The 18th-century evangelist George Whitefield could not stop preaching on the text, “Ye must be born again.” When people asked Whitefield why he preached so often on this one passage, he replied, “Because, Ye must be born again.”
What message from God’s Word resonates in your soul and spirit? What words spoken by God has been burned by the fire of the Holy Spirit onto your heart? What verse are you unable to let go of and are always thinking about? If you were deep in thought and someone asked you what you were thinking about – your answer would be? Now, don’t rush to read the rest of this blog – answer the question! Think about it.
My normal answer would be that God has given to you the gift of eternal life when you were born again. And that the Bible definition of eternal life is to personally and intimately know God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. That is the brief form of my life message. The mesaage that church goers and believers alike need to hear. However, I am open to it changing and adjusting as the situation and the audience changes.
Recently I spent a number of days days with a group of almost 20 young people who were not church goers and most were not believers. You also could not tell the born again believers in the group from the non-believers just by watching behavior and lifestyles.
This time was a happy time and was spent eating, laughing, working together on a very important project. We started late Thursday night and completed the project successfully on a Sunday evening. It was in four maybe even five different locations and it was a tremendous lot of fun to work with them and to see the project brought to completion and to a very happy ending.
More fun for me than the advice, oversight and involvement in the project that I had was the opportunity to listen to what these young people talked about (ages 23 to 30), how they interacted with each other, how they worked together, what happened when, near the end, everyone was near exhaustion and had short tempers and less patience … the topics of their conversations when working and relaxing, their understanding of life, the way they entertained themselves, how they celebrated the success and end of the project and their lack of any reference to God and His role in life – genernic or specifically their’s.
There are, I am sure, 15 or 20 blogs that could be written as a result of my time with these great young people – singles and married – but on my walk earlier tonight (as the end of my time with them as I was leaving for another country) I was thinking about all that was said, talked about, discussed, the activities, the acceptance of certain behaviors and non-acceptance of others…. and was wondering as I sat on a park bench overlooking a major Canadian city late in the evening – what is my message to this generation (giving consideration to “what does this generation need to hear?”)
I believe that to this generation it would be “I have come that they may have (real) life and have it more abundantly.” Of course, I would emphasize ‘eternal life’ which is where all “real life” comes from … but I would begin by simply talking about daily life and the new meaning and purpose that walking with God gives to every day life. Life is more than personal relationships, friends, food, drinking, dancing, a good car, great holidays and many of them, a specific dress code, your reputation and sex. In so many ways these are surface issues and certainly do not give signifigance or lasting meaning or purpose to one’s life.
Over these four days together much if not all of the focus was temporal, temporary, fleeting pleasures – although healthy, wholesome and relational for the most part. The focus was “a good time” and not “life and life abundant.”
So, my message would be about life – eternal life and the daily grind of life and Who can give this repetative event meaning, purpose, power, and turn the ordinary into a supernatural adventure with eternal purpose and meaning. And, from what I recently witnessed and was deeply and personally involved it – this one message would definitely be my message and I would never tire of repeating it over-and-over again to this age group who is deeply in need of hearing it.
Who are you reaching out to? What group of people are you working on impacting for Jesus? What is your burning message to them?