My daily need: the perspective of the gospel

 My Poppop hardly ever wore his teeth. He would put them in on occasion when he had company or if he wanted to chew some Juicy Fruit. One time he and my Grams drove all the way to their favorite restaurant and ordered dinner only to realize that he had left his dentures at home and would have to take his meal to-go! He knew he needed his teeth, but he didn’t always remember that he needed to put them in.

This same Poppop presented me with my first Bible in a very sincere and solemn rite of passage. He explained the importance and the value of the Word of God as he earnestly scrawled in its leather-bound cover, “This book will keep you from sin. Sin will keep you from this book.” With his WWII tattoos and no teeth, it was enough to frighten me into approaching the Bible with utmost reverence!

Several years down the road when I was a well-behaved, verse-memorizing AWANA Chum, he asked to see the Bible he had given me. He took a sharpie and circled all of 2 Corinthians 4. Beside it he wrote, “this is my salvation when I’m down.” I didn’t understand the significance of that passage of scripture at the time, but I would keep its words and his words tucked into the back of my mind in the years ahead as I wrestled with the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Take a moment to read 2 Corinthians 4. I’ll wait!

Oh the glorious weight of those words to us ministers of the gospel! For years this passage has offered me a higher outlook on what it’s like to live for Christ. Paul marks out clearly that as new creatures in Jesus, our power as believers is not our own power, just as our mission here in these earthen vessels is not our own mission. He’s completely honest about what a life lived for the glory of Jesus will bring: affliction in every way. But in delight, Paul also gives us the sweetest tastes of what this affliction brings: “an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison!” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

I’m constantly needing to be reminded of this better perspective on life. I’m constantly needing the truth of the gospel at work in my life. My Poppop always had access to his dentures, but he had to actually put them in in order to use them. As believers, we have to actually engage with the truths that we find in Jesus’ story of redemption in order for it to be the reality of our lives. Our salvation isn’t going anywhere–we always have full access to Christ’s grace and life. But we have an urgent need to make the gospel a daily habit in our lives in order to meet our daily needs. As Milton Vincent eloquently urges in his A Gospel Primer for Christians, our duty is to “overwhelm [our daily needs] with daily rehearsings of the gospel.”

Just as day by day our inner man is being renewed (2 Corinthians 4:16), we constantly need to be reminded of the most important truths: Jesus’ redemption and fellowship, our mission here as momentary vessels on earth, the higher perspective that Paul so firmly grasps in 2 Corinthians 4.

I leave you with the best encouragement I can offer you in your own efforts to make the gospel a habit: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

Sarah has served on our Boot Camp staff and joined us for the first time in 2011 as one of our summer interns. Sarah describes herself as an old soul passionate about glorifying an eternal God in this age. May He receive all praise and worship unto the end of this age!

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