Terry Mai
Water of Life Ministries

Where Is the Gospel?

When I was growing up in church, I only heard about the gospel once a year at Easter.  I was born again (they didn't call it that in the religious circles I attended) at age 13 at a church camp and not in church.  I had no understanding that the gospel was the primary continuous principle to live life.  I, like most religious people, thought that once you received Jesus, it brought salvation, and that was it.  You see, none of us really knew what salvation meant.  I was talking to a gentleman one time, and he stated that he believed the gospel was the foundation for faith in a person's life, which is true.  However, like I was raised, there was no revelation of the power of God manifesting through believing that gospel, which meant he really didn't know or believe the gospel.  It was just to live our best that as we continued to be good because we had acknowledged what Jesus did on the cross, it would help us to go to heaven.  Well, salvation is more than just going to heaven.  Paul spoke in II Corin. 6:2,

"Now is the day of salvation!"

If we continue to believe, the power of God is manifest unto salvation from now and forevermore.  The only experience I had as a teenager was that once I had received Jesus, which is essential, there did not appear to be anything else to do, so why do we keep going?  By the time I reached 30 years of age, God brought the realization that there was more to the gospel than I could imagine, particularly the power.  How many times has the response been to Jesus died, he was buried, and he rose again the third day, "I've already heard that, so let's get on to some new and deeper thing!", when in actuality, there is no revelation of the depth of the gospel at all.  I've been there, done that, and yes, I got to repent and believe the gospel.

 

During the first 30 years of my life in attendance at church, I always assumed the ministers spoke the truth, and I never checked for myself to see otherwise, which was my fault.  I believed the stories in the bible were true, but no one ever told me or showed me by example the bible was applicable to my life now.  It was a good storybook, and I didn't like to read or want to read, so it meant no more to me than a good status symbol to have sitting on the coffee table in the home.  Rebellion?!!  I know none of you had any of that!  Isaiah 53:6 states,

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;"

and like most people, my way was the only way to me.  Thank God for his mercy and grace!  I recall when I began to be taught about reading the bible out loud, my thought was, "I don't even like to read, and you're telling me to read it out loud?",  but by now I knew if I didn't, I would be in rebellion.  So I read simply because I was told to read and not because I believed it would do me any good.  Do you know what happened?  Nothing, because I didn't believe it would!  Then I determined to make a conscious effort to believe that when I would read the bible out loud, it would be a benefit to me, and to my amazement, things began to change.  Also, I began to see things in the word of God like I had never noticed or seen.  After God adjusted my heart to be willing to read, then I read in 1Timothy 4:13,

"Till I come, give attendance to reading, exhortation, to doctrine."

Reading the bible out loud while believing really is a benefit to changing our hearts!  Furthermore, the more that I read, the more I began to see the gospel written throughout the Psalms and the New Testament in some form or another with words like "power", "restoration", "resurrection", or examples of God's power demonstrated with miracles, healings, devils cast out, besides the numerous accounts recalled that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day literally written and spoken.  I remember being prompted several years ago by the Spirit of God to do a reference line study of the gospel in the Book of Acts.  I was astonished to discover in my bible that there was only one page out of the 28 chapters that did not have a reference to the gospel.  If you can't see that, don't give up believing, because when I first started in this walk 27 years ago, I couldn't see the gospel on any page period.  Thank God for his revelation of the gospel!  Amen?!  By now, I had already determined the importance of the gospel in any person's life, but the confirmation in the Book of Acts only enhanced what I had come to believe in my heart.  The Apostles only continued in what Jesus had taught them in the beginning of his ministry in Mark 1:15,

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel."

and demonstrated in his life.  I have come to believe that  the gospel is the essence to overcoming all things, because Romans 1:16 says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.  Further, Paul, who had knowledge, rank, position, and respect in the flesh, said in 1 Corinthians 2:2,

"I determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified." (the gospel)

He said in Philippians 3:8 that he counted the loss of all things as dung that he might win Christ.  He goes on in verse 10 to say,

"that I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."

Paul was speaking of being made perfect like Jesus, which Jesus had previously taught.  Now, in the religious community there was always talk about being perfect like Jesus, but it was soon contradicted by someone who would interject, "Of course, no one can be perfect!"  Well, Jesus said in Matthew 5:48,

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

So Jesus said we can be perfect, which simply means "complete".  Nearly 25 years ago I came to the conclusion I was going to have to believe Jesus over any other person because I could hardly find anyone who agreed with him even though they claimed to follow Jesus.  Prompted by the Spirit of God, this determination came as a result of talking with many people who would quote Dr. this, or Rev. that, or Brother so & so, and I found my reply back to them became, "Well, Jesus said," etc.  I recall about 20 years ago while attending a 3-day family celebration, discussion over many different issues always resulted with a biblical solution out of my mouth.  Toward the end of the event, one of the family members, who was Spirit-filled with more years of experience, turned to me after one of my biblical answers and retorted, "Is that the only solution you know is the bible?!"  My reply to him and another family member, who happened to be a minister, "Is there any other?"  The minister family member just shrugged his shoulders, and that was the end of the conversation.  Frankly, I was astonished at the question, but I was even more astounded at the answer that came out of my heart.  However, I knew it was God building confidence toward him in all things through the gospel.  Where is the gospel?  It is written and revealed in our hearts by the Spirit of God.  As the gospel continues to be established in our hearts, the more we begin to see it written throughout the pages of the bible, and the more it is manifest unto the fullness of the resurrected Jesus Christ in our everyday lives until we will be complete in Jesus.  So, stand fast in the gospel of the kingdom of God, and we will see the salvation of God in all things.

 
biography written by Kathryn Currier
Mai slide show
 
Songs Composed
by Terry Mai
sung by Terry:
 
sung by Sweet 16:
 
 
Original songs are written by Terry Mai and © under Water of Life Ministries. They are not for profit or resale, but for ministry purposes only.

Water of Life Ministries PO Box 861327 Plano, TX 75086-1327 terrym@terrymai.com

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