This has been vaguely in my mind until Dave Elverson added his thoughts which crystallised mine.
Dave suggested that we often think of the gospel equation being:
(accept God's love) + (accept God's forgiveness) = (Forgiveness of our sins) + (a place in Heaven)
He says this leads to a 'small' version of the gospel, leaving with only part of God's treasure and the ability to forget the gospel all too easily. I agree and it's dis-appointing.
So how does the Gospel become BIG in your life?
It's something I've started to think of as the Jesus Analysis. Being threechordwonder, you know it's going to be simple, so here goes, the Jesus Analysis in just one question:
Is that Jesus?
Told you it was simple. It's kinda like WWJD? but way bigger.
We often want ways of being guided (whether we admit it or not) and we often settle for less than the best, but imagine if you inserted the Jesus Analysis in to your life, would you go in a different direction?
Say someone snaps at you and you, without pausing for thought, snap back and think 'fool'. Even if you're 'right' do you come away from the exchange feeling uplifted, edified and closer to Jesus?
Lets try again. Someone snaps at you *stop* Is that Jesus? is it stress or a wake up call from a friend? *carry on* you comment back *stop* the comment on the end of your tongue, Is that Jesus? *carry on* your judgement of that person, based on your experience is what? OK, Is that Jesus?
A friend, who's been having a hard time, calls you when you're tired, you look at your phone and see who it is, so do you answer it? or not? ask yourself, Is that Jesus?
You could of course ask what would Jesus do? and that might help but here's where I'm coming from.
The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats
The parable talks about a kind of detail and attention to other people's needs that is about as practical as it gets; food, drink, clothes, welcome, care for the sick and those in prison. If you want to find God's Kingdon and live in the God News, get involved with the 'Least of these brothers of mine'.
And God is really interested in helping us to do that, all we have to do is look. If you ask Is this Jesus? and it is, he will say Yes it is!