My Pastor’s Gospel transformation story makes me laugh.
I asked KJ Washington, Lead Pastor at New Valley Church (Waynesboro, VA), his story of how the Gospel transformed him. I’m paraphrasing here, but he essentially told me he was in high school sharing the Gospel with someone else when the proverbial light bulb went off for him. I’ve never heard a testimony like that, but it reminds me of a saying that’s been around the church for a while.
“Preach the Gospel to yourself every day.”
If there was ever a time the Church needed to heed that advice, it is now. And, if we are honest, 2020 has been a difficult year, with no shortage of bad news. Maybe now, more than ever, it is important to remind ourselves that we have Good News:
There is a Triune God who has always existed and created all things good. He made humankind the crown jewel of all His creation. He enacted a rescue plan when humankind chose to rebel. And, at just the right time, He sent His Son into the world.
Jesus Christ, the second Adam, lived perfectly in our place. Jesus, the spotless lamb of God, died in our place. Three days later, He rose from the dead and left the tomb empty. He made a promise to reconcile all things to Himself; and because of His work, we will dwell eternally with Him in the new Heaven and Earth.
In 2020, a year of bad news, THIS is the Good News we need.
Because of social distancing regulations, I’m simply not around as many Christians as I would be in a normal week. Some means of grace I have cherished in the past – something like hanging out with a friend – are not as easy to access now. But I’m not self-isolated from the Gospel. I’ll share the following as a description, not a prescription. You may find a way that looks completely different for you. I’m just sharing what it looks like for me.
Our SPCA rescue pup, Cleo, is usually ready for her morning walk around 6:45 a.m. Her idea is to make it a squirrel hunt. My idea is to make is to make it a prayer walk, and it usually ends up being some hybrid of the two.
At the beginning of the walk, I’ll preach and proclaim the Gospel to myself, or I will play a song that does this for me. Below are five songs that help me start off the right way:
· Love Music by Timothy Brindle
· The Humility of Christ by Timothy Brindle
· The Daily Gospel by Timothy Brindle
· Liberation by Timothy Brindle
· It was Love by Ambassador
I’m really good at paraphrasing things incorrectly. One of the reformers was asked why he always preached the Gospel to His people, and his response was, “we leak.” It’s true. It is so easy to fill our buckets with the worries of the world that the Good News—the beautiful Gospel—leaks out. We can actively combat that, however, by reminding ourselves of these truths each day.