Ministry Oxymorons

Oxymoron: Two concepts {usually two words} that do not go together. I learned a lesson about Paul the hard way one time. The key verse to the book of Romans is verse 16. (I'm adding verse 17) 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

As a young minister you get a few opportunities to preach on Sunday morning. When you get them you want to make sure that they are good. A lot rides on a Sunday morning message. So one Sunday the pastor was out of town and he asked me to fill in for him. Great! I worked hard and preached a message from the Rom. 1:16 - 17. The essence of the sermon was, don't be ashamed to embrace the Word of God, the Good News of Jesus - or you will be powerless to live your life. That God will order the steps of your life from the moment you trust Him to save you to the moment you trust Him to lead you into heaven. We will live by faith - there are no other choices that will lead to success.

I gave an altar call and the most famous sinner of the church got saved. People were looking forward to my next message and my future was looking a little brighter. In a few months I was moving away to a new church. What happened?

Have you ever tried to share the truth of God's Word with others only to find out that they didn't really want to hear it? Oh they may like the good parts like heaven and healing. But when you speak of obedience and sacrifice, yikes! We cannot be ashamed to share and practice what God has given us based upon what other people think. Does that make us better than them? I don't think so. I do believe that it prepares us for what's ahead for us in life. Paul lived the whole Gospel for others to see and experience and it changed this world. We can do the same.

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