Read the New Transcript
Why You Cannot Commend God
Motive of Zeal
That the task before us in evangelism is not merely to raise up converts. At its core it is to align ourselves with the ancient message of the Scriptures, calling people to turn from their idols in repentance and place their affections by faith in the one and true only God who makes himself known in Christ.
We’re actually not evangelizing merely to raise up converts but to raise up worshipers. I want us to look closely at these two quotes from John Piper:
“A passion for God’s mission flows from a passion for God’s name.”
“You cannot commend what you do not cherish.”
The premise is simple and profound. God calls us to commend Him. God commands us to commend Him. And we’ve seen that as good soldiers of Jesus Christ we are to obey God. But we are also to commend him because we have true compassion for them.
God calls us to commend Him but we don’t commend Him. Why is it that we don’t do evangelism? What are the real barriers to evangelism? People usually say, “It’s the fear of man.” Or some respond with, “I’m not sure what to say.” These are all true. But let’s look at the deeper reason, the real reason.
We don’t commend Him, not simply because of the fear of man, or not knowing what to say. It’s ultimately because we do not cherish Him. You can only commend that which you cherish. You have to commend what you cherish. You can’t help yourself.
We see this in all kinds of experiences in life. Have you ever found an unbelievable great album or song or artist? Or an wonderful recipe that is melt in your mouth good? You are compelled to share it. You commend the recipe because you the food.
We all called to commend Christ. And we don’t commend Him for a lot of reasons. But the core reason is because we don’t cherish Him like we should.So, why don’t we cherish Him more? It’s because we cherish idols in His place.
These are a series of life changing propositions if you’ll allow them to go from your head to your heart. God calls us to commend Him. We don’t commend Him because we don’t cherish Him.
Why don’t we cherish Him?
We don’t cherish Him because we cherish idols in His place.
These idols we cherish aren’t wooden artifacts from a primitive culture. These idols are things like the approval of man, possessions, pleasures, comfort, control. Those are the things we truly cherish because they give us security and happiness. And have you noticed that these are often the things we commend. Because we love them so much, we can’t stop thinking about them or telling others about them.
So what’s our response? What’s our greatest need that we might commend Christ with new power? Is it to be reminded that we’re obligated? No. Is it to be told that we should have broken hearts? It helps. But no.
It’s recognizing that God calls us to commend Him. We don’t, because we don’t cherish Him. We don’t cherish Him because we cherish idols. So what do we need to do? We need to repent and draw near to Christ, in faith, for pardon and for power.
This is the old axiom, the real heart of the matter in evangelism is the matter of your heart. I promise you, no class, no technique, no program, no curriculum will make the changes needed.
What’s needed is a broken heart that acknowledges the only way we’re ever going to be compelled to commend Him to anybody is if we first repent of what we’re cherishing in His place and begin to cherish Him anew.
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