Yes, The Gospel Will Save the World

Yes, the gospel will save the world—and here’s how.

The gospel is the good news that Christ died and rose again to save us from the wrath of God. If you don’t believe me, pray and ask.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

This gospel will save the world, and has already saved it. So where is the salvation? Where are the Christians? Where are the new creations? Where is peace and joy that surpasses all understanding?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Here it is, Christ is waiting for you. The one reading this. Whether you are in church or not. Whether you profess to be a Christian or not. The time to examine yourself is at hand.

God is real. Jesus Christ is real and died for you. When you seek Jesus Christ (pray and ask!) you will grow into a new creation. This is real, but we don’t see it often these days.

Be the new generation.

Be the generation that found God. Be the generation that understood the meaning of a “new creation”. Be the generation that took pride in surrendering to the God who made you, who raises you from the pit, places a crown on your head, and gives you life! Be the generation that because you understood these things, the future generations went on.

So what to do? First, right now, ask God to open your eyes to His gospel. Then, find a Bible, and start reading it from Genesis. Don’t neglect this step! Pray for understanding before and as your read.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Next, hold on tight. Let God work in you. But keep holding on. Keep praying and reading.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5

I am telling you, on the other side of these steps is true peace, joy, and purpose. I wouldn’t take the time to write this if there wasn’t. I know that if everyone, right now, takes a moment to call to God, and ask Him to open their eyes and heart to what Christ has done for them, the world will change dramatically for the better. This will happen, because multitudes of people would begin to grow into this “new creation” that really happens when you come to know Christ. And as John 15 so clearly says, they will bear fruit!

What could it hurt? Call to God.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

Blessings,
JRB

The Great White Stag

Can you believe that C.S. Lewis’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe will turn seventy next year? This story has affected me in so many ways. I love the world of Narnia. Even when it’s winter there and they are waiting for Aslan to bring Spring, I wanted to sit down with a tea and chat with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. I love how simple the story appears, yet has so many secrets hidden inside. This story even inspired my story, Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve. Do you remember the mysterious White Stag that leads the Pevensies out of Narnia? I wondered who he was? What if he was paying a visit from another kingdom? Where would that be? What would it be like? There is already a lot of mythology surrounding the White Stag so it was fun to learn and imagine his world.

I named him Pippin.

The Gift of Humiliation

I used to think that I was in humiliating situations way more than anyone else. Now, looking back, I think it was just that I was much more sensitive and self-conscious than those around me at the time.

Still, there were these happenings that were pretty darn embarrassing….

When I was five, sitting in the middle of my fellow kindergarten classmates, I felt the need to, ahem, “pass gas” coming on, so I did the only logical thing. I put my hands over my ears, closed my eyes, and let it go! I remember opening one eye to see the whole class, including the teacher, laughing hysterically.
When I was twelve, I ended up in the swim relay at summer camp. I was pretty nervous considering I was not an amazing swimmer, and also couldn’t stand anything, not even water, being in my eyes. Not planning on being in a swim relay or even getting in the pool for that matter, I didn’t bring goggles. The time came for me to do my lap. I was last in line for the relay, and our team had the last lane in the pool. I dove in and swam my little heart out. I was quite proud of my speed until someone smacked me in the head. Shaking it off, I continued on. I was pretty fit, but the swim seemed miles long. To my surprise, I smacked a couple of people in the head on my journey. Oops! Sorry! But again to my surprise, they smacked me back. Come on! Finally, I touched the edge of the pool. I stood up, wiped my eyes (they were closed the whole time since I couldn’t stand any water in them), the pool was empty. I looked straight into the face of the guy I’d been crushing all week, and worst of all, the entire camp was laughing at the girl who swam directly diagonal across the whole pool! I went back to my cabin and prayed no one would make me come out for the rest of the week. They did.
When I was sixteen, I was one of the first of my friends to have a car. It was a clunker, thank God, because this was also at the same time that I began dating my first boyfriend. I was nervously driving us both to the movies when he reached over and put his hand on my leg. Distracted, I jumped the median and proceeded to drive on top of it for its whole length, sparks flying from the back of my little white Cavalier. The car didn’t last long after that. Don’t date and drive, kids.
When I was seventeen, I made the brilliant decision to drop out of school and move out of my house all in the same first-period class one morning. Not old enough to serve alcohol, I got a job as a night shift waitress at Waffle House. I was impressed with how much money I made in tips the first week! However, my excitement didn’t last long because one morning, as I was gathering my things and heading out the door, one of the first shift waitresses stopped me and proceeded to rip me a new one. She was upset because, for the past week, I had waited my tables, cleaned them up, gathered my things, and went home. I did have the passing wonder of who they hired to clean the bathrooms, floors, windows, and things… little did I know it was me!
When I was twenty-two, I said yes to marrying someone just because I was too afraid to say no. In the middle of the engagement, I gave the ring back and said I didn’t want to marry him. But he begged me to change my mind, and I gave in. Five years of misery ensued.

Ah, good times.

I share just a few examples of my humiliation because you need to know it is one of the absolute greatest gifts I have received in life. The chance to be humiliated, survive, and receive notch after notch of boldness to live genuinely is what fuels me to do the things I love with no apologies or explanation. It’s how I am unfazed by rejection, and even glad to see it. Rejection is a sign that I’m in the game! Moreover, I love my humiliated self. It is much more approachable, and has won me great friendships.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid of what anyone thought of you? I bet the possibilities coming to mind are endless. Have you been humiliated lately? Revel in it. Feel it to the utmost extent.

And welcome yourself to your new beginning.

Blessings,
J.Reese Bradley