Thursday, February 5, 2009
On the Cutting Room Floor
As we walk with the Lord in this new year, the words of the apostle Paul help us focus on what really matters. It is so easy, if one does not apply effort to do what God desires, to find themselves in the empty pursuit of nothingness.
In Acts 20, Paul gives a final message to his friends in the church of Ephesus. He had faithfully preached the gospel and taught the Word there. Now it’s time to say goodbye, so he gives a summation of what a Christian ought to be.
He compares the Christian to a runner in a race, a servant, and a witness. Now, in Acts 20:25, he likens the believer to a herald: “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.”
Give the King’s message
The word preaching means, “To declare a message as the herald of the king.” The witness tells what has happened to him, but the herald tells what the King tells him to declare. He is a man commissioned and sent with a message, and he must not change that message in any way.
The unchanging gospel message
I think we tend to way overcomplicate the message of the gospel. There is a profound power in its utter simplicity.
I have had people express surprise at the response we will have to the invitation to receive Christ at our Harvest Crusades events. They’ll say, “But the message was so simple!”
Exactly. That was my very objective. Not to be simplistic but simple.
The gospel is so deep that the greatest philosophers pore over its meaning. Yet it is so simple, that even a child can understand it.
Billy Graham was once interviewed by David Frost, the interview who is famous now for the movie Frost/Nixon. In the interview, Billy told Frost that in his presentation of the gospel, he “studied to be simple.”
Generally, we think we ought to study to be complex. Not at all. The gospel is an understandable message, and when that fails to happen, it’s not the fault of the message, but the messenger.
On the cutting room floor
Sometimes, we may be reluctant to share the gospel with others. Or we may feel we need to “edit out” certain parts that might offend people. We often hear of some of the best parts of a film being edited out and left “on the cutting room floor.”
But the job of the herald is to proclaim what the King tells him to proclaim. In the same way, the job of the Christian is to preach the gospel.
So today, look for opportunities to “herald” the gospel message. In such a dark world, it really is still “good news!”
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
On Being a Servant of God
"I don’t know of a better resource for you to add to your bookshelf than On Being a Servant of God. Written by one of the great communicators in the church, Warren Wiersbe, it is a book that I believe will enrich your life."
On Being a Servant of God invites you to listen in on the thirty short “armchair chats” to gain practical and encouraging insights that will increase your desire to serve the Lord for His glory.