by Deborah Spooner
Gospel. We speak it in our churches. We hope it saturates our homes. We pray it impacts our groups.
But sometimes we become so familiar with the word that we lose sight of its power. The gospel is the profound, life-changing truth of Jesus.
“Jesus is God’s word to us, breaking through our dark, silent prison and saying ‘let there be light!’” (Gospel Foundations, volume 1).
It’s that moment when you realize your heart cannot begin to hold all the love Jesus has for you. It’s when you realize that moralism is empty and all of life is really about His life, death, and resurrection. When the light of the gospel transforms just one individual, it also has the power to illuminate your group, your church, and even your entire community.
How can you see your group in the light of this gospel?
1. First, see Jesus.
We’ve all been there. Tired. Close to burnout. Knowing it’s because of Christ we lead our group but feeling like we need a little more grace and a lot more of Jesus to open up our space, our time, and our hearts yet again.
“How else could you describe the creation of everything unless you’re first introduced to the Someone who preceded everything? That’s the whole point of Genesis 1:1. The God who simply is, who preceded everything and is not dependent on anything, created all that we know and all that we don’t know as well.” (Gospel Foundations, vol. 1).
For us to see our groups in light of the gospel, we must begin by looking at the gospel’s beginning, The Creator. The One who is not dependent on anything but who we depend on for everything. Before we take more gospel-centered steps, we must turn to Him, seeing Jesus and holding fast to the reality that He is the way, truth, and life who supplies all we need (John 14:6; Philippians 4:19).
2. Look through the lens.
What is the foundational, gospel lens? We can look at our groups through the lens of the truth of Scripture.
“The Bible is a God-centered book. We have been given Scripture so that we might know God. That means when we read Scripture, we should focus primarily on what we can learn, love, and embrace about God and His Son, Jesus” (Gospel Foundations, volume 1).
We don’t let our judgments, our complaints, or even our pride about our groups taint how we see our members and interact with them. Every thought that is not in obedience to the truth of Scripture, we take captive (2 Corinthians 2:5). This is our lens.
What does Jesus show us about seeing people? Instead of responding from our frustration, our desire to please others, or even our selfish ambition, we have compassion (Luke 7:12-15). We speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15, 25).
We see people through the fact that Christ died for them just as He did for us. That we show the fruit of the Spirit in our actions: being loing, kind, faithful, and self-controlled (Galatians 5:22-23). That we love because He first loved us, regardless of if we feel like it or not (1 John 4:19).
3. End with wonder, not wondering.
Even when depending on Jesus and seeing others through the gospel lens of Christ’s sacrifice, we can still wonder. “I wonder if they’ll even make it through that difficulty.” “I wonder if they’ll ever stop talking so much.” “I wonder if I’ll ever be as good of a leader as I want to be.”
“When there was nothing but nothing, God was, and that ought to create in us a sense of wonder about Him that trumps all our other wonderings” (Gospel Foundations, volume 1).
At the end of the day, the gospel leaves us in wonder. Who are we that Christ died for us? Who are we that we experience reconciliation with a Holy God? This worshipful wonder can quiet our wonderings, frantic thoughts, and worries. We don’t have to question the power of the gospel. We can rest in the fueling wonder, knowing that it is by Him, for Him, and to Him that we live (Acts 17:28).
The gospel? It’s our foundation. And, we’re only beginning to explore this. Check back on the blog all this week for more gospel insights to guide you in finishing out this year as we head towards 2019.
And you don’t even have to wait till then. We have an entire Bible-study line that walks you through the storyline of Scripture to point you to the gospel. It reveals how Jesus is the hero from beginning to end. Sound too good to be true? Try it. Find a free download of the Bible study PDF and video content here.
Deborah Spooner is a Minnesota-born analytical creative serving as a Marketing Strategist for Lifeway’s Groups Ministry. As a pastor’s daughter with a background in Digital Communications and Media and Biblical & Theological Studies, you can find her at her local church, in deep conversation, or with a book or pen in hand as she seeks to know Christ more and make Him known.
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