Good For Explaining the Good News

Foundational, mind-boggling principles becoming clear.

Have you ever found yourself in such a conundrum: Someone you dearly love and long to share eternity with has questioned your faith?

Well, um… I believe that Jesus died for my sins. He was buried and rose again. Now he lives eternally, and as my sins have been paid for, I can spend eternity with him in heaven.

“Well, that’s just great,” they rejoin, “but what is true faith? Why do you call God ‘Father’ and why does a God who loves me let bad things happen to me?”

I distinctly recall being in that position about seven years ago. I worked with one of my best friends. I’ll call her Kelly. Kelly was never hostile to my faith, in fact she was genuinely curious. But she never lobbed easy questions at me. Whenever work was slow, we’d be organizing and checking dates on millions of supplement bottles (we worked at GNC) and she would begin asking the tough questions. Kelly wanted to know all about the Trinity. She wanted to know why Jesus had to die. She wanted to know if God really listened to and answered prayer. She wanted to know if he offered peace of mind concerning her husband who was currently deployed. Kelly wondered what made Jesus of the Bible any different from the founders of other religions.

I did my best to answer her questions. I remember going home at night and calling my mom tearfully. “What if I don’t have the right answer? I know what I believe, but how do I explain it?” Praise our good and loving God. He had already marked Kelly with his name. Despite my bumbling answers, two years later, Kelly called me with explosive enthusiasm. “I’m getting baptized tomorrow! I accepted Jesus as my savior! I know I’m going to heaven.” Convictingly, since that day, I have had to humbly accept rebuke, training, teaching and affirmation from this once baby Christian. Kelly has found the Bible to be the living source of nourishment that God promises His word is. She as grown like a tree firmly planted by streams of water and has borne much fruit.

As I have slowly plowed through Kevin DeYoung’s book, “The Good News We Almost Forgot” I have unearthed a wonderful resource for sharing my faith. DeYoung is a compelling author, making even potentially dry subjects seem humorous and interesting. However, I don’t recommend simply handing the book to your questioning friends and expecting the proverbial lightbulb to blink above their head. As a historic Christian document, the catechism employees many terms specific to the Christian faith. The questions themselves are pretty heady.

Perhaps the best use of the book is personal. A Christian (speaking to myself) has no business attempting to explain the good news of the Gospel, if he has lost its wonder in his own heart and mind. Read to remember. Remember that…

True faith is not only knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in Scripture is true; it is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel, that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.

I trust Him so much that I do not doubt He will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and He will turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this sad world.

That I am not my own, but belong –  body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

These are just snippets of answers offered in the catechism and expounded upon my DeYoung. Additionally, the catechism addresses the 10 Commandments, one at a time, and the Lord’s Prayer. Each is afforded useful answers.

The Heidelberg Catechism is not an infallible document. And DeYoung does not profess to be a new source of truth. The Catechism is based fully and unashamedly on the infallible truth of the Bible. It is a trustworthy source of instruction and useful for training in righteousness – and for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. The Good News We Almost Forgot, takes this ancient resource and repackages it in a less-intimidating paperback. Don’t miss this. 

P.S. To make sure you don’t miss it, I’m giving away a copy at the end of this week. Make sure to comment and repost the link for a chance to win your copy!

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Blast! It’s February Already!

I’ve so many ideas for February, but I’d be lying if I told you that I had any idea where to go with them! Every quiet time I have with Jesus, every poignant conversation with friends, every glance at a headline, every jot and tiddle in my journal begs to be a new blog post. I just hope I can keep track of all the scraps of thoughts long enough to weave them into some interesting fodder for your thought.

For the first full week of the month, I have to get some stuff of my chest. C.S. Lewis says, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” I think the same is true of love. In order to fully love Jesus, and to fully praise Him, I have to share what I love about Him.

Lately, I’ve been discovering some things about being holy. My sisters and I have recently started a Skype-ing, Precepts Bible study. We are studying “Living Like You Belong To God.” In just 40 tiny minutes per week, God is revealing nuggets of gold. Do you wonder if you can ever become completely comfortable with God? Can you regard Him with reverence and as your Daddy at the same time? What does that have to do with being holy?

We’ll look at some other questions:

Can you really be an introverted Christian?

Do you have any alters in your life?

The second week, I think I’ll bring you into my bedroom. That sounds bad! What I mean, is that I’ll allow you to watch my experiment with Project 333. I’m afraid it’s going to be a fiasco, but hey, you never know until you try! I’d love it if you want to do it with me, misery loves company!

It’s funny, I really do wear the same things over and over, but somehow it’s nice just knowing that variety is available. Honestly, when I read this lady’s list of what she’s wearing, 33 items goes a long way.

Also, we’re in the process of upgrading all things WordPress so that I can include video and audio for you. You might even get to watch me winnow out my closet!

So, we’ve taken care of February, week 2.

And lastly, you’ve heard me mention Moody Radio and Publishers hundreds of times. You also know that I read Table Talk, by Ligonier Ministries. Sooner or later, it will no longer catch me by surprise that God weaves all His teachings through my days so seamlessly. Both of these resources have been highlighting the catechisms. Do you know what those are? During the fourth full week of February, I will review the book

The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, by Kevin DeYoung.

And then we have one final partial week before we stomp into March! March! March! Since I expect my head to be spinning with the spiral of time’s dial, and my minutes slipping through like hourglass sand, we will just celebrate the progressive nearness of Christ’s return through poetry.

So that’s it, that’s February in a wrap! See you there!