What Is the Gospel?
The gospel of God's grace is the truth that God exists, that he is personal, and that he speaks. Not only does he speak in a personal way, but he is good. And not only is he good, he wants relationship with us. The best part is that he wants relationship knowing who we are.
So he meets us where we're at, and he knows we're not him. He doesn't expect us to be him. The fact that he's gracious means that he gives us room to make mistakes, and he measures up for us in the mistakes that we make.
The fact that [God is] gracious means that he gives us room to make mistakes, and he measures up for us in the mistakes that we make.
So there's always hope with him—our relationship is not on the line. There's always a second start. There's always a new way. And all of this has been brought to us through Jesus Christ, his Son, whom he gave to us.
Why Pastors Need This Message
Pastors need to know this, first, because our whole life is offering the message of God's grace, and finding a way to articulate it; finding a way to offer it. And we not only offer it with our words, but also in the way we embody a day, from the neighbors we interact with to the way we give ourselves to people, even our enemies. So we need to know the message so we can live it and speak it and communicate it.
We also need to know about God's grace so that we ourselves can survive. We are surrounded by the difficulties that are within us, the mistakes we make as pastors, and the expectations of those around us. It can be a real pressure cooker in ministry, with expectations from people we serve and expectations from a surrounding culture.
To know that the whole thing doesn't rest on our shoulders, but that it rests on his shoulders, is really vital. That's what enables us to get through each day. And not only to get through it, but to thrive in it.
Though the Lord doesn't often do large, famous, and fast things, he sometimes does.
Though a pastor expends much energy and effort on relationships in the church, he shouldn't neglect his most important at-home relationship.
Pastors must guard against these three common pitfalls in ministry.