I’m in a small group at my church. We are focusing solely on the gospel. I’m also a part of Mary DeMuth’s book launch team for her latest book Everything: What you give and what you gain to become like Jesus. I love what Mary says about the gospel:
The gospel isn’t a life management program. It shouldn’t merely be a crutch we fall on when life gets ugly. It should be the legs we walk on, the air we breathe.
I’m guilty of it. Maybe you are too. I want so desperately for people to “get it” that I end up sounding a bit like a television infomercial:
- Pray this prayer and your life will never be the same!
- Jesus wants to change your marriage, kids, & finances!
- Jesus can heal your body, mind & soul!
As Mary reminds us, these things are true to some extent, but they are “wholly incomplete.” She goes on to say “we don’t preach (or live) the whole gospel. Instead we live the AYDI gospel. The All You Do Is gospel.”
We try and convince people that all they have to do is...
Say the sinner’s prayer.
Go to church.
Join a bible study.
Go on a mission trip.
Share the Good News with others…
Until at long last we tell them “all you do is die to your own desires and embrace Jesus’ lordship.” Which is actually where they need to start.
Mary calls this the watered down gospel. And this gospel isn’t the gospel of Jesus. It is exhausting. And we teach people they can achieve holiness progressively by following a series of steps and activities.
As Western Christians, we tend to think linearly, but the gospel is more circular, all-encompassing.
The answer to the All You Do Is Gospel?
It should be the All Your Life Is The Gospel.
Otherwise we create confusion and downright falsehood if we make the gospel about improving our lives for the sake of our own selves. What will the newly converted Christian think if all of a sudden the prosperity gospel turns out to be a lie? What will they do when reality hits and their spouse isn’t healed from cancer? Or their child dies even though they prayed their hearts out? Or they don’t get the job they’ve waited their whole lives for?
The gospel has to be about more than all you do is. It must be about, as Mary reminds us, all your life is the gospel.
How would your life be different if you believed Jesus was your EVERYTHING? Would you share the all your life is the gospel?
Jesus offers us the Everything life. Have you responded?
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