I am having a gratitude attack this morning. The symptoms are a swollen heart and tears of joy when I think of how God has blessed me. In particular, I am grateful that He plopped me into this wonderful family of faith. I came to the Lord by myself reading a Billy Graham book in my own bedroom. By the grace of God, He put people in my path who had a grip on the reality of the Word and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. I love the rest of the family of God – He is diverse. But I am really at home with the “faith” folk who buttress my life. I thank God that someone told me and showed me that the Word of God is true. If it says I am righteous, then I am. If it says I am healed, then I am. If it says the Holy Spirit is in me, then He is. In fact, I can expect Him to guide my steps and give me wisdom when I need it. God talks to me!
A few weeks ago I was preaching in another country using an interpreter. He is a great guy who loves the Lord and serves Him with his whole heart, but he hadn’t been around our crowd too much. On several occasions he stopped me as I was preaching to ask me to repeat what I said. At first I thought he didn’t understand my English (I sometimes inadvertently lapse into Okie dialect, which is difficult for other cultures to decipher) Then I realized he was taking notes! He heard what I was saying, and it was revolutionary to him, so much so that he wanted to be sure to remember it for future study. I guess the bottom line is this: Don’t take our Message for granted the world is still waiting for a simple, accurate, and real presentation of the word of faith which we preach.
Scripture Reading: In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:8-15 NLT)
Somebody Said: The Gospel, to me, is simply irresistible. Blaise Pascal
Whatever else life finds for me to do, today I will focus on spreading the wonderful and simple Word of Faith. On the front wall of our church is a slogan, “The Word and the Spirit… keepn’ it real.” Anything more is probably extraneous, anything less is certainly inadequate.