“We first come to God confessing that we cannot save ourselves – only Jesus can save us, and only by his cross. However, as we follow God we sometimes try to serve him in our own strength. We suffer from a kind of spiritual amnesia, forgetting that it is only by God’s grace that we can do anything good. And when we forget, we fail. But then in his mercy God reminds us that we can do all things by the strength of his grace. All of a sudden we remember that this has happened to us before. We say, “Oh yes, I remember now! I can’t make it on my own. Only Jesus can save me.” So sometimes the Christian life is like a combination of amnesia and deja vu, in which we keep learning what we keep forgetting.” – Phil Ryken, Preach the Word Commentary on Exodus, reflecting on the Passover.
It is for this reason that we consistently and only ever come back to the gospel. It is our meal of remembrance, the cure to our amnesia. Hear the good news of Jesus. Preach the good news of Jesus. Live from the good news of Jesus.
I was chatting with a good friend,who is also a pastor, recently on interacting with those that we minister to after they have been to a conference or heard a podcast and things finally clicked for them. They finally saw the truth of the gospel or how Jesus must be central to all that we are about. But wait, haven’t we been preaching that week after week? Haven’t we counseled them with the same truth one-on-one? This can be discouraging as a pastor – when those you lead finally “get it” but from somewhere else.
This reality has me thinking. Just yesterday I counseled a young man that we are called to faithfulness wherever we are at all times. That is it. God will use us as he chooses and we are obedient by being faithful. But in function we allow our flesh to desire worship for “opening eyes” to the truth of Jesus. We want to be the voice that propels finally an understanding of the gospel, of Christ’s work for us. We don’t need to be however and we must be content in this and excited even.
We know our faithfulness is carried out in our lives and in the words that we preach. We preach Jesus. We live in response to and with the hope of Jesus. Some will hear it for the first time from us and we rejoice. Some will hear it for the first time elsewhere and when that happens we rejoice. Our only care is that we are faithful and that Christ is glorified. So all of you that I preach to – please go where you will hear it, hear what I have been telling you all along – no matter where you hear it first or where it first starts to transform your life, I want to rejoice with you and constantly remind you of it as we do life together.
Brothers and sisters, preach until they hear and rejoice when they do, not matter what.