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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

The “User Friendly” Gospel

Despite the fact that now is a very difficult time for our country, we still live in a nation where the majority of people live in relative ease compared with most of the world. In many ways we have it made.

The result of such a situation has been to shape most of us into people who don’t know how, or are unwilling, to deal with adversity and hard times. Our focus on life in general tends to lean towards putting ourselves at the center of almost everything, including our spiritual lives. And of course, as Christians we are not immune.

For example, in expressing to others the opportunity to enter into a relationship with God I have often unwittingly asked, “would you like to invite Jesus into your life?”

On the surface this may seem just fine, but what I’m doing by asking the question this way is putting the person’s life in the center of everything and God on the periphery. Think about it. Doesn’t it seem a bit arrogant to invite the One who created me into my story? Should he somehow feel honored that I have finally condescended to include him in my busy and important life?

While there is certainly no ill intent on my part, this example illustrates how the values of our consumer-oriented, me-first social culture have permeated even the way I present the gospel. By asking people to “invite” Jesus into their lives in a manner I subconsciously consider to be palatable to the american mind, in reality all I’m doing is cheapening the gospel and the value of serving Jesus.

Jesus told his disciples, “When you have done everything I command you, your attitude should be: ‘We are not worthy of any praise for this. We are just servants who have simply carried out what our Lord directed us to do’” (see Luke 17:7-10).

This is the attitude that leads to life in the Kingdom of God – today. Jesus is our Master. He created us and called us to live for his glory (see Isa. 43:6-7; Matt. 5:14-16; Eph. 2:5-10; etc) and we are given the privilege of serving him.

When I realize that it is God who invites me into his story — to join him in what he is doing in this world — I have been given an assignment that is above anything else a created being can ever hope for. It is this humbling realization alone that will open my life so that others can see Jesus in me.

Jesus didn’t make God’s call “user friendly,” so why should we?

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Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski


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