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I grew up in the church. I heard the gospel hundreds, more like thousands of times. It’s amazing how you can hear something so much that you almost become immune to it. That’s really what happens, I think. It’s like an innoculation. You get just enough of it that it doesn’t effect you really At. All. I know it’s important to preach the gospel from the pulpit, in the Sunday School classroom, Bible study, small groups. I know it’s what God wants. But how in the world do you not become immune to hearing it SO much? And what about our kids? Will they take the gospel seriously or shrug their shoulders with an attitude of indifference and “oh, I know all this already”?
I don’t really have any solid answers for you. Shocker, I know. I say that a lot. But I DO want to ask you something. Do you live out the gospel in your everyday life, with your kids, in your marriage, in your relationships? What I mean by that is , when you mess up, sin, blow it, etc., do you humble yourself, repent and ask forgiveness from those you hurt and from God? I know it sounds simple and a bit trite, but this is where the reality of the gospel comes alive right here and now. Right where we live. I honestly didn’t wrap my head around the reality of the gospel until several years ago. I know I was saved, but I didn’t realize that the gospel was intended to effect my everyday life. That it actually APPLIED to my everyday problems. Because at the root of those ‘problems’ is the basic truth that I was born a sinner who desperately needs a Savior. That Jesus IS that Savior. I didn’t and still don’t deserve the mercy that He has shown me in bringing me to Himself, making me His own. AND everyday when I find myself face to face with this cold, hard truth AGAIN, my only REAL hope is to fall back on the grace and mercy that always originates at the cross of Calvary. Jesus paying the price, conquering sin and death AND loving me without fail. No matter how many times I blow it. HE is my Savior and my victor. Because of THAT, I can overcome. So when my kids disobey, are disrespectful or just downright obnoxious, I get a chance to re visit the gospel. It hopefully looks like them being led to face up/own up to their own sin and seeing their need for a Savior. Sometimes it looks like me repenting to them for my impatient, ungracious responses to their sin or my own cruddy attitudes and selfishness that has nothing to do with them. This is when I get to be real with them about how Jesus has saved us from THAT as well.
Jesus, Emmanuel…God WITH us. That’s the other mind blowing aspect of the Gospel. No longer are we having to make animal sacrifices, go to God through priests, follow the letter of the law. That alone is HUGE. But the fact that God is actually, literally WITH us ALL.THE.TIME. is wildly unbelievable, amazing, mind boggling. We can have fellowship with him ANYTIME. Grace ANYTIME. When we point all these things out to our children on a regular basis, we bring a very real, sovereign, loving, powerful, merciful, just God TO our children. I’m not saying I do this ALL the time or perfectly, but when we do, we give them a cup of cold water, the truth, and the GOSPEL FOR REALS. (Love these books: Gospel Powered Parenting by William Farley, Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick and The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney)