The Gospel is Boring

In the same way “You’ll shoot your eye out kid” seems to lose a bit of humor each holiday season, the stories of Jesus feeding the five thousand, Peter on the water, and Christ on the cross decrease in power. This is the truth for many people at some point during their spiritual walk. The Gospel becomes boring.

Something along the lines of, “If I hear about Jesus calming the storm one more time I’m going to combust,” has sadly trudged through my brain heavy with dread during a sermon or two. How can this be when I truly love Jesus? I’ve realized that my heart hardens and my spirit dulls.

In order to start a revival in the Church it’s not a point of making the Gospel “fun”. No amount of expensive lighting or trendy decor can compensate for the dimming impact of the Word today. This can’t be ignored; not when the Word is Truth and Life. We need love. We need testimonies. We need hearts wide open.

In Acts 16:11-15 Paul, Timothy, and Silas find themselves in Philippi, a Roman colony. On the Sabbath, the trio goes down to the riverside- a place of prayer. Here, a woman named Lydia enters the picture. Verse 14 says Lydia is a worshipper of God. Okay move on, right? Why witness to a believer when they’re already on our side. So so so much is wrong with that philosophy.

Verse 14 continues in saying, “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was being said by Paul.” Take note that this entire interaction between Paul and Lydia began with the Lord opening a believer’s heart a little wider. After this happened, verse 15 says that Lydia baptized and her whole household too. Not only that, but she invited the three (probably dirty, hairy, hippie) men to stay in her home during their visit. There is so much love and vulnerability in this verse.

If Lydia was already a believer how could the Gospel possibly hit her so hard? I want to know how I can hear the stories of Jesus over and over again and be wrecked by the Spirit in the most beautiful way each time. I desire for the Lord to open my heart so wide and deep that each time I hear something so simple yet full as, “God is Love” that it hits me and rocks my core. I want to keep re-falling in Love. If this is our desire we can’t rely on the words of people.

We don’t know what Paul said to Lydia; but, I’m convinced that Paul could’ve said, “You are saved by His grace,” and Lydia would have truly welcomed Him into her life. It’s not about the pastor, or missionary, or wise friend- it’s all about Abba opening hearts.

Father, will you open my heart? Will you stretch it like a rubber band until I’m convinced it’s going to break? Make it so wide that no Truth is lost and your Love never lessens in my mind. Lord, expand my heart so broad and deep that the flood of Truth never ceases to wash in and continually drench me and soak me in the goodness that is the Gospel. Goodness not dependent on circumstances; goodness that permeates because you opened my heart from the start.

Author and former priest, Brennan Manning, puts it this way, “We have gotten so used to the ultimate Christian fact- Jesus naked, stripped, and crucified- that we no longer see it for what it actually is. Because we approach the Gospel with preconceived notions of what it should say rather than what it does say, the Word no longer falls like rain on the parched ground of our souls. It no longer sweeps like a wild storm into the comfortable corners of our comfortable piety.”

To turn this idea into practice and into a lifestyle I need to humble myself before the Lord each and every day. Everytime I receive the Gospel, listen to a Podcast, or sit down on church on a Sunday morning, I’m have to seek Jesus first. Before any words reach my ears I need to make it a priority to ask God to open my heart and make it a place for seeds to be sown- even if they’ve been planted there before. I want to be more like Lydia each time I hear the Word of God. I want to be wrecked and broken.

I pray you too open your heart, soul, and possibly home to whatever the Good Lord is planning for you. If the Gospel is boring it’s because we are not seeing sweet Jesus in it. The Gospel isn’t boring when you let it break down walls and mess you up like the very first time. I’m learning the truth of this more and more during my time here in Guatemala. People are healed, people are loved for hThe Gospel isn’t boring when Jesus is in it.

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