Your job is to find skylights to the gospel

by May 11, 2016

Your job is to find skylights to the gospel

by May 11, 2016

Our world is full of windows into the gospel. Skylights dotting the ceilings of our dark houses that allow just a little bit of the sun of God’s grace to shine through. As Paul said it, “What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:19-20).

Which means that as God sends us out into the world, our job is to find those places where God’s character, purpose, and plan can be seen through nature, humanity, and history.

Paul did that so well. When he was talking to a group of Jewish people in Antioch of Pisidia, he talked about Jewish history. Because if there was one thing that Jewish people in that day liked to talk about, it was Jewish history. They all knew that the apex of Israel’s history was the reign of King David, and they all knew that one day God was going to bring Israel back to prominence through someone who came from the line of King David.

Paul saw that as a skylight to the gospel, so he said, “Of David’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised” (Acts 13:23). In other words, “You’re looking for the new King David, right? The one who’s going to save Israel? Guess what? He’s here! He already came. His name is Jesus.”

That was a skylight to the gospel for that particular group of people. But a few years later, when Paul was talking to a bunch of Greek philosophers in Athens, do you think he talked about Jewish history? He would have been met with blank stares. Instead, he talked about the statues and altars he saw around town. Because the Greeks loved their statues and altars.

So Paul talked about one particular altar he saw: “An altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” (Acts 17:23-24). For that group of people, statues were a skylight to the gospel.

What might be some skylights to the gospel for the people God has put around you? What are some things they already love and value that could point them to Jesus?

  • Artists love beauty. They seek to reflect the beauty in the world around us through music, dance, and art. The beauty in the world points us to the beauty of God’s grace. Jesus is in the process of removing ugliness in the world starting with the ugliness inside of us. He took our ugliness on the cross and gave us his beauty in exchange.
  • Businesspeople love accomplishment. They thrive when the contract is signed and the deal is closed. But the buzz only lasts so long. They need to get another run on the board quick. Fortunately for them, the finished work of Christ on the cross can free them from the never-ending treadmill of accomplishment. When he said, “It is finished!” he meant it for us all.
  • Government officials and law-enforcement officers love justice. They want to see things done according to regulations, and they want to see any deviation from those regulations met with justice. God is the same way. He demands absolute obedience to his regulations, and he promises justice when we fail. But astoundingly, he carried out the justice and punishment we deserve on his own son instead.

All of these skylights can give people little glimpses of the gospel. But we can’t leave them staring at the ceiling. We need to take them up to the blazing center of the gospel, as Paul did with the Jewish crowd in Antioch: “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39).