“I wish I had said it this way”

Re-preach it to your soul!

Did you know that many pastors often re-preach Sunday’s sermon on Monday morning? Usually, no one else is listening. There’s no congregation. Just the pastor and his “I-should-have-said-it-this-way”-thoughts!  On one hand this can be a good thing—an others-centered concern that God’s people should be encouraged and equipped by the magnificent promises of God’s Word. On the other hand, this can be a bad thing—a self-centered concern that God’s people should be impressed with their pastor’s preaching of God’s Word.

A few months ago, God used a prayer from The Valley of Vision that has helped me to not waste my reflection on self-importance. It has encouraged me to use these “I-should-have-said-it-this-way” moments as a means of grace to re-preach the sermon to my soul first, and not to WBC. Now I’m seeing these moments not so much as an opportunity to critique my sermon but as an opportunity to submit to the Holy Spirit as he applies God’s Word to my own life.

Freshly brewed reflections

Since these thoughts have been brewing in my heart all week long, and I think they’re safe to share now. While I wish that I would have preached this on Sunday, I’m so glad that I’ve been preaching this to my soul all week!

Jesus + Nothing =Good News

I am not saved by the belief that I exercise but by the One in whom I wholly and only believe in—Jesus! The problem with unbelief is that unbelief trusts in a savior (or saviors) that cannot save. The promise of true belief is that belief trusts in the one and only true Savior.

Perhaps I’m tempted to want Jesus + __________ because my view of Jesus is too small, too restricted, too selfish. I’m tempted to think that I can actually do this Christian life on my own. So I think I only need a “little bit” of Jesus in my life. But…

  • Jesus is not a religious-performance-enhancing-drug.
  • Jesus is not a spiritual-multi-vitamin.
  • Jesus is not an add-on to my faith.
  • Jesus is not an upgrade in my walk with God.
  • Jesus is not an “app” for my best life now. (There is not “app” for that!)

Only Jesus

As Christians we can and we must remind ourselves, each other, our community, and the world that our only hope is “In Christ alone!” From start to finish! Christians need to be evangelized as much as non-Christians. We need to be reminded daily that the same gospel that converts sinners is the same gospel that transforms believers. We don’t need Jesus  +  anything else because…

  • Only Jesus was sent by God to rescue and release us from sin’s bondage (Luke 4:18-21).
  • Only Jesus calls us to what is most important—Love God supremely, love others compassionately (Luke 10:25-29).
  • Only Jesus can reverse the havoc sin has brought on our bodies (Luke 8:43-48).
  • Only Jesus can reverse the havoc sin has brought upon nature (Luke 8:22-25).
  • Only Jesus can overcome Satan and his destructive plans (Luke 11:14-23).
  • Only Jesus satisfied God’s wrath for us (Luke 23:34).
  • Only Jesus conquered our fiercest enemy—Death (Luke 24:44-49).
  • Only Jesus provides God’s Holy Spirit for us to live in newness of life (Luke 24:11).
  • Only Jesus now sits at God’s right hand –our only Savior, Lord, Intercessor and Returning King(Luke 22:69; 24:26)!

May God fuel the fires of belief as we unceasingly remind each other how infinitely good the gospel really is!

Look away from your fluctuating frames, and fitful feelings, and changing clouds, to “Jesus only.” Look away from sins and guilt, from emptiness and poverty, to “Jesus only.” “It is finished!” Let devils hear it, and tremble! Let sinners hear it, and believe! Let saints hear it, and rejoice!”—Octavius Winslow


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