the best short story

I've been reading through Mark Dever's book, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, and just read something that I found helpful in communicating God's story.
In our church in Washington (D.C.) I always ask our prospective members to tell me the gospel in one minute or less. How would you do that? What would you say the message is? Here's what I understand the good news to be:

The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in His image to know Him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from Him. In His great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust Him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ's sacrifice and that God's wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
That story is 138 words long.

A few observations:

1. Time is of the essence. Attention spans are short. People are not by nature "listeners." You do not often have all-day to sit down with a friend and talk about the gospel in detail. This is, of course merely a tool to help, it is not a rule; it is not a law; it is not the right way to share the gospel. But I think it will help.

2. Evangelize in bullet points. As I read the story quoted above, I felt like I was reading bullet list, and that a lot of meat was missing. Funny--but that was the case! With a bullet point list, it does leave the door open for question--for further conversation. I have something else to talk about if a question is asked--something meaningful. This will help in your discourse with a non-believer.

3. Write it out. Writing something will really put your thoughts and word choice under a microscope. You will notice things as you write, that otherwise would fly under the radar. It will help your conciseness and your clarity.

Just a thought...


the fight of our lives

Fighting to see the light
With a mask over my eyes
My world seems oh so frail
Behind this shallow veil
There is something still
At odds against my will
Warring to do right
On a battlefield of night

Quietly a thorn is growing in the recess of my heart
Jesus, please remove it and remind me of who You are
That I may see Your beauty and the wonder of Your grace
And remember why I'm fighting for the One who took my place

Whom have I in heaven or earth besides You?
My flesh, my heart may fail but You are strong!
The kingdom, the power, the glory are only Your due, God
The victory belongs to You, O Warrior

Fighting for the King
I give my everything
But all I am is Yours
To You I look for more
Grace in every station
I place my expectation
Trusting You to conquer
My feeble heart grows stronger


the pursuit

At a Jonah Ministries winter camp, my thinking was challenged in a great way.
I'd heard the familiar verse before:
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace,
Along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
But I had never considered the coherence of the two admonitions: flee and pursue. What Paul is saying is one and the same.

By fleeing one thing, you are inherently pursuing another. When I was a child, I would often flee the "big tickle monster" and run to my mom, who would save me. In this one action I was fleeing the thing I feared, and pursuing (running toward) safety and comfort.

In this life, nothing is different. When you are called to flee youthful passions/sin, you are called to pursue righteousness/Christ and vice versa. Stop trying so hard to flee sin. Pursue Christ.

this is. the pursuit.