Thursday, May 12, 2011
Occasionally I have opportunity to speak to a group of people whom I will likely never again encounter.
It's always interesting when such an occasion presents itself. What do you say when you only have one chance to say it? There doesn't seem to be a pat answer to this question. You pray, search the Scriptures, think, and seek to be open and responsive to the Lord's guidance. You hope to be faithful to that guidance, and present a message that the Holy Spirit personally applies to each heart. Only in Heaven will it be known if you've done what the Lord would have you do, and always you leave the cultivation and harvest of fruit to Him.
As I think back over the opportunities for such ministry, it does occur to me that a particular theme seems to have characterized the messages I have delivered. The heart of God is that theme. Who is He? What is His character and nature? What are His mental and emotional sensibilities regarding the human race? Or regarding each of us as individuals? The Bible presents a myriad of ways whereby this theme can be addressed. The possibilities are inexhaustible, and I truly believe the potential for powerful spiritual impact exists anytime we proclaim the Scriptural truth of who God is.
One thing is certain: the Lord Jesus Christ is the Theme of the theme, so to speak. The glory of God shines "in the face of Jesus Christ," according to the Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 4:6). The Apostle John furthermore taught that Christ declares, or reveals God (John 1:18). Accordingly, the person and work of the Lord Jesus provides the open portal into the heart of our Heavenly Father. Preaching Christ in accordance with Scripture and as enabled by the Holy Spirit always answers in some manner the great question of who God is. We gaze into His heart as we consider the life, death, resurrection, ascension and ongoing heavenly ministry of our Savior. Nothing else will suffice in communicating truth that genuinely matters, and if only one opportunity presents itself, only one theme must comprise our message.
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me"