Grace For The Journey
The terms “small print,” “fine print,” and “mouse-print” all refer to less noticeable print that is dwarfed by the more prominent larger print contained in documents and advertisements. Small print is frequently used by advertisers selling a product or service. Some merchants, who hope to deceive the consumer into believing an offer is more advantageous than it really is, will sidestep the legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all terms or conditions (even the unfavorable ones) by relegating the “bad news” to the tiny type at the bottom of the page and trumpeting the “good news” of spectacular sale prices with brightly colored oversize type.
The small print often contradicts what the larger print says. For example, if the large print says “No Credit? No Problem!” the fine print may say, “Subject to bank approval.” You are probably familiar with television advertisements that flash small print text in camouflaged colors, and for the briefest periods of time, making it all but impossible to read.
And when the spokesman for advertiser reads the small print disclaimer out loud, you’d think you suddenly had been transported to an auction with the fastest speaking auctioneer on the planet! Sadly, we have all grown cynically accustomed to “small print” advertising designed to mislead us about the price, quality, or content of a particular product.
But, there is no small print in the Bible, even though many in the pulpit today preach as if there is. Far too many preach a “small print Savior and salvation,” for fear that people will refuse to “sign up” if they know the truth about what is involved . . .
- They preach blessing without burden.
- They preach success without sacrifice.
- They preach getting without giving.
- They preach living without dying.
The irony in all this is the truth that . . .
The Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.”
The more we water it down to try to make it more appealing,
The more we strip it of its supernatural power.
The truth of the matter is – the Gospel is designed to both convert and challenge. Sadly, many who sit under shallow “small print” preaching, which is crafted to attract by tickling the ears of the listener, are ill-equipped for the promised trouble to come.
Jesus said the day of tribulation will come; and when it does, if all one has built his or her faith upon has been the shifting sand of “small print” theology, they will find themselves knocked off their foundation when the waves of challenge begin to wash over them.
They will be . . .
- Confused by challenge
- Surprised by suffering
- Derailed by difficulty.
But this is not what God wants for His born-again, blood-bought children!
Jesus said in Luke 9:23-26, “… If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desire to save his life will lost it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Fahter’s, and of the holy angels.”
Jesus refused to hide the truth of the Gospel in small print in order to increase His “success rate.” In fact . . .
It seems as though He went out of His way
To make it clear just how difficult
It would be for one to follow Him.
If the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-23) showed up in the church today he would be at the top of the list of potential leaders. Yet after a conversation with our Savior, who refused to shroud the Gospel in “small print,” the rich young ruler went away sad.
You see, the Gospel Jesus preached – and the one we are to be preaching with both our lips and our lives – is a Gospel of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Jesus refused to tell people what they wanted to hear just so He could get someone to consider being His follower. Our Lord spoke the truth, and the truth was this . . .
To follow Jesus is to follow Him to the cross
Where dying to self is the only way
To live for the Savior.
We know the apostle Paul fully understood there was to be no “small print” in the church’s message for the Bible tells us in Acts 14:21-22, “And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’”
The Christian life is not only a blessed life,, it is a battle fought daily against our sinful nature, the world, and the devil. Only through preaching, not a “small-print Savior and salvation” but the “whole counsel of God” will the Christian have the solid foundation and faith to be what God wants him to be and to overcome.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”