Wednesday, June 19, 2013

K.I.S.S. factor of the Gospel story (1 Corinthians 2:2) with stories from the life of Martin Luther and Bishop Fannin

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 2:2 (TM)
I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did - Jesus crucified.

One day the reformer Martin Luther was feeling rather down. The Pope was after him. His colleagues were bickering among themselves. He felt the heavy pressure that came with being a professor, pastor, and father. And he was in excruciating pain from kidney stones. As he moped around the house muttering underneath his breath, his wife Katherine announced in a solemn voice, “God is dead.” Luther looked at his wife with puzzlement and replied, “God is not dead” Katherine went on to say, “It sure seems like God is dead by the way you are acting.” Luther thanked his wife and etched a Latin word on his desk: vivit. Vivit means, “He lives.” Whenever things weren’t going well and Luther was tempted to complain about them, he looked at that one simple word and was invigorated. Because Jesus was alive Luther had every reason to be upbeat.

The K.I.S.S. factor should be applied at all cost to everything that we do on behalf of the King and the Kingdom… Keep It Simple Stupid… Short would work as well… short and to the point… so that a child could understand.

Who are we trying to impress with our elaborate trappings of the faith? Who are we trying to outdo with our volumes of words? Paul was concerned that he wasn’t good enough when it came to the message, but it was effective.

Bishop Bob Fannin tells the story that when he was in his first appointment he invited a good friend to come and preach. He built this gentleman up to his congregation because his friend was a great preacher. The preacher came and Bishop Fannin sat back ready to be impressed. His friend simply started to tell the story of Jesus. No fancy illustrations. No real wow-factor involved. Bishop Fannin shares that his thoughts went to: “What are you doing?” and just knew that his people were going to be upset with this plan-spoken preacher. When the altar call was given the chancel rail filled up quickly. The people responded to the story… the simple direct story of Jesus. It was a lesson that Bishop Fannin needed to learn and understand.

The simple story that God is not dead, he lives. Nothing more, but nothing less. Plain and simple. A lesson for our day. K.I.S.S.

Help us to tell the story… the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

"The religion of Jesus is the religion of a little child. There is no affectation about a disciple of Jesus, he is as a little child, amazingly simple but unfathomably deep. Many of us are not childlike enough, we are childish." Unknown

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