In a book by Max Lucado, Outlive Your Life, he shares a story of his journey home one night and his visit to the grocery store. It seems he has a similar problem as me when in a grocery store. He recounts his wife asking him to stop by and pick up some bread on his way home. She interestingly asked if he needed directions to the bread isle in the store. As he enters the store to pick up bread several other items seem to find their way into the basket before checking out and heading home. At home he proudly unpacks the plunder from the local market to be faced with the question from his wife, "where is the bread?"
My trips to the store often times end up similar. The difference for me is I usually get more bread than we needed, a few types to cover my options. Yet, the lesson is so true for me as well. Many times I spend my time and energy working on the things around the Gospel message. Seeking to become proficient at theological language and Christian concepts that communicate the understanding I have of the Gospel and its truths. I focus much of my energy on reading and studying to understand the deeper things of this journey and hoping to figure out why God did this or how He plans to reconcile that. I even spend time looking up answers and chatting with friends about tough questions. My basket becomes very full of many others things, all which are "good" things and yet I have forgotten the bread!
The disciples were faced with this same situation, remember! Jesus feeds a huge crowd and there are twelve baskets of leftovers to be gathered by the disciples. Yet, just a few hours later they find themselves without any food...why? Because they forgot the bread! Over and over again those close to Jesus seemed to fall into the same temptation of forgetting the bread. Forgetting the important items of the Gospel message may be one of the most critical mistakes of the church in this age!
I have grown up in an era of church work that has frequently made a swing from one extreme to another. Evangelism to discipleship and back again. Conservative to liberal to fundamental to reformed to ... Back and forth we swing in a constant search for where to land and settle in for the long haul. Only to find a few months later another book or prominent leader speaking out about the need to move toward this or away from that. And back and forth we swing...often times, I feel, forgetting the bread!
In an effort throughout the past 13 years of our work with One Way Ministries, I have sought to lead our time on the field to focus on the bread! The core of everything we do is the Gospel message of reconciliation and hope found in the redemption offered through Jesus the Christ! The most important thing we do is to present the Gospel and provide opportunity for those who join us in the harvest field to present Gospel truth. This must be our primary objective in all occasions of life!
The Bread of life is the only real solution to the hunger we see in the villages and communities outside the city. He is the only real hope of life that the women stuck in a difficult situation in the city dump have to make it from day to day. Jesus is the only life changer that can meet the needs of the young Native struggling to find his place in the remote village on the reservation. The Christ is the only true light that illumines the dark home in the rural parts of Africa. It is Jesus and His Gospel message that becomes the life transforming factor all across the globe.
Have you forgotten the bread lately? Has it been too long since you have been face to face with another person explaining the basic truths of the Gospel? Are you fearful that if faced with the questions from your neighbor about the Gospel you may not be able to communicate them clearly? If you find yourself in any of these types of situations I invite you to join us in the field of harvest as soon as possible. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and shape your conversation into that Gospel driven witness you have been called by God to be! Our passion at One Way Ministries is to present the Gospel message in every occasion we find ourselves as well as to equip you to be used by the Father to present the Gospel in every occasion He places you. Let's Reach the World for the sake of His great Name and let's teach His Word to all who will listen!