I praise the Lord for C.J. Mahaney! If you don’t know who he is, then make it a point to get your hands on everything he’s put out (sermons, books, blogs, etc.)! I don’ think that I know anyone who’s more passionate about the Gospel than this guy. Yesterday he led a break-out session for us out of the one-chapter New Testament letter of Jude.
C.J. (Listen to me refer to him like he’s an old college chum or something, ha!) expounded verse 21 of Jude in great detail, telling us how we were to “keep [ourselves] in the love of God”. One of the ways we do this, according to Jude, is by “building [ourselves] up in [our] most holy faith” (v. 20). Practically speaking, this means we must, as Christians, preach the Gospel to ourselves daily. Yes, I know that if you are a Christian you have already believed the Gospel, but in order to grow and change as a Christian you cannot and must not get over the Gospel. All of life must be lived in light of the truth that Jesus the God-man came to earth, lived, died, and rose from death to forgive the sins of many.
In order to show the practical nature of preaching the Gospel to ourselves daily, C.J. told a story about a friend of his who died of ALS recently. Shortly before this man died, he and his family came over to C.J.’s house for dinner and according to C.J., even though he no longer had the use of his arms, this man was the happiest person there that night. Why? C.J. asked. The answer: “He understood that his biggest problem was resolved at the cross!” Church, this is wonderful news! It means that you can be divinely happy in the face of your most painstaking trials because the one problem that enslaves you and condemns you most has been taken out of the way! I know I just used exclamation points to end the last three sentences, but since I can’t lovingly yell at you right now, I want to convey the utter importance of this truth in the hopes that it will floor you today. There is true freedom in believing that your biggest problem has been resolved by Jesus. If you believe that then nothing in this world can threaten your joy and if nothing can threaten your joy then the glorious blessings of salvation aren’t just for later (i.e. heaven), they’re for now too! This is why we must preach the Gospel to ourselves daily, so that we keep believing to keep delighting in the Jesus of our salvation!