21 Nov 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
As a writer, I have heard many wonderful speakers who talked about different gospels- Gospel of Grace, Gospel of Mercy, Gospel of Holiness, Gospel of Prosperity, etc. All of them were presented based on the gospel.
Yet, needless to say, all of us know the possible effects of the each gospel if brought to the extreme. For example, the prosperity gospel could undermine the rich meaning of suffering for Christ while the gospel of Holiness could overburden believers with unnecessary guilt and shame. The gospel of Grace if misinterpreted could be taken as a wild ticket to sin until one’s last days before the person accept Christ.
In my humble opinion, at the heart of these gospels, one must never leave out a love relationship with Jesus Christ and God Himself, which comes from personally knowing who our God is. This is because without a personal relationship with the Lord, all of these gospels could turn into a religiosity of meaningless rules, regulations, or feel-good mantras, which are dangerous ground because we can cherry-pick only verses to our liking and situation.
Hence, at the heart of every gospel that is presented based on the Bible, remember that Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” The key words here are ‘first’ and ‘greatest.’ God ultimately pursues our heart. When our heart belongs to Him, we can naturally live a life that is pleasing to Him, with discernment of truth.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
How can we give our heart to God? Well, how do you give your heart to a person? It must start from getting to know the person first by spending time with him or her, with a two-way communication. Likewise, getting to know God involves spending time with Him through prayer and reading the Bible. Similarly, this is also a two-way communication whereby God will guide us through His wisdom and the Bible to name a few. If you like, you can get the book ‘Experiencing God’ by Henry and Richard Blackaby, which offers a one-hour daily guide on knowing God. And when we learn that we can trust in Him more and more, naturally we will be confident in giving our heart to God.
Do not worry, our Father only asked us to take one step at a time and one day at a time. Enjoy your walk with Him. There is no report card or performance-based evaluation coming out of this, but really, a simple desire to know our Father in Heaven. Give yourself an opportunity to know Him and let Him show you how He can be personal in your life. In Christ, we can have love, joy, and peace.
In conclusion, only when we abide in Christ can all these gospels can be brought to a perfect and harmonious balance, bearing good fruit for the Kingdom, one that unites and not divide the body of Christ.
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