Episode 45: What Are You Championing and Promoting With Your Life? What is Your Life Message?
Still recovering a bit from my hospital stay today, but rejoicing at the grace of Jesus and His people as I went through that small ordeal. Today’s readings begin with Genesis 47, where we see Joseph initiate a 20% tax on the Egyptians output, which seems like a pretty fair number if that is the sum total of taxes paid by the Egyptian people. Sounds like something of a flat tax proposal – but I note that Pharaoh keeps the land…so most Americans wouldn’t go for that. Job 13 features our broken-hearted hero offering up many heart-wrenching lamentations to God. We begin a new book today – The Gospel According to Luke, and the whole first chapter is devoted to the preparation for the birth of Jesus. Thanks to Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s reading plan, we are only reading the first 38 verses of Luke today. Zechariah’s prophecy is fantastic, and underrated, as far as I’m concerned. Our focus passage is also from a new book, 1 Corinthians, and we are zeroing in on what is the essential core of the Christian message in this passage. Let’s read it together, and then wrestle with the questions it raises.
Allow me to open with a question: What cause or what person are you a Champion for?
- I have an online “friend” who claims to be a Christian and a minister. I’m in a group she is in, and 90+ percent of her posts are about the importance of biblical feminism – her words, not mine. She is a champion for biblical feminism – that seems to be the most important thing to her.
- I have other friends, who, at various times are evangelists for essential oils, various wrapping things – that actually work, if I’m being informed correctly, different nutritional beverages and shakeologies, something called “Crossfit” which I’m not sure is a Christian thing or not, but apparently makes you look quite svelte, various other nutritional things, and such. They are champions for those products and ideals.
- Myself? I post about this podcast an awful lot, and about what our church is doing. – I’m also trying to become a writer, and therefore I can tend to post about my books and articles a good bit, especially when I have just written one. I suppose that makes me a champion for ….myself? That sounds quite embarrassingly narcissistic, so lets move on, shall we?
- What about you? What are YOU a champion for? Is it Home-schooling? (I agree – I’m a huge fan) Is it organic foods? Breast feeding? Natural birth? Fantasy football? A particular politician? Enmity against a particular politician? Cereal? A third party candidate? A football team? Vaccinations – or non vaccinations? What is YOUR thing that you are eager to talk about – eager to persuade people on. YOUR soapbox issue? I would ask you to consider that you are a champion for that thing.
Let me ask it in a more pointed way: What are you an EVANGELIST for.
Mom and Dad – your kids need Jesus. You can discipline them, and you should. You can teach them, and you should. You can train them, and you should. You can educate them, and you should. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THEM. YOU CANNOT SAVE THEM. They need Jesus. Are you, in their eyes, primarily a champion of Jesus? ARE YOU, IN THEIR EYES, PRIMARILY AN EVANGELIST TO THEM OF JESUS?!
Day in, day out they need Jesus. As toddlers, as tweens, as teens and as adults – they need to be constantly seeing you point them to Jesus.
CONSIDER THIS A PARENTING PASSAGE, A PREACHING PASSAGE, A TEACHING PASSAGE, or a LEADING PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. 22 For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.
Spurgeon: “The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.” A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution. However grand the language it will be merely much-ado-about-nothing if Christ be not there. And I mean by Christ not merely his example and the ethical precepts of his teaching, but his atoning blood, his wondrous satisfaction made for human sin, and the grand doctrine of look to Him in faith and live”
No Christ in your parenting, ma’am? Sir? No Christ in your marriage? No Christ in your pastoring? No Christ in your leading? Then scrap it all and start over again – with Christ as the keystone and the foundation. Parenting without Jesus in its beginning, middle and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution…it is much ado about nothing.
Hebrews 12:1-2 WE MUST BE EVANGELISTS WHO TEACH OUR KIDS TO FIX THEIR EYES ON JESUS: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.