March 25, 2018
Offer them Christ
“Offer them Christ.” That is what John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, told his preachers to do back in the 18th Century. They did and the result was a spiritual revival in England and America. Thousands turned to Christ for salvation. They believed Christ had died on the cross for them and that nothing but his blood could “wash away their sins.”
That remains the primary business of the preacher: offer people Christ. Present Christ. Exalt Christ. Praise Christ for his power to redeem the lost and restore hope. Help people get connected to Christ. Nothing matters more than helping people discover they can have a dynamic, life-giving relationship with Christ. Nothing.
It is no easy task. No preacher can do it perfectly. Every preacher has his or her own peculiar weaknesses. He will face opposition and sometimes persecution. But, like the Apostle Paul, he can press on and persevere. He can offer his suffering as a sacrifice and refuse to be defeated.
He can put the words of Paul on the billboard of his heart: “We do not lose heart.” He can follow Paul’s example. When discouragement came knocking on Paul’s door, he refused it admittance and praised God anyway.
Like Paul, the preacher may have his own “thorn in the flesh” No one is sure what Paul’s thorn was. It does not matter. Paul endured it. When he was knocked down, he got up and lifted up Christ. Today’s preacher can do that too.
It is entirely normal to have a thorn in the flesh. Almost everyone does. Waste no time groaning about it. Self-pity is a dead-end street. So stay off that street.
Instead of whining, the preacher can reach down and get hold of enough grace to offer Christ despite weakness and suffering. He can refuse to lose heart. He can exalt Christ and press on. He can trust God to help him rise above every obstacle in his path.
The preacher can rejoice that if he will faithfully offer people Christ, God will do what He does best – change lives and make the world a better place to live.
Preacher, if you have been knocked down, refuse to sit there any longer. Get up. Open your mouth. Do the best thing you can do with your lips and your life. Offer them Christ! + + +