Before the Cross – Easter Devotional 12

A couple of decades ago, I attended a conference led by Dr William Jones, a great, African-American professor of theology. During the conference he gave some pointers on preaching and he said, “The key to a great sermon is having an engaging introduction, a compelling conclusion, and keeping the two as close together as possible.” He also said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

His words were simple… and incredibly profound. They etched their way into my thinking as few words have in my lifetime. And I soon realized how hard they were to follow!

Paul reminded the early, Corinthian Christians of their mandate to “keep the main thing the main thing” in their thinking and their teaching. We have received “the main thing” or, as the Bible phrases it, “that which is of first importance.” (1 Cor 15:3)

The atoning death, the burial and the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the three-fold message that must first be received and then clearly communicated. The church is missing its purpose when we forget to do this. The believer is missing his or her callling when we fail in this task: Communicate the Simple. Gospel.

We are called to “go into the world” with this message and to “make disciples of all nations (people groups)” through its proclamation and power. All we have to remember is:

Keep the main thing the main thing.

FOR MEDITATION: For I delivered unto you that which was of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, and he rose again the third day. 1 Corinthians 15:3

FOR REFLECTION: Who in your walk today needs to hear this message most?