FRONT-PORCH GOSPEL: Here’s something to go back TO about right now
Good week to all. Welcome to the “front porch.”
We’re glad to say that the amazin’ blonde and I are up in the Smokies this week for our annual trip with Coca-Cola Mike and Glory. Of course, it’s a different world now than last year’s trip – ah, there’s an understatement. But, with all the differences, I’m glad that one thing THAT never changes is the gospel of Jesus Christ. With the Smokies as our majestic backdrop, let’s go back there one more time.
The apostle Paul sums up the glory of the gospel well: “For I determined not to know anything among you,” he says, “save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
The grand story of Jesus Christ – with all its splendor and demands – is the story a man needs to preach when he hits the dusty road with a few gospel sermons in hand.
With that truth in mind, let’s remember to go back to an old gospel, regardless of what’s happening around us. Here’s what I’d ask a man to preach when he chooses to walk up to the pulpit to deliver the message:
Preach, my friend, the gospel – nothing more.
Preach the story of Jesus. Don’t hold back in telling it all.
Don’t preach about philosophy, politics, or social issues.
Just preach to me the gospel.
Remind me often of what my Lord did for you and me, of the tremendous cost He paid for hope. Don’t go along without walking me often up to Calvary, and without reminding me of what all of it means.
Show me, please, the Lord’s nail-scarred hands, and show me the blood and water that flow from his side.
Remind me to believe, not doubt; trust, not falter; walk, not faint.
But preach to me more. Preach what it is I need to know – what I need to do, and the changes I need to make.
Remind me where I easily could stumble, or fall, and show me where the obstacles lie. Point to me the very place where many before have lost their way.
Don’t make your preaching fancy, but make it direct. Don’t make it flowery, make it powerful. Give me truth, not rhetoric.
Make me tremble, if need be, just like the jailor of old. Don’t let me get too comfortable with the sound of warm, fuzzy words, but keep me alert with a “thus saith the Lord.”
Oh, share the good parts, the best parts – and never omit them – but warn me, too. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, as much as needed, and as often.
Preach to me, and don’t be afraid. Hide behind the cross of Calvary. Hide courageously. Preach boldly, and confidently.
Preach with an outreached hand of love and the sobering rod of discipline.
And before you step down, offer me the call of the gospel – “And the Spirit and the bride say come” – Call me once again, while I ponder, for it may be that I have faltered along the way.
And when you finish, pray that the blessed seed you have sown will make a difference, that it will lead me some day to heaven’s door.
When you think of it that way, it doesn’t matter all that much what is going on during this time, does it! When it’s all said and done, it’s the gospel, and the cross, and God’s unsearchable riches – those are the things that have led us thus far; and those are the things that will lead us home.
Coach Steven Bowen, a long-time Red Oak teacher and coach, now enjoys his time as a full-time writer and preacher of the gospel. In addition to his evangelistic travels, he works and writes for the Church of Christ of Red Oak at Uhl Road and Ovilla. Their worship times are 10 a.m. Sundays and 7:30 pm. Wednesdays. Email email@example.com or call or text 972-824-5197.