Today’s post is by Ben Whiting – a fiction writer, a devoted husband and father, a faithful member of our church, and a dear friend.
The gospel is not an appetizer. It doesn’t start the meal, whet your appetite for the main course, and then get out of the way. The gospel is the main course, and by eating it we are satisfied, energized, and matured. Here are three benefits of meditating on and diving deeper into the gospel.
The Gospel Inspires Worship:
Picture an evening news program. The weatherman says a storm is coming–the most powerfully decimating storm in history. That storm is God’s wrath toward sinners–every one of us. But, one of the news anchors interrupts, there is good news: a bomb shelter downtown that will stand against the storm. There is room for the whole town. Unfortunately, you are paralyzed from the neck down and cannot even change the channel to ignore this discussion of the epic storm. But the man who built the shelter knows your name, and he fights through the swirling debris as the storm begins to hit, and he comes to your house, pulls you out, and carries you to the shelter. He leaves you in safety and goes out for another helpless soul. And another. And another. Until he himself is killed by the storm.
This story is our story, and it is magnificent and glorious because our God is magnificent and glorious. Dwelling on the gospel should enflame our hearts in worship.
The Gospel Cultivates Humility :
Didn’t the story above empower you? Didn’t it make you feel capable?
We were helpless, and–as Paul reminds us in Galatians 3–we need God’s grace just as much to be made complete as we did to be rescued. Not only that, we were wretches. We deserved to die in the storm.
The gospel reminds us that we were and are helpless and ill-deserving. The gospel brings us low, robs us of a high view of ourselves, and turns our eyes to God for help.
The Gospel Tears Down Idols :
The gospel is the power of God, not just to deliver us from damnation but to progressively release the hold that sin still has on us. The base desires that lie at the heart of our sinfulness are uprooted by truths of the gospel.
The man who worships acceptance because his father never had anything but criticism for him? That man finds God’s acceptance in the gospel and can worship God instead.
The teen who accepts abuse from others and administers it to herself? That young woman finds God’s complete forgiveness in the gospel–all of the abuse she deserved, already taken by Christ.
The woman who worships intimacy and chases after it in sex or friendship or even marriage? That woman finds God’s romance in the gospel–a king who desired her when she was undesirable, cleaned her and made her his bride.
Keep preaching the gospel to yourself. Plumb its depths. Let it heal your heart, one corner at a time. What other benefits do you find in gospel meditation? What other wounds does it address? I’d love to hear your comments.