Recently, I have doing a lot of thinking about what it is that should drive or motivate the Christian. Is there something that is at the core of everything that should dictate what we do? How we behave? Why we do what we do? The following is part of an article that I wrote for the Middlefield Post that came out yesterday. You can find the entire article HERE (check out page 27).
Everyone is shaped by something. Some people are shaped by their fears. They do not go for that new job they have always wanted because they are scared of failure. A kid might not stop the school bully for fear that he might become the new object of his bullying.
Some people are shaped by their goals. They want to get into a certain college and so they study hard to get an A on that test. They want to win the big game, so they work out all year to compete for three hours.
Some people are shaped by their beliefs. They refuse to lie to their neighbor because they believe lying never pays off in the end. They will not cheat on their spouse because they believe in the marriage vows they took before God and their family.
Everyone is shaped by something. Have you ever stopped to ask why you do what you do? I have asked this question often in my life and ministry. What should the Christian be shaped by? Some say we should be shaped by love. That's a good option. Jesus does say the greatest commandments are to love God and others (Matt. 22:34-40). Some say we should be shaped by God's glory. That's another good option, for we are called to do all things to His glory (1 Cor. 10:31). While they are both great motivators, I would argue there is something deeper for the Christian that should shape them. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The gospel is getting a lot of press these days. And for good measure. It is what should shape every Christian. It should be at the heart of everything that we do. It is deeper than love. It is even deeper than trying to glorify God. It is the reason why we should love and glorify.
Just this past week, a new book called Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian was released. It is a fantastic book. Make sure and check back on Monday as I write a review on this book and offer a chance for you to win a copy of it. But let me just give you a glimpse of how he thinks the gospel of Jesus Christ is his focus.
"I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to the gospel. It burns inside of me. And it seems to get hotter very day. I can't stop thinking about it, talking about it, writing about it, reading about it, wrestling with it, reveling in it, standing on it, and thanking God for it. For better or worse, my focus has become myopic. My passion has become singular. Lesser things don't distract me as easily. I'm not as anxious as I used to be. I don't fret over things as much. I'm more relaxed. What others think of me (either good or bad) doesn't matter as much as it used to. I'm enjoying life more. The pressure's off. I'm beginning to understand the length and breadth of the freedom Jesus purchased for me. I'm beginning to realize that the gospel is way more radical, offensive, liberating, shocking, and counterintuitive than any of us realize." (11)
Does The Gospel Drive You Like That?