SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 1:17 (TM)
God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn't send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center - Christ on the Cross - be trivialized into mere words.
The officer in charge of the royal pew in the chapel at Windsor, England, noted that King George frequently commented on the sermon as he left the church. If he had been blessed by it, he would say in a cheerful voice, "That will do very well. That will feed souls!" When the preacher's delivery was cold and his words were lifeless and barren of Gospel teaching, he would shake his head sorrowfully as he left the pew and mutter under his breathe, "That won't do. That just won't feed souls!" The king's criterion for determining the value of a sermon is scripturally sound. Ministry of all kinds, whether oral or written, may well be judged by the same standard -- does it feed souls?
Paul struggled with it. Every pastor worth their salt struggles with it. Any Christian who is serious about living their life to the glory of God should struggle with it. And that being: “Do I empty the cross of its meaning with my words and with my deeds?”
It is natural to say that the Gospel is at the center of all that we do. It is expected. It is understood. It is part and parcel to our life … or at least it should. And yet, too often our focus is on being accepted by others … seeking their approval … wanting their praise … looking to be popular instead of faithful. One is an easy road the other is difficult.
Are we simply collecting a following or gathering souls for the Kingdom?
It is a struggle isn’t. A Monday morning struggle … as well as a Tuesday and a Wednesday and a Thursday and a Friday and a Saturday and a Sunday struggle. We want to be accepted, we want the praises of our family and friends, we want to be popular … but at what cost?
Is it worth it if we diminish the power of the Cross and trivialize the Gospel? I believe that others have called it, “Cheap Grace” … that is Grace without a price and no demands.
Maybe the standard of King George should be adopted by us … “does it feed souls”.
May our life and our words be pleasing in your sight, O Lord. May souls be feed by what we are about this day.