Randy Turner

The Pastor's Pen


The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Consider this image provided by Allen Wheelis, a practicing psychoanalyst in San Francisco. In his book, On Not Knowing How To Live, he talked about developing a philosophy of life, using the “big top” as an analogy.

Stay with the main show, do not be drawn off into sideshows, diversions, entertainments. Do only what you are most solemnly charged to do… There in the big top a man is hanging by his teeth, twisting, spinning, spotlights playing over him, the drums beginning to roll. He’s going to fall and nothing can be done, no net, but in the moments remaining he may yet achieve something remarkable, some glittering stunt, a movement perhaps of breathtaking beauty… Any turning away to watch the dancing bears is a betrayal of the dangling man…hold fast, stay with him.

Isn’t that an appropriate and challenging image for us as we consider the Great Commission? There are religious sideshows being offered with enticing attraction all over the world today. All around us the religious versions of dancing bears, stripteases, and peepshows would divert our attention. They come and they go; and then there is the main show.

And what is the main show? At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus announced His mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19.

At the close of His ministry, He commissions us for Kingdom work: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to serve all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20.

We do not need a new commission.  We need a new commitment to the old commission.

Randy Turner, Pastor
First Baptist Church
Laurel, Mississippi

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