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What is needed by the Christian today for the undergoing of all things experienced by the Christian today? Is it a newer model of worship? A new set of instructions? The latest innovation in religious technology? A handbook of tips and skills and troubleshooting flowcharts? Do we need more inspirational pick-me-ups? Do Christians need more classes, more diplomas, more specialized training?
There is something the drudgery of daily living and the sporadic, special failures done by us and done to us have in common, and it is this: they require a vision beyond ourselves. In the age of Christian media saturation and the embarrassment of riches of religious resources, it is not just more information we need.
It is power.
As humans in every age have always needed, we have need of power. Great, enduring, supernatural and alien power. What we need cannot come from ourselves, and that is where most religious inspiration fails.
Should we go into God’s inerrant, infallible, inspired word looking only for things to do, we will come away with God’s good instructions for the good life but without the power to actually do them. The power to obey does not lie in the commandments. The power to get through the day does not come from the instructions on how to get through it. The power to glorify God is in the glorious gospel, which says not “Do” but “Done!”
What Christians need every day is to meditate on the “Done”-ness of God’s work in Christ. Maurice Roberts once wrote, “It is the unhurried meditation on gospel truths and the exposing of our minds to these truths that yields the fruit of sanctified character.” If this is so—and I believe it is—Christians today need more and more reminders to do this, biblical proclamations that take us right to the water of the living well and bid us drink deeply. We need more and more preaching, teaching, writing that show us the gospel in its multitudinous glory. This is what we need, now and ever!
We suffer today from too much mere admiration of the gospel, too much treating of the gospel as a construct, as an idea, and too little understanding not simply of the truth of the gospel but the power of the gospel. We need to see the finished work of Christ is a deep well, beautiful and satisfying and eternally sufficient. Over and over again we must rehearse within ourselves and with each other, page by page through the Scriptures and minute by minute of our lives and ministries, that there is nothing better than to drink of the gospel’s living water. If we have the eyes to see them, in the gospel is revealed things into which even angels long to look (1 Peter 1:12).
We need power, and it is only found in the good news. Let’s drink deeply.