Thinking Outside the Box
Bible Conference week is a time set aside for rest, the beach, relaxation, research papers, sleep, and, most importantly, good preaching. In the span of two and a half days, Pensacola Christian College students hear 11 sermons from several preachers on a wide range of practical topics. I learned so much during Bible Conference this year, but there was one message in particular that God used to teach me an important lesson!
For the last service on Friday, Dr. Clyde Box shared a message with the student body about salvation. Let me first say before I go any further, Dr. Box is a favorite on campus because of his insight into the Bible. He is the sweetest and funniest gentleman you will ever meet! However, greater than his sense of humor is his love and passion for Jesus Christ.
As he began his message, he asked for us to turn to Matthew 1:1. Amazingly, he began to preach a salvation message using the genealogy of Christ! This message was certainly different from the norm! Dr. Box then began to tell the stories of different women and how they had made it into the lineage of Christ. Tamar (vs. 3) made it in because she was a sinner. Rahab (vs. 5) made it in by faith. Ruth, by love* grace (vs. 5) and Bathsheba by the death of another (vs. 6). And truly, isn’t this how we are saved? We all have sinned, but when we turn to Christ in faith, we can believe on His Son who died for us out of love.
But what important lesson did I learn from this message? While I was reminded of what a miracle salvation is, God specifically spoke to me about His willingness to use anyone to accomplish His purpose and will. These four women mentioned in Matthew 1 were, in the world’s eyes, unworthy to be in the lineage of the King of Kings. Nevertheless, God used them. God wants to use me, and you, to accomplish His perfect will on this Earth. It is not about what we can offer to God, but what we are willing to give up and let Him control!
I am very grateful that Dr. Box decided to preach outside the box that Friday night. The lesson I learned from his sermon this year at Bible Conference is a lesson that I want to live for the rest of my life!
*Updated 4/1/11 -- Oops, sorry, it was grace, not love! Thanks for catching that!0