The Gospel is not about your virtues and values. It’s not about your sacrificial service to the Lord, your faithfulness to your discipleship program or your leadership principles, or how spiritual you are. It’s not even about how closely you follow Jesus. None of those things.
The Gospel is about one thing. One thing only.
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus killed all religious systems and replaced it with God’s grace. It is no longer about what your do for God but about what God did for you through the cross.
Ministry responsibilities have a sneaky way of taking our focus off the cross and putting it in a myriad of other places. We get distracted. Deadlines loom overhead. Pressures mount. We scramble to make all the pieces fit in place.
Then one day we wake up to find our life no longer revolves around the power of the cross but around our own efforts. Why does this happen?
It happens because “doing stuff for God” is our default setting. We are drawn to the misguided notion that God is our employer—instead of our Father—whose main objective is to get us to do chores for Him. We get comfortable running on the try-a-little-harder-do-a-little-more ministry treadmill. We are wired that way.
Periodically, we all need to hit the reset button. We need a reminder that our life in God revolves around the action God took on our behalf. The Gospel is an announcement. It is God’s declaration that the cross of Jesus is enough. But you have to be purposeful about getting that as your focus.
The Book of Hebrews contains an odd verse.
Let us therefore STRIVE to enter that REST, so that no one may fall by the same sort of DISOBEDIENCE (Hebrews 4:11 ESV).
We are commanded to “strive to enter that rest.” Strive to rest? Actually, I get that. I have to strive to not try to do more stuff to please God. And the kicker in this verse is that we are disobedient if we are not resting in God. Hebrews 4 explains that the whole point of the Sabbath was not about taking a day off (although a good idea). It is about resting in God’s finished work for us.
News flash: God has this!
You do not have to be a religious busybody. Jesus promised to build His church. God’s plan is right on schedule. He is not frustrated. You can relax.
The words of P.T. Forsyth are more true now than ever.
Christianity is not the sacrifice we make, but the sacrifice we trust. –P.T. Forsyth–
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, (1 Corinthians 1:23)
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14)