• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Laying hold of it

It seems self-evident that a movement such as ours would have to have the Gospel as a central driving value.  However, when we say that the Gospel is one of our guiding principles, what we actually mean can be less than clear and ‘interpreted’ differently by various workers.heart affection

The Gospel is certainly the message of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus which delivers us from the guilt, the power and the pollution of sin. When we say the Gospel is one of our central driving values, we mean more than just that definition.  We mean that we are ‘Gospel centred’.  We mean that more than anything else, Jesus is ‘the joy of our desiring’.  We mean that Jesus has displaced all other things that might capture our heart: our reputation, our ministry, or our success in ministry.

Thomas Chalmers in his message: “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection” put it this way: “Its [our heart] desire for one particular object may be conquered; but as to its desire for having some one object or other, this is unconquerable.  Its adhesion to that on which it has fastened the preference of its regards, cannot willingly be overcome by the rending away of a simple separation.  It can be done only by the application of something else, to which it may feel the adhesion of a still stronger and more powerful preference.”  What Chalmers was trying to express was the difficulty we have in being ‘Gospel centred’.  Our hearts resist the shedding of one affection, one desire, or one focus if there is not something more powerful, more important that will push out of the way what currently captures our heart.

We often talk about the reality of spiritual warfare in the task of bringing the Gospel to those without Christ.  Perhaps that same reality exists in our hearts when we allow other ‘affectations’ to capture our hearts rather than Christ.

To be as concrete as I can, living as a ‘Gospel centred’ worker would mean asking another worker to pray with me for Jesus to become again the ‘joy of my desiring’ as something else may have become much more important to me at this point in my life and ministry.

It’s a fight, it’s a struggle to live as Gospel centred workers.

 

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