I’m taking a break from blogging over August; things will start up again in September. In the meantime, here is an entry I’ve been brewing for a while. Coincidentally, Cat Caird has blogged recently on the same theme, so do have a read of her entry too.
“I’d heard it all before.”
We were discussing a talk at a conference I’d missed, and I asked how it had been. “Good”, I was informed, “but nothing groundbreaking.”
“I’ve heard it all before.”
I was reading through one of the gospels again, and was struggling to get anything out of it. It was all so familiar – stuff I’d learnt as a kid. I wanted something new, something fresh. I didn’t seem to be finding it.
Do you feel like you’ve “heard it all before”?
When I’m tempted to think so, I need to ask myself: “do I really think the gospel is boring? Do I really think I no longer need to hear it?”
The preacher is telling me of God’s grace. Stop. Think. God sets his love on you, unlovely as you are. He’s working in you to make you like Jesus, the perfect man, the servant king. You deserve death, yet God gives you an eternal inheritance, welcoming you into his own family. Grace upon grace. Boring? No, there are depths here that will take an eternity to uncover.
I’m reading a familiar passage. Stop. Think. Here’s a chance to see my Lord and Saviour more clearly. To dwell on his character, to see more of his goodness. He is the chief of ten thousand; he is altogether lovely. Yes, I know this already – but like the wife who never tires to hear her husband say “I love you”, this shouldn’t matter to us. It is good to hear it again, to be reminded of truths that so often slip from our grasp.
Sometimes we think we need to hear something fresh every day. But God gives us the gospel, again and again, to re-fresh our hearts. It’s news we should never tire of – and if we are tiring of it, the solution is more gospel. We can’t have heard it right.
Let’s take every opportunity to set our hearts on our wonderful God once more. “Father, I’ve been reminded of your fatherly care and protection. Show me where I’m seeking to be self-sufficient so that I can turn back to you.” “Lord, you’ve shown me again that your Son is glorious. Thank you for a fresh sight of him.”
Jared Wilson writes:
Why do angels long to look into the good news? Because it is fascinating! It is eternally interesting. It is thrilling. It is simple, yet complex. It is a diamond: one brilliant treasure with a million gleaming facets, each offering a million vantage points alight and gleaming with the majesty of its architect. (Gospel Wakefulness, p203)
Heard it all before? Maybe. But don’t you long to hear it again?