You Are the Fifth Gospel!
I love quotes, especially ones that stop me in my tracks and make me think. This is one of those quotes. I read it recently and it made me really think. It is a very powerful and true quote.
Most Americans today are not as familiar with the Bible as they were in generations past. In decades past, the Bible was revered, upheld with esteem and followed as a moral compass for society. These days it’s not the same. Many do not believe the Bible to be relevant for today. Most do not know the instructions that it contains, or if they do it’s based on Old Covenant Law and not New Covenant relationship. We live in a very Biblical illiterate society.
Many do not believe the Bible to be relevant for today. Most do not know the instructions that it contains, or if they do it’s based on Old Covenant Law and not New Covenant relationship. We live in a very Biblical illiterate society.
Many would say that it’s not politically correct (and it is not).
Many would deem it offensive (and it certainly can be).
On the flip side of this coin, there are many Christians who use the Bible as a weapon to beat people up, to condemn them and to make their own views seemingly valid. This is just as dangerous as not believing in the Bible, maybe more so.
The issue of this quote, though, is that most people will never read the Bible but they will read our lives. And that’s the way, I believe, that God wants it.
Jesus Himself said, “all men will know that you are My disciples by your love for one another.” I wonder how much love the world is seeing out of Jesus’ followers. I wonder how many of us would truly be considered disciples if there were a “love meter” somehow attached to us that all could read.
Our lives are Good News (gospel=good news). Our lives (our attitudes, ethics, words, actions, etc.) should reflect the goodness, love, and mercy of God. As followers of Christ, our lives should be the gospel that people are reading.
So, the question becomes what kind of news are they getting by reading our lives? Are they getting good news or a judgment order? Are they reading a love story or a condemnation of society?
As Christians, our life is the message of God to the world . . . at least in the eyes of the reader.
I know that at times I have been good news to those reading my life. Other times, well, I’ve been the bearer of bad news . . . for the reader, of course, but not for me. It’s the case of us vs. them. Usually, the “them” never get a happy ending.
I want my life to be the fifth gospel. I want my life to portray good news. I want my life to shout to the world that God is good, God is love and that He really wants to have a relationship with them.
If I can get them to see the Good News, God can take care of all the other stuff that we seem to be more interested in. It seems to me that we are so busy preaching against sin to the world that we have failed to just simply love. That’s not to say that we lower our standards but it is to say that I don’t have to defend God, the Bible or truth. My job is to love.
Jesus isn’t going to rate me on how much I had my doctrine sorted out and straight. Neither will the world, for that matter. What Jesus is looking at is how much love I am expressing. By this will all men know that you are my disciples…..by your love for one another. That’s the benchmark. That’s the litmus test.
When, in reality, Christians are not to pass judgment on the world, but the world can pass judgment on Christians. I wrote about this here.
Let’s reread the opening quote: “There are five Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian—but most people never read the first four.” ~Rodney ‘Gypsy’ Smith
What about your life? What are the people around you reading from your life? Are they getting an accurate picture of God or an inaccurate one? Would you be labeled a disciple by those reading your life or would they question your faith?
I want to be the fifth gospel.