A couple weeks ago, a friend asked us if we would be willing to listen to a sales pitch for new windows for our house. Just for listening, we were told, we would receive a $100 gift card to a local store. Well, that was easy! Of course we would give up a few minutes of our time to help out our friend AND get a gift card. We ended up buying those windows – not a purchase we had planned to make, but a good one nonetheless – and now, we’re telling everyone we see about these great windows. We’re asking people to listen to the sales pitch because it is a win-win situation – I mean you get a $100 gift card for Pete’s sake!
If we go to a restaurant we like, we’re telling everyone about it – we want others to enjoy it as much as we did. If we get great service somewhere, we shout it from the rooftops because we want to help them get more business because of their good work. If I read a great book, I want everyone else to read it too.
So wait, why am I not that way about the gospel? Why am I not telling everyone who will listen the amazing story of God’s love for us? Why am I not telling everybody to read the most amazing book ever written?
These are the questions I have been asking myself since the sermon at Central on Sunday. I’m not really sure of all the answers – I feel sure that it is more complex than just one simple answer – but here are some possibilities I’ve considered.
• Do I not really get how great the news is? Like with telling people about a good restaurant, am I just not sure it’s good enough to recommend?
• Do I not see the pay-off? Like with the windows, do I not think it’s worth their time?
• Do I not believe in the everyday value of living with and for Jesus? Like with telling about great service, do I not think people will get what they’ve “paid” for?
I don’t think so. The news is beyond great. God has made a way for us to live here on this earth while being a part of His kingdom—a kingdom that is full of His good and perfect gifts, where the blessings are pressed down and running over, where we don’t have to worry because He holds us in His almighty hands—that’s great news!
And the payoff—it’s well worth shouting about. Luke 18:29-30 says, “Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
And the everyday value of living life with Jesus? It’s beyond comparing. Spending life with the One who created us, knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us more than we can even imagine sounds perfect, almost too good to be true.
So what then? Why am I not making lists in my head of who I can share this good news with next and when? I think the sad but very real truth for me is that I’ve forgotten how hard and sad and hopeless it would be to live without my precious Father walking next to me. I assume that everyone who claims to know Him really doesn’t need or want a reintroduction. But the biggest truth is that I’m comfortable in this phase of life, in a way that makes it seem as if it will go on forever, which removes any sense of urgency to making sure that everyone I come in contact with knows that there is another phase of life that requires that I know Jesus while in this one.