A friend recently told me that he is struggling with temptations and recurring "sins" that he has troubles letting go of. In thinking about my response (it was via the internet), I was reminded of my Pastor's sermon a few weeks ago regarding the doctrine of hope - that to embrace a hope rooted in faith in Jesus, means to be able to fall in love with Him; however, we must first fall out of love with the world in order for our hearts to be available to Jesus.
As I was allowing that concept to roll around in my head over the past few days, I started to wonder why the Gospel isn't as impactful as it really should be. The answer I found was this: because the Gospel isn't changing people's lives, it loses "credibility" for potential converts. What I mean by this is simply that people haven't allowed the Gospel to change what they do (externally) or who they are (internally), so the power it purports is meaningless. What good is Good News if it doesn't change anything?
The problem, however, is not with the Gospel itself. No surprise here: it lies within us - sin. We've allowed Satan to deceive us into believing that anything and everything other than God Himself is exciting and worth investing our time into. Essentially, we've fallen in love with the world. As a result our hearts are set on things like money, power, fame, sex, freedom, rights, self-expression, beauty, and so many other worldly things. If these are what we care about, how can the Gospel change us? We'd have to give up all those things to be changed.
We can't blame God for this problem; it's our choice to give it all up or to hold onto it. If we want God to change us and if we desire for the world to be a better place, we must fall out of love with the world and fall in love with Him. Matthew 6:24 tells us that no one can serve two masters - our hearts can only love one thing. How long will we settle for the pleasures of this world instead of setting our hearts on the infinitely greater rewards that await us with the Creator of this world?
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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