"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Art of Daily Self-Evangelism

When my eyes open in the morning, I endeavor to make that first moment one of thankfulness to the Lord.  Depending upon the hour, this may be genuinely difficult, and I cannot claim uniform success in this (nor, at times, can I remember it clearly later), but indeed there is something wonderfully pleasing about beginning one's day in this context of gratitude. 

Pleasing though it is, there is surely more that may be done in those first moments of wakefulness to help in recalling us to our duties and our unique station in this life as believers in the one true God.  I submit that it would not go at all amiss, were we to preach the saving gospel of our Lord to our own hearts every morning

Why say this?  Does it save us anew?  Impossible.  Does it, however, help to frame our day?  Absolutely.  Before we break our fasts at our paltry morning tables, let us feed our souls with the unspeakably rich bread of life (John 6:35)!  Let us refresh our thirsty souls (Matt. 5:6) with the living water that comes only from Christ (John 4:14) before we raise any glass to our lips.

Weigh out the benefits of this daily "self-evangelism," as it were, dear fellow believer.

1.  It calls to mind the greatness of God.  You knew of this when salvation first came to you; how much better do you know it now?  Has His indescribable grace grown to your thinking less dear or more, less essential or more, less urgent or more, less constant or more, and less sufficient or more?  We have far grander, more sweeping vista of His fathomless goodness now than even we did in that first great moment when He gave His precious salvation and breathed into our hearts new and startling life. 

He is the God of the universe, but He is not enthroned in heavenly halls so remote and austere that He is not aware of you; He purposed to save you personally, along with all of your brothers and sisters, before He created a single molecule, and He now resides with you and in you.  He is your God in every sense of the word, and your Father in ways too powerful to describe.  He who created you, saved you, and keeps you is worthy of your daily remembrance and devotion, is He not?

2.  It brings us to remembrance of our own weakness and sinfulness.  Again, this was in your truest thoughts when you were saved, but do you not understand this still better now?  Having contended with temptations of all sorts, across a spectrum of biblical mandates, the totality of which we could not perceive upon salvation, it certainly does not fall to us to congratulate ourselves for our own righteous worth.  If anything, we echo the true words of the seasoned apostle, righteous but pained, who cried, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24)

We rely solely upon the Lord for our righteousness, and we daily remain His happy slaves, like Paul and Timothy (Phil. 1:1).  As we remember Christ's gospel, we gird ourselves for service to Him above all, and we apprehend the pollution that always poisons our souls when we dare to elevate our own thoughts and opinions to reside alongside, or even above, God's clear testimonies.  We needed the Lord as unbelievers, and we need Him no less now.

3.  It brings the gospel to the fore of our thinking.  The gospel reminds us of who our God is, and who we are, and it also draws our attention back to the things which make for peace.  How fitting, when our hearts are prostrated before Him, and we have fitted ourselves for His service, that our hearts should be full of His gospel!  Oh, to be gospel-minded as we embark upon our interactions with the world around us!  To be settled in the convictions of our hearts concering His gracious salvation as we meet with people who so desperately need it, and who can, this very day, hear it from our lips!  Not only are we more likely to speak of saving grace when we have been reflecting upon its wonder, but we are more likely to believe in its efficacious strength in that moment, so that our speech does not falter and the weakness of our proclamation does not belie the precious and immeasurable power of the gospel. 

Drink in the riches of your Savior's gospel, my friend.  Drink deeply and daily, and serve your King with a glad and full heart!


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