“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
– John 17:3
That English puritan poet and preacher, Richard Baxter wrote, “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” It is a quote I contemplate every time I approach sermon preparation before stepping to the pulpit. It burdens my heart with the question, “If this was the last message I was ever allowed by the Lord to give, is it what the Lord wanted me to teach?”
If you were to ask me today what concerns me the most in my Christian adventure, it is this issue here. How very inadequate I am to have such a privilege as sharing this amazing story of salvation! Even with this burden I carry, it does not compare to the weight carried by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The burden of separation from God the Father for a time, in my place.
Personally, I can think of no better message to give than the Cross of Christ each and every time the church gathers. It is the only message you can approach from an infinite number of scriptures. Everything points to the Cross and what Jesus came to do. And, the effects of the Cross of Christ, when surrendered to, are redeeming and life-giving.
The Apostle Paul won a harvest in Athens while presenting his case to the proud and sophisticated “thinkers” of the day. But, no preaching was more effective for him like the preaching of the cross. It is at these times we see Paul speaking to people, not as philosophers, but as sinners in need of a Savior! It is the “word of the Cross” that sermons will “convict the conscience and pierce the soul.” So it is the Cross of Christ that we continue to preach!
“It is in ‘the word of the Cross’ that the real dynamic of the Gospel resides; it is in it, its converting power lies.”
– J.D. Jones