Monday, November 17, 2008

Sacred Oughtness

Tom was sharing with me this evening an excerpt from a book he recently began to read. I found the author's thoughts to be so "on" that I originally typed it up to send to Nate as I know that he will find it to be a confirmation of what he is experiencing as he shares Christ with other young men in the military. I felt compelled to share this here also. Please take a minute to read this. I promise you will be challenged and blessed.

Sacred Oughtness

You can’t escape the sacred oughtness. You can neglect it, suppress it, even abandon it, but you can’t break away from it. It gnaws at your soul, seeps in through your activities, makes a background noise in your conscience. You can’t run away from it, even though like Jonah you tend to run away in disobedience. Instead, like the Lord Jesus, who sensed he must go through Samaria to reach one person, a tabloid-headline-prone woman (cf.John 4:4), you sense a ministry necessity. Jesus transfers that oughtness to us. Notice the plural pronoun accompanied by necessity when Jesus says, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me” (John 9:4). That’s why Paul writes, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” (1 Cor. 9:16).

If you are highly committed to evangelistic preaching, you must be deeply convinced that anything other than pursuing God’s calling will be less than the best. You wouldn’t give a serious thought, at your saner moments, to looking back after laying your hands on the plow. If you look back, you’ll only remark, “You mean God did that through me?” How risky to have walked that scraggy edge of a ministry cliff to survive with perfect hindsight about “the one who is faithful who called you (not only to salvation and sanctification, but also to service) and who also brought it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24, author’s interpretation). There is no full-blown empirical proof that explains your convinced oughtness, only an interior sense of summons and necessity, observable but not describable by others, contagious but not infectious, for it is too personal.

Richard Ramesh Preparing Evangelistic Sermons

I pray that none of us will neglect our "sacred oughtness."

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