Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For This Purpose

By S. Michael Durham

I was asked an interesting question today. If I never preached again, what would be the sum of my life and ministry? I answered without hesitation the purpose statement of RTM: “The recovery of New Testament Christianity by promoting the pursuit of Jesus Christ as the gospel.” I believe that God ordained that I live at this particular time in human history and as far as I can perceive, this is the need of my generation.

So much that is done in the name of Christ is derogatory to His holy name. A great deal of what is called Christianity is not. The gospel has become a cure-all for anything, mainly an avenue to fun and happiness. “Accept Jesus into your heart and your life will be so much better. You’ll have it made.” In other words, the gospel is the fast-track to the good life.

Frankly, that cheapens the person of Christ. He did not suffer the humiliation of becoming one of us, the degradation of His human existence, and the death of crucifixion in order that we live in comfort and ease on this earth. Money can purchase these things. He did what money cannot do. His life and death bought much more than temporal pleasure. Jesus brought us into proper relationship with God. The greatest challenge a person faces is not beating the Joneses or achieving the “good life.” It is how can I face holy God and death with my sin. Christ is the answer to that challenge. Through faith in Him I can sacrifice these few short years on earth and inherit forever with more wealth than Forbes’ richest will ever have. And because of the beauty and love of Jesus, my sacrifice in this world seems small if not a privilege.

I want to give my life to promote this good news, who is Jesus, to my generation. I want to live for a purpose that is more lasting, more important, and much larger than me. Therefore, my life and ministry requires that I expose the imitation in order to introduce the genuine. Easy, comfortable and painless? No, but then neither was what our Savior endured to give us this wonderful privilege of knowing Him who is eternal life.

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