This morning I read a sample of C. J. Mahaney's new book, Living the Cross-Centered Life. It was certainly a dose of what the doctor ordered. You see, I realized yesterday morning just what has been missing in my life lately. Namely, the Gospel.
This may seem strange, I suppose. After all, I go to church, I read my Bible, I read "spiritual" books, I get together with believers all the time to worship and pray and to talk about spiritual matters. But it's funny, somehow I've been missing the Gospel. It seems I haven't heard it spoken, preached, or discussed at all lately. No, not in the preaching I listen to on Sunday morning, not in the talk talk talk of the small-groups. Consequently, I've been feeling spiritually warn-out, malnourished.
Mind you, it's no one's fault but my own. That's the other conclusion I came to yesterday morning. Simply: I alone am responsible for insuring that the Gospel is central to my thinking, my writing, my praying, my talking. That is, I can't depend on anyone else. I can certainly hope and pray that the Gospel is preached in my church, but when it is not, when something else takes center-stage, it's up to me to make sure that I personally continue to hear it and to live it.
Last year I read through the Bible, using the M'Cheyne reading plan. After finishing the plan, I took a few weeks off, then began again around mid-January. But I have to admit that I've only been going through the motions these first few weeks--just keeping up with the schedule--and that the words and wisdom of the Scriptures have not been stirring my soul. Then, yesterday, when I realized that I've been Gospel-famished, I began to read with a new hunger. I began to see the Gospel both in the old and the new testament, and the Scriptures suddenly became delicious to me again.
So there you have it. I've been Gospel-famished. So I'm going to do what Mahaney advises: I'm going to preach the Gospel to myself every day. I think you'll be seeing that reflected here at gratitude & hoopla. After all, what's all the hoopla about, if not the good news of Jesus Christ.