This past weekend, we kicked off a new series called The Prodigy in Me. It’s all about the greatness and potential that exists inside of every believer because of the unlimited greatness of the God that is in us.
Usually, the Bonus Tracks on the blog include teaching I wasn’t able to get to or extrapolate on because of time. In this case, I have a burden on my heart for preachers that relates to the subject of the series.
I believe we have two problems in our time when it comes to preaching. Both are equally real. Both are equally serious. Both relate to who we are apart from and in Jesus.
First, when preaching to those who are far from God, we vastly underestimate how hopeless the human condition is apart from Christ. We jump to their potential in Christ when they’re not even in Christ yet. We tell people, “You can do it, you can make it,” when in fact the point of the gospel is you can’t do it. You can’t make it. Sin is real. Hell is real. You need a Savior. So give your life to Jesus. Not just to 613 ways to have a better life.
But then once they’ve given their lives to God, we have another problem. When it comes to building up Christians, we vastly underestimate the potential of people in Christ. A lot of dumb preachers have done nothing but tell us how awful we are. We’re dirty, rotten, filthy sinners. Make no mistake; that’s what we were, but Jesus died so that what we were could become what He is.
So both are true.
Without Jesus, I’m wretched. But with Him, I’m whole.
Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. In Him, I can do anything.
Pastors, don’t ever be afraid to offend people with the truth of what they are apart from Jesus. But also don’t ever be afraid to encourage people with the truth of what they can be now that they’ve been reconciled with Him.
Separated from Jesus, I’m a prodigal. In Him, and with Him in me, I’m a prodigy.