When was the last time you heard in detail the full Gospel? I’m talkin’ about from beginning to end. From God sending His only son..to be born, to die and to then return in glorious resurrection. For some of us, we hear it everyday and for some of us, we hear it on Sundays, on the radio, in an occasional song or a devotional. As a missionary, I should be sharing it often and be quite good at sharing it often. However, I am finding that sometimes I share just bits and pieces or a story from my own life. In my attempts to share the gospel of Jesus, really what I find myself sharing is nothing but insecurity and fear of rejection. (I know, it sounds completely ridiculous, I’m just being totally honest here) For me to only share bits and pieces of the gospel and not the gospel in its entirety, could imply that either I think some parts are more important and/or significant than others, or that my nervousness is more valuable that one soul coming to know and love Jesus, or perhaps that my time is more precious than the time it takes to explain the birth, sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. As I am reading this, my heart feels so heavy just thinking about the possible implications of why I sometimes “hold back” in sharing the ENTIRE Gospel. I do not want any of those to ring as truth in my heart!
Just writing this blog is not enough to motivate me to share the Gospel, I have to really believe it is WORTH the time, language barrier, and dare I say “inconvenience”…and man…. I never want the Gospel to become an inconvenience to me.
Last week at The Rock (A coffee bar ministry here in Danshui, Taiwan) I was sharing with a new friend about Jesus. I found myself kind of stumbling over my words as I tried to share WHO Jesus is and WHY God sent His only son Jesus to the earth to die for us.
As I was sharing, I remembered a story I once heard as a child about a man who worked at a train station.This man was an incredible man. He was a wonderful father, friend, and all out humble and servant-hearted man. Now, this man was in charge of lowering the bridge for a train to cross over a large river. You see, when the bridge was raised it made it possible for boats to continue on under the bridge to the other side of the river. One particular day, the man brought his young son to work. His son was playing on the bridge particularly in the area where the cranks, gears and wheels were positioned to allow the bridge to lower in order for trains to cross. One day he saw a train approaching to cross the river so the man prepared to lower the bridge but just as he was getting things in order, he noticed that his son was playing around the area of the cranks, gears and wheels that operate the bridge to lower. In that moment he had to decide: Does he keep the bridge up? If he does, than hundreds of people would die. Or, does he lower the bridge? If he lowers the bridge, his son will for sure die, but it will spare the lives of hundreds.
I asked my friend: What do you think the man decided to do? I eventually told her that the man decided to lower the bridge. I then explained to my friend that this man LOVED his son but also recognized that in this case, someone had to die in order for there to be life. As I was sharing this story I began to parallel it to The Gospel. (now, granted there are things that are different in this story: for example, the man did not know the people on the train or have a plan for their life etc etc…BUT it just helps explain sacrifice) As I began talking about God sending his only son, Jesus, I started to feel a lump in my throat and tears forming in my eyes, and as I was sharing, I was thinking…“Wow….The Gospel is amazing…more importantly the Gospel IN ITS ENTIRETY is THE most incredible story/reality/truth this world will ever know.”
So today as I sit here at my desk writing this blog, I am brought back once again to intrinsic value of The Gospel. I will soon finish preparing for my Chinese Class that starts at noon and then after class I have a full day of studying and meeting with friends. However, if it is not the message of the POWER of Jesus’ birth, sacrifice and resurrection that MOTIVATES me today, then the choice I am ultimately making is to be inconvenienced rather than changed.