The Gospel Groove

rutsWhen I was in the 10th grade I was in a play called Thurber’s Carnival.  I had only one line, and in spite of rehearsing that one line over and over again, I still barely managed to say it.  If you asked me today I wouldn’t be able to tell you my line in spite of rehearsing for several months. In the same way, I forget the gospel.  Of course I don’t forget the basic truth of the gospel that Jesus died for my sin, but I do forget the gospel in many, many other ways.

For example:
• I forget the gospel when on a scale of 1-10 (10 high) I believe that God loves me less than a 10 because I fail at a consistent devotional life, and I forget that God’s acceptance of me is not based on my devotion to Him, but on Jesus’ devotion to obey the Father, even to die on the cross.
• I forget the gospel when I feel I need to make up my shortcomings to God, and I don’t remember that Jesus gives me his perfect record as my own.
• I forget the gospel when I feel crushed that my church isn’t as big as the church down the street, and I forget that God doesn’t measure me by the size of the church but by the success of Christ’s finished work for me.
• I forget the gospel when I feel bitter toward people who have offended me and owe me an apology that’s never coming, and I forget that every selfish, sinful act of mine is a deep offense against God. Yet, he forgives me not because I was the most sorrowful, but because He is the most graceful.
• I forget the gospel when I look to success, approval, sensuality, food, etc. to satisfy me, and I forget that God has given me the only thing that can truly satisfy me – Himself.
• I forget the gospel when I present my “resume” to God and others so they will like me, and I forget that the only resume that counts is Jesus’, and He puts my name on His resume.

Therefore, our attempt at a rehearsal of the gospel every Sunday is because it’s so easy to forget.  At GBCK we want to develop deep grooves of the gospel in our soul.  The songs, the sermon, and the sacraments serve to put the gospel on repeat in our minds and our hearts.  They serve to retell the gospel drama in all its parts.

The singing, the preaching, and the observing of the sacraments heal us from gospel amnesia and returns us to our true source of joy, peace, and contentment.  May we never try to escape the groove of the gospel, but may we ask the Spirit to continually etch the gospel on our hearts.

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6 thoughts on “The Gospel Groove

  1. Your comment about God forgiving not because you are most sorrowful, but because He is most gracious was really helpful. On a practical level, when counseling someone who feels wronged by another believer and feel like they need an apology from that person, would you encourage them to forgive without seeking an apology?

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  2. Good question. I’m grateful that God forgave me without an apology from me. It’s amazing that his forgiveness isn’t conditioned on how bad I feel or whether I apologized. So when we are instructed to forgive one another as Christ forgave you, I don’t see any conditions attached to the forgiveness, even an apology. Difficult? Yes. It’s difficult because in my heart I view my relationships as contracts where I only do if you do, and if you don’t do, I won’t do. The conflict with my brother/sister in Christ serves to expose my heart and to remind me again and again of the forgiveness I have in Jesus.

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  3. I forget the gospel everyday. Good thing He doesn’t forget me. He’s my only saving grace.

    Thanks for the good word. I need it constantly.

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  4. Mike,

    Your post reminds me of the many wonderful truths taught to us at the Lberate Conference last month in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Actually, it was one truth – God’s One Way Love! To know that God loves me even when I sin. God loves me even when I fail at work, marriage, and ministry. God loves me when I am unloveable (which I would argue is all the time!). He loves me, not because I am faithful, but because He is faithful and cannot go back on His Word to me. Because I am IN CHRIST (the Gospel) I am free to love, give, serve, and sacrifice, even if I never receive anything in return. I am free to live and love in this way because God has given me everything I need for life and godliness, in and through Christ’s finished work on my behalf. Praise Him! However, since I forget this amazing truth everyday I must preach it to myself everyday. Thanks for reminding us of the simple, but profound truth, that Jesus died for our sins.

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