J.D. Greear wrote a few days ago concerning Tim Keller’s comments (see below) regarding the effect of the gospel on making us more winsome evangelists. I’ve thought much in the past year about how to reflect on the gospel in such a way that it consistently moves me toward the sort of humility and confidence to which Keller alludes. This morning I found myself praying following a suggestion I heard many years ago. The suggestion is to take a familiar passage and make it personal in the following manner. In my journal this morning I wrote and prayed, “Father, I give you praise because I was spiritually dead and yet you caused me to come alive.” (from
Eph. 2:1) “I was unrighteous and would never have sought you on my own (from Rom. 3:10-11) but you demonstrated your love for me in this, that while I was still a sinner, Jesus died for me. (from Rom. 5:8) I also prayed the verse I can remember my early pastors talking about using this practice with the most. “God you so loved me that you gave your one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (from John 3:16) Though this practice may seem simple, perhaps even simplistic, I think that such honest prayers are a way of meditating on the gospel and cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit in such a way that it results in the transformation that results in greater humility and greater confidence, two critical character qualities in effectively sharing the gospel. I’m copying in Keller’s words below from Greear’s blog: Plus I’ve ordered Greear’s new book on this topic.