03 September 2006


The Gospel explains God’s loving intent. But that has to be revealed. You’re born with a conscience - knowing the law, knowing your problems, knowing the frustrations and fears. But the Gospel brings it all together and tells you about God’s loving intent, that this place was designed for you. You’re not just a critter. You’re not like an ant on God’s ant farm; you’re intended to be family. You’re intended to be like him, designed males and females in God’s image. You’re designed to be objects of his love, not just objects of his scientific study. You’re designed to be loved, and to love him in return. That’s your destiny; that’s your design. You were not just the result of millions and billions of years of random mutations from tadpoles or slugs, working your way through to the great apes. You were designed to be the incredible work of human art that you are right now. And God still is in touch with you, knowing exactly how many hairs you have on your head. “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” That also tells you about the love of Christ to rescue you from the broken state that you find yourself in. The fear that you have in your heart and the guilt that you feel cannot be undone by anything you do. By pretending, playing games, making yourself busy, staying occupied, accumulating power, stacking up wealth; your guilt is relieved only by the cross of Jesus Christ on Calvary. That also is not something you know by nature; it needs to be revealed. “I am not ashamed of the gospel” - the Gospel of your forgiveness. The Gospel that you have worth - not only that God fussed when he created you, but that Christ Jesus fussed when he died for you to bring you back. “…because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” And as incredibly persuasive as God’s handiwork in nature is (to me at least), the real power to connect with God’s loving intent and to banish agnosticism from your heart is from the power of the Gospel - that overwhelming message of God’s love that you are worth something; that you matter. You’re not just a speck; you’re not just a collection of matter that’s together for a bit and soon will disintegrate and cease to exist. The famous British agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “When I die, I rot. That’s it; I’m gone.” That’s what he said. Would you like something better than “When I die, I rot?” Would you like something better than, “Well, I’m a tough guy; I’ll face the judgment; I ain’t afraid, so bring it on. Whatcha got?”Do you really want to challenge God to see how angry he can be and to see what he’s got on you? Do you really want to be judged on the basis of the way you lived your life, every moment, every day? I don’t. I don’t think you do, either. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Believe it - it’s free; it’s a gift. It’s yours. This battle is going on in your mind, but the gospel drives agnosticism out of our heads. Agnosticism, remember, means that knowledge is cancelled out. “I don’t know.”
The Gospel helps you to know; the word of God helps you to know - not to guess. “Jesus loves me, this I - think?” “Jesus loves me, this I - wish?” “Jesus loves me, this I - hope?”
No, it’s “Jesus loves me, this I KNOW.” Why?
“For the Bible tells me so.”
It’s God’s power to build faith so that you get it; so that the testimony now makes sense to you. “First for the Jew…” - God smiled on those people who were his agents, chosen and loved - “…then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” That’s a little quote from Habakkuk.Here is the real power to comfort your heart and to help everything make sense - that you are part of an intelligent and loving design. Here is the explanation of what you’re doing here. Here’s an explanation of what to do with your life, what makes sense, and where your value system comes from. Who are you going to let define right and wrong for you? Here is comfort to know that you’re not all alone, struggling against the nasty, evil forces of nature and the cruel and hurtful people that often are around you. Here is comfort to know that you are loved and precious, you’re valuable, you’re family - you’re children of a Father who designed you and redeemed you.

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