with prostitutes, and if this morning at multi faith week was anything to go by, Pagans (i mean actual pagans) demand a God who didn't kill His Son and doesn't send people to Hell. And if we've got any integrity we can't give them that. We tell them a message that they actually laugh at...again, not good for the pride.

But thats ok. And it's ok for two reasons. I'm glad that my pride gets hurt. Because it's not about my pride. It's about the glory of God. It's about trusting in the power of the Word and the Gospel. Not in my clever arguments. And i'm not the world's greatest apologist, but even if i was, that wouldn't make any difference. I'll be humbled as much as i need to be in evangelism, because God wants the glory Himself, He doesn't want me to have any. And thats really ok.

Which leads me to thinking about the wisdom of God. Why isn't His wisdom more like mine? Why didn't He make the Gospel...y'know...make more sense. Because Him, even in His foolishness, is much much much wiser than me. He knows what people need to be saved. He knows that our biggest problem is not intellectualism, or the lack of it...but sin, and seperation from God. And it's the cross that deals with that. Dealing with our biggest problem, once for all, is pretty wise. I couldn't have done that, i couldn't have thought of that. When i was drawing our creation, i wouldn't have based it all around a Godman on a cross. I don't know what people need. But God does, so all i've got to do is tell people that Jesus dieing for them meets their greatest. deepest, most serious need.

But what do i do about feeling like a failure after sharing the Gospel? Well, first of all i guess i just plain get over it and repent of my pride: 'but i'm a Relay can he not listen to me', and trust God. And i remember what, yeh you guessed it, 2 Corinthians 4 says. I present the Gospel without change or deviation, and pray that God would open blind eyes, and soften dead hearts by His Spirit, so that people can see the glory of God in Christ, and be saved.

So it's ok that the Gospel is foolish, because it's only foolish to our dark, futile minds...and it's wise to the only wise God, to the great God. It's ok to feel bad when you walk away, because it's about God's glory, not mine. And it's ok for my pride to get hurt, because it grives the Holy Spirit...

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