A Healthy Church Member is Gospel Saturated – Part Two
Deacons, I hope you have been blessed by your efforts to know the gospel as you have studied God’s word over the past couple of weeks. As we continue to seek ways to be saturated with the gospel, we note that the second means suggested by Anyabwile is that we desire to hear the gospel. We must seek out those who preach it and open our ears to hear. As we sit in the pew listening to the preacher, we must prick our ears to hear the gospel preached. And wherever the whole council of God is preached there too is the gospel.
But we must not depend solely on the preacher or the teacher of a Life Class to preach the gospel to us. No, we must preach it to ourselves. There are various ways that we can do this, and I would encourage you to explore them in your devotional life. Some of the ways that Anyabwile mentions that I have found helpful are:
- Prayer – As you read the word and understand the message of the gospel found there, allow that message and particular text to guide your prayers. In other words pray the gospel as you find it in scriptures. Talk to God about your understanding of His work and how it is impacting your life.
- Journaling/Writing – Similar to praying the gospel, I find that when I express in writing the message of the gospel found in my text of study and my personal reflections upon that message and text, my affections for God are increased.
- Memorization – This can be difficult, but it is a crucial means of hiding God’s Word in our hearts and filling our selves up with the gospel. You don’t need to attack huge passages. Take it slow and over time your recall of God’s word will grow as the small bits become a larger whole. Each bit memorized will become a help to you in ways you can’t imagine.
There are other ways to preach the gospel to yourself, but here is a crucial place to start. Encourage each other in these disciplines and share with each where you are being blessed in these efforts.
Next time, God willing, I will write about some of Anyabwile’s other tips for being saturated with the gospel. Until then, preach the gospel and learn to love it so that you seek it always as the very sustenance of your soul.
The basis for these writings on being a Healthy Church member are from Anyabwile, Thabiti M.What is a Healthy Church Member?. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2008.